Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Update - Approval for a test project

Hydraulic air compressor project has green light

Forgotten technology to produce compressed air at a fraction of the cost of conventional compressor plants

A $3.5 million demonstration project aimed at reintroducing a technology used to produce compressed air in Northern Ontario’s Cobalt mining camp more than 100 years ago is scheduled to commence operation by mid-June.
A closed circuit hydraulic air compressor will be constructed in an abandoned 17-metre ventilation shaft at the former Big Nickel Mine, a tourist attraction that is now part of Dynamic Earth, a geoscience centre in Sudbury operated by Science North.
The demonstration project will be modeled on the Ragged Chutes hydraulic air compressor plant designed by Canadian engineer Charles Havelock Taylor in 1910. The Ragged Chutes plant included a dam on the Montreal River and a 9.5-foot diameter shaft blasted to a depth of 107 metres. Intake pipes at the top of the shaft introduced air into the water as it plunged down the shaft. The force of the water compressed the air, which was then piped to a dozen mines to provide pneumatic power.
Ragged Chutes required no fuel, cost almost nothing to operate and ran continuously for 70 years with two brief interludes for maintenance.

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.)

Update - Ilustrated description of the Taylor Hydraulic Air Compressor

Booklet prepared by my great grandfather Charles H. Taylor in 1897 that explains the system in detail.