November 01, 2010
Opfor Power Plant
Posted by scott at November 01, 2010 10:19 PM
So, does the internal combustion concept really have depths left to chart? This guy thinks so. As I first read the description, I thought, "two stroke flat four, dur." Then I watched the video, and things got much more interesting. Two pistons in the same cylinder, which complete a power stroke by pushing toward each other? I'll bet you a nickle the idea was worked out a hundred years ago, but material science couldn't come up with the alloys to make it practical. We've come a long way with material science, donchaknow?
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Fairbanks Morse used a similar system from (IIRC) 1920 or so onward for some of their diesel engines. Also, some older 1910 era gas engines used opposing pistons, although the linkages were different. And, of course, they all weighed a hairy ton or so per HP!.
Nothing really new, just a refinement of existing designs, and, of course, better metallurgy and control systems.
But it is really neat. I'd like to see a working prototype.
The Fairbanks Morse "OP" opposed piston engine is still produced today. It was used on WWII subs. It has two crankshafts, one on top, one on the bottom - unlike the OPOC engine shown. I want to see how the OPOC engine seals the cylinders from that long slave rod which is actuating the other pistons! Or should I say the connection to the pistons from the slave rod...