Some Common Questions:
1) What size is the engine ?
The engine is big - its 103" long - the diameter of the engine is 24" wide, and 33" tall. The weight of the engine is approximately 200 lbs (flywheel is 50lbs of that). The hot end of the engine is 30" long by 12" in diameter.
2) What is the power output of the engine?
The engine out put power is a function of several variables - a) temperature difference between hot and cold ends of the engine (limited by the melting temperature of its aluminum head) b) baseline pressure that the engine operating at. Both of these parameters can vary based upon how you configure the engine. At its simplest configuration (low hot end heat of 600 F ) and no pressure - you'll see about 200 Watts of power output. At its max power out put (high hot end heat of 650 F) and pressure of 28 PSI you see about 1 KW of power output. The power configuration is up to you and what works best for your application.
3) What is the best generator head to use with the engine ?
The engine will rotate at speeds between 110 and 150 RPM . The pulley size of the output shaft and gen head can be exchanged to reach different optimal generator shaft speeds (for either 12V or 24V applicationss). One of the generator suppliers that has a nice product is the Renegade from Missouri Wind and Power - Also the Ginlong series of generators appear to be a good fit, but we've yet to test. You can use any generator of your choosing but keep in mind the packaging constraints of the gen head. We are happy to work with you on configurations that might be specific for your application.
4) Is the engine dangerous to operate ?
The engine is not dangerous to operate, but keep in mind you are using heat to run it and that heat can be dangerous to operate. Good ventilation is required for both the wood and propane front end Fire Boxes. The engine is not a steam engine and has little to no danger of explosion.
5) Is the engine self starting ?
At this time no, but we are working on a auto start feature run from your iPhone.
6) Does the engine need to warm up ?
Yes, it takes about 5 min for the engine to warm up to operating temperture.
7) Can I hook the engine up to battery banks or the power utilities ?
Yes, the engine will charge battery banks and with the proper electronics (inverter) can be connected to your utilities grid (so long as your local laws allow it).
8) Why are the shipping costs so high ?
The engine is big and heavy - we're working to reduce these shipping costs with specific carriers and will update the shipping costs as they improve.
9) Why is delivery at 45 days from point of order ?
Each engine is built to order at receipt of order. It takes us about 1 weeks to build one engine and about 1 week to test and then 1 week to ship each engine. We are working to reduce this time frame as more people and engines come online. Check with us first if timing is a significant concern.
10) Is There Any Assembly Required ?
Yes, you will receive one or more crates containing the major components of the engine - Engine Chamber, Engine Kinematics These components bolt together with simple tools. You will need a screwdriver, open end wrench (7/16 & 3/8), and an allen key wrench. We estimate the assembly time to be 2 hrs.
11) Why isn't the Fire Box - Wood insulated like the propane Fire Box?
We expect the wood Fire Box to be also used as a space heater as well as an electrical generator. For that reason we ship the wood Fire Box with out any exterior insulation - this does reduce the efficiency of the motor. Some of the heat gets lost to the room air instead of going into the engine. You can insulate the wood fire box with standard fiber glass insulation - be sure to remove any flammable components of the insulation.
12) How do I hook the Engine up to my house ?
There are several configurations that you can set up dependent upon your configuration. Two popular set ups are Battery Bank or Grid Tie to the utility system. Here is a simple diagram on the components involved.
13) What do I need to buy ?
We've designed the system so that you can pick and chose the elements you need for your configuration. Some folks have wood stoves or burners that they want to use in conjunction with the engine.
To make things easier, we also provide a turnkey package of - Engine, Firebox, Water Jacket, and Generator Head- Called "The Package".
Dependent upon your preference you can get the wood burning Fire Box or the propane Fire Box (we can also make a custom combined Fire Box with both wood and propane elements ).
14) Do you ship internationally ?
Due to many international requests we have started shipping internationally. We ship port to port. You are responsible for getting the engine and any accompanying components into your country. That includes getting through customs at your receiving port, paying any type of VAT taxes / customs fees or any other requirements that may be in place at your boarder. The company we use is APX (http://www.apx-ocean-freight.com/), it is a partial container shipment. The weight is around 200lbs and we ship in five or six crates dependent upon your order. Costs are pretty reasonably - check our APX's web site for estimates (use a size of 1.51 CU Meters). Timing is dependent upon their shipping schedule. Typically costs range from $400 to $600 to ship internationally.
15) Can I return the engine if I don't like it ?
If for some reason you are dissatisfied with the engine you can return it. But keep in mind you bear the costs of returning the engine and may have to wait over 90 days for a refund. The costs for shipping the engine are high, around $300-$400. Point here is, be sure this is what you want prior to ordering.