New combustion engine design could be 40% more efficient than conventional engines

A UK-based international engineering company is claiming that its new design for a combustion engine has the potential to revolutionise the global market for all internal combustion engine applications, with a 40% improvement in fuel efficiency and 50% fewer emissions compared to conventional engines.

The Mayflower e3 Variable Motion Engine, launched by the Mayflower Corporation, is the result of an 11 year research and development programme, consists of an ‘intelligent’ technology that adapts to driving conditions, with compression ratio and engine capacity changing according to demand, says Mayflower. This means that when a driver needs power, it will be available instantly, but when the vehicle is at cruise speed, the engine will effectively become smaller.

The improvement in the technology works through a change in the motion of the pistons brought about by the method by which they are attached to the crankshaft, whereby they slow momentarily, immediately after ignition, allowing the flame front to spread faster (see animation). There is also a longer intake and expansion stroke, improving air intake. The net effect is an improvement in combustion, providing an increase in power and reduced emissions, and a more quiet and smooth-running engine.

According to Mayflower, 160 million internal combustion engines are manufactured around the world every year. “The potential for the Mayflower e3 engine is enormous and highlights the ambition and drive of Mayflower Corporation to be one of the world leaders in this field,” said Mayflower Chief Executive John Simpson.

The technology can be applied any engine size of cylinder configuration, including four-cycle, two-cycle, petrol and diesel engines, says Mayflower.

“Mayflower now has a potentially ground-breaking technology which is set to have a huge impact on the automotive world, transportation and the environment,” said Simpson. “I believe the new engine will become a ‘must-have’ among key audiences and the first engines could be in production within five years.”

The new engine was originally designed by inventor Dr Joe Ehrlich, who has developed engines for motorcycles and Formula Two and Three cars, starting in 1948 when he built a three cylinder motorcycle engine that was banned from race tracks for being too powerful.

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie