Japan's military is lagging in terms of its digitisation, but a smart base experiment could begin to turn the tide.
LiquidPiston to continue developing 30kW X4 engine
LiquidPiston has received an additional $2.5 million funding from DARPA to continue development of its 30kW X4 rotary diesel engine prototype, the company announced on 19 June.
LiquidPiston received the contract after meeting the objectives for Phase I of the programme that was focused on the clean sheet design of the X4 and demonstrating the structural integrity of the new engine platform while operating under compression ignition of diesel fuel.
Phase II of the programme aims to demonstrate 30kW of power and reaching 45% net indicated fuel efficiency from the .75L X4 prototype. Phase II will also lay the foundation for future work. After the complete development of the fully packaged engine, the 30kW X4 engine is expected to weigh just 30lbs and fit into a 10-inch box, while achieving 45% brake thermal efficiency – approximately an order of magnitude smaller and lighter than traditional piston diesel engines and also 30% more efficient.
The efficient, lightweight and powerful rotary Diesel/JP-8 X4 engine will offer a power solution for direct and hybrid electric propulsion and power generation. Advanced and autonomous air, sea and ground vehicles could benefit from a new power platform which is compact, lightweight and burns heavy fuels efficiently. The technology could improve mission endurance and payload or increase the mobility of higher power electric generators.
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