Obviously, the increased power output of the Quasiturbine engine makes it superior to Wankel and piston engines, but it has also solved many of the problems presented by the Wankel. For example, the Wankel engines leads to incomplete combustion of the fuel-air mixture, with the remaining unburned hydrocarbons released into the exhaust. The Quasiturbine engine overcomes this problem with a combustion chamber that is 30 percent less elongated. This means that the fuel-air mixture in the quasiturbine experiences a greater compression and a more complete burn. It also means that, with less fuel going unburned, the Quasiturbine increases fuel efficiency dramatically.
Other significant advantages of the Quasiturbine include:
- Zero vibration because the engine is perfectly balanced
- Faster acceleration without a flywheel
- Higher torque at lower rpm
- Nearly oil-free operation
- Less noise
- Complete flexibility to operate completely submerged or in any orientation, even upside-down
- Fewer moving parts for less wear and tear
Photo courtesy Quasiturbine.com
Considering the modern internal combustion engine was invented by Karl Benz in 1886 and has enjoyed almost 120 years of design refinements, the Quasiturbine engine is still in its infancy. The engine is not used in any real-world applications that would test its suitability as a replacement for the piston engine (or the rotary engine, for that matter). It is still in its prototype phase -- the best look anyone has gotten so far is when it was demonstrated on a go-kart in 2004. The Quasiturbine may not be a competitive engine technology for decades.
In the future, however, you will likely see the Quasiturbine used in more than just your car. Because the central engine area is voluminous and requires no central shaft, it can accommodate generators, propellers and other output devices, making it an ideal engine to power chain saws, powered parachutes, snowmobiles, air compressors, ship propulsion systems and electric power plants.
For more information on the Quasiturbine engine, other engine types and related topics, check out the links on the next page.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- How Car Engines Work
- How Diesel Engines Work
- How Gas Turbine Engines Work
- How HEMI Engines Work
- How Radial Engines Work
- How Rotary Engines Work
- How Stirling Engines Work
More Great Links
- U.S. Patent #6,164,263: Quasiturbine AC (Quasiturbine zero vibration-continuous combustion rotary engine compressor or pump)
- MIT: Hydrogen vehicle won't be viable soon, study says
- Ashley, Steven. 2001. A low-pollution engine solution. Scientific American. June.
- Bode, Dave. 2000. An engine for the new millennium? FindArticles.com. April.
- Physics Daily: The Physics Encyclopedia, s.v. "quasiturbine,"
http://www.physicsdaily.com/physics/Quasiturbine (accessed May 14, 2005).
- Physics Daily: The Physics Encyclopedia, s.v. "Wankel engine,"
http://www.physicsdaily.com/physics/Wankel_engine (accessed May 14, 2005).
- Quasiturbine.com, http://www.quasiturbine.com/EIndex.htm
- Stauffer, Nancy. 2003. Hydrogen vehicle won't be viable soon,
study says. Massachusetts Institute of Technology News Office. March 5.
- Stokes, Myron D. 2003. Quantum parallel: The Saint-Hilaire "quasiturbine"
as the basis for a simultaneous paradigm shift in vehicle propulsion systems. December 15.
- Tse, Lawrence. 2003. Quasiturbine: Photo-detonation engine for
optimum environmental benefits. Visionengineer.com. June 8.
- U.S. Patent Office web site, Quasiturbine patent application.
Patent # 6,659,065.
- Wright, Michael and Mukul Patel, eds. 2000.
Scientific American: How things work today.
New York: Crown Publishers.