The four stroke internal combustion engine is the most popular configuration ever devised but ever since its inception, there has been a multitude of attempts to invent something better and much more efficient.
One of the most promising candidates was the Wankel Rotary Engine. It, however, was not able to usurp the four-stroke engine’s position as the king of engines. Today, the Opposed Piston Opposed Cylinder Engine is the most promising candidate for a replacement.
The OPOC Engine is funded by Bill Gates and Navistar and is developed by EcoMotors. Navistar is a manufacturer of commercial and military trucks. Though promising regarding its engineering, the OPOC Engine has yet to prove that it’s a good alternative to the four strokes internal combustion engine. The OPOC Engine has a couple of opposing cylinders positioned opposite to each other about the central crankshaft. Two pistons move in opposite directions in each cylinder. This unique design improves the efficiency of the engine design as well as makes it more compact. In fact, the OPOC engine is comprised of only half of the parts of an equivalent four stroke engine. The futuristic engine is also more economical and emits lower exhaust fumes than the traditional engine.
Though the configuration of the engine might be innovative, there is nothing that’s really new regarding its components.
The parts are relatively conventional. Same goes for the processes that it performs. The combustion chamber receives injected fuel at the end of compression. The shorter inner pistons pull, the longer outer pistons pull after ignition. There being two pistons in a cylinder makes their strokes much shorter allowing the crankshaft to achieve higher rotation speeds thus improving the efficiency and the power generated by the engine.Continue on Page 2 below