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Conversing Richard Clem by Core

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  • Conversing Richard Clem by Core

    There is not much data out there regarding Richard Clem and his engine. The few drawing that exist are interpretations of other people and not from Clem himself.
    Clem has said very little about his design only leaving a few hints. Its my personal belief that all the drawings are completely wrong and add nothing to solve the mystery.
    The purpose of this thread is to re-start the discussion and provide possibly an important insight to the engine that has yet to be discussed.

    First lets review some history.

    Brief History:

    The entire and brief Richard Clem story can be found on KeelyNet. It can be found here: Richard Clem Engine
    Richard Clem was from the Texas area and he built his engine in 1972. It is said he was a 'Heavy equipment operator' (a possible clue) for the city of Dallas. There are only a few original photos of Clem, the best photos are provided by his daughter.

    The Engine:

    The first drawing that is often used to describe Clem's engine is the one drawn up by Jerry Decker, I believe, of KeelyNet.

    What is important to understand is that this drawing is Mr Deckers
    concept of the engine and not Clems. Interesting note, Clems daughter supposedly got in contact with Mr Decker and informed him that the drawings are incorrect. A lot of attention has been placed on the 'cone/conical' design but I believe that this is completely incorrect and very misleading. It is also stated in the article that Clem's engine was a horizontal conical device. This then was changed to a vertical standing device. Clem himself has stated that the engine could be used in car's airplanes and ships.

    This being the case assures me that the engine can be mounted in any angle. What would happen if a car went up a steep incline? Would it stall due to the cones
    center of gravity changing? Clem's words were another clue to me that the conical design, horizontal or vertical were completely incorrect.

    There is yet another problem with the story. Clems original engine is described as a 'Closed' system. This is typically described as 'Operating above or below atmospheric pressure.
    As an example a hot water boiler is a 'closed' system at no point in the system is the water exposed to atmospheric pressure.
    A low pressure steam system with air vents on the radiators is an 'open' system. Here air is allowed to enter the system.

    Clems engine in the articles are referred to as closed system. It goes on to say that oil was used because it operated at 300 Deg.F and water would boil away. The problem, it
    is also stated that the pump delivered 300 to 500 psi of pressure. At this pressure (300psi) water boils at 417 Deg.F and this boiling point increases as pressure increases.

    So in a 'Closed' system running 300 psi, water will not boil at 300 Deg.F. At 300 Deg.F you still have liquid until 417 Deg.F. plenty of head room to run the system on water.
    I can only conclude that the system was an 'Open' system. And if it was an open system we can now say that the storage tank must be located 'above' the entire drive system.
    This will prevent air from entering the system and reducing flow and also provides a 'low pressure' area for oil to naturally flow back to. <--- That may be very important as we are providing oil flow at zero cost to us. Kinda like a gravity return.

    Here is the picture of the vertical conical design. Again this is not from Clem.

    A few people have attempted to replicate this device to no avail. Naturally if you go by the conical designs in the above drawings I think you will fail.
    So with that said there must be something missing. The problem, as always is the case, is finding the missing component. I will not say I found the missing link but
    I believe my concept, that you will read about, is damn close. Of course, I have yet to start wielding a prototype turbine. I am in the process of finalizing the design of
    the engine so I know what to build. And yes.....until its built all these words are worthless.

    The Daughter.

    Gary Edwards in 2004 updated the Clem info on KeelyNet with a few photos of Richard courtesy of his daughter. I will not go into detail as it can be read on the KeelyNet site.
    The fact that she provided never before seen pictures of Richard Clem made me a believer that the Clem story was legit. Yes I was on the fence for some time.
    Personally I do not agree with what she said on the site regarding non-disclose on the engine. I'm am sure there is a good reason why but she is not at liberty to say.

    So the only real info I have to go on are Richards own words, the picture of the partial engine, from Clem's daughter, and my own concept.
    She gracefully provided these pics:

    And the engine.

    Richard Clem, in his own words.

    Not many quotes that I can find but here they are.

    this type of engine could power ships, aircraft, even provide enough power to produce enough energy for large cities.
    From this quote I see that the motor is not position sensitive. So it can be mounted vertical or horizontal. Any idea for a motor that can only operate in a single position
    can be thrown out.

    "I use vegetable oil because right now the engine is running at 300 degrees," said Clem, 43. "Water would boil and evaporate and conventional motor oil would break down."
    Again we see Clem is calling his system an 'open' system and not closed. So if a pump pressure of 300 psi is used and the system see's a pressure drop of 295psi I still have
    a 5 psi difference between system output pressure and an atmospheric tank. This allows for natural return to the tank.

    The only apparent outside source of power in his car is a 12 volt battery, which Clem said "is used only to start the engine.
    Possible a 12 volt car starter is being used to start the engine.

    .......the power plant consists of a seven stage pump and a "converter."
    The greater the stages on a pump the greater lift you will get. The pressure drop in a piping system will dictate how many stages you will need. So here he is using a powerful oil pump.

    And of course he mentions his '..Converter'. Hmmm... this is what I believe to be a "Dead giveaway' hint of what this device/engine is. For you guys/girls that love to tinker with cars
    you might of accidentally said the word 'Torque' prior to the word converter. Torque converter, could Clems engine be a simple yet powerful fluid coupling device as seem in
    car's, trucks, and ....... heavy equipment the same equipment Clem was said to work with?

    The pump, as he described it, is used to move the oil, under pressure, from a storage area to the converter from where the energy is converted into enough power to turn
    the motor, move the oil back to the storage area and power the pump, which in turn continues the cycle.
    Well the whole system operation has been laid out here. A tank at atmospheric pressure feeds a high power pump, this pump feeds a 'fluid coupler' aka converter, fluid transfers the power to the drive motor (pulley/gear/chain), oil is returned to the tank naturally.

    One hint as to the contents of the converter is "it acts like a turbine but isn't a turbine" in the normal sense of the word, Clem said.
    A turbine is a rotary engine that extracts energy from a fluid flow and converts it into useful work.-- Wikipedia. Well is a torque converter a turbine? If so why call it a torque converter and not a turbine?

    A car can be summarized with three simple components.

    - Prime mover (engine)
    - Fluid coupler (torque converter)
    - Power output (transmission)

    Based on the above here is my interpretation of Clem's engine.
    We can replace our gas engine (prime mover) with a high pressure oil pump. Because the gas engine drives the fluid pump in the torque converter and we are using an oil pump we can remove/modify our torque converter to be pump-less. Here we can add extra vanes to guide the high pressure oil. According to Clem oil is returned to the storage tank.
    Here we will allow the oil, after doing work, to exit the converter via a hollow shaft back to the storage tank. The cycle is repeated.

    I found an old video on YouTube circa 1952 or so on Fluid coupling. This video is very interesting and was around during Clem's time. Take a look at how the oil is cooled.

    &#x202a;FLUID COUPLING, THE PRINCIPLES OF OPERATION.flv&#x202c;&rlm; - YouTube

    Another interesting note, Clem ran a temperature of about 300 Deg.F a car torque converter runs about 170 DegF give or take. The 300 DegF implies that he is running very high oil pressure maybe on the order of 500 PSI or so.

    So in closing I am implying that the Richard Clem engine is centered around 'fluid coupling' and not a conical design or rimjets as stated on the web. Of course without a prototype
    all this is theory. Any ideas?

    I am actively collecting aluminum to build a prototype. But I am still working out the turbine design.



    Here is my preliminary layout of system flow:
    Attached Files

  • #2

    Check out this link for more info on the Clem engine.

    Micro-Combustion Homepage - 11/05/09




    • #3
      Originally posted by cepop View Post

      Check out this link for more info on the Clem engine.

      Micro-Combustion Homepage - 11/05/09


      I came across MicroCombustion while researching Clem. They have nothing, and there story is pretty ridiculous. We are suppose to believe that this NASA scientist work side by side with Richard Clem to develop a new version of the engine but Clem never showed him the original work?

      Clems daughter claims there is a patent on the engine. MicroCombustion claims Clem was not smart enough to get the engine patented. Regardless Clem did not work with combustion.

      I have re-designed my turbine based on some basic principles shown on the above linked YouTube video. Conversing is done prototyping begins. I figure it will take 8 months to build the entire engine. From that, the turbine will take 5-6 months alone, built from scratch.

      Here is part of my custom Turbine design. It will be made from 1/4" steel plate all welded.
      Attached Files


      • #4
        Clem Motor

        Hi Core

        I have been studying the Clem Engine for over 2 years now. If you are really interested in this motor than contact me.



        • #5

          Originally posted by clemerator View Post
          Hi Core

          I have been studying the Clem Engine for over 2 years now. If you are really interested in this motor than contact me.

          Seems that you know a lot of the Clem engine.
          The principle of the fluid clutch seems to be very authentic.


          • #6

            Homeprojectguy on you tube experiments with the clem engine

            HomeProjectGuy - YouTube



            • #7

              You do appear to be heading on the right track.

              Just looking at the engine photo it looks to me like a torque converter connected to a Ljunstrom steam turbine which I presume from the description is comprised of 7 stages.
              If that is the case then the Clem engine is very easy to explain and uses the same technology as my electric power generators.
              It would also explain why the technology has not been allowed to prosper.


              • #8
                If you look at the photograph of the engine item 8 looks like a steam turbine blade. I would hope it was a multi-blade like a ljanstrom but it could be a simple skinner.


                Which if you look at the PD 18 gives a similar hp rating to that quoted for the Clem engine.


                • #9

                  Core do u have a update on your build?

                  regards, stark


                  • #10
                    It seems that this engine is very simple how it works. It turns the flywheel by the output pressure of the oil and sucks oil from it's centre of the flywheel. The thing if this is really self sufficient


                    • #11
                      Hi I stumbled on to this few weeks ago it seems to be very interesting project.
                      Do any of You guys gain any progress on this topic ???