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The prototype being tested in Berkeley is a version of a one-cylinder, four-stroke opposed piston gasoline engine designed to power scooters and three-wheel auto rickshaws in Asia. Pinnacle executives said that hours of testing verified by an independent company showed that the engine was 30 percent more efficient than current scooter engines while emitting fewer pollutants.
Executives said software simulations indicated that an automotive version of its Cleeves Cycle engine would increase the fuel economy of a Fiat to 59 miles a gallon from 33 with no performance loss. EcoMotors is also claiming up to a 50 percent improvement in efficiency for its two-stroke diesel opposed piston engine being developed for heavy-duty trucks.
Conventional two-stroke engines emit more greenhouse gases and are commonly found in scooters, lawnmowers and outboard boat engines. The key, he said, was high power output and an electrically controlled turbocharger that resulted in a small lightweight engine with emissions comparable to a four-stroke power plant.
Runkle, noting that a module can be shut down when full power is not needed, saving fuel.
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Ford claims a 20 percent improvement in fuel economy and a 15 percent reduction in emissions from its gas-turbo, direct-injection EcoBoost technology. Hoge, a former executive at the engine maker Cummins.
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Invalid email address. Please re-enter. The hotter a piston gets, the bigger it gets and starts to lose its geometry, causing it to grab the cylinder wall. So the ability to create cooling channels within a piston while it is being 3D printed is groundbreaking. And Delebinski notes, a piston that stays cooler can run at higher speeds and achieve higher power density. In customer programs, the supplier has used 3D printing to fabricate cylinder heads. The supplier sees these gains as important because cylinder heads face extreme thermal and mechanical loads.
Plus, demand for increasing power density from engines combined with the use of alternative fuels such as compressed natural gas results in far higher peak cylinder pressures. But for now, the focus is on pistons, and Dolan says IAV will have a 3D-printed piston running in a prototype diesel engine fairly soon. IAV is not a manufacturing company but instead helps automakers and suppliers design, test and analyze new technologies.
Producing pistons with 3D printing is not cheap, so the transition will take time.
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But Dolan says 3D printers can be built to fabricate as many as 40 pistons at one time. BY REPLACING a few large pistons with many small ones, an Australian inventor claims to have built an engine that minimises the energy losses and wear and tear that arise from the friction and vibration that afflict conventional engines. The engine is ready to undergo independent testing at universities in the US. Because the new engine ensures that fuel is completely burnt, it should produce virtually no noxious exhaust fumes.
It can run on low-grade fuels such as coconut oil and fuel mixtures containing up to 60 per cent steam by volume. Mayne has spent the past six years developing the prototype. He reconfigured a two-stroke engine so that it is driven by a number of small pistons firing simultaneously, instead of a few larger ones acting one at a time, as in conventional engines.
He claims that by spreading the workload in this way, each piston burns fuel more efficiently, and the pistons can run at a lower speed, reducing wear and tear. The prototype is soon to be put through its paces at the University of Michigan, which will test its suitability for use in cars.
Researchers at the University of Houston will test it for aerospace applications, particularly helicopters. The engine is essentially circular with the crankshaft running through the centre. In the latest prototype, there are 48 pistons positioned around the rim of the circle, each one pointing towards the shaft. Each piston cycle of firing turns the central shaft through 30 degrees, so it takes 12 cycles and individual piston firings to take the shaft through a complete revolution.