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Kelvin Injectionado

Lord Kelvin Generator using an Atmospheric Vortex Engine
  (+8, -1)
(+8, -1)
  [vote for,

Lord Kelvin's generator on steroids! By using this generator [1][2] in conjunction with an Atmospheric Vortex Engine [3], it might be able to create a power plant with no moving parts (except the air and water).

With the force of a tornado, some water spouts could be funneled through some metal cylinders to create one hella Kelvin generator.

(Thanks FlyingToaster and csea!)

CoolSolutions, Jan 06 2008

(?) 1) Kelvin Generator Demo http://www.youtube....watch?v=F5PvIPgJGx0
MIT's famous professor Walter Lewin's demo of Lord Kelvin generator [CoolSolutions, Jan 06 2008]

2) Kelvin's Thunderstorm http://amasci.com/emotor/kelvin.html
How to build your own Kelvin Generator [CoolSolutions, Jan 06 2008]

3) Atmospheric Vortex Engine http://vortexengine.ca/index.shtml
explaining tethered tornado concept [CoolSolutions, Jan 06 2008]

4) solar chimney video http://www.youtube....watch?v=XCGVTYtJEFk
a working model of the solar chimney in Spain [CoolSolutions, Jan 06 2008]

A modest proposal Rainpowered_20Giant...lvin_20Thunderstorm
[MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 06 2008]

6) Floating Solar Chimney http://www.floatingsolarchimney.gr/
Artist rendition of a floating solar chimney [CoolSolutions, Jan 07 2008, last modified Jan 08 2008]


       beautiful... cheap electric generation fom trailer-parks.
FlyingToaster, Jan 06 2008

       Welcome to the HB [CoolSolutions]!   

       I think your idea is clever, but maybe maybe only 3/8 baked. At a minimum, you'll need four metal cylinders, cross coupled to extract any electrical energy.   

       Also, please use the [link] function to post URLs, makes it easier to check them out. And specify a category such as "product: power source."   

       Might be good to read the "meta" section up there on the upper left. Nonetheless, I'm looking forward to your next idea.
csea, Jan 06 2008

       Believe it or not, not everyone is comfortable with the idea of a tethered tornado ("not in my trailer park!") So, a variation of the AVE is the solar chimney[4]. It's the same driving convective solar winds principle without the ruby slippers.   

       The expense of erecting a HUGE solar chimney can be reduced by using inflatable donuts (no sprinkles) stacked on top of each other and tied together to make a very long, like totally tubular, chimney. The balloon donuts could be filled with a lighter than air gas to allow buoyancy without necessarily needing guide wires. It would sway in the wind[6], and not be totally rigid, (but at these lengths, who cares?), reaching the troposphere just like the AVE. A single donut blow-out (from perhaps a bullet from big oil) would not cause the structure to fail catastrophically. Instead, the tower could be raised and lowered for repairs, or in case of bad weather like if a tornado was in the vicinity.
CoolSolutions, Jan 06 2008


       Thanks MaxwellBuchanan. I didn't mean to steal your thunder.
CoolSolutions, Jan 06 2008

       Nor I yours - you're welcome. Not entirely sure I follow your physics - the classic Kelvin machine has two cylinders and two buckets cross-connected. But I like the idea of using such a machine on a large scale for power generation, so [+].
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 06 2008

       Thanks again, Max. csea also made the comment, but I feel a little guilty making changes because the date doesn't change. Oh what the hey...
CoolSolutions, Jan 06 2008

       I was trying to guesstimate the efficiency of a Kelvin generator - perhaps someone else can do better.   

       In the videos I've seen, the water typically falls a metre or so, and I'm guessing that a decent size spark happens for every 100ml (or so) of water that falls. Hence, one spark is generated for every Joule (100grams x 1m) of gravitational energy. So how much energy is in the spark? Again, at a rough guess I'm assuming that the spark is 1kW for 1microsecond (no real evidence for that), or 1mJ of energy. This would give an efficiency of about 0.1%.   

       However, this could be out by a factor of 1000 (though only in one direction).   

       Any other thoughts?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 06 2008

       Good question. I googled the efficiency. Not much came up. Might be a dv/dt thing, but not an EE here (except thats what the diploma says). Can't be anymore than force times distance over time.
CoolSolutions, Jan 07 2008

       So, the Lord Kelvin generator -- wonder if it would work with twin downspouts from a rain gutter on your home or apartment building...   

       The solar chimney video makes me wonder if you could generate power with hot air from your attic ducted up a tall chimney...
jdlaugh, Jan 07 2008

       Creating a direct path from the ground to the troposphere might invoke some pretty knarly forces. It's more than a backyard project for the weekend hobbyist. You would probably need a permit. It's not too cheap either. Do you know the price of donuts these days?
CoolSolutions, Jan 07 2008

       Could one build it on the top of a big mountain to get a head start?
vincevincevince, Jan 07 2008

       Anchoring this monster over a warm body of water works best. We need a big delta (pressure from the base of the tube to the top). Moist air is lighter than dry air for more loft. A draft would form towards the base of the tube from all directions on a calm day. Water isn't required. A hot desert or open flame would do the trick. Anyone want to build one for Burning Man?
CoolSolutions, Jan 07 2008

       But why on earth would anyone want to generate Lord Kelvins?
ye_river_xiv, Jan 12 2008


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