This paper describes the development of small rotary internal combustion engines developed to operate on the High Efficiency Hybrid Cycle (HEHC). The cycle, which combines high compression ratio (CR), constant-volume (isochoric) combustion, and overexpansion, has a theoretical efficiency of 75% using air-standard assumptions and first-law analysis. This innovative rotary engine architecture shows a potential indicated efficiency of 60% and brake efficiency of >50%. As this engine does not have poppet valves and the gas is fully expanded before the exhaust stroke starts, the engine has potential to be quiet. Similar to the Wankel rotary engine, the ‘X’ engine has only two primary moving parts - a shaft and rotor, resulting in compact size and offering low-vibration operation. Unlike the Wankel, however, the X engine is uniquely configured to adopt the HEHC cycle and its associated efficiency and low-noise benefits. The result is an engine which is compact, lightweight, low-vibration, quiet, and fuel-efficient.
Two prototype engines are discussed. The first engine is the larger X1 engine (70hp), which operates on the HEHC with compression-ignition (CI) of diesel fuel. A second engine, the XMv3, is a scaled down X engine (70cc / 3HP) which operates with spark-ignition (SI) of gasoline fuel. Scaling down the engine presented unique challenges, but many of the important features of the X engine and HEHC cycle were captured. Preliminary experimental results including firing analysis are presented for both engines. Further tuning and optimization is currently underway to fully exploit the advantages of HEHC with the X architecture engines.