The paper focuses on the design and the overall performance of a 10 kW electric power microcogeneration plant suitable for local energy production, based on an Atkinson-cycle internal combustion engine prototype and entirely set by Istituto Motori of the Italian National Research Council. The engine was originally a wide-spread Diesel automotive unit, then converted into a methane spark ignition system and finally modified to perform an Atkinson/Miller cycle with an extended expansion, capable of a higher global efficiency and low gaseous emissions. The paper starts by defining the ratio which leaded to this specific choice among many other automotive and industrial engines, in order to obtain a reliable, long endurance, cost effective, high efficiency base, suitable for microcogeneration in residential or commercial applications. The new engine has been coupled with a liquid cooled induction generator, a set of heat exchangers and finally placed in a sealed containing case, to reduce both noise emission and heat losses. Then the plant has been tested as an electricity and heat production system, ready for grid connection thanks to a new designed management/control system. During endurance test a complete description of its functioning behaviour has been given.
Capaldi, P. (2014). A high efficiency 10 kWe microcogenerator based on an Atkinson cycle internal combustion engine. Applied Thermal Engineering, 71(2), 913–920. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2014.02.035