Comparison To The Wankel Engine
Despite their apparent geometrical similarity, the RKM and the Wankel engine are quite different in design. The main similarities between them are the shape of the working chamber and the use of rotary motion.
However, there are many differences between the two. The Wankel engine working chamber is mobile while the RKM chamber is stationary. The axis of rotation in the Wankel engine moves in a circle while that of the RKM is fixed (in the single power shaft version, temporarily with two possible positions). In the RKM motor, the ignition takes place in a compact recess, while the Wankel's is in the work chamber itself. The RKM's sealing elements are in surface contact with the work chamber and pistons, as opposed to the Wankel's line contact. This makes for a number of advantages of the RKM motor over the Wankel:
- Easier adaptation to diesel fuel.
- Support of forced afterburning of gases, which is not feasible with the Wankel geometry.
- Longer life, lower fuel consumption and higher efficiency.
One application that the two may indeed have in common is miniaturization. A miniature Wankel engine has been successfully constructed, and it stands to reason that the same can be done for an RKM.
Although developed in the 1960s, today there are no runnable RKM engine demonstrated.
Read more about this topic: RKM Engine
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