Experimental Propulsion System Has No Moving Parts
Posted by keelynet on May 17, 2008
It’s the ‘Hunt for Red October’ caterpillar drive system but so far it only works in water.
“JAPAN, the United States, and perhaps the Soviet Union, are racing to perfect a revolutionary type of propulsion for ships and submarines. It has no moving parts, is virtually silent and promises great reliability at relatively low cost. The basis for the advance is a tongue-twisting phenomenon known as magnetohydrodynamics, or MHD, in which magnetic fields are used to move water. There are no moving parts – no motors, no propellers, no gears and no drive shaft. Instead, a superconducting magnet, more efficient and powerful than conventional magnets, exerts a magnetic force on sea water passing through its core, driving water out the back and creating forward motion. The technology is featured in the movie ”The Hunt for Red October,” based on the book by Tom Clancy in which an advanced Soviet submarine powered by the process is hunted by the American and Soviet navies. Magnetohydrodynamics involves magnetic fields (magneto) and fluids (hydro) that conduct electricity and interact (dynamics). The phenomenon occurs naturally in the Earth’s core, giving rise to the planet’s magnetic field. In MHD propulsion, a pair of electrodes on either side of the thruster pass an electric current through sea water. The process does not work effectively with fresh water because it can carry little current. At a right angle to the current is the magnetic field generated by the superconducting magnet. The interaction of the magnetic field and the current produces a strong force on the water, moving it through the duct in the center of the magnet. If the polarity of the current is reversed, so is the direction of thrust. The action is identical to what happens with an electric motor when its magnetic field crosses a bundle of copper wires carrying an electric current, causing it to move and the central shaft of the motor to rotate. The activity in each case revolves around charged particles. In the motor, the current-filled wires are filled with moving electrons, which carry a negative charge, and are strongly acted upon by the magnetic field. In MHD propulsion, the electric current flowing through the seawater causes the formation of charged particles, or ions, which in a similar manner are acted upon by the powerful field of the superconducting magnet. It propels both the ions and the seawater.” – Source / And a simple DIY MHD demonstration.
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