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Design and Fabrication of a Resonant Micro Reciprocating Engine for Power Generation

ICHashimoto, J.Ogawa, T.Toriyama* and SSugiyama

Faculty of Science and Engineering, Ritsumeikan University 'Center for Promotion of the COE Program, Ritsumeikan University

1-1-1 Noji-Higashi, Kusalsu, Shiga 525-8577 Japan

Abstract: Structure and perlormance of a silicon based micro reciprocating engine have beeu designed. The Otto cycle with hydrogen fuel has been adopted for the working cyde. The micro reciprocating engine is composed of opposite-pistons supported by an elastic spring. Resonant mode of the elastic spring is excited due to combustion pressure to increase the generated electric power. Theoretical electric power was found to be -40mW under the conditions that the compression ratio is 5, the maximum combustion temperatuv is 850K and the first resonant frequency of the elastic spring is 610Hz. The micro engine can be expected to use as a portable micro power generator with high energy density.

~ ~ n dcBse e r (si)

PiStOn (S

The miniaturization of heat engine by MEMS technology has been progressed. Since Epstein and co-workers began 10 develop a micro turbine for electric power generation, several micro heat engines have been proposed [1-3]. In this paper, we propose a micro reciprocating engine for electric power generation. A schematic view of structural concept is shown in Fig.1. The micro engine is composed of opposite-pistons supported by an elastic spring (hereafter, we define as pistonspring system), a cylinder case, a top glass plate, and an electric power generator. The piston-spring system is reciprocated with resonant mode by receiving an impact force due to combustion. These motions induce electric power due to the Faradny-Lenlz electromagnetic induction at the electric power generator.
/ Scavengepump

Elastic spring

Egursl. Concept of pmpored reciprocatingengine.

2-3: Constant v d m e heat

1-2 : Isentropic compression

3 0.8 ? !
3 $

a '

3-4 : Isentropic expansion

4-1 : Constant volume heat

Design is classified into three items. (I) Working cycle calculation based on the air-standard OlLo cycle. (11) Resonant mode analysis of the piston-spring system due to the combustion pressure. Stress and heat transfer analysis of the micro engine. (111) Calculation of electric power due to the Furudny-Lentz electromagnetic induction. 2.1 Working cycle In the air-standard Otto cycle, the thermal efficiency q" is determined by the compression ratio E and the specific heat ratio as 141, 9 , -1-(y)x" . (1) As shown in Eq.(l), the thermal efficiency qvincreases with increasing the compression ratio E , The micro engine adopts E = 5 as prototyping, because E < 11 is typically adopted for conventional automobile engines. Using the fundamental calculation for the air-standard Ono cycle [4], the pressure2003 INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON MICROMECHATRONICS AND HUMAN SCIENCE 0-7803-8165-3/03/$17.00 0 2 0 0 3 IEEE.

0.2 0


0 . 2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0 . 7


Figure 2. Pressurevolume diagram.

addition [combustion)
rejection (scavenging)

volume diagram can be obtained as shown in Fig.2. The qvis found lo be 0.47. The maximum temperature and pressure in the working cycle are 850K and 1.4MPa, respectively. The piston displacement is 0.5mm'. Actual thermal efficiency may be up lo 50% lower than the efficiency calculated by the air-standard cycle. However, the air-standard cycle can be served as first approximation design. Empirical corrections must be applied to lheoretical calculations based on the experiments. Quenching distance and velocity of combustion gas prevent the down sizing of the heat engines. Therefore, we adopt lhe hydrogen gas as a combustion fuel for the micro engine 141. Figure 3 shows the schematic of two-stroke Otla cvcle adaoted for the micro enxine. -


2.2 Mechanical analysis In the micro engine, periodic combustion pressure is used to resonate the piston-spring system to increase the relative electric power. We define that is the natural frequency of the piston-spring system, and fi is the ignition period. It is assumed that the combustion period coincides with the f . Mechanical vibration of the piston-spring system was To top g analyzed to examine the influence of the frequency ratiofif, on the vibration mode. As shown in Fig.4, it is assumed that the piston-spring system can be modeled as one-degree of freedom linear vibration system, and the impact force due to the combustion pressure can be modeled as a periodically applied semi-sine wave pulse. The one-degree of freedom linear vibration induced by the semi-sine wave pulse can be expressed as [ 5 ] , m i ( t ) + r i ( t ) + k =F ( t ) (2)
F(t)-Fslrz(Zn$$) ( O < r < t , )


(b) Compression

(d) Expansion (c) Combustion Figure 3. lbo-strolre cycle.

F ( f ) = O(I< < t ) (4) where, m is mass of the piston-spring system, c is equivalent viscosity attenuation coefficient, k is equivalent spring constant of the piston-spring system, F is the impact force due to combustion pressure, f is frequency of the semi-sine wave pulse, I is time, and f,=1/(2f,), respectively. In the equations, the time interval of the impact force response corresponds to 0 < f < tc, and that of the natural vibration corresponds to tc < f .

In order to determine the equivalent spring constant k and the natural frequency f. of the piston-spring system, FEM analysis was carried out by MEMCAD4. Results of FEM stress and modal analysis of the piston-spring system are shown in Figs.5 and 6. Displacement of the piston-spring system is 1.02mm under the combustion pressure of 1.4MPa. The maximum Mises stress of 648MPa initiates in the connection part behueen the piston and spring. This value is lower than the fracture strength of silicon (-1GPa) [ 6 ] . The Ist, the 2nd and the 3rd natural frequencies of the pistonspring system are 582Hz, 3119H; and 3183Hz. respectively (Fig.6).
Figure 7 shows the vibration aspect of the piston-spring system in the case of fi/ f. = 1.05. This result was derived from Eqs. (2) to (4). and FEM modal analysis. In the analysis, the impact force F can be estimated from the cross product of the maximum pressure in the working cycle (Fig.2) and cross sectional area ofthe piston. The frequency of the semi-sine wave pulse fc can be estimated from inverse of combustion interval of hydrogen gas, i.e., I, =1/(2f.). The viscosity attenuation coefficient is assumed lo be 0.2. In Fig.7, the solid line shows the impact force response region and the dotted line shows the natural

piston-spring system
Figure 4. One degree of freedom Linear vibalion system and xmi-dnc wave pulse.

Figure 5. E M stress analysis of pislan-spring system


vibration region. The maximum displacement under the expansion stroke corresponds to Al and the maximum displacement under compression stroke corresponds to AI. As shown in the figure, a steady-state vibration, which corresponds to the alternation of expansion by the impact force response and the compression by the natural vibration, was obtained. This can be achieved by setting the frequency j =610Hz of the ignition period close to the 1st natural f =582Hz of the piston-spring system. frequency . Heat transfer from the combustion chamber may induce the thermal expansion and the thermal stress in the cylinder case. In order to estimate the temperalure distribution, the thermal stress and the thermal deformation, FEM analysis was carried out. As a boundary value, the combustion chamber wall temperature of 8S0K,which corresponds to the design value of the maximum temperature of the working cycle, was specified. The steady-state analysis was applied and convection such as the exhaust heat does not take into account the calculation. As shown in Fig.8, the average temperature is S12K.This temperature is lower than creep temperature of silicon (673K) [7]. The maximum thermal stress is 24.3MPa, and this value is lower than the fracture strength of silicon at 512K [7]. The maximum thermal deformation along the transverse direction of motion of the pislon-spring system is 0.04 pm. This value is sufficiently small compared with the design clearance between the piston and cylinder case, i.e., 3 pm, and does not significantly influence the air leakage and motion of the pistons.

In: 582Hz
Figure 6. FEM modal analysis of pirlon-spring. system.






m m





Time [s]
f,/fn= 1.05 Figure 7. Vibration aspect of piston-spring syslcm.



Ambient TemperaNre 300 M Ambient Flow 1 X10' IWsl

2 3 Electric power calculation

An equivalent magnetic circuit of the electric generator in Fig.1 can be used to calculate the electric power due to the Faraday-Lenfz electromagnelic induction. The electromagnetic induction voltage Vis function of number of turns of the coil and time derivative of the magnetic flux @in the iron core [E], v=-Na@lat. (5) As a result, the generated voltage V was found to be -26mV and corresponding electric power was -40mW.

Combustion chamber temoeralure 850 K



Fabrication process is classified into two items. (1)Fabrication of the piston and cylinder case. (1I)Packaging of the piston, cylinder case and top glass plate.

Figure 8. FEM thermal analysis of cylinder care.


3.1 .Fabrication of piston and cylinder case


The piston and cylinder case are fabricated from Handle layer of SO1 (100) wafer (device layer thickness : 100pm, buried oxide thickness : 2pm, handle layer thickness : 525pm) using Al mask for ICP-RIE. The fabrication process of the piston is as follows. (Fig.90)) ICP-RE of device layer Etching the buried oxide using HF (Fig.9(2)) Al evaporation on handle layer (FigW)) Photolilhoglaphy of piston pattern on Al layer iFig.9i4)) Etching of Al layer (Fig.9(5)) (FigX6)) ICP-RIE of handle layer using Al mask The fabrication process of the cylinder case is as follows. Al evaporation on handle layer (Fig.lO(1)) Photolithoglaphy of cylinder case pattern on Al layer (Fig.lO(2)) (Fig.lO(3)) Etching of Al layer ICP-RIE of handle layer using Al mask (Fig.lO(4)) The assembly of fabricated piston and cylinder case is shown in

@)AI etching

Figurc 9. Fabrication process of piston.

SO1 (100) wafer


3 . 2 Packaging Au thermal bonding is used for packaging of the cylinder case and lop glass plate. Figure 12 shows the packaging process.

(1)Al evaporation


The engine operation is demonstrated by supplying compressed gas lo the combustion chamber. The schemetic of system used for the engine operation is shown in Fig.13. Experimental principle is as follows. The compressed N2gas (pressure : 1.4MPa, mass flow rate : 13mV"n) is supplied from N2 cylinder lo electromagnetic valve. The pulsed N z gas (pulse period : 50Hz) is injected into the combustion chamber from the electromagnetic valve. The reciprocating motion of the piston-spring system is induced by alternation of intake and exhaust pulsed Nzgas at the combustion chamber (Fig.14). In Fig.14, a epoxy glue was used for bonding between the top glass plate and the cylinder case. The displacement of the piston can be measured by the laser Doppler vibrometer.
5. CONCLUSIONS A resonant micro reciprocating engine was designed for power generation, Working cycle calculation, mechanical analysis, and electric power calculation were carried out.

Figurc 10. Fabrication prm-

of cylinder cby

Figure 11. Assembly of piston and cylinder case


Adopting hydrogen gas as a fuel and silicon as a structural material, the theoretical electric power was found lo be -4OmW under the conditions that compression ratio is 5 , the maximum combustion temperature is SSOK, and natural frequency of the piston-spring system is 610Hz. The fabrication process based on ICP-RIE bulk micromachining for micro engine was established. The engine operation based on air cycle was demonstrated. As a further work, reciprocating motion of the piston-spring system will be realized by fuel combustion and improvement of sealing.


Top glass piate


A.H. Epstein, Power MEMS and Microengines, Transducers97,753 (1997).
M.A.Schmit, Technologies for Microturbomachinery , TransducersOl, 2 (2001). D.E.Park, Design and Fabrication of Micromachined Internal Combustion Engine as a Power Source for Microsystems, MEMS2002,272 (2002). H.Yanagihara,Verbrennungskraftmaschinen, Heraus gegeben von Rikogakusha Publishing Co. (2000). L.Meirovitch, Elements of Vibration Analysis, McCraw-Hill(1986). Slohansson, Fracture testing of silicon microelements in a scanning electron microscope, JAppLPhys., 63, 4799 (1988). T.Namazu. Ylsono and T.Tanaka. Plastic Deformation of Nanometric Single Crystal Silicon Wire in AFM Bending Test at Intermediate Temperatures, J.MEMS, 11,125 (2002). K.Okawa, An Introduction of Permanent Magnet Magnetic Circuit, Sogodenshi syuppan sha (1994).

Figure 12. Packaging pracesj.

Drlve svslerq


Regulalor valve

Ns cylinder




i Measurement



i Flow meter


Intake port

Laser Doppler vibrometer


........ sensing


Fiyre 13. %hematic of~ y ~ l efor m engine opsralion.

llocated on the Combustion chamber)

Exhaust port

Exhaust port

Figure 14. Packaged protolpc enghinc.