With today’s gas prices, anything that sounds like OPEC isn’t very popular. However, the Opposed Piston Opposed Cylinder (OPOC) engine is one company’s proposed means of reducing our reliance on petroleum. Now that I have your attention, let’s examine how it compares to conventional engines. Most passenger cars are powered by a conventional internal combustion engine which have a piston in a cylinder which compresses its air/fuel mixture against the engine head every time the engine goes through its cycle. Not so with the OPOC engine. Instead, two pistons face each other in a single cylinder and compress against each other without the use of a head.
According to Wikipedia, the idea of an opposed piston engine is not new. “The first opposed-piston diesel engines were developed in the beginning of the 20th century. In 1907, Raymond Koreyvo, the engineer of Kolomna Works, built an opposed-piston two-stroke diesel with two crankshafts connected by gearing.” Over the years, Opposed Piston engines have been used in airplanes, locomotives, ships and even automobiles. The latest rendition is the OPOC engine which has been designed by ECO Motors of Allen Park, Michigan. The company claims that their four-piston/two-cylinder unit produces 300 horsepower and is more efficient than a conventional diesel engine. For more information about the OPOC engine, watch the following video from Engineering TV.