Quasi-constant volume (QCV) spark ignition combustion

The Otto cycle delivers theoretical maximum thermal efficiency. The traditional design of internal combustion engines using a simple slide-crank mechanism gives no time for a constant volume combustion which significantly reduces the cycle efficiency. In this study, using a high torque, high bandwidth, permanent magnet electric drive system attached to the crankshaft, variable angular velocities of the engine crankshaft were implemented. The system enabled reductions in piston velocity around the top dead centre region to a fraction of its value at constant crankshaft angular velocity typical in conventional engines. A quasi-constant volume combustion has thus been successfully achieved, leading to improvements in engine fuel consumption and power output which are discussed in detail.