Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Nigel N. Clark.


This dissertation argues that diminishing oil reserves, concern over global climate change, and desire to improve ambient air quality all demand the development of environment-friendly personal transportation. In certain applications, series hybrid electric vehicles offer an attractive solution to reducing fuel consumption and emissions. Furthermore, linear engines are emerging as a powerplant suited to series HEV applications. In this dissertation, a linear engine/alternator was considered as the auxiliary power unit of a range extender series hybrid electric vehicle. A prototype linear engine/alternator was developed, constructed and tested at West Virginia University. The engine was a 2-stroke, 2-cylinder, dual piston, direct injection, diesel engine. Experiment on the engine was performed to study its behavior. The study variables included mass of the translator, amount of fuel injected, injection timing, load, and stroke with operating frequency and mechanical efficiency as the basis of comparison. The linear engine was analyzed in detail and a simple simulation model was constructed to compare the trends of simulation with the experimental data and to expand on the area where the experimental data were lacking. The simulation was based on a simple and analytical model, rather than a detailed and intensely numerical one. The experimental and theoretical data showed similar trends. Increasing translator mass decreased the operating frequency and increased compression ratio. Larger mass and increased compression ratio improved the ability of the engine to sustain operation and the engine was able to idle on less fuel injected into the cylinder. Increasing the stroke length caused the operating frequency to drop. Increasing fueling or decreasing the load resulted in increased operating frequency. This projects the possibility of using the operating frequency as an input for feedback control of the engine. Injection timing was varied to investigate two different modes of engine operation experimentally. The two modes were direct injection compression ignition (DICI) and "pseudo" homogeneously charged compression ignition (PHCCI). Simulation was performed to include HCCI operation in the study. The study showed that the HCCI operation resulted in higher peak cylinder pressure than that of DICI operation. A combined genetic algorithm-artificial neural network predictor model was used along with the simulation model to find the combination of engine parameters that yielded the highest engine efficiency. The predictor-simulator model suggested the most efficient combination of engine parameters.