Fluid dynamic modeling of a free piston engine with labyrinth seals
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Preliminary design and simulation of a free piston engine suitable for small-scale energy production in distributed energy systems is presented in this paper. The properties, particularly the properties of gas seals of the engine are simulated using a simulation program developed for this case, and the results are utilized in preliminary main design parameter selection. The engine simulation program was developed by combining and modifying the source codes of the simulation and calculation programs obtained from Helsinki University of Technology, Tampere University of Technology, and Lappeenranta University of Technology. Because of the contact-free labyrinth seal used in the piston, the efficiency of the motor is lower than the efficiency of a conventional motor with oil lubricated piston rings. On the other hand, the lack of bearing losses, and the lack of losses associated with a crankshaft system and a gearbox, as well as the lack of lubrication oil expenses, compensates this effect. As a net result, this new motor would perform slightly better than the conventional one. Being completely oil-free, it is very environmentally friendly, and its exhaust gases are completely free of oil residuals which are causing problems in normal gas motors.
Keywordsfree piston engine distributed energy systems simulation labyrinth seal
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