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Directory:Wave Disk Engine
This Wave Disk Engine is unlike any conventional internal combustion engine. It does not utilize pistons, crankshafts, valves, cooling systems, spark plugs, and many other components of conventional engines. A transmission would not even be needed! Instead, it utilizes a circular disk with many curved channels. Fuel and air enter through inlets positioned around the center of the disk. As the rotor spins, the fuel in each channel is suddenly blocked from escaping. This results in a rapid build up of pressure which results in a shock wave being generated. The shock wave causes the fuel to ignite. As the rotor continues to spin and the chamber reaches an outlet, the hot gases from the combusted fuel are able to rapidly exit. This produces a thrust that makes the disk spin.
The benefits reaped by a vehicle using this technology would be many. Due to the reduced number of parts, the weight of a vehicle could be dramatically reduced. It has been estimated for the same horsepower, a Wave Disk Engine could weigh a thousand pounds less than a conventional engine. This weight savings could translate into additional fuel savings or could be used to add additional features to the vehicle.
Of course having fewer parts does not only save weight, but also means there are less components that need maintenance, repair, or replacement. This would probably save an end user quite a bit of money. There would be no need for oil changes every 3,000 miles, no need for new spark plugs during tune ups, no need to add anti-freeze, and hopefully fewer embedded computers. Mom and pop car repair garages might actually be able to work on new vehicles again, without thousands of dollars in sophisticated computerized diagnostic equipment!
The "greenest" and most ecologically in tune enviro-gurus of our age should also like this engine. Most internal combustion engines (ICE) only convert about 20% of their fuel into energy.  The Wave Disk Engine is thought to be able to increase this figure up to 60% or higher. The practical result could be a MPG rating of three to four times that of today's vehicles. In an age of ever increasing gasoline prices, this could help keep the average person's wallet a bit heavier.
In addition to all the above benefits, the technology is also claimed to produce 90% less emissions than ordinary internal combustion engines.
Instead of powering a vehicle, the Wave Disk Engine could also provide the mechanical energy to turn the rotor of an electrical generator. It would be capable of producing electricity at a far lower rate of fuel consumption than any traditional generator on the market.
A few other features of this technology include its ability to be scaled up and down in size, experience less physical stress than internal combustion engines, can be designed to burn hydrogen, and could be built at a much lower costs. Not only could a vehicle using this technology provide tremendous fuel savings, but could also cost less up front as well!
- "Norbert Mueller, MSU associate professor of mechanical engineering, discusses his wave disk generator." (YouTube; Oct 29, 2009)
How It Works
- 30 percent cheaper to manufacture
- 3-5 times more efficient than traditional auto engines in electricity production
- 20 percent lighter
This novel, ultrahigh efficiency engine could:
- Replace current backup generator technology of Serial Plug-in Hybrid Electric vehicles.
- Be used as a basis for CHP in homes and businesses.
Inventor: Norbert Mueller
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Norbert Mueller of Michigan State University http://www.msu.edu/ is the inventor of the Wave Disk Engine. His current prototype is very small, but he hopes to build a larger version capable of powering a car by the end of the year. He was recently awarded a $2.5 million dollar research grant http://arpa-e.energy.gov/ProgramsProjects/OtherProjects/VehicleTechnologies/WaveDiskEngine.aspx by the Department of Energy.
Other researchers on the team include Patrick Kwon, professor, mechanical engineering; Tonghun Lee, assistant professor, mechanical engineering; Fang Peng, professor, electrical and computer engineering; Elias Strangas, associate professor, electrical and computer engineering; and Indrek Wichman, professor, mechanical engineering.
- Pressure Gains across rotor - IMECE2004-59022; by J Piechna - Cited by 11 - Related articles; baseline engine due to the pressure gain across the wave rotor. .....  Weber, H. E., 1995, Shock Wave Engine Design, John. Wiley and Sons, New York. ...
In the News
- Featured: Fuel Efficiency > Engines > new: Wave Disc Engine >
Wave Disk Engine Sips Fuel - The Wave Disk Engine offers many benefits, including massive boosts in fuel efficiency (2-3x), very low emissions, weight reduction to 30%, and a simple setup with few parts. (PESN and BeforeItsNews; April 14, 2011)
- Wave Disk Engine – New engine design from MSU and ARPA-E that sounds too good to be true. (How Stuff Works, Mar 18 2011)
- Awarded grant: Wave Disc Engine – (Economic Stimulus Funding / MSU News; Jan 1, 2010)
- MSU receives $2.5 million DOE award to build advanced hybrid engine - Michigan State University researchers have received a $2.5 million federal stimulus grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to build a prototype new engine and generator technology that can dramatically improve efficiencies and reduce costs of electric hybrid vehicles. (MSU News; Oct 29 2009)
MSU University Relations
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Office: (517) 355-2281
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