Popular Science magazine awarded Bruce Crower with an invention award for his six stroke engine, covered in The Kneeslider back in February of ’06. Crower, founder of Crower Cams, retired from the company some years back but like many inventive types, he never really retired in the normal sense, he just kept tinkering and inventing because that’s what he does.
The six stroke was the result of his thinking about recovering some of the energy normally lost as heat during a four stroke engine’s operation. By injecting a bit of water after the exhaust stroke, steam is created which expands rapidly and creates another power stroke. The exhausted steam goes to a condenser where it once again becomes water and is recirculated for another trip through the engine.
His engine is called the Steam-O-Lene and he calculates it increases a gas engine’s efficiency by 40 percent, a diesel even more. What I like best is their note that development costs were about $1000 and it uses off the shelf parts. He’s waiting for a patent then he’ll look for a larger company to develop the idea and maybe take it to market.
Who says you can’t invent anything in your garage anymore?
Link: Popular Science