Thermoambient Energy - Valvim
Thermoambient Energy Project - Conversion of ambient heat into electrical energy

Helicopter adapted to be powered by the thermoambient energy

Last updated 06/28/2020

helicopter of the future
The thermoambient technology will propitiate the production of helicopters powered by electric power and with infinitely greater autonomy than the current one. The new helicopters will have electric motors and will be powered with energy extracted from atmospheric air. The blades (propellers) will be adapted to extract thermal energy from the air at the same time that they rotate sustaining the helicopter. A tubing, with thermal fluid, will transport heat from the blades to the Thermoambient Generator installed at the bottom of the helicopter. The generator, in turn, will convert the thermoambient energy into electrical energy powering the motor.

For these new helicopters to be able to fly without restriction of autonomy, it is necessary that the ambient temperature, around the helicopter, is above 0°C. If it is far below, it will be necessary to supplement with chemical energy (gasoline or kerosene). In this case, the autonomy of the helicopter will depend on the combination of ambient temperature and fuel tank. At altitudes where the air temperature is above 0°C, the ambient heat will be sufficient to power the helicopter without the need for fuel.

Let"s take as an example the helicopter of figure 1. To make it electric, and thermoambient, this helicopter will have to go through the following adaptations:

  1. The traditional blades (propellers) will be replaced with new blades capable of extracting heat from the air that is pushed down (see figure 3 on the side).
    These new blades will be thicker and will contain, in their interior, capillary ducts through which will circulate the thermal fluid that will transport the heat until the Thermoambient Generator. In addition to the capillary ducts, for the extraction and transport of heat, the new blades will also receive small fins on their lower surface to better capture the ambient heat (see Figures 2 and 3).

  2. The traditional engine will be replaced by an electric motor of similar power.

  3. The Thermoambient Generator will be installed in the base of the helicopter and interconnected, to the blades, through the pipelines of the thermal fluid. It is the thermal fluid that will conduct the heat, drawn by the blades, to the generator continuously and uninterrupted.

  4. In the piping of the thermal fluid, between the blades and the generator, a heater by fuel will be placed. It will be activated automatically whenever the ambient temperature is below 0°C.

The helicopter featured is a model of 165 HP (121 kW) and, considering the rotation and dimensions of its blades, it drives 21.8 m3/s of atmospheric air during its flight. Knowing the volume of air passing through the blades each second (21.8 m3/s), it is possible to calculate how many degrees Celsius the blades need to remove, from that air, to obtain the 121 kW consumed by the helicopter. We will use the Calorimetry equation to calculate this value and verify the practical applicability of this new technology.

mass of air passing through blades in g/s;
specific mass of atmospheric air = 1.225 kg/m3;
volume of air passing through the blades = 21.8 m3/s;
amount of heat in calories;
specific heat of atmospheric air: 0.24 cal/g.°C;
temperature difference in degrees Celsius.

Knowing that 1 W = 0.23884 cal/s, then: 121 kW = 121,000 x 0.23884 = 28,899.64 calories. Therefore, for the purposes of our calculation, Q = 28,899.64 cal.

The mass of air m passing through the blades, every second, is calculated by multiplying its volume, in cubic meters, by the specific mass of the air. Then: m = Vair x ρatm = 21.8 x 1.225 = 26.705 g.

Calculating the temperature difference in degrees Celsius, we have:

As we have demonstrated, by extracting thermal energy equivalent to 4.5°C, from the air that comes in contact with the blades, we obtain enough energy to supply the 121 kW (165 HP) consumed by the aircraft of this example. This makes this aircraft self-sufficient in tropical climate regions. In very cold regions, where it is not possible to extract 4.5°C from ambient air, the helicopter will work with the complementation of thermal energy from the fuel.

Know How the Thermoambient Generator works.

Author: Valvim M Dutra

This text has been translated from Portuguese. If you find some grammatical error or linguistic incoherence, I shall be grateful if you let me know the location of the mistake so that I can correct it.

Let's save the planet from global warming by recycling the thermoambient energy