Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Square Piston Engine

Today in my NASA Tech Briefs I found an article about a new internal combustion engine. I shouldn’t like this engine for two reasons - first, its an internal combustion engine. I think the green future we all want doesn’t have internal combustion engines (or they run on hydrogen). Second, this is a two stroke engine, you know, like a chain saw engine. Think lots of blue smoke.

The Square Piston Engine (SPEC) doesn’t blow blue smoke and it represents a big improvement over current 2 stroke designs.

With millions of 2 stroke engines being produced every year, this real improvement is very welcome.

From NASA Tech Briefs:

In essence, the SPEC has a superior power to weight ratio compared to exsiting two-stroke engines. However, more importantly, it has significantly reduced emissions achieved by more complete combustion and a closed loop oiling system. The engine is also modular in design, which provides significant manufacturing flexibility.

The SPEC engine provides a number of benefits over existing engine design. These include:

The engine is two-stroke by design, providing a superior power to weight ratio over comparable four-stroke engines. It leverages existing engine technologies but eliminates the inherent disadvantages of current two-stroke engines.

The engine has just 3 moving parts. This means it has a low cost to manufacture and is simple to maintain.

The engine is modular. Multi-cylinder engines are made up by simply bolting together with a common crankshaft. This feature provides flexibility and a lower cost manufacture.

Check out the very cool and short video: SPEC Engine

More at: NASA

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