Ecomotors Opoc Engine
Three decades ago, Volkswagen engineer Peter Hofbauer found himself staring at a Beetle engine's cylinder head—that awkward slab of metal sitting on the combustion chamber—and wondering, Can't we just replace that thing with more pistons? The answer turned out to be yes, so he eventually started a company, EcoMotors, to do just that. The company's product is the opposed-piston, opposed-cylinder engine: OPOC. Each OPOC engine consists of two horizontal cylinders, each contain- ing two opposite-facing pistons. Twice the pistons per cylinder equals almost twice the power. OPOC weighs 30 percent less than the most efficient turbodiesel engines, and it has the highest thermal efficiency of any automotive engine in the world, converting as much as 50 percent of the energy in gasoline or diesel fuel into propulsion. A small OPOC-powered car could approach 100 mpg.
In 2010, Bill Gates and venture capitalist Vinod Khosla invested $23 million in EcoMotors, and this year the company signed development deals with a Chinese automotive supplier and the commercial truck manufacturer Navistar. Next it will demo a 1.2-liter, 160-horsepower OPOC in a compact sedan. Hofbauer says the engine is five to seven years away from commercialization, which would put it on the market well before federal fuel-economy standards rise to 54.5 mpg.
so its two single stroke engines head to head or is it fuel injection and spark plug? diesel or gas? hmmm off to go investigate the specifics i guess
This is a pulling-rod opposed-piston engine design which has been around for a century. While this appears to be a well engineered revival of the concept, it isn't all that original. Google "Doxford"
I see room for improvement... :)
I feel this could have been made and produce years ago, but is only going to be release much later, under the guise of 'advance technology marketing jargon'.
I am happy to see it come. But sad to see it comes so late.
I assume the design was passed over in years past because of the complexity of it. There wasn't as much need to squeeze every last bit of efficiency out of engines until gasoline prices stayed high. Hopefully they can design it to be very reliable.
Also, I don't know if it's form factor will easily fit in the small space required for today's transversely mounted drive-trains. They may need to revise the design so the cylinder is oriented vertically rather than horizontally, though that may affect the efficiency of the opposed-piston setup, as well as causing lubrication issues for the upper pistons crank shaft, though there are existing designs that mitigate that issue.
@monkeybuttons Complexity? Its simpler than normal flat-pack motors if you ask me!
Infact Porsche could with ease adapt their current flat six motors to fit this design!
Locating the cylinder from front to back and re engineering the trans axle could allow it to be front mounted. But here's the question, why isn't Detroit working along the same lines or beating down this guys door to buy it from him?
Is this much like the Sterling Engine which has gained new in interest in the last several decades?