Everything You Need To Know About How Hydroelectricity Is Generated Filetype Html

Now, the same boat, weighing exactly the same with the same crew, is now continuing the voyage at the same speed, but no fuel is being burnt. The really interesting thing is that while we know this perfectly well, and we are aware that people have sailed right around the world in boats which do not have engines, it does not seem to occur to us that this shows conclusively that it is not necessary to burn a fuel to power some item of equipment or form of transport.

In the case of our yacht, the energy comes from the sun which heats the atmosphere unevenly, causing winds to blow and the yachtsman uses the sails to make those winds power his boat through the water. So, a sailing boat is actually powered by the sun although we don't usually think about it that way.

There are many hydro-electric "power stations" where electricity is 'generated' by machines driven by water pressure. In actual fact, no power is 'generated' at all, but instead, the potential energy of the body of water is converted into electricity by having the water fall and spin the shaft of a machine. So, how did the water get up there in the first place? Well, it came from rain. And how did the rain get up there? It rose up there due to evaporation caused by the heat of the sun. So, the bottom line again is that hydro-electric 'power' stations are powered by the sun.

Windmills are also powered by the sun. But, and here is the really interesting thing, if I state that it is perfectly possible for a compressed-air engine to produce mechanical power with burning any fuel, then there is an immediate and strong reaction where people will say "Impossible - that is perpetual motion !!" They imply that perpetual motion is impossible but never supply any rational evidence to support that implication. The Earth has been spinning on its axis for millions of years, so when exactly do they expect it to stop? All the planets in the Solar System have been orbiting for millions of years, how long do they have to orbit before they can be considered to be in perpetual motion? Why then are people so opposed to the idea of perpetual motion? Presumably, because perpetual motion shows clearly that a fuel does not have to be burned to 'produce' power and that would not be good for people who sell fuels, and so, we are all told from an early age that perpetual motion is "impossible".

Well, that does not matter here as we are going to look at compressed-air engines which run off the heat of the sun. That is, they are heat-pumps which are a well accepted engineering fact and they work on wholly accepted standard scientific principles. An ordinary refrigerator outputs three or four times as much heat power as the electrical power driving it, and it could be twice that efficient if it were used properly. This is a Coefficient Of Performance (COP) of 3 or 4, which is supposed to be "impossible" but unfortunately, all refrigerators work like this and you can't exactly say that refrigerators don't exist, just because their performance does not appear to fit in with some theories.

Actually, there is no magic involved here as the extra energy is being drawn from the heat content of the air in the immediate locality. The refrigerator is not operating in isolation and there is a heat exchange with the air surrounding it. This outside energy causes the COP>1 performance. In passing, all COP>1 devices operate by drawing energy in from an external source (usually the zero-point energy field) and none of them actually break the 'rules' of science. But, enough of that.

The people who don't want self-powered engines used in the world today, pin their hopes on a continued ignorance of Engineering facts relating to heat pumps. A self-sustaining compressed-air engine is actually running off power from the sun just as sailboats, windmills and hydro-electric power stations do. Sorry folks, no magic here, just bog-standard Engineering. Admittedly, very few people know or realise the implications of this standard Engineering:

1. All work done in compressing air into a storage tank is converted into heat and then lost to the atmosphere, so the energy in the compressed air inside the tank is the same as that produced by atmospheric heating of that air, but as more of it is now in the tank, there is additional potential for work to be done. This extra energy was fed into the air by atmospheric heating before the air was compressed.

The First Law of Thermodynamics states that where heat is converted into mechanical energy, or mechanical energy is converted into heat, the quantity of heat is exactly equivalent to the amount of mechanical energy. We then have the intriguing situation where all of the mechanical energy put into compressing air into a storage tank is lost as heat, and yet, the tank contents now has a higher potential for doing work. This information comes from Engineering textbooks.

2. If the expanded cold air leaving the engine is used to cool the intake air of the compressor, then there will be an added gain when it warms up inside the cylinder, pulling heat in from the local environment.

3. If the heat of compression is transferred to the air container feeding the engine and not given time to dissipate, then there is a further power gain for the engine.

4. If compressed air is allowed to expand rapidly, there is a marked drop in temperature. The Leroy Rogers engine design, shown later in this chapter, uses this fact to create air-conditioning for a car driven by a compressed-air engine.

OK then, in broad outline, the energy available from a tank of compressed air comes directly from the heat contained in the atmosphere, in spite of the fact that we always imagine that the energy in the tank was put there by our energetic pumping.

Let's check this out by taking a look at some of the engines which use these principle to provide fuel-less operation, starting with the design of Bob Neal specified in his (slightly re-worded) patent:

US Patent 2,030,759 11th Feb. 1936 Inventor: Bob Neal

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