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Potential Orbo apps

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Tue May 08, 2007 1:25 pm PostPost subject: Potential Orbo apps
WaBoy
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What I want to do here is see what can be done if Orbo is a real product.

A quick review of the “Technical Specifications” released in early April, 2007:
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Orbo is based upon the principle of time variant magneto-mechanical interactions. The core output from our Orbo technology is mechanical. This mechanical energy can be converted into electrical energy using standard generator technology either by integrating such technology directly with Orbo or by connecting the mechanical output from Orbo to the generation technology. The efficiency of such mechanical/electrical conversions is highly dependent on the components used and is also a function of size.

Orbo technology is subject to continuous development. This development is focused on improving the manufacturability of the technology, production costs and power density. Orbo was initially developed as using stop-start mechanisms (with a power density of 0.5 Watts per cm3), Steorn is currently finalizing the development of constant motion systems and a significant improvement in power density is anticipated.


I’ve italicized the core information, the rest is filler.

The important stuff:
    1. Orbo is based upon the principle of time variant magneto-mechanical interactions. (Magnets in motion.)
    2. The core output from our Orbo technology is mechanical. (A drive/output shaft in rotary motion.)
    3. Orbo was initially developed as using stop-start mechanisms (with a power density of 0.5 Watts per cm^3) (This is likely a magnetic attract/repulse motion to an equilibrium point and repositioning the magnets to repeat or reverse the process. The earlier claimed scalability from cell phone to vehicle may be a red herring.)
    4. Steorn is currently finalizing the development of constant motion systems (A minor fix, depending on the start-stop mechanism timing, but potentially critical for marketing.)

The measurement of horsepower has a long history; James Watt defined it as: 1 hp = 33,000 ft•pound-force•min^−1 = exactly 745.69987158227022 W. This is known as mechanical horsepower. We’ll use this definition (conversely, 1 Watt = 0.00134102209 hp). Electrical horsepower is defined as exactly 746 W (at 100% efficiency). It’s a minor round-up variation, but one of which to be aware in large-scale conversions.

The only reason I use the horsepower conversion is so Americans and Canadians have a more understandable comparison to the European Standard (SI) Watt power measurement. We’ll get to that later.

I’ll start with a 30Kw Orbo unit for two reasons: 1) it’s more than adequate to supply peak power to a large household or a small-to-medium business; and 2) it’s a good example for size to power output.

According to the Steorn definition, a 30Kw Orbo unit will occupy at least 60,000 cc. The cube root of 60,000 is 39.1487 which means the volume of the unit would occupy a cube 39.1487 cm (15.4129 inches) on a side. This is roughly the size of a medium truck battery. However, the Orbo unit, delivering power through a rotating shaft, is more likely to be cylinder shaped. A ratio of 43.18 cm (17 in) diameter by 40.64 cm (16 in) height roughly approximates 60,000 cc. A reasonable guess would place the unit at a maximum of 15 to 20 kilograms (30 to 40 lbs) – heavy, but reasonably portable.

Bolting the Orbo unit into a stable frame allows gearing the rotational output to an appropriate alternator or generator with backup/starting batteries (assuming the Orbo unit needs to be spun up on start), a voltage regulator, an inverter and an output/breaker panel providing three-phase, 220-250 volts at 60 Hz. With adequate airflow to provide cooling, a house or business can be readily hooked up to this power supply in a small electrical closet.

Of course, we have no Orbo unit information concerning heating at different percentages of load, output variations (stable rpm), magnetic leakage or extraneous RF or other radiation. The use of a µ-metal (mu-metal) shield to contain magnetic leakage and a Faraday cage for RF radiation may not even be necessary, but heat will be a likely problem. Neither do we know if the output rpm is controllable and stable.

The batteries are also included to provide “down time” for the Orbo unit in times of low usage. The batteries can provide low levels of power while the unit is shut down to mitigate wear and tear.

I need to stop here and say that electrical power generation, electric battery storage and electric motor application design are engineering specialties far beyond my poor abilities as a mechanical engineer. I’m certain there are forum members who have these skills, or at least access to someone who has them, and can provide the necessary detailed information for development.

Perhaps we can have an additional forum or two for different application specialties. Some examples might be household and business applications, transportation (automobiles, water craft, and aircraft), and industrial applications. I’m sure there are thousands of applications once we throw the extension cords away.
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Wed May 09, 2007 4:56 pm PostPost subject:
WaBoy
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“So far, so good,” he thought as he fell past the twentieth floor…

As I pointed out earlier, it’s difficult to design anything with minimum information. But then, programmers claim they do exactly that on a day-to-day basis.

“If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, the first woodpecker to come along would destroy civilization.” Weinberg’s Second Law

I’ll look past the obvious problems for the moment and attempt to scale down the Orbo product into a readily portable item. How about a cooler for a picnic or afternoon fishing trip? What would be necessary?

1] A sealed, insulated container
2] A power supply (mini-Orbo)
3] A compressor and motor
4] A heat dissipater with fan (radiator)
5] A cooling dissipater with fan (cooling coil)
6] Coolant reservoir
7] Temperature sensor/switch
8] Bits and pieces to hook everything together

In case you’ve never noticed, the average refrigerator or freezer uses a 1/3 horsepower electric motor to run the compressor to cool or freeze your food – about 250 W – and is the standard for most North American appliances.

The cooler would need to be fairly large (60 x 60 x 90 cm or 2 x 2 x 3 ft) to make it worth the effort, but not so large as to be difficult to handle. The compressor would require about 1/10 hp (75W) motor to drive, to which is added two fans, a sensor and perhaps a night-light for a peak draw of about 125W. It’s too much to handle without a fairly hefty rechargeable battery, but it could be done.

A 130 W Orbo unit would be cylinder about 8.1 x 8.1 cm (about 3.2 x 3.2 in), and the entire cooling unit would likely occupy a 10 x 10 cm (4 x 4 in) indent across the width of one end of the container and an additional weight of perhaps .75 kg (1.5 lb). A clever refrigeration engineer could probably reduce the size and increase the efficiency of the unit as well as waterproof it against lemonade spills, summer rains and bilge water in the bottom of a rowboat.

[**About a year ago, I bought a mini-freezer about the size of an electric dishwasher because we have no need for a full size unit. It was amazingly inexpensive, very lightweight and uses very little electricity. I’d love to use it for the summer cabin, but the nearest electrical service is still many miles away. This would be wonderful.**]

Suggestions or ideas anyone?
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Thu May 10, 2007 12:37 pm PostPost subject:
WaBoy
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Celestial navigation is based on the premise that the Earth is the center of the universe. The premise is wrong, but the navigation works. An incorrect model can be a useful tool.” Kelvin Throop III

Are you sure I know where we are?” Kelvin Throop III

Power and portability are not words usually used in the same sentence. Orbo provides the possibility of actually having an interchangeable power-pack to operate any number of large or small tools, appliances, small vehicles or combination thereof within the range of the power-pack.

As an example: drive your ATV to the lake where you keep your small fishing boat; unhook the power-pack, take it to the boat and plug the trolling motor into it for a day on the lake fishing for bass. Late in the afternoon, return to the dock, return the power-pack to the ATV and go home – hopefully, with a good catch.

What constitutes a power pack and how big would it be?

For North Americans, we need things converted to horsepower to get an idea of work performed:
5,000 W = 6.7 hp
10,000 W = 13.4 hp
20,000 W = 26.8 hp
30,000 W = 40.2 hp

Also, for North Americans, horsepower equates to internal combustion engines (ICE). I grew up in an era when young (and even middle-aged) men pored over factory specifications of the current automotive releases from Detroit and, when the new models arrived in the showroom, stood in line to see the latest makes and models. Unfortunately, the rated horsepower of those power plants was under rigid laboratory conditions, despite the claims of the sales brochures. (We also were known to do our own tune-ups and general repair, often to the consternation and occasional annoyance of the ladies in our lives.)

The point of this is that the average family car, after a number of thousand miles, rarely makes 25% of the rated horsepower and then only under unusual circumstances. In reality, a 200 hp-rated automobile only uses 20 to 40 hp in day-to-day driving, often at two-thirds or less of the factory claimed mileage efficiency. Actual peak horsepower occurs in a fairly narrow range at two-thirds to three-quarter maximum rpm at the cost of fuel efficiency. But then, how many horsepower do you need to haul the dog to the vet’s office?

Depending on their design, electric motors (EM) produce maximum horsepower in the first third of their maximum rpm range, dropping off evenly to maximum rated rpm. Again, depending on design, an EM can, for a short period (heat), nearly double its rated horsepower by increasing wattage draw. Better yet, newer EM designs are approaching 97% efficiency, so the brochure claims are likely to actually be true on the road. Wear and tear will likely decrease efficiency, but with a half-dozen or fewer moving parts, repairs should be fairly simple although they will likely take some specialized equipment.

My bet is that a 30 hp electric car with the horsepower doubling option will feel considerably more “powerful” than today’s family car. I’ll also bet that the “new” electric cars will be “improved” for racing fairly quickly, legally or otherwise. Better yet, the streets will be blessedly quiet – no more racketing automobiles with loose, low efficiency or purposely removed mufflers.

Best of all, filling stations will become a thing of the past. Very Happy

I apologize for the automotive diversion, but the constantly increasing cost of fuel (and Big Oil’s gargantuan profits) makes private and commercial vehicles a constant focus of our attention. If Orbo is a real product, we might have a chance. If not, I’ve already invested in some alternative energy resources… and we’re headed for the hills. The impending potential economic collapse is likely to be ugly. The three-legged stool of civilization is said to consist of communication, education and transportation; reduce one and the rest collapse to the same degree. Shocked
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Thu May 10, 2007 3:26 pm PostPost subject:
Thicket
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We won't run out of fossil fuels anytime soon. There is lots of coal, oil and gas. The problem is that fossil fuels are becoming increasingly expensive. This will continue. Undoubtedly, there will have to be a major paradigm shift about automobiles, especially in North America. We are energy pigs. Keeping energy prices low isn't the answer. Reducing our energy consumption IS the answer.

It's easy to blame the oil companies, the car companies, OPEC, the government and anyone else for energy problems when WE are the problem.

Energy prices are currently too cheap... much too cheap. For most people, there is little incentive to reduce consumption.

Reducing consumption also helps our global warming issue.
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Thu May 10, 2007 9:32 pm PostPost subject:
exco
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I wonder if there is a way to use orbos to wean the US of the idiotic units like horsepower and foot pounds they insist on using. It needlessly complicates things, making even the simplest calculation inaccessible without a multiple of conversion factors and painful multiplications and divisions.

Things are so simple if you stick to the metric system. 0.5W/cc equates to 0.5 megawatts per cubic metre for instance. For fun, one can - on the back of an envelope estimate how big an orbo you need to produce the power output of a reasonable star like the sun.

Looking it up, the sun is said to radiate about 4.5 x 10^26 Watts. at 0.5 Watts/cc this is an orbo of volume 9 x 10^26 cc. Call it 10^27 and we end up with a 10,000 kilometre cube.

I'm not suggesting this is a practical proposition, merely pointing out how easy things are with the metric system. Try doing this sort of calculation using horsepower, inches, miles and all the other lunacies of the imperial system! Yes, you can do it, but you'll need a bloody big envelope to do so, and the chances of getting it wrong are much, much higher.

Can we therefore stick to the metric system please?
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Fri May 11, 2007 3:27 am PostPost subject:
WaBoy
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@Thicket:

Thank you, you made my point. If Orbo is a real product, the carbon footprint can be reduced and there's no need to continue using fossil fuels. My digression to the North American car culture was to point out its strong influence for more than a century. The digression was also intended to point out that electric motors are far more efficient than internal combustion engines.

The auto industry will continue promote its products and the petrolem industry will continue to support them. The car culture is as much a product of advertising as it is anything else. It's wrong, there needs to be a prompt solution, and the auto industry continues to promote overblown gas guzzlers as a symbol of success while complaining of decreasing profits. Go figure!

@exco:

I'm sorry you're having difficulty converting back to the older "imperial system" still in use in the United States. I suggest you go to http://www.pawprint.net/vv/ and download a free and truly exceptional program called VersaVerter. As a minor point, the US did make an effort to convert to the newer metric system in the sixties but discovered that converting all its engineering designs, physical operating systems and other methods of weights and measures would be intolerably expensive. On the other hand, Europe was desperate for a consistent system of weights and measures and adopted the metric system for their own use - they didn't ask the US to agree.

If you start metric, it's easier to stay metric - I agree. I did the conversion for the US contingent so no one else had to. Very Happy

Do you have any applications suggestions for Orbo?
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Fri May 11, 2007 8:44 pm PostPost subject:
exco
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Well, if the US wants to stick to the microfortnight, and the megafurlong, then good luck to it. I note however, that the world scientific community (including the US) is uniformly metric.

Why? because it's a lot easier to do quick 'ballpark' estimates in your head, and to spot errors in calculations. Twelve inches to the foot, three feet to the yard, 1760 yards to a mile! Sheesh! What ARE you playing at?

As a brit, I have to say we have not yet totally kicked the imperial habit. timber is often these days sold by the metre in lenght, but the minor dimensions are given in inches as often as not. Orders like 'Two metres of two-by one (inches)' can be heard in most timber yards.

What makes it even more nonsensical is that the 'two by one' dimensions are before planing, and the actual dimensions are less - about 7/8" by 1 and 7/8"

As to an application for orbo, I suggest it's already performing it - as entertainment. Operating, as it does, on the principle of human gullibility, it's unlikely ever to do anything else.
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Sun Jun 03, 2007 12:07 am PostPost subject:
WaBoy
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Finally, the move is complete. We’re moved in (more or less) with less storage space than we’re used to having. Robert Silverberg’s comment, “Everything takes longer and costs more,” has certainly applied.

@Niko (alsetalokin)

I’m a mechanical engineer or, more correctly, a tool-and-die man, so my electrical/electronic/magnetic information is both limited and outdated. With that in mind, let me make a statement I know to be foolish: a permanent magnet somehow seems to be an energy cheat. Yes, I know about quantum-mechanical spin of electrons (if such can be said to actually happen) and that it is an electrical force as a consequence of relativity. Electromagnets make sense to me because you have to induce magnetism with considerable electron flow (electricity) and you can turn them on and off. Permanent magnets are always “on.” So if the following proposal is impossible, understand that it is ignorance on my part.

Although there may be other materials available, the two materials I know can block magnetic fields are Permalloy and mu-metal. Mu-metal is much more efficient at blocking magnetic fields than Permalloy, but that efficiency falls off quickly with increasing heat or mechanical treatment. NIB magnets are heat sensitive as well as being brittle, so some care must be undertaken to avoid damage or injury.

My shop and tools are now gone, so I propose that you try this simple little experiment in the lab where you work.

Perhaps using less expensive Samarium/Cobalt magnets and some scrap stainless steel you can make this little machine. It consists of two identical coin or rod magnets, a block of stainless at least twice as wide as the diameter of the coin magnets and twice as thick as the magnet thickness, a piece of sheet stainless steel large enough to cover the diameter of the magnets, a plastic tube whose inside diameter is slightly larger than the outside diameter of the magnets, and a light to medium spring slightly smaller in diameter than the magnets.

In the block, bore a hole slightly larger than the outside diameter of the magnet and just a bit deeper than the thickness of the magnet. An end-mill boring tool is ideal for this – a flat bottomed drill hole. A spot of rubber cement holds the magnet in place, north end out, and allows you to retrieve the magnet at the end of the experiment. Arrange a method for the piece of stainless sheet to slide back and forth over the hole containing the magnet in the block.

A bit of measurement ensures the plastic tube, spring and second magnet (north side to the open end of the tube) fit neatly, and fit a cap over the end of the tube opposite the magnet so the assembly doesn’t fall out. Arrange the tube assembly in such a way as to allow the piece of stainless sheet to cover and expose the magnet in the block and interact with (repulse) the magnet in the tube. What we might have is a simple permanent magnet solenoid, and not a very efficient one at that.

But it does accomplish work (Newton’s f=ma), however little might actually be accomplished. Click – the gate is opened, clunk – the tube magnet compresses the spring, click – the gate is closed, clunk – the tube magnet returns to the top. Some fooling around in the lab (aka engineering improvements) and the efficiency of the unit might be enhanced.

I’m still digging for the remains of my antiquated drafting equipment and I’ll post a sketch of the contraption, but it’s relatively simple if my explanation has been clear. Let me know if you get a chance to try it. In the meantime, I’ll gather up some bits and pieces and try to chase down a small machine shop. I’m sure there are some equations lying around to help calculate forces, distances and such, but it’s far enough outside my field that I’ll ask for help rather than attempt to figure it out on my own.
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Sun Jun 03, 2007 4:51 am PostPost subject:
alsetalokin
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Hi WaBoy, congrats on the move. I'm sure you saw some beautiful scenery on the way!
I understand (I think) your description of your test device. Another shielding idea is to use a diamagnetic material like bismuth or pyrolytic graphite, which excludes the flux lines, so it is effectively repelled by either pole of a magnet, and can shield in that manner. Either way it requires work to move the shield or the magnet.
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Last edited by alsetalokin on Sat Jan 19, 2008 11:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sun Jun 03, 2007 4:59 am PostPost subject:
alsetalokin
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Metric vs. Imperial units:
If you drive across the border from the US into Canada, you will soon be confronted with speed limit signs that say
"Speed Limit 100 km/H (60 MPH)" !!!
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Mon Jun 04, 2007 11:23 am PostPost subject:
WaBoy
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@Niko

Best wishes from all of us, I'm sure, on your impending surgery and recovery. Please try to stay in touch and let us know your progress, if you can.

Concerning speed limit signs - they simply say 100 km/h and weather report temperatures are in centigrade. No effort at conversion. But most of us in the Pacific NW are long used to this and tend to do the conversions in out heads if we actually need to do that.

Actually, I was heading toward a stress relief mechanism in the "experiment," but I'll take that off-line before I embarrass myself any further.
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Mon Jun 04, 2007 7:58 pm PostPost subject:
alsetalokin
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Thanks.
Please post any ideas you might have, don't be bashful, you never can tell what might be new or what might stimulate someone else to innovation. Besides, we need to keep this forum alive...
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Last edited by alsetalokin on Sat Jan 19, 2008 11:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mon Jun 04, 2007 8:39 pm PostPost subject:
WaBoy
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I sent you a private message. Don't know if it worked.
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Mon Jun 04, 2007 10:35 pm PostPost subject:
alsetalokin
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I got it, thanks, and I replied the same way--also don't know if it went through.
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