Dutch start-up ECONAMIQ is developing a novel engine technology which saves up to 20% in fuel consumption. The “ECONAMIQ principle” uses flexible over-expansion in combination with cylinder deactivation technology to increase performance and efficiency without significantly changing the engine layout or architecture. By over-expanding into adjacent de-activated cylinders, ECONAMIQ creates... Read more →

Researchers at the Dalian University of Technology have proposed a novel method to control premixed charge compression ignition (PCCI) phasing in internal combustion engines in all load operations. High-pressure air jet controlled compression ignition (JCCI) is based on a compound thermodynamic cycle and is implemented in a hybrid pneumatic engine... Read more →

Libertine FPE builds demo prototype of linear free piston generator

UK-based Libertine FPE has built a demonstration prototype of its linear electrical machine for what it is calling “Digital Piston Motion Control” in free piston engine applications. (Earlier post.) This technology will allow researchers to develop future combustion engines free from the piston motion constraints dictated by the crankshaft. Already... Read more →

DOE to award $55.8M for advanced vehicle technologies; $35M for fuel cell and hydrogen

US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced a new Vehicle Technologie program-wide funding opportunity (DE-FOA-0001201) for $55.8 million. DOE also announced up to $35 million to advance fuel cell and hydrogen technologies, including enabling the early adoption of fuel cell applications, such as light duty fuel cell electric vehicles. This new... Read more →

The H-engine—basically two separate engines housed within the same engine block—comprises two switchable parallel piston banks, independently fueled by gasoline and CNG. Click to enlarge. Startup Eco-Motive has developed what it calls the first dual-fuel “H” engine; it recently received a patent (#8807098) on the design. The H-shaped engine comprises... Read more →

Section of the MkII Clarke-Brayton split-cycle engine. Note the three different cylinder sizes. Air moves sequentially from induction (top cylinder) to combustion (middle cylinder) to expansion (bottom cylinder). Click to enlarge. Motiv Engines, LLC introduced the second-generation of its engine concept dubbed the MkII Clarke-Brayton Engine, which it intends to... Read more →

The Dearman liquid air engine—an innovative heat engine that uses liquid air (or liquid nitrogen) as a “fuel” and emits cold air as exhaust (earlier post)—completed its shakedown testing milestone at the end of 2013 at Imperial College, London, and is moving into a three-month program of tests and performance... Read more →

SEC issues cease-and-desist order against split-cycle engine developer Scuderi Group for violations of Securities Act

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a cease-and desist order against split-cycle engine developer Scuderi Group (earlier post) and its president, Salvatore Scuderi, as well as a $100,000-fine against Salvatore Scuderi for violations of the Securities Act including unregistered stock offerings and “misleading disclosures regarding the use... Read more →

Example power cycle of the cryogenic (e.g., liquid air) Dearman piston engine. Source: Dearman Engine Company. Click to enlarge. A new new forum for the advocacy and development of liquid air as an alternative technology to harness waste and surplus energy within power and transport—the Liquid Air Energy Network (LAEN)—has... Read more →

Isuzu D201 35 hp diesel engine (left) and the LiquidPiston 40 hp X2 Prototype (right). Click to enlarge. LiquidPiston, Inc. (LPI), the developer of engines based on its High Efficiency Hybrid Cycle (HEHC)(earlier post), introduced the latest version of its X-series of rotary engines embodying HEHC at the US Department... Read more →

A diagram of the powertrain components of the proposed hyMod. The front-wheel drive traction motor (blue) and in-floor 5 kWh battery pack (green) are always present. The car can change between a rear engine-pack (red) and a larger battery-pack (green) to enable hybrid or full EV operation. Click to enlarge.... Read more →

Design of opposed-cylinder free-piston linear generator from earlier works with single, centered linear generator. Click to enlarge. A researcher at the Nanjing University of Science & Technology is proposing a novel opposed-piston free-piston linear generator for use in series hybrid electric vehicles. According to his simulations, Ling Huang says, the... Read more →

Turbocharged HCPC engine scheme. Click to enlarge. A team from Universita degli Studi di Pisa (Italy) and Rolf Reitz at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are proposing a novel combustion concept—Homogenous Charge Progressive Combustion (HCPC)—based on a split-cycle principle to control HCCI combustion in diesel-fueled engines. Ettore Musu from the University... Read more →

A Fixed Pitch Continuously Variable Transmission (FPCVT) assembly with two FPCVT units connected in series. Source: Ken Hawthorn. Click to enlarge. Independent inventor Ken Hawthorn has been issued a US patent (Patent# 7,713,154) on a Fixed Pitch Continuously Variable Transmission (FPCVT) designed for higher torque applications. The FPCVT is the... Read more →

Schematic of the conceptual ideal piston engine used for the TCR study. The outer control volume (CV0) encloses the entire system. The upper inner control volume (CV1) contains the combustion chamber and piston. The lower inner control volume (CV2) contains the reformer and intercooler. When reforming is not used, the... Read more →

Prototype of a Bladon Micro-Jet engine. Click to enlarge. A consortium led by micro gas turbine company Bladon Jets recently secured investment from the UK Technology Strategy Board to develop an Ultra Lightweight Range Extender (ULRE) for next-generation electric vehicles. Total project cost is £2,206,784, with the TSB providing £1,103,392... Read more →

Schematic model of a wave disk engine, showing combustion and shockwaves within the channels. Source: MSU. Click to enlarge. Researchers from Michigan State University have been awarded $2.5 million from the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E program (earlier post) to complete its prototype development of a new gasoline-fueled wave disc engine... Read more →

Simplified pressure-volume curve for the Scuderi Engine. Source: Scuderi Group. Click to enlarge. Scuderi Group, LLC has released the first video footage (with sound) of its split-cycle Scuderi Engine prototype running, on its own, in the laboratory test cell. The two-minute video, the first to show the naturally-aspirated one-liter gasoline... Read more →

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... Read more →

Rendering of the Grail Engine. Click to enlarge. Grail Engine Technologies, the designer of a two-stroke engine using forced semi-homogeneous charged compression ignition (FS-HCCI) combustion, has adopted the Pulstar pulse plugs from Enerpulse (earlier post). The Pulstar product offers very high power spark discharge, on the order of 1MW, to... Read more →

Rad Max assembly. Source: REGI US. Click to enlarge. REGI US, Inc. and Reg Technologies Inc. have completed a final set of manufacturing drawings for the RadMax Diesel Engine, and have released them competitive bid. The companies are developing an improved axial vane type rotary engine known as the RadMax.... Read more →

The first registrant in the Challenge is Libralato Engines, developer of a novel rotary engine (cutaway shown) promising a 5.5% gain in combustion efficiency and 50% reduction in NOx emissions. Click to enlarge. The UK Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership is launching a Technology Challenge to provide a platform for promising... Read more →

The 2.4-liter X4V2 prototype was originally designed for an aviation application. Click to enlarge. Australia-based Revetec is designing what it calls the Controlled Combustion Engine (CCE)—a cam-drive gasoline spark-ignited internal combustion engine that is smaller, lighter, cleaner, less expensive to manufacture and that produces higher torque due to higher mechanical... Read more →

Rendering of the Ilmor 5-stroke concept engine. Click to enlarge. Ilmor Engineering will present a new cutaway version of the Ilmor 5-stroke concept engine at the upcoming Engine EXPO 2009, 16-18 June, in Stuttgart, Germany. Ilmor is a UK-based independent engine design, development, testing and manufacturing company, founded in 1984... Read more →

Exploded view of the OX2 Engine. Click to enlarge. Advanced Engine Technologies Inc. says it has reached the final development stage of its OX2 rotary engine, achieving a performance objective of more than 300 lb-ft (407 N·m) of torque along with 46 hp (34 kW) at an approximate operating speed... Read more →

Concept: Honda R&D Developing Variable Compression Ratio Engine with Dual Piston Mechanism

Engineers from Honda R&D Co., Ltd. presented a pair of papers at the SAE 2009 World Congress describing the development of a variable compression ratio (VCR) engine enabled by a dual piston mechanism. The compact VCR uses the inertia force of the piston and external hydraulic pressure to raise and... Read more →

Model of the working prototype. The engine is packaged as a research engine, with easy access for instrumentation, a balancer shaft, etc., not as a production unit. Click to enlarge. The Scuderi Group unveiled a cutaway model of the first proof-of-concept prototype for its Scuderi Split-Cycle Engine (earlier post) at... Read more →

One implementation of the two-cycle Reinhardt Turbine. Click to enlarge. A German company, vv-tec GmbH, is developing a compact piston-driven turbine—the Reinhardt Turbine, named after its inventor—that it says is a two-cycle (gas and steam) thermodynamic process machine that can be built with conventional components and can achieve efficiency of... Read more →

Lotus Engineering to Showcase Omnivore Engine Concept in Geneva

The Lotus Omnivore engine. Click to enlarge. Lotus Engineering will display a single-cylinder research engine monoblock demonstrating the architecture of the Omnivore engine concept at the upcoming 79th International Geneva Motor Show. (Earlier post.) The Omnivore was designed in collaboration with Queen’s University Belfast and Orbital Corporation Limited Australia for... Read more →

ETH Zürich Developing Pneumatic Hybrid Engine; Approaches Hybrid-Electric Performance at Lower Cost

Pneumatic hybrid engine on the test bench. Photo: P. Rüegg / ETH Zurich. Click to enlarge. Researchers at ETH Zürich are developing a pneumatic hybrid engine—an internal combustion engine connected to a compressed air tank instead of a battery system. A member of the ETH research team, which is led... Read more →

Stratified Charge Engine With Two-Stage Combustion Mechanism Shows 17% Reduction in Fuel Consumption Without Direct Injection

Two-stage combustion mechanism in twin swirl combustion (1, zone containing pure air; 2, spark plug; 3, turbulizer; and 4, zone containing the fuel-rich mixture). Click to enlarge. Credit: ACS A team of researchers from Istanbul Technical University (ITU) in Turkey has presented a 1.6-liter stratified charge gasoline engine featuring a... Read more →

Comparison Suggests Gasoline-Powered MUSIC Engine Could Exceed Diesel Efficiency

Comparison of the BTE of 2.0L MUSIC and 2.4L diesel at different load points. Click to enlarge. A recent comparison of a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder implementation of the Merritt Unthrottled Spark Ignition Combustion (MUSIC) engine, initially developed at Coventry University (earlier post) with a 2.4-liter diesel engine suggested that the gasoline-fueled... Read more →

Modeling a Free-Piston Engine Genset for Hybrid Applications

Cross-section of the FPLA. Click to enlarge. Researchers from Shanghai Jiaotong University in China have developed a new and more accurate computer model of the alternator component of the free-piston linear alternator (FPLA)—a two-stroke, free-piston engine combined with a linear alternator to generate electricity, with potential application in a hybrid... Read more →

Concept: Moller International Designs a PHEV with Short Flight Capability

Model of the Autovolantor. Moller International has completed the design of a 2-passenger sportscar capable of lifting off vertically and flying for about 15 minutes. Called the “autovolantor”, it is designed to function on the road very much like a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) until one gets stuck in... Read more →

Concept: Rotary Shaft Power Extraction from an Efficient, Free-Piston HCCI Engine

The mechanism for rotary power extraction uses a pair of one-way clutches (one clockwise, CW; the other counter-clockwise, CCW) attached to the power output end of the pivot shaft. Click to enlarge. Energy Transition Technology, Inc. (ETT) has devised a mechanism to extract direct rotary shaft power from its Free-Piston... Read more →

Frost & Sullivan Names Sanderson Engine Development Emerging Company of the Year

Frost & Sullivan recently recognized Sanderson Engine Development, LLC (SED) with the 2008 North American Frost & Sullivan Award for Emerging Company of the Year. Sanderson is the desinger of the Sanderson Rocker-Arm Mechanism (SRAM) for converting reciprocating motion into rotational motion without the use of a conventional crankshaft. (Earlier... Read more →

Concept: VGT Developing “Plug-in” Gasoline/Compressed Air Hybrid Based on the RoundEngine

Basic design of a two-piston RoundEngine. Click to enlarge. Canada’s VGT Technologies, the developer of the RoundEngine, has started development of a “plug-in” compressed air hybrid vehicle using the RoundEngine technology. In this application, “plug-in” refers to connecting to an external air compressor to top off the storage tanks. The... Read more →

Concept: Zajac Motors Proposes Split-Cycle Engine with Separate Combustion Chamber; 15% Improvement on Diesel Fuel Economy

Basic elements of the Zajac engine. Click to enlarge. Zajac Motors is developing a split-cycle engine concept that significantly prolongs fuel burn time through the use of a combustion chamber external to the compression and expansion piston chambers. John Zajac, who presented a poster session on his concept at the... Read more →

Concept Engine: Intermeshing Differential Rotors

The basic element of the IDR engine is two intermeshing rotors. Click to enlarge. A South African inventor has developed a new engine concept—the Intermeshing Differential Rotors (IDR) engine—intended to provide a better power-to-mass ratio, improved efficiency, reduced manufacturing cost and durability than current engines. The company commercializing the concept,... Read more →

Test of MUSIC Engine Shows 20% Improvement in Fuel Economy Over Conventional Gasoline Unit

MUSIC engine on the test bed. Recent testing of a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder implementation of the Merritt Unthrottled Spark Ignition Combustion (MUSIC) engine, initially developed at Coventry University, (earlier post) showed a 19.8% improvement in fuel economy compared to a baseline Ford 2.0L Duratec. MUSIC is an un-throttled, high thermal efficiency,... Read more →

ChangAn Displays FlexDI Concept Engine at Auto China 2008

The ChangAn CA18 FlexDI Concept Engine. Click to enlarge. ChangAn Auto, China’s fourth largest automotive manufacturer, is displaying a concept engine developed with Orbital at Auto China 2008 (the Beijing International Motor Show). The CA18 FlexDI concept engine, fitted with Orbital’s FlexDI combustion and direct injection systems (earlier post), was... Read more →

Virginia Tech and RIDE Partner on New Hydraulic Pump/Motor for Hydraulic Hybrid Vehicles

Virginia Tech and RIDE Inc. are working together to develop a hydraulic pump/motor for hydraulic hybrids based on the RIDE (Rotational Inertial Dampening Engine) technology. (Earlier post.) Al Kornhauser, associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech, who specializes in internal combustion engines, fuel cells, and other... Read more →

Concept: New Piston/Scavenging Loop Engine for Performance Boost

A 4-stroke cycle with the Creel Loop engine. Click to enlarge. A small engine company, Creel Loop LLC, based in Louisiana, is working with a new patented piston design that, in combination with a scavenging loop engine design, functions essentially as a low-cost, naturally-aspirated supercharger to enhance the overall performance... Read more →

Researchers Propose On-Board Fuel Processing with Carbon Capture for Zero-GHG, Hydrogen-Fueled Combustion Engine Vehicles

The vision of a sustainable carbon economy for transportation relies on the on-board conversion of a liquid hydrocarbon fuel with CO2 capture and recycling. Click to enlarge. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are exploring a conceptual strategy to capture, store and eventually recycle carbon dioxide emissions from mobile... Read more →

SwRI Full-Load Study of Scuderi Split-Cycle Engine Indicates Higher Power, Torque and Efficiency Than Conventional Engines of Equal Displacement

The first independent laboratory study of the Scuderi Split-Cycle Engine (earlier post) under full-load conditions indicates that a gasoline-fueled version of the engine will have higher power, torque and efficiency ratings than the current state-of-the-art turbocharged gasoline engines of equal displacement on the road today. The Full Load (FL) Study... Read more →

Pintle-Regulated Venturi Induction Prototype Car Delivers 48.1 MPG in EPA Certified Highway Testing

The pintle-regulated venturi concept. Click to enlarge. Independent testing of PRV Performance’s Pintle-Regulated Venturi Induction prototype car (a Honda Civic, earlier post) delivered 48.1 mpg in the EPA highway test. Carbon dioxide emissions were 106 g/km. Testing was performed at Environmental Testing Corporation in Aurora, Colorado. The company has worked... Read more →

Concept: Plug-In Hybrid Drive Retrofit for Heavy-Duty Trucks

The hybrid conversion concept. Click to enlarge. A pair of Australian inventors have developed a concept for a retrofitted electric drive unit to convert conventional heavy-duty transport vehicles to plug-in hybrids. The retrofit concept uses a bogie axle drive to create a through-the-road hybrid drive that can reduce fuel consumption... Read more →

REGI US Completes Prototype RadMax Pump

Rad Max undergoes spin testing connected to standard Bridgeport. REGI US, Inc. and Reg Technologies have completed a prototype, proof-of-concept pump that is suitable for customer demonstrations. The RadMax Rad Max, based on RandCam/RadMax sliding-vane rotary engine technology (earlier post), is a 12-vane device that produces 48 pump actions every... Read more →

Pintle-Regulated Venturi Induction System Shows Improved Fuel Economy, Reduced Emissions

Cutaway rendering of the PRV system. Click to enlarge. A Colorado company, PRV Performance, has developed a prototype Pintle-Regulated Venturi (PRV) induction system that replaces a conventional intake manifold with a Venturi for each cylinder of the engine; a fuel injector directly feeding into the throat of the Venturi; and... Read more →

Cyclone Power Technologies Develops Waste Heat Engine Offshoot of External Combustion Engine

Cyclone Power Technologies Inc. has developed and has filed a patent application on a Waste Heat Engine (WHE), a technology off-shoot of its external combustion Green Revolution Engine. (Earlier post.) Like the Green Revolution Engine (GRE), the WHE is an external combustion engine. Unlike its more powerful counterpart, however, the... Read more →