Israeli engine developer ‘Aquarius Engines’ has presented a cutting-edge hydrogen engine that weighs just 10 kilograms, having only a single moving element inside its tiny 20-piece assembly. The engine has been under development for the past seven years, and after numerous tests and optimizing revisions, it is now very close to reaching maturity.
The main characteristic of the engine is that it follows a linear design, which absolves it from having to convert reciprocating movement to circular motion. Instead, there’s a single piston rod moving back and forth in a two-stroke cycle, with the mixture being fired at each end of the cylinder and the exit of the gasses happening in the dead center.
To reduce internal friction down to 2%, the cylinder heads are coating and the piston rings are made of graphite, while the lack of any oil in the cylinder block means that leaks or residues aren’t a problem either. Aquarius claims that this novel engine would require servicing every 1,000 hours of operation or about 50,000 miles of travel for an EV.
The only downside of this design is the excessive noise, but Aquarius hasn’t left things to their fate. The engineers of the firm have developed and implemented a patented system of balance weights which reduces vibration in the engine, and thus noise. Right now, an Austrian independent tester is working further on how to reduce noise levels and unlock more potential applications, so we’re still not close to having production dates yet.
And as for the power, it can generate, this is roughly 16kW per unit, which can be stored in a battery through the same circuit that is used from harvesting braking energy, eventually powering up on-wheel electric motors. This way, even when the cells are totally empty, the hydrogen engine could work as an auxiliary emergency source until the next charging point is reached. Aquarius claims this novel engine can burn gasoline, NG, LPG, and CNG, so it’s pretty versatile.