This looks promising. It is basically a continuous combustion wave turbine. While not super powerful in this early design and not intended to replace a V-8 it can be brought to market for a hybrid vehicle application soon, according to the researcher. See the video below. While they’ve got a focus on CO2 for the usual reasons, I’ll take increased efficiency any day.
Researchers from Michigan State University have been awarded $2.5 million from the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E program to complete its prototype development of a new gasoline-fueled wave disc engine and electricity generator that promises to be five times more efficient than traditional auto engines in electricity production, 20% lighter, and 30% cheaper to manufacture.
The wave disc engine, a new implementation of wave rotor technology, was earlier developed by the Michigan State group in collaboration with researchers from the Warsaw Institute of Technology. About the size of a large cooking pot, the novel, hyper-efficient engine could replace current engine/generator technologies for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
The award will allow a team of MSU engineers and scientists, led by Norbert Müller, an associate professor of mechanical engineering, to begin working toward producing a vehicle-size wave disc engine/generator during the next two years, building on existing modeling, analysis and lab experimentation they have already completed.
Our goal is to enable hyper-efficient hybrid vehicles to meet consumer needs for a 500-mile driving range, lower vehicle prices, full-size utility, improved highway performance and very low operating costs. The WDG also can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 95 percent in comparison to modern internal combustion vehicle engines.
The Wave Disk Generator revolutionizes auto efficiency at lower vehicle costs. Currently, 15% of automobile fuel is used for propulsion; the other 85% is wasted. A Wave Disk Generator hybrid uses 60% of fuel for vehicle propulsion.
MSU’s shock wave combustion generator is the size of a cooking pot and generates electricity very efficiently. This revolutionary generator replaces today’s 1,000 pounds of engine, transmission, cooling system, emissions, and fluids resulting in a lighter, more fuel-efficient electric vehicle. This technology provides 500-mile-plus driving range, is 30% lighter, and 30% less expensive than current, new plug-in hybrid vehicles. It overcomes the cost, weight, and driving range challenges of battery-powered electric vehicles.
This development exceeds national CO2 emission reduction goals for transportation. A 90% reduction is calculated in CO2 emissions versus gasoline engine vehicles. Wave Disk Generator application scales as small as motor scooters and as large as delivery trucks, due to its small size, low weight, and low cost. This technology enables us to radically improve the atmosphere and human health of major global cities.
Last week, the prototype was presented to the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), this video was released: