Niche Applications for Internal Combustion

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Some believe that the internal combustion engine (ICE) is a dying technology when faced with newer technologies on the horizon (e.g. electric and fuel cell vehicles). While batteries and fuel cells may be the way of the future, for the short and even medium term, the ICE will dominate.

Capable of converting only 30% of the energy in petroleum into mechanical work, conventional ICEs waste energy, and are noisy and dirty. With an estimated $275 billion engine industry, ICE improvements can make huge impacts in the environmental footprint, fuel efficiency, and financial savings associated with our engine usage.

Nikolay Shkolnik, an engineer and physicist, and his son Alexander Shkolnik, a computer scientist, form the father and son team responsible for designing a novel, internal combustion engine design based on an innovative thermodynamic cycle they have termed the High-Efficiency Hybrid Cycle (HEHC). Borrowing elements from the Otto, Diesel, Atkinson, and Rankine cycle, the HEHC optimizes each stroke of the rotary engine, maximizing fuel efficiency while minimizing engine noise and exhaust gas.

The company is targeting a real-world thermal efficiency of 57% with the X2, their latest prototype. The X2 has double the efficiency of a perfectly performing, conventional ICE, can operate using multiple fuel types, and is 1/10 the size of a comparable diesel engine.

LiquidPiston is pursuing niche markets such as engines for auxiliary power units, long-haul and heavy duty trucks, boats, locomotives, and hybrid range-extenders. In addition, the military has expressed particular interest in LiquidPiston’s design, as it has need for high-efficiency engines in tanks, unmanned aerial vehicles, and robots.

Niche Applications for Internal Combustion, 4.0 out of 5 based on 3 ratings

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