Hansen Engine possesses a substantial base of technology directed toward rotary valving art. This know-how emerged from certain work that it conducted in support of a rotary engine project pursued soon after its incorporation. The Hansen Rotary Valving System became a subject of interest by the US Army Tank-Automotive Command in Warren, Michigan. At the time, investigation of the application of ceramic materials was a subject of interest.
Funded by a US Army contract, Hansen Engine was directed to design and fabricate certain components applying ceramic engineered materials for a portion of the new Hansen Engine Rotary Valving System. Working prototypes were developed and applied in a single-cylinder research engine. Results and analysis of this advanced engine research activity were provided to the US Army. The contract was successfully completed. Hansen Engine met the standards required of government contracts and is in good standing with respect to all subsequent audits performed.
Hansen Engine’s most comprehensive and intense efforts have focused upon a new means of enhancing the fuel economy and engine performance of downsized engines. Automotive industry response to demands for improved fuel economy and less pollution have resulted in a trend toward downsizing engines. Involved is a need to offer cars featuring engines with fewer cylinders. While these smaller engines result in fuel savings, they also lower the level of responsiveness and power available. Manufacturers have responded by providing boost systems, in most cases turbochargers, to restore the lost power.
The Hansen Engine engineering team has created a new type of supercharger. Early demonstration of its supercharger was partially funded by investments from a fund associated with Minnesota Technology, Inc., a quasi-state business development entity and The Development Corporation of Austin, Minnesota.
The technology, which was created and augmented by funding from other private investors, was then demonstrated through two subsequent SBIR grants from the US Army. The single-cylinder application, and demonstration which followed, established the feasibility and actual performance of the new system. Hansen Engine engineers met the terms of these two important grants, providing analysis and results of the operation of a continuously variable displacement supercharger to the US Army.
Private shareholders first funded the technology base for all of the above activities. Numerous patents were submitted and have been issued. Hansen Engine has carefully maintained its patent portfolio. The Hansen Supercharger continues as a subject of current research and demonstration. Current efforts are applying the new Hansen Supercharger technology to multi-cylinder automotive engines.
Variable-Valve-Timing was introduced to the Hansen Engine Rotary Valving System with demonstrationsupport from the United States Department of Energy. Prototypes were designed, fabricated, and installed on single-cylinder research engines for testing on laboratory dynamometers. The novel variable-valve-timing capability allowed the engine to operate over the full load range without a conventional throttle, resulting in demonstrated fuel-savings up to 11% relative to throttled engines. This work led to subsequent interest from General Motors Corporation after the Company’s formal presentation of a related Technical Paper, No. 940813, at the annual Congress of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).
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