[HALIFAX, NS] — A lighter and more energy-efficient engine technology developed at Dalhousie University is on its way to being commercialized.
The university announced Tuesday it has signed an exclusive world-wide licensing agreement with York Bridge Enterprises, a private equity firm that focuses on supporting early-stage Canadian technology companies.
“Dalhousie is home to world-class researchers developing innovative technologies that compete on a global scale,” said George Smitherman, a founding partner of York Bridge. “This is reflected in Darrel Doman and Braden Murphy and their pneumatic technology.”
Engineering masters student Braden Murphy and his professor Darrel Doman developed a new type of compact Pneumatic Rotary Engine, which does mechanical work by expanding compressed air.
“Today is about celebration,” said Murphy on Tuesday. “Bringing the technology out of the university environment and continuing the commercial development — it’s exciting.
” The advantages of the new model come from its shape, which is lighter and smaller than older models, said Murphy. The donut shaped engine has pistons that continuously rotate around the driveshaft, creating power. “
The result is a high power, high torque, very compact motor, especially at lower speeds, which tend to be a problem.
” Other problems with conventional pneumatic engines or air motors, is they are relatively large and inefficient, and they also have sealing and reliability issues. The innovative design also uses fewer parts than conventional products, and has specialized internal components that eliminate those problems," said Murphy.
The next step for Murphy, Doman and York Bridge is to commercialize their product, which will include various applications in the oil and gas industry as well as lawn and garden equipment and hand-held garden tools.