- Heat Regenerative Cyclone Engine
The Heat Regenerative Cyclone Engine is a new approach to an old design, the
steam enginedeveloped by James Watt in the 18th century. Like Watt's invention, the Cyclone Engine works according to the principles of external combustion: the working fluid (de-ionized water) and the source of heat are located in different parts of the machine so that the burning process is independent from the conversion of heat into mechanical power. Whereas the old steam engine wasted most of its thermal energy (as much as 90%), the Cyclone Engine is highly efficient due to reheat and regeneration that recycle more than 30% of the heat generated from burning fuel. The engine operates at supercritical pressure (3,200 PSI) and temperature (1,200 degrees F) which makes the superheated steam behaves like a fluid rather than a gas so improving efficiency and making for a more compact engine. The overall thermodynamic efficiency is in the range of the Diesel engine (30-36%). But unlike internal combustion engines, the efficiency of this engine system varies very little over its operating range. The main advantages are: its capacity of using a wide range of fuels - gasoline, diesel oil, ethanol, kerosene, powdered coal, natural gas, propane, etc.; continuous and complete combustion of fuel, creating less emissions than current gasoline or diesel powered automotive engine systems (and requiring no emissions controls equipment); approximately one-half the weight of existing automotive systems for the same power output; high torque at start (700 ft·lbf for the 100 hp, 620 cc engine) which eliminates the need for a clutch and gearbox, simplifying the project and cutting down on power losses in transmission; the working fluid, water, is used to lubricate the engine, which avoids the long-standing problem of steam engines, the contamination of lubricating oil by water.
The Schoell cycle engine is a cross between a Rankine, Diesel and Carnot cycle engine. Compact, scalable technology, expects to have a production prototype in around eight months, as of March, 2007. Applications will range from weed eaters to trains. It could also use concentrated solar as the input heat source.
The Cyclone answers the problems of size, complexity, and high pressure gasses that have kept the Stirling engine from becoming practical.
"We feel like we're at the top of the heap." -- Harry Schoell, in radio interview, March 17, 2007; in response to question about how this technology stacks up in relation to other engine designs that can replace the internal combustion engine.
* [http://www.cyclonepower.com/cyclone_engine.html Technical description of engine (at Cyclone Power Technologies Inc.)]
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