So, Why a Combustion Management Device?

     A combustion management device, so what? Combustion has been used, study and effectively employed in a number of devices for a very long time. It could be argued that so much research and analyst has gone into combustion concepts and efficiency no new ground breaking idea is even possible. This will not be contested. Instead, a more practical look will be used. One that focuses on how these concepts are employed.


     First a look at some of the more convenient features of the Combustion Operated Impulse Drive Unit.


     For one, the valve system is reflexive, using only the pressure differentials created by loading and firing to operate. Since no mechanism is needed to interact with valves, the drive unit becomes a kind of plug and play device. Work in quick release compressed air and fuel lines, and that is essential what it is. This is not to say mechanisms to manipulate valves cannot be used. They simply are not needed.


     Next, the firing sequence can be operated on demand. This allows the unit to be fired once, intermittently, or in a continuous pulse like fashion. This is convenient, but also offers an important advantage. From time to time, engine manufactures work out ways to deactivate cylinders, to better match situations that do not demand the work of a full bank of cylinders. A fuel savings ploy. When work demand increases, cylinders are reactivated. The intermittent, on demand operation of the Combustion Operated Impulse Drive Unit makes it uniquely suited to better match varying work demands, especially when compared to devices fated to a continuous cycle.


     With minimal modifications, one unit can operate at different compression and corresponding fuel amounts. Meaning, one unit type can serve a purpose in a number of designs. Or, using some means to vary the compression and matching fuel amount on the fly gives the drive unit interesting application flexibility.


     Also, the drive unit should need very little lubrication. Most units can get by with lubrication introduced by the fuel system. Also, the small amount introduced should not impact the burn characteristics of the chosen fuel. And since the drive unit can act to isolate heat from the rest of the system, overall lubrication demands can be lessened.


     The Combustion Operated Impulse Drive Unit is not tied to any type of compressor. Whatever compressor fits the design can be used. A compressed gas reservoir and a regulator can work as well. Several units can be supplied by one central compressor. Or, the drive unit can be mounted remote to the compressor. Additionally, the drive unit can help keep excessive heat from effecting the compressor by being a entity separate from the compressor. This increases overall design options.


     This introduces a second feature of the Combustion Operated Impulse Drive Unit. The component based, modular design approach. Engines and motivating devices are often presented as monoliths. Complex, but single units. Graphs of the Carnot, Otto, Diesel, or even a Brayton cycle reinforce this image. But study them again, and nowhere on any of these graphs are the lines connected to a specific device. The device is implied, obviously, but the lines merely represent an event. More to the point, physics and thermodynamics tells us compression is compression, work is work, expansion is expansion regardless of the device doing those things. 


     The Combustion Operated Impulse Drive Unit has a kind of plug and play form factor inherent in its design. Who is to say supporting components cannot be manufactured the same way? Each component being optimized to perform its job better. Each system being designed to fit more easily within any constraints. Fanciful, maybe even ambitious, but nothing that even remotely pushes the envelope of physics or thermodynamics. Component based modular design is part of the ultimate vision for this device.


     And finally, and perhaps most importantly, the Combustion Operated Impulse Drive Unit employs a nearly static combustion chamber with excellent combustible material contain. This means the drive unit can be configured to burn fuel more completely. Currently, there has been no in depth analysis of the burn dynamics within a drive unit, and the statement is based on rough calculations using easily obtainable combustion values. However, confidence is high that this is so. Though a complex issue, a simplified graphic shows how this is possible.




      The above image shows an un-optimized Combustion Operated Impulse Drive Unit. The dotted and dashed lines represent a burn front radiating away from the ignition source of the spark plugs. In this instance, the burn front has reached the piston face and the active gas can begin to act on the valve unit. A whole section of combustion chamber space has yet to be combusted.


     However, with a little bit of awareness, the geometry of the drive unit can be reworked to improve burn properties. As is shown in the following drawing.


     If the two burn events are at the same compression with the same fuel, then the dotted and dashed lines would represent the exact same time after ignition for both drive units. The second drive unit has nearly burnt all the combustible material up to the exhaust valve. And, it has produced a burn front between the exhaust valve and the remaining combustible material. So, even if the valve unit was set into motion, the remaining combustible material could not escape with out being burnt. If run to completion, as shown below, almost all the fuel is burnt before the burn front reaches the piston face.


     Obviously there are issues with presenting a complex concept so simply, but the take away is reasonably valid. If care is exercised in designing the Combustion Operated Impulse Drive Unit great steps can be made to achieving complete burn in the combustion chamber. The multiple ignition points the design allows, along with considered placement goes a long way to accomplishing this. In a piston engine the combustion chamber is constantly changing. In a pulse jet, or even in a turbine jet engine, there is no contain in the combustion chamber. It is not unusual for these engines to blow fuel out the exhaust or to burn the fuel at less then an optimal point in the operation. The Combustion Operated Impulse Drive Unit has a static combustion chamber and has excellent combustible mixture contain. This means a more ideal burn can be achieved each and every time.


     So that is the, “so what”. It may take some time to process the concept. And, it does lead to a different approach. An approach that will need development. However, the potential is clearly there. To put it in the simplest of terms: if the combustion event is not properly managed, how does anyone expect to get the most out of it? The Combustion Operated Impulse Drive Unit manages combustion. And it does it in a simple very direct way.