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Title:
A CLEANING AND CONDITIONING SYSTEM FOR ENGINE FUEL AND LUBRICATING SYSTEMS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2006/116794
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A cleaning and conditioning system (10) for a combustion engine (12), the system (10) characterised by the method steps of cleaning or purging (24) a fuel delivery system (18) of the engine (12) and of cleaning (30) the lubrication system of the engine (12).

Inventors:
JOHNSTON TIMOTHY FRANCIS (AU)
Application Number:
PCT/AU2006/000536
Publication Date:
November 09, 2006
Filing Date:
April 21, 2006
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
FIREPOWER TECHNOLOGY LTD (CN)
JOHNSTON TIMOTHY FRANCIS (AU)
International Classes:
F02B77/04; F01M11/04; F02B47/00; F02B51/00; F02M25/00
Foreign References:
US5287834A1994-02-22
US5503683A1996-04-02
US6298947B12001-10-09
US6752159B12004-06-22
US5460656A1995-10-24
Other References:
DATABASE WPI Week 200557, Derwent World Patents Index; Class Q52, AN 2005-560651, XP003002472
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WRAY & ASSOCIATES (The Quadrant 1 William Stree, Perth Western Australia 6000, AU)
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Claims:
Claims
1. A cleaning and conditioning system for a combustion engine, the system characterised by the method steps of cleaning or purging a fuel delivery system of the engine and of cleaning the lubrication system of the engine.
2. A cleaning and conditioning system according to claim 1 , wherein the system further comprises the cleaning of any fuel tanks feeding the fuel delivery system.
3. A cleaning and conditioning system according to claim 1 or 2, wherein cleaning or purging of the fuel delivery system comprises running a purge fluid through the fuel delivery system whilst the engine is running.
4. A cleaning and conditioning system according to any one of the preceding claims, where the purge fluid comprises a mixture of fuel and hydrocarbon based fuel conditioner.
5. A cleaning and conditioning system according to claim 4, wherein the mix of fuel to conditioner is variable so that at startup the ratio of fuel to conditioner is high.
6. A cleaning and conditioning system according to claim 5, wherein as the engine warms up the ratio of fuel to conditioner is decreased to increase the cleaning action of the purge fluid.
7. A cleaning and conditioning system according to anyone of the preceding claims, wherein the cleaning of the lubrication system comprises running a dialysis fluid through the engine whilst the engine is running.
8. A cleaning and conditioning system according to anyone of the preceding claims, wherein the cleaning of the lubrication system further comprises the draining of substantially all engine oil from the engine and replacement by the dialysis fluid prior to the running of the engine.
9. A cleaning and conditioning system according to claim 7 or 8, wherein the lubrication system cleaning step comprises the staged filtering of the dialysis fluid.
10. A cleaning and conditioning system according to claim 9, wherein the staged filtering of the dialysis fluid utilises a series of two or more filters.
11. A cleaning and conditioning system according to claim 10, wherein the staged filtering of the dialysis fluid includes a first filter passing 25μm, a second filter passing 10μm and a third filter passing 5μm.
12. A cleaning and conditioning system according to any one of claims 7 to 11 , wherein the dialysis fluid comprises two distinct dialysis fluids.
13. A cleaning and conditioning system according to claim 12, wherein a first dialysis fluid is a kinetic flushing oil and second dialysis fluid is a static stabilising oil.
14. A cleaning and conditioning system according to claim 12 or 13, wherein the dialysis fluids are used in turn.
15. A cleaning and conditioning system according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the cleaning of the fuel delivery system and the lubrication system is achieved, at least in part, simultaneously.
16. A cleaning and conditioning system according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the lubrication system cleaning step is run for between about 15 to 30 minutes.
17. A cleaning and conditioning system according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the fuel delivery system purge step is run for about 30 minutes.
18. A cleaning and conditioning system according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the system comprises a further step in which a fuel conditioner is utilised in routine operation of the engine.
19. A cleaning and conditioning system according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the system comprises a still further step in which an oil conditioner is used in the lubrication system of the engine.
20. A cleaning and conditioning system substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to the accompanying figure.
Description:
A CLEANING AND CONDITIONING SYSTEM FOR ENGINE FUEL AND LUBRICATING SYSTEMS

Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a cleaning and conditioning system. More particularly, the cleaning and conditioning system is intended for use with combustion engines burning liquid hydrocarbon fuels and utilising lubrication systems.

Background Art

There are several well known problems associated with the burning of fossil fuels in combustion engines. These problems included incomplete combustion of the fuel, the contamination of the fuel and the formation of deposits within the engine, the formation of acids in the fuel and the resulting corrosion of the engine, and the contamination of the fuel with water, bacteria and fungi.

Society is exercising increased controls and has increasing expectations with regard to the efficient and clean combustion of fossil fuels. However, there is a tension between these requirements and the economic need of engine manufacturers and operators to produce and purchase cost effective engines to achieve their specific requirements. Further, the companies responsible for the production of fuels are expected to continue to produce fuel to minimum specifications as set by relevant authorities from time to time. A further complication is the increasing complexity of engine technology when combined with fuels of minimum specification.

It is known that engine performance is impacted negatively by problems in both fuel systems and lubrication systems. As such, a system that acts to increase performance from both the fuel and oil systems of a combustion engine may be considered to be advantageous. Such a system may be expected to provide most significant benefits if the majority of the operating portion of both the fuel

and oil or lubrication systems of the combustion engine are accessed during the cleaning and conditioning process.

The cleaning and conditioning system of the present invention has as one object thereof to overcome substantially the above problems associated with the prior art, or to at least provide a useful alternative thereto.

The preceding discussion of the background art is intended to facilitate an understanding of the present invention only. It should be appreciated that the discussion is not an acknowledgement or admission that any of the material referred to was part of the common general knowledge in Australia or any other country or region as at the priority date of the application.

Throughout the specification, unless the context requires otherwise, the word "comprise" or variations such as "comprises" or "comprising", will be understood to imply the inclusion of a stated integer or group of integers but not the exclusion of any other integer or group of integers.

Disclosure of the Invention

In accordance with the present invention there is provided a cleaning and conditioning system for a combustion engine, the system characterised by the method steps of cleaning or purging a fuel delivery system of the engine and of cleaning the lubrication system of the engine.

Preferably, the system further comprises the cleaning of any fuel tanks feeding the fuel delivery system.

Still preferably, an oil conditioner is added to the oil fed to the engine's lubrication system.

The purge or cleaning of the fuel delivery system is preferably achieved by running a purge fluid through the fuel delivery system whilst the engine is running.

The cleaning of the lubrication system is achieved by running an oil product through the engine whilst the engine is running. This lubrication system cleaning step preferably comprises the staged filtering of the dialysis fluid.

In one form of the present invention the cleaning of the fuel delivery system and the lubrication system is achieved, at least in part, simultaneously.

Brief Description of the Drawings

The cleaning and conditioning system of the present invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawing, in which:-

Figure 1 is a schematic representation of the cleaning and conditioning system of the present invention shown in relation to an engine and fuel tank.

Best Mode(s) for Carrying Out the Invention

In Figure 1 there is shown a cleaning and conditioning system 10 for a combustion engine 12. Associated with the engine 12 is a fuel tank 14. A fuel line 16 is provided between the fuel tank 14 and a fuel injection system 18 associated with the engine 12. A fuel pump 20 is further provided in the fuel line 16.

A fuel tank treatment step 22 is shown in association with the fuel tank 14. A fuel system purge step 24 is shown to feed a purge fluid into the fuel line 16 by way of line 26. The purge fluid line 26 feeds into the fuel line 16 at a point "upstream" of the fuel pump 20, as is clearly shown in Figure 1.

A line 28 is provided extending from a fuel recirculation outlet of the engine 12 returning purge fluid to the purge step 24.

- A -

The lubrication system of the engine 12 is cleaned using an engine lubrication dialysis step 30. The dialysis step 30 comprises a dialysis fluid being fed by a line 32 into the lubrication system of the engine 12 by way of the oil filler cap, whilst a line 34 returns dialysis fluid from the engine 12, by way of the sump drain plug, to the dialysis step 30.

The fuel tank treatment step 22 comprises the use of an apparatus in which is provided each of a pump, a water trap and a filter means. A line 36 is used to transfer fuel from the apparatus 10 to the fuel tank 14. The fuel is cycled through the fuel tank 14 and returned to the fuel tank cleaning apparatus by line 38. This step removes water and particulate materials from the fuel tank 14.

The purge step 24 acts to clean the fuel delivery system to the engine 12. The fuel delivery system comprises at least a portion of the fuel line 16, the fuel pump 20, the fuel injection system 18 and the fuel return line. The fuel delivery system may further comprise a water-fuel separator and a fuel filter in known manner.

The purge fluid is applied whilst the engine 12 is running. The purge fluid acts to dissolve gums, lacquers, varnishes, wax and carbon which may have been deposited in various parts of the fuel delivery system and engine 12, including fuel lines, the fuel pump, fuel rails, fuel injectors, valves, pistons and cylinder walls. The purge fluid comprises a mixture of fuel and a hydrocarbon based fuel conditioner. The mix of fuel to conditioner is variable so that at start-up the ratio of fuel to conditioner is high. As the engine 12 warms up the ratio can be decreased to increase the cleaning action of the purge fluid.

The dialysis fluid of the dialysis step 30 utilises two distinct dialysis fluids in turn. The first fluid is a kinetic flushing oil and the second fluid is a static stabilising oil. These dialysis fluids are respectively used in turn and are fed through line 32 into the lubrication system of the engine 12. The dialysis fluids are pumped into the various parts of the engine 12 that are typically lubricated by engine oil, including the timing gear, crank shaft, crank journal, crank pin, cylinder bore, piston ring, piston pin, rocker arm shaft, rocker arm, cam shaft, bell stems and all internal galleries, after which the dialysis fluids collect in the oil pan or sump, from which

it is returned via line 34 to the dialysis step 30. The kinetic flushing oil is used for cleaning of the engine components whilst the static stabilising oil is used for removal of the kinetic flushing oil.

The dialysis step 30 utilises dialysis apparatus comprising a filter bank and a pump. The pump typically moves about 9 to 12 litres per minute and forces the dialysis fluid through a series of three staged filters, the first filter passing 25μm, the second filter passing 10μm and the third filter passing 5μm. The line 32 passes the dialysis fluids to the oil filler cap in the rocker cover of the engine 12.

During operation of the dialysis step substantially all engine oil is manually removed (drained) from the engine 12 and is replaced by the dialysis fluid prior to the running of the engine 12. The engine 12 is then started. The running of the engine 12 ensures that the dialysis fluid is passed to all areas of the engine typically lubricated by engine oil during use. Any remaining portion of engine oil often contains wear metals, silica, soot, acids of combustion and also water. These contaminants remaining in the remaining oil reduce the effectiveness of the lubrication system, which in turn results in increased wear, reduced engine life, reduced engine performance and increased service costs.

The dialysis step is run for about 30 minutes, as is the purge step 24. It is envisaged that the dialysis step 30 may be run in as little time as about 15 minutes. The inventors have determined that no significant benefit is obtained running the dialysis step 30 beyond 30 minutes.

The steps described above return the engine 12 to a largely as new condition. To reduce the need to perform the above steps again at a later time, it has been determined that a fuel conditioner should be utilised in routine operation of the engine 12.

Finally, an oil conditioner may be used in the lubrication system of the engine 12 to further ensure the benefits of the cleaning and conditioning system of the present invention are maintained.

From the above description it can be seen that the cleaning and conditioning system of the present invention acts to reduce engine omissions, increase performance of the engine returning same to the manufacturing specification, provides improved fuel burning and efficiency, increases the compression achieved by the engine 12 and various additional benefits that at least in part overcome problems associated with the prior art and described hereinabove.

Modifications and variations such as would be apparent to the skilled addressee are considered to fall within the scope of the present invention.