Scientists in Russia are developing an environmentally friendly cryogenic engine

The operation of cryogenic engines is based on the fact that under environmental conditions cryofuel - for example, liquid

nitrogen - heats up, turns into high-pressure steam and performs useful work in a rotary-piston expansion machine.

The main task of this laboratory is to studypossibilities of using cold energy, that is, the energy stored in cryogenic substances and products. The laboratory has begun work on the creation of a cryogenic engine; at present, a series of tests is underway for one of the main elements of the engine being created - a cryogenic fuel storage system.

Dmitry Uglanov, Deputy Director of the Institute of Engines and Power Plants, Samara University

In terms of size and weight, a promising cryomotorcomparable to reciprocating internal combustion engines of the same power. According to the developers, the consumption of cryofuel in it will be from 5 to 15 kg per kilowatt-hour. They estimate a prototype with a capacity of 1.2 kW at about 18.5 thousand rubles.

To operate this type of cryogenic enginea cylinder filled with liquid nitrogen with a temperature below –196 degrees Celsius is used. Due to the heat of the environment, nitrogen heats up and, having turned into a high-pressure gas, performs useful work in the expansion machine.

In addition, due to the temperature difference betweencryogenic working fluid and the environment, additional energy can be obtained from the cascade of thermoelectric generators used in the storage system. The storage system for low-temperature substances, developed by Samara scientists, is based on a specially designed cryogenic filling tank equipped with various sensors and valves. In the course of laboratory tests, technological processes for storing cryofuel and using low-potential energy of cryoproducts are being tested.

The advantage of the cryogenic engine is its creatorsthey call it high environmental friendliness, as well as the possibility of using it in special-purpose developments. For example, cryo-powered drones will not leave a heat trail, which means they cannot be tracked using infrared tracking tools, unlike vehicles with an internal combustion engine or an electric motor.

According to Uglanov, the creation of a cryogenic engine will take three to four years.

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