Quasiturbine> Application> Transportation


Transportation is the most important sector of engine applications,
and probably the most demanding in all respects.
The Quasiturbine exceptional characteristics could not be promoted a better way!

Quasiturbine In Transportation

Most Economical Energy Transportation?

A car that gets 40 mile/g with 4 people gives 160 person-mile/gallon.
A bus that gets 5 mpg with 40 people gives 200 person-mile/g.
Airplane need 50 gallons/person to go 3000 miles or 65 person-mile/g.
... but could go up to « hundreds » on a long plane trip, when considering the energy saved at hotels, on eating, time savings, etc. Airplanes do well primarily because they are less subject to drags, the engines are closed to 40% efficient and the plane is loaded. Aircraft, like cross country trains, are energy green. Of course, aviation emissions are 0.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide annually (World Resources Institute 2005) or 1.6 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Aviation's contribution to climate change is two to four times greater than these CO2 numbers suggest, because greenhouses gases are more potent when released higher up.

This is in terms of energy for fuel use per passenger-mile, but that is only a part of the total energy used in the transportation systems. For example, about half the energy used by an automobile over its lifetime is the energy used in manufacturing it. More will be needed for recycling. What about the energy used to build and maintain the necessary roads, or railroad tracks, or airports? Subway tunnels and systems? Public transportations need operators, while the passenger car has it own free operator! What about the energy used in maintenance? On should consider the "capitalized" energy and all the other "operating cost" energies in addition to the energy used for fuel. Of course, most vehicles don't have 4 people in them, nor buses carry 40 people all the time! Public transportation is generally not a decision based on energy, which could favors other options in the future!

Land Vehicle Problematic

An optimal solution: The half-HP vehicles! The vehicles makes on average 20 000 km per annum, an average of 54 km per day, that corresponds to approximately half an hour of service per day at 100 Km/h. A conventional gasoline vehicle does use on average approximately 12% of its working installed power, that is to say 12% of 150 HP or 18 HP (14 kW). 18 HP during half-an-hour correspond to an average power on an annual basis of 0,4 HP (0,3 kW) by vehicle.

There is little loss with electricity (the losses having already been done at the station) but to satisfy this need with average efficiency combustion engine 5 to 10 time this amount will have to be supplied by the fuel in thermal form. Vehicles 4 times more efficient (golf-kart-like cars do better) will require only 0,1 HP (75 Watts) on an annual basis, the equivalent of an always lit bulb! Considering that a standard hydro-water dam turbine can produce an annual average power from 200 to 300 MW, it would be enough in theory to drive a fleet of 800 000 current vehicles demanding 0,4 HP (0,3 kW) each, and 3 million vehicles of the future at 0,1 HP (75 Watts), that is to say the totality of the vehicles of Québec! This average current power of 0,4 HP corresponds to less than the peak power installed in our domestic refrigerators.

The paradox to be solved with the vehicles is that they ask for large instantaneous power, but low annual energy consumption. This explains why it is non-competitive to put in the vehicles 20,000 or 30,000 $ high-tech engines which will only develop 0,5 HP on an annual average! The race for efficiency is thus not here a critical argument.

The energy use repartition in automobile

Although these average observations are right, the instantaneous distribution of power varies enormously, so that the electric scenario requires that one spread out the demand of power during day and night. However, this is exactly what the refill of the batteries allows to make, and so, removing the daily peak while charging at rate of 0,5 HP (400 Watts) over 24 hours and by delivering the power at 20 HP or more during the daily half-an-hour vehicle service period.

Power batteries (very low internal resistance) are promising. However, the current batteries have the defects of their qualities, it is generally necessary to charge and discharge them slowly, they have a low energy density compared to the gasoline, they are generally made of hostile materials to the environment, their lifespan is quite limited, and their weight and size reduce the effectiveness in the mobile applications. The hybrids battery-generators attenuate these disadvantages, but they add new ones. Environmentally, batteries themselves used in great number will be a major environmental concern. In addition, if the energy that they contain is low polluting, the initial electrical source is generally always polluting.

Considering the high installed power capacity required, and the relatively low annual energy demand. Considering that technologies without the point of use pollution do displace and concentrate the pollution at the source. Considering that transformations between forms of energy reduce the total energy effectiveness ineluctably. And excluding for the moment the nuclear and fusion power (logical for hydrogen), force are we to note that the solutions offered by super gadgets high-tech-fuel-cell-and-batteries are only apparent and fragmentary, without being really sustainable. They are especially scientific and technological explorations, except for area like in Québec which has abundant hydro-power, where pertinent Dr. Couture propulsion train (in-wheel motor of Hydro-Quebec)... www.wheeltor.com is one of the few to present a world-wide interest in plugged hybrid mode with combustion engine (less batteries), and it would be even more strategic with the Quasiturbine (Note that a detonation Quasiturbine would suppress all interest and need for hybrid vehicle concept, since a powerful Quasiturbine engine would have a modest low regime penalty !).

So, for most area of the world, liquid fuels (fossil or synthetic) are still by far the best way to concentrate and to transport autonomous energy, and with the combustion engines like partners, they offer an unequalled perspective solution for mobility, towards which one inevitably returns and will return. The race for the efficiency and environmental cleanliness is here a critical argument. Rather than to give up this axis of logical solution, which is not fashionable for now, one should intensify the efforts for its further improvement. Potential of improvement is still enormous detonation engine which could reduce the CO2 emission by half, being more than the Kyoto protocol, and without modifying the weight, the power and the autonomy of our vehicles !

There is also a great potential for the Quasiturbine-Stirling-Steam which could produce several HPs continuously for many years base for example, on a small nuclear pellet...

Engine problematic in itself is very different from the vehicle problematic. Why is it that if you lower the output power of an engine to 10%, the fuel consumption is only reduced to 25% ? With Diesel engine, it has to do with the non-homogeneous jet fuel mixture which requires more fuel to fire at idle. With the Beau de Rocha (Otto) gas cycle, it has to do with the intake manifold depressurization, which makes idle engine to work hard against the atmospheric pressure... Detonation removes this deficiency.

QT Vehicle Concepts

To illustrate the use of Quasiturbine in vehicle propulsion, at least 6 different concepts could be listed:


To power these most (one day ?) popular vehicles concepts, one needs to manufacture essentially only 2 basic Quasiturbine engines: The QT75 with 75cc chamber, a 6 inches rotor diameter weighting less than 30 pounds; and a QT600 with 600cc chamber, a 11 inches rotor diameter weighting less than 100 pounds. For each concept, one could assume:

  • The engine size and weight will be at least 1/5 of the conventional piston engine.
  • The Quasiturbine is so quiet, only little muffler sound attenuator would be required.
  • Being a zero vibration engine, no special damping support is required, neither a separated and well-insulated engine compartment.
  • The Quasiturbine being a low rpm high torque engine, there could be no need for a conventional gearbox (except for reverse).
  • Furthermore, since the Quasiturbine can run in all orientations, it could easily be fixed with vertical shaft (with only a clutch, no gearbox) directly on the wheel differential, having its driving shaft directed up-ward straight into the Quasiturbine.
  • Alternatively, since both ends of the Quasiturbine shaft can give full take-off power, it could be located concentric to the differential shaft.
  • More thermodynamically efficient. Saving an extra 8 to 10% by suppressing the gearbox, and substantial additional saving over the vehicle life time by weight reduction.
  • Less pollutant.
  • Idle can be as low as 200 rpm; and 0 rpm (complete stop and restart when needed) for fluid energy converter mode (pneumatic, steam, cryogenic ...).
  • QT75 maximum revolution is 3000 rpm, QT600 maximum revolution is about 2000 rpm (higher value may be possible ?).
  • Unseen accelerations ! The Quasiturbine has no dead time and no flywheels (which are responsible for slowing down the vehicle acceleration).

DOE - NREL - "VEHICLE SYSTEM MODEL" - The US Department of Energy (NREL - National Renewable Energy Laboratory) has created a "vehicle system model" and uses it to screen new and promising (and not so promising) components. This simulator can help establishing how an engine performs over a selected duty cycles for various vehicle setups. This "vehicle system model" can be downloaded free.

QT Advantages in Vehicle

There are numerous advantages with conventional combustion Beau de Rocha (Otto) mode Quasiturbine, including : efficiency, engine volume and weight reduction allowing more creative vehicle concepts, zero vibration, low noise and cleaner engine improving comfort...

Furthermore, the present piston engine limitations can be overcome by the detonation Quasiturbine engine. It is not an easy road, but it is for sure an impossible road for the piston engine. The shorter Quasiturbine linear-ramp-pressure-pulse allows and stands the very violent but complete and clean detonation combustion. The detonation engine has very little idle efficiency penalty, which means that a 100 kW engine can be efficiently and continuously used to produce only 10 kW of useful power, including on gasoline, diesel, or other fuels. The detonation Quasiturbine remove the need for hybrid vehicle concept, since even a powerful Quasiturbine engine would have a small low regime efficiency penalty !

The Quasiturbine is universal in relation to energy sources : Liquid and gaseous fuel, hydrogen, steam, pneumatic, hydraulic... which could be of great interest in country where energy is not so abundant... For this reason, the Quasiturbine technology will be difficult to circumvent in the world of mobility...

Engine Exhaust Heat Recovery:
By placing a hot Quasiturbine into or around an engine exhaust pipe, and injecting pressurized hot water (steam keep in the liquid state for better heat transfer), some heat can be recovered into mechanical energy. Stirling and short steam circuit Quasiturbine could do similarly!

QT Recreational

Small Quasiturbine are most appropriate in Quad, snowmobile, VTT, motorbikes, sea-doo... and light boats, where "Power without noise, vibration and pollution" is in great demand.

Hybrid Vehicle

Detonation and hybrid are two different means to harvest the low efficiency of reduced power piston engine, and both are compatible with efficient electrical (in-wheel) power train. Detonation engine is however a more direct and efficient way, and because the « on board fuel » is already a form of energy storage, detonation engine avoid to re-stock this energy electrically into batteries. The chemical energy stored in the fuel is degraded when chemically re-stored in batteries.

The hybrid vehicle concept is interesting with the present conventional internal combustion engines because it is more efficient to run a 20 kW engine at full power at all time (despite the inefficiency, weight and cost of the storage system), than to run a 100 kW engine at 10kW most of the time. Notice that the saving potential is about 50%, of which the hybrid concept saves about half, ignoring the hardware energy investment!

Because a powerful Quasiturbine detonation engine has a small low regime efficiency penalty, the detonation Quasiturbine removes the need for hybrid vehicle concept! (The addition of the hybrid solution to the detonation engine would provide no benefit). This is the relation between the hybrid vehicle concept and the Quasiturbine detonation engine. In this condition, there is no need to have an hybrid energy storage system, since the energy you do not need is kept stored in the fuel tank! The vehicle still can be electrical, but now with an all regime efficient high capacity modulated power generator instead of a battery storage... (The interesting global high efficiency problematic of the electric vehicle taking its energy form the grid is something else).

Hydrogen Vehicle

For a century, we are already in an hydrogen world, since hydro-carbon fuel is just a way to store hydrogen by bounding it to a carbon atom. Making synthetic fuel out of the atmosphere CO2 and water hydrogen would mean no net ozone and greenhouse gas pollution. Making hydrogen out of fossil fuel makes little sense for now. Hydrogen could make sense on the long term base on nuclear high temperature reactors. Nevertheless, the Quasiturbine is the best internal combustion engine for hydrogen, and it will have its place with or without an hydrogen economy.

Quasiturbine Pneumatic and Fuel cell : A perfect Match, because fuel cell need to be cooled (using liquid nitrogen?), while high pressure evaporated nitrogen could produce energy through a pneumatic Quasiturbine!

Pneumatic Vehicle

Since the Quasiturbine is a pure expansion engine (which the Wankel is not, neither most of other rotary engines), it is well suitable as compressed fluid engine or air motor. Pneumatic systems have a substantial advantage: they are cheap and don't require expensive battery maintenance and periodic replacement.

October 28, 2004 - WORLD PREMIÈRE

From the video

Air hybrid cars could bring big fuel savings for city drivers, according to a recent study released by UCLA engineers collaborating with engineers at Ford Motor Company. Experiments based on modeling and simulations showed that the air hybrid engine improved fuel efficiency by 64 percent in city driving and 12 percent in highway driving. The study also suggested that by adopting the air hybrid approach, car-makers could avoid some of the manufacturing costs associated with the more common electric hybrid design.

Storing both the pressure (moderate) with its associated heat could be appropriate for example in the case of mining pneumatic locomotive or city subway, where the pneumatic wagon could be refilled every few hours, not to say partly refill from the braking energy recovery. Pneumatic removes the high voltage subway hazard, and allows better conditioning the air purity by releasing dry air, which is most suitable to reduce subway moisture. Depending of the voluntary heat lost on the ground processing pressure plant, subway gas relaxation could further cool down the ambient air, a great advantage on summer !

Switching Air Motor-Compressor

Turning in reverse a Quasiturbine air motor will make it act as a compressor. However, the direction of rotation can be keep the same, if both exhausts are plug by a small check valve line taking the exhaust pressure exit as the compressor output. Then, to prevent the air motor intake two lines to be vacuumed, a check valve on them allowing-in atmospheric air will suffice. This kind of switching motor-compressor mode without changing the direction of rotation is useful for application like windmill back up pneumatic air storage or vehicle breaking energy recovery device.

Stirling-Steam Vehicle

There is a great potential for low power Quasiturbine Stirling - Steam, which could produce several HPs continuously non-stop for many years, based for example on a small hot nuclear pellet... This modest power could be used to recharge batteries.

Large multi megawatts units could be used in ships, and eventually use nuclear steam. Also applicable to locomotives.

On the Water

The Quasiturbine is most suitable for light and heavy boats, including recreational sea-doo. In a fast boat, the weight reduction allows for a better over water surfing, water stream jet integration in the center of the submersible Quasiturbine suppresses the shaft and alignments, and the vibration and noise level. Outboard marine submersible Quasiturbine can also be of great interest.

Pneumatic submarine: Here is an interesting concept project for a pneumatic sub-marine, where everything is outside the habitable: the air tanks are underneath as emergency lest, the Quasiturbine submersible jet propulsion is remote behind, and the Quasiturbine air exhaust is fed inside and inhaled by the crew!


In a propeller airplane, weight reduction allows a larger payload or longer autonomy, space saving allows to reduce the aerodynamic drag, absence of vibration increases instruments reliability, photos quality and flight comfort, the noise reduction increases the discretion level, the high torque allows the use of multi-blades propeller and the better intake characteristic of the Quasiturbine allows higher flight altitude. In an helicopter, a large diameter Quasiturbine could generate enough torque to directly drive of the rotor blades without any gearbox, while making much less noise.

A small experimental prototype...

Considering the high power density, the low cross section area and the exceptional intake characteristics of the Quasiturbine, it is reasonable to expect to conceive several airplane engines:

  • Enhance jet efficiency by recovering the waste gate exceeding compressed air for other applications, like driving an APU (Auxiliary Power Unit).
  • Quasiturbine-Prop in which the propeller would be driven by a Quasiturbine, rather than by a conventional power turbine.
  • Quasiturbine-Fan in which the Fan would be driven by a Quasiturbine, rather than by a conventional power turbine.
  • Quasiturbine-Fan Hybrid in which only the compressor (also a Quasiturbine) would be driven by a Quasiturbine, leaving all the reactor energy available to drive a still more powerful Fan. The Quasiturbine air intake could come from the compressor. The empty center of the Quasiturbine would allow the shaft to go from the power turbine to the fan, as well as the compressed air.
  • Quasiturbine-Jet reactor (no hot turbine). Still more revolutionary would be a Jet Reactor without power turbine in the hot gas flow, where the compressor would be driven by a Quasiturbine, leaving to the Jet all its propulsive energy. The Quasiturbine air intake could come from the compressor. For still a higher power density, the Quasiturbine could be fueled in pneumatic mode in hydrogen peroxide. Those concepts would also permit to construct much less complicated airplane engines and at a much lower cost than conventional turbines.
  • Two Quasiturbines in series (in pneumatic mode). A reactor without Jet! The "Brayton Cycle" (also known as Joule Cycle) of the turbo-reactors. The Quasiturbine is pressure sensitive and requires a higher pressure at Brayton intake than at exit, because it does not use kinetic energy transformation. The Brayton engine would be made of two distinct Quasiturbines of different size space away on the same shaft sharing a common pressure in between linked through an external combustion chamber (combustor) and even looped (?)

It is anticipated that the Quasiturbine, specially in detonation mode, would permit a substantial improvement in aeronautical propulsion, and would constitute a complement to pulsed detonation engine of the future.

Quasiturbine Racing Car

Why not? A "FORMULA QT" - Quasiturbine Racing Car could be of interest to sport fans around the word, even if it is off-competition and only for friendly demonstration on circuits with Indy, CART Series and Formula 1 - F1 !

Engine Exhaust Heat Recovery:
By placing a hot Quasiturbine into or around an engine exhaust pipe, and injecting pressurized hot water (steam keep in the liquid state for better heat transfer), some heat can be recovered into mechanical energy. Stirling and short steam circuit Quasiturbine could do similarly!

A 10 second vehicle Power Booster. Originally, hybrid was intended for efficiency increase, not for performance increase. More and more vehicles use 2 engines not for fuel savings, but to increase acceleration performance: As a 10 seconds Power Booster, benefiting a government grant! In this regards, the Quasiturbine QT600SC pneumatic with an onboard air tank and compressor could eventually provide hundreds of additional HP for 10 seconds, and make an unbeatable acceleration Quasiturbine Hybrid vehicle... the market seem to ask for? Many others applications require high power bursts, like in smooth landing parachuting (with fast line-winding in less than 10 seconds).

More Technical

Quasiturbine for vehicle

Quasiturbine versus piston

Quasiturbine Aviation - Multi-fuel air-cooled ultra-light engine

Compressed Air Car with Quasiturbine Pneumatic Engine

Quasiturbine and fuel cells http://quasiturbine.promci.qc.ca/QTPileCombustible.html

A Thermo-Pneumatic Quasiturbine Locomotive - Addendum on subway

Steam-Powered Quasiturbine in Direct-Drive Railway Locomotive Propulsion

Developing a PCM (Phase-Change Material) Thermal Rechargeable
Quasiturbine Railway Locomotive by Harry Valentine

Methodology of engine integration to a rolling frame (French)

"FORMULA QT" - Quasiturbine Racing Car

In-wheel motor (Wheeltor)