Combining the power of a
turbine engine with the efficiency of a piston engine.
In its basic form, the engine can be generally described as a crank-less, two stroke, radial cylinder, rotary engine. In lieu of a rotating crankshaft, the cylinders and pistons instead rotate around two stationary shafts defining their own respective centers. As the combustion gas inside the cylinder expands, the offset between the two center of rotations provide the relative reciprocating action making it possible to impart rotational motion to the cylinders. Configured with paired opposing cylinders, the engine forms a balanced rotor that is capable of high speed operation comparable to a turbine engine. In two stroke mode, that means a power stroke from each cylinder for every engine revolution.
The Design Advantage: Simple Design and Operation Flexibility
With the engine directly fed by a turbo or a supercharger, the piston functions as a valve controlling the exhaust gas and the intake charge. The simple design eliminates the need for overhead valve train, while leaving the space under piston isolated for possible pressurized oil lubrication of the bearings. Unlike the conventional two stroke engine, the combustion chamber operates oil-free. By utilizing electronic-controlled ignition and fuel injection, the engine can thus operate efficiently as 2 stroke, 4-stroke (pseudo) or program-optimized to fire only when needed for even higher efficiency. Both are self-powered through charging coils mounted on top of each cylinder head. The fuel injection and ignition are triggered independently, with mode of operation and timing controlled via a series of selectable electromagnets (stationary) spanning +/-45 degrees before and after the engine TDC. By activating the respective electromagnet, the precise fuel delivery and ignition timing is achieved as the head-mounted sensor is triggered. The symmetrical engine design makes forward and reverse engine rotation possible via electronic switching. Unlike the conventional internal combustion engine's rotating crankshaft, the PiTurb's non-rotating shaft can be adjusted/positioned on-the-fly for optimum performance. Moving the piston's rotational center relative to the cylinder's center of rotation can effectively change the engine's compression ratio allowing use of various fuel grades.
The engine's design simplicity (lower cost to manufacture), flexibility in mode of operation (economy or performance), makes it's potential applications a wide open range. Considering the power to weight ratio and its low profile, the engine may be a worthy contender in the auto industry. It's flat engine layout should enable lower center of gravity for better handling, and sleeker body for lower drag coefficient. The engine's high rotational speed in combination with its vertical axis oriented rotation lends the possibility of using the engine as stabilizer for a smoother ride and better turning control. Hence a light car can dynamically exhibit the properties of a heavy car able to run smoothly over bumpy/rough road by utilizing the engine's gyroscopic effect. Combining power, comfort, sporty handling, with possible economy mode operation... may forever change people's perception of small cars.