The New 4.5-inch Turbine Initiative and Introduction of our 4.5-inch Hot Rotor Kit
For a couple of years we have threatened to come out with a turbine kit, and the day has finally arrived! We have just recently picked up our first batch of laser cut, stainless steel hot rotor disks, and will soon begin shipping 4.5-inch hot rotor kits. This is not a complete turbine kit but rather, a do-it-yourself assembly kit for the most important component of the turbine.
When we first talked about a turbine kit, awhile back, we were working with a 10-inch prototype. Now anyone who has worked with this size turbine knows that they require a relatively large energy source to spool them up and maintain a steady loaded state for deriving useful data.
At the same time, metal prices began skyrocketing, in some cases doubling or tripling overnight. We had to come up with a solution that would allow us to keep experimental costs low and provide a standard engine platform for our club members to get involved in the developmental process.
Our solution was to downsize the physical size of the engine, re-engineer the system design to use lower-cost materials, and ship a series of subassembly kits rather than single all-in-one kits.
By downsizing the turbine from 10 inches to 4.5 inches, we not only cut component costs, but we also cut the cost of energizing the engine. Instead of 20-30 horsepower compressors, we can use 3-5 horsepower compressors.
That's just one example of how experimental costs are brought under control. Downsizing also follows our overall goal of developing practical fractional horsepower systems that will operate on alternative fuels such as waste/renewable oils, and solar collector steam.
Last year we redesigned the bearing case to use lower cost round stock and plate materials rather than expensive square billets.
Turbine Component Kit Installment Program
Finally a big cost-cutting strategy we initiated is to run larger batches of fewer parts and to offer sub assembly kits in a series of projects, over time. This is a type of installment program that should make it a whole lot easier for club members to acquire a working turbine.
The way this works is pretty simple. We have subdivided the turbine into about five main components:
As we mentioned earlier, we have already picked up our first batch of disks from the manufacturer. We have enough inventory to make up 45 hot rotor kits. Once these are shipped out we will go on to the shaft assembly, bearing case, hot rotor case, and oiling system -- in sequence -- running these kits in similar batches. At the same time we will continue taking orders for and shipping hot rotor kits -- until everyone who wants a turbine has one.
This is beneficial in a number of ways:
Whatever the case, this seems like the best approach for everyone. Not only does it make experimenting with the disk turbine affordable, but it also puts everyone on a level playing field. The only way we can arrive at real global engineering data is to begin with a standard component.
This first hot rotor kit is that standard component. Once a standard is established, experimental efforts can be focused in critical areas:
No Shop Tools/Time? - Finished Turbine Components, CAD CD's
Now for those of you who do not have the skills, time or equipment, look for finished components at reasonable costs on our website.
And while the kits come with minimal assembly instructions, we will continue our time-honored tradition of posting detailed manufacturing and assembly instructions on the PTBC club website.
Last but not least, watch for our soon to be completed CD of CAD files -- for those of you who want to build your own from scratch.
As we continue to see skyrocketing prices for fuel, food and other necessities of life, we also see a general lack of responsibility and concern on the part of government and industry. -- Our destiny is in our own hands!
It is our goal at PNGinc to use our Phoenix Turbine Builders Club as a means of preparing the world for hard times ahead. By conquering basic global problems such as power, heat and new energy resources, we can begin to reverse the damage to our ecosphere, and take back control of our lives from the industrial/governmental cartel.
Are you with us?
Ken Rieli, CEO - PNGinc
Last updated: July 02, 2008 11:21 PM
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