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Wind Powered Fridge (no moving parts)

Wind-Powered Heat Pump with No Moving Parts
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(+3, -2)
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The apparatus consists of a large funnel made of steel or concrete mounted firmly on the ground facing a certain direction. When the wind is blowing in this direction, the air is forcibly compressed in the narrower sections of the funnel. These sections are embedded in a pool of water to which the heat generated by the compression is transferred.

This, in turn cools the air in the narrower section of the funnel to the ambient temperature. The air that has thus lost some heat is allowed to expand through the second part of the apparatus which is a widening duct embedded in another pool of water whose exhaust is vertical to the ground (and thus not facing the wind from any direction).

As the air expands, this second pool of water is cooled.

No laws of physics get violated here--this apparatus would simply use wind power (in a very low tech, durable setup) to provide both heat and cooling.

Three or four of thse devices could be mounted in different directions to catch wind blowing from any direction.

This could also potentially be used to condense water out of the air in dry, "off-the-grid" areas with some wind.

cowtamer, Sep 30 2006

Hilsch Vortex Tube http://www.halfbake...chexpression=hilsch
See various links for better ways to compress air. [csea, Sep 30 2006]


       Unless it's a polar bear, absolutely!!
cowtamer, Sep 30 2006

       It is a common misconception that air is compressable in the sorts of open systems as described. It's not.
ConsulFlaminicus, Sep 30 2006

       Surely it is to a limited extent; strong wind has kinetic energy which can be used to pressurise the air, as in a pitot tube for instance. I'll happily accept that the wind strength would have to be very high though.
david_scothern, Sep 30 2006

       As [CF] says, open systems (i.e. funnels) can't extract useful energy from a stream of air. No doubt a windmill, or other mechanical impedance transformer, could be put to the job. Minimal moving parts. And a Hilsch vortex tube [link] (no moving parts except the air) would work fine to extract hot and cold from pressurized air.
csea, Sep 30 2006

       I believe I was thinking something like the Hilsch Vortex Tube. The input of the funnel would be very large (2-3 meters, for instance--something like air raid sirens).   

       Why would air not compress in a system like this?
cowtamer, Oct 03 2006

       Wouldn't this work the other way around? With the air being at lower pressure when it's going quickly through the narrow bits? I think Bernoulli's principle is applicable here.
caspian, Oct 09 2006

       Cowtamer doesn't understand the basic principles, and has this all garbled, but using air to transfer heat by compressing and expanding it is perfectly feasible, just not very efficient. Using wind to compress it might work if you used a windmill, but not in the way described.
ldischler, Oct 09 2006


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