Close to starting testing on this engine - We're doing the fabrication down at the Tech Shop facility and then assembly and testing in my garage. Things are a bit messy here after a weekend of assembly. We've got about a week of testing and then it's shipping time ! Once we have a solid grasp of production timing (took about two months for this one) we'll get better with delivery dates.
We've completed the initial design concept for the Solar Front End of the Volo One Engine.The design focuses on improving solar energy capture by combining the engine with photovoltaic solar panels.The design is comprised of a tracking parabolic trough, lined with photovoltaic solar panels with the heat engine at the trough's focal point.The solar panels are coated with a solar film so that visible light passes through to the photovoltaic cells and longer wavelength light energy gets reflected to the engine.
Here is a short video that takes you through the design.
This is just the first step for the solar front end. We don't have a materials list or working prototype of it at this time. The estimated size of the solar front end is 10 feet x 6 feet x 5 feet.
For the past couple of weeks we've been working on a new kinematics design. We noticed a bump in the cycle with the original kinematics and it was somewhat problematic to alter the phasing or stroke lengths on the original design.
Here is a short video of the update showing the results to date. We've found the engine runs best with the displacer about 30 degrees advanced from the standard 90 degrees displacer / piston configuration (a bit more then 120 degrees).
Our next action item, now that the kinematics are somewhat tuned to the engine, is power output. To improve the power output we'll need to pressurize the crankcase. The pressurization wont be huge. Looking at 50 PSI for our initial run with an internally generated supply.