Is it possible to improve the efficiency of a Wankel rotary engine with an upgraded configuration, reducing emissions in the process?
This question, and more like it, will be analysed by AIE (UK) Ltd as part of their low carbon vehicle feasibility study, awarded by the Niche Vehicle Network in November 2016.
The feasibility study grant, which is sponsored by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles and Innovate UK, will enable AIE to conduct detailed research into the viability of a new solution; the RISE Concept, or Rotary Intake for SPARCS Engine.
New Solutions for Rotary Hybrid Power
Through the feasibility study award, AIE aims to identify the best possible port configuration for the Wankel rotary engine. The study will look at a solution to maintain the superior specific power of the existing peripheral port configuration, as well as introduce the efficiencies and stability that result from a controlled port opening.
With the demand for lighter, cleaner powertrains in the automotive industry continuing to intensify, the research conducted by AIE could prove extremely useful.
The small-form-factor of an upgraded rotary engine, with its high power-to-weight ratio and new efficiencies, could easily be packaged into the confined space of an electric hybrid, or compact vehicle.
The RISE concept devised by AIE will explore options to eliminate port overlap through a controlled rotary valve. If the study reveals a sustainable solution, this could result in rotary engines achieving:
- Reduced engine noise
- Drastically decreased exhaust temperature
- Improved fuel consumption
- Optimisation of the engine for economy and performance
- Improved engine life
The outcome of this prospective new solution, together with the added benefits of SPARCS (AIE’s patented cooling system) and CREEV (a unique exhaust expander unit) holds the potential to refocus the rotary engine as a cleaner, more efficient and high powered solution for future hybrid electric vehicles.
An achievement that would definitely worth pursuing.
For more details on the advancements of AIE rotary engines visit our product pages.