As wonderful as hybrid engines are, they’re still stuck in an arranged marriage with the internal combustion engine. But researchers at Michigan State University have developed an incredible new way of jumping over this filthy twentieth century hurdle. The prototype they’ve created requires no transmission, crankshaft, pistons, valves, fuel compression, cooling systems or fluids. Termed the Wave Disk Generator™, the design could vastly blow away the efficiency of current gas-electric hybrid automobiles and also reduce auto emissions up to 90% when compared with conventional combustion engines. The wave-like channels of the engine’s rotor are capable of trapping and mixing the oxygen with the fuel as the rotor spins. Central “inlets” are blocked, thereby building up pressure in the chamber resulting in a shock wave that ignites the compressed air and fuel to produce the energy. The WDG uses 60% of its fuel for propulsion, while standard car engines use just 15%. As a result, the generator is 3.5 times more fuel efficient than typical combustion engines. What’s more, the researchers have calculated the WDG design could reduce a vehicle’s weight by 1000 pounds by the elimination of the old dinosaur engine. Michigan State’s team of engineers are busy at work getting a full version car built by the end of 2011.
Source: Discovery News