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[en] The hydraulic free-piston engine integrates the internal combustion engine with a hydraulic pump. The piston of an HFPE is not connected to the crankshaft and the piston movement is determined by the forces that act upon it. These features optimize combustion and make higher power density and efficiency increase. In this paper, a detailed thermodynamic and energy saving analysis is performed to demonstrate the fundamental efficiency advantage of an HFPE. The thermodynamic results show that the combustion process can be optimized to an ideal engine cycle. The experimental results show that the HFPE combustion process is a nearly constant-volume process; the efficiency is approximately 50%; the piston displacement and velocity curves for a cycle are the same at any frequency, even at a 1.25 Hz. The maximum velocities are of the same value at high or low frequencies. Similarly, pump output flow is not influenced by frequency. The independent cyclic characteristics of HFPE determine that it should work in higher frequencies when the vehicle runs in Japanese 10–15 road conditions. It indicates that a higher working frequency will lead to the starting frequency of HFPE, and a lower frequency will decrease the pressurized pressure of the hydraulic accumulator. - Highlights: • The thermodynamic and energy saving benefits of the HFPEs was investigated. • The approach of combustion optimization was obtained by adjusting the injection timing and compression ratio. • The high efficiency area of HFPE was given as a function of injection timing and compression pressure. • The maximum efficiency of HFPE of 50% was obtained from the prototype. • The method of energy saving with adjusting the piston frequency was examined.
[en] The cold start characteristic of hydraulic free piston diesel engine may affect its stable operation. Therefore the specific cold start characteristics, such as BDC or TDC positions, pressure in-cylinder, heat release rate, should be investigated in detail. These parameters fluctuate in some regularity in the cod start process. With the development of the free piston engine prototype and the establishment of test bench, the results are obtained. For the dynamic results, the fluctuation range of TDC and BDC positions is 8 mm and decreases with time. The thermodynamic results show that the combustion process is not stable and the pressure in-cylinder fluctuates largely in the cold start process. In addition, the combustion is rapid and knock happens inevitably. In order to investigate the reasons, a CFD model is established for temperature analysis in-cylinder and heat transfer conditions. It is found that higher start wall temperature will lead to more uniform temperature distribution. The delay period may decreases and heat release will move forward. This reason is analyzed by thermodynamic derivation based on the first law of thermodynamics. Finally, the improvement suggestions of cold start strategy are proposed. - Highlights: • The cold start behaviors of HFPE are investigated in detail. • CFD method is used for simulating temperature distribution in start process. • Thermodynamic derivation uncovers the compression temperature distribution. • The improvement suggestions of cold start strategy are proposed.