Namikoshi Electronics Corporation of Japan has successfully conducted a test run of its 4-in-1 engine, which has been developed with the help of experts at Osaka University and Kobe City College of Technology.

The company, based in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, announced this achievement at an academic conference.

The 4-in-1 engine has a significantly different structure from conventional engines with the aim of achieving low fuel consumption and high output. This engine is intended for use in motor vehicles, drones and range extenders for electric cars as well as generators powered by natural gas and biogas. It is suitable for use in situations where high-performance engines are needed.

The 4-in-1 engine comprises four cylinders arranged horizontally and four pistons incorporated as one. It aims to improve output and save fuel consumption by minimising vibration (as well as vibration loss) and friction loss.

Low vibration and a reduction of more than 30% in fuel consumption have been confirmed in the prototype test run. By achieving a perfect dynamic balance and a perfect static balance, the 4-in-1 engine rotates smoothly with extremely limited vibration.

With fewer friction points than conventional engines, the 4-in-1 engine is very nimble. There is no side thrust resulting in piston friction with the cylinder wall or causing unpleasant vibration.

In appearance, the pistons are moving back and forth. But physically they move in a way similar to a rotary motion and do not cause unnecessary vibration to the crankshaft. Moreover, power is directly transmitted to one piston from another, causing no waste of energy.

Namikoshi, a venture-minded company founded in 1990, claims to have made many inventions and worked in wind-power generation, photovoltaic power generation, solar car development and other areas. The 4-in-1 engine has been developed over 25 years.