Success for the First-Ever Compact SPARCS Rotary Engine  

October 24, 2013
Success for the First-Ever Compact SPARCS Rotary Engine  

The future of rotary engines for use in reliable, efficient propulsion systems has reached yet another milestone this week as Advanced Innovative Engineering (UK) Ltd successfully completed the testing of a new concept in cooling system technology.

The new revolutionary Compact SPARCS liquid-cooled technology or Self-Pressurising-Air Rotor Cooling System is the result of AIE’s commitment to innovative solutions and vast experience in engineering research that stretches back to Norton in the 1960s. Developed to eliminate the drawbacks of traditional rotary engine use, Compact SPARCS technology is specifically designed to utilise blow-by gases from the combustion process which is re-circulated in a completely closed circuit through an integrated intercooler; rejecting heat directly from the engine core and prolonging the life of the engine.

To test the viability and performance of the Compact SPARCS technology that combines the benefits of both air-cooled and liquid-cooled rotary engines, AIE incorporated the new cooling system into a 200CS Wankel rotary engine. The 200CS prototype would then drive an attached propeller whilst AIE’s internal advanced computer controlled data acquisition systems monitored and analysed the engine and cooling system performance.

As the case for many great British prototypes, the new Compact SPARCS engine may have started life with a slightly ‘Frankenstein-like’ appearance with its numerous wires and sensors, however AIE Engineers soon realised there was nothing monstrous about this prototype as it sprang to life and successfully ran without a fault.

This would prove to be the first time that a rotary engine ran successfully with incorporated Compact SPARCS technology. During its repeated and sustained testing, the rotary engine experienced no oil loss, rotor temperature remained stabilised and the core pressurised as expected.

The evidence was clear and now completed validated; Compact SPARCS technology can reliably transform rotary engine use by effectively rejecting heat from the engine core and delivering significantly reduced oil consumption together with enhanced thermal control.

AIE are confident that the successful test results from the first-ever Compact SPARCS rotary engine has provided another step forward in lightweight, compact propulsion systems for unmanned aerial vehicles.

To follow the progress and discover new capabilities for Compact SPARCS connect with AIE on Twitter @aieukltd or visit the AIE website.

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