By designing the revolutionary Sanderson Rocker-Arm Mechanism (SRAM), SED has successfully created a paradigm shift in the industry, and introduced a technology with disruptive market potential.
The SRAM is an emerging core technology for an entirely new generation of engine-driven pumps, compressors, generators, and any other device for which current power systems deploy multiple components (as in a crankshaft engine and a swash plate hydraulic pump) to transfer power.
“SED's SRAM technology can successfully replace the crankshaft or swash plate in engines, pumps, motors, and compressors with a mechanism that converts linear to rotary, rotary to linear or linear to linear (replacing a combination of a crankshaft engine and swash plate pump),” explains Frost & Sullivan Energy & Power Principal Consultant Sara Bradford. “In addition, the SRAM's variable displacement hydraulic pumps technology scales to sizes not currently available by large crankshaft pumps, enabling new wind, wave and hydro-power applications.”
The SRAM almost completely eliminates friction, offering higher efficiency over a broad speed range (an energy savings result), as compared to existing technologies. It allows the piston stroke to be varied from maximum to zero, and this can easily be controlled on the run. As a result, the compression ratio can be varied as needed by a combustion engine or the flow to be varied in a pump or motor. Another unique feature is that the mechanism provides for a near-perfect balance, enabling very low vibration and noise, which is essential for many applications that are used indoors or in close proximity to consumers.
A truly disruptive advantage is that the pistons can be double-ended, allowing one side to function as a combustion cylinder, while the other cylinder in line can be a hydraulic pump. The result is a very high transfer of power efficiency. The opposing cylinder can also be configured as a supercharger for the engine, providing higher power to weight and efficiency.
“The fact that SRAM technology can provide linear to linear power conversion will uniquely enable a highly compact combination engine with an integral hydraulic pump that provides a lucrative market potential,” notes Bradford.
Thus, SED’s SRAM can be utilized in a wide range of applications to improve fuel efficiency and provide numerous additional benefits. Within the energy industry, this technology can provide substantial benefits in hydraulic transmission of power, hydraulic hybrid power train with regenerative braking, and hybrid hydraulic engines.
For instance, SED’s SRAM technology can be used to improve efficiency and create less costly wind turbines by relocating the generator from the top of the turbine to its base, either at ground/sea level or below. It can also replace the existing complex multi-stage gearboxes with a simple low reduction gearbox to provide reliability, low cost and high power density aspects to wind energy operations. This concept is already being reviewed by several renewable energy developers, institutional researchers and laboratories, and equipment manufacturers.
SED’s technology can be utilized in hydraulic hybrid power train designs to eliminate the need for expensive electric generators/motors for electric hybrid vehicles. SRAM technology used with hydraulic hybrid power train designs can dramatically increase the fuel efficiency of many types of material handling, farm, lawn/garden, and other equipment.
In short, with an integral supercharger and hydraulic pump, SRAM engines can more than double the horsepower in the same space as compared to the combination of a crankshaft engine, supercharger and hydraulic pump.
Currently, SED is proposing this configuration to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use in a United Parcel Service (UPS) delivery truck, with project industrial partners including Eaton and International Navistar. The SRAM engine is expected to be one quarter the size, one half the weight, and 20 percent more efficient than the conventional Navistar diesel engine and Eaton hydraulic pump combination. SED is seeking government and private funding to develop its engine with integral hydraulic pump for the EPA's delivery truck hydraulic hybrid system.
By utilizing innovative strategies to develop its SRAM technology, SED has successfully achieved $1.1 million in license options and prototype/test orders and approximately $7 million from manufacturers in project co-funding. At this time, the company has eight prototypes designed, built and tested in many applications including those highlighted. SED has a strong intellectual property portfolio consisting of 17 U.S. patents and over 500 claims, 18 foreign patents, and additional patents in process. As it forges ahead to be a significant participant within its industry, the company proves to be a worthy recipient of the 2008 Frost & Sullivan Emerging Company of the Year award.
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has emerged as a significant participant within its industry. The award recognizes outstanding management, superior market growth, exceptional customer service and the ability to combine technology and successful strategic initiatives. It lauds the recipient company’s exceptional know-how to take advantage of market changes through the execution of innovative strategies within the existing competitive landscape.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.
About Sanderson Engine Development, LLC
The Sanderson Engine Development Company, LLC, was formed in August, 1998 to develop and commercialize the Sanderson Rocker-Arm Mechanism (SRAM) along with associated developments that resulted from the original rocker arm engine concept. The company was founded by Robert and Albert Sanderson and is based in the rural central Massachusetts community of Upton. The seminal invention, the rocker arm mechanism, was discovered in a breakthrough insight in 1997. Robert Sanderson conceived of a mechanism that would enable internal combustion and other mechanisms to achieve unprecedented levels of performance and efficiency. Subsequently the mechanism has undergone extensive testing and evaluation, and is presently in the commercialization stage.
About Frost & Sullivan
Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, partners with clients to accelerate their growth. The company's TEAM Research, Growth Consulting and Growth Team Membership™ empower clients to create a growth-focused culture that generates, evaluates and implements effective growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan employs over 45 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses and the investment community from more than 30 offices on six continents.
Sanderson Engine Development