Crude Oil ( ) Brent Crude ( ) Natural Gas ( ) S&P 500 ( ) PHLX Oil ( )
 January 27, 2016 - 6:16 PM EST
Print Email Article Font Down Font Up
Patent Application Titled "Intake Manifold Overpressure Compensation for Internal Combustion Engines" Published Online (USPTO 20160010602)

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Energy Weekly News -- According to news reporting originating from

Washington, D.C.
, by VerticalNews journalists, a patent application by the inventor Kitchen, Andrew (Northamptonshire, GB), filed on September 22, 2015, was made available online on January 21, 2016.

No assignee for this patent application has been made.

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Natural gas and other gaseous fuel induction engines that operate in the range of 1200 to 1800 rpm are considered to be high speed engines. High speed natural gas engines in industrial applications, such as gas compression and power generation, can produce 500 kW to several megawatts of shaft power. Such engines are typically turbocharged and intercooled and can employ twelve or more cylinders arranged in a 'V' configuration. This configuration results in a large volume of combustion gases in the intake system, especially on engines where the intake manifold is on the outboard side of the cylinders forming the V-shaped configuration. Since gaseous fuel may be introduced into the air stream at the inlet of the compressor, a highly combustible air-fuel mixture can result throughout the entire intake system. This mixture has the potential to ignite in the intake system upon encountering an ignition source such as a combustion gas from an improperly seated intake valve. Once the air-fuel mixture ignites, the flame will travel extremely rapidly toward the charge air cooler, crossing over into the opposite intake manifold, thus igniting a substantial volume of fuel and leading to an intake manifold overpressure event, which may be called a backfire, that significantly exceeds typical operating pressures.

"Combustion causes the gas to expand, which then causes the unburned air/fuel mixture in the rest of the intake manifold to be compressed, hence raising its temperature. The elevated temperature of the air/fuel mixture causes the combustion to occur faster. The combustion therefore accelerates as it travels down the manifold and crosses over to the intake manifold on the other bank, causing the pressure to significantly exceed the typical operating pressures.

"A variety of countermeasures have been employed in these engines to withstand potential overpressure events, including building the intake manifold with sufficient thickness of material to withstand potential overpressure. A flame arrestor may also be part of such engines to quench flames.

"Other techniques have been used in an attempt to eliminate or reduce overpressure events. For example, timed port injection of fuel has been used with a solenoid at the intake port of every cylinder at a location that is a short distance upstream of the intake valves. Fuel injection takes place only when the exhaust valves are closed and the intake valves are open. This technique significantly reduces the volume of the air-fuel mixture in the intake manifold, which reduces the likelihood of intake manifold overpressure. While this configuration is often used on medium speed gas engines, this configuration adds significant cost and complexity and is seldom used on high-speed gas engines. Furthermore, overpressure events can still occur, such as when an injector malfunction results in a continuous stream of fuel.

"Another technique to reduce intake manifold overpressure is to reverse the location of the intake and exhaust manifolds, so that the intake manifold is on the inboard side the 'V' configuration of the cylinders and the exhaust manifold is on the outboard side. This configuration significantly reduces the volume and length of the intake manifold, thus minimizing intake manifold overpressure intensity from combustion of the air-fuel mixture. While some engines are capable of using this configuration, other engine configurations do not permit reversing the location of the intake and exhaust manifolds without significant redesign of the engines, potentially compromising operational characteristics and leading to substantial cost burden.

"An array of pressure relief valve or burst disks may also be located in strategic locations around the intake manifold. However, in addition to added cost, pressure relief valves may not reseal and burst disks need replacement after an intake manifold overpressure event. Such devices have also been inconsistent in actual operation with variations in actuating pressure, potentially still permitting excessive intake manifold overpressure events.

"Some engines may incorporate a combination of the countermeasures discussed above. Regardless of the countermeasures incorporated, the possibility of an intake manifold overpressure event is always present in fuel induction gas engines, especially on engines where fuel is introduced significantly upstream of the intake ports of the cylinders. Thus, there is a need to reduce the severity of fuel ignition events should they occur and limiting the extent of such events."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "Systems and methods for intake manifold overpressure compensation for internal combustion engines with gaseous fuel induction systems. The systems and methods include a connecting element that extends between and fluidly connects the downstream ends of first and second intake manifold banks of the internal combustion engine. In certain embodiments, the connecting element may further include a flame arrestor. The systems and methods disclosed herein allow the burning gas of a charge flow in the intake system to expand in both directions, thereby mitigating the pressure and temperature rise of the unburned charge flow and therefore lessening the severity of the overpressure event. It also allows the flame to travel in two directions from any point in the intake system, reducing the individual flame path length which may therefore further reduce the severity of the overpressure event. Further embodiments, forms, objects, features, advantages, aspects, and benefits shall become apparent from the following description and drawings.

"Various aspects of the systems and methods disclosed herein are contemplated. According to one aspect, an internal combustion engine system includes an engine with a first plurality of cylinders along a first side of the engine and a second plurality of cylinders along a second side of the engine. The system also includes an intake system including a main intake line for providing a charge flow to the engine. The intake system further includes a first intake manifold portion connected to the first plurality of cylinders along the first side of the engine and a second intake manifold portion connected to the second plurality of cylinders along the second side of the engine. The first and second intake manifold portions are also connected to the main intake line upstream of the first and second plurality of cylinders to receive the charge flow therefrom and provide the charge flow to respective ones of the first and second plurality of cylinders. The system includes a connecting element extending between and fluidly connecting the first and second intake manifold portions downstream of the first and second plurality of cylinders.

"According to one embodiment, the first and second intake manifold portions extend along an outboard side of respective ones of the first and second plurality of cylinders. In another embodiment, the charge flow comprises air. In a refinement of this embodiment, a fuel source is connected to the main intake line and the charge flow comprises an air and fuel mixture. In yet a further refinement, the fuel source is selected from the group comprising natural gas, methane, propane and hydrogen.

"In another embodiment, the first plurality of cylinders is arranged in a V-configuration with the second plurality of cylinders. In yet another embodiment, the connecting element includes a flow passage that defines an inner dimension that is substantially less than an inner dimension of a flow passage of each of the first and second intake manifold portions. In a refinement of this embodiment, the connecting element is connected to each of the first and second intake manifold portions with a bellmouth shaped junction. In another refinement of this embodiment, the connecting element is connected to each of the first and second intake manifold portions with a tapered junction.

"In another embodiment, the connecting element includes a flow passage that defines an inner dimension that is substantially the same as an inner dimension of a flow passage of each of the first and second intake manifold portions. In yet another embodiment, the system includes a flame arrestor in a flow passage of the connecting element.

"According to another aspect, an internal combustion engine system includes an engine with a first plurality of cylinders along a first side of the engine and a second plurality of cylinders along a second side of the engine. The system also includes an intake system including a first intake manifold portion connected to the first plurality of cylinders along the first side of the engine and a second intake manifold portion connected to the second plurality of cylinders along the second side of the engine. The first and second intake manifold portions each receive a charge flow from an upstream end thereof where the upstream end is located upstream of the first and second plurality of cylinders. The system also includes a connecting element extending between the first and second intake manifold portions downstream of the first and second plurality of cylinders. The connecting element provides a flow passage to allow a burning gas of the charge flow in one of the first and second intake manifold portions to expand into the other of the first and second intake manifold portions in response to an overpressure event.

"According to one embodiment, the system includes a flame arrestor in the flow passage of the connecting element. In another embodiment, the charge flow comprises an air and fuel mixture.

"In yet another embodiment, the flow passage of the connecting element defines an inner dimension that is substantially less than an inner dimension of a flow passage of each of the first and second intake manifold portions. In a refinement of this embodiment, the connecting element is connected to each of the first and second intake manifold portions with a bellmouth shaped junction. In another refinement of this embodiment, the connecting element is connected to each of the first and second intake manifold portions with a tapered junction. In another embodiment, the flow passage of the connecting element defines an inner dimension that is substantially the same as an inner dimension of a flow passage of each of the first and second intake manifold portions.

"According to another aspect, a method for operating an internal combustion engine includes: providing a charge flow to first and second intake manifold portions from an upstream end of the first and second intake manifold portions, wherein the first intake manifold portion is fluidly connected to a first plurality of cylinders along a first side of the internal combustion and the second intake manifold portion is fluidly connected to a second plurality of cylinders along a second side of the internal combustion engine; and passing the charge flow through a connecting element that extends from a downstream end of one of the first and second intake manifold portions to a downstream end of the other of the first and second intake manifold portion in response to a burning gas in the one of the first and second intake manifold portions. In one embodiment, the method further includes arresting a flame of the burning gas in the connecting element.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic view of a high-speed internal combustion engine and an intake system.

"FIG. 2 is a diagrammatic view of a junction of the connecting element with the intake manifold.

"FIGS. 3-5 show diagrammatic views of alternate embodiments of the junction of the connecting element with the intake manifold."

For more information, see this patent application: Kitchen, Andrew. Intake Manifold Overpressure Compensation for Internal Combustion Engines. Filed September 22, 2015 and posted January 21, 2016. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=4347&p=87&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20160114.PD.&OS=PD/20160114&RS=PD/20160114

Keywords for this news article include: Energy, Patents, Oil & Gas, Natural Gas.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2016, NewsRx LLC

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer


Source: Equities.com News (January 27, 2016 - 6:16 PM EST)

News by QuoteMedia
www.quotemedia.com