Tesla is not the only one showing off innovative new technology these days. Sub-Orbital, an automotive engineering facility in Wollongong near Sydney, Australia, has released details of an innovative tri-turbo Y-9 engine it says is so efficient it will be cheaper to operate than an electric car like the Nissan LEAF.
Trevor Wilde, chief engineer for Sub-Orbital, says the idea came to him after looking at a picture of DNA. “If nature chose a helix as the most compact way to store genetic information, why wouldn’t it also work for a a gasoline engine?” he said during a Skype interview with Gas2.
“Basically, you design the most efficient single cylinder engine you can and then arrange a bunch of them in a sort of spiral configuration,” Wilde added. “Each group of 3 cylinders has its own dedicated turbocharger for maximum output and we made it a two stroke to eliminate all those annoying valves and camshafts and stuff that clutter up most engines. We can adjust each turbo electronically several times a second to give it just the right amount of power without wasting fuel.”
The result is an ultra-compact yet powerful engine that can be tucked into one corner of a normal engine compartment, leaving lots of room for all the computers needed to operate the self-parking features and active safety components that semi-autonomous and self-driving cars of the future will require.
The company claims the Tri-Turbo Y-9 will have a specific power output of 47 quants per cubic zirconium, for a total of around 500 horsepower. With peak torque of 450 pico/curies per newton/meter, it will give most cars enough performance to rival the mighty Tesla Model S P85D. Provided total vehicle weight is kept under 3000 lbs, 0 – 60 times of 2.5 seconds or less are possible when mated to a modern turbo encabulator, says Wilde.
Sub-Orbital says it is also working on a new transmission that uses an electrophoretic medium composed of nano-sized rugby balls whose density can be controlled by an electric current. Wilde explains that when a vehicle is stopped, the transmission computer reduces the control voltage, turning the nano-balls into a fluid and allowing the engine to turn freely.
But when it’s time to go, the nano-balls clump together, sending power to the wheels. Once the desired road speed is attained, they become a solid that transmits 100% of the engine’s output to the drive wheels. “I got the idea watching rugby on the telly,” Wilde says. “The balls look so small on the old Zenith in my mom’s basement, I just thought, ‘Why not?’ Besides, this way you can get rid of all those planetary gear sets and dog clutches the professors are always droning on about in engineering school. I mean, is there anybody on Earth who actually understands what a planetary gear set is or how one works?”
Wilde says his next project is to perfect the turbo encabulator for electric rickshaws. He is thinking about doing a fundraising campaign on Kickstarter. His goal is $170,000,000, which seems like a lot until you realize those are Australian dollars he’s talking about.
This story was first published by Gas2.org. Any resemblance to reality is unintended and strictly accidental.
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