Transportation Category Winner, "Create the Future" 2007 Design Contest
- Monday, 31 March 2008
Winner of an HP Workstation
Internally Radiating Impulse Structure (IRIS) Engine
The vast majority of internal combustion engines we use for transportation and commerce run at approximately 25% efficiency. Tendix LLC has developed a new family of engines that dramatically enhance fuel efficiency, effectively prolonging the viability of global petroleum reserves, and significantly reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.
The Internally Radiating Impulse Structure (IRIS) overcomes many of the underlying shortcomings of modern engines by fundamentally changing the geometry of the combustion chamber. The IRIS changes the combustion chamber’s design from one piston in a cylinder to six “chordons,” which act as expanding walls. Existing chamber designs become longer during combustion. In contrast, the IRIS chamber expands in diameter. This design innovation means the vast majority of the IRIS’s surface area reacts productively to the forces of combustion, generating torque throughout each combustion cycle. Surfaces exposed to combusting gases in an engine can react either productively, by moving, or wastefully by heating. In traditional engines, an average of less than 25% of the combustion chamber’s surface area is productive. In an IRIS, that average skyrockets to more than 70% of the chamber’s surface area. Furthermore, because so much of the chamber is productive, gases can expand further than in an ordinary engine before opening the exhaust valves. This means that an IRIS engine also captures energy that previously flowed out the exhaust pipe.
IRIS engines avoid the shortcomings of alternative systems such as hybrids, electrics, or fuel cells. These systems offer only marginal increases in efficiency; negatively impact weight, range, and power; or rely on infrastructure and technology that are still decades from viability. IRIS engines are substantially smaller, lighter, and more fuel efficient. They are compatible with existing infrastructure, and are built with conventional materials and machining.
In the future, it can be adapted to run on alternative fuels such as biodiesel, natural gas, or hydrogen. IRIS technology can also be utilized to create dramatically more efficient pumps, compressors, and medical devices.