Problem: Conventional engines and new tech engines need fuel to run, often a very specific type, but some fuels are in short or easily interrupted supply and often very expensive or they need a totally new not yet installed, supply infrastructure.
Solution: External combustion engines can run on an extremely wide range of fuels, whatever is available, they are true multi fuel engines.
External combustion engines apply heat to a captive fluid or gas, Stirling engines and steam engines are examples, the applied heat causes expansion which creates mechanical motion. But there are some new designs in the works and the Cyclone Green Revolution Engine is one that looks interesting, even DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is looking into one as the power source for an autonomous self fueling robot concept. That sounds pretty interesting to me, so I thought I would take a look.
Internal combustion engines need to burn fuel very rapidly before it is exhausted from the combustion chamber, some unburned fuel is often expelled and unused. To maximize efficiency, fuels must be carefully refined and the combustion process itself tightly controlled.
External combustion engines burn the fuel until it is consumed because there's no need to hurry the process, it's being used to heat something else which does the work. In the Cyclone Green Revolution Engine, almost any petroleum or biomass fuel can be used, even mixed together in the same tank unless they would interact in some way. The engine itself doesn't care what you put in it, gasoline, kerosene, diesel, biodiesel, ethanol, jet fuel, if it burns, fill 'er up.
In the Cyclone engine, a centrifugal combustion chamber keeps the heavier unburned fuel on the outside until it is completely burned, up to as much as a minute or so, instead of only milliseconds in a normal combustion chamber, then the hot gas in the 2,000 to 2,300 degree Fahrenheit range, goes to a heat exchanger and heats water.
Looking through their diagrams and schematics I thought, sure, fine in theory but does it work? It turns out it does, in everything from lawn mowers and weed trimmers to cars, trucks, boats, standby generators and more. Plus it needs no catalytic converter … no radiator (air cooled) … no transmission (high starting torque) … no oil pump (and no oil … the engine is water-lubricated).
These could easily fit in a motorcycle since sizing already puts them in lawn mowers and weed trimmers. Just think, fill up your bike with the cheapest fuel available or the only fuel available, ... File this under interesting.
Video and diagram below: