Mark Beyer on Ranque-Hilsch Vortex Tubes

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September 24th, 2012 Posted by AAG Filed in: Energy

Mark Beyer describes a new type of engine he’s developing that combines a modified Ranque-Hilsch vortex tube with a Tesla-Turbine to create a super-durable, high-output engine capable of running on a variety of fuels with higher-efficiency than conventional engines.

The Ranque-Hilsch vortex tube is a heat pump with no moving parts in which a pressurized gas is injected into a specially designed chamber. The chamber’s internal shape, combined with the pressure, accelerates the gas to a high rate of rotation (over 1,000,000 rpm). In a traditional Ranque-Hilsch tube, a temperature differential of hundreds of degrees exists between the cool air at the center of the tube and the hot swirling vortex outside.

Beyers research attempts to modify the Ranque-Hilsch process to create a reverse-adiabatic process with a heat-differential measuring thousands of degrees between the hot-flow on the interior of the device and a cool outer-vortex airflow to provide a buffer for the reaction, making the outside skin cool to the touch and thus machinable out of inexpensive aluminum alloys.

In this interview we discuss some of the fundamental differences between the Ranque-Hilsch process and the very similar GEET process which uses a vortex-pressure differential in a tube to create a high-efficiency plasma reaction. While GEET has the advantage of running from multiple fuels and burning them effectively at super-high temperatures, it suffers from the drawback of limiting the vortex-tube’s flow-rate by pumping it into a conventional internal-combustion cylinder, which Beyer is attempting to avoid.

Beyer hopes to take advantage of the constant-flow exhaust gases from the Ranque-Hilsch vortex tube to power a Tesla-Turbine, which has a notably high-efficiency and can be constructed from durable, high-temperature materials that should easily withstand both the heat of the reaction and the harsh environmental conditions that the tube itself can easily withstand. Additionally, because the Ranque-Hilsch tube requires a pressure differential to begin the vortex-action, Beyer discusses his plan to tap the Tesla-Turbine’s output to power an intake compressor, similar in some ways to the same action that occurs in a conventional jet-engine. Thus, Beyer describes his vision of building a next-generation engine with higher-durability, flexible fuel requirements, and a minimum of moving parts that might revolutionize the aerospace industry.