The Recuperated Split Cycle - Experimental Combustion Data from a Single Cylinder Test Rig

Robert Morgan, Neville Jackson, Andrew Atkins, Guangyu Dong, Morgan Heikal, Christopher Lenartowicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The conventional Diesel cycles engine is now approaching the practical limits of efficiency. The recuperated split cycle engine is an alternative cycle with the potential to achieve higher efficiencies than could be achieved using a conventional engine cycle. In a split cycle engine, the compression and combustion strokes are performed in separate chambers. This enables direct cooling of the compression cylinder reducing compression work, intra cycle heat recovery and low heat rejection expansion. Previously reported analysis has shown that brake efficiencies approaching 60% are attainable, representing a 33% improvement over current advanced heavy duty diesel engine. However, the achievement of complete, stable, compression ignited combustion has remained elusive to date. The challenge is to induct hot high pressure charge air close to top dead centre into the combustion cylinder and then inject and burn the fuel before the piston has travelled significantly down the expansion stroke. In this paper, we report results from a single cylinder split cycle combustion research engine. Stable, rapid combustion was achieved at 800 rpm and 1200 rpm at the retarded timings required for a split cycle engine. The calculated rate of heat release was more rapid than typically observed on conventional compression ignition engine suggesting good mixing of the fuel and air during induction. One dimensional cycle analysis was used to calculate the implications of the test results on the full engine cycle which indicated class leading brake efficiencies approaching and possibly exceeding, 60% are possible from a split cycle engine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2596-2605
JournalSAE International Journal of Engines
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2017


  • Waste heat utilization
  • Single cylinder engines
  • Combustion and combustion processes
  • Test facilities


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