US News had an update on the Wave Disk Engine back in Febuary, 2012 Mueller said in February, 2012, they have four working bench prototypes. He said, “We have engines—real, working, good-sized models—running right now,”.
ARPA-E funded the wave disk engine for $2.5 million. In a traditional internal combustion engine, air and fuel are ignited, creating high-temperature and high-pressure gases which expand rapidly. This expansion of gases forces the engine’s pistons to pump and powers the car. MSU’s engine has no pistons. It uses the combustion of air and fuel to build up pressure within the engine, generating a shockwave that blasts hot gas exhaust into the blades of the engine’s rotors causing them to turn, which generates electricity. MSU’s redesigned engine would be the size of a cooking pot and contain fewer moving parts—reducing the weight of the engine by 30%. It would also enable a vehicle that could use 60% of its fuel for propulsion.
Late in 2012, the plan is to have just a wave disk engine generating power through a 25-kilowatt battery, which will be capable of driving a full-size hybrid electric-gas vehicle. The team will turn one of them into a 25 kilowatt wave disk engine and generator package. “We’ll be able to drive a full-sized hybrid, or even a hybrid SUV,” he predicts.
The traditional internal combustion engine only uses 15 percent of its fuel for propulsion. The remaining 85 percent is essentially wasted. Hybrid gas and electric configurations are making inroads every year. But the wave disk engine promises a big step forward—it could use 60 percent of the fuel to create power, making it up to four times as efficient.
And because it’s small—Mueller can hold the bench prototype engine in just one hand—it would, in fact, be relatively easy to manufacture and reduce the overall weight of a car by as much as 1,000 pounds, enabling hybrid vehicles to be 20 percent lighter and 30 percent less expensive. There are no pistons, crankshafts or valves. The shock wave rotor engine, connected to a battery, would turn the wheels of the car.
What’s more, if it’s successfully scaled for use in a full-sized hybrid, it would reduce carbon emissions in such a car by 90 percent.