Split-cycle engine simulations suggest fuel saving

Massachusetts-based engine-developer Scuderi has disclosed that results from vehicle simulations conducted on its split-cycle engine have shown that it could use between 25-36 per cent less fuel than a conventional engine.

The simulations, carried out at the US Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), showed that a base, naturally aspirated Scuderi engine operating in a 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier would consume 25 per cent less fuel, and that a naturally aspirated Scuderi Air-Hybrid would consume 30-36 per cent less fuel under similar driving conditions.

The Scuderi engine itself divides the four strokes of a combustion cycle among two paired cylinders – the left cylinder functions as an air compressor, handling intake and compression, while the right cylinder handles combustion and exhaust.

Key to Scuderi’s split-cycle design is that it fires after top dead centre. By optimising the split-cycle concept, it is claimed that the engine – when fully developed – will reduce NOx emissions up to 80 per cent and improve fuel efficiency by 50 per cent, compared to a conventional gasoline engine.

’The naturally aspirated Scuderi split-cycle engine will continue to improve when further optimised and the Air-Hybrid performance will increase with higher air-tank pressures. We expect the efficiencies to continue to climb as modifications are made and new simulations are conducted, including computer modelling of the 2011 Nissan Sentra running with a Scuderi engine,’ said Sal Scuderi, president of Scuderi.

A report that outlines the findings of the engine’s simulation is expected to be available later this year.