Solar Powered Aircraft Engine

Votes: 5
Views: 8880

The Zero Pollution Aircraft Engine© (ZPAE©) from Massive Nibble© will be the world’s first solar-powered engine targeting both the private and commercial aircraft markets. The ZPAE© is a new, much more efficient Stirling heat engine configuration that can be rapidly and precisely throttled. It can make power with any heat. Solar, renewable fuels, bio-diesel, etc. The ZPAE© is a very simple design that will be clean, quiet, compact and nearly vibration-free. No longer will people who live near airports have to lose sleep because of noisy engines. Passengers and crew will be able to enjoy quiet, relaxing trips, with almost undetectable engine noise and vibration. Aircraft will last longer.

Stirling engines make power with the difference in temperature between a hot space and a cold space. Unlike both internal combustion and jet engines that lose power as the air gets thinner at higher altitudes, but the ZPAE© becomes more powerful at higher altitudes, because the air is colder, increasing the temperature difference between the hot and cold spaces, increasing engine power. At the same time the engine is gaining power, the air gets thinner and presents less drag on the aircraft. More power plus thinner air equals higher airspeed and less time to your destination. Reduced fuel payload would also increase aircraft flight efficiency and payload capabilities. Fly anywhere, on a sunny day, without fuel expense and without creating any air or noise pollution.

Included is an illustration of the proposed Zero Pollution Aircraft Engine© (ZPAE©) prototype. It should weigh about 300 pounds and make over 1,000 horsepower. We hope to see it dominate the fuel efficiency, solar-power and biofuel aircraft contests, starting with the NASA/CAFE Green Flight Challenge.

We have designed a rigid, lens-based system for concentrating solar energy and delivering it to our engines, that can be integrated into engine mounts, cowlings and wings, as well as a flexible, optical fiber-based system that can be shaped to form wings, cowlings, doors and body panels or be molded to conform to existing engine and airframe structures.

For flying at night and during stormy weather we can use battery, capacitor, flywheel, compressed air, renewable biomass and/or any solid, liquid or gaseous fuel backup systems. Renewable fuel and/or stored energy backup systems make safe, cheap, carbon-neutral, extended-range air transport possible. Prices should drop as production, material, living, travel and postal expenses are reduced. ZPAE© hybrids will eliminate the need for advanced battery and fuel cell research. They can be portable generators capable of keeping their batteries charged and putting electricity into the grid when parked. Owners could achieve an ROI of over 100% per year from fuel savings and earnings on the "green" power produced.

We want to license every aircraft manufacturer to develop and build their own version of the ZPAE©. By sticking with the mature technologies of pistons, cylinders, crankshafts, etc., the tooling needed to make our engines is already available.

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  • Name:
    Jeremiah Haler
  • Type of entry:
    Team members:
    Jeremiah Haler, Owner, Team Leader; Michael Howard, Inventor
  • Profession:
    Business Owner/Manager
  • Number of times previously entering contest:
  • Jeremiah's favorite design and analysis tools:
    Autodesk Inventor 2010
  • For managing CAD data Jeremiah's company uses:
    Autodesk Vault
  • Jeremiah's hobbies and activities:
    Fishing, enjoying time with the family.
  • Jeremiah belongs to these online communities:
  • Jeremiah is inspired by:
    Helping people, eliminating pollution, saving people money, helping people earn money.
  • Software used for this entry:
    Autodesk Inventor 2010, Autodesk Showcase 2010
  • Patent status: