Terry Knight, from Engineering TV, and I had an interesting time at the Military Vehicles Exhibition and Conference (MVEC) this week. There were plenty of connectors, electronics and simulators at ths show in addition to two companies with some neat hardware: Monolith Engines and Vyper Adamas. We did some video interviews with these companies and they will be posted on Engineering TV next week.
Monolith Engines was showing off a new opposed piston engine (see Compact Quad Opposed Piston Engine Uses Split Crankshaft). There are two and four cycle versions and it is possible to use two or four pistons. With two, each moves in the opposite direction. With four, two push out while the other two push in on the second part of the cycle.
What is really neat is the dual, split crankshaft that provides a balanced configuration that reduces wear and vibration. The connecting rod between the pistons and the crankshaft remain perpendicular to the piston. There is no need for counterweights either. The engine can be turbo charged too. Electronic ignition and timing can help as well.
The engine tends to be more compact than other engines. It is also simpler to build since it can be built with an extruded block instead of the more expensive cast blocks normally used.