Yesterday I talked to Dan Granett of Granett Engineering. He made a boundary layer turbine successfully, and has performance data (please let me know if you know others). This turbine is an external combustion engine, and is a cheaper, simpler, and more efficient alternative to mainsream internal combusion engines. It consists of smooth, rotating disks:
It constitutes a multitrillion dollar potential market, and therefore merits attention. It may be powered by solar concentrator heat – or any other fuel.
I asked Dan to provide a quote, if we contracted him to build another, more robust version. I asked for a working turbine, about 5 kW scale – including a Babington burner flash steam generator running on waste vegetable oil. This means that it’s a self-contained package – fed by waste oil – ready to be coupled to a generator for power production. If you are a critic of vegetable oil fuel becuase of its clogging problems, note that the Babington is clog-free by design.
If you don’t understand the significance of this product – we are talking of a fab-at-home-level technological device, fed by any fuel, for addressing electricity production. Couple this to solar concentrators as the heat source, and you are using an elecricity provider who sends you no bills. This is like photovoltaic cells – except at a fraction of the cost.
Stay tuned for the quote. We’ll be asking you to help fund this open source project.
Other applications include hybrid cars and hybrid electric tractors, and anything that requires a power unit. Sound interesting?
Now allow me to peak your oil interest. Algae are a new and promising fuel crop because of high oil content. One can grow at least a factor 10 more algal biomass per area than any other terrestrial plant. This particular algal growth technology appears to be the state of the art, in terms of cost of production. We are talking about absolutely decentralized energy production possibilities. Humans may evolve beyond oil wars and resource scarcity scares with all these above notions.