This innovation relates to the field of opposed piston internal combustion engines (OP-ICE) having two pistons in one cylinder configured to have facing heads. Specifically, this engine (hereinafter “the Engine”) architecture shows the following features relative to a comparable design:
- Compact size: The new architecture solves a size issue. Allows the width of the engine block to be reduced by 30% and thus allows it to be installed in a horizontal position even in compact vehicles, maintaining a low center of gravity and proper balance and lubrication of the mechanical assembly.
- Improved performance: the design allows an improved angular position of the crankpin journal relative to the cylinder axis, at the moment of maximum compression. The better angle of the lever arm at the moment of fuel combustion results in an improvement in torque.
- Volumetrically self-sufficient: In embodiments, the invention dispenses with the need for an external compressor, because the design includes, in embodiments, an embedded compressor chamber through a new piston and cylinder combination. The engine enables the performance of the entire typical thermodynamic cycle of admission, compression, combustion, and exhaust, and a compression that meets the volumetric requirements, including exhaust gas sweeping and overload in the cylinder for each revolution.
In terms of OP-ICE manufacturability, it’s worth quoting Achates Power qualified opinion in the field: “… Opposed-Piston Engine uses standard materials and processes, it can take advantage of the common manufacturing methods, tools and facilities currently employed by OEMs around the world. With a relatively modest re-tooling expense, the opposed-piston engine can be produced in existing engine manufacturing plants. Existing components can be modified for use in opposed-piston engines. A recent study by FEV concludes that OP engines are 11% less expensive than conventional engines of the same power and torque. The OP engine design saves in reduced aftertreatment system size and expense (due to the inherently low NOx capabilities of the architecture) and by eliminating the cylinder head and valve train. The OP engine is more efficient, sets new benchmarks in low emissions, and is less expensive to build.”
Climate Change urges us to neutralize emissions from all sectors. Automotive experts have defined the efficiency vectors: powertrain electrification; next generation ICE; disruptive aftertreatment systems and cleaner fuels.
Breaking News!! … On May 25th 2022, the HYDROGEN OPPOSED PISTON ENGINE WORKING GROUP was born, making visible the commitment of a leading group of skilled stakeholders with emissions reduction: universities; automotive engineering and oil&gas companies riase the HOPE flag as founding members. The OP-ICE is already moving towards production, for military and heavy-duty operations.
Since always, when a technology in the automotive field results in a cost-efficient solution, it is massively adopted for the benefit of all fleets.
Due to the fact that two opposing pistons share the same cylinder, the OP ICE architecture has eventually been criticized for being "too expansive" to fit in any vehicle.
The Engine overcomes space restrictions for proper fitting of the OP-ICE arrangement in light duty vehicles.