The present invention (called “Smart Charger”) relates to an innovative charging device for any ICE, operating with conventional fuels or biofuels or hydrogen, featuring more efficient, reliable, compact and cheaper than today charging devices (i.e. superchargers or turbochargers).
A short description of “Smart Charged,” from innovation, feasibility/ manufacturability and marketability points of view, is reported:
The “wave charger” (i.e. BBC Comprex), developed about 60 years ago, had with a very limited success. The main drawback of Comprex was a too narrow operating range with ICE, because of its inability of frequency tuning with that of ICE speed and gas velocity: outside of the correct tuning range, the charging performance deterioration and uncontrolled EGR were experienced; furthermore, other negative aspects were reliability/cost of metallic rotor and mechanical driving connection with ICE.
The "Smart Charger" overcomes the above mentioned drawbacks, and also integrates in a single device the following features:
- air charging, obtained by recovery of exhaust gases energy (like turbocharging), but with more simple, efficient and straightforward way, thanks to direct utilization of the exhaust wave energy, instead of the thermal-mechanical energy conversion of exhaust enthalpy inside turbine;
- exhaust gases recirculation, obtained by a suitable and clever management of variable geometry and frequency tuning devices, and so avoiding the necessity of installation of additional and separated EGR system;
- catalytic emission reduction, obtained by coating of surfaces exposed to exhaust gases flow, without installation of conventional, additional and separated close-coupled catalyst; an additional advantage is a more rapid warm-up (and so a quicker emission conversion operation), thanks to installation closer to exhaust gases manifold. The schematic layout of “Smart charger” is shown in Figure 1.
The “Smart Charging” invention adopts available and well-known technologies, both for eliminating the Comprex drawbacks and also for integrating in a single device additional relevant features for ICE emissions reduction: i.e. (see Figure 2):
- adoption, for rotor, of design/manufacturing solutions derived from metallic after-treatment devices already available on the market;
- integration, in rotor, of conventional technology adopted in metallic catalyst (i.e., wash-coating with precious materials);
- provision, in stator, of sliding in/out ports as variable timing control of EGR, with similar design/manufacturing solutions previously adopted in 2-stroke ICE;
- adoption of conventional electrical motor, for frequency tuning the wave charging effect with temperature-dependent exhaust gases velocity and ICE rotating speed
- implementation of relevant control strategy/calibration in conventional ECU, without additional memory or processing requirements.
The invention is applicable to any ICE for propulsion (e.g. automotive-marine-aircraft-industrial applications, in thermal/hybrid powertrains, with human-/self-driving vehicles), mainly with new engineering challenge of green fuels (i.e. biofuels or hydrogen).
In foreseen evolution of ICE, the availability of high-efficient, reliable, compact and cheaper devices for charging, EGR and aftertreatment will be mandatory.
The “Smart Charger” has all these characteristics and, thanks to its intrinsic implementation of charging, EGR and aftertreatment technologies in a single system, also facilitates powertrain in-vehicle installation, from packaging, cost and control points of view.