High Performance Any-Fuel Eco Power Plant

My area of expertise is collecting information and with this topic I confess failure and not only confess failure but ask for assistance from the crowd.  Somewhere while leafing through the internet looking for good information I ran across this chestnut under the “steam makes a comeback” heading. And to quote: “Winner of numerous international awards and patents, this new and completely silent engine is called ‘the Opus’ and was invented by an interesting fellow, Ronnie Whitehouse.  This ‘any-fuel’ efficient power plant is space saving, eliminates any need for a transmission, produces enormous torque and power, can drive wheels collectively or independently, has fewer parts, can be scaled to operate a small automobile, a locomotive, nuclear power plant, aircraft, or even large ships … .”

This smells like steam power and financial fraud, a time honored duo.  I am the greatest believer in the wonders of steam power as saving the world, however, I am careful to not engage in fraud for a desire to sleep at night.  Over the years people have hooked onto the magic of steam, the wonderment of silent power, and the ignorance of basic thermodynamics by the masses, to fleece them.  We, in the steam business, have enough difficulty as it is promoting our good ideas without having other people muddy the waters.

Therefore, I would like some more information on the perpetrator of this scheme and a drawing or patent number of the famous ‘Opus’ engine.  My computer skills are not sufficient to find any more information myself.  What usually happens is that a person comes up with another rotary or vane engine and then looks around for a good use and finds out that it works poorly as an internal combustion engine because reciprocating action is needed to intake, compress, power stroke, and completely scavenge the exhaust.  Therefore some pressurized gas works best; or more precisely, appears to work best because a pressurized gas with low molecular weight such as steam leaks past every possible vane, shaft, or rotating disk.

Good, well engineered, bio-fuel powered modern steam will make a good eco power plant and will save the world.

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2 Responses to High Performance Any-Fuel Eco Power Plant

  1. stevebb says:

    sounds a fair bit like the Zero Emission Engine concept by German engineering company IAV GmbH http://projekt.beuth-hochschule.de/fileadmin/projekt/sprachen/sprachenpreis/erfolgreiche_beitraege_2007/2._Preis_07_-_Zero_Emission_Engine_-_Saskia_Scherfling.pdf
    seems to be the combustor/boiler that’s received the most work (Microfluidics usually improve heat transfer/efficency). I’m sure I read somewhere that didn’t need engine oil either- due to use of hydrostatic bearings (powered by pressurised steam) That’s certainly one way to reduce wear on many engine components, although I’m not sure how pistons+cylinders would cope.

    • tkimmel3 says:

      With regards to burning bio-mass in the form of wood; I think it is better to process the wood as little as possible. That said some of the pellet burners have an advantage in materials handling because all agricultural grain handling augers will move pellets. So far there is no commercially available clean wood burner, efficient and safe heat exchanger/steam generator efficient steam engine. What I am trying to do is to gather the information so that we will have the good designs at such time as there is capital and the will to take the risk of developing all of this complicated technology. As for the political system; my goal is to not disintegrate this blog into a political diatribe, something that I am prone to myself. All that I will say is that wood is carbon neutral and thus should be the preferred fuel in the future. The last time the EPA made a determination, they looked at the carbon output of a wood burner as being the same as a fossil fuel burner. I agree that both send out the same amount of carbon; that is how heat is made by oxidizing carbon and hydrogen. However, if the source of the carbon comes from the atmosphere, as happens with all biofuels, then that makes it carbon neutral. This must be a very complex concept to other people. The conclusion is that heat; either from wood or the sun, can be most easily turned into mechanical energy using the Rankine Cycle. Tom Kimmel

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