Mark & Juanita wrote:
| On Tue, 9 Jan 2007 09:22:45 -0600, "Morris Dovey"
|| You may also want to cool your house. How does a zero
|| operating cost strike you?
| ZOC is great as long as initial investment and amortized
| ownership costs are below what a conventional system would cost.
Yes - and here is where the fluidyne (a short name for a liquid piston
stirling cycle engine) absolutely shines for a limited set of
The engine itself is a plumbing construct, partly filled with water
and the remainder filled with a air. There are no special
requirements: neither the water nor the air need be particularly clean
and there is no pressurization.
This engine operates at temperatures below the boiling point of water
and without producing particularly high pressures. The only moving
parts are the air and water; and there aren't any "wear points".
The diameters and lengths of the plumbing elements are important; but
there doesn't appear to be any need to be fussy about precision.
If you knew the plumbing measurements, you could probably build your
second engine out of (mostly) schedule 40 PVC pipe in less than a half
hour. The engine could be expected to outlast your
(great-?)grandchildren if you protected it from UV and abuse.
If you powered it from a flat-panel solar collector, you'd probably
want to replace the polycarbonate glazing every quarter-century or so.
A 6mm x 48" x 96" sheet of twin-wall polycarbonate glazing cost me
about $40 last time I shopped for it.
I don't yet have exact numbers on what this thing is going to cost to
produce (I'll guess less than US$100/HP for engine and collector); and
I don't even have a clue as to what conventional systems cost to
produce, operate, or maintain - so I can't help much with your cost
| IMO, this is where solar is having problems right now. Sure, I can
| get panels that would generate enough electricity to run my house
<snip photovoltaic electricity cost lament>
Agreed. Photovoltaics are over-priced and under-efficient; and, as
long as people are willing to pay too much for too little,
improvements will come slowly.
I don't have the resources to solve the photovoltaic production cost
problem (there is at least one that I'm aware of) so I don't waste my
time on it - but electricity doesn't necessarily provide the best
solution for /all/ problems.
If solar is having problems, it's because people insist on a "magic
bullet" - a single, comprehensive solution to all energy problems -
and solar is not a magic bullet (at least not yet).
DeSoto, Iowa USA