Wow - what a radical design! There's no mechanical connection to the piston - it generates electricity directly by moving magnets past coils. And spark plugs at each end. Cool!
More info on the concept: Wikipedia - Free-piston engine
Certainly a different series-hybrid-only approach, as opposed to the traditional ICE powerplant in the Volt and Karma.The free-piston engine is in practice restricted to the two-stroke operating principle, since a power stroke is required every fore-and-aft cycle.
These engines are mainly of the dual piston type, giving a compact unit with high power-to-weight ratio. A challenge with this design is to find an electric machine with sufficiently low weight, and control challenges in the form of high cycle-to-cycle variations have been reported for dual piston engines.
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Last edited by ItsNotAboutTheMoney; 11-25-2012 at 08:23 PM.
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