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Directory:Linear Combustion Electromagnetic Engines

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See also Directory:Linear Motors and Generators

Index of designs and companies promoting designs in which a linear two-piston system drives magnets by induction coils to generate electricity, so that the output energy of combustion is electricity, not torque.



Free Piston Engine

  • High-Efficiency Generators for Hybrid Vehicles - An unconventional engine design is attracting attention as a potential alternative to hydrogen fuel cells or conventional engines in some hybrid vehicles. Called the free-piston engine, it could be used to generate electricity as efficiently as fuel cells yet cost less. (MIT Technology review; Sept. 30, 2008)

Pempek Systems

  • Free Piston Power Pack - The FP3 is a most efficient, low cost, elegant electric generator module of exceptional power density. Operation is based on 'free pistons' (unrestrained by con-rods or crank shaft) being driven back and forth inside cylinders by controlled internal combustion. Permanent magnets are attached to these pistons and move through stator coils, thus generating electric power.

Compression ratio and stroke, as well as exhaust valve timing and lift, are software controlled rather than through conventional mechanical means. The result is mechanical simplicity, unequalled efficiency and extremely low harmful emissions.


The new Volvo version has 2 separate pistons firing in the middle. Project is presently low key.

Czech Linear Combustion Engine project

Image:Czech Linear Combustion Engine diagram 600.gif

The project is being developed at the department of Control engineering of the Czech technical university in cooperation with Josef Božek Research center of Engine and Automotive Engineering.

  • The Linear Combustion Engine - Researchers are developing a linear combustion engine, with two opposing pistons at either end of a cylinder. The design promises greater efficiency than rotary combustion engines, but it requires sophisticated control electronics to keep the system in check. Because the compression ratio can be variable, it will run on a wide variety of fuels. (EcoGeek; Mar. 17, 2007)

Sandia Laboratories

On March 22, 2007, New Energy Congress member, Ken Rauen wrote:

Sandia Laboratories is working on a linear ICE, a "flying piston" engine. It is a homogeneous charge compression ignition engine, HCCI, a new kind of diesel engine. It has been demonstrated at 50% efficiency, but has engineering design issues yet. It aspirates air and fuel like a carbureted engine, yet it is able, when conditions are right, to compress the mixture without detonation before the time is right - that is the key.

As I have heard about the Sandia research, it has been tricky to get it right. If combustion occurs before the right time, power is reduced and the engine quickly stalls. With the free piston, no damage is done, unlike the piston designs, where damage can be done. Early ignition in a crankshaft piston engine can cause severe damage!


  • (German) - A linear combustion design that is - according to their website - ready for production. Stelzer's linear motor was developed in the 80's and has been described by Nieper in one of his books. The site is in German but with lots of illustrations and an animation on the working of the motor. The site is one of those old static types, and it's all made in image form, so automatic translation algorithms don't work on it.

On March 22, 2007, New Energy Congress member, Sepp Hasslberger wrote:

The following page: shows that he also thought to use the motor as a linear generator. It is only a question of attaching an external linear generator, which is driven by the motor's oscillations of the piston.

Here is a design of how the motor could be used as a generator for a hybrid car.

This other page instead shows the use of the motor to drive a turbine (to change the oscillatory motion into a rotary one) by using a hollowed-out piston, which would impel a liquid to run a turbine.

The particular advantage of the motor is that it has only one moving part. No valves are needed.

It seems to me that the inventor, who is now 73 years old, is not very active in pushing the motor, not having had any requests and no positive feedback for years. He says the motor is ready for production, but has not found anyone who would be interested in producing it and putting the invention to good use.

On March 23, 2007. Branko Jermanis wrote:

  • Nikola Tesla and my thoughts has Tesla's style (turbine) motor. Modification like this, can be simple, long working, and high power machine.

Non-Electric Output Linear Combustion Engines

Kazimierz Holubowicz

  • Gun Engine - Canadian inventor, Kazimierz Holubowicz, has come up with an environmentally friendly and transmission-free engine based on the same mechanics as how a bullet is shot from a gun. Initial test results showed 92% efficiency.


"From memory horizontally opposed two piston engines were in use aboard ship in the late '60's and I seem to remember that one type could work on coal dust. Has anyone done any desk research on this?" -- Andrew [Ferrand] Stobart


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