This a system developed to extract energy from the atmosphere by creating a vacuum into which atmospheric air is drawn through a vacuum operated motor coupled to a power producer as a generator. The motor operates on the pressure differential between atmospheric pressure at the motor inlet and the system created vacuum level. The greater the pressure differential plus the greater the air flow through the motor, the greater the energy extracted by the vacuum motor.
The system operates on the siphon principle where air drawn through the motor is introduced as micro-bubbles via a micro-bubble diffuser into the down flowing liquid near the top of a siphon down flow column. The liquid/air mix is discharged at the bottom of the down flow column. The higher the siphon elevation above liquid level, the greater the vacuum and corresponding pressure differential across the motor. Total air flow through the motor is determined by the number of down flow columns with micro-bubble diffusers.
A simple siphon configuration having a dome shape crossover header connecting a common up flow column with multiple down flow columns with micro-bubble diffusers and one or more scavenger columns is illustrated in the drawing. The integral scavenger column continuously purges the crossover header of any air/gas resulting from carryover or outgassing before it can accumulate in a pocket in the header and interfere with siphon flow or cause shutdown. This scavenger column operates by gas entrainment whereby air is drawn and entrained into the liquid cascading into the down flow stream at the juncture of the scavenger column and the "h" shaped column head. Air/gas is drawn from the top of the crossover header into the top of the "h" header to continuously replace air/gas as it becomes entrained in the cascading liquid. The air/gas/liquid mix is discharged at the column bottom.
The system is first primed by vacuum pump to initiate siphon flow. Once steady state siphon flow begins, the vacuum pump is shutdown and the vacuum operated motor started. A check valve in the priming line prevents air backstreaming.
The drawing portrays one tower arrangement and major components applicable to the working prototype shown in the photograph. The second photograph is of the mechanical toy setup driven by a small scale dual vacuum operated motor asembly used to demonstrate how vacuum produced by the system may be utilized. It works.
This self sustaining system is an alternative energy approach to reducing natural resource consumption. It takes advantage of low differential water head as minimal tidal or wave activity, small dams, etc.,less feasible for applying other devices as turbines. Design is modular using commercially available plastics for economics in manufacture, scale-up and installation. Applications could include hydrogen generation, battery recharge, remote and/or
underdeveloped region need, small business,etc.
ABOUT THE ENTRANT
Name: Alden Sprague
Type of entry: individual
Number of times previously entering contest:never
Alden's favorite design and analysis
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Handicraft, home improvement, gardening, music
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Previous work experience in mechanical, vacuum and environmental fields
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Patent status: pending