Connecticut Patent of the Month – March 2021

Natural gas is a favorable fuel source due to its high energy content. Liquid fuel has benefits as well though, so some engines use both. Injection of the liquid fuel into the cylinders of an engine causes the natural gas/intake air mixture to combust. The ratio of liquid to natural gas is limited by the lowest possible amount of liquid fuel that the injectors are capable of injecting. Transportation IP Holdings, LLC has introduced a new multifuel engine design to maximize this liquid to natural gas ratio.

Their new design uses a multi-cylinder engine with each cylinder individually tuned to maximize the ratio. A crankshaft and crankshaft speed sensor are coupled to the cylinders. A controller measures vibrations from the speed sensor – should these levels surpass a threshold level, this indicates a misfire.This misfire detection helps to control ongoing automated cylinder tuning for continued efficiency. The injection of liquid fuel has a maximum speed and as the volume nears the end of the stream, it inherently slows down. This reduced speed and volume results in a new low for liquid fuel. If the cylinders are all treated equally, they must go by whichever cylinder has the lowest low. This restricts the efficiency of the other cylinders. Instead, tuning allows each cylinder to be treated individually and adapt to any changes in injection conditions. This increases the overall ratio and efficiency of the multifuel engine. 

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