An engine based on a reciprocating piston engine that extracts work from pressurized working fluid. The engine includes a harmonic oscillator inlet valve capable of oscillating at a resonant frequency for controlling the flow of working fluid into of the engine. In particular, the inlet valve includes an inlet valve head and a spring arranged together as a harmonic oscillator so that the inlet valve head is moveable from an unbiased equilibrium position to a biased closed position occluding an inlet. Upon releasing the inlet valve the inlet valve head undergoes a single oscillation past the equilibrium positio to a maximum open position and returns to a biased return position close to the closed position to choke the flow and produce a pressure drop across the inlet valve causing the inlet valve to close. Protrusions carried either by the inlet valve head or piston head are used to bump open the inlet valve from the closed position and initiate the single oscillation of the inlet valve head, and protrusions carried either by the outlet valve head or piston head are used to close the outlet valve ahead of the bump opening of the inlet valve.
I. FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC52-07NA27344 between the United States Department of Energy and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.