MEMS Rotary Engine Power System: Project Overview and Recent Research Results
Director, Electronics Research Laboratory
Director, Berkeley Sensor & Actuator Center
FANUC Chair for Mechanical Systems
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences
University of California at Berkeley
In this talk is a project overview and recent research results for the MEMS Rotary Engine Power System project at the Berkeley Sensor & Actuator Center of the University of California at Berkeley. The talk will begin with the research motivation for the project, which is the extraordinary high specific energy density of hydrocarbon fuels. When compared with the energy density of batteries, hydrocarbon fuels may have as much as 20x more energy. However, the technical challenge is the conversion of hydrocarbon fuel to electricity in an efficient and clean micro engine. In this project, the Wankel engine, as invented by Professor Wankel of Germany and made famous by the Japanese automobile manufacturer, Mazda, is used as the micro engine design. A 10 mm diameter Wankel engine will be shown that has already generated 4 Watts of power at 9300 rpm. The final portion of the talk will describe the 1 mm and 2.4 mm Wankel engines that BSAC is developing for power generation at the microscale, with a projected electrical power output of 90 milliwatts from the 2.4 mm engine. Prototype engine components have already been fabricated and these will be described.
Albert (“Al”) P. Pisano, Ph. D. received his graduate degree from Columbia University in the City of New York in 1981 in Mechanical Engineering. He was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 2001. He holds the FANUC Chair of Mechanical Systems in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley and he is jointly appointed to the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Professor Pisano is the Director of the Electronics Research Laboratory (administering over $63 million in research funds in 2001/2002) and is a co-Director of the Berkeley Sensor & Actuator Center (BSAC). From 1997 through 1999, he was the DARPA program manager for MEMS, and managed a portfolio of 83 contracts awarded nationwide. His own MEMS research includes micro power generation, atomic clocks, drug delivery, RF components, strain sensors, inertial instruments and disk drive actuators. Professor Pisano holds over 10 patents in MEMS and has authored or co-authored more than 110 archival publications, and has graduated over 25 Ph. D. students.