Saturday, February 03, 2007

THE WANKEL WRINKLE

ADAM WRITES...OMG JIM!

Today, Feb 1, 2007, marks the 50th anniversary of the Wankel engine: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wankel_engine#History

When are they going to put Wankels in all cars? Aren't they of simpler design, with less moving parts and more efficient operation?





Though Wankel engines are simpler designs with higher outputs per physical size and displacement, they are less efficient and have higher emissions. The lower compression ratios inherent in the Wankel engine mean there is a smaller percentage of the fuel actually being burned. This means two things, higher emissions and lower gas mileage. In today’s market, neither of these would matter as big engines with huge torque and horsepower numbers accompanied by poor gas mileage lead sales, so I’m guessing that they are wanting in the torque and horsepower department too. Even though the idea of a rotary piston is simpler, that is only for a single cylinder engine. Once you go to multi piston engines, it becomes very complicated again.

In the past, there has also been a reliability issue. Seals were always a problem and though they have come a long way in fixing that problem, I don’t know if they have gained the confidence of the public.

Basically it boils down to which engine is going to be the most reliable, powerful, and efficient for the price. As soon as someone comes up with an engine that will beat the reciprocating piston internal combustion engine, the car manufacturers will put them in their cars and the public will buy them.

4 Comments:

At 11:25 AM, Anonymous adam said...

Hey Jim,

After watching the SuperBowl last night, I learned a disturbing fact. The NFL Field Judge who officiated was #58, Jim Saracino.

When I "ask Jim," how do I know that I'm asking Jim Saraceno and not Jim Saracino?

And Jim, when you provide me an answer to this question, how will I know you're not lying?

And how will I know that you're not lying when you answer THAT question???

 
At 1:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jim,

While spending a fine evening of good company and spirits with your son, we happened across an extremely catchy tune that is still in my head to this day. The song was "25 or 6 to 4" sung by the band Chicago. Although I now know the correct words (I was singing it 250624) what exactly do those numbers mean? are there multiple meanings that I am missing?

 
At 1:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jim,

sorry for the second post (its still the 25 or 6 to 4 guy) but I also noticed the official during the Super Bowl. Unfortunately I noticed him because he got a call wrong. Do you think this ruins any chance you had of becoming a referee in the NFL? Did you ever aspire to be referee in the NFL?

Thanks
-Dan

 
At 9:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the problem with that engine is that it is using orange juice and dippin dots for fuel. TOTALLY INEFFICIENT, from an engineering perspective

 

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