This New Engine Could Save Internal Combustion From The Scrap Heap

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At this point, almost every automaker is working towards a battery-electric future. There are still years to go, but that hasn’t slowed automakers to introduce new EVs while slowly ending development for internal combustion engines (ICE). However, ICE may have a future, even if it will look different from what we know today. Astron Aerospace has introduced the Omega 1, a revolutionary engine with a wild design.

Omega 1, designed to run on a variety of fuels, is compact and powerful with the aim of producing very low or no emissions. It lacked an offset crankshaft, reciprocating piston, and eccentric shaft, like the Wankel rotary engine. However, the Omega 1’s design avoids at least one problem with the Wankel engine – exhaust overlap.

The Omega one design features a pair of chambers with pre-chambers that separate cold intake air from hot exhaust gases. Omega uses four rotors mounted on two shafts, running in pairs. The front pair handles intake and compression while the other handles combustion and exhaust. Stacked rotors are coupled with synchronizer gears, so they rotate in opposite directions at the same speed. Astron also says the Omega design doesn’t suffer from the same sealing problems, and it’s a completely linear unit.

The machine design allows one to stack several machines at once, increasing the output. The standard Omega 1 engine weighs just 35 pounds and can produce 160 horsepower (119 kilowatts) and 170 pound-feet (230 Newton-meters) of torque. The company claims to have a working prototype, so maybe the internal combustion engine doesn’t turn off at all.

Is that evolution enough to keep ICE alive? It may not be as we know it today, but there are still applications in our electric future where ICEs may still play a role. Developing countries will struggle with electric vehicles without massive infrastructure investment, and those people will need to get around that in the meantime. These machines can greatly help reduce emissions today while infrastructure is being built.

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