Marine Power – Revolutionary New Engine, Scuderi File Patents

By George Backwell at April 07, 2012 04:23
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Engine size – minimum; torque, power and efficiency – maximum, sums up the claims of Scuderi Group who filed US and global primary patent applications last week for a revolutionary split-cycle design internal combustion engine, claimed fully scaleable for marine and other power applications. What is different about the Scutari engine?

The Scuderi Split-cycle Engine

Fundamentally, the split cycle engine design divides the four strokes of the combustion cycle between two cylinders — one intake/compression cylinder and one power/exhaust cylinder – and these two cylinders are interconnected by a Crossover Passage™.

Internal Combustion Engine Schematic: Image courtesy of Scuderi Group

 The Scuderi Engine gains a massive advantage from turbocharging, Miller-like valve control strategies and extended expansion that is not possible with conventional engine designs. Just like the conventional four-stroke engine, the combustion cycle of the Scuderi Engine has two high-pressure strokes – compression and power. The power stroke is positive work, or energy that is produced by the expanding gases to create mechanical work. The compression stroke is negative work, or energy that the engine consumes to create mechanical work.

The difference is that the Scuderi engine separates the compression cylinder from the power cylinder, so that the size of the compression cylinder can be reduced to eliminate some of the negative compression work and, by incorporating a turbocharger into the engine's design, exhaust gas-energy can be recovered to achieve other substantial reductions in negative work.

 Main features of the engine, say the developers, are:

  • Combustion process – fires after top dead centre
  • One combustion cycle per crankshaft revolution
  • Heat release optimally phased with peak power location
  • Fully variable intake and exhaust valves
  • Outwardly opening Crossover Passage valves
  • High geometric compression and expansion ratios

By optimising the split-cycle concept, the engine can drastically reduce NOx and CO2 emissions, substantially improve fuel efficiency, compared to a conventional engine, and can be configured to run on gasoline, diesel, bio-diesel, natural gas, etc.

The engine requires one crankshaft revolution to complete a single combustion cycle and is projected to have higher torque, thermodynamic efficiency, and lower emissions than possible with other internal combustion engine designs. 

Is all this pie-in-the-sky? It seems not, as independent laboratory results have confirmed that the Scutari Engine has unusually fast and robust combustion; has a diesel-like, flat torque curve; is highly knock resistant; and produces less NOx than conventional internal combustion engines.

The Founding Father of the Scuderi Engine

Carmelo J. Scuderi (1925-2002), an American inventor, spent much of his working life as a professional mechanical engineer contemplating the inefficiencies of the conventional Otto cycle engine, and in 2001 finalised the design of his Split-cycle engine.

His challenging goal was taken up by his children and others after his demise. Now, Scuderi Group is headquartered in West Springfield, Mass., with offices in Frankfurt, Germany and Nagoya, Japan. The company has raised more than $85 million in funding to date and its patent portfolio contains more than 500 patents.

Prototype Scuderi Engine: Photo courtesy of Scuderi




Comments (2) -

The Scuderi engine is indeed the wave of the future in all applications -- from lawnmowers up to the largest ships at sea. Its split-cycle design is elegant and intuitive in its simplicity, and with all the effort going into engine development in the last century, it's amazing it doesn't already have a home in the huge global ICE market. Firing After Top Dead Center is the only way a split-cycle design can work, and the Scuderi design captures this fact.
  One suggestion: in future pieces about this amazing technology, please spell it correctly. It is "Scuderi," not "Scutari." Thanks for the article ...

Ben Schwartz |     4/8/2012 7:31:18 AM #

This is rather fantastic! After over 150 years of internal combustion engines minor mechanical improvements, Carmelo takes it to the next level. A simple and easily implemented technology that however has not made it to mainstream. I wonder why and have a question: how many horsepower per liter of displacement does it yield?
Thanks for a great article.
John Wagner

John Wagner |     4/11/2012 11:38:04 AM #

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