An Engine that Harnesses Sound Waves
Posted by keelynet on May 4, 2011
Etalim, based in Vancouver, Canada, says its engine, roughly the size of a basketball, could improve the economics of electricity production for the cogeneration of power and heat in homes, and as a way to harness the heat produced at concentrating solar
The company has created a prototype, but has yet to achieve the kind of efficiencies—in excess of 40 percent—that its computer models indicate are within reach. The device shares some principles of a Stirling engine, in which an external heat source is used to expand a fixed amount of working gas (usually helium), which then contracts when it is pushed into a cooler space.
This expansion-contraction cycle repeats itself, turning heat into mechanical work by driving a piston. Encased within the core of Etalim’s engine is a plate of metal that replaces the function of a piston in a conventional Stirling engine.
When pressurized helium on the top side of the metal plate is heated, sound waves traveling through the gas are amplified, causing the plate to vibrate, and a metal diaphragm below (separated by a cooler layer of helium) to push down on a shaft. All mechanical friction is eliminated. The shaft is attached to an alternator that produces electricity. – Full Article Source
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