Department of mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia
*Corresponding author:Reza Moezzi, Early Stage Research Scientist, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, School of Engineering, Tallinn University of Technology, U06-124, Ehitajate tee 5, 19086, Tallinn, Estonia
Submission: August 1, 2018;Published: August 13, 2018
ISSN 2640-9690 Volume1 Issue2
The free-piston engine (FPE) is a linear engine in which the requirement for a crankshaft system is eliminated and the piston assembly has a free and linear motion. First proposed around 1930, FPEs were in use in the period 1930-1960 as air compressors and gas generators and provided some advantages over presenttime conventional combustion engines and gas turbine systems. They are known to have a greater thermal efficiency (40-50%) than an equivalent and more conventional reciprocating engine (30-40%). A driving force behind the interest in free-piston engine generators is the automotive industry’s increasing interest in hybrid-electric vehicle technology. Much work has been undertaken by number of research groups worldwide, including the authors’ group, to explore the operation characteristics of FPEs[4,5].After initial investigations and development of freepiston related products during the early to mid-20th century, recent advances in control and real time actuation systems have enabled the technology to become a viable alternative to reciprocating technologies, and as such, research is now being carried out by number of groups worldwide [3,6-9]. Modern applications of the FPE concept have been proposed for the generation of electric and hydraulic power, typically in hybrid electric vehicles[10-15]. Known FPE applications include electric generators, hydraulic pumps and air compressors, which are summarised in the Table 1 below.