Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20050188963 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/060,103
Publication dateSep 1, 2005
Filing dateFeb 16, 2005
Priority dateMar 1, 2004
Also published asUS7350514, US20050188964
Publication number060103, 11060103, US 2005/0188963 A1, US 2005/188963 A1, US 20050188963 A1, US 20050188963A1, US 2005188963 A1, US 2005188963A1, US-A1-20050188963, US-A1-2005188963, US2005/0188963A1, US2005/188963A1, US20050188963 A1, US20050188963A1, US2005188963 A1, US2005188963A1
InventorsDonald Stoddard
Original AssigneeGofar Laboratories
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
System, vaporizing fuel in vehicle
US 20050188963 A1
Abstract
A method is disclosed for operation of an evaporator in a gasoline-fueled internal combustion engine. The methods disclosed apply to existing gasoline-fueled engines and to new gasoline-fueled engines designed for fuel evaporation. Also disclosed are means to introduce optimized quantities of water or steam into an engine.
Images(10)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(20)
1. A fuel vaporizing system for use in an internal combustion engine in an automobile comprising:
an evaporator;
at least one heat source;
an engine controller; and
a fuel-flow control valve.
2. The fuel vaporizing system according to claim 1 wherein the engine controller controls at least one fuel-flow control valve.
3. The fuel vaporizing system according to claim 1 wherein the engine controller is configurable.
4. The fuel vaporizing system according to claim 1 wherein the engine controller regulates temperature of the evaporator.
5. The fuel vaporizing system according to claim 1 wherein at least one temperature sensor is used to assure full vaporization.
6. The fuel vaporizing system according to claim 1 wherein engine coolant heats the evaporator.
7. A fuel vaporizing system for use in an internal combustion engine in an automobile comprising:
an evaporator;
a heat source;
a temperature controller;
an engine controller;
a secondary controller; and
a fuel-flow control valve.
8. The fuel vaporizing system according to claim 7 wherein the secondary controller extends capabilities of the engine controller.
9. The fuel vaporizing system according to claim 8 wherein performance of the evaporator is configurable.
10. The fuel vaporizing system according to claim 7 wherein the fuel vaporizing system has at least one fuel-flow control valve.
11. The fuel vaporizing system according to claim 7 wherein the engine controller regulates power to the evaporator.
12. The fuel vaporizing system according to claim 7 wherein at least one temperature sensor is used to assure full vaporization.
13. The fuel vaporizing system according to claim 7 wherein engine coolant heats the evaporator.
14. The fuel vaporizing system according to claim 7 wherein the fuel vaporizing system controls water injection into the engine.
15. The fuel vaporizing system according to claim 7 wherein the fuel vaporizing system controls steam injection into the engine.
16. The fuel vaporizing system according to claim 7 wherein water vaporizes in the fuel evaporator and mixes with the fuel vapor.
17. An apparatus for controlling engine temperature for low fuel to air ratios in an automobile fuel system having a means of injecting water or steam into an engine's intake, and at least one controller, said apparatus comprising:
an engine control module adapted to control the fuel to air ratio for optimum gasoline mileage and to regulate water injection to control engine temperature.
18. An apparatus according to claim 17, wherein the fuel to air ratio is dynamically configurable based on the operating environment and condition.
19. An apparatus for controlling evaporator temperature for varying fuel flow levels in an automobile fuel system having an evaporator with an electrical heater, said apparatus comprising:
An engine control module adapted to provide substantially full vaporization of liquid fuel while minimizing power to the evaporator.
20. An apparatus according to claim 19, wherein fuel flow is dynamically controlled to maximize gasoline mileage while water injection controls engine temperature.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/549,230, filed on Mar. 1, 2004.

This application hereby incorporates by reference the following co-assigned U.S patent application, entitled “Vaporizing Liquid Fuel System”.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION TECHNOLOGY

1. Field of the Invention

The present disclosure relates generally to reducing fuel consumption in automobiles or other internal combustion engines.

2. Description of the Related Art

Gasoline is a limited resource that is the backbone of global economies. As supplies dwindle, fuel costs will continue to increase. Individual consumers and businesses need ways to reduce fuel consumption. One option is to improve gasoline mileage. Ongoing efforts to improve gasoline mileage include hybrid cars that are more expensive. Many newer cars weigh less and generally achieve better gas mileage. However, consumers and businesses that can only afford older cars have little option but to use what they have. In addition, gasoline mileage of many newer cars can be further improved with the present disclosure.

Introduction of fuel-injection systems with better performance has made carburetor systems obsolete. However, both systems share some of the same limitations. In both systems liquid fuel is either injected (sprayed under relatively high pressure) into the engine's intake air stream, or dispersed by carburetor jets (low pressure) into the air stream. Fuel injectors simply produce smaller fuel droplets. If liquid fuel is not fully vaporized, small droplets are formed. At a molecular scale, these droplets regardless of their size are comprised of very large numbers of fuel molecules. As combustion begins, only the surface layer of the droplet is burned. Combustion products surround the unburned fuel droplet and slow further combustion. As a result fuel is wasted and unburned fuel pollutes the environment and contaminates engine oil.

Many fuel evaporators have been developed over the years. However, none of them has become commercially viable. Many systems include a means to return fuel that does not evaporate to the fuel tank. It appears substantially full vaporization has not been consistently achieved. Lacking effective evaporators has hampered development of fuel systems using evaporators. Fuel injector controls regulate how much fuel is injected and that is all. Proposed evaporator fuel systems are more complex. An evaporated fuel system may provide return of un-vaporized fuel, control of temperature, control of liquid fuel level in a vapor chamber, metering of air into a vapor chamber, and an agitator to enhance vaporization. For these and other technical reasons, fuel vaporization for automotive has not become commercially available.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

There is a need for a low cost, effective means to reduce fuel consumption in both new and used gasoline powered cars. In order to improve gasoline mileage for most users, a solution must be affordable, available and adaptable for most new and used cars on the market.

A technical advantage of the present invention is substantially full vaporization of liquid fuel. Still another technical advantage is simplicity of design that makes it easily adaptable to existing systems. Yet another technical advantage is compact size of the evaporated fuel system that fits easily into existing vehicles. Another technical advantage is use of readily available low-cost materials and ease of manufacturing. Another technical advantage is ease of starting in extremely cold weather. Another technical advantage is ease of insulation to provide protection from contact burns. Other technical advantages should be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art in view of what has been disclosed herein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of fuel injected engine system depicting prior art for liquid fuel injected spark-ignited engines.

FIG. 2 is a block diagram of an example embodiment of an integrated evaporator system having an engine with controls for an evaporator embedded in an engine controller.

FIG. 3 is a block diagram of an example embodiment of an evaporator system installed in an existing engine control system depicting addition of a fuel-flow controller that transforms signals from an engine controller into signals for a fuel-flow control valve.

FIG. 4 a is a block diagram of an example embodiment depicting an integrated fuel evaporator with water injection.

FIG. 4 b is a block diagram of an example embodiment depicting an integrated fuel evaporator with steam injection.

FIG. 5 is a block diagram of an example embodiment depicting a coolant heated evaporator embodiment.

FIG. 6 is a block diagram of an example embodiment depicting an engine-heated evaporator in which an evaporator is attached to or embedded in an engine.

FIG. 7 is a block diagram of an example embodiment depicting an evaporator heated by an engine in which a heat pipe connects an engine to an evaporator.

FIG. 8 is a block diagram of an example embodiment depicting an evaporator with dual heat in which a resistive heater and a heat pipe supply heat to an evaporator.

The present invention may be susceptible to various modifications and alternative forms. Specific exemplary embodiments thereof are shown by way of example in the drawings and are described herein in detail. It should be understood, however, that the description set forth herein of specific embodiments is not intended to limit the present invention to the particular forms disclosed. Rather, all modifications, alternatives, and equivalents falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims are intended to be covered.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF SPECIFIC EMBODIMENTS

For purposes of disclosure a fuel system may include any instrumentality or aggregate of instrumentalities operable to control fuel-flow, to condition fuel, to introduce material into fuel, to dispense fuel into an engine, or to in any way manage fuel. An automobile fuel system may include a fuel tank; one or more pumps; control valves; nozzles; hoses or tubing; fuel conditioners with attending components, materials, and controls; sensors; computer processors; and mechanical or vacuum actuated mechanisms.

Referring now to the drawings, the details of specific exemplary embodiments of the present invention are schematically illustrated. Like elements in the drawings will be represented by the like numbers.

Referring to FIG. 1, depicted is a typical fuel injection system representing prior art. Signals from engine sensors 120 arrive at an engine controller 130 that then generates and sends fuel-flow control signals to the injectors 140. Fuel from the injectors 140 passes into the engine 110. In addition, the engine controller may alter operation of other components in the system including ignition timing and steam injection. In the following drawings the engine 110 is not expressly shown.

Power for the present invention may be supplied by the electrical system.

Referring to FIG. 2 through 4 b, depicted are exemplary embodiments using an evaporator with electrical heater 160 and a temperature controller 170. One or more temperature sensors (not expressly shown) may be affixed to an evaporator with electrical heater 160 or may be located in an outlet fuel vapor stream. In the depicted embodiments an evaporator with electrical heater 160 is representative of evaporators heated by other means.

Referring now to FIG. 2, depicted is an exemplary embodiment of a fuel system 100 with fuel-flow controls integrated into an engine controller 130. An engine controller 130 receives signals from engine sensors 120 and sends fuel-flow control signals to a fuel-flow control valve 150. Fuel from a fuel-flow control valve 150 passes through an evaporator with electrical heater 160 into an engine 110 (not expressly shown). Shown is an evaporator with electrical heater 160 that is representative of any evaporators heated by other means. A temperature controller 170 controls temperature of an evaporator 160 by sensing temperature in the evaporator 160 and sending electrical current to the evaporator 160.

Referring to FIG. 3, depicted is a fuel system 100 whose existing engine controller 130 receives signals from engine sensors 120; however, its output signals may not be suitable to control the fuel-flow control valve 150. A secondary fuel-flow controller 180 may be needed to transform signals from an engine controller 130 and to suitably control the fuel-flow valve 150. A secondary fuel-flow controller 180 may receive signals from engine controller 130 and engine sensors 120. A temperature controller 170 and an evaporator with electrical heater 160 perform as discussed previously.

Referring now to FIG. 4 a depicted is another exemplary embodiment of a fuel system 100 with addition of a water flow control valve 190 for water injection into an engine 110 (not expressly shown). A water source and pump are not expressly shown.

FIG. 4 b depicts another exemplary evaporator fuel system 100 with addition of a water evaporator 200 for steam injection into an engine 110. An engine 110, water source and pressure pump are not expressly shown.

The embodiments of FIG. 4 a and FIG. 4 b may further improve fuel economy. When fuel to air ratio is reduced, power and gasoline mileage increase. However, for lower air ratios fuel to burns faster and hotter in the cylinders. Engine temperatures and particularly temperatures inside the cylinder may be excessive. These effects set a limit on the lowest usable fuel to air ratio. The present invention may substantially reduce this effect. The embodiments of FIGS. 4 a and 4 b reduce engine temperature. The embodiments of FIGS. 4 a and 4 b depict a means to inject water as mist or as steam to reduce cylinder temperatures. This may make it possible to use lower fuel to air ratios and achieve higher gasoline mileage. Either the engine controller or the secondary controller may dynamically adjust fuel to air ratios and water injection to achieve higher gasoline mileage while protecting the engine.

Referring now to FIG. 5 depicted is an exemplary embodiment of an evaporator heated by coolant 220 from an engine cooling subsystem 210.

Referring now to FIG. 6 depicted is an exemplary embodiment wherein an evaporator heated by engine 230 is attached to a hot portion of an engine 110 or embedded in an engine 110. An engine 110 is not expressly shown.

Referring now to FIG. 7 depicted is an exemplary embodiment wherein a heat pipe 240 transfers heat from an engine 110 to an evaporator heated by a heat pipe 250. A heat pipe 240 efficiently transfers heat from a hotter surface to a cooler surface. Fluid in a heat pipe 240 evaporates at the hotter surface where the fluid absorbs heat. The fluid vapor delivers heat when it condenses at the cooler surface.

Referring to FIG. 8, depicted is an evaporator with dual heat sources 270 wherein heat may be supplied by electrical power from a temperature controller 170 and/or by a heat pipe 240. Electrical power may heat an evaporator 270 until the engine 110 becomes hot enough to heat the evaporator 270. When the engine 110 is hot, the evaporator 270 may be heated by one of the other methods: hot engine coolant, embedding an evaporator 270 in a hot engine 110, attaching an evaporator 270 to the hot engine 110, or use of a heat pipe 240.

The invention, therefore, is well adapted to carry out the objects and to attain the ends and advantage mentioned, as well as others inherent therein, While the invention has been depicted, described, and is defined by reference to exemplary embodiments of the invention, such references do not imply a limitation on the invention, and no such limitation is to be inferred. The invention is capable of considerable modification, alteration, and equivalents in form and function, as will occur to those of ordinarily skilled in the pertinent arts and having the benefit of this disclosure. The depicted, and described embodiments of the invention are exemplary only, and are not exhaustive of the scope of the invention. Consequently, the invention is intended to be limited only by the spirit and scope of the appended claims, giving full cognizance to equivalents in all respects.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4283917 *Dec 20, 1979Aug 18, 1981Proffer Charles LEvaporative charge forming system incorporating air cooling means
US4325344 *May 30, 1980Apr 20, 1982Nippon Soken, Inc.Fuel evaporator
US4347826 *Oct 29, 1980Sep 7, 1982Nippon Soken, Inc.Fuel evaporator for internal combustion engine
US4407254 *Jan 27, 1982Oct 4, 1983Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki KaishaIntake heating apparatus of an internal combustion engine
US4412521 *Jul 10, 1981Nov 1, 1983Silva Jr John CEvaporative carburetor and engine
US4665879 *Feb 28, 1986May 19, 1987Gregory EarlFuel evaporation apparatus and method
US5152272 *Jun 26, 1991Oct 6, 1992Mercedes-Benz AgCylinder head with an evaporation element in an air-intake channel
US5355456 *Jul 22, 1992Oct 11, 1994Sparta, Inc.Pebble-bed evaporation and superheater assembly for vaporizing and heating a liquified cryogenic gas
US5568800 *Nov 6, 1995Oct 29, 1996Einaudi; Luis E.Fuel combustion enhancer
US5778860 *Jan 21, 1997Jul 14, 1998Garcia; Miguel A.Fuel vaporization system
US6189516 *Jul 31, 1998Feb 20, 2001Ford Global Technologies, Inc.Fuel vapor extraction system
US6557535 *May 8, 2001May 6, 2003Ise Research CorporationSystem and method for transferring heat from exhaust gasses to compressed gas fuel
US6606976 *Aug 29, 2001Aug 19, 2003Hitachi, Ltd.Fuel supply system of internal combustion engine
US6681749 *Nov 13, 2001Jan 27, 2004Raymond B. BushnellVapor fueled engine
US6758194 *Nov 12, 2002Jul 6, 2004Emission Controls CorporationParallel vaporized fuel system
US6769421 *Jan 16, 2003Aug 3, 2004Randolph M. PentelMethod and apparatus for vaporizing fuel
US6868839 *Apr 10, 2003Mar 22, 2005Alex ChuVaporized fuel injection system and method
US20020088433 *Aug 29, 2001Jul 11, 2002Masami NaganoFuel supply system of internal combustion engine
US20030140904 *Jan 16, 2003Jul 31, 2003Newhouse Leslie A.Method and apparatus for vaporizing fuel
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7980230Jun 1, 2010Jul 19, 2011Advanced Mileage Technologies, LLCFuel economizer fuel vapor system for internal combustion engine
US8020537Apr 29, 2011Sep 20, 2011Advanced Mileage Technologies, LLCFuel economizer fuel vapor system for internal combustion engine
Classifications
U.S. Classification123/543
International ClassificationF02M31/18, F02M31/125, F02G5/00
Cooperative ClassificationF02M25/028, F02M25/035, F02M31/183, Y02T10/126, F02M25/0228, F01P2060/10, F02M31/125, F02G5/00
European ClassificationF02M31/18B