The basic principle behind any internal combustion engine is simple: If you put a tiny amount of air and high-energy fuel (like gasoline) in a small, enclosed space and ignite it, the gas expands rapidly, releasing an incredible amount of energy. The ultimate goal of an engine is to convert the energy of this expanding gas into a rotary (spinning) motion. In the case of car engines, the specific goal is to rotate a driveshaft rapidly. The driveshaft is connected to various components that pass the rotating motion onto the car's wheels. To harness the energy of expanding gas in this way, an engine must cycle through a set of events that causes many tiny gas explosions. In this combustion cycle, the engine must:
Let a mixture of fuel and air into a chamber
Compress the fuel and air
Ignite the fuel to create an explosion
Release the exhaust (think of it as the by-product of the explosion)
What is Quasiturbine?
The Quasiturbine (Qurbine) is a no crankshaft rotary engine having a 4 faces articulated rotor with a free and accessible center, rotating without vibration nor dead time, and producing a strong torque at low RPM under a variety of modes and fuels. The Quasiturbine design can also be used as an air motor, steam engine, gas compressor or pump. The Quasiturbine is also an optimization theory for extremely compact and efficient engine concepts
The Saint-Hilaire family first patented the Quasiturbine combustion engine in 1996. The Quasiturbine concept resulted from research that began with an intense evaluation of all engine concepts to note advantages, disadvantages and opportunities for improvement. During this exploratory process, the Saint-Hilaire team came to realize that a unique engine solution would be one that made improvements to the standard Wankel, or rotary, engine.
Like rotary engines, the Quasiturbine engine is based on a rotor-and-housing design. But instead of three blades, the Quasiturbine rotor has four elements chained together, with combustion chambers located between each element and the walls of the housing.
The four-sided rotor is what sets the Quasiturbine apart from the Wankel. There are actually two different ways to configure this design -- one with carriages and one without carriages. As we'll see, a carriage, in this case, is just a simple machine piece. First, let's look at the components of simpler Quasiturbine model -- the version without carriages.
The simpler Quasiturbine model looks very much like a traditional rotary engine: A rotor turns inside a nearly oval-shaped housing. Notice, however, that the Quasiturbine rotor has four elements instead of three. The sides of the rotor seal against the sides of the housing, and the corners of the rotor seal against the inner periphery, dividing it into four chambers.
The most important revolution of the Quasiturbine come from its characteristics (Model AC with carriages) permitting photo-detonation which occurs at slightly higher compression ratio than the thermal ignition, designated in the US as "Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition" HCCI combustion, in Europe as "Controlled Auto Ignition" CAI combustion, and in Japan as "Active Thermo Atmosphere" ATA combustion. Even if the subject passionate the researchers, the thermal and photonic ignition control in the piston is still an unsolved problem, and possibly a dead-end that the Quasiturbine does overcome!
The Quasiturbine in Beau de Rocha (Otto) cycle (model SC without carriage) is a relatively simple technology which could be widely used within a few years with substantial efficiency benefits over piston engines in many applications. Large utility plants convert energy more efficiently than small distributed units and should be favored when possible, but on the long term, the Quasiturbine detonation engine is one of the very few means to match utility efficiency the distributed way, while being as chemically clean as possible.