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Stable Operation and Electricity Generating Characteristics of a Single-Cylinder Free Piston Engine Linear Generator: Simulation and Experiments

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Yaodong WangORCiD, Professor Tony Roskilly



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


We present a novel design of a single-cylinder free piston engine linear generator (FPELG) incorporating a linear motor as a rebound device. A systematic simulation model of this FPELG system was built containing a kinematic and dynamic model of the piston and mover, a magneto-electric model of the linear generator, a thermodynamic model of the single-cylinder engine, and a friction model between the piston ring and cylinder liner. Simulations were performed to understand the relationships between pre-set motor parameters and the running performance of the FPELG. From the simulation results, it was found that a motor rebound force with a parabolic profile had clear advantages over a force with a triangular profile, such as a higher running frequency and peak cylinder pressure, faster piston motion, etc. The rebound position and the amplitude of rebound force were also determined by simulations. The energy conversion characteristics of the generator were obtained from our FPELG test rig. The parameters of intake pressure, motor frequency, and load resistance were varied over certain ranges, and relationships among these three parameters were obtained. The electricity-generating characteristic parameters include output power and system efficiency, which can measure the quality of matching the controllable parameters. The output power can reach 25.9 W and the system efficiency can reach 13.7%. The results in terms of matching parameters and electricity-generating characteristics should be useful to future research in adapting these engines to various operating modes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Feng HH, Song Y, Zuo ZX, Shang J, Wang YD, Roskilly AP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Energies

Year: 2015

Volume: 8

Issue: 2

Pages: 765-785

Print publication date: 01/02/2015

Online publication date: 23/01/2015

Acceptance date: 16/01/2015

Date deposited: 06/04/2016

ISSN (electronic): 1996-1073

Publisher: MDPI AG


DOI: 10.3390/en8020765


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Funder referenceFunder name
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council of the UK
LH Cogen
51006010National Natural Science Foundation of China
B12022joint China-UK research programme "111"