“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” - Often attributed to Plato but likely from Ian McLaren (pseudonym of Reverend John Watson)

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Atmospheric Vortex Engine

Credit: Atmospheric Vortex Engine
Below is a link to a fascinating and promising concept for generation of electricity called the "Atmospheric Vortex Engine." The FAQs even include a pretty extensive and (on my relatively cursory review) accurate primer on thermodynamics. When I first read of this concept I pooh poohed it but I saw it linked in several sites that I respect and went back for a closer reading. I've come to think that it has significant potential.

I'd divide the possibilities into two "bins." The first is as an auxiliary generator at existing thermal power plants, where the site claims that power output of the plant can be increased by 20% (read the site to see how this would work). In this application, the generator could operate on the same duty cycle as the thermal plant.

The second bin would be a stand alone installation operating between solar heated ground or water (without dedicated collectors) and the much cooler temperatures clear up to the tropopause (!). In this application, I presume that the duty cycle would be less than 24/7 (though it should be much longer than a photovoltaic or concentrating solar thermal plant) and thus would provide less than continuous power and suffer from a reduced but similar intermittency issue as solar or wind generators. For all such installations, grid-scale storage would be a huge advantage.

In any case, this concept is one to keep sight of.

Atmospheric Vortex Engine:

'via Blog this'

1 comment:

S.M. Stirling said...

I don't see why it shouldn't be a 24/7 duty cycle. Given the thermal inertia involved in the collection area (particularly over tropical oceans), the day/night temperature differential wouldn't be all that significant.