Ray O’Donnell’s dream of making one of the most efficient engines in the world | The temperature

One of the many joys associated with being human is the ability to use their intelligence to think of an idea that could potentially improve the lives of countless people.

While there are plenty of cases where ideas fail, Goolwa’s Ray O’Donnell hopes his adjustable stroke crank mechanism design will revolutionize motors in the future.

Mr. O’Donnell’s design has already won worldwide acclaim, winning the award for Best Developer of Adjustable Stroke Crank Mechanisms at Corporate Vision’s Small Business Awards last year.

It all started for the 78-year-old when he started working for General Motors as an apprentice electrician. It was not long before he rose through the ranks, finding himself in the drawing office at the age of 25.

“The guy who looked after Elizabeth’s drawing office died and I was the only person they could put there – at 32 I was the chief designer,” Mr O said. ‘Donnell.

Mr O’Donnell explained that the role sees him being in charge of all the designs of the equipment responsible for manufacturing the cars.

However, after 24 years as chief designer at General Motors, he decided to retire at the age of 55.

“Once I retired, I started to figure out what I wanted to do, because I wasn’t old. So I started designing stuff on the computer,” he said.

WORK: Ray O’Donnell sitting at the computer where many of his ideas are stored.

With plenty of free time, the 78-year-old mastermind set to work on an engine design that could change the industry worldwide.

Mr O’Donnell said he had spent countless hours on his unique design which aimed to ensure that the compression ignition happened at the right time. He eventually patented his design in 2011 and started his own company, Varitech.

The design is “the next step in the piston engine”, according to Goolwa native – Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI).

He explained that his mechanism would not only benefit car engines, it would also have a positive impact on any machine with a crankshaft, from lawn mowers to ocean liners.

The goal of its design is to achieve “optimum efficiency”. Currently, O’Donnell estimates that his design is about 20% more efficient than the average motor.

“That means you save 20% on all the fuel used in the world. We want to tell the green energy people that we have this machine that will run on 20% less fuel,” he said.

“Gasoline doesn’t have to be there. Anything that will explode under compression will make it work – hydrogen is a good one.”

While the idea is fantastic and promising, Mr O’Donnell said operating from his Goolwa-based home on pension creates a number of hurdles.

He explained that the design process was undertaken without any donors, but said it would be open to any donor.

Potential financial backing could be the difference between achieving his dreams and, with years of hard work behind him, Mr O’Donnell believes he could be a winner.

To contact Mr. O’Donnell, please email: marketing@varitech-aust.com

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