AI interview with Samuel Higgins, chairman of the board, Axial Vector Engine Corporation
The Axial Vector Engine revolutionary internal combustion engine that converts combustion energy into rotational energy without the use of a traditional crankshaft
tor Energy Corporation or AVEC, recently demonstrated how its engines could run on palm oil in Detroit. The Nevada-based company completed dynameters test trials performance data gathering on its prototypical 8 cylinder, 7.2, 352HP work horse diesel-cum-multi fuel engine which produces 1,750 ft pounds of torque. According to AVEC, this represents the first ever commercially viable powertrain using a non-fossil fuel offering a huge and profitable new market for AVEC.
The engine and the gas-cam engine share many common design features. A sinusoidal cam rather than a crankshaft was used to convert the linear motion of the pistons into rotational motion in the drive shaft. The engine contains substantially fewer parts and therefore is much lighter than an equivalent conventional engine.
“This engine has a very high torque of 3.2 ft-lb per HP. This is 75 per cent greater than an equivalent displacement 7.2 liter 6 cylinder Caterpillar diesel engine. The fuel performance is also better than the Caterpillar. This AVEC engine is designed for 40,000 hours of operation between major overhauls. If this engine was placed in a truck, and it was driven at 50mph, you could expect to travel 2,000,000 miles before the next overhaul or 75 trips around this planet. A digital signal processor manages this engines performance. There is a number of interesting new features designed into this new AVEC engine,” says the company.
AVEC is a global solutions provider that owns, develops, invests in and licenses revolutionary technologies including internal combustion engine and electric power generator technologies that have unlimited potential in military, industrial and commercial applications. AVEC engines have a high power-to-weight ratio and are less costly to produce and operate. They are also considerably cleaner with fewer emissions and are capable of using multiple fuel types, including diesel, JP5 and JP8 fuels, kerosene, bio-diesels, ethanol, and other blends of these fuels and can be converted to burn natural gas or propane. The engines can be controlled electronically, in remote areas, with remote diagnostics, alone or in combination with generator sets. The latter is important particularly in military applications.
The automotive industry is a potentially lucrative market for AVEC engines. The company says that important benefits like improved gasoline mileage and reduced emissions will be compelling reasons for the technologies adoption. “Further, the same digital FADEC control system employed in military versions of the engines can be used in automotive applications to constantly monitor and maintain optimal engine performance. In vehicular settings, AVEC engine technologies also can be used in a number of non-automotive applications, including tractors, loaders, forklifts, and farm and forestry vehicles,” says AVEC.
AVEC engines use linear power transmission design which means that there are two opposing pistons in every cylinder. The pistons in their cylinders are uniformly distributed around the circumference of the drive shaft and move back and forth in a smooth linear motion, parallel drive shaft. This is the axial transfer of energy from the pistons. In a standard drive there is only one piston per cylinder. The cylinders are located on one side and perpendicular to the drive shaft.
In the standard engine drive, the energy from the up and down movement of the pistons is transferred to the crank shaped drive shaft through linear rotational motion, to a bearing, and then simply cranks the drive shaft. It is the rotational aspect of the piston movement in the standard drive, which causes engine wear, and a relative short operational life compared to linear drive or Axial Vector Engines says the company.
Automotive Industries spoke to Samuel Higgins, chairman of the board, Axial Vector Engine Corporation.
AI: How can the AVEC engine revolutionize the automotive industry?
Our engine and generator provide the perfect “hybrid system” by continuously charging the batteries and there are no more worries “distance to recharge”. With Mile per Gallon (mpg) well over 100, 2/3 less parts and 50% less weight, this engine represents the new era of vehicle propulsion.
Further, the ability to scale the engine to as low as 5 horsepower or as high as 10,000 horsepower at a torque ratio of 3:1 every application will have “power to spare”.
AI: Tell us a little about the history of the AVEC engine technology and how your company worked on the concept.
The original technology concept has been around since 1952 and was certified to fly experimental aircraft by DFAA. We added, acquired and invented additional technologies to meet the mobile power platform requirements of the next century. A complete history of these components and steps is available on our website at www.axialvectorenergy.com.
AI: What are the implications of the multi-fuel aspect of your engines?
This is one of the big breakthroughs which has been confirmed by dyno testing. We run very well on diesel, JP 5, JP8, kerosene, ethanol, biodiesel, as well as completely non-fossil fuels such as “palm oil”. The ability to pour one fuel on top of another without engine modification “on the fly” provides flexibility and cost benefits previously unheard of in an “ice engine”.
AI: Have any automotive OEMs evinced an interest in licensing your engine technologies? If so, please give us details.
Yes, by the time this interview is printed on the news stand, we believe at least 2 major deals will be signed with globally recognized companies for the first mass production of our engines.
AI: Now that you have demonstrated the multi-fuel capabilities of your engines what’s next for AVEC?
We are providing a “heavy fuel” engines for both the current and next generation UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles). This 30 and 60 horsepower multi-fuel engines are the key component to what the Defense Department estimates as a 65 billion dollar market by 2012. The US Air Force has confirmed the importance of UAVs in that they will spend more money in 2010 on UAVs than they will fix wing aircraft.
Automotive Industries also spoke to Douglas Hahn, lead engineer on the Axial Vector Engine program.
AI: How long did work on the AVEC engine program go on for before its commercial launch?
Five years of product development by many hardworking engineers have gone into the project.
AI: Please tell us a little about what went into developing this engine technology.
Although the gasoline engine was very successful and complete, the compression ignition engine produced additional challenges. These challenges included 4 valve per cylinder central injector. Also this engine uses a proprietary common rail system to ensure optimal economy with minimal emissions.
AI: When developing the technology, did AVEC target any one industry as a potential customer base? If so, which one?
Yes, initially the target community was the generator community.
AI: What are some of the break-through technologies that have emerged from your engine development program?
Mainly the Electronic control module algorithms that were developed with the help of Mototron now Woodward controls. Their stand alone open architecture system allowed us to program the ECM from the controls level up. In addition we were able to optimize the valve motion using 4stHead by Blair and Associates.
AI: How likely is it that the automotive industry will adopt AVEC’s engine technologies?
This engine would be naturally suited for a hybrid with the generator on one end and the drive train on the other. Unfortunately with the economy the way it is I think the auto manufacturers have little R&D monies in comparison to years past so the development and proof of concept will be left to High Tech companies like AVEC.
AI: What are some of the issues still facing the AVEC engine technology program?
How to integrate the engine technically into the industry. As I stated in the previous question change is not something I see a lot of just now with the current world economy. However, we are currently exploring UAV and marine applications, in conjunction with our genset motors.
Hooray for this article !!! More are needed to help present this engine in this great time of need. we are stockholders and are exposing the company on our websites gratis because we belive in this design.
Hans Seebo ,
Cape Coral, Fla 33914
I gather Mr. Barday is not an engineer (or was not going to question what he was told). That aside, you might look back through history of AVEC - you will find several years of "any day now" press releases and announcement.
Dave Luck ,
Lake Oswego, OR, USA
Is this engine cost prohibitive for the auto manufacturing? If it does all that it claims I think the cost to put it in auto is why it hasn't taken off. What is the cost?
Russ Kramer ,
Kelley, Ia USA
AVEC is a great example of the innovative excellence that can achieved by the private sector. I am truly encouraged with the prospect of these powerplants in our future auto.
I also look forward to seeing one of these light-weight, HO engine in a '67 Mustang as a future muscle car. :-)
The AVEC GEN-SET will enable remote villages to make their own electricity using locally-grown palm and other oil-bearing plants to provide the fuel. This is truly a revolutionary array of products!
I am encouraged that this company will set the standard for future GREEN technology in transportation and portable power generators.
Michael B. McShea ,
I have own this stock for several years now.I believe this engine will change how motors are made
1140 ft. lbs. of torque published in all their prior stats, where did you get the 1,750 ft lbs number from?...As for the engine(s) they do not perform as stated, no engine last's 40,000 hrs between overhauls..a claim disputed in their own investor video w/woman saying 4,000 hrs to overhaul. Edited
Mad Investor ,
I've been watching this engine developement for 20 years now and am just as excited about the posibilities for it's uses as I first was. Initially it was to make its way to market through the aircraft home built market but I'm sure just the threat of a reliable low cost low weight engine was enough for many to shun it's developement. It's great to see it finally coming to market and would think that anyone wanting to stay ahead in the market would want a piece of this pie.
Doug Smith ,
I want one for my Dodge 4x4!
DC Taylor ,
Why isn't any team in the auto x prize competition using this? I have personal correspondence with Samuel Higgins stating they would join when all the teams were forming. Yes, the company that says they have the best thing that ever happened to engines somehow was unable to get involved with any of the more than 110 teams that started the automotive x-prize competiton . .turned up their noses to millions in free advertising and the shot at 10 million dollar prize, plus roughly 1/2 billion in free advertising world wide. Edited
Mr Bill ,
st. petersburg usa
I have owned AXVC for several years as well. I don't know if it is feasible but if they were to get an engine into a race car or motorcycle that gets national attention, that would boost their stock a lot. There must be a race team looking for new technology somewhere in the US (preferably).
This is not just about an engine or engines - it's about engines, generators/electric motors and cleaning up sour oil!! There are so many opportunities for these applications that it buckles the knees. Hope all the nay-sayers haven't bought stock and remain that way. These technologies will change the face of the planet!
Al Barnouw ,
Grafton, MA - USA
I have been hanging in there for the past eight years through thick and thin, AVEC is still around and that is surprising, apparently there are still believers. They can talk the talk all they want, now is the time to walk the walk. I may be a fool but I wll sink or swim with AVEC, even as my patients wears thin.
Marvin C. Burgy ,
I love this engine.....i have been watching for a few years......it is time to invest
ted plottner ,
This is the company with the best technology &
inventions of the 21st century. They have the answers to all the world`s energy problems for the next 100 years! Thanks for publishing this article.
Patrick OConnor ,
De Pere, WI.,USA 54115
As Mr. Luck says, we have been seeing "any day now" press releases for years. This appears to be more of the same. At one time the axial-flux alternators were being touted both as alternators and as motors. These have gone nowhere. The ultra-sound oil treatment has been touted, but no licenses have been announced. Gen-set production has been reported as imminent, but no reports of actual manufacturing. It keeps getting harder to believe that this company will actually go anywhere.
Bill Ness ,
Powder Springs, GA, USA
At long last, we have been waiting for so long for this kind of article to emerge. Things will start
boosting up the price of the stock gradually this year and returns of investors will be phenomenal in the long run. Patience will pay off soon.
Spring Hill, Florida USA
I would think that this is the wave of green that Obama and the future will hold. His adm. seems to be pushing for and funding monies for these types of changes.