Split cycle

The split-cycle engine is a type of internal combustion engine.


In a conventional Otto cycle engine, each cylinder performs four strokes per cycle: intake, compression, power, and exhaust. This means that two revolutions of the crankshaft are required for each power stroke. The split-cycle engine divides these four strokes between two paired cylinders: one for intake/compression, and another for power/exhaust. Compressed air is transferred from the compression cylinder to the power cylinder through a crossover passage. Fuel is then injected and fired to produce the power stroke.

Note: not to be confused with the Split Cycle engine invented by Rick Mayne that used a multitude of small cylinders arranged in a radial arrangement with pistons operated by a geneva mechanism. This engine was never successfully run in a meaningful demonstration, but significant capital was raised through a share plan.


The Backus Water Motor Company of Newark, New Jersey was producing an early example of a split cycle engine as far back as 1891. The engine, of "a modified A form, with the crank-shaft at the top", was water-cooled and consisted of one working cylinder and one compressing cylinder of equal size and utilized a hot-tube ignitor system. It was produced in sizes ranging from 1/2 to 3 horsepower (2.2 kW) and the company had plans to offer a scaled-up version capable of 25 horsepower (19 kW) or more.[1]

The Twingle engine is a two stroke engine that also uses a displacer piston to provide the air for use in the power cylinder. This was patented in 1912.

The Scuderi engine is a design of a split-cycle, internal combustion engine invented by the late Carmelo J. Scuderi.[2] The Scuderi Group, an engineering and licensing company based in West Springfield, Massachusetts and founded by Carmelo Scuderi’s children, said that the prototype was completed and was unveiled to the public on April 20, 2009.[3][4]

The TourEngine is a novel opposed-cylinder split-cycle internal combustion engine, invented, patented and under development by Tour Engine Inc. The unique and patented opposed-cylinder configuration of the TourEngine allows minimal dead space and superior thermal management. The first prototype was completed on June, 2008.


See also

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