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Concept: Garric Rotary Variable Compression Ratio Engine

Basic components of the Garric engine. Click to enlarge.

A pair of Florida entrepreneurs, Rick Ivas and Gary Kelley, are developing the concept of the Garric engine: a rotary, variable compression ratio engine promising a combination of high power and torque and low fuel consumption.

With a 3.8-inch piston bore (comparable to a contemporary midsize V6) and a 10-inch toroidal radius, the Garric engine is calculated to deliver more than 225 hp (168 kW) of power and 733 lb-ft (994 Nm) of torque while running at 1050 rpm. Fuel consumption is estimated to be approximately one-third to one-quarter of current production V-6 engines.

In August, Garric Engines reached an agreement in principal to utilize Cobra Design & Engineering, Inc. of St. Petersburg, Florida for engineering, drafting, design and manufacturing management functions for prototype development and production. The project will take the Garric design from its current advanced concept stage to development of a fully functional prototype, according to the company.

The Garric engine has been to operate on a wide variety of liquid and gaseous fuels.

The Garric engine divides the four elements of intake, compression, combustion and exhaust among multiple double-faced pistons moving in a constant direction. Each side of a double faced piston is continually performing one of the four elements. The central hub (or power shaft) is connected to a disc with one or more pistons attached. The pistons revolve around the central hub and are contained in a toroidal chamber. Along the path are multiple combustion areas, each of which has two gates (or valves) located on either side of the combustion area.

Each gate that is located following a combustion area along the piston’s path is responsible for controlling air or air-fuel intake and also for sealing the torus for compression. Each gate preceding the combustion area is responsible for sealing the toroidal chamber for combustion and for directing the forces of the expanding gasses behind the piston. It also directs the spent exhaust gasses out of the torus.

As a piston passes the second gate, the gate closes behind the piston sealing the torus and starting air intake. When the piston passes the second gate of the subsequent combustion area, the gate closes behind the piston sealing the torus and allowing for the subsequent compression of the air which was just ingested.

A following piston enters the area filled with fresh air through the previously closed gate which has now opened, simultaneously closing off the intake port. The piston, with its forward face, begins to compress the fresh air against the closed gate ahead. Additionally, the preceding intake/exhaust piston is simultaneously beginning to draw fresh air into the next combustion area along the path.

Compression by the compression/power piston continues against the closed gate. When the compression/power piston reaches Top Dead Center, both gates are closed and all of the compressed intake air is pushed into a combustion area adjacent to the toroidal chamber. The design of the piston shape aids in conducting the air through and around the piston into the combustion area.

A few degrees past Top Dead Center, fuel is injected into the compressed fresh air and ignition is accomplished (either by compression ignition or by spark).

As the piston is propelled along the toroidal path toward the next closed gate by the exhaust gasses, the fresh air ahead of it is again being compressed by the forward edge of the piston.

In a two-piston embodiment with three combustion areas, the process can complete three full power cycles in a single 360° revolution.

Variable Compression Ratio technology is designed into the Garric engine from the start through variable valve (gate) timing. The compression ratio of the engine can be adjusted in real time, as demand warrants, according to the developers.

A detailed animation of the cycle is available on the Garric Engine website.




Interesting but shares the same huge obstacle as Revetec: doesn't work within current production vehicle architecture (to be fair 2 cyl Revetec would work great in a Subaru).
Both would make great powerplants for outboard marine or motorcycle!!


This ICE may be on the market about five to ten year after the ESStor ESSU.


How about using it as a range extender in a BEV ?
[ Much smaller, of course ]



I agree with you but somebody has to mass produce them first. Full BEVs may be around sooner?


And they overcame the piston sealing issue how????


GreenPlease nailed it again - how's the combustion sealed?

Hasn't it been accepted that the ESStor ESSU, after ten years without product or meeting a deadline, doesn't exist?


Interesting concept, as they move the compressed charge from the front to the back of the cylinder where it is burned they can use the Scuderi effect which is the generation of a massive turbulence that speed the combustion process and gives a more complete combustion.

But the problem of this engine is that the valve has to be activated extremely fast and with a perfect synchronism otherwise the compressed air will just escape. It requires a complex set of cams to activate the valves, and the sealing as well as the lubrication of the whole thin will be a nightmare.

There is already plenty of Rotary concept around, none have been developped so I wouldn't sound pessimistic but...

Mister HarveyD, How could you be so sure that EESTOR will be a game changer that will displace signiicantly or even substantially the ICE ? sorry but today there is nothing that convince me that battery powered elecric vehicle will be more than a niche market given their limitations. Progress on the batteries in the next 10 years, yeah the same argument was given in the 70s with the NaS batteriesm then again in the 90s with the NiMH and now it comes again with Li-ion. Progress in battery will be incremental, not through breakthrough it has always been this way in the battery industry and always be.. And those who say the opposite have no idea what it takes to bring a new material into market, not the slightest idea.



I was trying to be humourous, meaning that both technologies may never make it to the market place.

Modular e-storage units development will gain more speed between 2010 and 2020 due to much more resources being used worldwide. Many will be surprised with the significant performance gain and price reduction 10 years down the road. Developing large countries like China and India (etc) to not have near enough fossil fuel to feed their expanding economies and future car fleets. Electrification of most (if not all) transportation vehicles may be one of the best sustainable option for them. They will drive e-storage units development and mass production into higher gear.

Wind and Solar energy also need lower cost large fixed e-storage units to supply a greater part of the market in the future.



Again how can you be so sure that e-storage will gain so much momentum between 2010-2020 ? again where are the sprout for this ? the multiple annoucement here and there that the electric car is coming ? nothing more than a Hype from big car compagnies to get subsidies. Introduction of electric car will be deceptive and extremely slow just as progress on batteries.


Advancements in e-storage technologies is relative to resources allocated worldwide + national interest and needs + G-20 concerted efforts + international efforts to replace fossil fuels with cleaner sustainable alternatives.

In the last few months, we have seen multiplication of resources and efforts that will certainly bear fruits during the next decade. The typical 4% to 8% a year advancement can be multiplied when the need and resources are there.

Look at what happened to the devevolpment and cost of Digital Cameras and associated lithium batteries and memory cards in the last five years vs film type cameras.

Five years ago I bought a 4 mb, 3x zoom compact digicam with one lithium battery for almost $750 + $60 for a spare battery + $159 for a 1 mb memory card. Five years latter, a camera with 3 times sensor/pixels, is only $119, a spare lithium battery is only $5.95 (10 times cheaper) and a 1 mb memory card is so cheap (20 times cheaper) that it is given away free.

If the same progress is done with BEV batteries, the price could go from $1000/Kwh to $100/Kwh and performance could multiply by 5 to 10 times by 2020.

The progress on e-car batteries could even be more important due to the massive worldwide investments being made.



Massive investment are a necessary condition but certainly not a garantee of success as you stubornly stick to. Progress in battery for computer and cell phone, oh yes low hanging fruits but they are anywhere close to what what we need for cars industry. Look at firefly, using a well known lead technology that they are trying to improve, after years of sweat tey stil don't have a product. You have no idea how deceptive battery industry is, doing 6 months of cycles to come to the conclusion that your technology is still not good and that you have to modify it again and re-go through this tedious cycling again.



By the way and for your information, computer and cell phone industry are extremely frustrated by the slowness of progress in batteries and unkept promise of Li-ion, I can tell you that they are desperate for mor powerful and energy dense battery because battery technology can simply not keep pace with growth of power need of faster computers, battery progress is nothing of Moor if battery can not follow computer industry how could it follow car industry ?



The improvements in Li-ion batteries over the past years have made the Tesla Roadster and i-Miev and a massive growth in e-bike sales possible. How did that happen with the computer industry so frustrated?



Mass production of more rugged, higher performance, lower cost lithum batteries for electrified vhicles is a worldwide challenge but not impossible.

Many new ways have been found to improve the basic lithium cells. Many of those recent findings will be integrated into future higher performance e-storage units in the next 5 to 10 years. Post lithium batteries will even do much better by 2020.

Eldorado may not be for tomorrow, but e-vehicle future looks great.

Fuel Cells may also represent a good opportunity but full electrification is a far better solution.



Massive growth of e-bike sales thanks to lithium battery, are you so sure ? 90% of e-bike are sold in china and they use lead batteries.

The Tesla roadster is a success, but is it a viable model for the mass car industry ? I am not too sure to be honnest even if I praise such a technical accomplishment. I see a model for the luxury ultra-clean cars industry, where people can afford 10 000$ of batteries than they can replace every 4 years, but hardly more than that. The Tesla S will incorporate up to 1800 pounds of battery pack. Not trivial at all.

Harvey, I never said that the challenge is impossible, I am just cooling over optimistic view that say that everything will battery powered 10 years from now. It will take much much more time than that. Asides I doubt that the supply of lithium will allow to scale the electric car production to the point it becomes a game changer for our everyday transportation.



In The Netherlands (where I live), e-bikes are almost exclusively with Li-Ion batteries. Sales numbers:

2006 64000
2007 159000
2008 238000

That is a massive growth.

The Tesla Roadster is of course no car for the masses. But, say, 5 years ago it was technically impossible to make such a car. Now it is for sale. And the price/performance ratio is actually competitive.

Markets are always conquered top-down. Mobile phones and cars and radios and computers and books and refrigerators and electric light and you name it all started their lives as toys for the rich, then the upper middle class, lower middle class, etc. That is why the Tesla Roadster IS an important milestone.

There are no guarantees on neither side. The breakthrough of ev's is not guaranteed, but neither is it certain they will remain a niche market.

Henry Gibson

The EV1 was nearly as good as the TESLA and it was not impossible to make it five years ago. The technology is from the makers of the TZERO who also did prototype technology for the EV1.

To pretend that the advancements in batteries can come as cheaply and as quickly or even come at all similar to computers is a great misunderstanding of chemistry and physics. It is very similar to expecting that gasoline can produce ten times more heat if we devote enough research to it.

Solar cells are also made of the MAGICAL computer silicon but their energy production is not even twice what it was twenty years ago. Exotic materials can now make solar cells twice as effecient at over ten times the cost. But even they do not produce power at night.

Lithium-ion batteries are very expensive for the power that they can store. You can find the figures in the stores where they are bought. It would be far cheaper to use lead or nickel-cadmium and recharge more often.

ZEBRA batteries still have as much energy per pound or more than most complete lithium battery packs, and they have excellent cost reduction potentials.

A few million dollars of engineering would now make it possible to put ZEBRA type cells in laptops and cell phones at lower costs than present lithium batteries, but just put them on the charger every night so they don't freeze into inactivity or keep a spare or two on a charger. But why would you want a battery that could last ten years before it wore out.

A nuclear energy powered battery can be made and has been used, but even a very rich man would not be allowed to have even the ones used in pacemakers some time ago for long life. Isotope 94-238 batteries will last a whole life. And they can be made to be put inside a human without damage. Such energy devices are keeping Spirit and Oportunity alive on Mars. The failure to use them in the polar explorer was a great waste of resources. ..HG..


No Henry, the EV1 is not comparable to the Tesla roadster. Not even by a long shot.

1. Range 240 miles vs 150 miles (from Wikipedia)
2. Performance 0-60 in 3.9 seconds vs 9 seconds
3. Price $109,000 vs unknown but probably much more than 109,000.
4. The Roadster makes a PROFIT (~ $ 20,000 each) , the EV1 was a money loser for GM

To pretend that the advancements in batteries can come as cheaply and as quickly or even come at all similar to computers is a great misunderstanding of chemistry and physics. It is very similar to expecting that gasoline can produce ten times more heat if we devote enough research to it.

You should pick your metaphores more carfully. Research can discover new technology, but of course can not change the property of a substance. The tensile strength of pure iron is a given that can never be changed, but by research we have discovered steel alloys that are stronger. Research can find a substance that has a higher energy density than gasoline, but of course we wouldn't call it gasoline. We would probably call it hydrogen.

Nobody here is suggesting the energy density of batteries will magically double every 2 years. The comparison with computers is often made because it shows that if something is not here today, that's not because it's impossible.

And what the heck is that rambling about nuclear batteries? Are you suggesting we could power a car with a nuclear battery? First lookup the power density and efficiency of such batteries, then report back your findings and you'll see why the pacemaker/space probe type of batteries (that are based on thermocouples) are absolutely out of the question for transportation use.

Such energy devices are keeping Spirit and Oportunity alive on Mars.

Spirit and Opportunity are powered by solar panels.



You are right, progress happen continuously and even breakthrough that trigger dramatic changes happen regularly, though rarely where you expect them to happen. Henry is right when he compares Battery to Solar cell, typical where the pace of progress is tight to introduction of new material, progress can only be slow. Mico-electronic doesn't suffer this limitation, you increase the density of integration but the materila is always the same that's why the progress are so dramatic. Of course at some point you reach the limit of what a guiven material can return even in micro-electronic and then you hav to introduce a new material.

So yes batteries will progress, but their energy density won't be much different 10 years from now, compared to where they are today.

Roger Pham

Thanks, Anne, for countering misinformations with pertinent data and logical arguments. Lithium-based batteries are tremendous advancement over the lead-acid and ni-cad of yesteryears, the latters having high toxicity and much lower energy density than lithium batteries, making BEV's much heavier. Lithium-air battery may one day deliver extremely high energy density that can even beat liquid petroleum.

BEV's, if charged directly with solar or wind electricity, will be the most efficient way to utilize renewable energy. If renewable energy is to be stored in the form of H2, then the FCV's will be the efficiency champ. We will need many different vehicular technologies simultaneously in order to make the most out of renewable energy.


Ok Roger

1900 introduction of lead batteries 30Whrs/Kg, 1960 introduction of NiCd batteries 45Whrs/kg, 1985 introduction of Lithium based batteries 80Whrs/Kg. And don't forget if you want the battery to last for some time you can use only 50% of these values, well we are not there yet...



You are right. Barring some miracle breakthrough, energy density 10 years from now will be in the same order of magnitude as today.

But the point is that the energy density is currently at a threshold of usability. The Tesla Roadster would not be the compelling offering it now is with a 600 kg battery pack or a 180 mile range. 600 kg vs 450 kg or 180 mi vs 240 mi is not fundamental, but it makes all the difference for usability.

At this point in time, every increase in energy density will greatly improve usability. Then the law of diminishing returns sets in. A 30% increase in energy density and you could reduce the Roadster battery pack by 110 kg, another 30% shaves of 80 kg, and so forth.

The breakthrough of a product does not necessarily need a breakthrough in technology. Gradual improvements suffice to cross the threshold of usability.



The energy density of lead acid batteries is currently ~30 Wh/kg. I don't think they already achieved that around 1900. Same for NiCad, I believe energy density was much lower when the technology was introduced. So the figure you should mention for Li-ion is more like 150 Wh/kg, which is where that technology currently is.

Henry Gibson

Thanks for all of your comments.

The Tesla has not paid back its investments yet. Nor the government loans. That was the major GM complaint about the EV1.

Plutonium 238 capsules are being used to keep the electronics warm in the Mars Rovers during low sunlight months.

The TESLA is not the WrightSpeed or the EV1 or the TZERO but ACpropulsion invented the motor and drive design for all of them. Enough nickel-cadmium or nickel metal hydride cells could be packed into the EV1 to give it both range and acceleration nearly similar or perhaps better to the TESLA with an optimized power unit from ACpropulsion. One reason the EV1's were crushed was to prevent tests with new and better batteries or drive electronics. In any case the super TESLA performance is not needed on any US public road. Nor is the TESLA's high price. Transportation can be had at far lower cost.

If the changes in Russia had not made paupers or worse of some of the very rich men, They could have bought enough isotope 94-238 to yield thousands of watts and a Stirling engine to convert the heat to charge a TESLA battery, Such cars would be safer because there would be no gasoline to burn. To protect the public from everything but the raw heat of isotope 94-238, less than a one-eighth inch thick steel can will work for most purposes. The wall does not even have to get thicker as the chunk gets bigger.

With a Stirling engine the efficiency of isotope generators can get to %40. Infinia has built and tested such generators for deep space use.

If the weight of the tanks or materials needed to store hydrogen were included in the comparisons, hydrogen does not and would not look as good. Pure carbon might even be better.

Lithium air batteries or perhaps even Zinc air batteries might even compete. A carbon free fuel, ammonia, can have better overall weight advantages and no CO2. We do not need to invent or use carbon free fuels for cars to make a big difference in CO2, we can do it with smaller engines AND motors in cars and also use hybrids and lighter weight cars.

I have seen several tranmission inventions that would allow a small engine to power a large car at almost no additional expense but at much higher efficiency. Zero to sixty is not needed at any stoplight or stop sign. There might be very rare occassions when fast accelerations could be convenient on a road but they are far rarer than the need for cautious driving and fast braking.

The full lithium battery systems with cooling do not have any more useable energy per pound than the complete ZEBRA systems available starting ten years ago.



Henry, how can you say: Enough nickel-cadmium or nickel metal hydride cells could be packed into the EV1 to give it both range and acceleration nearly similar or perhaps better to the TESLA

The energy density of NiCad is at best 50 Wh/kg. The Roadster battery is 120 Wh/kg. With NiCads, the battery would weigh more than a ton. The body of the car and suspension would have to be reinforced, adding even more weight. To give it the same performance, you would need to put a larger motor in it, adding yet more weight. The power electronics would have to be upgraded, more weight. Then, due to all this extra weight, the consumption would increase so you would have to add more batteries to give it the same range. More weight. The Roadster would easily end up twice as heavy. That would not make it the car people drool over.

The high energy density (Li-ion) battery is vital to the success Tesla Roadster.

....with an optimized power unit from ACpropulsion

Ah, there's the catch. Well there is one thing you should know about propulsions: they can not offer more than 100% efficiency. In the Roadster it is probably close to 80%, so you can not squeeze out that much more performance out of the same electricity. Even a 100% efficient propulsion would NEVER, EVER make up for lower energy density batteries.

And the guy in charge of power train development at Tesla is a former employee of AC Propulsion. So their technology is already in the Roadster.

To protect the public from everything but the raw heat of isotope 94-238, less than a one-eighth inch thick steel can will work for most purposes.

You should see the care with which plutonium is handled and transported by PROFESSIONALS. All the heavy packaging and shielding and precautions and procedures and protective clothing, etc. And you push the idea of putting millions of plutionium batteries with a mere 1/8 inch sheet metal protection in the hands of everyone? And on top of that, have them drive it around in a mostly reckless manner?

And there's more. Your plutonium power plant puts out constant power. You would still need a normal battery since a car needs variable power. The average car is in motion less than 5% of its life. The other 95% of the time it is parked. So you must choose: size your plutonium powerplant to the average power needed while the car is in motion (~8 kW) or to the average lifetime power (~300W). In the first case you will throw away 95% of the energy. And 8 kW is still not enough for long highway trips. Well, and forget about the 300 W plutonium power plant. It will not be capable of sustaining the charge level even during a week of driving a few extra miles. In reality you will have to make the choice between a horrendously inefficient use of plutonium or regularly charge your plutonium powered car.

Forget about the plutonium battery. It can never and will never work because it doesn't solve a single problem, it only creates them.

We do not need to invent or use carbon free fuels for cars to make a big difference in CO2, we can do it with smaller engines AND motors in cars and also use hybrids and lighter weight cars.

Yes we do. The amount of cars on the road in this world is growing faster than the average fuel consumption is declining. The net result is that CO2 emissions from cars are increasing. And somewhere down the line we hit the 100% barrier, where we have squeezed out all the energy of every last drop of gasoline. How to improve further then, if still more people are buying and driving cars?

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