A French-designed free-piston experimental engine has a unique method of producing electric power for transmission directly to a car's hub-mounted electric motors, also newly designed. The Jarret brothers, professional inventors working near Paris, have replaced connecting rods, crankshaft, and mechanical transmission of a conventional engine by an electronically controlled electromagnetic system with a rectilinear alternator at each end of the engine. The mechanical movement of the pistons is converted to electrical energy by magnetic rings on the piston assemblies passing between the alternator coils. Power to the motors would be electronically regulated by a controller attached to the throttle. Direct fuel injection is used, timed to microseconds by an electronic control unit. The engine weighs less than 70 lb., is vibrationless, produces 1.3 hp./cu. in. displacement, and has a power-to-weight ratio three or four times that of current automobile engines. Exceptionally good fuel economy was a basic design goal; 50% efficiency of the complete system is anticipated. A company (Mothelec) was formed in 1976 to sponsor further development of the engine. Arrival at the production stage will probably take another ten years. The engine can form a lightweight and compact installation for almost any vehicle, and would provide extreme versatility in drive system and layout.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Times Mirror Magazines, Incorporated

    380 Madison Avenue
    New York, NY  United States  10017
  • Authors:
    • NORBYE, J P
  • Publication Date: 1980-6

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 72-73
  • Serial:
    • Popular Science
    • Volume: 216
    • Issue Number: 6
    • Publisher: Times Mirror Magazines, Incorporated
    • ISSN: 0161-7370

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00387812
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-029 548
  • Files: HSL, USDOT
  • Created Date: Aug 30 1984 12:00AM