Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Atkinson cycle engine explained

Your Prius, if it was manufactured after 1997 has an Atkinson cycle motor in it. Paired with the electric motors, it's one of things that make the Prius so efficient. But what is an "Atkinson engine". Well, click here to learn more...
Atkinson Cycle
The Atkinson cycle relies upon many of the same principles as the Otto cycle. It was developed by James Atkinson as a workaround for the patents that Otto had on traditional four-stroke engines. In an Atkinson-cycle engine, the intake valve remains open during the beginning of the compression stroke. This allows some of the air-fuel mixture to be pushed out of the cylinder and back into the intake manifold. Naturally, this reduces the power that is generated, as there is less fuel to combust. However, it also effectively reduces the compression ratio while leaving the expansion ratio the same. This means that less work is expended during compression, effectively increasing the amount of work that can be obtained from combustion.