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Cold but heat

It has all the advantages: it's easy to operate, simple and cheap. Will Professor Dobrianski’s engine conquer the world like the petrol and diesel engines have done before?

Professor Yuri Dobrianski from the Chair of Electrotechnics, Power Engineering, Electronics and Automatics of the Faculty of Technical Sciences at the University of Warmia and Mazury is a renowned specialist in heat energy. Recently, Professor Dobrianski has patented a low-temperature heat engine, powered by solar panels. It is world’s first and only machine of its kind. The machine resides in the Professor’s university chair and has been constructed under his supervision by a team composed of: Michał Duda, Ph.D. and two postgraduate students - Daniel Chludziński, MA and Artur Błaszczyk, MA.

Heat engine technology has been known for many years. In, fact, all petrol and diesel engines are heat engines. Those engines generate high volumes of heat. The engine constructed by Professor Dobrianski’s team is a low-temperature engine. It requires only 30°C to operate!

Everyone knows that hot water flows upwards. But how to make it flow in the other direction? Professor Dobrianski managed to force a downwards movement of water, using a pump powered not by electricity, but by heat. This approach has been tested by many scientists before, but Professor Dobrianski was the first to realise that to force hot water to flow downwards, you need to use a liquid other than water. He has managed to find a liquid that boils at 30°C. Boiling produces steam which exercises pressure on the liquid piston. In other words, he is using a suction and pumping unit powered by thermal energy, converted into mechanical energy.

The prototype has no mechanical parts, so there is little in it that might break down. It also uses only small volumes of the low-boiling medium, which is environmentally friendly. The engine is capable of pumping 1 m3 of water per day. Therefore, it would be suitable to pump water into heat exchangers in central heating systems, or for utility purposes, or to pump water from backyard well into the house, in agricultural drainage systems, or to pump water from wells dug in places with no electricity.

Professor Dobrianski’s engine has already been patented in Poland and South Africa, patents in further 18 countries are pending.

Lech Kryszałowicz


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