Hydro Lance Corporation
Green Prime-Power with Hydrogen & Eco-Green Fuel Options
An Introduction to OPUS tm
OPUS Power Driver having thousands of hours on a test stand, showing no measurable wear. The rotary power unit contains no oil or grease lubricated parts, has only a few moving parts and can be fully disassembled with a single wrench. The above picture shows a single rotor OPUS unit, approximate to a Nine (9") Inch diameter instrument gage. Noteworthy, is that the unit is a positive displacement rotary prime drive, having many power strokes per RPM yielding very high torque and power densities. The OPUS driver may be designed to many thousands of horsepower and is an external combustion system. Green fuels of HYDROGEN, acetylene, CNG - LNG, vegetable oil, low sulfur colloidal coal, solid waste and renewable fuels. OPUS is anticipated for integration into numerous Hydro Lance marine applications.
THE OPUS MARINE PRIME-POWER SYSTEM
MARINE PROPULSION - THE NEED TO CHANGE
There are three main environmental/health threats against the i/c engine, and they center around its fuels - these are pollution at sea level, effects on global warming - and diminishing oil reserves. Environmentally, the i/c engine is flawed. It was designed for a narrow range of octane rated fossil fuels. These fuels are expensive, they originate from oil reservoirs that are becoming more difficult and expensive to access and they are owned by overseas countries who control price and availability.
In the Pacific Ocean, the El Nińo Southern Oscillation Cycle has fundamentally changed, it has become more frequent. The resulting increase in weather havoc directly affects the marine world, because vessels will have to face more and more hurricanes, typhoons and tsunamis. Wind speeds in excess of 200 miles an hour are already becoming more common. Mariners will be exposed to higher risks, and the safe transportation of passengers, and commercial delivery of freight by sea, will become more hazardous, less reliable - and with rising insurance premiums. The cost of diesel fuel will increase in the medium term as crude oil supplies diminish - and in the short term, availability and price could well be affected by conflict in the oil producing areas.
The OPUS power unit is a rotary engine that is ideally suited to marine propulsion. It uses steam, or other fluid, in a closed circuit. It is silent, pollution-free and runs on any low cost fuel, such as kerosene, methane, propane, hydrogen, bio-mass, alcohol, geothermal, solar energy - and ECO-FUEL, a non-petroleum source of energy.
Steam from a Monotube Steam Generator, drives the pistons and rotor, which are fixed to the main shaft. The exhausted steam is swept out of the cylinder to a condenser - and re-cycled. The steam generator provides only the amount of steam required by the engine at any one moment in time.
WHY STEAM POWER?
When water reaches a hundred degrees C it turns into steam and expands 1,600 times. The advent of steam, powered the industrial revolution. Today, our nuclear submarines operate on the same steam cycle.
The grandfather of thermodynamics, Carnot, was the first to realize that a temperature difference is necessary if heat energy is to be transformed into work. This discovery, called 'Carnot's Principle', is the basis of the second law of thermodynamics. Carnot postulated a theoretical 'ideal engine', one where there is no friction and no heat losses. He proved that the efficiency of an engine depended only on the temperature of heat input and the temperature of the heat that is exhausted - and that no other engine working at these same two temperatures could be more efficient. But Nicolas Carnot was aware of practical engineering as well as mathematics. He taught, "... that attempts made to approach this result would be even more harmful than useful, if other considerations were neglected." Carnot proposed six conditions for a practical engine. He didn't include efficiency. They were SAFETY, SOLIDITY, DURABILITY, LITTLE SPACE REQUIRED, LOW COST and lastly, FUEL ECONOMY.
In today's world of harmful emissions, threat of runaway greenhouse effect and known finite reserves of crude oil, we could change condition six, surely with Carnot's approval, to FUEL ECONOMY with ZERO EMISSIONS. For our ideal engine in the 21st century, we could add condition seven - SILENT.
The silent, vibration-free qualities make OPUS an ideal power unit for all classes of vessels from pleasure craft to commercial trans-ocean vessels. The steam generation system offers central heating on board, at no extra cost, with an option to provide silent power generation for lighting and for all electrical equipment. Satellite OPUS units can operate cranes, winches, thrusters and so on ...
The OPUS power unit installed in a vessel can be mounted conventionally using a prop shaft. But this is not necessary. The unit is so much smaller than its equivalent diesel engine for a given power output, that it can be mounted on the transom behind the propeller - or form part of a water jet unit. This disposes of the need for a conventional engine room with its vibration and noise pollution problems taking up a prime position amidships - as in cruise ships.
The OPUS engine does not use oil, anti-vibration mountings, sound absorbing materials, or a prop shaft, the steam generator will work automatically rather like a central heating system. Maintenance and overhaul will be less frequent than for internal combustion engine propulsion, as there are few moving parts in.
The OPUS-MARINE engine can run on any fossil fuel with greatly reduced emission readings compared with the internal combustion engine. This is due to the improved combustion process within the steam generator. For ocean craft, coal can be considered, using fluidized bed technology, where particulates and sulfur emissions are greatly reduced.
ECO-FUEL a non-petroleum option
Ronnie Whitehouse has invented a method of producing calcium carbide, acetylene and its valuable by-products. Calcium carbide is produced by 'fusing' together coke and lime. Its granules are safe to store and handle, yet they contain 'potential' acetylene. Add water to them, and you have acetylene, the hottest known gas on planet Earth. Calcium carbide could be supplied by ship’s bunkering agents at ports of call, and the non-petroleum acetylene can be generated en-route according to the demand of the OPUS engine. Traditionally, calcium carbide is produced by using electricity. The ECO-FUEL system produces calcium carbide without the need for electricity. The latest fuel breakthrough is metal-organic frameworks, where hydrogen is stored in very small spaces.
Some emission comparison for ECO-FUEL include:
. Carbon Dioxide% Hydrocarbon PPM
Gasoline 1.80 450
Propane 0.12 400
Eco-Fuel 0.03 20
Hydrogen can be stored on-board, and used in gas or liquid form. Harbor boats for example, may prefer the gas option, providing a silent pollution-free service. Sea going vessels can operate on hydrogen, using cryogenic storage containers - or metal hydride systems using light weight magnesium-nickel.
There is a lot of exciting innovation going on around the world on ways to produce hydrogen. For example, using chemicals to separate the hydrogen and oxygen from water. A company in the USA is marketing what they call ‘POWERBALLS’. They are like table tennis balls filled with compressed hydrogen. These ‘hydride pellets’ are used on-site in a special portable generator where the hydrogen is released for use.
The Principle Surveyor, Machinery Technical Department at the American Bureau of Shipping has expressed great interest in the OPUS engine and will classify the propulsion system when a License Agreement is in place.
The OPUS-MARINE engine can be manufactured for far less cost than its equivalent diesel engine. Its fuels are readily available at lower cost than high octane products and is available ‘in house’. It has a vital role to play in profitability for its Licensees, for the economy and as a competitor in the race to protect the environment.
At the ‘World Fair for Inventions' in Belgium, the OPUS power unit was awarded the MEDIALLE de VERMEIL and the GOLD MEDAL of BRUSSELS.
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|Copyright 2004, all rights reserved. Hydro Lance, or its organizations, has no affiliation with OPUS, OPUS Marine, or its organizations, each organizations being their own agent. Hydro Lance plans to incorporate the OPUS systems into numerous marine HARTH technology vessel applications, and may participate with the commercial development of the OPUS systems of clean energy.|