Patents by Inventor Michael A. Willcox

Michael A. Willcox has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 9650951
    Abstract: An internal combustion engine can include a piston moving in a cylinder and a junk head disposed opposite the piston head in the cylinder. The junk head can optionally be moveable between a higher compression ratio position closer to a top dead center of the piston and a lower compression ratio position further from the top dead center position of the piston. At least one intake port can deliver a fluid comprising inlet air to a combustion chamber within the cylinder. Combustion gases can be directed out of the combustion volume through at least one exhaust port. One or both of the intake port and the exhaust port can be opened and closed by operation of a sleeve valve that at least partially encircles the piston. Related articles, systems, and methods are described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2017
    Assignee: PINNACLE ENGINES, INC.
    Inventors: James M. Cleeves, Simon David Jackson, Michael Hawkes, Michael A. Willcox
  • Patent number: 9528402
    Abstract: Energy to speed heating of a catalyst associated with an internal combustion engine can be provided in the form of sensible energy (heat) via hot combustion products. In some variations, timing of opening and/or closing of an exhaust valve can be manipulated to increase sensible heat delivered to the catalyst in the exhaust gases.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2016
    Assignee: Pinnacle Engines, Inc.
    Inventors: James M. Cleeves, Michael A. Willcox
  • Publication number: 20160215718
    Abstract: Implementations of the current subject-matter include systems, methods, and techniques that assist with controlling of injected fuel and spark timing across a range of operating conditions. For example, a prediction technique can be used to predict variation in combustion cylinder wall and internal metal temperatures over time, thereby enabling the likely effect of one of the calculated temperatures on airflow and hence on combustion to be assessed. The obtained information can be used to adjust fuel flow or spark timing in accordance with the predicted temperature variation from steady state conditions.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 22, 2016
    Publication date: July 28, 2016
    Inventors: Michael A. Willcox, Brede Kolsrud, James M. Cleeves
  • Patent number: 9267486
    Abstract: An internal combustion engine is operable in an efficiency mode providing a first power output range between zero and a transition power output and in a power mode providing a second power output range between the transition power output and a maximum power output. The efficiency mode can include a first ignition timing and a first air/fuel ratio of the mixture to avoid premature auto-ignition, and the power mode can include a second ignition timing and a second air/fuel ratio of the mixture to avoid premature auto-ignition of the mixture. To further enable knock free operation of such an engine, turbulence can be imparted to the mixture to promote a faster burn duration and high temperatures that may lead to premature auto-ignition of the mixture can be avoided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2016
    Assignee: Pinnacle Engines, Inc.
    Inventors: James M. Cleeves, Michael A. Willcox, Simon David Jackson, Nicholas Manov
  • Patent number: 9194288
    Abstract: An internal combustion engine can include a combustion volume within a cylinder of an internal combustion engine. The combustion volume can be defined at least by a cylinder wall and a first piston in the cylinder. A swirl port can deliver a fluid into the combustion volume via a swirl port outlet such that the delivered fluid is directed around a periphery of the cylinder with a fluid velocity disposed at a predetermined angle away from tangential to a curve of the cylinder wall to generate a swirling motion in the combustion volume.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 24, 2015
    Assignee: Pinnacle Engines, Inc.
    Inventors: James M. Cleeves, Simon D. Jackson, Michael A. Willcox
  • Publication number: 20150053031
    Abstract: A gear assembly can include a biasing apparatus, which can include a hydraulic biasing member. The biasing apparatus can be activated to urge a scissor gear tooth of a scissor gear toward a second gear tooth of a second gear. The urging of the scissor gear tooth toward the second gear tooth can close a backlash gap between a first gear tooth of a first gear and the second gear tooth of the second gear.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 21, 2014
    Publication date: February 26, 2015
    Inventors: Michael A. Willcox, James M. Cleeves, Dimitri Bassis, Kyle Langlands
  • Publication number: 20150040876
    Abstract: Energy to speed heating of a catalyst associated with an internal combustion engine can be provided in the form of sensible energy (heat) via hot combustion products. In some variations, timing of opening and/or closing of an exhaust valve can be manipulated to increase sensible heat delivered to the catalyst in the exhaust gases.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 28, 2014
    Publication date: February 12, 2015
    Inventors: James M. Cleeves, Michael A. Willcox
  • Patent number: 8544445
    Abstract: A system and method are disclosed for fabricating and running an engine in two modes. The first mode is an efficiency mode having a high compression ratio and efficiency for low to medium loads. The second mode is a power mode having high power density for higher loads. The system may use a lean mixture in the efficiency mode, which mixture is made richer for more power in the power mode. The system may also use ignition timing to allow the efficiency mode and the high power mode to be at the same mixture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2013
    Assignee: Pinnacle Engines, Inc.
    Inventors: James M. Cleeves, Nicholas Manov, Michael A. Willcox, Simon David Jackson
  • Publication number: 20120330534
    Abstract: Based on one or more monitored operation parameters of an internal combustion engine, a set of engine operation conditions necessary to provide combustion stability in a combustion volume of the engine, optimized fuel efficiency, and minimized production of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and unburned hydrocarbons can be determined. The new set of engine operation conditions can be dynamically implemented in response to changing engine loads and changing engine speeds to maintain a combustion mixture and combustion conditions within a combustion chamber of the engine constrained flammability limits, pollutant generation rates, and fuel efficiency considerations. Related articles, systems, and methods are described.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 27, 2012
    Publication date: December 27, 2012
    Inventors: James M. Cleeves, Michael A. Willcox
  • Publication number: 20120158273
    Abstract: An internal combustion engine is operable in an efficiency mode providing a first power output range between zero and a transition power output and in a power mode providing a second power output range between the transition power output and a maximum power output. The efficiency mode can include a first ignition timing and a first air/fuel ratio of the mixture to avoid premature auto-ignition, and the power mode can include a second ignition timing and a second air/fuel ratio of the mixture to avoid premature auto-ignition of the mixture. To further enable knock free operation of such an engine, turbulence can be imparted to the mixture to promote a faster burn duration and high temperatures that may lead to premature auto-ignition of the mixture can be avoided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 5, 2012
    Publication date: June 21, 2012
    Applicant: PINNACLE ENGINES, INC.
    Inventors: James M. Cleeves, Michael A. Willcox, Simon David Jackson, Nicholas Manov
  • Publication number: 20120089316
    Abstract: An internal combustion engine can include a piston moving in a cylinder and a junk head disposed opposite the piston head in the cylinder. The junk head can optionally be moveable between a higher compression ratio position closer to a top dead center of the piston and a lower compression ratio position further from the top dead center position of the piston. At least one intake port can deliver a fluid comprising inlet air to a combustion chamber within the cylinder. Combustion gases can be directed out of the combustion volume through at least one exhaust port. One or both of the intake port and the exhaust port can be opened and closed by operation of a sleeve valve that at least partially encircles the piston. Related articles, systems, and methods are described.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 10, 2011
    Publication date: April 12, 2012
    Inventors: James M. Cleeves, Simon David Jackson, Michael Hawkes, Michael A. Willcox
  • Publication number: 20110220058
    Abstract: A system and method are disclosed for fabricating and running an engine in two modes. The first mode is an efficiency mode having a high compression ratio and efficiency for low to medium loads. The second mode is a power mode having high power density for higher loads. The system may use a lean mixture in the efficiency mode, which mixture is made richer for more power in the power mode. The system may also use ignition timing to allow the efficiency mode and the high power mode to be at the same mixture.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 9, 2010
    Publication date: September 15, 2011
    Applicant: CLEEVES ENGINES, INC.
    Inventors: James M. Cleeves, Nicholas Manov, Michael A. Willcox, Simon David Jackson
  • Publication number: 20110041799
    Abstract: An internal combustion engine can include a combustion volume within a cylinder of an internal combustion engine. The combustion volume can be defined at least by a cylinder wall and a first piston in the cylinder. A swirl port can deliver a fluid into the combustion volume via a swirl port outlet such that the delivered fluid is directed around a periphery of the cylinder with a fluid velocity disposed at a predetermined angle away from tangential to a curve of the cylinder wall to generate a swirling motion in the combustion volume.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 20, 2010
    Publication date: February 24, 2011
    Inventors: James M. Cleeves, Simon D. Jackson, Michael A. Willcox