New Hampshire Patent of the Month – June 2022

Internal combustion engines and various reciprocating machines use a series of pistons and drive mechanisms to convert linear motion of the piston to rotary motion. Unfortunately, the friction generated by the sliding or a misaligned piston can create loud noises and drastically reduce the life and efficiency of the piston and the engine. New Power Concepts, LLC has created a stirling cycle machine that reduces these side loads while maintaining a small, light, and efficient design.

Their cycle machine is designed to operate with a liquid or gas fuel burner. The burner has a preheater set to capture the thermal energy of the exhaust, directing the preheated air through each burner head into a prechamber. This prechamber connects to the combustion chamber. The burner head ignites the fuel air mixture and an increased flow rate forces the diffusion flame into the combustion chamber.

This design is achieved using a rocking beam drive mechanism where a piston and chamber are housed. The piston operates linearly and this motion converts to the rotary motion of the rocking beam. This rotary motion then turns the crankshaft.

New Power Concepts has overcome the side load pressure seen in traditional piston-based cycling machines by addressing the angular deviation within their rocking beam. In most standard designs, the piston creates side load on the chamber as a result of the pressure from an angularly deviated link rod. New Power Concepts’ design includes a coupling that minimizes this pressure, maintaining a more linear motion and reducing the chance of side loads on the piston. 

These modifications have proven to reduce side load and ultimately reduce wear and tear on the pistons. The industry has typically addressed side load by bulking up the drive mechanisms which results in heavier and bulkier engines. Avoiding the side load with these couplings allows for engines to remain lightweight and more compact, expanding their range of applications.

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