It has been a very busy several weeks since I have had opportunity to update this blog. Work and life have been very busy and work on the PIE has been slow.
The re-phased PIE 4.8 has had the first road test completed with no SDC as the SDC micro switch is a continuous source of problems. The lever on the switch tends to break or get bent very easily and the roller wheel also tends to fall off frequently, so it was decided to use a “proximity switch” as a non-contact alternative. The switch chosen is a magnetic switch used for building security systems as a door/window open/close sensor. This is easily activated by mounting magnets instead of mechanical actuators and this works very well.
The PIE 4.8 second test drive was, however, less than outstanding. The re-phased PIE wheels and SDC “should” have yielded much better results than the previously phased tests when it was set up for “self-propulsion”, but the results were very disappointing as the engine load reduction was only in the 4% to 6% range.
I believe it has to do with the counter rotation of the wheels. The “zone of thrust” or “thrust zone” on a single wheel is rather wide as it pulls forward through a good 45 degrees of the rotation, by having the counter rotating wheel, the “thrust zone” is effectively narrowed but instead of “focusing” thrust, it only eliminates part of it.
The next steps to calculate the reason for such failure will be to adjust phasing back to synchronous and increase pulse torque by removing one weight from each wheel. The thrust will alternate between the CW and the CCW wheel, this should demonstrate the theory of the wide thrust angle vs. narrowing the zone.
The non-functioning weight is being used as a balance weight. The planet gear that is not being used is removed and the weight is bolted to the wheel in its place which balances the wheels enough to keep it from tearing itself apart.
If this works out, the plan is to reverse the rotation of one of the wheels and repeating tests with co-rotating wheels to increase thrust without narrowing the “thrust zone”.
On a side note, I believe the thrust zone will automatically be much more condensed (thus stronger) with a different design. Perhaps the PIE X will accomplish this.