The Hydrogen Engine Center announces that Ted Hollinger has filed a provisional patent (serial number 61/774,887) for the company on a new intake manifold that was designed and built to overcome the air/fuel imbalance found in all current production V8 engines. This imbalance results in reduced power, efficiency and can cause backfiring (especially with hydrogen).
Unequal air feed causes each cylinder to create different amounts of power, causing varying amounts of downward pressure on the crankshaft. The end result is an engine with a slightly wobbling crankshaft, increasing wear more than is needed, lowering power and efficiency compared to balancing all cylinders with the same amount of air and fuel. This can be tested by measuring the exhaust gas temperatures which should all be the same. Measuring the individual exhaust gases to determine the equivalence ratio is another tests of balance.
In a normal eight (8) cylinder engine, two and for a short time three different intake valves are open at the same time. This causes unequal amounts of air being fed to each cylinder. The there are two ways to overcome this problem. One is to have an individual air and fuel control for each cylinder, similar to a Ferrari,. The second choice is to pair cylinders that are exactly 360 degrees apart in firing order, in separate intake tubes (one tube for each two cylinders). As a result, it was now impossible for the valves of the paired cylinders to be open at the same time, therefore being unable to compete with each other for air.
HEC was successful in solving this problem by pairing cylinders that were exactly opposite each other (firing order 360 degrees apart), in separate intake tubes (one tube for each two cylinders). As a result, HEC never saw a backfire with hydrogen and are achieving a <1% difference in exhaust temperatures.
With this arrangement, the number of injectors needed is cut in half, reducing costs. Each injector can be pulsed on both the intake and exhaust cycle (double-pulsed) serving one intake tube and two cylinders. The exact height, diameter, and volume of the components, in relationship to the volume of the cylinders, is also important in the discovery. This configuration has allowed HEC to achieve 309 hp on hydrogen using one fuel injector per cylinder. We previously needed two or more. We will soon announce the results of our testing on propane and natural gas. Testing of these engines will only use four fuel injectors.
HEC, as well as most automotive technicians, have been able to accurately control the amount of fuel going into each cylinder, with electronically controlled fuel-injection systems. Now as a result of our new innovation, we are also able to accurately control the amount of air. By combining the correct amount of fuel and air in each cylinder, we are able to accurately produce the same amount of heat and power in each cylinder, giving the engine near-perfect balance with higher efficiencies, producing longer engine life.
The new intake manifold will increase overall output power between 4-8% and 1 to 2% (of ~30%) on most internal combustion engines. This is an important development since in the “Distributed Power” arena, in which HEC competes, where even a 1% efficiency improvement in a year’s time can translate into 1000’s of dollars in annual fuel savings. It is estimated, that approximately 8% can be saved when the fuel is burned in an engine in a gaseous state, such as with hydrogen. The new intake manifold is particularly important when working with hydrogen, since it is nearly impossible to produce high levels of power without the new innovation. The device was developed to stop engines from backfiring when hydrogen was used as a fuel. To our delight, it works on any internal combustion engine with an even number of cylinders (four and above), when either a liquid or a gaseous fuel is used. It will also improve diesel performance is a similar way.
Now HEC engines are smoother running with higher efficiencies, producing more usable power for our customers.
HEC’s Ted Hollinger says that this may be the single most important patent he has ever filed because it can affect almost every engine in the world.
For more information on: HEC