I came across some videos on solar energy today (16 October 2014.) I followed the discussions of mirrors as heaters to the Wikipedia article on Stirling or External Combustion engines. I have a great deal of difficulty getting my head around the principle. Even though it is an obviously simple one (where the internal contents are heated to expansion and cooled to contraction and forced to work because of the initiation of a a flywheel) that it can reach supersonic speeds limited only by the state of metallurgy just blows me away.
How on earth did the inventor drop on the idea?
And why did it work in the crude apparatus engineered in the early 19th century?
It’s main selling point was that they are safer than steam engines and were in their day more efficient. But they were easily damaged because they were ungovernable. When used with a solar reflector they could go so fast they would melt their bearings. But I doubt anyone has tried them with the materials developed by the Soviet Union in the Space Race.
I should imagine that you could set one spinning using fairly small reflectors, that would produce almost limitless power. The thought crossed my mind that you could use a reflector on the engine’s fly wheel to cut off the heat at a certain point and divert it to another engine so that once an optimum velocity has been reached, the sunlight could be diverted to another engine or bank of engines until that too reached optimum.
Of course I am talking about desert and semi-desert regions near the tropics. Cloud cove is the bug bear with them as is the rotation of the planet and its seasons. Following the sun during the hours of daylight would not be difficult to programme in this day and age. Nor would allowances for the weather, since they can be programmed via computers which would also tell the user that there is a chance of cloud.
The only real problem is that they can’t be used at night. But of course the engines can be made to operate using cold rather than hot and so a small engine set in a chimney could use the cold air at night to operate a small generator.
In a warm country the biggest burden is on heating the food and lighting the house at night. Modern electronics don’t use much heat, not much more than a few light-bulbs. Old fashioned light bulbs I mean. All that is about to change once again. But that just means a small Stirling engine is adequate for most families needs.
So what has any of this to do with the weather, apart from clouds and etcetera interfering with production?
Other forms of Stirling engine might be the cause of the weather. It might be how trees pump fluids far higher than water can be pumped in single stages. And it might also be how mountains rise and earthquakes are caused.
Thermoacoustic engines are thermoacoustic devices which use high-amplitude sound waves to pump heat from one place to another, or conversely use a heat difference to induce high-amplitude sound waves.
I can’t take the discussion any further because I am unfamiliar with the concept as applied to engineering. It is pretty straightforward how a mountain range can be created in a two stroke Carnot cycle though.
Help yourself. I got bored after 10 minutes but it is pretty obvious he was describing the troposphere. Then there is the standing wave idea. How does that work work?
That doesn’t run very well on my PC. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUWt3YrxoB4
And here is a battery of ice powered engines as opposed to flame power. The engines are actually heat engines running on comparatively warm air. But they do so in the same way “flame powered engines” are also “cooler air powered engines” -they all run on the temperature gradient of their different environments: http://youtu.be/QCD69Hrys2w
The point I would like to make, if you can get any of these videos working, is that it is easy to see how the various regions of the planet might be producing energy and how the system may be making use of sound, heat and chill to produce petzo-electricity, compression and rotation. All characteristics of the geo-phenomena that this blog is dedicated to the study of.