Cyclone Power is a research and development company that aims to solve what they see as the two greatest problems that the US faces: the US "dependence on fossil fuels and the resulting unsustainable consequences to our environment".
The Cyclone Engine, also called the Schoell Cycle Engine, is based on the idea of an external combustion engine. The external combustion engine, in contrast to the internal combustion engine (ICE) that is used in almost every facet of American life, efficiently uses a variety of fuels and creates more power and less emission than internal combustion engines. The folks at cyclone Power are also working to design a Cyclone Engine that could use concentrated solar light as the energy source!
Unlike internal combustion engines, the Cyclone Engine doesn't require a radiator, transmission, catalytic converter, exhaust valves or electronic ignition controls. This engine is also a lot quieter than internal combustion engines and has no exhaust noise. It can run on any liquid or gaseous fuel.
There several reasons that the Cyclone Engine is very different from the internal combustion engine that you are familiar with.
1. A variety of fuels can be used to power the Cyclone Engine. An internal combustion engine requires very precise fuel to air ratios to ignite fuel under high pressure. The Cyclone Engine burns its fuel in an external combustion chamber. The heat from this process then turns water into steam, which is what powers the engine. Because the fuel to air ratio is no longer an issue, the Cyclone Engine can be powered by pretty much anything. The folks at Cyclone Power have used a variety of fuels in their tests—orange peels, palm oil, cottonseed soil, algae, used motor oil, fryer grease, traditional fossil fuels, propane, butane, natural gas and powdered coal.
2. The Cyclone Engine is also far more eco-friendly than the internal combustion engine. It can easily run on biofuels or clean fuels. The cyclonic combustion chamber in the Cyclone Engine allows for a longer burn time, which means that more carbon molecules are incinerated instead of being emitted into the atmosphere. The lower temperature at which the Cyclone Engine burns means that it doesn't reach the temperature at which noxious gases are created. Because water is the only lubricating fluid in the Cyclone Engine, there is no oil that needs to used, which eliminates the risk of engine oil contaminating the environment.
3. The Cyclone Engine is also very efficient. Higher efficiency translates into less fuel needed to do the same thing you've always done.
4. Finally, the Cyclone Engine is different because it has a lower cost than internal combustion engines. There is only one piece to the engine, which reduces the cost, size, and weight of the engine. Keep your eye out for the Cyclone Engine. It just might change life as you know it.
EnviroCitizen.org is interested to see where Cyclone Power will take the Cyclone Engine in the future. Perhaps one day we will all benefit from being able to use external combustion engines, decreasing our carbon footprint and supporting a healthy Earth!