Previous in Forum: AgNO3 limits in drinking water   Next in Forum: Hydrogen Fuel Technology
Close
Close
Close
17 comments
Guru
Canada - Member - Specialized in power electronics

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Montreal, Canada.
Posts: 1357
Good Answers: 80

Quasiturbine, the Motor of the Future?

04/11/2010 1:45 PM

For those of us interested in new motors, here is a nice film of the Wankel and the Quasiturbine. Nice animations.

It is interesting (and depressing) to see how long it takes to "displace" the piston engine.

Is it because these two contenders have unsurmountable flaws or it is only the inertia of the established industry? The inventor, Mr. St-Hilaire has been at it for more than ten years now but the product is not really commercialized yet. He is a brave man, I wish him all the success he deserves.

Are there other avenues and new applications where the Quasiturbine could be used?

What about drone airplanes? Light weight and low vibrations should be enough motivation to push a real R&D effort.

Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KY_fFWQ9v64&feature=related

http://quasiturbine.promci.qc.ca/EIndex.htm

__________________
Experienced is earned, common sense is taught, both are rare essentials of life.
Register to Reply
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Guru
Technical Fields - Technical Writing - New Member Engineering Fields - Piping Design Engineering - New Member

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Richland, WA, USA
Posts: 20964
Good Answers: 780
#1

Re: Quasiturbine, the motor of the future?

04/11/2010 3:23 PM

I suspect that the thin shape of the moving combustion chambers lends itself poorly to fuel/air mixing and flame-front propagation. This leads me to guess (but only a guess) that it might not burn very cleanly.

There was some quaint verbiage in these reports. 1. "A small amount of air and fuel produce an incredible amount of energy." Not so; the amount of energy is calculable and quite credible. 2. The window saying "reporting has been suspended...." 3. The statement that it might take decades before this becomes competitive. That's understandable, but then what's so hot about this? 4. Few moving parts. [?] That daisy-chain of linked members is not exactly simple.

__________________
In vino veritas; in cervisia carmen; in aqua E. coli.
Register to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru

Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2454
Good Answers: 60
#2
In reply to #1

Re: Quasiturbine, the motor of the future?

04/11/2010 5:46 PM

In the early wankel engine the rotor tips kept burning out also the seals on the sides of the rotor caused problems.

I drove one of the early NSU Ro80 models and it was weird to drive compared to a piston engine, there was inside the car very little noise and i was alerted by a buzzer that was telling me that 60 mph i was over reveing the engine at about 13000 rpm.

the gear change was a semi auto a weird system in that it had a normalish mechanical clutch that would dis engage when you touched the gear stick you had to take your right foot of the gas as you would on a normal manual, and select a gear.

i could never understand why you want such a crazy system that wasnt auto and and wasnt manual.

the ignition system at the time would give a fatal shock if touched which was unheard of then, it also had special spark plugs and had two to ensure good burn,they were a pig to tune and the engine was also very heavy for a two rotor engine, other wise it was ok i suppose.

oh and the fuel economy was rubbish at approx 25 mpg

Register to Reply
Power-User

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 246
Good Answers: 6
#5
In reply to #1

Re: Quasiturbine, the motor of the future?

04/12/2010 1:08 PM

I seem to remember a design for an engine using up to 40 pistons in a sort of rotary set up that was featured on Tomorrows world probably late 70s early 80s. It was promised as a better balanced more efficient engine set up but I never heard any more about it! I have always thought there must be a better way but what is it?

__________________
Peter Jensen
Register to Reply
3
Guru

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: I'm outa here
Posts: 1924
Good Answers: 196
#3

Re: Quasiturbine, the Motor of the Future?

04/12/2010 1:13 AM

I feel some sympathy for M. St-Hilaire and his seemingly hopeless quest. Yet another new positive displacement mechanism that is supposed to supplant the piston engine. This has been going on for more than 50 years ever since the Wankel design succeeded in getting some traction. There have been dozens, maybe hundreds of such ideas in that period that came and went.

They all seem to have a common thread. Their inventors, fascinated with the behavior of the mechanism fail to seriously consider the basic mechanical engineering of the device to enable it to survive high unit loadings and elevated temperatures necessary for thermodynamic efficiency. This all important aspect of the invention encompasses not only mechanical design issues but also materials science and manufacturing realities. Maybe it was better for them to think that the mechanical engineering could be postponed until later when they had money to hire it done for them. Dreams can be quite enjoyable if they don't end too soon.

The first internal combustion engines of the late 19th century had the benefit of over 100 years of preceding steam engine mechanical design and manufacturing technology to draw on. We had already learned how to design journal, wrist pin and linear sliding bearings that would not self destruct under load so their incorporation into the new piston engines was natural. It is interesting to note that it would be another 40 years and millions of gasoline and even diesel engines produced before we really understood in terms of mathematics how and why these bearing systems work.

But naive engine inventors tend to shrug these issues off. I've interacted with several of these folks over the years. One even though his mechanism idea would work if lubricated with water. It seems so doable when you build a desktop model that you can turn with your hand. It seems so straightforward when you forget how many design options for the mechanism disappear when the requirements involve operating pressures of 1000 psi (60-70 bar), temperatures of 400-800C and 100hz process cycle rates. And just to add insult to injury, so to speak, the new invention will have to live on our planet and not make a pest out of itself.

The people who work in the industry designing and building engines know about these problems. I'm always surprised at how many technical people in other areas of engineering do not have much understanding of engine mechanical design issues. That even includes many very serious automotive enthusiasts.

So I doubt if the common piston engine will be overtaken by a different mechanical positive displacement type. Much more likely electric motors or possibly (remote, IMHO) turbines.

Ed Weldon

Register to Reply Good Answer (Score 3)
Guru

Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2454
Good Answers: 60
#4
In reply to #3

Re: Quasiturbine, the Motor of the Future?

04/12/2010 1:42 AM

well said that man.

the reason the piston works, its easy to make and easy to seal.

unlike all those stupid triangular designs

Cos none of them have worked yet.

And yes i can agree with you about some so called clever people.

I once worked for a company who`s head engineer was just unbelievabley stupid out side of his speciality, he had a 2 masters degree`s one in nuclear physics and one in engineering and a bigger moron Ive yet to meet.

he is the only person i know who cut himself opening a Stanley knife ( you call then box cutters) his brief case had tippex on the top so he wouldn't open it upside down.

when he went to USA he had to have a manual hire car Cos he didn't know how to drive an automatic.

And the next item is true.we were installing a cooling system into a food processing factory but we had to install the chiller unit next door for hygiene reasons, The chilled water/antifreeze mixture was fed via pipes into the X-Ray tube in the machine we had already installed.

we all installed the chiller unit all that was left was to fit two pipes and fill it with water, we left the intelligent one to do this while we went next door to make final adjustments to the unit, some 3 hours later we went back to the chiller unit because we couldn't start the X-Ray unit up because there was no water coming through to trip the pressure inter lock safety switch.

when we got next door it was awash with water it was every where, we thought there had been a flood, the intelligent one was standing there with a hose pipe filling the unit which when full by the only took about 6 gallons, (he designed it)

He said its taking a long time to fill, and theres water coming from somewhere?

I wont repeat what i said but guess what he hadn't done, Yup put the pipes on.

And this guy on paper was as intelligent as you can get

Register to Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
3
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 4485
Good Answers: 245
#6

Re: Quasiturbine, the Motor of the Future?

04/12/2010 2:35 PM

Many designs exist (and have existed) for the engine that will "replace" the piston engine. Many of these have inherently worse thermodynamics, but the potential for simplicity. However, even the potential simplicity is not achieved in practice.

The development of the Wankel is instructive. Even after Mazda's decades of development and engineering and millions spent, the engine is no better than the piston engine in any respect, other than very slight power-to-weight advantage and very slight power to external volume ratio. In fuel efficiency, the Mazda engine is still worse than the piston engines in the Mazda lineup. Look under the hood of a Mazda RX8, and you see loads of stuff -- the engine proper -- i.e, the block and internals are a small part of the total. By the time you add all the stuff required to make an engine usable, the slight weight difference is of no consequence. Thus, the Mazda RX8 is cool and fun, but performs no better than its competition.

If the Mazda engine worked well and economically for ordinary cars, then the Mazda lineup would be using them throughout.

The Quasiturbine has all the problems of a Mazda (and then some), without the benefit of millions in development dollars. The thermodynamics look even worse, if I recall from looking at the design several years ago. The surface area to volume ratio is too high, if I recall.

Many dreamers are mislead by the thought that there is something inherently "inefficient" about pistons going up and down. In fact, the motions of pistons is related to a circular function, so they are smoothly accelerating and decelerating, not banging around as people sometimes imagine.

The most efficient hydraulic pumps are piston pumps.

The "problem" with piston engines is not the pistons or the mechanics of motion. Large diesel ship engines are stunningly efficient, at over 50% -- excellent for any type of heat engine, and much better (for example) than the turbines in jet aircraft.

Many of the alternate engines "answer" non-existent problems.

__________________
There is more to life than just eating mice.
Register to Reply Good Answer (Score 3)
Anonymous Poster
#7
In reply to #6

Re: Quasiturbine, the Motor of the Future?

04/13/2010 10:25 AM

A word of caution about "A non-substantiated opinion"

Talking about new engine, one should resist the temptation to expose his know-how on the Wankel and conclude (without specific argument) that it does apply to Quasiturbine or other engines. That is not a practical assessment methodology. Proposing an innovation is always a pretentious gesture, but putting the inventor arrogance aside, the technology could be a positive step which deserves careful attention before commenting.

It is always great to read from knowledgeable people about Wankel, but even more interesting after they take the time to read also about the Quasiturbine differences at http://quasiturbine.promci.qc.ca/ETheoryQTVersusWankel.htm . Thermodynamic of Wankel is poor (for one) because its chamber is unable to gather all the mixture in one cup (rather keep it spread all over), while QT do gather all its mixture in the cup, as all the modern piston does. The surface area to volume ratio is standard in QT-SC (without carriage) and irrelevant in the detonation QT-AC series (with carriages).

There are many things inherently "inefficient" about pistons (not necessary mislead), take the time to read http://quasiturbine.promci.qc.ca/ETheoryQTVersusPiston.htm . Large diesel ship engines are stunningly efficient, at over 50%, an efficiency which can be match with other clean engine concept. Notice that engine efficiency in detonation engine will be very high, even in small size engine (I agree it is not ready for market yet...).

The development of the Wankel is in deed instructive, but again does not necessarily apply to other engines, in other times. Today, what is fashionable is electrical motors: Like food (it is great, but people do not care how it is made, and where it is coming from), electricity is great, but people do not care how it is made and where it is coming from. Billions of $ in hydrogen and fuelcell as been a strong diversion signal, against the engine developpers. Synthetic fuel of the future has also been ignored. Unfortunate, Quasiturbine and modern engines are much about how and where, which is too basic to be fashionable!

Even if some alternate engines "answer" non-existent problems, this is no reason to generalize to the Quasiturbine. Ignorant can make any conclusion for fun, but when someone take the time to introduce himself as some kind of an expert, then only substantiated conclusions are fun and constructive (or to the point destructive) to read. Expert's un-substantiated opinion should be stated as such - no obligation to like or be positive of any technology of course.

Keep having pleasant posts. Amicalement,
Gilles info@quasiturbine.com

Register to Reply Score 2 for Off Topic
Guru
Technical Fields - Technical Writing - New Member Engineering Fields - Piping Design Engineering - New Member

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Richland, WA, USA
Posts: 20964
Good Answers: 780
#8
In reply to #7

Re: Quasiturbine, the Motor of the Future?

04/13/2010 11:40 AM

That, and the link, were pretty humorous. Marketing hype is such a fine art....

__________________
In vino veritas; in cervisia carmen; in aqua E. coli.
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 4485
Good Answers: 245
#9
In reply to #7

Re: Quasiturbine, the Motor of the Future?

04/13/2010 3:34 PM

A word of caution about "A non-substantiated opinion"

I think it goes without saying that what I said was my opinion. Whether it is substantiated or not can be seen from a review of the literature on alternative engines: there have been dozens, and not one has shown significant, marketable advantages over the piston engine for automotive use. The Mazda Wankel is the only one that has come close, and even that has required millions of dollars of development. The NSU Wankels were, effectively, failures. Likewise the Suzuki Wankel motorcycle.

I have looked over your website, and have watched your air-powered go kart in action, and it appears that it might perform about as well as other air-powered vehicles. I have no reason to believe that a standard vane motor would not perform as well or better. One can conclude nothing at all re the value of a Quasiturbine as an engine from the go kart's performance, nor can one conclude anything re its effectiveness as as air motor. You'd have to supply precise, verifiable performance data to sell the design as an air motor (let alone as an engine).

A good proof of concept engine would give your project some credibility. A go-kart, powered by air, does not help, because various air motors are already available. There are many fundamental differences between air motors and engines. "The proof is in the pudding" as we say.

These days, for an engine to be successful against the piston engine, it must offer better specific fuel consumption. Chain saw engines are already light enough that there is not a crying need for lighter chain saw engines: you want the weight of the saw to do most of the work. But suppose there were. Then, the only thing that will convince anyone that your invention is an improvement over the current state of the art is a real engine, that produces more power per pound and more output energy (hp-hours, or kilowatt-hours) for a given amount of fuel.

Until your website provides meaningful information on brake specific fuel consumption from actual tests, anyone evaluating the engine is likely to say that is seems very similar in principal to a Wankel, with a very large ratio of surface area to combustion chamber volume (but with a much more complicated rotor). Therefore, the expectation is that thermal efficiency would be low. Your website does not clearly make a case for improved thermal efficiency. Unlike a Wankel, however, which has a one-piece rotor, yours is made of a many pieces which must articulate for the engine to function. Your website does not make a clear case for the offsetting benefits. If you could say, yes it is complex and more difficult to machine, but it is lighter and has better thermal efficiency than a piston engine, then your chances for commercialization would be better, I'd think.

Given limited financial resources, it would be better, I think, to spend your money on real engine development, rather than on air-powered go karts -- seeing a go kart move under air power is profoundly underwhelming, and says no more about your design as an engine than it does about using a vane motor as an engine would.

Why avoid the obvious step of developing a real proof of concept prototype. Skeptics will say, "Why not show how the engine performs? What is he trying to hide? Why the air powered go kart distraction?" Until I see real dyno testing of a lab engine, all the marketing hype has no meaning.

Obviously, this is all opinion, but that's all we have until we have actual test data. I hope you can construct a real prototype and publish such data. You might also work on simplifying your website, so that it deals with just a couple clear, supportable benefits. I wish you luck with this project.

__________________
There is more to life than just eating mice.
Register to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Anonymous Poster
#10
In reply to #9

Re: Quasiturbine, the Motor of the Future?

04/13/2010 5:46 PM

Bonjour,

I like what I now read .
Essentially, you don't know (or are not sure) and are waiting to see the test results.
Meanwhile, substantiating your points is not need.

Fair enough. Merci, Gilles

P.S. - I will keep the website complicated (educational) for a while
for those whom ideas have value and interest much before test result and marketing.
Frendship is for those who can wait - I will.

Register to Reply Score 1 for Off Topic
Guru
Engineering Fields - Electrical Engineering - Analog and Digital Circuit Design Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - Transformers, Motors & Drives, EM Launchers Engineering Fields - Engineering Physics - Applied Electrical, Optical, and Mechanical

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 1208
Good Answers: 119
#11
In reply to #6

Re: Quasiturbine, the Motor of the Future?

04/14/2010 1:34 PM

GA! (Blink and EW)

I don't see any reason the QT would have any significant benefit over the standard air motors available today:

http://www.gastmfg.com/airgearmotors.html

The simplicity of design and construction of the vane type motor is one reason they have been so successful in their particular market.

A QT developed into a practical combustion/detonation engine might have some benefits on paper. We need to see "working" and testable prototypes with solid reproducible data. Even if working prototypes measure better than current engines, the design will still fail and fade into obscurity (like so many others) if it cannot be economically mass produced.

Register to Reply
Anonymous Poster
#12
In reply to #11

Re: Quasiturbine, the Motor of the Future?

04/15/2010 7:18 AM

Quasiturbine publishes « efficiency data » while vane motor manufacturers don't. Premium on « efficient equipment » is rapidely recovered in operational cost.

Unlike vane pumps or motors, which vane extension is important and against which the pressure acts to generate the rotation, the Quasiturbine contour seals have a minimal extension and the rotation does not result from pressure against these seals. The vane geometry does not allow high compression ratio at TDC (top dead center), while Quasiturbine does, and this is why QT is efficient (less pressure charging losses), and this is why there is no vane combustion engine.

Salutations, Gilles

Register to Reply
Anonymous Poster
#16
In reply to #12

Re: Quasiturbine, the Motor of the Future?

04/22/2010 1:07 PM

An additional comment: Efficiency has direct consequences on scalability: Non efficient small motor (up to HP ?) could be very practical as the energy lost may not be cost significant. However, large units have to be very efficient as energy lost would be costly. This is why Vane motor are not scaled up as the Quasiturbine is. Furthermore Vane motor are difficult to scale up as pressure force on the vanes become excessive, and limit their radial movements.

Fortunatly, not everyone is negative about Quasiturbine. Even if it may not be convincing to everyone, here is recent Vidéo by University of Connecticut - Quasiturbine in « Brash Vehicle Propulsion System »
www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZCj6yewtQ0
www.quasiturbine.com/QTVideos/CocuzzaSteamQT100419.mp4
Photo at : www.brashengines.com/FAQ.html

Amicalement, Gilles www.quasiturbine.com

Register to Reply
Anonymous Poster
#17
In reply to #16

Re: Quasiturbine, the Motor of the Future?

05/08/2010 4:40 AM

Sorry, previous dead video link has been replaced by:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ah5gAENMrKs

University of Connecticut -
Quasiturbine in « Brash Vehicle Propulsion System ».
A project supported by the US Department of Transportation
(John Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge MA)
exploring the use of BRASH™ technology for large vehicles,
such as mass transit vehicles.
Photo and video:
http://www.brashengines.com/FAQ.html
http://www.youtube.com/brashengines

Register to Reply
Active Contributor

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Red Oak, Texas
Posts: 18
Good Answers: 1
#13

Re: Quasiturbine, the Motor of the Future?

04/15/2010 12:38 PM

I can understand the frustration from people trying to take an engine from theory to prototype. It is an uphill batttle.

When you put your idea on a forum for people to analyze its credibility, the next step is not to attack the people that have made comments.

You should look at their comments and either explain to them their misinterpretation of your design with greater detail of how they are wrong.

If you can not then their is a good chance you need to use their information to help identify flaws in your design and correct them.

I have been designing a rotary piston engine for 25 years. I have changed my engine design so much that my previous patent (6253717) no longer covers my new design.

I have built many prototypes, each failed for the same reason. Sealing...

Without having very deep pockets for purpose built seals that specifically fit your engine I believe you will struggle with sealing. Unlimited funds would help but you definately have created a sealing nightmare. You may never be able to get it sealed well enough to get past being just an air motor. I have learned that even the slightest leak extreamely degrades the performance of an engine.

I worked for a race engine company for 12 years in R and D. We spent a lot of time working on getting engines to seal better. To get our cylinders round and straight we torqued a plate on the block to simulate a cylinder head and then pumped heated honing oil through the water jackets to bring the block up to running temperature. Then we honed using a diamond hone.

I do not know how you are sealing you design, I can't tell if you are using positive seal or just tight tolerances.

I wish I could tell you how to get funding for your engine, the only engine that I know of that has received funding is Scuderi. Probably like you I have paid for everything on my patents and prototypes from my own pockets. Scuderi claims to have gone through $15,000,000 of their their money and $30,000,000 of grant money and now they are asking for $45,000,000 more. I built my last prototype for under $15,000 and this next one should be less than $35,000.

I think your best hope is to is to try and design around exsiting off the shelf mechanical seals if possible. Thats what I had to do. I used seals from a Wankel. I thought I could let them slide against aluminum but the siezed up. My next engine will have chrome plated steal surfaces that are ground flat.

It would be nice to see how you sealed your air motor. Maybe you could post some pics.

__________________
Vote for the DRE in the Create the Future contest: http://contest.techbriefs.com/sustainable-technologies-2011/1159
Register to Reply Off Topic (Score 4)
Guru
Engineering Fields - Mechanical Engineering -

Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1651
Good Answers: 71
#14
In reply to #13

Re: Quasiturbine, the Motor of the Future?

04/15/2010 12:57 PM

What about ceramics?

I had a dream when I was a teenager about building an engine that used solid fuel (either a continuously burning rod or pellets or powder or ???). I pictured using magnesium and water because burning magnesium reacts so violently with water I thought it would be great.

Even at that age , I knew the temperatures involved would melt the strongest metals. Ceramic could hold the heat, and new technology might make them strong enough. I don't know about the thermal expansions though, keeping a tight fit through the temp fluctuation might be tough.

I haven't had enough engineering classes yet to know if this might be a feasible idea...perhaps you can take something from it...let me know if you do I don't want credit, just to know what works.

Drew

__________________
Question: What is going on with the American's Government? Response: Who is John Galt?
Register to Reply Off Topic (Score 4)
Guru
Engineering Fields - Electrical Engineering - Analog and Digital Circuit Design Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - Transformers, Motors & Drives, EM Launchers Engineering Fields - Engineering Physics - Applied Electrical, Optical, and Mechanical

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 1208
Good Answers: 119
#15
In reply to #14

Re: Quasiturbine, the Motor of the Future?

04/15/2010 3:32 PM

I remember reading an old Popular Science article about revolutionary ceramic based engines that could run at 1600 degF (?) without any cooling. I think they proposed this design would reduce "waste" heat and improved engine efficiency by a significant amount. It would be interesting to read this article again to test my memory and to see how it relates to current technology. Found it! (March1982)

Even though ceramic & composites technology has advanced quite a bit in the last 30 years, I suspect that such an engine design still generates more technical problems than it solves.

Register to Reply Off Topic (Score 3)
Register to Reply 17 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

Anonymous Poster (5); Blink (2); Drew K (1); Ed Weldon (1); Lonny Doyle (1); mjb1962853 (2); peterg7lyq (2); Pj3ns3n (1); Tornado (2)

Previous in Forum: AgNO3 limits in drinking water   Next in Forum: Hydrogen Fuel Technology
You might be interested in: Eddy Current Probes, Machine Vision Systems, Chuck Jaws

Advertisement