Get out your cook-meters folks, we got a live one.
A new engine design patented by Turbine Truck Engines, Inc. (TTE) takes the best aspects of turbines and engines and attempts to synergize them. Currently in the 5th generation of design, the “Eng-bine” (maybe “Tur-gine”?) boasts:
- no pistons or valves, and uses no lube oil, filters or pumps
- uses over 30% less fuel than current engine technologies
- significantly reduces nitrogen oxide (NO, NO2, N2O2) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions
- operates on all fuels: hydrocarbon, hydrogen and synthetic
- has flex-fuel and mixed fuels capability
- has few moving parts, requiring less maintenance
- has a high power-to-weight ratio
- is lightweight (less than 2 lbs. per hp)
- is air cooled
- has cold start capability
First, Turbine Truck Engines, Inc is a publicly traded company (TTEG) that just formed an alliance with a premier Chinese manufacturing company, Tianjin Outsky Technology, Inc.
Secondly, the upside is tremendous. The flex fuel capability combined with the potential increases in fuel efficiency make this engine a revolutionary product. It also holds promise as a low-maintenance alternative to traditional engines. I could also see this product with applications in electricity production; the quick start-up time and high efficiency make it an ideal candidate for hybrid-renewable power systems.
So how does it work?
Instead of using pistons, a turbine that looks almost like a Pelton wheel is spun by carefully timed combustion in the “EIC” chambers. Air is supplied by a single blower, fuel is supplied by separate fuels lines for each chamber. They claim that the timing is a result of the different lengths of fuel lines as shown below. The chamber at the end of the blue arrows will detonate first, since the line is shorter (Not sure if I buy this).
Once combustion occurs, the backpressure through the air line causes the second combustion chamber to recieve the next ‘dose’ of air-fuel. The second chamber then detonates, sending the air-fuel back to the first chamber. Rinse, repeat.
There are a couple of things that worry me about the system (especially since i just bought a bunch of their stock).
- Why is it running at 16,000 RPMs? It seems like they’re testing the product unloaded. It would be interesting to see the engine run with a load on the system.
- The engine sounds absurdly loud.
- The CEO was formerly a real estate developer.
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