Published on June 26th, 2008 | by Nick Chambers
Low Cost Gas Engine Innovation Doubles Fuel Economy
Revetec, a little known company from the Gold Coast region of Australia, may be on to something huge: they’ve created an engine that is 50% smaller, 50% lighter, has 50% lower emissions and is cheaper to manufacture than a conventional internal combustion engine of the same horsepower. Oh yeah, did I mention that it doubles the fuel economy too.
What that means is a car like the 2007 Toyota Yaris, which is rated at 40 mpg on the highway, would get 80 mpg with a Revetec engine.
In personal communication with Mr. Brad Howell-Smith, the Chairman, Inventor and CAD Designer for Revetec, he says “road tests have estimated that [the engine] uses around 50% less fuel than a conventional engine” and if it were converted to run on diesel, that performance gain could be much higher.
Also, because the engine delivers higher torque, and can perform and operate well at much lower rpm’s than a conventional one, the noise levels are lower.
To illustrate how serious he is, Mr. Howell-Smith said that since 2001 his company has been in touch with the US Military Head of R&D for the Southern Hemisphere on a “regular basis” for the purpose of developing one of their engines for light aircraft.
The current prototype engine, the X4v2, is what Revetec calls a “controlled combustion engine.” The meat of the engine comprises two counter rotating multilobate cams, which are acted upon by two pairs of diametrically opposed pistons which are rigidly interlinked by connecting rods.
If that sounds like complete gibberish to you, you’re not alone. Which is why I included an animation of the process to the left. A more simplified animation of the general motion of an engine of this sort is also included below.
Mr. Howell-Smith said that “if [the engine] uses 50% less fuel given that it has the same top end as a conventional engine, emissions would be reduced by 50% if the bottom end was utilized.”
What does all that stuff about “bottom end” and “top end” mean? The X4v2 has a huge amount of torque over a much larger range of rpm’s than a conventional internal combustion engine.
If a person were to drive a vehicle fitted with this engine in a non-aggressive fashion and keep the rpm’s at the “bottom end” (meaning no “jack-rabbit” starts) they could expect to see a 50% reduction in emissions.
Alternatively, according to Mr. Howell-Smith, a person could see a 30% reduction in fuel use and a 30% reduction in emissions if they used the full acceleration power of the X4v2 all the time. This would provide a 20% increase in acceleration capabilities.
We could debate about whether or not the internal combustion engine has a place in the future of transportation or whether it’s going to be all-electric or fuel cell or whatever… but in the meantime, Revetec has a product that could revolutionize the the transportation industry now, and provide a much needed large reduction in fuel consumption and emissions.
Just imagine a bunch of 80 mpg Toyota Yarises (Yarisi??) running around all over the place. A little scary, I know, but… an 80 mpg conventional automobile? I must be dreaming, wake me up before I get too excited.
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Image Credits: Revetec