Mainstream to Develop Micro Supercharger for Air Force
The U.S. Air Force needs devices for unmanned applications that increase the intake airflow and pressure to small engines in order to increase their power density and fuel efficiency. These unmanned systems require high-efficiency and highly reliable power sources operating at a near-continuous duty cycle. By increasing the power density, these engines can be used in a larger variety of applications over a wider range of operating conditions.
Forced induction systems, including superchargers and turbochargers, are one of the key methods for increasing the power and efficiency of naturally aspirated engines. Scaling down this technology for use in small engines, however, poses unique challenges. Mainstream plans to develop a very small, direct-drive, rotary supercharger that will overcome these limitations. This supercharger will be designed, fabricated, and tested on Mainstream’s own 4-hp heavy-fuel engine. The design will also be extended for use with other applications in the Air Force’s range of small engines.