Squish-Zone Grooves (IC Engine)
Mr Somendar Singh
Hyder Ali Road, Opp. Chamundivihar Stadium,
Nazarbad, Mysore-570 010
N. Bhanutej: Better by Design
GoodNewsIndia.com: Somender Singh Builds a Better IC Engine
Ch. Graeber: Obsession: Mr. Singh’s Search for the Holy Grail; Popular Science ( 24 September 2004 )
Somender Singh: USP # 6,237,579 ( 29 May 2001 ) --- Design to Improve Turbulence in Combustion Chambers
Better by Design
Innovation: Shift your car to top gear
at 20 kilometres per hour
Drive my Indica," says Somender Singh, giving me the keys. The engine is noiseless and the power exhilarating. The wheel-spinning indicates that the car is tuned to race performance. It can go into top gear at speeds as low as 20 kilometres from where it moves to top speed in no time, even with the air conditioner on. There is no chugging or knocking. The fuel consumed is minimum, considering that the car can move in top gear through congested roads.
Singh's Indica (and his Victor motorbike) seems to have all the characteristics one dreamed of in a single machine thanks to his 'design to improve turbulence in combustion chambers'. "The Indica you drove was this technology in motion," says Singh, who has a US patent (No. 6237579) for the design.
The technology is the result of decades of self-funded research in his garage (Garuda R&D) at home in Mysore, Karnataka. A self-made engineer who was a racing legend in the 70s and 80s, Singh has to his credit more than 1,500 flying hours in his three home-built ultralight aircraft powered by motorcycle engines. He has spent the better part of his life understanding engine designs and modifying them for extreme applications.
"Dreaming up an idea is one thing," says Singh. "Transforming that into reality is challenging. Patenting the idea in the US with no past experience is like scaling an unknown peak barefoot hoping it will be named after you." Helping him get the patent in 2001 were friends and racing associates Joe P. Joseph and Stephan G. Matzuk.
Singh and friends have approached market leaders such as Ford Global Technologies and Briggs & Stratton of the US, and Rotax Bombardier of Austria with the design. "Most companies have long-drawn procedures, which require you to sign a disclosure document, confidential waiver along with an unsolicited project proposal empowering them to test out the design without your involvement," he says. "People are reluctant to take new ideas that come from outside the industry and the scientific community."
It is frustrating, especially when he has transformed around 70 vehicles including the Ford Escort, Ikon, Opel Astra, Cielo, Matiz, Fiat Uno and Palio, the full range of Marutis and the older generation of automatic gear transmission cars besides every possible Indian bike one can think of.
Most of the manufacturers turned him down saying that 'our products are perfected and certified, hence any changes will require approval from our principals'. Some even said that he would lose his warranty because he had tampered with the engine.
Singh says that manufacturers are secretive about their upcoming products, "little realising that confined nuts like me will find more ways than one to better the performance as there is plenty of scope for improvement in products that are produced on a mass scale".
Today's refinements in engine, he argues, are restricted to electronic gadgetry, sensors and systems that support the main computer governing the engine management systems.
"The internals of the cylinder have not changed much since the early overhead valve designs except for additional valves, ports and twin igniters to improve performance," says Singh, whose design involves changes in the combustion chamber of the IC engines. All the air and fuel charge is compressed into and ignited in this chamber.
The result of this 'bang' inside the cylinder reflects on the engine's efficiency to burn fuel. Lab experiments show that Singh's design improves the thermal efficiencies of the engines. It also produces noticeable increase in torque and power along with low emissions of unburnt hydrocarbon, carbon-monoxide, carbondioxide and nitric oxides. "Most people in the industry and the scientific community doubt my claims," says Singh. "I will prove them wrong."
22 Aug. 2004
Somender Singh Builds a Better IC Engine
The internal combustion engine—or is it the 'infernal' combustion engine, to you?— isn't going to go away in a hurry. Hate it all you want, live without it if you can, but millions of them are burning petro fuels right now and warming up the globe. And they are breeding faster than ever before. So, our best chances are with taming them into better behaviour. Somender Singh, a home-spun, hands-on tinkerer in Mysore, Karnataka may have bred just such an animal.
When reporting technology breakthroughs, it's best to first answer, "what was the problem?" The problem here,is accelerated depletion of fossil fuels, emission of pollutants and climate change due to global warming, all majorly contributed by I C engines. Singh's invention may not stop any of these, but it will buy our planet more time in which to come up with the magic bullet.
We owe this story to reader John Norris who scooped this good news from 'Popular Science' magazine, which has featured Singh's work. It's rare for an Indian innovation or product to appear in this 100+ year old publication. It is the equivalent of 'Nature' magazine for technology and innovation. It is very selective about its content. For example, over the decades it has devoted no more than 1000 words per achievement of Burt Rutan, the serial aeronautical innovator, the very man who recently built and propelled SpaceShipOne into outer space. Bimbettes can appear sooner on Time magazine covers than inventors in Popular Science's inner pages.
In its August 21 edition, it has run a 5000 word essay on Singh. We had better take notice. And empathise with him. The poor man has endured enough of the humiliation of Indian pioneers—of being recognised abroad and being ignored at home. But let's savour his achievement first.
Charles Graeber, author of the Popular Science article on Singh, says the I C engine has scarcely changed in its essence of a "boom that turns a crank", since Christiaan Huygens in 1673, exploded gunpowder in a chamber to push a piston down. In the over 300 years since, all we have managed is to extract 28% out of gasoline's 'boom' in our engines. The rest is wasted and pushed into the atmosphere as heat and pollutants.
Somender Singh, grew up fascinated by bikes and speed. He was forever trying to make his machines go that bit faster. He is a tech-school drop out but a good mechanic. Singh intuited that if one wanted to improve efficiency of engines, one has to extract more from the fuel that goes in. Singh's solution is "a concave bit of steel, with rough grooves scored through the four axes like the points of a compass. It looks a bit like a homemade ashtray."
Incorporating this design into the cylinder head of his test engine, Singh witnessed some amazing improvements: the engine consumed between 10 and 20% less fuel, the exhaust was distinctly cooler and yet, the spark plug—when pulled out— was blue-hot. Clearly, the cauldron inside was busier, but little energy escaped it as exhaust. The Singh Chamber was improving combustion.
Greater revelations awaited when a Singh engine powered a car. He was "able to keep his car in fourth gear at 500 rpm without sputtering or pinging", and "It was zippier. And in third gear I could slow down to 20 kph with no engine knock, and just speed up smoothly, like you would in first gear". It was as though you didn't need a gear-box at all. Singh calls it the "Direct Drive Engine".
Singh was awarded US Patent No 6237579 in May 2001. A greater tribute—if imitation be deemed as such—followed: General Electric came up, in two months flat, with a 'me-too' device. After that euphoria however, Singh has been climbing steeper mountains—of neglect and impediments that India places on her sons.
He wrote to every conceivable person of substance. Nobody showed any interest. He has spent money and humiliating time trying to persuade people. Take this as an example of the laws we have: it turns out that no government funded lab will test an engine unless the engine builder approves. It's like saying we may not assay Coca Cola, unless Atlanta allows.
Singh spent weeks in a bug-ridden hotel in Pune trying to get his engine tested at Automotive Research Association of India [ARAI]. Test showed that a Singh modified engine consumed between 10 and 42% less fuel and ran 16 degC cooler. Yet no one has come up to champion him. He is close to bitterness, though recently Tata Motors has evinced some early interest.
Graeber quotes a US expert:"what Singh needs to prove his concept is a standard, scientific A:B test, on a standard engine, preferably something mainstream and dyno testing with a five-gas analyzer. Then he needs to take one of his modified cylinder heads, swap it out on the same engine, and dyno test that. A to B. Even if the emissions don't go down a whisker, if there's an increase in fuel economy, my god, that's a win... the world's your oyster."
Why is it so hard for an Indian to get that test done here? The longish Popular Science article is worth a read,for it highlights areas that Indians must agitate against.
Here's a do-able road-map. For a start, GoodNewsIndia appeals to a reader out there, willing to track down Somender Singh in Mysore [Speedwell Tune Up Centre and Garuda R&D is all the lead we have] and send his address, phone and email to be added here. Once it's here, you can write and express your appreciation. Next, you can button-hole your favourite politician, industrialist or bureaucrat, post in message boards and newsgroups. Maybe some doors will open for this man.
India has many tinkerers in the great Yankee tradition Many are unlettered and unaware of the roads they must take to realise their potential. Singh would be a role-model if he succeeds. He must therefore, get his hearing.
Popular Science ( 24 September 2004 )
Obsession: Mr. Singh’s Search for the Holy Grail
American visionaries, cranks and con men have long sought the simple key to boosting the efficiency of the gasoline engine. Now a barefoot tinkerer in India believes he has unlocked the door. Is he for real?
India is booming. The expanding population has overwhelmed the Bangalore-Mysore road the way a river floods its banks, and the flow of two-way traffic is choked with a living history of human transportation. There are belching herds of diesel trucks, diesel buses and iron-framed diesel tractors. There are wooden-wheeled carts pulled by brightly painted Brahma bulls, and two-stroke-motor rickshaws fueled by kerosene or cooking oil or whatever else is flammable and cheap. There are mopeds and bipeds and bicycles and motorcycles, and every conceivable type of petrol-powered, internally combusting automobile, from doddering Ambassador cabs to gleaming 16-valve Mercedes miracles. But there’s only one car like the one Somender Singh and I are riding in right now.
That’s because Singh invented it. Or rather, reinvented a piece of it: a small detail on the engine that he calls “direct drive.” He claims that his invention makes an engine cleaner, quieter and colder than its internal-combustion cousins around the world—while using up to 20 percent less gas.
“Some people say to me, ’Singh, why are you wasting your time on such a thing?’” he yells, his singsong Indian English barely piping above the tooting traffic. “But I tell you sir—I tell the world: I have conquered the internal combustion engine!”
To hear Singh tell it, his story has all the makings of a Bollywood movie, a classic heartwarmer about a small-fry Indian grease monkey who challenges the big boys armed only with a dream and a dirty wrench. And there’s no doubt that he has come up with something new, at least in the eyes of the U.S. Patent Office. But has a potbellied philosopher- mechanic from Mysore really discovered the efficiency El Dorado sought by every auto manufacturer, R&D center and thermal engineer from Detroit to Darmstadt?
Well, maybe. So far, all Singh’s invention has earned him is a few polite rejection letters from presidents, professors and auto manufacturers—while costing him tens of thousands of borrowed rupees and an untold number of sleepless nights. His eyes are glazed with the heat of an idea he can neither sell nor surrender. Mostly, he seems to have discovered the hard way that in 2004, it takes more than a patent and personal conviction to reinvent the automobile.
Even though Mysore is only a few hours south of the Indian IT epicenter of Bangalore, most of its 700,000 inhabitants lead traditional lives seemingly untouched by technology. The poor still work the fields and factories as they have for centuries, weaving silk or hand-rolling sandalwood incense; the last raja still lives in a whitewashed fairy-tale palace framed in stained glass and 97,000 lightbulbs. And every fall rich and poor alike make their pilgrimage up Chamundi Hill to pray to the mountain goddess who has watched over their tile-roofed city since time began. This is a place of yoga and vegetarian food, of barefoot men swathed in traditional white longhis and women draped elegantly in colorful saris.
In such a place, Somender Singh has long been an eccentric—a blue-jeans rock-’n’-roller, a leather-jacketed motorcycle race champion and homegrown Evel Knievel, an autodidactic birdman who soars above the palaces and red clay roofs in Mysore’s first and only motorized hang glider. Like most Indians, he is a reverent man; he prays to the mountain goddess for strength and wears a green ring from his guru to cool his fiery heart. But unlike most Indians, he also worships at the altar of the speed demon.
Singh has craved it for as long as he can remember: real bad-ass, teeth-gritting speed. And when, at age 10, a cricket ball to the eye destroyed his chances of following his father into the air force, Singh was destined to find that speed on the ground. So in 1968, following the time-honored tradition, he dropped engineering college for the old-school curriculum of trial and error and the dog-eared hot-rod canon of J.E.G. Harwood’s Speed and How to Obtain It and Gordon Jennings’s Two-Stroke Tuner’s Handbook. He bought a motorcycle and then dedicated his health to racing it. When the sponsors wouldn’t touch him, he started his own team and called it Speedwell—and it did, winning more than 120 trophies for him as a racer in national and international events, and some 400 more for the machines he tuned.
Winning made Singh a local celebrity, to the point that when the first movie musicals were being made in the local Kannada language, the producers tapped him for typecast guest appearances—first as a pompadoured rocker strumming an electric guitar to Elvis’s “Hound Dog,” then as a daredevil motorcycle stuntman jumping stairs and cars. When a 1986 cycling accident left him with a broken shoulder and collarbone, Singh traded his helmet for a wrench and hung out his shingle as a mechanic. Now if you own a performance vehicle and are passing within a day’s drive of Mysore, Singh’s garage is a pilgrimage site of its own.
To get there, simply follow the Mysore road to a small sign announcing the headquarters of Speedwell Tune Up Centre and Garuda R&D. Beyond the sign you’ll find a little metal gate and a 50-foot yard containing a few cars, more motorcycles and the familiar open darkness of a working mechanic’s garage. Singh’s workshop doubles as the family home he shares with his wife and 10-year-old daughter. Out front, sleeping dogs and rusting car chassis lie in the shade of a rain tree. His assistants—four kids, their hair in modified d.a.’s, wearing rolled dungarees—peer into the mystery revealed beneath an open hood.
Singh’s office is in the back, separated from the greasy piles of engines and parts by a beige shower curtain. On the walls, competing for space between the pictures of Christian saints and Hindu gods and the standard mechanic’s warnings against urgent jobs and requested credit, are yellowed clippings celebrating Singh’s earlier life of speed. “Singh Takes the Day,” one reads, and “5,000cc Man Machine.” The grainy photocopies show a man who seems a lifetime younger, his eyes black and staring, his rugged mug framed with thick black hair. Below the photos, and a menacing poster of two jets about to collide in midair, is a sign bearing Singh’s motto: We specialize in work which few understand. “And this has been my problem sir,” Singh says with a shrug. He settles in behind a metal desk heaped with paper and parts. “It has been my problem ever since I started this whole business of whatever I started doing in my life.”
It’s On this desk, somewhere Under the tools and parts and the notebooks crammed with letters and diagrams, that you’ll find a concave bit of steel, with rough grooves scored through the four axes like the points of a compass. It looks a bit like a homemade ashtray. In fact, it is Singh’s problem—his invention. Even as a prototype, it’s high-concept but exceptionally low-tech, the sort of thing you might be able to make in your own garage with a steady hand and a Dremel tool. Which is, essentially, what Singh did.
“I am no great genius man, no man with letters after his name or fancy institutions, and what I have invented is really very simple,” he admits, as he pushes aside the clutter to reveal a child’s chalkboard. “But to understand even so simple a concept, you first must have a basic understanding of the forces at work within the combustion cylinder, the concept of turbulence and combustion which define the engine.”
Singh takes the chalk and draws a rectangle with a domed top: a combustion chamber and the cylinder head, the ashtraylike piece of metal he has modified. Then he draws a diagonal line across the edge of that dome, then another, representing the grooves he has carved—his invention. The grooves are supposed to better mix the air and fuel inside the chamber. Singh is convinced that it makes combustion more efficient.
If a child’s chalkboard seems an overly basic tool for explaining a new engineering concept, remember that the internal combustion engine is itself hardly rocket science. Its fundamental conceit—a boom in a closed chamber, a zoom translated through piston, rod and crank—has remained pretty much unchanged since 1673, when the Dutch physicist Christiaan Huygens designed a brilliant, nonfunctional, closed-cylinder, piston-driven engine that ran on gunpowder. The functional, liquid-fueled version of that invention—the internal combustion engine (ICE)—has been with us for about 200 years, over which time it has transformed itself from Swiss engineer Francois Isaac de Rivaz’s wonky four-wheeled hydrogen thingamabob (1807) to the fairly familiar gas-fuel innovations of Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler (late 1880s) and then wrapped under the familiar body shapes of Henry Ford (early 1900s).
Since then, gas has risen in octane, and the carburetor has been invented and largely discontinued. Engine emphasis has shifted from deep power to muscle to fuel economy and back, engineers have realized that compression is a key to maximizing thermal efficiency, and inventing the automobile has grown from an amateur’s obsession to a multinational juggernaut. But all of that is really just window dressing. The basic concept—the boom that turns a crank—has not really changed at all. And one of the physical fundamentals of that basic concept is turbulence.
Turbulence is the chaotic movement of fuel and air through the ICE’s combustion chamber—the swirl and tumble that makes hydrocarbons and oxygen combine fast and furiously in an efficient engine. Compressed fuel stagnates and separates and burns inefficiently, if at all—imagine trying to burn a phone book without fanning the pages. Turbulence mixes it up, fans those pages. It’s what allows modern high-compression engines to go boom.
A hundred years ago, turbulence was to automotive engineers what chaos is to the Old Testament: a raw randomness ungoverned by words or math, an unordered whirlwind of particles as inexpressible to engineers as angels dancing on the head of a pin were uncountable to Sir Thomas More. Then came a Cambridge don named Harry Ricardo.
Like Singh, Sir Harry was a bit of an eccentric and was obsessed with motorcycles—though back in 1906, Ricardo was forced to create his own bike, by equipping his velocipede with a steam-powered engine fueled by coal fed from his own bulging pockets. As a proto?grease monkey, Ricardo intuitively recognized that air and fuel burn best when mixed. He then became the first to test the notion in the lab, measuring burn rates against the speed of a fan. The faster the fan, the better the burn; Ricardo had found the key to the boom.
Modern automotive engineers want turbulence, and they can describe it, just as modern mathematicians can describe chaos. What you want are swirling eddies of air and fuel mix, each variegated into smaller sub-eddies, and so on, down to individual molecules. Imagine it as a cascading Mandelbrot set of air and fuel inside the chamber. Then there’s a spark, and the whole thing goes off like a daisy chain of fire, a giant fractal fuse.
Engineers have devised all manner of technologies to create this particular form of chaos in their combustion chambers, from ornately angulated fuel injectors and domed cylinder heads to swirl-and-tumble-inducing atomizers. But 100 years ago, Ricardo found a far easier way to make the air-fuel mix in an ICE more turbulent. He built a combustion chamber that was domed in the middle and tapered on the edges, like a derby hat, so that the edges of the rising piston would come very close to the angled edges of the cylinder head. The piston goes up, and the fuel along the edges squirts into the center, to mix and swirl near the spark plug. Imagine pinching the edges of a jelly doughnut. He called this concept “quench.” Today we call it “squish.”
Squish! A laughably simple idea with a laughable name, but now almost every one of the billions of internal combustion engines operating around the planet employ some version of it—including virtually every engine Singh ever straddled in his 30 years in motorsports.
Singh knew that to get his precious speed he had to fire the heart of the engine, the center of its mystery: the combustion chamber. It was here that fuel was turned to bang—and here that the efficiency of that bang had stalled out at around 28 percent. The vast majority of the fuel was dissipated as engine heat or exhaust.
In the history of automobiles, manufacturers had experimented with all sorts of shapes and valve arrangements to improve efficiency, but nobody had ever dramatically altered the surface of the chamber itself—perhaps, Singh reasoned, because engineers couldn’t see inside its metal walls and eyeball its forces. The combustion chamber was a mystery shrouded in plate steel. The very soul of the engine appeared ripe for improvement.
“From the beginning of time, whatever I did was geared toward taking an engine, polishing the rough edges out of it, and getting some more performance from it,” Singh remembers. “And I certainly knew that it was not God who was manufacturing these engines in a factory. It was just human beings, men set on a time frame, assembling parts. So there is, then, great room to improve.”
Singh needed his engines to work as efficiently as possible—he wanted the fuel to burn cleanly and under the maximum compression. But like most tuners, he had run up against compression’s upper limit, above which pockets of unburned fuel explode spontaneously, or “knock,” under the pressure. He knew that the flame front from the spark plugs wasn’t reaching all the fuel at the edges of the cylinders.
One way to fight knock is with high-octane gasoline, which racers in countries like India have no access to. If Singh wanted more compression, he’d have to decipher the problem his way. So he started imagining: “My whole thing was, how on earth could one do something to mix it better?”
The simplest answer was Ricardo’s squish, which Singh, like many tuners before him, maximized into a sort of supersquish by making the rising piston head come as close as possible to the squish band. But the knock just got worse; either the chaos of the supersquish turbulence was too much, or the exploding hydrocarbons he was hearing were trapped inside the squish band, isolated from the spreading flame at the point farthest from the spark plug. The compression was stagnating his air-fuel mix. He needed to stir it up, to make that eddied, fractal fuse between the edge of the squish band and the center of the spark.
And so, armed with this intuition and a toolbox, Singh scratched his own small mark on Ricardo’s 100-year-old concept—through the squish band from the cylinder edge to the spark plug. Then he scratched another, and another. The first channels were shallow, and they quickly filled with hydrocarbons. Tentatively, he made them deeper. “We were very scared,” Singh confesses, and as he says it he sets down his nub of chalk in favor of a Gold Flake cigarette. “Maybe we were actually putting an induced crack into the head.”
But the engine didn’t crack. It changed. The compression went up, but the engine noise went down. And it seemed to be using less fuel: Measuring with a drip syringe and a stopwatch, Singh determined that it was between 10 and 20 percent less. “Most definitely and immediately, sir, something was very different,” he says. “My combustion was so stable that I could bring the idling down to such a point that you could actually count the blades on the fan as it turned.”
He felt the exhaust with his bare hand and noticed that it was running cooler. Yet when he removed the spark plug, he discovered that it had become blue, apparently from intense combustion-chamber heat. And when he ran his finger along the inside of the exhaust pipe, he noticed something else, or a lack of it: unburned hydrocarbons. His engine seemed to be running cleaner. In automotive terms, his squish-band channels seemed to have maximized combustion by propagating the laminar flame front from the spark plug to the edges of the cylinder at its top dead-center position, converting more fuel to expanding gases and piston work while avoiding the spontaneous combustion of unburned hydrocarbon emissions. In layman’s terms, they boomed better.
So much better, in fact, that he was able to keep his car in fourth gear at 500 rpms without sputtering or pinging, even while navigating the local congestion of bullock carts, rickshaws, bikes and cars. His engine ran so slow that it nearly didn’t need the gearing of a transmission—thus, “direct drive.”
He modified a motorcycle, then a two-stroke, then a four-stroke, then a car, then 50 cars. Finally he borrowed money from his mother-in-law and bought a spanking-new Tata Indica in which to showcase his design. He decorated it with “direct drive” in stick-on letters on the steering wheel and a bull’s head above the grill. Then he tested his idea on a few customers, including N. Bhanutej, a writer for a national weekly newsmagazine who owns a pokey 1.2-liter Fiat Palio.
“Essentially, the whole car changed,” Bhanutej recounts. “It was zippier. And in third gear I could slow down to 20 kph with no engine knock, then press the petrol and just speed up smoothly, like you would in first gear.” He also found that his modified engine was strangely quiet. “At the stops, I sometimes needed to peek at the dashboard to make sure it was still running. It seemed like a different car.” The mechanic at Bhanutej ’s Fiat dealership thought so too. “He told me it was impossible for this type of car to perform this well,” Bhanutej says. “He kept asking about fuel additives.”
Singh seemed to be onto something. Although he couldn’t prove scientifically that it worked, he felt sure that it did. Certainly, it was novel—Singh applied for a patent in January 1999, and the U.S. Patent Office issued him No. 6237579 in May 2001. Two months after his application hit the patent office Web site, engineers from General Electric applied for a nearly identical patent for an aftermarket design, which they claimed, as Singh had, would result in increased turbulence, and thus better fuel efficiency, with fewer emissions.
“It’s very interesting, I think, that General Electric developed this idea after my patent became public,” Singh says with a smile. “But their design is very stupid. An add-on will never survive the intense forces of the combustion chamber. If I had come up with this idea, I would have been too embarrassed to tell anybody about it, let alone apply for the patent.”
This roadside mechanic in Mysore had seemingly beaten a billion-dollar R&D department. But what had he actually invented? Did it really work? Singh had his patent and his prototype. Now all that remained was to introduce his invention to the world.
Ford Global Technologies generates most ideas internally, employing 1,200 innovators—an alphabet soup of Bachelors and Masters and Ph.D.s from more than 60 countries, who file around 500 patents a year from gleaming Death Star?size facilities such as the Scientific Research Laboratory in Dearborn, Michigan, and the Forschungszentrum in Aachen, Germany. Outsiders like Singh are encouraged to submit through the Web site, and every year, 5,000 ideas pour in from inventors, academics, mechanics, customers and even children.
But of course, submitting with the masses was not Singh’s style. After all, he had conquered the internal combustion engine; he didn’t want to just click through a legal waiver and throw his life’s work, his lottery ticket, into a virtual wishing well, with no promise of return. Instead he wrote directly to the company president, and he did it by mail, with stamps and a typed letter and his standard spark plug photograph. He wanted to be recognized, singled out, and ushered through the front door. When he found himself repeatedly referred to the public portal, Singh simply took his business elsewhere.
Mostly, Singh spent his hope and energy writing to scientists. Surely, he thought, engineers would understand the significance of his idea! Or at least offer insight to what was happening inside his scratched cylinders. Singh writes the way he thinks, and his letters were excitable, florid documents in which his theories on combustion, turbulence and the environment were drawn in multiple colors and emphasized with triple interrobangs and exclamation marks.
The scientists’ replies were more compact. He claimed to have conquered the internal combustion engine? Using poor fuel on engines of antiquated design, evaluated without scientific instruments and in third-world conditions? Had he tested the design for 500,000 miles, they wondered, as a proper R&D lab would? He hadn’t—none of his modified engines had done more than 65,000 road miles. Had he tested it on non-Indian vehicles or with the kinds of fuel used in the developed world? (He hadn’t.) Had he put it on a proper dynamometer, tested horsepower and torque? (No, but there’s a reason....) Could he send them an official printout from a five-gas analyzer indicating the oxides of nitrogen and carbon and the unburned hydrocarbons and total fuel economy? In a word, no.
It was possible that Singh’s invention was useful for the inefficient engines and poor-grade gasoline that crowd the Bangalore-Mysore road—but of course, any modern modification would improve on those ICE dinosaurs. So how, the scientists asked, did he know that his modification really did anything? Singh explained about the quiet and the low rpms, the blue spark plugs and clean tailpipes. “What more proof do we need?” he’d ask. “What more does the world need?”
As the scientists had made clear, what the world needed was proof of concept, in the form of hard, numerical data. But in Singh’s India, getting numbers is not as easy as you might imagine. First there’s the price: The most basic dyno test costs 25,000 rupees, or about $550, plus the cost of the engines, parts, assistants and fuel. That’s real money to amateurs anywhere; in India, where the average person earns around $250 a year, it’s real close to impossible.
Even if you can manage the money, testing in India is a difficult proposition. Singh repeatedly beseeched Mico-Bosch, a Bangalore subsidiary of the German dyno-testing giant, to let him pay for an afternoon’s test, and was just as repeatedly blown off. As he quickly learned, there are only three government-authorized dyno-testing facilities in all of India, each used almost exclusively for manufacturers. An amateur inventor here—even one with 25,000 rupees in his pocket—can’t just walk in off the street and test any old engine he likes, at least not without the written permission of the engine’s manufacturer.
“I imagined that these great men would say, 'OK, let us get down to the bloody bottom line! Let us see about what on earth can be happening!’” Singh says. “Or perhaps, at the very least, be willing to take my money.”
The rule requiring manufacturer consent is apparently an effort to prevent individuals from disputing the official data on horsepower and emissions, as published by importers, manufacturers and the Indian government. “They don’t want any Ralph Naders popping up here,” Singh explains weakly.
In November 2002 Singh actually received one such permission from a manufacturer to test his modification on its engines. The manufacturer was Briggs and Stratton, and the engines were two 149cc side valves. Singh borrowed $3,000 and drove the 500 miles to the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) test facilities in Pune, but day after day, his test was delayed. He waited in a cheap hotel for two weeks, pacing, smoking, burning money. “It was a very frustrating experience,” Singh says, wringing the tension from his graying temples with permanently grease-stained fingers. “Sometimes it was like a bloody test of will.”
Finally he was allowed to bring his engines and hook them to a Benz EC-70 dynamometer with a five-gas analyzer and a Benz gravimetric fuel-measuring device. A week later, he got his results. According to ARAI, at between 2,000 and 2,800 rpm, Singh’s modified engine used between 10 and 42 percent less fuel than its unmodified twin, with no appreciable losses in torque or power. And, as he suspected, it ran cooler too—as much as 16°C cooler.
This, it would seem, represented success on a massive scale. With record-high gas prices at the pump and intimations of global warming encroaching on the front page, the world’s auto manufacturers are investigating every option to simultaneously comply with federally mandated fuel-economy standards yet continue to feed the market for ever larger vehicles. This spring GM and Ford announced a joint investment of $1 billion to develop their own version of a six-gear automatic transmission already popular in Europe, to achieve perhaps a 4 percent increase in fuel economy. Singh’s invention, in contrast, offered five times that fuel savings.
Unfortunately for Singh, Briggs and Stratton wasn’t interested in fuel economy—it wanted better emissions. And according to the test, Singh’s modification made emissions slightly worse. Things looked dire: Singh had lost his only sponsor and blown his money on a test that was essentially useless.
“The problem is, it’s a side valve,” explains Steve Weiner, a 35-year Porsche race-tuning veteran and the owner of Rennsport Systems in Portland, Oregon. “Nobody’s been using those things in our world since the 1950s. Not even on lawn mowers. They’re hugely inefficient and dirty.”
According to Weiner, what Singh needs to prove his concept is a standard, scientific A:B test, on a standard engine, “preferably something mainstream—a high-efficiency shitbox even—and dyno testing with a five-gas analyzer. Then he needs to take one of his modified cylinder heads, swap it out on the same engine, and dyno test that. A to B. Even if the emissions don’t go down a whisker, if there’s an increase in fuel economy—my god, that’s a win. If you can even find that, the world’s your oyster. Whether it’s valid in the U.S. or not.”
In short, what Singh needs to prove his ideas to the world is a test he can neither afford nor gain access to. It’s a simple fact, simple enough to diagram on a child’s chalkboard, and it’s driven him to the point of mania. He screws the green ring round and round his finger, then grabs himself by the face. “This bloody country,” Singh spits. “We have millions of dollars and millions of people for puja [a Hindu festival], but when one bloody inventor wants to get a simple engine tested . . .”
Singh lets his sentence trail off into the stagnant heat of the empty garage. He sits, face in his hands, his elbows resting on patents and rejection letters. Five years ago, Singh was a local celebrity with a young family and the world by the tail. Now he just looks exhausted. He has written to everyone he can think of, he has prayed to every god who might take an interest in his cause. What he needs at the moment is a miracle.
In the movie version of Somender Singh’s life, the phone rings. It’s a major auto manufacturer. They’ve gotten one of his letters, reviewed the patent, and they’re ready to deal. Singh’s idea gets tested in a world-class lab filled with computers and blinking lights; men in white coats look at their clipboards in disbelief, and Singh is handed a laurel of genius and a Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes? size check for his squish-band scratch. As the credits roll, Singh loads his wife and daughter, Beverly Hillbillies?style, into his tiny direct-drive prototype and motors—efficiently, quietly, coolly—to a grand mansion with a gold-plated garage. The world is just and good. It’s hankie time. Lights up.
In real life, Singh and I just sit there in the stifling heat of his little office. Flies turn lazy circles beneath the lifeless fans. The dog crosses the driveway to find a new cool spot on the garage floor. The next day it’s the same. And the next, and the next.
And then one day, the phone rings. It’s Tata Motors. The $3.5-billion Indian auto manufacturer, which supplies automobiles to Rover UK, has received one of his letters. The Tata engineers have seen his patent and examined the photograph of his spark plugs. And they’re interested. If he’s willing to sign a five-year nondisclosure agreement, they’ll test his design further in their lab in Pune—on a proper dynamometer, with permission and everything.
There are no promises of checks or mansions. But for the first time in his life, Singh’s dreams might be sponsored. His squish-band scratch might be good or not, it might improve gas mileage or not, it might save the planet or increase emissions and crack the cylinder heads. But at least now he’ll know for sure. Everyone will. Singh is getting his chance.
Another man might start dancing on that pile of rejection letters, or roar off into the sunset on a modified squish-band motorcycle. But Singh has been riding the ups and downs of this plot for years, and he’s too careful or too superstitious to jinx himself with conspicuous joy. So he just places the phone carefully back in its cradle and sits there, staring ahead. He reaches for a cigarette.
“You have to understand, I have been working at this for such a very long time,” he says finally. “Honestly, I am no longer certain whether it is possible for me to be happy.” He stands, and walks past the piles of parts and papers, to his hand-me-down computer. “But I tell you this,” he says. “At least now we can perhaps tell those 'No, no’ buggers out there that Mr. Singh is not completely off his rocker!”
Then he sits down.
US Patent # 6,237,579
( 29 May 2001 )
Design to Improve Turbulence in Combustion Chambers
Abstract --- A combustion chamber design layout of grooves or channels or passages formed in the squish band to further enhance turbulence in the charge prior to ignition as compared to existing designs with squish bands or hemispherical layouts in I.C. Engines. These grooves or channels or passages after ignition direct the flame front to cause multipoint ignition during the combustion cycle resulting in the following distinct advantages over existing designs in practice. First, quicker and complete clean burn combustion; second, lower operating temperatures due to the higher flame velocities; third, enhanced torque and power through the entire range resulting in better fuel economy with lower Emissions; and fourth, smoother engine operation through the entire range enhancing engine life.
US Cl. 123/661; 123/193.5
Intl. Cl. F02B 19/12 (20060101); F02B 19/00 (20060101)
U.S. Patent Documents
4280459 ( July 1981 ), Nakanishi et al.
5065715 ( November 1991 ) Evans
5103784 ( April 1992 ) Evans
6047592 ( April 2000 ), Wirth, et al.
Foreign Patent Documents
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to improvements in combustion by enhancing the turbulence and multipoint ignition in two- and four-cycle internal combustion (I.C.) engines.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
In normally aspirated two and four cycle I.C. engines the basic combustion process is as follows. The air-fuel mixture is drawn into the engine through the carburetor due to the low pressure created by the ascending or descending piston depending on two and four cycle. The controlled air-fuel mixture is then compressed by the rising piston in the cylinder to a desirable compression ratio determined by the fuel. The compressed gases are ignited through a spark plug located in the cylinder head before top dead center (TDC) resulting in a sharp increase in temperature and pressure inside the combustion chamber. The expanding gases push the piston down which in turn gets the crank rolling and storing the energy in a flywheel to do useful work.
Ultimately, the flame velocity and degree of combustion have a direct bearing on the a) power output, b) efficiency of engine, c) fuel consumption, d) emission, e) operating temperature, f) sound and vibration levels and g) reliability. The flame velocity and degree of combustion are directly related to the state of turbulence in the charge prior to ignition.
In existing combustion chambers designs in I.C. engines, the combustion chamber is the enclosed space within the cylinder, the cylinder-head and above the piston where burning of charge occurs. The combustion chambers play a vital role in engine characteristics. Since the inception of the I.C. engine, a lot of research and development has been carried out to perfect the combustion chamber to achieve maximum engine efficiency and reliability. The trend in combustion chamber design has been to direct the expanding forces caused due to combustion towards the piston crown and to avoid the dissipation of these forces in the direction that do not produce power.
Two stroke combustion chambers, due to their relatively simple layouts, have evolved and revolved around hemispherical layouts with a center or offset spark plug location since their inception. Four stroke combustion chambers of the early types featured side valves layouts with their large volume low compression cylinder heads prone to detonation and low power outputs.
The most notable research on combustion chambers in the early days was done by Sir Harry Recardo, who enlightened the world about the causes of Detonation and Pinging. Recardo discovered Pinging and Detonation arose through uncontrolled instantaneous combustion occurring in pockets of fuel in the extreme ends of the combustion chamber due to the extreme heat and pressure build up. Ricardo's solution was to concentrate the greater part of the clearance volume over the side valves layout and reducing greatly the clearance between the larger part of the combustion chamber which extended over the piston crown. In the Ricardo layout, the space between the piston and the cylinder head was so small and the surface so cool in relation to the combustion temperatures that the gases trapped in this "Quenched" area did not detonate in the combustion cycle under load. This was an improvement over other combustion chambers. Later over-head valve (O.H.V) layouts gained popularity due to several advantages and attained higher power outputs and sustained reliability. The shape and sizes of four stroke combustion chambers with their overhead valves layouts went through many design changes over the years.
The four stroke combustion chamber layouts evolved through the plain cylindrical form with the required clearance volume, the bath tub type, the wedged shape type, and the hemispherical cross flow type. The hemispherical combustion chamber or hemi-head provides room to accommodate larger valves increasing volumetric efficiency and permits centrally located spark plug which contribute to more efficient combustion, better heat dissipation and higher thermal efficiency.
The concept of a portion of the combustion chamber at close proximities to the piston crown at TDC came to be known as "squish" area or "squish" band earlier referred to as quenched area. In principle, the trapped charge between the piston crown and the squish area nearing TDC starts to be injected towards the main scoop of the combustion chamber causing turbulence prior to ignition greatly reducing detonation and pinging. Higher compression ratios are possible with squish bands resulting in improved engine efficiencies. Turbulence in the charge is also caused by inlet ports, their shapes, angles and surface finish. They greatly help to keep the air-fuel mixture bonded and in a homogeneous state at the point of entry only. Multipoint fuel injection basically achieves very fine break ups of fuel particles prior to entry on the intake stroke and achieves better combustion due to the ideal state of the charge.
Two stroke engines have lesser volumetric efficiency due to the obstruction in the ports and short time/area available in the intake and transfer phase. Due to the size, shape and angles of the ports the charge is in a higher state of turbulence entering the cylinder than four strokes and requires far lesser ignition advance to operate efficiency irrespective to combustion chamber design. Four strokes require higher degree of ignition advance and assisted by vacuum advance to operate efficiently due to the lower state of turbulence and a denser charge before combustion. The turbulence inside the cylinder and head mainly helps to maintain the air-fuel mixture in a gaseous state and prevent condensation of fuel droplets preventing erratic and incomplete combustion. In recent times the most accepted practice to create turbulence is to provide squish bands in the combustion chamber.
The squish area are normally placed in the outer circumference of the combustion chamber and are machined smooth. The squish area could be a band or a tapered area or two bands on opposite sides. The squish area are either flat or angled depending on the profile of the piston crown. They are machined smooth to a high degree of finish and set up in design with a close tolerance between combustion chamber and piston at TDC preventing contact.
In principle, the piston on the upward stroke causes the compression to progressively increase. Nearing TDC, the gases around the squish band and the piston crown are pushed towards the center scoop causing Turbulence which in turn improve flame propagation as ignition has occurred before TDC and greatly reduces Pinging and Detonation. Thus, present day two stroke combustion chambers are hemispherical or the "top hat" type with a circular or partial squish band and are machined smooth with no sharp edges. The spark plugs are located centrally or offset depending on the requirement. They are made of alloys of aluminum of high conductivity and, in certain cases, are water cooled.
Present day four stroke combustion chambers house the inlet and exhaust valves. Multiple valve layouts are standard feature in high performance design. Partial or circular squish bands are provided and are finished smooth to a high degree with no sharp edges. The spark plug is location depends on design and availability of space. In the case of aircraft engines, twin plugs are mandatory. Cylinder heads are largely made of alloys of aluminum having steel inserts for valve seats and water cooled in most cases. Basic designs typically are bath tub, wedged or double wedged with a flat roof or hemispherical cross flow type with inclined valve layouts.
Over the last 60 years standard practice is to have a squish area of 20% to 40% or more of the combustion chamber area either concentric or offset to the cylinder axis at close proximities of the piston crown, causing turbulence in two stroke engines. Depending on the number of valves and layouts, four stroke combustion chambers are machined to provide the squish area resulting in a puff of mixture pushed towards the spark plug causing turbulence resulting in better combustion.
In either case the surface of the combustion chamber, squish bands and the piston crown are normally machined smooth with a high degree of finish with the right tolerance to prevent contact at TDC on existing two and four cycle engines in production.
Compared to diesel engines (with their higher efficiencies), the present day combustion chamber layouts in two and four cycle petrol (gasoline) engines include the following design defects and limitations. First, diesel engines operate at higher efficiencies due to the turbulence caused by direct diesel injection into the combustion chamber before TDC. Second, the diesel also burns more completely due to the turbulence created by the high pressure spray resulting in lesser emissions and unburnt fuel. Third, the diesel has higher resistance to flash point due to its composition and hence can withstand much higher compression ratios than petrol or kerosene. Fourth, the petrol and kerosene engines have a threshold on compression ratios due to its properties and lower flash points compared to diesel. Fifth, the petrol and kerosene need to be atomized with air to form a homogenous mixture before it is drawn into the cylinder, as compared to the diesel which is injected prior to ignition directly into the combustion chambers. Sixth, as compression is applied the air-fuel mixture tends to get unstable and starts to separate and condense causing erratic and incomplete combustion. Seventh, the only possible method to keep the mixture in a homogeneous state is to induce turbulence prior to ignition. Eighth, the only method known to cause turbulence are squish bands or squish areas located in the combustion chambers which help retain the air-fuel mixture. Ninth, squish bands have their disadvantages too. They prevent total combustion as fuel trapped between the squish band are less volatile due to the lower temperatures caused by masking. Tenth, squish bands and compression ratios have their limitations on creating turbulence, often resulting in heat build up due to uneven thickness of metal in the squish band resulting in detonation and pinging under load. Eleventh, very often at lower operating speeds incomplete combustion occurs causing excessive emissions and poorer torque compared to diesel engines. Twelfth, leaner air-fuel mixture result in slower flame velocities resulting in excessive heat build up causing emissions of oxides of nitrogen. Thirteenth, in two cycle engines the combustion temperature builds up very rapidly due to the short intervals of combustion occurring each revolution. Hence compression ratios are critical and cannot be increased to four stroke parameters. Fourteenth, the charge comprising of petrol/air drawn in the induction stroke is invariably preheated due to engine temperatures and further heated by compression bringing it to a critical state before ignition. Fifteenth, carbon deposits in the combustion chamber absorb heat and cannot dissipate the heat into the combustion chamber and eventually contribute to preignition and detonation and auto ignition once the engine is switched off. Sixteenth, under load, lean burn, high compression engines require very careful monitoring of air-fuel ratios and ignition timing to avoid pinging and detonation resulting in excessive emissions. Seventeenth, there are limits to which a petrol I.C. engine could stand up to. Exceeding these limits the existing combustion chamber design cannot cope with the following parameters: a) temperature build up during combustion cycle resulting in detonation and pinging under load; b) squish bands greatly reduce detonation and pinging, but cause unburnt fuel and excessive emissions; c) carbon build up in combustion chambers and piston crown build up compression ratios and largely contribute to auto ignition and erratic and noisy running resulting in excessive emissions; d) richer mixture bring down combustion chamber temperature but result in excessive carbon monoxide and Carbon emissions; e) leaner settings result in low flame velocities and higher combustion temperatures due to time lag, causing emissions of oxides of nitrogen.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention provides a fuel-air turbulence prior and during combustion, which causes a multipoint ignition in the combustion chamber of I.C. engines, with the following distinct advantages. First, more power output is derived from the same given charge operating on the same compression ratio. Secondly, lesser emission due to far more complete combustion is provided. Third, far lesser carbon deposits in the combustion chamber, piston crown and exhaust system occur due to controlled complete combustion. Fourth, exhaust gas temperatures and combustion chamber temperatures are lower due to quicker and even multipoint flame propagation. Fifth, there is no pinging or detonation or auto ignition due to reduced temperature in the combustion chamber and no residue of unburnt fuel. Sixth, there is better fuel economy due to improved and complete combustion. Seventh, the use of higher compression ratios for the same fuel without adverse effects is allowed. Eighth, lower octane fuel may be used without any adverse effect on performance loss on existing compression ratios. Ninth, noise levels and combustion vibrations are reduced due to even and complete combustion. Tenth, the reduced operating temperatures due to the short flame travel and complete combustion greatly reduce oxides of nitrogen and carbon and extend engine oil life and prevent contamination. Eleventh, lesser ignition advance is required due to the high degree of turbulence resulting in quick and efficient combustion delivering a) improved torque and power outputs, b) lesser emissions and carbon deposits, c) improved specific fuel consumption, and d) lower operating temperatures and noise levels enhancing engine life. Thus, according to the present invention, the above advantages are achieved without side effects.
This particular invention includes a specific design change to the "squish" band or "squish" area located in the combustion chamber or piston crown of I.C. engines. This specific design change further enhances turbulence in the charge prior and during the combustion cycle by varied flame velocities in the form of multipoint ignition. The rapid multipoint flame front engulfs the air-fuel charge resulting in controlled complete burning of the charge in the shortest possible time with no residue of unburned fuel. This unique form of controlled complete quick combustion greatly enhances power characteristics and greatly reduces emissions of nitrous oxides and carbon monoxide.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING
These and further features of the present invention will be better understood by reading the following Detailed Description together with the Drawing, wherein
FIG. 1 is a plan view of a two stroke combustion chamber layouts with grooves 1, channels 2 and passages 3;
FIG. 2 is an elevational cross section layout of two stroke combustion chamber with grooves, channels, passages and piston;
FIG. 3 is a plan view of a four stroke combustion chamber layout with channels 2 and passages 3; and
FIG. 4 is a plan view of a close up layout of grooves 1, channels 2 and passages 3 in the squish band.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
The elements of the Figures comprise: 1--grooves; 2--channels; 3--passages; 4--squish band; 5--combustion chamber; 6--piston crown; 7--spark plug; 8--cylinder head; and 9--valves.
This particular invention works on the following principles Ref FIG. 1 & FIG. 2 into or onto the squish band 4 or squish area or flat surfaces of the combustion chamber 5, series of grooves 1 or channels 2 or passages 3 are formed either in the initial casting process or machined to specifications later. These grooves or channels or passages form the shortest path or passage from the spark plug 7 location to the ends of the combustion chamber through the squish band 4 or squish area or flat surfaces of the combustion chambers of I.C. Engines. These grooves or channels or passages squirt the air-fuel charge trapped between the piston crown and the squish band towards the center scoop of the combustion chamber on the upward stroke.
The effects of the grooves, channels and passages cause the air-fuel charge to be in a greater state of turbulence prior to ignition in the combustion chamber. When the spark plug 7 located normally in the center of the combustion chamber ignites the air-fuel charge, which presently is in a high state of turbulence the flame front engulfs the dense volatile charge present in the combustion chamber through these grooves or channels or passages and causes flame turbulence in the ends of the combustion chamber by the time the main flame front has reached the piston crown. This form of multipoint combustion causes total quick controlled combustion leaving no room for unburnt fuel or temperature increase to cause pinging or Detonation in the extreme ends of the combustion chamber. This unique form of multipoint flame front combustion exerts the maximum force of the expanding gases towards the piston crown delivering optimum torque through the entire range.
Referring to FIG. 4, the grooves 1 or channels 2 or passages 3 act two ways. They induce turbulence in the air-fuel charge by forcing the charge through these grooves or channels or passages towards the spark plug 7 preventing fuel separation and condensation taking place due to the compression applied and prevent stagnation of the charge prior to combustion as the reciprocating piston 6 comes to a momentary halt at TDC as shown in FIG. 2. When the turbulent dense volatile charge is ignited before TDC the flame front travels through these grooves 1 or channels 2 or passages 3 to the extreme corners of the combustion chamber causing a high degree of flame turbulence while the main flame front engulfs the main change leaving no form of unburnt fuel residue resulting in total controlled quick efficient clean burn combustion in two and four cycle engines. This unique design concept is applicable to all forms of two and four cycle combustion chamber designs in I.C. engines irrespective to the fuel in use. On diesel engines, the same principles are applicable on the piston crown which performs like a combustion chamber due to the small clearance volumes required to attain the ultra high compression ratios and diesel fuel being sprayed by the injectors located in the cylinder head. In principle, the design functions on varied flame velocities which actually cause the turbulence in the air-fuel mixture during combustion resulting in a quick and efficient combustion cycle compared to existing designs.
Thus, according to the method of according to the present invention, improved turbulence is provided in the air-fuel charge before ignition and greatly improving flame propagation after ignition in the combustion chambers of two and four cycle I.C. engines during the combustion cycle resulting in improved engine efficiency over existing designs. Moreover, no previous or existing combustion chamber has any resemblance or design incorporating grooves or channels or passages either formed or machined or drilled into the combustion chamber or squish band or squish area or wedged area or flat surfaces to induce turbulence in the air fuel charge prior to combustion on the upward stroke of the piston. No previous or existing combustion chamber has any design to induce turbulence other than squish bands. Furthermore, after ignition occurs the flame front engulfs the charge by simultaneously burning through the grooves or channels or passages reaching the far ends of the combustion chamber in the shortest possible time causing flame and gas turbulence while the main flame front burns through the bulk of the charge in the center scoop of the combustion chamber. No present day combustion chamber operates on these principles of multipoint combustion.
The multipoint ignition according to the present invention brings about flame turbulence which in turn intermingles and result in a combined total complete efficient combustion with no residue of unburnt fuel. Such turbulence and other advantages are provided by the unique physical layouts of the grooves or passages in combustion chamber according to the present invention, especially drawings FIG. 1, FIG. 2, FIG. 3 and FIG. 4.
The grooves 1, or channels 2, or passages 3 are either arranged in a pattern that radiate out of the cylinder axis like spokes in a hub of a wheel or in a pattern that radiate out of an offset angle to the center or straight from the nearest point to the spark plug extending to the ends of the combustion chamber through the squish band or squish area or flat areas 4. These grooves or channels or passages are either straight or angled or curved and have a depth or diameter proportional to the circumference of the combustion chamber in relation to the cylinder bore diameter and squish band or squish area. These grooves or channels or passages start from the extreme ends of the combustion chamber and taper out to a point closest to the plug. No past or present design of combustion chambers wither two stroke or four stroke have any features or resemblance or concept to inducing turbulence before and after ignition cause multipoint combustion. According to the present invention, these grooves or channels or passages impart a squirting and swirling motion in the air fuel charge to create vortices that induce a higher degree of turbulence in the charge prior to ignition than any previous or existing combustion chambers in practice. Moreover, these grooves or channels or passages, due to their location, cause multipoint ignition once ignited partly due to the shorter distances the flame front needs to travel and reach the extreme ends of the combustion chamber while the main bulk of the ignited charge located in the center scoop is thrusting forward towards the piston crown. In these critical milliseconds of the combustion cycle in existing engines the piston is progressively loosing speed to come to a momentary dead halt at TDC causing stagnation of charge before it starts to speed up in the downward stroke. No previous or present day combustion chambers have any method to induce multiple combustion and inter mingling of charge occurring at this critical location of the piston at TDC, resulting in controlled efficient combustion utilizing the entire air fuel charge to its maximum efficiency in the shortest possible time. Thus, according to the present invention, these grooves or channels or passages cause rapid progressive complete combustion in the shortest possible time resulting in lower build up of temperatures in the combustion chamber, piston crown, cylinder walls and spark plug. Lower temperatures cause lesser distortion of metal parts resulting in lesser "blowby" of burned gases past piston rings and valve seats and better retention of compression ratios through the entire range.
The lower combustion chambers temperature greatly reduce emissions of nitrous oxide, oil contamination and oil discoloring. Existing combustion chamber greatly fall short in controlling excessive temperature build ups resulting in pinging, detonation and auto-ignition.
Also, the varied flame velocities occurring after ignition due to the formation of grooves, channels or passages result in shorter flame front travel through the walls of the combustion chamber to the extreme ends in comparison to the main bulk of ignited flame front which needs to follow the profile or contours of the combustion chamber to reach the extreme ends. This form of multipoint combustion results in clean burn efficient combustion with maximum utilization of the trapped air fuel charge delivering improved economy, enhanced torque and far lower emissions of carbon monoxides and carbon through the entire range as compared to previous or existing combustion chamber design. This form of induced turbulence in combustion chambers greatly helps to retain air fuel mixture in an optimum state for combustion. Once ignited the varied flame velocities cause multipoint controlled clean burn combustion greatly reducing combustion vibrations resulting in super smooth engine operation through the entire range. No previous or existing combustion-chamber design is capable of achieving total controlled combustion with a single source of ignition achieving all the above listed inventive features.
Therefore, this unique concept of forming grooves or channels or passages in the squish area or flat areas of the combustion chamber induces turbulence and optimum multipoint flame propagation after ignition is applicable to all two and four cycle petrol or kerosene or liquid petroleum gas engines of any cylinder capacity achieving all the claims listed above with no adverse effects.
Furthermore, the same principles apply to piston crowns of Diesel engines resulting in lower emissions, smooth engine operation and improved engine efficiency through the entire operating range. Thus, this unique functions on varied flame velocities which actually cause the turbulence in the air-fuel mixture during combustion results in a quick and efficient combustion cycle compared to existing designs.
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