Libertine has completed a lab demonstration platform that it hopes will accelerate the development of a new generation of clean, high efficiency opposed piston 2-stroke (OP2S) engines for distributed power and transport applications.
Initial testing of the demonstration engine started in December 2019, aiming to validate the mechanical build, align simulation models with test performance, and demonstrate opposed piston synchronisation and motion control. So far the intelliGEN platform has exceeded performance expectations and demonstrates exceptionally low vibration which will be a key feature for automotive applications.
The platform has now completed a series of short commissioning runs operating at 20Hz and is expected to be capable of operation at frequencies up to 50Hz with compression ratios in the range of 10:1 to 50:1. Such flexibility makes this an ideal platform for both conventional and advanced combustion methods, as well as for low carbon fuels such as biogas, bioethanol and methanol.
Each run generates a detailed quantitative output data set describing the system condition and trends, and which Libertine expects will form the basis of transient control, advanced diagnostics and predictive maintenance functions implemented by its OEM clients.
Libertine’s intelliGEN platform will allow engine developers to ditch the crankshaft, instead using its linear electrical machines and advanced control software to deliver real-time compression ratio control. This feature, not practical with conventional engines, is believed by Libertine to be a key tool for developers of advanced ‘Low Temperature’ combustion systems – as well as to reducing harmful tailpipe emissions formed when an engine starts from cold.
The potential of opposed piston 2-stroke engines has recently caught the attention of Formula 1’s chief technical officer Pat Symonds, who says that the best way forward for the sport’s future engine development might lie in opposed piston two-stroke engines.
“The opposed piston engine is very much coming back, and already in road car form at around 50 per cent efficiency,” he is quoted as saying by Motorsport Magazine. “We need to look at what our future power units will look like. At F1 this is what we are engaged in at the moment. I’m very keen on it being a two-stroke.”
Sam Cockerill, Libertine’s founder and CEO, is presenting at the Smart Mobility Start-up Forum in Automotive World at Tokyo Big Sight on the 17th January.
Motorsports Magazine article link.