Wave Disc Engines

One of the 37 projects that were funded under the ARPA-E program was Wave Disc Engines

Wave Disc Engine. Michigan State will complete its prototype development of a new gas-fueled electricity generator, five times more efficient than traditional auto engines in electricity production, 20% lighter, and 30% cheaper to manufacture. This novel ultrahigh efficiency engine could replace current backup generator technology of Plug-in Hybrid Electric vehicles. (DOE grant: $2,540,631)

The wave disc engine is a new implementation of wave rotor technology (also called Pressure Wave Machines or Pressure Exchangers). Wave rotors are unsteady-flow devices that utilize shock waves to transfer energy directly between a high-energy fluid to a low-energy fluid, thereby increasing both temperature and pressure of the low-energy fluid. Wave rotor technology has shown a significant potential for performance improvement of thermodynamic cycles.

The award will allow a team of Michigan State University engineers and scientists, led by Norbert Müeller, an associate professor of mechanical engineering, to begin working toward producing a vehicle-size wave disc engine/generator during the next two years, building on existing modeling, analysis and lab experimentation they have already completed.

Our goal is to enable hyper-efficient hybrid vehicles to meet consumer needs for a 500-mile driving range, lower vehicle prices, full-size utility, improved highway performance and very low operating costs. The WDG also can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 95 percent in comparison to modern internal combustion vehicle engines

Researchers in Poland and Switzerland investigated the Wave Disk Micro-Engine concept

Norbert Mueller describes his wave disk generator

Pressure wave supercharger at wikipedia