Author(s): Roskilly AP, Shaw R, French CD, Harvey RM
Abstract: As the marine industry advances, tightening environmental legislation and economic forces drive demands for cleaner, more efficient and reliable power generation. Manufacturers of such equipment are continually striving for reliable solutions to these challenges in the struggle to remain competitive. In order to guarantee reliability, it is essential that the machinery itself is as mechanically simple as possible. The free-piston engine 1, 2, 3 combines both mechanical simplicity and operational flexibility when modern control techniques are applied 4, 5, 6. This technology can be integrated with a linear generator 7, 8, 9 to produce an alternative power generation unit for small-scale applications such as auxiliary power provision. The objective of this paper is to outline the potential of a new electrical power generation unit currently under development at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The unit aims to combine reliability and efficiency with operational flexibility and the potential for reduced emissions. The final paper will discuss the design and operation of the device in addition to the potential applications. Experimental test results are also presented to support simulation results obtained from mathematical modelling using SIMULINK.