The Australian company developing a new compact internal combustion engine, CMC Power Systems Limited, announced today the completion in the UK of the first of a consignment of 15 prototype Sytec petrol engines for incorporation into the new Automotive Auxiliary Power Units (AAPUs) being developed by its subsidiary, Aria Power Products.

The first of the compact, ultra light weight 500cc two cylinder engines, made largely of aluminium and weighing only 25kg, was completed by powertrain engineering company Cosworth Technology on budget, in only six months from concept.

The horizontally opposed four stroke water cooled engine is 45cm long, 60cm wide and 40cm high, and will produce 5.8kW of power at 1800rpm with fuel consumption of 2.5 litres per hour for a continuous electrical output of 5kW, with emissions compliant to Euro 3, Federal EPA Tier 2 and CARB LEV II. CMC’s design is based on a unique crank mechanism which has rigid conrods connected to a central sliding bearing.

The AAPUs, weighing an estimated 44kg and occupying about the volume of a filing cabinet drawer, are expected to find a rapid route to market as on-board sources of electrical power for emergency vehicles, trade vehicles, camper vans and mobile homes, and are attracting keen interest from after-market vehicle conversion companies in Europe.

The AAPUs were designed initially for the forthcoming world upgrade of car electrical systems from 12 to 42-volt car electrical systems. However this system can be readily adapted to generate power at 120 or 220 volts, and CMC Power Systems expects orders for units to be placed soon to meet the urgent demand for quiet, compact on-board power generation.

The AAPUs will also demonstrate the potential for this technology to be used as high-efficiency power generators for households, offices and factories.

Cosworth Technology and Australian research organisation CSIRO have completed the other elements of the AAPU, which is claimed to be the world’s most advanced product of its kind, combining the high-efficiency 500cc engine with a specially-tailored CSIRO permanent magnet generator and electronic control system. One of its major selling points will be that it will be so compact and quiet that it can operate within a vehicle while crew work and sleep.

Build is taking place at Cosworth’s UK operation in Northampton, and the remaining 14 units are on track to be completed by mid-December, ready for international testing and evaluation.

Project director Paul Kasperowicz said the first firing of the engine is scheduled to take place at Northampton next Tuesday, 12 November, with the validation testing of the first AAPU to commence on Monday 18 November.

One AAPU will be installed into a Ford Lincoln Navigator and integrated with the car’s electrical storage and distribution, fuel and emission reduction systems.

The Navigator will be displayed at the Detroit Motor Show where the Australian technology will be made available to all major motor manufacturers and component suppliers.