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Old 02-04-2012, 11:43 AM
Michael C Michael C is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 152
Heat loss from the compressed air is a true problem. Also, a turbine acts differently on steam or on air. Usable steam has to be superheated (after water being evolved into steam, it needs to be heated once more in order to have a temperature margin to prevent too much condensing).

Run the turbine on compressed air alone, so it can be optimized for that energy medium. Use the solar/heat energy in some way to produce compressed air instead. Steam is the most economical way to transport heat energy. It would be possible to build a heat exchanger that produces compressed air, just a few spring loaded valves needed.

In electrics, 'back-EMF' is a known phenomena. The same thing happens when you close a water crane rapidly, the water pipes may vibrate and that's from a strong wave of 'water-EMF' from the cutoff. With a simple membrane pump, this backwards force have been harvested since the 1700's to raise water high above the level from where it came to the pump.

So, why not harvest that energy with the medium of air, in order to produce compressed air? Remember, speed generated from a certain steam pressure will have more energy than that very same pressure. Steam can pick up water from the outside and push it back into the steam vessel without any losses except heat energy. Search for the function of the Gresham injector for instance. Use this knowledge to build an air compressor with no other moving parts than spring valves or membranes. The sun could be the source of energy to that.
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