March 19, 2013

Model allows engineers to test fuel system efficiency on computers

Engineers will be able to design better fuel systems for everything from motorcycles to rockets faster and more inexpensively because of a mathematical fuels model developed at The University of Alabama in Huntsville.

The fuels model will increase the pace of injector design for greater efficiency, better gas mileage and more horsepower in cars and trucks. But the beauty of this approach is that it works for all combustion processes and fuels, from mopeds to missiles and from gasoline, ethanol and diesel fuel to decane/hexadecane.

Instead of costly real-world modeling, which requires the design, machining and production of parts before they can be bench tested and performance modeled, the mathematical model lets designers test their ideas on computers first. The model also brings research into alternative fuels into the computer before it needs to be prototyped.