The Brickley Engine

By Jamie Waugh / Published by Dwell
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Moving parts mean friction; friction means a drag on engine efficiency. Five years ago independent Austin, Texas, inventor Mike Brickley took this on as a challenge. He created and patented a car engine that gets a 15% to 20% increase in fuel efficiency and a 15% to 20% decrease in CO2 emissions, and he was recently was featured in the New York Times in the 2008 Year of Ideas issue as a result.

How does it work? He did away with piston skirts here and bearings there, a configuration that produces 35% less friction than a regular engine. It will work in trains, tractors, trucks, automobiles, and other fuel-burning vehicles, with diesel and spark ignition engines of four or more cylinders. 

Brickley hopes Detroit can embrace this technology in the future. In the meantime, check out his website. Or write a letter to GM.

j

Jamie Waugh

@jamie_waugh

After starting in design journalism at House & Garden and CNN, Jamie runs the International Design Awards festival, which rewards visionary international design. One University of Southern California MFA later, she maintains a steady fiction and dramatic writing habit.

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