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Solar thermal engines

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Posted by Morris Dovey on March 9, 2009, 5:51 pm
There is a discussion of pumped storage for small scale hydroelectric
systems going on over on alt.energy.homepower that promped me to suggest
considering using direct solar -> mechanical energy conversion using
fluidyne pumps. After hitting 'send' it occurred to me that I should
perhaps have cross-posted here. Perhaps a few of the folks here will
find it interesting...

Electric pumping really hurts the economics of pumped hydro, but we're
creeping up on direct solar pumping.

I'm not sure when we'll have it playing well, but the pace will pick up
as more people roll up their sleeves...

I've had a photo of a fluidyne engine that I think is a good first step
- and I'm working on a new version that offers a theoretical maximum
solar heat to mechanical energy conversion efficiency of about 74%.

My original pages are at


and I just added a page where I'll be posting photos of work being done
by others at


If anyone here has made any progress along these lines, I'd appreciate
photos to add to that web page.

Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
DeSoto, Iowa USA

Posted by Morris Dovey on March 16, 2009, 11:49 pm
Morris Dovey wrote:

I just uploaded a video from Saad Naseem in Pakistan showing his machine
in operation - the oscillation is visible in a sight glass on the tuning
tube. He's still having some difficulties, but it's up and running!

To see the action, you'll need to play the video in full-screen mode.
Methinks the videographer was a tad excited. :-)

Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
DeSoto, Iowa USA

Posted by Morris Dovey on March 22, 2009, 9:01 pm
 Morris Dovey wrote:

(Update to the update)

It would appear that the initial difficulties have been overcome - the
engine is sustaining long run times and a pump has been connected.

In this configuration, the oscillation has slowed somewhat, and efforts
are underway to increase the frequency and displacement.

For the new video, they've added some dye to the water to make it easier
to see it operate.

Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
DeSoto, Iowa USA

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