Describe about the Optimization of Gasoline Engine Efficiency using an LPG Fuel System .
There is need to improve the thermal efficiency of the internal combustion engines in the current economic trend that experiences increasing of costs of fossil fuels such as petrol and diesel globally. Other than high costs of conventional fuels, gasoline fuel engines faces several challenges associated with its properties as a hydrocarbon with low octane rating. This report is about increasing the thermal efficiency of a gasoline engine by coupling it with an LPG fuel system as a sustainable technology in the automobile industry. The report focuses on the problems affecting the gasoline engines and consequently investigates how the proposed technology would eliminate or minimize the problem. The proposed technology is examined into details Quadruple Bottom Line technique. The report further justifies the adoptability and viability of the technology to solve the stated problem. The report then concludes by making salient recommendations on the sustainability of the technology.
One of the challenges affecting the automobile industry today is the ever increasing prices of the conventional fuels such as gasoline. According to Reitz (2015) and Wilcox (2014), fossil fuels account for 33 percent of the global energy in which more than 60 percent of the 70 million barrels are consumed daily by the transportation engines. Therefore, with such unpredictable oil prices, it is imperative to design an engine system that optimizes the fuel injected by drawing as much power from it as possible. The proposed technology offers an ideal alternative since it minimizes the use of gasoline as a conventional fuel in the automobile engine by introducing an LPG fuel system that results to a superior system.
Secondly, there is the problem of energy losses associated with the automobile engines. Most of the efficiency issues are related to the conversion of the gasoline fuel from chemical energy to mechanical energy. The figure below shows the most common energy losses in a typical automobile gasoline engine.
Depending on the drive cycle, only an estimated 15% of the energy drawn from gasoline fuel is used in driving and running the vehicle accessories like air conditioning (Kokjohn, Hanson, Splitter, & Reitz, 2011). Much of the energy is lost sue to idling and system inefficiencies. In gasoline-powered engines, more than 62% of the energy drawn from the fuel is lost due to the inefficiency of the internal combustion engine (Michalek, Papalambros, & Skerlos, 2004). The losses occur during the conversion of the chemical energy from the fuel to mechanical energy due to wasted heat, pumping air, and engine friction. According to Ingram (2014), Toyota diesel engines can obtain only up to 40% thermal efficiency although most engines range from 20-30% efficiency. The figure below shows a Toyota gasoline engine.
Figure 1Toyota gasoline engine
The optimization of the Gasoline Engine using LPG Fuel System
The major reason that inspired the development of the proposed technology is the challenges that arise due to the use of gasoline as a fuel in the automobile system. One of the challenges facing gasoline fuel is its volatile nature arising from the fact that it is a byproduct of crude oil distillation and refinery process (Filipi & Assanis, 2000). As a result, there are several drawbacks of gasoline fuel such as its costliness and high heat content due to its great calorific value. Moreover, gasoline fuel does not undergo complete combustion, thereby leaving behind deposits of carbon in the combustion chamber that leads to environmental pollution in the form of exhaust (Michalek, Papalambros, & Skerlos, 2004). Another drawback of gasoline engine is that its compression ratio cannot be increased and this result to lower torque produced. Furthermore, the gasoline engines have more gum content and give less mileage compared to the LPG systems (Rutland, 2011). There is also the challenge of high maintenance cost in the case of gasoline compared to the LPG system (Dempsey, Curran, & Wagner, 2016).
With such a background on the problems facing the gasoline engines resulting to high inefficiency, there is need to improve the gasoline engine by modifying it to ensure that it optimizes the fuel utilization in providing the energy required to drive the engine. The modification of the gasoline engine using the LPG fuel system improves the combustion of the air-fuel mixture, thereby ensuring the production of maximum torque by the engine.
Design of the Technology
The proposed technology optimizes the synergy drawn from combining a conventional fuel system with a non-conventional system. In the technology, there are alternations made to the gasoline engine by introducing LPG system to a Four/Two Stroke system. Consequently, the engine system takes both gasoline and LPG as engine fuels. The LPG from the fuel storage system proceeds to the adjustable regulator via the primary delivery control valve. The fuel is injected using a rubber horse and enters through a D.C. solenoid valve system. This implies that the solenoid valve is operated using a separate battery. Separate copper tubes are fitted to the system’s carburetor for acceleration and idle starting from the outlet of the solenoid valve. A different and distinct gravity feed lubrication arrangement is used unlike the petrol engine. This is because the LPG cannot mix with the lubricating oil to provide lubrication of the different areas of the engine system. In addition, the chain sprocket is employed in the arrangement to boost the rpm of the Four/Two Stroke engine, thereby increasing the engine efficiency. The design drawing and details of the system are shown below.
Figure 2 working details of the proposed design
The Working of the Technology
The fuel-air mixture from the carburetor jets in the crankcase via the inlet valve during the piston upward motion. During that time, compression of the mixture takes place in the cylinder that ignites the mixture when the piston is at the T.D.C. The piston transfers the motion to the crankshaft during combustion. The crankcase mixture undergoes compression and is pushed through the transfer valve in to the cylinder during the downward motion. Consequently, the exhaust gases are pushed away via the exhaust valve. During this time, the cylinder is filled with a fresh charge of the mixture to complete the Four/Two Strokes through a process known as cross flow scavenging. A complete Four/Two Stroke movement results to a complete revolution of the crankshaft.
The design of the chain sprocket is another unique property of the proposed technology. The chains are designed to convert the engine’s pulling power to rotational power or rotational power to the pulling power through the sprocket engagement. The sprockets are designed to have more teeth compared to the gear system than have either one or two teeth. The sprockets do not have slippage while the gear teeth are designed to couple and slip against one another. Moreover, the sprocket teeth are designed differently from the gears to further improve the functionality and operation of the system.
The Relevance of the Technology
The technology is relevant in the contemporary automobile industry owing to the high costs of gasoline fuel in the market and the emerging trends in the fight against environmental pollution. Comparatively, LPG engine systems are readily available and cheaper than their gasoline counterparts are. The improved engine system takes care of the costly and scarce conventional fuel and minimizes the dangers associated with air pollution caused by gasoline as a conventional fuel system. Environmental pollution is one of the major drawbacks of the gasoline fuel system due to the emission of the exhaust gases to the surrounding. The integration of the LPG system in the gasoline reduces the amount of exhaust fumes emitted to the ambient thereby reducing pollution from the automobiles. This is because LPG fuels emit comparatively lesser fumes. Due to better combustion than the gasoline engines, the LPG engines are generally environmentally friendly and clean since there is no trace of carbon left after combustion.
Secondly, LPG fuel system is more efficient compared to the gasoline engines. The LPG engines mixes easily and readily as opposed to the gasoline counterparts (Murphy, 2012). Other than being knock resistant, they have less contamination and residue due to almost complete combustion. In addition, the LPG systems have small crankcase dilution and this leads to prolonged life span of the engine. Owing to uniform distribution, the LPG systems have increased efficiency. The efficiency of the engine is further increased due to the relatively high octane rating with a better compression ratio of over 10:1. Owing to the environmental concerns and the optimization of the injected fuel, the modification of the conventional gasoline engine using an LPG system offers the best alternative to the automobile industry.
The sustainability of the Proposed Technology
In order to establish the sustainability of the proposed technology, the Quadruple Bottom Line is used to analyze it using the four sustainability measurement parameters including Government, Economical, Social, and Environmental aspects.
Quadruple Bottom Line
i. Taxation: taxes will be submitted to the government once the sale of the technology commences
ii. Legislation: the technology will not breach any of the state laws such as copyright, patent, and trademark. The technology will also not be used in a manner that subverts the laws such as illegal business.
i. Mass Customization: the design is customized to meet the needs of the individual customers with optimum production efficiency without compromising the delivery, quality, and cost.
ii. Personalization: the design is oriented towards meeting the specifications of the customers such as the desired engine fuel capacity.
i. Corporate Social Responsibility: 10% the returns from the sale of the design will be used to support community development projects such as schools, hospitals, and garbage cleaning
ii. Gender: the services of both the disabled and the female employees will be considered during the production of the technology.
i. Pollution: The technology reduces the emission of exhaust gases to the ambient as opposed to the gasoline fuel system that emits poisonous carbon monoxide to the environment.
ii. Minimum Heat Radiation: the LPG gas engine does not emit much heat compared to the gasoline fuel that has high calorific value, thereby increasing the amount of heat radiated by the engine.
Future Impact of the Technology
The Current Research on the Technology
In the present times, there have been ongoing research on the soot formation in the internal combustion engines that use gasoline fuels. The studies are aimed at minimizing the amount of carbon substance left in the engine after combustion due to incomplete combustion of the fuel mixture. In addition, there are studies aimed at eliminating the knocking phenomenon that causes problems in the gasoline engines. Moreover, there studies inclined towards the diesel engines, especially regarding the combustion of light-duty diesel fuels and the four-way catalyst engine systems (Kusakabe et al., 2014). Other than these, these are current studies by Wang (2013) focused on the investigation of the wear of the main bearing of the gasoline engines.
The Proposed Developments
There are some current proposed internal combustion engine developments such as the direct injection of the gasoline fuel in the vehicle engine conducted by Koike, Saito, Tomoda, and Yamamoto (2000). On the other hand, Devanshu et al. (2015) and Yan, Tseng, and Leong (2012) are developing a solar powered car that operates under aerodynamic principles. Such a development is aimed at minimizing the dependence on fossil fuel that is not renewable. Rynne and von Ellenrieder (2010) are also working towards the development of a wind-powered car to promote the use of green energy. These efforts are aimed at minimizing the toxic emissions by the automobile industry as a result of the consumption of fossil fuels such as petrol and diesel.
Conclusion and Recommendation on the sustainability of the Technology
In summary, the proposed technology should be adopted to modify the conventional gasoline engines to take up LPG gas. The LPG gas minimizes the challenges of environmental pollution and the efficiency of the internal combustion engines. One of the recommendations include the use of LPG gas more often than the gasoline fuel to minimize the amount of exhaust gases such as carbon monoxide emitted from the gasoline engines. Secondly, the engine should be modified to automate the intake of both fuels, especially where one fuel mixture runs out and there is limited time to replenish the fuel tank.
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