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Author Topic: Engines  (Read 969 times)

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As the title suggests, here’s a thread dedicated to “ ENGINES “

The first recorded invention came from Heron of Alexandria around 60 AD. Effectively a steam turbine or better described as a “ reaction engine “

The term engine was used for most machines that converted any form of energy into rotary motion. Today most of us know the internal combustion engine, there’s Billions of them in use around the planet. They convert high energy density liquid or gaseous fuels into rotary motion. These engines followed on from the steam age that brought about the Industrial revolution.

I have spent most of my adult life in the pursuit of preservation of early internal and external combustion engines. I have also been involved with the production of working scale models.

Please feel free to put forward any ideas, thoughts on how we might improve the efficiency and perhaps, more importantly the emissions from these very popular machines.

Cheers Graham.


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The video is of an engine that was inspired from a conversation that I had with Verpies a couple of years ago. We were discussing an aspect of the IC engine whereupon he said “ I don’t know, I can’t visualise the process “ this statement set a seed that germinated last year into a finished and  working engine.

It has electronic ignition with the sparks timed at TDC. It runs on Propane gas and employs an 8 stroke cycle. This is twice the number of revolutions from a conventional 4 stroke engine. This was done to aid cylinder cooling.

The engine serves no practical purpose other than to visualise the combustion process, she’s called OCULO. Sadly, short lived as the big end bearing collapsed and a catastrophic failure ensued….

https://youtu.be/6fC4Cj9lbmQ

Cheers Graham.


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Very timely topic ( And there is some passion among members of the various  FE forums)
Also an engine can create some extreme conditions for “testing on the cheap”
Example the Sam Leach water fuel claim ( and others, Herman Anderson etc !

Thanks
Chet
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Your invisible engine is amazing “combustion “ learning tool …she needs to come back !
Hydrogen….
   

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Thanks Chet.  O0

Indeed, Hydrogen as a fuel in the IC engine is virtually emissions free but is both expensive and difficult to store in quantity. I wonder about what the NOX value’s might be too?

When the weather gets better to be back out in the workshop I will look into the possibility of a HHO engine. The major problem with HHO is that the changes of state’s are almost instantaneous from a rapid expansion to a virtual vacuum in the blink of an eye. Also conventional spark plugs get wet and fail.

OCULO has proven that a Borosilicate glass cylinder works with the piston floating on a couple of Viton rubber O rings to seal so another “ Glass “ engine will follow but fuelled by HHO.

Almost resurrected….  ;)

Cheers Grum.


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We need to get you a high speed camera for that HHO OCULO viewing
to sort that “what’s it really doing ?” Out !
( phase change super heated steam too ?
Exciting stuff indeed!
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Indeed, Hydrogen as a fuel in the IC engine is virtually emissions free but is both expensive and difficult to store in quantity. I wonder about what the NOX value’s might be too?

Ben over at AppliedScience has done some work with gas hydrates as a means of H2 storage as gas hydrates:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3trDB5hN4Ug

Nitrogen oxides do decompose into water to form nitric acid, which ends up being used as a nitrogen source in plants.
So I suppose worst-case the emissions end up raining down as weak fertilizer?   Not great, but still a lot better than leaded gasoline...

In diesel engines, the NOx emissions increase with compression ratios and overall efficiency.  So in the end it's either a choice of generating more NOx or burning a lot more fuel.  Arguably that's how VW was 'cheating' in their diesel engines; they weren't wasting enough gas. C.C


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Known by many earlier members as evolvingape, Rob invented a water pump that used the HHO generated in a small chamber to pump water. Here’s a link to his thread….

https://www.overunityresearch.com/index.php?topic=2288.0

He passed on his prototype to me several years ago, to go into my “ museum “ as he affectionately called my vintage engine collection. The design is very simple and proved that a small amount of energy could raise water to immense height, basically dependent upon the structural integrity of the construction materials used. We never raised the pressure higher than a couple of hundred PSI but it might be interesting to see if there was a point when the HHO would “ auto ignite “

Pumps like these could be used in 3rd world countries where sunlight is abundant to provide the energy for the HHO cell to operate. With only one moving part, the NRV ( non return valve ) they could be very easily maintained and I’m betting that the electronics would give up first!

Attached link to us testing the HHOP in the kitchen several years ago. We used an “ overkill “ ignition system to ensure the spark plug remained dry.


https://youtu.be/rqBq5aTvCOE

Cheers Grum.


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Hmmm, I’m beginning to wonder if my “ tech “ is listening in? This just appeared in my Face Book feed….

https://www.jcb.com/en-gb/campaigns/hydrogen

Cheers Grum.


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Hmmm, I’m beginning to wonder if my “ tech “ is listening in? This just appeared in my Face Book feed….

https://www.jcb.com/en-gb/campaigns/hydrogen

Cheers Grum.
yes it is. Luvyawork. Oculo was amazing. Reminded me of the transparent carbie on the yt better everyday channel.
   

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Having re read the HHOP thread through Rob’s initial build and testing I found one statement interesting. “ implosion “

This event follows almost immediately after the combustion of the gas. I started thinking about the possibility of a simple, self contained engine.

Many readers will be aware of the toy steam engines that are commonly known as “ oscillator’s “ the cylinder and piston assembly rocks too and fro across the port faces for admission and exhaust. I’m thinking of a slightly modified version where the pivot is placed right at the bottom end of the cylinder. The cylinder will carry both the HHO cell, ignition electrode and piston in one. The cell will be filled with water and a screw valve will be fitted so that the piston can be inserted into the bore and then sealed.

The piston rod will be attached to an overhung crank and a shaft that carries the flywheel.

The hope is that at just after TDC  the gas is fired and the explosion/implosion will occur in a single revolution? The cycle repeating until the water runs out….

I’m not aware that this sealed system idea has been tried before so I’ve bitten the bullet and ordered a few bits and bobs from eBay today. Luckily it’s stuff that I can make use of in the future so no real loss.

Cheers Grum.


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A sealed unit ? Ala Papp ?

I do miss Rob ( evolvingape) , hope he is doing OK!
Will try to reach out for him !

Exciting idea !

Thanks
Chet
PS
I think I’ll try to reach out for Brad too …he always enjoyed the “Engine”
   

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Grum
A sealed unit ? Ala Papp ?

I do miss Rob ( evolvingape) , hope he is doing OK!
Will try to reach out for him !

Exciting idea !

Thanks
Chet

PS
I think I’ll try to reach out for Brad too …he always enjoyed the “Engine”

Hi Chet.

The answer is yes, it’s virtually the HHOP with a solid piston rather than a hydraulic one. The problem might be that I won’t be able to generate sufficient gas between the cycles.

I haven’t spoken with either Rob or Brad for over a year now.

Cheers Grum.
« Last Edit: 2023-01-16, 11:04:50 by Grumage »


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Hi Grum,

Knowing your excellent machinist skills and engine knowledge I will be eagerly watching this thread.  After so many years of being on several forums there is not much that catches my interest anymore but whatever you are working on always fascinates me.  Thanks for sharing.

Carroll


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Thanks Jim, Carroll.  O0

An old engineer friend of mine once said to me “ do what you know Graham, you won’t go far wrong “ it’s a philosophy that I’ve tried to adhere to for most of my life.

I tend to ponder upon a new design for days, I’m able to visualise the construction in my mind. This won’t be any Picasso, Rembrandt machine but more on the lines of Henry Ford’s “ kitchen sink “ motor. See attached picture. I too am choosing to use a horizontal format.

The simplicity of Rob’s HHOP using “ off the shelf “ pipe fittings should make the construction fairly quick and easy. I am choosing 1” BSP or 1” NPT ( for our USA based friends ) in 316 stainless Steel. The cylinder will be made from a barrel nipple, internally honed for the piston. This will screw into a “ tee “ piece on the centre line. The bottom leg will carry the HHO cell and the top leg will have a standard automotive spark plug. I will modify the tee by cross drilling an 8 mm hole, through the centre line and Silver solder a short length of ground stock/drill rod through it to make the trunnions. A couple of Plummer/Pillow blocks will provide the pivot and support for the oscillating cylinder.  More to come once the weather bucks up a bit.

Cheers Grum.


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The ordered parts are coming in slowly with the cylinder and HHO cell material coming from China. I couldn’t source 100 mm long 316 stainless Barrel nipples here in the UK. Having given the project a little more thought I went for malleable Iron fittings for the remaining parts which are much cheaper. Just the cell and cylinder will be made from stainless Steel.

I have attached a gif of an oscillating cylinder steam engine for you to visualise how the proposed engine will be constructed. The cylinder on my engine will be pivoted where the steam enters and exhausts rather than on its centre.

Cheers Grum.


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Whilst we’re waiting for the materials to arrive I would like to draw attention to the interested readership, this excellent website dedicated to the hot air engine.

http://hotairengines.org/

You will note that the ideas and practical designs go back nearly 300 years. During the Victorian era many small engines were used to power machinery reasonably efficiently but, more importantly safely.

In today’s society we’re looking for the “ zero Carbon “ and zero emissions solution, maybe the Stirling cycle engine could enjoy a Renaissance?

Cheers Graham.

The photo is of a half scale replica of the Robinson 4B “ table top “ engine with regenerative displacer. Built, under license by L Gardner and sons, Manchester. The heat was provided by a small gas ring.

The second picture is of the castings to make the model from.


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The vacuum engine.

Another variant of external combustion is the vacuum engine. Commonly known as flame licker/gulper engines. A quantity of heated air is drawn through a port at the front of the cylinder. A mechanically operated valve closes off the cylinder at about 3/4 of the downward piston travel. The heated air rapidly cooled by the either air or water cooled cylinder forms a vacuum. The flywheel aids the piston to the bottom of the stroke before atmospheric pressure pushes it forward for the power stroke. An exhaust valve opens automatically to purge the now increasing pressure before the piston reaches the end of the stroke. The cycle is then repeated, over and over until the heat source is extinguished.

The power is directly proportional to the area of piston diameter so these engines, in the main, weren’t that powerful. They found uses in driving things like sewing machines and, believe it or not, Dentists drill’s.

This principle could also be reversed, if we had a cheap way of super cooling the cylinder we could run the engine from air at ambient temperature.

The photo is of a range of vacuum engines that I designed over the last 20 years or so. They’re called CHUK, the V twin was the latest in the line completed just about 18 months ago.

The video is of my favourite, own design, Nattie a wee toy based upon a beautiful design from the National gas engine company of Ashton under Lyne Manchester.

https://youtu.be/2eorVwM7n64

Cheers Grum.


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  As a lad, I had the privilege to help rebuild a 2cy JD and could put my head in the cylinders. My fav is the hit and miss. Helped to start up a FM once. Quite a joy. What I have always wondered is why the Sterling didn't make it in places that have lots of sun?  I watched a video in India of a really big one doing water pump and grinding jobs so it had to be strong. Yet, only toys. Frenzels or lenses on the hot side and air cooled on the other from the flywheels. Could gen electricity in the deserts easy.
   

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I tried to start such a stirling engine a couple of years ago.
This is the same motor in the foto. So it failed to do .
It seems the shaft was bent, and a tight rotate.
   

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I tried to start such a stirling engine a couple of years ago.
This is the same motor in the foto. So it failed to do .
It seems the shaft was bent, and a tight rotate.

Lovely.  O0

It looks like a Rabb or a Jost stationary hot air engine. However there were “ knock off/copy “ engines made in India. Very popular for small power applications. They also made them fitted with a large fan for air conditioning.

Highly desirable and collectible here in the UK.

You will definitely need to straighten the crankshaft and get it moving freely as any available power would be absorbed by a tight bearing.

Cheers Graham.


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  As a lad, I had the privilege to help rebuild a 2cy JD and could put my head in the cylinders. My fav is the hit and miss. Helped to start up a FM once. Quite a joy. What I have always wondered is why the Sterling didn't make it in places that have lots of sun?  I watched a video in India of a really big one doing water pump and grinding jobs so it had to be strong. Yet, only toys. Frenzels or lenses on the hot side and air cooled on the other from the flywheels. Could gen electricity in the deserts easy.

Hi Thay.

Luckily I’ve been around these engines long enough to know your abbreviation’s, I’m guessing JD as John Deere and the ubiquitous Fairbanks, Morse. I was told that FM in the 1920’s was producing over 2000 engines a day !! Such was the demand of the power hungry in the States. Mind you there’s several hundred  in preservation over here too.

The Stirling engine does have its limitations but I think that it could see a Renaissance as we now have much more interesting, modern materials to play with. It’s rumoured that the engines might be fitted to power submarines because they’re virtually silent in operation. And possibly deep space application’s?? Absolute zero one side and a small Nuclear reactor the other that’s one Hell of a temperature differential.

Cheers Grum.


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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKO2rJJaxCM

A presentation I did enjoy was from Sky Huddleson who's invested his recent life into R+D and factory production of the Bourke engine.
He's very open about the lessons-learned, tips+techniques involved in building+reproducing fuel-detonating engines like this, and ways to mitigate many potential problems.  The presentations are basically a checklist of problem->solution for this novel class of engine.

The end-goal seems to have a series of ultra-high-compression Diesel engines that are extremely fuel efficient with relatively low NoX emissions due to the longer burn-time allowed with the scotch-yoke design.  And have engines that are not only efficient, but long-lasting and indefinitely maintainable in the same way that many early steam engines are (it's not uncommon to find 19th century century steam engines in working order today). ^-^

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bourke_engine


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Hi Hakasays.

Many thanks for your introduction of an engine that I was totally unaware of.  O0

At first glance I was sceptical about the two stroke principle being applied until I saw the graphic. I was naturally assuming that a super charger would be needed to provide the air for combustion. Not so, the isolated pistons draw in the air on their underside and then transfer it through ports ready for compression. Very neat!

Another important point is that of the dwell at TDC, this will allow a longer time for the combustion process to get started making for improved efficiency.

My only concern is that of adequate cylinder lubrication? Most normal ICE’s use the engine oil for two functions, lubrication being the obvious but the oil also removes excess heat from the cylinders too.

I think current politics will scupper any real attempts for future development as we seem Hell bent on going electric. Time will tell.

Cheers Graham.


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  I had the pleasure of meeting Sky and his display at ESTC and see the 2 cyl Bourke broke down showing the internals. Sad that it did not take hold  and fly. A 4 cyl 454CI is impressive and was said to fail the EPA test as there was no readings. Hope I can see him again in the next convention. Set to go.
   

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My only concern is that of adequate cylinder lubrication? Most normal ICE’s use the engine oil for two functions, lubrication being the obvious but the oil also removes excess heat from the cylinders too.

I'll have to go over my notes, but I think he mentioned two mitigation strategies
 - One was on ceramic nanocoating used as long-term lubricant.  I guess these are fairly common in higher-end bearings.  The coating would be on the liner as well as the piston+seals.
I believe the other was on finding ways to maintain thermal expansion consistent between the piston and cylinder wall.   That the main problem of piston heating was the thermal expansion that causes it to jam/weld into the cylinder wall.  There was a lot of talk on materials selection to mitigate this problem but he was quite upfront about the techniques+solutions for it.


I did also find this excerpt from this old paper that may be relevant:
http://acversailles.free.fr/documentation/08~Documentation_Generale_M_Suire/Moteur/Documentation/Performance_testing_a_30_cubic_inch_bourke_engine.pdf#page=2&zoom=auto,-85,208
Quote
The  whole  reciprocating  piston-yoke  assembly  is  supported  by the  piston rod  bearings  which  have  oil  and  pressure  seals.  Hence,the  volume  of the  cylinder  beneath  the  piston  is  used  as the  scavenge  pump.  The  piston  skirts  are  cam  ground and  slotted  with  a  diameter  such  that  a  slight  preload exists  between  the  skirt  and  cylinder  wall.  This  feature,according  to  Bourke,  greatly  assists  heat  transfer  from the  piston  to  the  coolant  enabling  the  use  of  high  compression  ratios  and  correspondingly  high  combustion temperatures  without  associated  piston  failure.




  I had the pleasure of meeting Sky and his display at ESTC and see the 2 cyl Bourke broke down showing the internals. Sad that it did not take hold  and fly. A 4 cyl 454CI is impressive and was said to fail the EPA test as there was no readings. Hope I can see him again in the next convention. Set to go.
He definitely has this aura of engineering+innovation to him.  You can tell he's probably living at the shop/factory that's working on these things. ;D


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