The Internal Combustion Engine has been around for more than one hundred years. No other technology has received so much attention. It has been thoroughly questioned and subject to massive research and invention. Could such a mature technology really have significant potential for further improvement?
The figure below shows a very interesting picture.
This diagram shows how the energy in the fuel is used in city driving, and yes, there is significant potential to increase efficiency. We believe that internal combustion engine efficiency will improve more in the next ten years than the previous one hundred.
The main contributing factor will be the development of advanced electronic control systems and actuators.
FreeValve has developed technology to reduce fuel consumption in several ways:
1. Improve engine efficiency at part load, using the Free Valve Technology system to eliminate the throttle and introduce cylinder deactivation with a method called Frequency Modulated Torque. With the DEP or HEGR engine concepts engine compression can be increased without knock problems. Increased EGR rates in both concepts will reduce heat losses while improving the combustion process.
2. The Pneumatic Hybrid provides an inexpensive and reliable solution to eliminate Standby/Idle losses (17.2%) and regenerate braking energy (almost half of the energy used in city driving) with good efficiency. This solution basically provides the same benefits as an electric hybrid, such as the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight, but without the extra cost, weight, and complexity of battery packs and electric motors.
3. The Steam Hybrid provides a means to eliminate the normal cooling system, recycle exhaust waste heat, and introduce a work-generating internal cooling cycle, further reducing engine losses. This can be realized using the existing engine hardware for compact and cost-effective implementation.
For the Qoros 1.6 liter 4 cylinder engine the fuel consumption reduction is 15%, as per the diagram below.