LiquidPiston Inc is a company based in Bloomfield, CT, built by father-and-son team, Nikolay and Alec Shkolnik. One of their products is a hyper-efficient rotary engine technology, LiquidPiston, which offers to be compact as it can fit inside a backpack, powerful, quiet, low-vibration and multi-fuel capable combustion engines which are scalable from 1HP to over 1000 HP.
The product landed the company a multi million contract from US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The engine technology can be used for military purposes such as weaponized UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), robotic soldiers and generators that produce 3kW of electric power.
A typical 3kW gasoline-powered generator is normally found at construction sites or can be used during power outage. It weighs about 140 pounds and measured about 3 feet long, 2 feet high and 2 feet wide. This type of generators are used in the remote areas by military for generating power however, they are huge. LiquidPiston, on the other hand, can produce the same amount of power but it only weigh about 30 pounds where the motor itself weigh about 8 pounds and it relatively small size as it can be carried inside a backpack. When used in drones, it can be easily integrated inside the envelope of the fuselage.
Apart from the DARPA project, LiquidPiston is also planning to use the products for home usage power tool such as lawnmowers, chainsaws and string trimmers. The products will be available in the local Home Depot and Lowe’s in the next two to three years as mentioned by Alex Shkolnik.