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Research and development of an ecological wankel engine for motor vessels

The objective of the project is the r&d of a new ecological wankel engine to comply with new emission limits for motor vessels, especially for the motorized surf board jetsurf.

The content of the project solution will be the research and development of a Wankel engine to comply with new emission limits for the operation of motor vessels due to come into effect in 2017. The project relates to the previously successful EUREKA project indicated as OE09020 entitled: “JetSurf – Development of a carbon surfboard with a separate ecological drive for sports and recreational use”. For this project, a surfboard with its own drive was developed with the registered trade mark JetSurf™. After termination of the resolution of the project, series production of the new surfboard began which was very positively accepted on foreign markets, particularly in maritime countries. New commercial representations were established in France, the United Arab Emirates (Dubai), Russia, Brazil and the USA. The market looks highly promising, particularly in North America; however, from 2017 new legislative and ecological limits will come into force for 2-Stroke combustion engines in seafaring vessels. Due to this restriction, it is necessary to rapidly develop a new ecological Wankel engine for surfboards with their own JetSurf drive to be sold on the American market, Japan and some countries of Europa. As a result of this completed project, a new and highly innovative product was created which does not have any competitive product anywhere in the world. The solution provider of the project, the company MSR Engines, is the complete manufacturer of JetSurf, i.e. it produces the combustion engine, including cast pieces and CNC tooling, the carbon float and all the electronics. Since 2012 there were 30 new jobs created at the end of the project and further new jobs will be created as production increases in next years. Due to the target-oriented support by the EUREKA programme, the project solution provider launched a product desired by a million people worldwide, which is the free movement of man on water regardless of the atmospheric conditions. It can now be seen that a brand new sport of motorized surfing has originated in which more and more people throughout the world are participating in. At present, more than 4.000 JetSurf surfboards have been sold at an average price of EUR 7.500 which represents a turnover exceeding 5.6 million (CZK 150 million) which has fully covered the research and development project costs. A brand new production and technology factory was built in 2015. Two types of drives were designed within the project, firstly an electric engine and secondly a combustion engine. The direction of development with two driving units was confirmed as the correct solution. After the first concept where logic clearly supported an electric engine, then after six years of development and experience with the use of JetSurf, the electric drive does not have any wider use at present. A major problem with using an electric drive arose after the change in legislation for transporting luggage by air. From 2013, only a restricted volume of batteries, based on battery capacity, could be transported by passenger air transport. Unfortunately, to operate the JetSurf, 12 kg of batteries are necessary. The key advantage of the new product is the simple option to transport by car, air or by one person because the JetSurf with the combustion engine weighs only approximately 15 kg. Due to these reasons then in the future, there were only one option – a 2-stroke combustion engine. From the transport viewpoint, in addition to the weight, it has one further advantage which is the easy cleaning of the engine prior to transport. A two-stroke combustion engine does not have any oil fillers, meaning that to transport, it is sufficient to remove the engine and empty the fuel tank. A two-stroke combustion engine has always been regarded as an imperfect engine with high emissions; therefore, development was concentrated on four-stroke engines. From the viewpoint of a JetSurf, a four-stroke engine cannot be used due to the high weight, vibrations and the high number of components which cannot be produced from stainless steel so therefore tend to corrode in salt water Another major problem with a four-stroke engine is the manufacturing price, particularly for small series production. New emission limits for the operation of motor vessels due to come into effect in 2017 men high restriction of selling the Jetsurf. The main market which is Jetsurf fokused on is the USA. In some states of USA are nowaday the 2-Stroke engines already prohibited. Similary in some prefectures in Japan and in some european countries e.g. Switzerland. The only possibility to ensure sale of Jetsurf worldwide is to develop a brand new ecological rotating Wankel engine.
Acronym: 
WANKEL
Project ID: 
11 154
Start date: 
01-01-2017
Project Duration: 
48months
Project costs: 
1 480 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Traction/Propulsion Systems
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.