Zero Emission Engine

At the risk of “excess exuberance” …this looks like something that could change everything — a zero emission, fuel flexible– *steam engine*.

I first heard of them from announcements back in May 2000, and have finally been able to make contact, just in time to learn about the new company they’ve set up. They’re showcasing at the SAE conf (Soc. of Auto Engineers) in Detroit this week. My contact is Oliver Mehler, who’s heading the operation in the US.

I have the executive summary of their business plan, which seeks to raise 22 million Euros over the next four years.. The full 60 pg plan is now only in German, and they are preparing an English version.

The management team is in Detroit this week (only Oliver is stationed in the US). If you have anyone attending the SAE conference, you may want to have them visit the booth.

I asked what was different about this steam engine, and Oliver described a visit to a major US engine manufacturer. It was scheduled for 1 person for 45 minutes, and wound up with 12 people for 3 hours. They said “we tried (and failed) –you solved all the problems which stopped us” (e.g. lubrication materials, isothermal expansion, quick load changes, good combustion system). The website has neat pictures of their 6 kw APU prototype, which they estimate will be made for a cost of $700, in volumes of 10,000/yr. They are talking to corporations, financiers and VCs to raise money. They want manufacturing partners. — go to “Press” for the complete press release (excerpts below) and a pdf download brochure about the APU. I’ve also got a 12 page technical article from a year ago that explains the thermodynamics.
Oliver C. Mehler, Ann Arbor, MI
734-971-1070 ext. 111

Note- IAV is a major European automotive engineering company, 50% owned by VW. Enginion is spinning off with most of the development team that worked on the project. Since public (EU) funding was involved, it was deemed inappropriate for VW to have it to themselves.

Enginion AG Says New Engine is ‘Cleaner Than the Air we Breathe’
‘Zero Emission Engine’ Debuts at SAE World Congress In Detroit

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Feb. 28 /PRNewswire/ — Enginion AG, a technology provider for the automotive and energy industry plans to demonstrate an ‘Equal Zero Emission Engine’ (Ezee) at next week’s SAE World Congress in Detroit. The new technology does not require any catalysts. The Ezee uses external combustion that is based on a patented ‘Caloric Porous Structure Cell’ (CPS Cell), utilizing a newly developed thermo-chemical combustion reaction, which drives an electronically controlled, oil free thermal engine.

The technology has been developed with funding by the European Union as well as various institutions of the German government. It took six years and nearly one million man-hours of basic research to reach the stage of development presented at SAE. “The new drive appears to have the potential of substituting conventional combustion engines,” said Michael Hoetger, President of Enginion. “Its emissions profile is among the lowest of any existing combustion technology. At the same time its production price is expected to be equal or lower than current powertrains.” The technology incorporates the following benefits:

– Lowest pollutant emissions (no HC; NOx and CO at the limit of
measurability) No exhaust after-treatment needed
– Very high torque (5 times higher than regular Otto-cycle engines);
power output and dynamics are equivalent to diesel engines
– Fuel flexibility (gasoline, diesel, natural gas,
biofuels, hydrogen, etc.)
– Thermal and kinetic energy (both variable)
– High efficiency (better than gasoline engines,
according to U.S. FTP75 test cycle)
– Almost silent and vibration free
– Compact size
– Oil free; operation in ecologically sensitive areas possible
– Lower cost than existing technologies

Based on the encouraging research results, Hoetger and his colleagues initially plan to develop small Auxiliary Power Units (APU), as the fuel flexible and compact technology can deliver variable heat and electricity over a broad power range. The areas of application stretch from mobile use in vehicles to stationary operation in residential and industrial environments.

Enginion’s Ezee technology is further suited to build up stationary distributed power systems. With its co-generation capabilities (heat and electricity) it could deliver clean energy for residential as well as commercial purposes. In one of the largest market segments with heat outputs of up to 30 kW and a maximum electricity of 10 kW, the Ezee APU might be up to 90% cheaper than other solutions, including fuel cells and gas turbines. The APU’s electronic control shall additionally be equipped with networking capabilities for the development of small-scale local grids.

Enginion plans to stay focused on research and development rather than becoming an engine producer themselves. Instead, they want to offer partnerships to professional manufacturers. “With our technology and product development skills we would develop the Ezee products ready for application” Hoetger summarized. “The production partners pay only a few dollars per unit for the production license. This way they can independently set their profit margins and use own distribution channels without our interference. But I think it might take quite a number of manufacturers in the long term. All studies we found indicated that the potential markets have a total business volume beyond US$200 billion,” Hoetger said.

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