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'Revving Up' World-First Fuel Injection

Simon Longdill has a passion for engines.

This passion is the driving force behind a research project he is doing for Buckley Systems Ltd that is poised to deliver an innovative fuel injection system for two-stroke engines. The research centres on developing a sensor that can control the fuel flow of a two-stroke engine by being able to "read" the air-fuel ratio inside the engine.

Previous attempts to implement fuel injection systems on high performance two-stroke engines have failed because of the systems' inability to respond to sudden changes in the engine's fuel requirements. Testing over more than two years by Mr Longdill indicates that this can be overcome by measuring the air-fuel ratio of each combustion cycle.

"We can use a fibre-optic cable to look down into the engine and then electronically read the colour of the flame, which is strongly related to the air-fuel ratio," Mr Longdill says. "Once we know the air-fuel ratio that is burning in the cylinder during the combustion process, we can control it by using an electric fuel injection that alters the fuel flow."

Mr Longdill has now finalised the test measurement system, with encouraging results from the test engine. "I am very excited about this development," he says.

Mr Longdill is a graduate of the University of Auckland's Engineering School and is undertaking the research project as part of his study towards a PhD. His project was supported by the Technology for Industry Fellowship scheme of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology. The scheme gives tertiary students an opportunity to work with businesses.

He approached Buckley Systems - a company specialising in manufacturing ion beam lines for the production of silicon chips - about some project work. The idea of a two-stroke sensor came out of their discussions because Buckley was planning to run a fuel injection system on its New Zealand-made 500 GP racing bikes.

It is expected that Mr Longdill's electronic device will help maximise engine efficiency and performance, meaning lower fuel consumption, higher output and reduced operating costs.

Buckley research and development engineer Wayne Wright says the device is an industry first and proves the value of academia working within an R&D structure, supported by government through Technology New Zealand. "Simon's innovative approach has far-reaching ramifications within the automotive world, with great opportunity for New Zealand-based manufacture of complete systems and/or licensing agreements with engine design teams," Mr Wright says.

-ends-


Contact: * Wayne Wright, Buckley Systems Ltd, Ph:(09) 573-2214. Email wright@buckley-sys.co.nz * Simon Longdill, University of Auckland, School of Engineering. Ph: (09) 373-7599 Extn 7254. Email: s.longdill@auckland.ac.nz * Nigel Metge, Technology New Zealand at the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (Auckland Office), (09) 912-6730, or 021 454-095. Website: www.technz.co.nz

Prepared on behalf of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology by ID Communications. Contact: Ian Carson (04) 477-2525. Email: ian@idcomm.co.nz


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