US4307573 Thermal-Cycle Engine - Evaporative Atmospheric Engine
At one point on the group Boyd Cantrell asked, Do you think that anyone will ever build an apparatus that is more efficient than the bird at converting ambient temperature heat energy into work?
I responded, apparatus that is more efficient than the bird at converting ambient temperature heat energy into work can definitely be built.
The major problems with the dippy bird heat engine design are:
Problem # 1: Hot Cold Line Are The Same
The most obvious problem with the bird is that the heat flow line and the cold flow line are one and the same. Simply by separating the heat line and the cold line as is done in all other heat engines will lead to a significant output gain.
Problem # 2: Kinetic Energy Loss
The second most obvious problem with the bird design is the reciprocating motion of the balanced structure. In the model that I saw a great deal of the kinetic energy of motion was lost at the water dip interface. If the design where modified and made unidirectional and continuously circular this problem would be solved.
Problem # 3: Evaporative Cooling Is Minimal
Evaporation rate is very minimal. If the design were modified as in 2 above then one could combine some form of forced air flow to enhance the evaporative cooling.
That about summarizes the most obvious problems that I see. I am sure that if several people analyzed this device and started thinking about ways to overcome its obvious problems that a new a better design would result, and yes it would definitely be more efficient than the bird design.
The Minto wheel overcomes the loss of kinetic energy problem (#2 above), but it does not overcome the other two problems.
If you check out US Patent 4307573, you see that the inventor has overcome all of the shortcomings of the dippy bird design. The inventors design utilizes all the available forces (gravity, centrifugal, inertia) in a unique way that optimizes the desired outcome (mechanical power at the shaft). Hopefully this patent will stimulate some constructive thought for this group.
US4307573 Thermal-Cycle Engine
At 1800 RPM a unit 5 feet in diameter will create a air flow of about 200 MPH which will result in a evaporative cooling effect of 30 degrees F. lower than the surrounding air temperature. A 5 foot diameter unit will produce approximately 5000 Watts of power.
This device overcomes many of the problems that the simple dippy bird has. This is one of the best designs that I have seen on evaporative cooled engines. If anyone knows of something better let us know.