Too good to be true? Game-changing Omega 1 is an internal combustion hydrogen engine
Electric cars are conquering the world and the fate of the internal combustion engine seems sealed. But there is still life in the old gas-burning power plant. At least that's what Astreon engineers think as they show off a new ICE concept. They claim it is a near-zero-emission engine, despite the fact that fuel is burned in its combustion chambers.
Instead of pistons, the new engine has several rotary gears that closely resemble aircraft turbines. It also resembles a rotary engine, but with a better design that eliminates the weaknesses of the Wankel engine. To put it simply, the Omega 1 engine, designed by Astreon Aerospace, uses four strokes of the engine and divides them into two chambers.
The engine with two shafts are rotates in opposite directions through synchronizing gears, with four rotors moving in pairs on the two shafts. The first pair handles intake and compression, while the second pair performs the combustion and exhaust stroke. These are supplemented by a rotary plate valve and a prechamber, which are located between the two pairs of rotors. This is where the fuel is injected.
The principles of operation of this engine are a little more difficult for a layman like you or me to understand. Fortunately, Astreon has shown us a detailed video to help us visualize the whole process. The video also describes in detail the different parts of the engine and their role in the combustion process. Thanks to the precision craftsmanship, this engine doesn't need any seals to keep the fluids inside. This incredibly simple design could be considered a threat to the future of electric vehicles, promising a long life with little maintenance required.
As the company's name suggests, it should be an ideal aero engine that is lightweight and powerful while being completely vibration-free. It could also power a all vehicles, from motorcycles to the heavy machinery. According to Astreon, the new combustion engine is capable of developing 160 hp and 170 lb-ft (230 Nm) of torque, while weighing just 35 kg. (15.9 kg). It reaches idle speed at 1,000 rpm, but can reach up to 25,000 rpm at full load.
Of course, Astreon suggests that you could daisy-chain two or more of these engines to get more power, and we suppose bigger ones can be built. There are no sealing issues with this engine concept, unlike a conventional rotary engine. Astreon also promises that it can run on a variety of fuels with very low emissions. Sounds a little too good, but we'll certainly keep an eye on this engine and see how it develops in the future.