Navistar International Corp., the commercial vehicle and diesel engine builder, has entered into a development agreement with EcoMotors International involving that company's opoc (Opposed-Piston, Opposed-Cylinder) engine architecture. EcoMotors is a Michigan-based development company financed primarily by Khosla Ventures and Microsoft chairman Bill Gates that is commercializing its opoc engine as an alternative to conventional gas or diesel engines, for cars, light trucks, commercial vehicles, aerospace, marine, agriculture, auxiliary power units, generators, and so on.
EcoMotors indicates its initial goal will be to commercialize a turbo-diesel version of the opposed-piston, opposed-cylinder engine.
The opoc engine is a patented design for a internal combustion engine family intended to operate with a variety of different fuels (gasoline, diesel, natural gas, ethanol) and featuring “opposed piston-opposed cylinder direct gas exchange” that results in lower emissions and other operating benefits.
The engine is comprised of two opposing cylinders per module, with a crankshaft between them, and each cylinder has two pistons moving in opposite directions. It’s a configuration eliminates the cylinder-head and valve-train components of conventional engines, resulting in a compact engine structure that is lighter than competing designs, with lower exhaust levels. The developers say these factors make it a more efficient and economical product, too.
As detailed by EcoMotors, the opoc’s “opposed piston-opposed cylinder direct gas-exchange operation provides the well known emissions benefits of 4-cycle engines, the simplicity benefits of 2-cycle engines, the power density of the less well known opposed piston engine, and the extraordinary developments in electronics and combustion technology, all tied together in a new and proprietary engine architecture.”
"We continue to be on the cutting edge of technology and our development agreement with EcoMotors once again demonstrates our commitment to develop new, innovative approaches to the commercial vehicle industry," stated Navistar charman Dan Ustian. "Our company has a long history of pushing the envelope to deliver state-of-the-art, customer-focused solutions and we see great promise in EcoMotors' breakthrough engine design."