Cyclone Power Technologies Inc. has developed and has filed a patent application on a Waste Heat Engine (WHE), a technology off-shoot of its external combustion Green Revolution Engine. (Earlier post.)
Like the Green Revolution Engine (GRE), the WHE is an external combustion engine. Unlike its more powerful counterpart, however, the WHE operates in a low-pressure, low-temperature range. By contrast, the GRE employs super-critical pressure (3,200 psi) and super-heated steam (1,200°F). The low-pressure design opens new commercial possibilities, according to inventor and Cyclone CEO Harry Schoell.
This feature allows the engine to run on waste heat emanating from an external source, such as the exhaust from an internal (or external) combustion engine, or the direct burning of biomass (i.e., processing garbage into methane would not be required). The WHE is also designed to run efficiently on solar heat without the installation of costly photovoltaic panels.
Such commercial applications for the WHE include boosting the power and efficiency of large gasoline or diesel-powered generators. When installed to the exhaust system of such an engine, the WHE could materially increase overall horsepower and reduce fuel consumption. Additionally, once installed, the WHE could serve as a stand-by generator should the primary system shut down.
Another major commercial application includes solar-power generators for homes or businesses. By attaching as little as 500 sq. ft. of inexpensive poly-carbonate panels to a roof, enough heat can be produced to run the WHE, according to Cyclone Power. The company believes that such a system could be installed in a home at 1/5 the price of comparable photovoltaic panel systems, while also providing home owners with a back-up power supply that current solar options do not.
The company will be testing the WHE over the following months and commencing discussions with potential licensees in the commercial truck, large generator and home builder markets. The company believes that the WHE could be in commercial production by the end of 2008.
Cyclone Power will showcase a 100 hp Automotive Engine and a 330 hp Truck Engine applications of its modified Rankin cycle Green Revolution Engine at the upcoming SAE Commercial Vehicles event. (Earlier post.)