Automakers are improving fuel economy by exploiting a new controls approach that uses the waste heat from vehicle engines. Currently, up to 65% of the heat energy produced in internal combustion engines, whether gasoline or diesel, is wasted. Typically, the powertrain or engine dissipates the heat by convection, where it is carried to the cooling circuit or lost out of the tailpipe in exhaust gases.
On the top of the piston, you’ll find three or four grooves cast into the metal. Inside the grooves piston rings are put in. The piston rings are the part that actually touch the walls of the cylinder. They are made from iron and come in two varieties: compression rings and oil rings. The compression rings are the top rings and they press outward on the walls of the cylinder to provide a strong seal for the combustion chamber. The oil ring is the bottom ring on a piston and it prevents oil from the crankcase from seeping into the combustion chamber. It also wipes excess oil down the cylinder walls and back into the crankcase.
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