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Title:
SMART FEEDER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2009/035339
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention regards a system for adding a fuel additive to a fuel tank (9) each -time the fuel tank (9) is filled up. The adding of fluid additives is controlled by a level sensor (3) in the fuel tank and a processing unit in order to deliver an amount of fuel additives into the fuel tank (9), thereby obtaining an optimal combustion with regards to consumption and discharged exhaust gases.

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Inventors:
KRONBORG ROGER (NO)
Application Number:
PCT/NO2008/000326
Publication Date:
March 19, 2009
Filing Date:
September 12, 2008
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
KRONBORG ROGER (NO)
International Classes:
B60K15/00; F02M25/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO1995003482A11995-02-02
Foreign References:
FR2888289A12007-01-12
DE102004062011A12006-07-13
US7204079B22007-04-17
US20040065076A12004-04-08
EP1760461A12007-03-07
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ONSAGERS AS (Oslo, NO)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. System for automatically adding fuel additive into a fuel tank of a power unit in order to sustain the concentration of the fuel additive at a predetermined value, characterized in that the system comprises sensing means for monitoring a fuel amount in the fuel tank, processing unit for producing a signal equivalent of the fuel amount and dosing means operable to deliver the fuel additive to the fuel flow in response to the signal from the processing unit.

2. System according to claim 1, characterized in that an additive reservoir is provided with measuring means comprising a measuring element for measuring a minimum level of additives in the tank, the measuring device further being connected to the processing unit.

3. System according to claim 1, characterized in that the dosing means comprises a feeding pump and are connected to an additive supply line between the additive reservoir and the fuel tank.

4. System according to claim 1, characterized in that the sensing means comprises a sensing element, which sensing means are connected to the control unit.

5. System according to claim 1, characterized in that the calculation and con- trol means compute the amount of additive to be injected into the fuel tank, where calculation is based on fuel amount in the fuel tank, NOχ and CO 2 values in exhaust gases, where the control unit are connected to the dosing means and a exhaust system of the engine power unit.

6. System according to claim 1 or 4, characterized in that the processing unit further are connected to a storage unit.

7. System according to claim 1, 3 and 4, characterized in that the processing unit is monitoring at least a portion of the exhaust gases flowing through a cross section of the exhaust system at a given position, preferably all the exhaust gases flowing through the cross section.

8. System according to claim 1, characterized in that fuel additive is a catalyst from the group consisting of ammonia, hydrazine, cyanuric acid or others.

9. Method for automatically adding fuel additive into a fuel tank of a power unit comprising the steps of:

- measuring a fuel tank level before filling of the fuel tank,

- calculating the amount of a fuel additive to be added into the fuel tank, adding the calculated amount of fuel additive into the fuel tank, thereby obtaining an optimal combustion with regards to fuel consumption and emission.

10. Method according to claim 9, the method further comprising the step of: continually monitoring and measuring exhaust gases,

- comparing the calculated values with a set of reference values, if necessary add further fuel additive.

Description:

Smart Feeder

The present invention relates to a fuel additive system, and more particularly to a fuel additive system to provide a controlled addition of an additive to a fuel tank of an engine power unit. The present invention also relates to a method for automati- cally adding a fuel additive into a fuel tank of an engine power unit.

Reduction of internal combustion engine exhaust emissions is a fundamental problem confronting the automotive industry worldwide. In particular nitrogen oxides (NO x ) are among the environmentally harmful, directly emitted primary injurious substances which are generated during operation of internal combustion engines. NO x are believed to contribute to tropospheric ozone, a health hazard, and to also undergo a process known as photochemical smog formation in the presence of sunlight and hydrocarbons. It is therefore anticipated that allowable nitrogen oxides emissions for vehicular or industrial applications will be significantly decreased in the coming years. Attempts have been made to reduce nitrogen oxides and particulate emissions from internal combustion engines. These attempts have generally resulted in only inadequate NO x reduction with a concurrent increase in particulate emissions.

In one known method, an additive such as cerium is added to the fuel of a diesel fuel engine in order to reduce the NO x emissions. However, this system suffers from problems in providing an accurate amount of additive to the fuel. If the proper amount of additive is not realized, additional problems are created in that the amount of emissions may be increased to an unacceptable level.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a system for adding a fuel additive to a fuel, which system is easier to operate and more reliable than pre- vious known systems or methods.

It is further an object of the present invention to provide a system which may be used with any type of engine power unit.

It is also an object of the present invention that the fuel additive will provide a clear stable fuel which can be passed to the point of combustion and will reduce N0χ and particulates without compromise of the performance characteristics of the fuel.

These objects are fulfilled with a system and a method as defined in the following claims.

The present invention relates to a system for automatically adding fuel additive(s) in metered amounts into a fuel tank of an engine power unit. It is to be understood that the engine power unit may be used in aircrafts, marine vessels, vehicles, offshore and onshore power systems, heating plants etc. The fuel that is used in these

power units is a fossil fuel, where this for instance may be diesel, petrol, LPG gas, heavy oil etc.

According to the present invention the system comprises a fuel tank that is connected to a power unit. This connection is done by at least one fuel feeding line and at least one fuel excess line running from the fuel tank to the power unit, where these lines also are guided through a mixing unit arranged on the engine power unit in order to mix fuel and air, before the mixture are distributed to the power unit.

Within the fuel tank is arranged sensing means, where this means is used to measure the fuel quantity in the tank. This can for instance be done by a sensor, where the sensor before and after filling of the fuel tank will measure the fuel level in the fuel tank and thereafter send a signal equivalent to the fuel amount to a processing unit. The signal can be transferred as an electrical signal as the sensing means and the processing unit are connected to each other by an electrical wire. It is also possible to connect a meter to the electric wire, where this for instance may be advantageous when the system is used in connection with heating plants, thereby giving the operator a visual indication of the fuel level inside the fuel tank.

A fuel additive reservoir is further arranged on or in the vicinity of the fuel tank, where the reservoir may be formed to contain several different fuel additives. The fuel additives may then be separated in compartments within the fuel additive reser- voir. In this case, the fuel additive reservoir is arranged in such a way that each fuel additive compartment is connected to separate supply lines, where these lines finish into the fuel tank. It is also possible to provide a system that will open and close the different compartments in the fuel additive reservoir, where this will give that only one supply line can be connected to the reservoir. The fuel additive reservoir may further be an open reservoir or a closed reservoir containing a closing mechanism or the like.

On the supply line between the fuel additive reservoir and the fuel tank is connected dosing means, where the means will ensure that an exact amount of the fuel additive is added to the fuel tank. The dosing means comprises a feeding motor or a pump, where the feeding motor will be activated when a signal from the processing unit is sent to the dosing means. The signal that is received by the dosing means will correspond to the amount of fuel in the fuel tank, where this was measured by the sensing means. The dosing means will then open and dose the exact amount of the fuel additive to be supplied to the fuel tank. It may also be possible to add the fuel addi- tive(s) at a different place in the process, for instance may this be done in the mixing unit, where the fuel, air and the fuel additive(s) then can be mixed together in one single operation.

The fuel additive reservoir, the dosing means, the sensing means and a exhaust system are all directly or indirectly connected to the processing unit, where this unit

will receive signals from the different means, process these signals and thereafter send a signal to one or several of the means in order to add the correct amount of the fuel additive(s) to the fuel. The processing unit may be provided to control the system continuously or it can also be programmed to perform a control at certain points of time or periods, for instance when the fuel is filled up. The processing unit may also include a storage unit, where data from the different means can be stored, as well as data regarding time, hour etc. This will be particular advantageous when the processing unit is connected to a computer, where the stored data then can be transferred to the computer. In the computer the stored data can be compared with sets of predetermined values for one or several of the above indicated parameters etc. It will also be easy to produce a print out of the stored data, where this may be used to confirm or to prove an optimal combustion (minimal emission etc) of the power unit etc.

The system 1 has few moving parts and it only requires an electrical power source to operate.

The present invention also regards a method for automatically adding a fuel additive into the tank of an engine power unit. Since it is important that the sensing means produce a signal corresponding just to the quantity of the filled fuel, it is important that the sensing means detect when the filling of the fuel tank is started and when it is stopped. This will result in that the processing unit not will be calculating with the fuel that has already been added a fuel additive. When the filling of the fuel tank has stopped, the sensing means will produce a signal that is sent to the processing unit. The processing unit will then calculate the amount of at least one fuel additive to be added into the fuel tank, based on the fuel quantity, stored reference values etc. This amount will be sent as an electrical signal to the dosing means, where the dosing means based on the received signal will open and added the correct amount of the fuel additive into the fuel tank.

In one embodiment of the invention the processing unit may also be connected to an exhaust system of the engine power unit. This will result in that the processing unit, through a sensor in the exhaust system may receive signals regarding for instance NO x values, CO values etc., where also these parameters may be included in the calculation process. The process unit may then perform a "control and correction round" at certain point of time etc.

The method may also include that the received signals by the processing unit will be stored in a storage unit and that the process unit may be connected to a computer. Trough the computer an operator may feed the processing unit with predetermined values on certain parameters, such as dosing ratio, fuel tank capacity, desired NO x values etc.

The fuel additive is not part of the invention, as any additive that is able to act like a catalyst, in order to reduce the NO x values in the emissions of the engine power unit may be used. The additive may for instance be selected from the group consisting of ammonia, hydrazine, cyanuric acid or others. These and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment(s), appended claims and accompanying drawing in which:

Figure l is a principle sketch of the general architecture of a system for feeding fuel additive in accordance with the present invention. With reference to figure 1 there is shown a system 1 for automatically adding a fuel additive in metered amounts into a fuel tank of a power unit in order to maintain the concentration of the fuel additive at a predetermined value.

The system 1 comprises a power unit 7 and a fuel tank 9 that are connected to each other by a fuel feeding line 11 and a fuel excess line (return line) 12. The fuel will be mixed with air in a fuel and air mixing chamber 13 before the mixture of fuel and air is injected into the power unit 7. The mixing of fuel and air is however not a part of the present invention and will therefore not be discussed further here.

In the shown embodiment the power unit 7 is a combustion engine for a vehicle, and the engine is therefore connected to an exhaust system 8. In the fuel tank 9 is arranged fuel sensing means 3, where this for instance can be a sensor that can sense or measure the fuel level in the tank 9. This measurement is normally done before and after that the fuel tank is filled up, as only the supplied quantity of fuel shall be added the fuel additive. The sensing means 3 is connected to calculation and control means 6 through an electric wire 13. A meter 10 can also be arranged to the electric wire 13, in order to visualize the fuel level for an operator.

A fuel additive reservoir 2 is also, through at least one additive supply line 5, connected to the fuel tank 9. The fuel additive reservoir 2 may contain several different fuel additives that are separated in own compartments inside the fuel additive reser- voir 2, where each additive will have specific properties in order obtain an optimal combustion with regards to fuel consumption and emission. Each additive can further be supplied to the fuel in the fuel tank 9 through separate supply lines 5.

In the embodiment where the fuel additive reservoir 2 contain several different fuel additives, it should be understood that fuel additive reservoir 2 is arranged with a system to open and close the different fuel additive chambers when required, the fuel additive reservoir 2 then being connected to the calculation and control means 6.

The fuel additive reservoir 2 may be an open reservoir or a closed reservoir that has to be opened before it is filled with the additive(s). The fuel additive reservoir 2 is also adapted to fit the size of fuel tank 9, adding ratio, how many fuel additives the reservoir shall contain etc. In order to add an exact amount of the fuel additive(s) to the fuel in the fuel tank 9, the fuel additive reservoir 2 is connected with a dosing means 4. The dosing means 4 include a feeding motor (not shown) for feeding the fuel additive(s) from the fuel additive reservoir 2 to the fuel in the fuel tank 9, where the amount to be fed is based on a signal received from the processing unit 6. A main element in the system 1 will be the processing unit 6 where the unit 6 is connected to all the other elements of the system. This will result in that the processing unit 6 receives signals from the fuel sensing means 3 and the exhaust system 8, where these signals are equivalent to the fuel level in the fuel tank 9 and NOχ and CO 2 values in the exhaust gases, where the processing unit 6 based on these meas- urements will be able to calculate the exact amount of fuel additive(s) to be added to the fuel in the fuel tank 9.

The processing unit 6 may also include a storage unit (not shown), where parameters like time/date, quantity of supplied fuel to fuel tank, amount of fuel additive(s) added, fuel consumption, gas emission etc can be stored in. This will for instance be of importance if the system 1 according to present invention is used in connection with large heating plants, marine shipping, heavy transport etc, where it in the future will be essential to document emissions from these installations.

In one embodiment of the present invention the processing unit 6 may also be connected to a computer (not shown), where this will give the operator a possibility to read/scan the stored parameters and further to feed the processing unit 6 with data regarding size of the fuel tank 9, amount of fuel additive per litre fuel, set of desired NOχ and CO 2 values etc. The processing unit 6 and the computer may be connected in many ways, for instance via a USB port.

According to the present invention it is thereby provided a system 1 where a proc- essing unit 6 from received data or signals from exhaust gases (for instance NOχ and CO 2 values), fuel level in the fuel tank and other predetermined parameters such like amount of fuel additive(s) per litre fuel, desired emission OfNO x and CO 2 , fuel consumption etc will be able to calculate the exact amount of fuel additives to be added to the fuel in the fuel tank 9, in order to obtain an optimal combus- tion with regards to fuel consumption and emission.

The invention has now been explained with a non-limiting exemplary embodiment. A skilled person will understand that there may be made alternations and modifications within the scope of the invention as it is defined in the attached claims.