Invent Horsepower - Business Plan


Technical Approach

Dual Pressure Intake Engine Using a Double Acting Valve

I own a utility patent (#5,782,215) on a double acting valve, usually referred to as the Uniport Valve. An application for this valve is the Dual Pressure Intake Engine, which has a unique induction system. During the beginning of the intake stroke, the cylinder is first filled with a low pressure air, then near the end of the intake stroke a higher pressure air 'tops off' the cylinder via a different intake runner. Both intake runners are controlled by the same Uniport Valve. This allows both flows to pass through the same port. The exhaust gas will be controlled by a conventional poppet valve.

The web site  suggests other engine and compressor applications for the Uniport Valve. Below are some reasons why it would be most cost effective to proceed with the Dual Pressure Intake Engine Project first.

  • A Dual Pressure Intake Engine would only subject one of the moving parts to combustion temperatures and that part is essentially a conventional poppet valve. The other two moving parts found inside the head, that make up this Uniport Valve, would not be thermally loaded by the exhaust gas. Nor would they be subjected to exhaust gas pollutants, such as particulate carbon.

  • The proposed project would involve more than just developing a valve; it would be testing a new engine cycle too. If this cycle were used without a Uniport Valve and the extra port area it provides, it would significantly reduce the specific power of the engine.  

  • This project would also allow one to test a Biogas / Producer Gas Engine (of course, this engine could run on natural gas too). Since this engine has a very similar induction system to the Dual Pressure Intake Engine, it could readily be converted to a 'Producer Gas Engine'. In this engine, the low pressure intake runner carries air while the high pressure intake runner carries the gaseous fuel. Assuming the fuel storing system is pressurized, the gaseous fuel can be delivered to the cylinder at a higher pressure than the air. The net effect would to get a 'boosted' engine without  having a supercharger or a turbocharger. A turbine could still be used to capture energy from the exhaust gas; but now that power can drive a generator for example. If the Uniport Valve was designed to have variable valve timing, then it could meter the fuel for the engine also.

The following link: Dual Pressure Intake Engine Computer Simulation will direct one to the first page of a string of many that cover: assumptions, graphs, flow diagrams, tables and other information regarding a computer simulation done for a large diesel engine, which has a similar induction system to the one I propose to build. In that string of links you will find a page titled: Observations and Notes, which lists some of the advantages of the Dual Pressure Intake Engine.  A similar list has been provided below with an added item 'D' which identifies items that might be reduced or eliminated if this engine cycle were used.

  1. It will reduce the amount of work the compressors of the turbocharger need so that more useful work can be taken off the turbine shaft. In essence this engine cycle answers the question, why should useful work be "pumped" back into and engine where some of that work is lost to friction?
  2. The average intake air temperature will be lower since there will be less compression heating and because the cylinder walls have less time to transfer heat to the air. The cooler air will be denser increasing the volumetric efficiency of the engine.
  3. This cooler mix will also result in lower maximum temperatures during combustion, reducing heat losses to the cylinder walls and thus improving thermal efficiency. Or an engine's compression ratio could be increased to take advantage of this cooler air.
  4. This cycle will help reduce the need for, or the size of, aftercoolers. It should also reduce the size of the compressors needed to provide the boost.
  5. The swirl and turbulence of the intake air should be greater at the time of combustion, helping improve the combustion efficiency and increasing the burn rate. This increased kinetic action is due to the fact that a higher portion of the induced air entered the cylinder later in the cycle, reducing the time for it to dissipate. This gas would also be coming into the cylinder at a higher velocity due to the high pressure differential between the cylinder and the high pressure  intake runner.

A rudimentary computer simulation for a large diesel engine, which tried to account for advantages 1, 2, and 3 listed above, showed an increase in power by 6.5% while improving the thermal efficiency by .5% at an engine speed of 1000 rpm. If valve timing was adjusted to maximize thermal efficiency for the test engine and the new engine, then the Dual Pressure Intake Engine's thermal efficiency was nearly 1% better than the “conventional model”, over the whole range of engine speeds. This did reduce power, however. The reductions ranged from .6% at 800 rpm to 2.5% at 1100 rpm. Remember, the simulation that computed these figures did not account for the increased kinetic action, or advantage 'E', that a Dual Pressure Intake Engine would induce.

Over the next year, it is my goal to build a small single cylinder engine that could  demonstrate the engine cycles of  both a “Dual Pressure Intake Engine” and the “Producer Gas Engine”.

My plan is to design the prototype around a SI engine vs. a diesel engine. This will make it cheaper and easier to buy  an engine for this project. It should also be easier to build the engine head around a SI engine.

In an attempt to simplify the project it is the intention to supply the boost for the engine from an external source such as an electric driven compressor. At a later time  a supercharger could be added. In any case a single cylinder engine would not be a good application to use a turbocharger. That aside, when it comes time to test the 'Producer Gas Engine', it is the goal to show that a supercharger or turbocharger is not needed to boost the specific power of an engine.

The valves will be mechanically actuated. In the future, however, a hydraulic actuation system might be a good project to further develop the Uniport Valve. The animated gif file found on my web site, Dual Pressure Intake Engine Animation shows a desmodromic actuation system. For some applications this might be advantages, but at this time the plan is to replace one of the cams with a torsion spring or torsion bar.

Once an engine is made the actuation system can be analyzed and adjusted if necessary. Dyno tests, flow tests and emission tests will be performed.  Later a clear cylinder can be substituted so that flow patterns, swirl and turbulence can be studied.

Proposed Budget

Engine and machining costs                 12,000

Engine tests (dynamo meter and flow tests)  2,000

Office expenses                               500

Travel                                      1,500

Salary                                     30,000

Total                                     $46,000


Proposal Team Experience

Some of the things that I have done to advance this “Double Acting Valve”

Made a Mock-up of a Valve in a machine shop class for which a patent was granted

Learned CNC skills that would help understand design concerns better

Made myself familiar with surrounding machine shops

Developed different actuation systems for the Uniport Valve

Made contacts with academics involved in internal combustion engine research

Programmed an engine simulation that tested the “Dual Pressure Intake Engine”

Designed a head for a motorcycle engine that used the Uniport Valve

Created animations of engines and compressors that use the Uniport Valve