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Sanderson Engine Receives Technology Patents For Ultra High-Efficiency Engine Concepts.

Patents cover core mechanical advancements that enable new generation of engines, pumps and compressors

UPTON, Mass. -- Sanderson Engine Development Company, a developer of ultra high-efficiency engine technology, has announced the receipt of three new patents by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The patents cover a highly innovative piston assembly, an associated piston connecting joint, and a variable compression ratio mechanism. The piston joint and associated components are core components of the Sanderson Rocker Arm Mechanism (SRAM) invented by Robert and Albert Sanderson.

The SRAM mechanism is being evaluated for use in a new type of high-efficiency engine presently undergoing development and testing. The engine combines revolutionary technologies that allow direct conversion between reciprocating and rotational motion without use of a conventional crankshaft. The result is an internal combustion engine for vehicles that is much simpler and more fuel efficient than conventional piston engines.

Among the applications currently being investigated is an integral hybrid hydraulic engine capable of powering a hydraulically driven automobile. Tests at a leading university indicate that an SRAM-powered hydraulic hybrid automobile should be capable of achieving more than 100 miles per gallon. Other potential applications being investigated for SRAM technology include pumps, compressors, refrigeration equipment, electric generators, agricultural and construction equipment, and hydraulic windmill systems.

The new patents, in combination with several previously granted U.S. and international patents, will enable development and commercialization of high-efficiency engines, pumps, and compressors ranging from fractional to multi-thousand horsepower models. These will be capable of powering large oil field pumps, mining equipment, transportation equipment, electric-power generators, and related equipment such as integral engine gas compressors.

Technology Breakthroughs

For the first time in an internal combustion engine, the new SRAM technology provides an effective means of varying compression ratio while the motor is in actual operation. This capability can have a dramatic effect on the efficiency and operating characteristics of vehicles such as long-haul trucks. In addition, the technology eliminates the crankshaft and bottom-works of an engine,

Among other major technical achievements of the SRAM concept are extremely low friction, unprecedented power-to-weight ratio, and the ability to allow design and construction of a single integrated engine that incorporates a built-in hydraulic drive. This permits the elimination of numerous components normally required in hydraulically actuated vehicles such as log skidders and other commercial equipment.

U.S. patent number 7,007,589, entitled "Piston Assembly," covers both single- and double-ended pistons that are connected to a unique rocker arm mechanism in a manner that enables the engine's Compression Ratio to be changed by varying the piston stroke while the engine is operating. This unique feature permits the compression ratio to be increased at light loads and decreased at heavier loads, resulting in significant increases in engine efficiency and corresponding decreases in fuel consumption. It also facilitates the ability to switch between multiple fuels such as gasoline, ethanol, or other combustible fluids. The patent covers the application of the variable combustion ratio technology to various types of engines including two- and four-stroke, diesel, multi-fuelled, steam powered, and others.

U.S. patent number 7,011,469, entitled "Piston Joint," covers a unique new type of sliding joint assembly that couples a single- or double-ended piston to the Sanderson rocker arm, which in turn permits the virtual elimination of piston side-load, thus dramatically reducing friction, heat, and engine wear. The piston joint represents one of the principal breakthrough technologies of the Sanderson Rocker Arm Mechanism.

U.S. patent number 7,185,578, entitled "Piston Assembly," includes the incorporation of a drive gear and associated components to enable varying the stroke of a piston between zero and maximum stroke. This permits the compression ratio of an engine to be changed while the engine is running, a capability that is not available or practical in conventional engines.

Licensing Phase is Imminent

"We are actively working toward licensing our SRAM technology to several vertical industry segments," said John Fox, president of Sanderson Engine Development. "Our extensive patents, plus the evidence-based results of numerous independent test trials, make the SRAM mechanism an attractive candidate to significantly increase market share for manufacturers who can demonstrate the merits of this next-generation compression engine technology to consumers and end-users. Further, its exceptionally broad applicability as an engine, integrated engine/hydraulic drive, pump, or compressor, plus the commonality of its components, open up unprecedented possibilities for manufacturing economies-of-scale. With escalating gasoline prices, SRAM engines will enable accelerated development of ultra high-efficiency vehicles that are much lighter than today's automobiles and may reach previously unattainable levels of fuel efficiency. SRAM engine technology could achieve up to 75 miles per gallon or more in a mid-sized sedan or SUV," Fox said.

Sanderson Engine Development, based in Upton, Mass., was founded in 1998 by Robert and Albert Sanderson as an inventor and developer of advanced engine technologies. The company's Sanderson Rocker Arm Mechanism has received multiple patents, successfully tested prototypes under a wide range of conditions, and is negotiating development agreements with major US companies. The mechanism has proven scalable and widely applicable beyond engines to pumps, hydraulic drives, generators, and compressors. The benefits of its patented technologies include ultra-low friction, variable stroke design, virtually unlimited scalability, hydraulic hybridization, low emissions, fewer components, and high power-to-weight ratios. Visit www.sandersonengine.com.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:May 22, 2007
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