Experience and Explosions: How All Great Inventions are Born
Posted on: 06/27/2018
The Roots of the Inventor
Before joining the Navy, I had already worked as a Kawasaki mechanic and an apprentice diesel mechanic. I apprenticed under one of the best mechanics ever; ol’ Ben kept the tanks rolling across Europe in WW2, there was nothing he couldn’t fix with his hammer! These skills plus the electronics training I received in the Navy came in handy to keep my own MGB running. When the expensive electrical parts failed, I learned how to substitute them with Ford and other inexpensive parts. Once when I was installing new universal joints into the driveshaft with my trusty vice, the guy who checked out tools (who believed he was the resident expert) insisted on installing the other joint with a hydraulic press. Sure enough, when the bearing cup jammed up and cracked under his press, the sickening sound I heard meant I would be walking for the next 10 days.
One of my buddies drove a Datsun 240Z, the other a Fiat X-19, and I the MGB. We formed a rally club, with only two rules: when we drove to the ocean 3 hours away, the 240Z driver who would immediately disappear from view was responsible for finding us rooms, and the Fiat and MGB would stay in visual range of each other in case of breakdowns. The Fiat would routinely break its rubber timing chain, causing the pistons and valves to collide. Later I realized we didn’t know the proper way to install these belts—as the song goes, “I only have myself to blame.”
Just up from our base was an incredible off-road area, and I had my trusty Honda Xl 250 to ride. One of the chiefs I worked with rebuilt his Xl with really expensive after-market parts and he invited us to his house to see his finished motorcycle. It started right up, but unexpectantly stopped a block away. He pushed it back and asked us if any of us saw him put oil in the engine…In his excitement to get the thing going, he had forgotten to put oil in the engine! (What’s that saying? “For the want of a nail the shoe was lost?”)
The Roots of the Invention
My current patent started when I acquired a cheap foreign built engine to begin the testing phase of my invention. The engine would only start with huge amounts of starting fluid and would never idle correctly. Having to run the engine at higher speeds quickly showed me that using plastic plumbing parts for a flywheel assembly was a bad choice; the attraction between the rotating magnets and stationary coils pulled the two parts together, causing a spectacular explosion (I’ve learned through the years that it’s wise to put a shield around rotating inventions). This thankfully stopped all of the shrapnel, but some of the magnets escaped and I know they’re probably stuck to the metal on my test fixture.
At this point, I decided to forgo engine testing and do pure laboratory testing to eliminate any further “surprises.” Using a degree wheel, I determined that my cheap engine has a defect in the valve system that opens the exhaust valve in the middle of the compression stroke, dumping most of the air/fuel mixture out the exhaust pipe. Someday when I have time (and regained courage), I plan to tear it down and fix it to create a full working model. For now, my work remains as an idea: a technology that can revolutionize the landscape of automotive engineering.
Posted on: 06/26/2018
New Patent Signals Opportunities for Added Efficiency and Power in Combustion Engines
An Optimally-Timed Burst of Magnetic Energy Could Revolutionize Engine Design
RK Transportation, led by Randy Moore, has received a patent (U.S. patent #9,806,585 B2) which could revolutionize engine design and significantly increase fuel efficiency along with acceleration and power. The precision technology introduces an electromechanical component to traditional combustion engines that provides a burst of energy at the moment when piston friction subsides. The component—a lightweight magnetic plate—has the potential to add extra torque to the engine while reducing inertia.
Many combustion engines currently use flywheels to overcome friction in energy expenditure. But flywheels are heavy and can reduce acceleration due to the extra inertia. In the place of a flywheel, the RK Transportation solution is to add permanent magnets to the rotor assembly, enabling bursts of perfectly-timed energy to the engine by attracting and repelling the magnets from stationary coils.
“This innovation stands to have a huge impact on small engine performance by using electromechanical energy to manage torque output,” says Randy Moore. “With further development, we could replace the flywheel and transmissions currently used, which would allow us to increase power and reduce fuel consumption simultaneously.”
The new technology has been through years of experimentation and is ready to be implemented in real-world applications, for racing research, automotive engines and smaller engines. More information is available at rk-transportation.com.
Randy Moore, president of RK Transportation, has spent a lifetime “under the hood” of the most advanced technologies—first in the U.S. Navy and then during his 30-year career at Ball Aerospace Systems Division in Colorado. With extensive experience with engines, electronics and robotics, he left Ball to focus on the innovations that had been percolating for decades in his own labs. Now he brings this patent out in order to collaborate with others and to realize a significant transformation for the transportation industry as we know it.
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