After 150 years, has the internal combustion engine completed its life cycle?


In recent years, hybrid or electric vehicles have been built and sold according to EU standards, although there are still unresolved issues such as those related to their manufacture, disposal of batteries and, most importantly, questions. on the main source of energy. used to get electricity to recharge them.

That said, some builders and designers are still studying ways to try and improve the efficiency of existing internal combustion engines, aware of the theoretical modest performance of gasoline engines which, in principle, exceed 30% while, on the road, they are reduced to around 20%.

Diesel engines are more efficient. The 38-40% theoretical performance drops to around 30% on the road.

There are manufacturers who believe that it is possible to build more efficient engines in terms of performance.

Improvements can be applied to each phase of engine operation; many experts still focus on combustion, while a handful are studying mechanical modifications which, by varying the compression ratio and / or reducing the displacement of a running engine, can increase efficiency.

Here are some of the solutions and research currently underway:

The variable compression heat engine is a reality

Paris Motor Show 2017

Infiniti QX50 the world’s first production variable compression engine

Variable compression ratio from 8: 1 to 14: 1

Engine displacement with minimal variations from 1997cc to 1970cc

Other engines tested but still not in production.

Herald Scotland:

MCE-5 The ratio varies but the engine displacement remains unchanged

DIESOTTO Mercedes Benz The ratio varies but the engine displacement remains unchanged

SAAB The ratio varies but the engine displacement remains unchanged

Rod Porch Stepcom Both gear and engine displacement vary

Lotus the compression ratio varies for 8: 1 To 40: 1

According to many car manufacturers, Variable compression ratio engines –or VCR– are one of the most promising solutions to reduce fuel consumption, on which decisive strategies for the future could be based.

How to vary the engine displacement.

Herald Scotland:

Ford: EcoBoost 1.0 is the world’s first application on a 3 cylinder engine with cylinder deactivation technology.

Honda: a single engine with 15 displacements available thanks to pistons with different strokes.

Hyundai: the engine has different displacement thanks to the use of different pairs of cylinders.

Lamborghini uses it for the Aventador V12 with the name of Cylinder deactivation system.

Mercedes e Volkswagen: have very recently used cylinder deactivation.

The vast majority of internal combustion engines consist of cylinders, a crankshaft and pistons which determine an equal displacement corn, thanks to a constant capacity, have a downside: insufficient margin to control the operating point.

In addition, to obtain smooth idle a large amount of mechanical energy is consumed.

What is the future of the heat engine?

Some heat engine manufacturers believe that to reduce fuel consumption and pollution, the engine of the future must have a variable compression ratio (video recorder).

Others think that by running reduce engine shift increases its efficiency in terms of consumption and pollution.

These two technical solutions, taken together, could allow the thermal engine to prosper in the future.

This “ideal” engine would increase efficiency, reduce fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and pollution.

Is MoMi Control perhaps the “ideal” engine?

In 2019, researchers from the Sapienza University in Rome worked and studied the MoMi for over six months. After seeing the results, in 2020 and 2021, other ENEA researchers, one of the main public research organizations in Italy, also located in Rome, has studied, analyzed and tested, for more than nine months, the performance of a new crank mechanism: “MoMi control”.

The report following this latest research was published in March 2021. The data is the result of more than five years of studies and calculations by an inventor / design engineer based in Vicenza, Italy, with the help of a mathematician.

MoMi Control, therefore, allows the displacement of the engine to be varied while simultaneously and independently varying the compression ratio (VCR). Calculations have shown that it is mathematically possible to broaden the spectrum of CR. Data with a CR ranging from 6.8 to 36.8 has already been generated. Any intermediate value is possible.

For the comparative study, the two surveys chose the Gordon P. Blair engine, a 4-cylinder, 4-stroke, spark-ignition engine with a displacement of 2000 cm3, for which an abundant literature is available.

FINAL data for the second study

processed by ENEA between July 2020 and March 2021

Here are some improvements found in the MoMi crank mechanisms.

  • Unlike standard motors, the MoMi Control crank guyhanism does not have a fixed pair of displacement and compression ratio values.
  • The engine examined (a 2000cc engine, spark ignition, naturally aspirated) can, with MoMi Control, reduce its displacement to 1080cc but can also increase it to 2400cc. This way you will not only have a 2000cc engine available. but an engine that will have all the variable displacement from 1080 to 2400 cc.
  • It will be possible to match each trip in the above range with any compression ratio (CR) from 9.8: 1 to 21.8: 1.
  • The ENEA study precise that the MoMi Control crank mechanisms can be sized and used on any type of engine, even the most innovative still at the experimental stage. By optimizing the movements of the pistons to control, vary and manage both the CR and the displacement, MoMi Control should always increase the efficiency of these engines by pushing it towards 30% (33% is the value that refers to the average increment in the 9 cycles tested).
  • In WLTC, the maximum efficiency is 28.53%. Even the CO2 reduction, in this cycle, exceeds 28%. This already seems achievable in 2021.

CO2 emissions

The EU is taking action to reduce CO2 emissions from cars and vans. The revised standards will contain more stringent CO2 emissions regulations for cars and new light commercial vehicles.

On January 16, 2019, Member States approved a provisional agreement reached by representatives of the Presidency and Parliament on December 17, 2018.

The average CO2 emissions of new cars registered in the EU will have to be 15% lower in 2025, compared to the emission limits valid in 2021, and 37.5% in 2030.

CO2 emissions from new vans should be 15% lower in 2025 and 31% lower in 2030.

These are targets for the entire EU vehicle fleet. The emission reduction commitment will be distributed among the manufacturers according to the average mass of their vehicle fleet.

As a basis for calculating specific emissions targets for manufacturers, stricter rules have been agreed for the transition from the old NEDC testing procedure to the more precise WLTP test procedure.

Herald Scotland: It seems that the manufacturers are having difficultyproduce vehicles with these characteristics.

For more information:

It seems that the manufacturers are having difficulty

produce vehicles with these characteristics.

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