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Cyclone Targets Small-Scale Co-Generation Market With External Combustion Waste Heat Engine

WHE unit. Click to enlarge.

Cyclone Power Technologies Inc., the developer of the external combustion Waste Heat Engine (WHE) (earlier post), has formed a separate division to market and manufacture WHE systems for applications such as small-scale cogeneration, solar thermal electricity production, biomass combustion, and engines for auxiliary power units for trucks and RVs.

The WHE is derivative of Cyclone’s external combustion Green Revolution Engine. (Earlier post.) Unlike its more powerful counterpart, the WHE operates in a low-pressure, low-temperature range. By contrast, the GRE employs super-critical pressure (3,200 psi, 22 MPa) and super-heated steam (1,200 °F, 649 °C).

The compact, lightweight WHE is a six-cylinder steam engine capable of running on waste heat as low as 225 °F (107 °C) and pressure as low as 25 psi (172 kPa). The engine achieves maximum efficiencies at about 600 °F (316 °C) and steam pressure of 200 psi (1.4 MPa), at which point one WHE can generate about 16 hp (21 kW), 30 lb-ft (41 Nm) of torque, and a little over 10 kW of electrical output. Due to its patent-pending valve mechanism and radial spider bearings, which allow for efficient piston movement, the WHE will self-start immediately upon the introduction of steam to the cylinders. This makes the engine well suited for passive or secondary energy production like cogeneration or solar thermal applications.

Over the following months, the new WHE/Generation division will launch a new consumer-oriented web site, and contract with manufacturers and installers to handle forecasted sales of these systems.

Cyclone will soon install the first beta WHE system at Bent Glass Design in Hatboro, PA. This system will harness waste heat from the customer’s glass manufacturing furnaces, and is expected to produce enough electricity to light their 65,000 ft2 facility while providing a two- to three-year payback. This type of resource-conserving option has not traditionally been available to tens of thousands of small industrial facilities which produce low and medium quality waste heat insufficient to run large turbine systems.



What kind of generator takes in 21 kW mechanical power and only puts out 10 kW electrical power?

Jesse 67

16 hp is actually 11.93 kw, GCC got the conversion mixed up. So 10 kw electrical power is not too bad. Sounds like a great idea although the efficiency isn't too high if you look on the website. But to make any usable power off such a low quality heat source is pretty good, when can I get one to stick on my truck exhaust to run my alternator?


16hp generator could also work as a range enhancer in a BEV, and this thing can burn anything, even yak dung.


What is "lightweight"?

OK, I found it at

"Weight 18 lbs without condenser and alternator"
Dimensions 14.25" x 14.25" x 10" h

"Efficiency 12% at max working temperature 600°f"

"runs on heat as low as 225 degrees" - I take this to mean very little useful power at 225F.

That is a great idea for truck exhaust waste heat recovery. I can see this as being a much cheaper way to get extra power for the truck fleet than thermoelectric.

This is way too inefficient for use as a generator for a BEV by straight burning. But combine it with a small diesel generator and it would make more sense.


but if all you have is yak dung what are you going to do?.. it is sustainable after all.


Yak dung just stinks up the neighborhood. Why not coal dust?

I know coal is a dirty word on this site.


Never mind yak dung- how about a steam collar around the flue pipe of wood heating stoves- they often exceed 400 degrees- and this could be a great tie in to provide whole house electric backup during winter storm power outages. the beauty of from woodstoves is that this is a standard 6 inch flue diameter- no need for custome fabrications! I wonder how durable this sucker is.. the 3 year payback from a glass foundry( intense heat) sounds promising. other uses could include diesel/gas boats that use dry stack exhausts( like trucks)- you could then eliminate the alternator from the engine- less stuff to go wrong, lighter too.
Above all else it must be durable


coal dust would work, but safer would be small coal pellets, of a standard size, that can be measured efficiently into the burner. Wood pellets are used for home heating and they are fed into the burner using a screw type mechanism.

Farm equipment could use a lot of different things to power this steam engine.

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