CoolIP index           


Cool Salvaged ICE- Junk car or lawn-mower
makes "instant" kite generators

Many classes of old internal combustion engines can find new life as compressor/generator/kite hybrids. It will be possible to run engines at their full rated power with kites. The worthless old gas-guzzler nobody wants suddenly becomes a 300kw green wonder. The engine could be switched modes; compression, electrical, or both. Kite power could enter via the original transmission, or via a spare cylinder directly to the crankshaft.

For a crude quick demo, the pull cord starting mechanism found on the common lawn mower enables it be driven by a pumping kite to both compress air and make a trickle of electricity. Compression is easily tapped at a spark plug hole.

Air in many ways is a superior power medium to electricity for work. Air-tools are higher in power-to-weight, lower cost per unit power). Heavy-duty air-tools are shop standard while essential electrical devices are becoming micro-powered. The heat of compression can space-heat nicely. Air could be run back through the engine for slow local propulsion of an old car. The possibilities are endless.

CoolIP                       ~Dave Santos                25October2011         AWE4556

Comment and development of this topic will be occurring here.       
All, send notes, drawings, and photographs!

Terms and aspects:   

  • ICE  internal combustion engine  
  • hp     horsepower
  • Cogeneration (also combined heat and power, CHP)     wiki 
  • Air car

Related links:


Commentary is welcome:

  • Air tools are popular because air motors are light and compact, but it takes a 5 hp air compressor to do the job of a 1 hp electric motor on the tool. The heat of compression makes it possible to run a CHP system at over 100% thermal efficiency, but only if the needs for heat and power are serendipitously balanced. Usually, the heat of compression, made from high-grade electricity, is simply wasted.

    The Air Car is a stock fraud; but what people also miss is that as an energy source, compressed air is far more dangerous and less compact than even Hydrogen. Unlike a fuel, it does not need mixing with oxygen to release its energy, it is all available instantly, like a high explosive.     ~~ Bob Stuart
  • Yeah, air cars are real pigs (hauling the tank), but in our case repositioning upwind on the kite field during calm may be enough for that mode to pay. CO2 motors for model planes was not so bad.
    The explosive power of air is quite true, so use it as you make it (or own a cave to pump up), but that's exactly why we used air for many amazing robots in Austin during the 80s and 90s. I use shop air for metal fabrication and specify air wherever it kicks butt. We could never have done this sort of feat with electric actuators:

    The Martial Arts Robot Project   
    You +1'd this publicly. 
    Concept Description-. The X-1 is a high performance humanoid fighting robot for martial arts training, demonstration, and entertainment. It consists of a mobile ... 
    Note- That's my buddy, computer scientist Wan-Yik Lee, sparring. Brooks Coleman was a key man in this project and we intend to fly this air-robot someday as a "winged humanoid". Brooks is now developing AWE in Llano, TX, where kite god Joel Sholz also lives and is in our circle since '84 or so.
  • v