Thermogravitational Cycles: Theoretical Framework and Example of an Electric Thermogravitational Generator Based on Balloon Inflation/Deflation

Abstract : Several studies have involved a combination of heat and gravitational energy exchanges to create novel heat engines. A common theoretical framework is developed here to describe thermogravitational cycles which have the same efficiencies as the Carnot, Rankine, or Brayton cycles. Considering a working fluid enclosed in a balloon inside a column filled with a transporting fluid, a cycle is composed of four steps. Starting from the top of the column, the balloon goes down by gravity, receives heat from a hot source at the bottom, then rises and delivers heat to a cold source at the top. Unlike classic power cycles which need external work to operate the compressor, thermogravitational cycles can operate as a “pure power cycle” where no external work is needed to drive the cycle. To illustrate this concept, the prototype of a thermogravitational electrical generator is presented. It uses a hot source of average temperature near 57 °C and relies on the gravitational energy exchanges of an organic fluorinated fluid inside a balloon attached to a magnetic marble to produce an electromotive force of 50 mV peak to peak by the use of a linear alternator. This heat engine is well suited to be operated using renewable energy sources such as geothermal gradients or focused sunlight.
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Submitted on : Saturday, December 1, 2018 - 11:01:33 AM
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Kamel Aouane, Olivier Sandre, Ian Ford, Tim Elson, Chris Nightingale. Thermogravitational Cycles: Theoretical Framework and Example of an Electric Thermogravitational Generator Based on Balloon Inflation/Deflation. Inventions, MDPI, 2018, 3 (4), pp.79. ⟨10.3390/inventions3040079⟩. ⟨hal-01941436⟩

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