Ha! Ha! Just read a complaint that summer DOW gets quiet and boring.
SO . . . . just why do we all use round, up and down piston; connecting rod connected; crankshaft driving; poppet valve breathing engines, eh?
Because it has evolved out; stood the test of time; and proven to be the best for changing fuels needs; better lubricants, better more precise manufacturing and controls systems.
Search up the wikipedia and read the article on the Knight sleeve valve engine. An American innovation, slowly lost out to better direct mechanical driven poppet valve engines. Not in this article was a late 1980’s effort to revive/update this design with then much better lubricating oil to solve the problem of the moving cylinder sleeve valve from carboning up and sticking. And in high power density applications (like economy cars, racing, aircraft, motor cycles) even with late 20th century computer aided design improved the cylinder filling efficiency of the sleeve valve; it was still less than a modern poppet valve engine filling/purging capability.
And on poppet valve engines - why spring types? Why not ALL “better” desmodromic direct mechanical opening AND closing? Ducati and a few others.
Ahh . . . manufacturing costs. Maintenance costs. More sensitivity to world wide, year around climatic operations.
And then the much vaunted many-less-parts Wankel. I have an automotive training manual from early 1973 that shows a layed out a 150 hp American small block V-8 versus a Mazda bi-rotor 150 hp Wankel engine showing the obvious superiority of less parts, potentially lower manufacturing costs, smaller package and less weight.
Ha! As events have proven that 150 hp was at a cost of a higher grams per/hp/hr in fuel consumtion. Got well proven to be a relative fuel-hog in cars, light trucks, light aircraft, motor cycles and small generators versus equivalent piston engines.
Higher engine produced emissions per hp used too. All of that swept internal surface area heat quenching.
And manufacturing cost are first most related to scale of production. Small lot scale means higher per units costs. It was the 1990’s and forward that the new CNC machining centers made tiny displacement multiple cylinder poppet valved engine an affordable scaled production reality. Not just Formula One dreamers engines anymore.
And so, once again Steve Unruh: Just What and the Hell does this have to do about woodgasing??
The side jetted, constricted throat, grate supported wood-char bed, DOWNDRAFT system is the one that has evolved out over a time span of 130+ years and hundreds of designs/designers to be the overall best solution for making engine grade woodgas.
Digging back through my note books from 2007-08 I am actually embarrassed now by my gilding-the-pig better ideas.
More complex, yes. Harder to build, yes. MORE maintenance points, yes. Better?? No.
So, beware the Piped-Piper not-solutions, just because they are new and seem exciting.
Boring, is good, solid, and practical-proven.
tree-farmer Steve Unruh