EngineeringTV has a couple of video interviews and demos with Harry Schoel, whose company Cyclone Power has developed a self-starting engine called a WHE (waste heat engine) that operates in a low pressure, low temperature range. What this means is that the Cyclone Power WHE can run on low temperature waste heat energy – such as the exhaust heat from a car, or solar heat. It can also run directly from biomass. Some possible uses include boosting the power and efficiency of regular internal combustion engines, or generating electricity from solar power without expensive photovoltaic solar cells. For example, Mr. Schoel believes that by attaching solar thermal panels to a roof, electricity could be generated for about 20% of the current cost of a comparable photovoltaic system. The WHE is the latest engine design from Mr. Schoel.
Cyclone Power also makes the Cyclone Green Revolution Engine, which is a small steam engine that converts up to 46% of incoming energy into torque -by contrast, most gas powered internal combustion engines are only about 25% efficient. The Cyclone Green Revolution Engine also emits much cleaner exhaust than a standard gasoline engine, since nearly all the fuel and waste products are incinerated. Popular Science also has an article about the Cyclone Power engine – here’s the link. There were a couple of news articles about the company late last week. Cyclone Power Technologies has just received patent approval for the steam generator portion of the engine, and also, Raytheon has just awarded an R&D contract to Cyclone Power Technologies to conduct a series of developmental tests on the Cyclone Engine. Raytheon is providing funding, equipment and personnel to for engine development and thermodynamic testing.
The company recently announced that they have successfully tested the Cyclone engine with fuels made from pure algae. The algae based fuel burned cleanly and with greater thermal efficiency than previous tests performed with ethanol.