“Here is another radical replacement for the traditional combustion engine,” writes long-time Slashdot reader Inzkeeper. “Check out the Astron Aerospace H2 Starfire Omega 1… an ICE engine with a turbine configuration.”
The company “is claiming that it is a viable alternative to EVs,” reports TopSpeed:
Astron have showcased a 3D rendering of their engine which helps to understand this extremely complicated new powerplant in all of its glory. They also showed a functioning prototype which gives us a glimpse into how the engine could potentially function… The company claims that it weighs an absolutely mind-boggling 35 pounds yet produces horsepower in the region of 160 and about 170 pound-feet of torque. These are insane figures. The Omega 1 boasts an alleged 60 percent efficiency, which is absurd if true given that piston engines rarely ever top 40 percent efficiency. On top of this, Omega 1 can run on any kind of combustible fuel, meaning that hydrogen could easily be used to reduce emissions so close to zero that it’s negligible.
HotCars adds that “According to Astron Aerospace, the engine idles at 1,000 rpm and redlines at an incredible 25,000 rpm — much higher than all the other rotaries we’ve seen. This is thanks to the circular movement, rather than the epitrochoidal movement used for Reuleaux triangle rotaries.”
The awesome thing about this engine is that it is stackable, meaning two of them will make 320 hp and 340 lb-ft, three will produce 480 hp and 510 lb-ft, etc… Astron Aerospace also stated that due to the design, the engine is easily scalable for other applications — for instance, marine engines. According to them and one of their renders, a larger version can easily reach 4,500 hp…
[I]t is not only more efficient than the equivalent piston engine — 80% compared to a mere 34% — but the engine is also much smaller and lighter. This translates to better fuel economy and a lighter overall vehicle. The engine is air-cooled as well, which means there aren’t any additional radiators or other cooling systems needed to keep the engine working. Air-cooled may sound a bit old-fashioned, but in this case, it simplifies the whole package. The maintenance on such an engine would also be minimal, with Astron Aerospace claiming 60,000 miles further usage over a typical piston engine before maintenance is required.
The disadvantage of this engine is that it hasn’t yet been thoroughly tested in real-world conditions. Astron Aerospace has patented the engine and has a working prototype but has found no investors to begin mass testing and production. The engine needs to be worked hard to flesh out any potential weak points and new materials need to be used to cope with the internal stresses and wear.