Mainstream Engineering Corporation, Rockledge, FL, a leading
research and development company specializing in advanced thermal control and energy conversion, has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Air Force to develop a microsupercharger for small, heavy-fuel engines.
The U.S. Air Force needs devices for unmanned applications that increase the intake air flow and pressure to small engines in order to increase their power density and fuel efficiency. These unmanned systems require high-efficiency and highly reliable power sources operating at a near-continuous duty cycle. By increasing the power density, these
engines can be used in a larger variety of applications over a wider range of operating conditions.
Forced induction systems, including superchargers and turbochargers, are one of the key methods for increasing power and efficiency of naturally aspirated engines. Scaling
down this technology for use in small engines, however, poses unique challenges.
Mainstream plans to develop a very small, direct-drive, rotary supercharger that will overcome these limitations. This supercharger will be designed, fabricated and tested on
Mainstream’s own 4-hp heavy-fuel engine. The design will also be extended for use with other applications in the Air Force’s range of small engines.
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