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Robert,
I agree. Very cool concept but rife with problems I think. First of all efficiency has got to be way low...despite their claims. Look at the mechanics of trying to force those balls along their path when the vector of the force created by combustion is like 60 degree off the path of the grooves. It would be like trying force a piston sideways in the bore. It has to create tremendous side loading on the grooves and little balls.
Also looks like there is considerable direction change in the moving components, similar to a reciprocating engine. While the main ball continues in the same direction, the opening and close chambers must change direction for every cycle.
Exhaust gases traveling over the pivot shaft doesn't seem like it would be conducive to longevity.
While the total surface area for wear may be less than a typical reciprocating engine, the forces at the wear points must be tremendous. Think about the forces on the grooves and balls under a high torque load....the way they have it setup it's like a sail boat tacking into the wind....yes some high velocities can be generated but forces are very high and efficiency is very low. Like a tacking (sp) sailboat...it's moving fast, but the distance in forward progress is much less than the total distance traveled, a scenario which is unacceptable from an efficiency standpoint...unless your power source is somewhat unlimited...like wind.

A very cool and ingenious curiosity. But I'd say the standard rotary engine has it beat to hell. However....it may be that it is very well suited to particular uses.
The dude must have been doing some way whack frashizzle drugs when he thought it up.
JohnnyB
 

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Zack, you should be an engineer. I was going to point out that very thing....that it looks to me like...if you kept it rotating, giving litle pushes with the combusion that it might work ok. But then that would make it a high rpm, low torque..the opposite of what the article said.....so I held back.

When I was little I wanted to grow up to be an engineer....now that I'm grown I want to be a big giant engineer. (old joke).
JohnnyB
 

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I'd guess in production that engine would require some very exotic materials to hold up for any length of time.

Cool idea for sure. But then all of us running our homes on tiny nuclear plants would be cool too. Making it practical is a whole nother thing.

JohnnyB
 
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