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Sonex Research, Inc. (“Sonex” or the “Company”), a small business located in Annapolis, Maryland, is developing and commercializing a patented proprietary technology, known as the Sonex Combustion System (SCS), which improves the combustion of fuel in internal combustion engines. The SCS achieves in-cylinder control of ignition and combustion through chemical/turbulent enhancement using patented combustion chamber designs. The SCS combustion chamber is defined by embodiments located in the piston in four-stroke direct injected engines and in the cylinder head in two-stroke spark-ignited (SI) engines. SCS designs reduce fuel consumption and emissions, and permit adapted gasoline engines to run on safer diesel-type, kerosene-based, “heavy fuels” in military and commercial applications requiring lightweight engines and safe handling/storage of fuel, such as in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The Company’s business objective is to execute broad agreements for industrial production of SCS components under license from Sonex.
The SCS method for four-stroke engines is based on unthrottled air induction, direct fuel injection, and a modest compression ratio of 12.5:1. The patented SCS piston design produces, retains, and expels chemical auto-ignition aids to cause controlled compression ignition after top-dead-center of the compression stroke in response to timed direct injection of the fuel. Significantly, all of the fuel is delivered to the piston bowl and mixed with the air during the latter portion of the compression stroke. Ignition occurs simultaneously at a high rate throughout the combustion volume after completion of injection. This form of the SCS, known as Sonex Controlled Auto Ignition (SCAI), operates over the full range of rpm and loads. The multi-fuel SCAI operates at reduced peak cylinder pressure to enable lightweight engine design. The SCAI, which is considered a lean-burn combustion process, also has significant potential for commercial application in the automotive market for gasoline direct injected (GDI) engines to cost effectively improve fuel mileage 25% to 30%. Sonex is seeking partners and other funding arrangements to support an SCAI-GDI program to produce compelling SCAI combustion process engine data for marketing to the automobile industry. Another form of the SCS, known as the Low Soot Diesel Design (LSDD), enables soot and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) reductions in standard DI diesel engines at compression ratios greater than 16:1.
In the case of two-stroke SI engines, Sonex has established a viable heavy fuel engine (HFE) technology baseline by applying its patented SCS combustion chamber design and proprietary starting system to the conversion of single and multi-cylinder, lightweight, gasoline engines for use in military applications such as UAVs to start reliably, even in cold temperatures. SCS embodiments in the cylinder head provide control of fuel vaporization late in the compression stroke such that a portion of the heavy fuel is then vaporized near the spark plug. As the combustion event progresses it causes the fuel to fully vaporize and combust. The SCS heavy fuel conversion maintains the gasoline engine’s stock carburetion or fuel injection system, intake and exhaust systems, spark ignition system, and compression ratio. SCS HFEsTM running on heavy fuels JP-5, JP-8 and D-2 diesel (with lubricant additive) retain the ignition precision of the SI process and knock-free combustion. Compared to operation on gasoline, these HFEs achieve equal to or reduced fuel consumption (18%-28% less at cruise rpm) and produce no visible smoke.
Sonex applied the
experience gained from developing the SCS HFE technology for small
two-stroke engines in adapting its CSS to the heavy fuel conversion of a
small single cylinder, four-stroke, SI, gasoline engine powering a
commercially available small gasoline fueled generator.
Following a demonstration of the Sonex heavy fueled generator
adaptation and submission of a response to a U.S. Army Request for
Information, in August 2010 Sonex was awarded a DoD contract for
development and delivery of six demonstrator, 1 kW, JP-8 fueled,
single man portable, SCS HFE generator sets for test and evaluation by
Sonex designed and fabricated enhancements
to engine-generator subsystems for integration into advanced prototype,
1 kW, JP-8 fueled, single man portable, generator sets that were delivered in July 2011.
In February 2012 Sonex was awarded a “best efforts” contract from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) to design and develop auto and remote start and multi-fuel capability for the current carbureted, JP-8 fueled, 1 kW, generator. Through addition of a custom electronic fuel injection (EFI) system, the fuel capabilities are expected to expand to include fuels Jet A, D-2, and gasoline in addition to JP-8, while also permitting operation over temperature extremes and at higher altitudes. A custom auto and remote start system is expected to interface with other military systems. Sonex has issued subcontracts to the designers of the EFI and auto and remote start systems. Delivery of the two prototype 1 kW multi-fueled generators to ONR per the Contract is expected to occur in 2013.
The Sonex engineering and technological team is headed by the Company’s Founder, Dr. Andrew A. Pouring, a former Professor of Aerospace Engineering and Chairman of the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the U.S. Naval Academy. Dr. Pouring is a full-time consultant serving as the Company’s Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, President and Chief Technology Officer. In addition the Company has five full-time employees, consisting of its Chief Financial Officer and Secretary George E. Ponticas, one engineer and three skilled technicians, and it engages the part-time services of Michael I. Keller, a consultant who serves as Director of Business Development and Program Manager.
The Company's approximately 6,000 square foot facility is equipped with emissions test equipment, advanced combustion analyzers and several engine dynamometers rated from 40 hp to 500 hp. Substantial equipment is dedicated to the development and testing of small engines for UAVs, including dynamometers, static propeller thrust and torque test stands, air intake/exhaust system to support running engines, and an environmental chamber that allows testing of small engines at temperatures from -20 deg. C to 55 deg. C with air velocities of 50 knots. Sonex small engine testing capabilities are available to customers desiring engineering and testing services, including evaluating and trouble shooting gasoline engines powering UAVs and assessing the potential for converting such engine to SCS HFEs.
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Portions of this Website contain information in the form of "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Act of 1995 (the "Act"). Such statements are based on current expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions by management with respect to, among other things, trends affecting the Company's financial condition or results of operations and the impact of competition. Words such as "expects", "anticipates", "plans", "believes", "estimates", variations of such words, and similar expressions are intended to identify such statements that include, but are not limited to, projections of revenues, earnings, cash flows and contract awards. Such statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties, all of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond the control of the Company. In order to obtain the benefits of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Act for any such forward-looking statements, the Company cautions readers about significant factors which, among other things, have in some cases affected the Company's actual results and are in the future likely to affect the Company's actual results and cause them to differ materially from those expressed in any such forward-looking statements. Accordingly, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements.
SONEX RESEARCH, INC.
23 Hudson Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
Tel: 410-266-5556; Fax: 410-266-5653
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