Rotary Engines and Trade-Offs (WAS:: Managing Change)

24 Nov 2003 - 12:31pm
1225 reads
Pete Gordon - U...

Just a friendly comment about Industry Design Adoption of Automobile
Engines and trade-offs.

The post about rotary engines, made me curious about its accuracy. The
information on the Internet I see about it says that it is typically
not more fuel efficient, but there are some other efficiencies.
"They typically consume more fuel than a piston engine because the
thermodynamic efficiency of the engine is reduced by the long
combustion-chamber shape and low compression ratio."
"The rotary meant automakers could use smaller engines with fewer
moving parts to get the same, if not more, power than big engines with
more moving parts. Though small, however, the rotary tended to consume
considerable fuel in delivering all that power."

Isn't it true that quality design is always about trade-offs. If there
are no trade-offs then the value of design is obvious, and it seems
then almost anyone can provide the "quality design".

Thanks for reading!
Pete Gordon

> An interesting side note: The V8 engine is one of the most ineeficient
> ways
> to turn fossil fuels into motion yet it dominates the automobile
> industry to
> this day. The rotory engine is just one example of a morte efficient
> design.
> Don't examples like this beg the question, what is driving the
> industry?


Pete Gordon
SPS Commerce
Manager of Fourthchannel Services
1275 Kinnear Road 
Columbus, OH 43212
Work: 614-340-1447
Fax: 614-340-1449
Email: pgordon at

Customer Support: 866-205-1440

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