Thursday, April 21, 2016

Update - Revitalizing an 1800s system

Can Frontier Technology From the 1800s Boost the Efficiency of Today’s Air Compressors?

A history lesson on practical isothermal compression via the Taylor compressor
by Eric Wesoff 
February 04, 2015

Carnot Compression, an early-stage startup, has resurrected a century-old technology to demonstrate that isothermal compression is achievable and can save energy wherever compressors are used -- which is pretty much everywhere.
The core technology of the eight-employee startup's invention is based on the Taylor compressor.  

The Taylor compressor

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Charles Taylor (1859-1953), a self-taught engineer and geologist, designed and built a series of awesome power and hydraulic engineering projects in Canada and the U.S.
His hydraulic-air-compression-power systems used the same phenomenon exploited by the iron-age trompe; Taylor harnessed the power of gravity and the weight of falling water to create a compressed air resource that powered remote mining operations and factories. His power plant at the Ragged Chutes mine on the Montreal River near Cobalt, Ontario ran at 82 percent efficiency for decades with little maintenance. The Taylor compressor provided isothermal compression and delivered compressed air at 40,000 cubic-feet per minute (cfm) at 120 pounds per square inch (psi) -- equivalent to more than 5,500 horsepower. 
But the technology was largely forgotten until resurrected by Carnot Compression on a much smaller and less-geographically-constrained scale.

Taylor's projects and brilliant
 life are detailed here. A schematic of the compressor and photos of the invention can be found at the end of this article.)

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