Mechanical Design Engineer | Ph.D. 2010 |
Homepage of Chris D. McCoy | U.C. Berkeley | Researcher | BSAC | BMAD | Research

Enabling Fuel Flexibility in Small-Scale Power Systems

In light of changing oil supplies and sources of energy, this research intends to find new ways to extract energy from many fuel sources using small-scale rotary engines.

The ultimate goal of the fuel flexibility project is to deliver on-demand, reliable, small-scale portable power using internal combustion engines that run on a variety of fuels. This requires advanced control of the combustion event through the development of integrated sensors, actuators and feedback for optimal performance. Efforts to achieve this goal include computer modeling, system design and small-scale engine dynamometer development to accurately measure power output, torque, engine temperatures, equivalence ratio, emissions and efficiency. Upon collecting these data, a baseline for engine performance on its standard fuel can be established and will enable performance comparisons using other fuels, new design features (i.e. seals, trochoid constant, eccentricity, etc.) and guide system design.

Once characterized, the engine performance can be optimized in real time using sensors and actuators that monitor and control engine performance parameters. Feedback algorithms then can be designed, debugged, and implemented to run the engine at maximum power, efficiency, or maximum fuel flexibility.

Chris D. McCoy | 2014

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Feb. 18, 2011: Prof.Albert P. Pisano gives lecture on Harsh Environment Sensors and Fuel Flexible engine technology. Announcement (PDF)

Sept 2010-June 2011: With the support of the Fulbright program Chris targets to complete Ph.D. in Madrid, Espana at the Escuela Tecnica Superior de los Ingenieros Aeronauticos (E.T.S.I.Aeronauticos).

October 2009: My advisor, Prof. Albert P. Pisano pitches Fuel-Flexible MicroPower at the 2009 MEMS Investor Journal / MEPTEC MicroPower Workshop:

May 2009: "Fuel-Flexibile Engines for Portable-Power Applications" (Report).