Unlike traditional engines, where the majority of load-bearing surfaces are moving in full circles, the majority of the load-bearing surfaces in the Brickley Engine only travel fractions of circles, which results in over 50% less friction.
Each day millions of barrels of oil are transformed into mechanical work through the use of internal combustion engines throughout the world. Because of the versatility and low cost of diesel and spark-ignition engines, realistic alternatives to their various uses are going to be slow coming and improvements to the internal combustion engine will be essential in the meantime.
Over the past few decades, friction reduction in the internal combustion engine has been a recognized means for improving fuel efficiency and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Lighter-viscosity oils, engine downsizing, hybridization, and transmissions with additional gears are among the major strategies that have been employed to allow an engine to operate efficiently. While each of these strategies is effective in its own right, these measures have taken an add-on approach instead of addressing the friction that is inherent in the engine’s mechanical design. The prospect of an entirely new design approach taking this inherent friction into account was relegated to the undiscoverable until now.
The patented Brickley Engine re-configures the basic structure of the engine, allowing for gains that had previously been unattainable. Unlike traditional engines, where the majority of load-bearing surfaces (i.e. main bearings, crankpin bearings, etc.) are moving in full circles, the majority of the Brickley Engine’s load-bearing surfaces only travel fractions of circles, which results in significantly less friction. Additionally, the design allows for other friction-causing elements in traditional engines to be omitted entirely. Preliminary test results from an operating Brickley Engine show that over half of the friction present in a typical engine can be eliminated.
Fascinated with the steam engine, Mike Brickley designed and built a steam powered bicycle while in high school. Interest in other types of heat engines followed, each with its accompanying acquired knowledge base. A breadth of disciplines including thermodynamics, engineering design, and hands-on machine tool experience as each applies to the steam engine, the stirling engine, and the internal combustion engine, allowed for an unusual way to view the problem of engine friction. Based on this knowledge history he created the design for the Brickley Engine and has now completed a proof of concept engine. He designed and machined both the tooling and the majority of the parts himself. He has been granted three U.S. patents for the engine design.
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