The Minto engine is a liquid piston heat engine that converts heat energy into mechanical energy. Evaporation of the heated, volatile working fluid pushes it upwards against gravity. This causes the device to tip over and rotate. A 500 mm diameter Minto engine which used petroleum ether as the working fluid, was built and was operated between 344 K and 294 K. Thermal efficiencies of up to 0.25% (i.e. 1.7% of the Carnot maximum) were measured. This engine behaves as a power amplifier. It absorbs low grade heat over a long period of time and suddenly releases it as a pulse of mechanical energy over a short period of time.
Experimental Study of the Minto Engine—A Heat Engine for Converting Low Grade Heat to Mechanical Energy
Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS for publication in the ASME JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING. Manuscript received by the ASME Solar Energy Division, April 2002; final revision, February 2003; Associate Editor: A. Walker.
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Quickenden, T. I., Hindmarsh , K. M., and Teoh, K. (February 12, 2004). "Experimental Study of the Minto Engine—A Heat Engine for Converting Low Grade Heat to Mechanical Energy ." ASME. J. Sol. Energy Eng. February 2004; 126(1): 661–667. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1634288
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