Moller International has announced that it has achieved a major breakthrough in rotary engine performance. A version of the Company's Rotapower engine is designed in such a way that the engine's two rotors operate in series rather than parallel. This design allows the first compressor/expansion rotor to supercharge the second power rotor while the exhaust from the power rotor is further expanded in the compressor/expansion rotor, extracting additional power. In effect, the engine operates in what is termed a compound cycle. Because of the additional energy captured from the exhaust gases, engine noise is reduced by 93% and exhaust temperature is reduced by 47%. Moller International's non-compounded Rotapower rotary engine has already demonstrated a fuel consumption 12% below that of the new Mazda Renesis rotary engine. Compounding is expected reduce the Rotapower engine's fuel consumption by an additional 25%.
Rotary engines are particularly small and light relative to their power output and nearly vibration- free in operation. Compounding makes the Rotapower engine potentially much better than the piston engine in fuel consumption as well. This was the major limitation that prevented the rotary engine from supplanting all piston engines. It now becomes an attractive candidate for the Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) market where weight, space, fuel consumption, emissions and vibration are all critical. The Rotapower engine previously demonstrated its ability to meet California's Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (SULEV) standard without exhaust after-treatment.
Moller International is in the final phase of negotiations to license worldwide production and marketing rights for its Rotapower engines to Rotapower Engine Systems, Limited of Southampton, United Kingdom.