Saturday, 10 July 2010

New wheel and gearing assembly.

Well, it's official. With the removal of the washing machine hose universal joint, opting instead to just tilt the whole gearing and attaching the collector directly to it, there is now not a single aspect of the device left from the original prototype I did in Australia.

Over the last year every single part of this thing has been replaced or heavily reworked, often four or five times over.
This is a mixed bag, emotionally.
As in the case of abandoning the 'bubbles rising against an immersed wheel' in favour of the current 'pumping liquid up to pour over wheel' which at a stroke removed two major construction issues but also made completely redundant at least two months hard work on getting the thing sealed.

The wheel is another example of this. As you can see in the video it's bidirectional, because up until a week ago resetting the device each morning required a whole seperate heat engine running the wheel, and thereby the collector, in the opposite direction. Now tho I'm working on a more simple and effective return mechanism involving a heat switch, which makes the bi-directionality of the wheel rather pointless. It was a lot of thought coming up with that design, rather than just mount the cans directly on to the shaft.
I'm going to keep it how it is, however, for three good reasons:
1) It's the same effort to make either way.
2) This design is a bit more efficient and avoids a problem with dead spots.
3) It's really cool. And I'm too proud of the design to send it the way of all the other stuff I've come up with which didn't turn out to be necessary.

And 4), I guess, it could be of use to someone who needs a really efficient, low revs high torque, bi-directional water wheel.

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