The Circle Cycle Engine
The intention of the Circle Cycle (CC) inventors was to improve the efficiency of the Otto Cycle internal combustion four cycle engine, invented in 1861 by Nikolus Agust Otto.
The Circle Cycle engine design changes some of the basic mechanical principles of the Otto Cycle engine. Instead of a reciprocating motion, the CC design employs an orbital motion (the pistons do not reciprocate). The CC engine has no engine block, no crankshaft or associated connecting rods, no separate flywheel, no intake or exhaust valves and their supporting machinery, no water pump, radiator and the supporting hardware.
In the CC Engine, piston and cylinders are each attached to their own respective drive wheels. By arranging and maintaining the relationship and the position of the piston drive wheel to that of the cylinder drive wheel, an overlap of piston/cylinder paths can be achieved. This union of the piston and cylinder paths represents the “stroke” of the engine. The piston drive wheel and the cylinder drive wheel are mechanically linked and orbit in opposite directions on their respective (parallel) axes. A working unit (piston and mating cylinder pair) always stay aligned throughout 360 degrees of their respective drive wheel rotation. Simply put, a piston always points toward its associated cylinder and the cylinder points toward its associated piston. There are no angular forces pushing the piston against the cylinder walls eliminating the frictional losses of crankshaft engines. The compression/combustion forces are directly in line with the piston/cylinder centerlines. (See illustration “A”)
The CC Engine cylinder/piston pair completes a power stroke with each, not every other, revolution of the engine, allowing the CC engine to achieve high horsepower at low RPM's, meaning more moderate speeds, more work and less friction wear in operating the engine.
In the CC Engine there is clearance between the cylinder wall and the piston to allow for any thermal changes and component wear, there is no lubrication needed on the cylinder walls. The piston-cylinder pressure seal is in a cartridge located at the entry of the cylinder and allowed to float within the limits of piston-cylinder clearance. In CC version 4 the pressure sealing ring lubrication is accomplished by a direct feed line from the gearbox. This eliminates the need to add lubricating oil into the fuel as is typical with other two cycle engines and results in a much cleaner exhaust.
Because there are no intake or exhaust valves, the combustion chamber can be designed for optimum combustion efficiency. Direct fuel injection in the center of the cylinder chamber and spark ignition in the center of the piston also insures a clean exhaust (for diesel it allows for optimum piston configuration).
Crankshaft engines require a flywheel to mediate energy surges but this is an imperfect solution and there remains energy losses. In the Circle Cycle engine, both the piston and the cylinder assemblies act as flywheels. All components (mass) are orbiting their axis of rotation in balance (the center of gravity of cylinders and pistons are equal). Because pistons and cylinders are orbiting or rotating on their drive wheel axis, and not changing the direction of motion or velocity (except with change of engine speed) energy that is lost in reciprocating engines is conserved in the Circle Cycle Engine.
Unlike the Otto Cycle engine whose maximum lever arm (torque) is achieved when the piston is halfway through its power stroke, the CC engine lever arm is increased through the full travel of the power stroke and the combustion energy is used for the full stroke, no portion is used for venting as is required in other piston-cylinder engines. The CC engine lever arm is 250% greater than the Otto Engine and the stroke is 166% longer (as a factor of typical cylinder bore). These mechanical advantages add markedly to fuel efficiency.
The CC engine design also includes ceramic cylinders and piston liners. Because the piston is not in contact with the cylinder wall and because both cylinder and piston are allowed to "breath" independently after the power stroke, a transfer of heat between them is not required. This allows the use of low thermal conducting ceramics to operate at high temperature to convert more of the combustion heat energy into mechanical energy, greatly increasing the thermal efficiency of the engine.
The breathing system of this engine is controlled by the computer control unit (CCU). The CCU controls the air turbine, the exhaust manifold valve, the cylinder purge deflectors, and the stator cooling valves. It also measures the air exhaust ratio to match the fuel that is injected into the cylinders to achieve the most efficient and clean burn. As the amount of fuel is increased, the recirculated exhaust gas is decreased by regulating the exhaust manifold valve and increasing air turbine pressure. As the engine approaches operating speed and temperature some of the turbine air is directed to purge the cylinders. The engine cooling is controlled by increasing air turbine volume.
The CC Engine by the nature of its construction is lighter and cheaper to build and is adaptable to mechanical power transfer, but this design is very supportive of a built in generator (and starter motor) for greater flexibility in power transfer. With the development of high strength permanent magnets, these magnets can be deployed on the piston cylinder carrier wheels without any direct electrical connection to them. Power is developed through stationary stator coils that are attached to the engine housing and controlled with solid state power management electronics. By using the engine structure as the generator core there is a great saving in weight and cost.
The CC Engine is a giant step forward in modernizing our engine power needs. Friction, pumping, cooling and vibration losses are reduced by as much as 50%. Also there is a greatly improved combustion efficiency as well as the flexibility to use liquid or gaseous fuels. It is an answer to our fuel consumption problem and would greatly reduce the amount of air pollution generated.
The CC Engine/Generator can be used to power trucks, buses, cars, boats, home or business electrification, and agricultural needs. It is the internal combustion engine of the future.