Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Wheels always turning in this inventor's mind(rot.eng.,50%+fuel eff.-no tran.,coolant reqd)
Richmond Times Dispatch ^ | 10-19-03 | BOB RAYNER

Posted on 10/19/2003 6:53:43 AM PDT by putupon

Edited on 07/20/2004 11:49:59 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

The engineer, inventor and aspiring tycoon has spent half his life working on a project that he believes could revolution ize a mainstay of the industrial age: the internal combustion engine.

Yeah, right, you're probably thinking.

The DeFazio Rotary Engine, its creator said, needs no transmission. It requires no coolant system. It's 50 percent more fuel efficient and far more powerful than a typical engine.


(Excerpt) Read more at timesdispatch.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Front Page News; Miscellaneous; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: auto; ceramics; energy; inventions; rotary


1 posted on 10/19/2003 6:53:44 AM PDT by putupon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: putupon
What does he feed the hamsters?
2 posted on 10/19/2003 7:00:57 AM PDT by Hebrews 11:6 (Look it up!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: putupon
Oops, I screwed up the link to De Fazio's web page in the article
3 posted on 10/19/2003 7:01:49 AM PDT by putupon (Let's have a kegger, Tap ANWR Now!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Hebrews 11:6
What does he feed the hamsters?

And your mechanical exprtise is in?

4 posted on 10/19/2003 7:03:39 AM PDT by putupon (Let's have a kegger, Tap ANWR Now!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: putupon
I didn't know that silicon carbide was a lubricant. I do know, however, that even though diamonds are the hardest material known, they also have the lowest coefficient of friction of any solid when fluorinated.
5 posted on 10/19/2003 7:08:20 AM PDT by coloradan (Hence, etc.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: putupon
400,000 and no prototype? What's wrong with a metal prototype? Prove the damn thing runs. Work on the lube and weight later.
6 posted on 10/19/2003 7:08:38 AM PDT by js1138
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: putupon
DeFazio hasn't been able to raise enough money to build a working prototype to prove his model actually does what he thinks it will.
.
.
But this a serious guy. He's worked his entire life as an He estimates that his investment - in time and money - is approaching $400,000.

The piscean reek comes through strongly here. Sorry, but $400 Large ought to be more than enough to build a prototype. Basement CNC machining is a reality. If you can build high-output engines weighing as much as is claimed, you ought to be able to build something much smaller than a breadbox that puts out useable levels of power for a demonstration.

On second thought, fishy is too weak. I'm smelling hot steaming fresh bovine scat. Another item for the "oil companies and car companies are conspiring against the common man" files?
7 posted on 10/19/2003 7:13:23 AM PDT by FreedomPoster
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FreedomPoster
DeFazio said the big car manufacturers aren't interested.

Thats because they built ceramic engines 20 years a ago and found them to be unreliable. He also compares output per pound... why not give out a horse power and torque rating?
8 posted on 10/19/2003 7:17:02 AM PDT by e_castillo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: putupon
And your mechanical exprtise is in?

Lighten up - i was thinking the same thing. sheesh.

9 posted on 10/19/2003 7:17:35 AM PDT by corkoman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Hebrews 11:6
I don't see a difference between using ceramics technology to improve engine efficiency and using ceramics technology to improve electric motor and generator efficiency.
10 posted on 10/19/2003 7:18:14 AM PDT by yoswif
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: putupon
http://www.starrotor.com/indexflash.htm

Above URL updated star rotor
11 posted on 10/19/2003 7:18:29 AM PDT by HuntsvilleTxVeteran (CCCP = clinton, chiraq, chretien, and putin = stalin wannabes)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: e_castillo
>>why not give out a horse power and torque rating?


Because he hasn't built one and hasn't a clue, would be my guess.
12 posted on 10/19/2003 7:21:04 AM PDT by FreedomPoster
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: e_castillo
"Thats because they built ceramic engines 20 years a ago and found them to be unreliable"

..Didn't Mazda do this with ceramics about that time? It didn't go over very well for some reason.
13 posted on 10/19/2003 7:25:49 AM PDT by Graybeard58
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: putupon
Well he could form a corporation and issue stock.... I'd be tempted to buy!
14 posted on 10/19/2003 7:28:54 AM PDT by Camel Joe (Proud Uncle of a Fine Young Marine)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Graybeard58
Also, about 20 years ago, the military was researching ceramic diesels for AFV engines. The idea was that doing away with water cooling systems (radiators, hoses, water pumps, and such) would do away with a major area of vulnerability and unreliability.

I'm pretty sure every AFV in the inventory uses a water-cooled diesel engine, except the M1A1 tank, which of course uses a combustion turbine.
15 posted on 10/19/2003 7:29:01 AM PDT by FreedomPoster
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Graybeard58
I know Ford built several engines from ceramics including a turbine but were never able to make them last. I don't know about Mazda.
16 posted on 10/19/2003 7:29:59 AM PDT by e_castillo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: putupon
Interesting article. You'd think that the enviro-nazis would step up and offer funding but I guess they are too busy chaining themselves to trees and burning down SUV dealerships. Perhaps this guy should look into a government grant. If we can spend 600K on studying frog mating habits, grant money should be available for a worthwhile project.
17 posted on 10/19/2003 7:41:59 AM PDT by Normal4me
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FreedomPoster; e_castillo
>>why not give out a horse power and torque rating?

Because he hasn't built one and hasn't a clue, would be my guess

. "This engine will operate only at full throttle to demonstrate the torque and horsepower of the 6" engine. The depicted engine (with two (2) compression pistons) is expected to efficiently produce 4 Hp at 2500 RPM. The six (6) power piston version with 36 compression pistons will then be expected to produce about 288 horsepower at 10,000 RPM and about 576 horsepower at 20,000 RPM."

Why not check the link I gave and see if you can find the answers rather than guess whether or not he has a clue?

18 posted on 10/19/2003 7:48:06 AM PDT by putupon (Let's have a kegger, Tap ANWR Now!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Graybeard58
Mazda RX-3 was a BLAST !

Great power and performance for a small engine car. Car was not too stylish,though. I drove one sometime around 1977 , should have bought the car. Very conservative bankers (well, financially conservative)in my hometown would only loan on domestic gasoline engine cars and trucks ;had to later pass on a good deal for a Olds diesel because of that.

The auto industry is still tweaking a hundred year old design by adding outboard nonrepairable computer controlls.

19 posted on 10/19/2003 7:52:56 AM PDT by hoosierham
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: putupon
DeFazio said the big car manufacturers aren't interested. "They have an in-house mentality. Unless they invent it themselves, they won't even talk to you about it."

I just don't buy this. Any car manufacturer would be thrilled to produce a 300 horsepower car that got 100 mpg. He'd blow the competition so far out of the water they'd go into orbit.

A far more likely explanation is that they think he's a flake. Right up there with the 100 mpg industry-suppressed carburetor guy.

20 posted on 10/19/2003 7:56:22 AM PDT by Restorer (Never let schooling interfere with your education.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: js1138
The dollar figure is erroneously arrived at by valuing his own time as though he were billing a client.

Basement inventors cannot expect to do this ; corporate research lab workers are paid and so the time invested does have monetary value.

21 posted on 10/19/2003 7:56:30 AM PDT by hoosierham
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: putupon
Didn't the car makers experiment with rotary engines a while back? Wankle rings a bell with me. Didn't Mazda build them? As I recall, there were lots of problems with them.

xtargerer
22 posted on 10/19/2003 8:04:24 AM PDT by xtargeter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

U.S. Patent 6,588,395 to DeFazio <-- Link

It looks mechanically complex, at a glance, and therefore somewhat expensive to produce.

23 posted on 10/19/2003 8:05:23 AM PDT by Cboldt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: xtargeter
Wankel engine is presently in production by Mazda. AFAIK, the wrinkles are fairly well worked out. The toughest problem was sealing the rotor apexes within the combustion chamber. The Mazda RX-7 had a Wankel, and their new RX (IIRC, it's RX-8) has one. Very highly rated automobile, especially "bang for the buck."

Article re: Wankel Engines <-- Link

24 posted on 10/19/2003 8:10:48 AM PDT by Cboldt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: FreedomPoster
The piscean reek comes through strongly here. Sorry, but $400 Large ought to be more than enough to build a prototype.

Since 1975, he's spent a big chunk of his free time developing and improving the designs for his rotary engine. In 2001, he took a year off from work so he could devote all of his energy to his engine. He estimates that his investment - in time and money - is approaching $400,000.

I may be wrong; but it sounds like that $400K is spread out over almost 30 years. I suspect much of that was geared towards materials study and fabrication, and it also sounds like it includes his "time", and if it does, the the actual cash outlays might be less.

Sounds interesting though.

25 posted on 10/19/2003 8:18:13 AM PDT by AFreeBird (your mileage may vary)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: AFreeBird; putupon; Cboldt
It sounds interesting *if* it really works. That is a huge "if". You ought to be able to build a technology demo for peanuts with an engineering school's machine shop and a little free student labor.

A practical issue that is pretty obvious right off the bat are the rotor lobe-to-stator sealing issues that we have with Wankel rotaries (see Cbolt's comments). It appears to me that this engine would have the similar issues. He claims in his FAQ at the web site that he's operating at lower pressures, but then shows the engine operating at 6 atm, which is not that much different from pressures seen in a normally-aspirated gasoline engine.

And putupon, I have since looked at the site (which was not in the original post), and don't see anything there that changes anything I've said. When you're making claims on your web site like this:
http://www.starrotor.com/2-slides/2-3-1.htm
when you haven't even properly demonstrated the technology, my B.S. detector goes off even louder.

Another item in his FAQ that does the same is this jewel:

>>Question 10: When will I be able to purchase an automobile with a StarRotor engine?

>>Question 10: It is very difficult to predict the future, but we hope that the automotive industry will adopt this engine by 2008, or so.

So an engine that hasn't even had a proper prototype demonstration, is going to be in mass-production within 5 years? Somehow I doubt it.

This guy needs to get his hardward ahead of his marketing hype - if he can.
26 posted on 10/19/2003 9:10:26 AM PDT by FreedomPoster
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: putupon
Reciprocating pistons waste energy in three of their four strokes, drawing air and fuel into the cylinder, compressing it, then exhausting it.

Drawing air and fuel and compressing and exhausting are not "waste of energy". His engine will also have to do the same.

27 posted on 10/19/2003 9:14:43 AM PDT by staytrue
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: putupon
I can see why this guy hasn't gotten anywhere. It's absolutely impossible to see how his engine works from his website.

I had the idea to go in and give him a good critique but like I said, it's impossible to determine how it works from the site.

As a sage once said, "The world is full of brilliant failures."
28 posted on 10/19/2003 9:19:52 AM PDT by Rockitz (After all these years, it's still rocket science.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: e_castillo
The main idea in ceramic engines is getting more work out of the fuel: burning fuel produces heat which performs the work; by retaining and converting more of the heat into work, the engine runs hotter. Ceramic withstands heat better than any metal so it's the logical material of construction. The problem to overcome is lubrication.
29 posted on 10/19/2003 10:58:37 AM PDT by Mackey
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: staytrue
Drawing air and fuel and compressing and exhausting are not "waste of energy".

True, but you have to admit those are a kind of "overhead" in a four-stroke engine. Reason that a two-stroke engine can be more powerful, firing twice as often, even though much of the fuel is wasted and unburned.

By the way, are those hand cranks sticking up on the provisional engine?

30 posted on 10/19/2003 11:12:52 AM PDT by steve86
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: putupon
Similar in principle to the original rotary developed by Felix Wankel in the 1950’s, the Rotapower® engine has been optimized for high-horsepower, high-reliability, low-weight and low-cost manufacturing. It is an excellent choice for a wide range of high-performance applications.

From its inception the M400 Skycar volantor has been designed to minimize both direct and indirect costs. The Skycar uses an engine that can burn almost any fuel from diesel to natural gas so that worldwide refueling can be accommodated by what is locally available. Using gasoline, the M400 can be expected to get over 25 mpg. With a range of 900 miles, the logistics associated with refueling the shorter-range helicopter can be eliminated. The rotapower engines have only two major moving parts, weigh less than 80 pounds and occupy less than one cubic foot. The bulk of the remaining technology is electronic and replaceable in modules as the onboard redundant systems identify a failed or failing component. Vehicle size greatly affects ground mobility and parking space required. The Skycar, with its compact size, can be stored in a space the size of a standard single car garage. The landing gear on the vehicle makes roadability possible for short distances. Initially introduced as the M400, four-seat model, the Skycar technology has the ability to be both scaled up to a six passenger, M600, or scaled down to a one passenger, M100. This allows a cost efficient vehicle size to accommodate a variety of military, paramilitary, and commercial transport missions.

31 posted on 10/19/2003 11:18:23 AM PDT by ckca
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AFreeBird
it includes his "time",

A simple calculation shows that FReepers have donated $50 billion to FreeRepublic in "time."

32 posted on 10/19/2003 11:24:26 AM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the Law of the Excluded Middle)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: putupon
Damn!
I saw this in Popular Mechanics in 1947...
And 1954...
And 1968..
and 1971...
And....

am I excited, or what?

33 posted on 10/19/2003 11:25:44 AM PDT by Publius6961 (40% of Californians are as dumb as a sack of rocks.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ckca
I've been checking on Moller's Skycar for some time now. Have you seen the flight test videos? Sweet!

Too bad it's going to be a fly-by-wire thing, though...

34 posted on 10/19/2003 11:29:31 AM PDT by RandallFlagg ("There are worse things than crucifixion...There are teeth.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: Publius6961
Duly filed under "nut jobs"
35 posted on 10/19/2003 11:31:29 AM PDT by Publius6961 (40% of Californians are as dumb as a sack of rocks.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: RightWhale
Put that engine on a Seagway and we might have something.
36 posted on 10/19/2003 11:33:03 AM PDT by razorback-bert (Confession may be good for my soul, but it sure plays hell with my reputation.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: putupon
There's a catch, of course. DeFazio hasn't been able to raise enough money to build a working prototype to prove his model actually does what he thinks it will.

With his credentials, he should be fully capable of building a proof-of-concept using machined metals. Even without supplimentary cooling, the machine should run long enough before burning out to get usefull test data. For this reason, I don't buy the guys story.

Right now, the engine exists only as a computer model and a small metal and plastic mockup that illustrates its basic principles.

So why doesn't he hook up a fuel line and try it out? he has drawings so if a part burns out, he can fabricate new ones.

His invention relies on solid lubricants, such as silicon carbide

How counter intuitive. I always though silicon carbide (aka carborundum) was the second hardest substance known.

37 posted on 10/19/2003 11:34:40 AM PDT by fso301
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: xtargeter

Didn't the car makers experiment with rotary engines a while back? Wankle rings a bell with me. Didn't Mazda build them? As I recall, there were lots of problems with them

Lower fuel efficiency was one problem associated with earlier rotary (Wankel) engines. Mazda claims to have solved many of the problems and will introduce a line of cars powered by advanced rotary engines.

38 posted on 10/19/2003 11:39:44 AM PDT by fso301
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

Just a general question, but how many FReepers here have legit invention experiences? The reason I'm asking is because I have a desk design that I'd like to market.
39 posted on 10/19/2003 11:54:06 AM PDT by RandallFlagg ("There are worse things than crucifixion...There are teeth.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: putupon
"There's a catch, of course. DeFazio hasn't been able to raise enough money to build a working prototype to prove his model actually does what he thinks it will."

There's always a "catch." Just need someone to give him some money!

He says silicone carbide is a lubricant? I suppose that is why I use it in vitrified grinding wheels to sharpen carbide tools, huh?

He says that it is a rotary engine, then talks about variable stroke lengths?

Sorry, but my B.S. meter just pegged.

First of all, he is talking about efficiencies that exceed Carnot efficiency, the maximum available. We've had the Wankel, (somewhat successful, almost as good as a piston engine) the Virmel, the inimitable "Borque" and several others and they all have died a-borning.

No matter how you cut it, any internal combustion engine has 4 essential processes, suck, mash, burn and blow. Nothing else qualifies.

40 posted on 10/19/2003 12:07:26 PM PDT by nightdriver
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: fso301
They have. Just yesterday I washed and detailed a new Mazda RX-8 with 750 miles on it. It's pretty fast, but I, too, have heard the complaints about fuel economy in rotary engines. They seem to have made every other aspect marketable, however, as they're featured in their premier sports car, designed to be driven hard. Other than the fuel economy, the only other downside is repair costs, in case something does go wrong with it. Other than that, not a bad design, but I'll still take the believe-it-when-I-see-it approach to the "revolutionary internal combustion engine successors."
41 posted on 10/19/2003 1:02:47 PM PDT by Dan Nunn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: FreedomPoster
Exactly. I built a Chevy 350 in my garage in 1 week.
42 posted on 10/19/2003 1:22:31 PM PDT by At _War_With_Liberals ("It's the economy, stupid"...is now "Bush is a dumb Nazi liar." It has been decided by the DNC.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Hebrews 11:6
Here was the prototype after only 30 years and $300,000...
43 posted on 10/19/2003 1:25:46 PM PDT by At _War_With_Liberals ("It's the economy, stupid"...is now "Bush is a dumb Nazi liar." It has been decided by the DNC.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: e_castillo
why not give out a horse power and torque rating?

My thoughts exactly. High rpms means little unless you can convert them to torque applied to the wheels.

44 posted on 10/19/2003 1:46:43 PM PDT by PsyOp ( Citizenship ought to be reserved for those who carry arms. - Aristotle.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: RandallFlagg
FreeRepublic is an "engineer rich" environment. It seems that half the male freepers I have met are in engineering or manufacturing. (The majority of the rest are managers, small business owners or computer geeks.)
45 posted on 10/19/2003 2:59:19 PM PDT by SC Swamp Fox (Aim small, miss small.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: putupon
Isuzu was working on ceramic piston engines a good 20 yrs ago. Haven't heard anything about it in years, so obviously it didn't pan out.
46 posted on 10/19/2003 4:17:26 PM PDT by FlyVet
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FreedomPoster
>> On second thought, fishy is too weak. I'm smelling hot steaming fresh bovine scat.

I tend to agree. There are lots of millionaires and billionaires out there who could cough up 200 G's without blinking if the guy had even a 1% chance of success.

Especially the rich tree-hugging enviro-whacko's like Streisand with mansions on the ocean with 26 fireplaces.

47 posted on 10/19/2003 6:32:28 PM PDT by Future Useless Eater (Freedom_Loving_Engineer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Publius6961
Damn!
I saw this in Popular Mechanics in 1947...
And 1954...
And 1968..
and 1971...
And....

am I excited, or what?

Yeah, those goofy ideas never turn out.


48 posted on 10/20/2003 2:39:33 AM PDT by putupon (Let's have a kegger, Tap ANWR Now!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson