Nitinol is an incredibly unique metal with the ability to completely free humanity from dependency on oil for energy production. This anomylous metal alloy, consisting of nickel and titanium, has the strange ability to memorize any shape, and with a little heat, it will return to that shape with vigorous force.
By elevating its temperature to 500°C while in the desired shape, the metal memory of nitinol becomestrained. Once the memory is formed and the metal is allowed to cool to room temperature, heating nitinol to it’s transition temperature, will make it abruptly return to it’s trained shape with potent force (as much as 55 tons/square inch). After nitinol has been trained, exposure to cold temperature will cause the reverse reaction, making it ideal for building efficient, cheap, reliable, and safe engines. Even more incredible – in some devices, the effect gets stronger with repetition!
As far back as 1974 researchers were working on energy devices using nitinol, and in 1978, a conference sponsored by the US Navy and the Department of Energy was held, where “Eight different prototype engines, all working, were displayed by 7 inventors.” All prototypes can be found in the paper called Proceedings of NITINOL Heat Engine Conference (1978).
Despite the United States Navy declaring to the Department of Energy that the development of nitinol heat engines would clearly serve the national interests by helping reduce petroleum energy dependence, this technology was swept under the rug and forgotten… until now.
Benefits of Nitinol:
Made from abundant elements: Nickel and Titanium
Not difficult to make
Could run for days, weeks, or years without maintenance
Possible to efficiently scale up this engine to Kilowatts or Megawatts of power
Possible Heat Sources for Nitinol Engines
Engineered with a low temperature differential, Nitinol heat engines can utilize heat from friction (or general waste heat), or heat can be taken directly from the environment (Solar, Geothermal, ground source, etc). They can also be powered by repeatable chemical reactions using gasses, or even using relatively small amounts of electricity.
New developments in nitinol engineering have brought down the transition temperature of nitinol to room temperature! Air temperature nitinol might be the best for most uses, because the motor can run using air temperature (greater than 69 degrees F), and cool water. There is no need to heat up water as the air itself will supply the heat, and the task to keep the motor running will be to keep the cold side about 20 degrees cooler.
Nitinol could power the entire world - It’s non polluting, safe, get’s stronger the more it’s used, cheap to produce, and would after a short time not cost anything. It’s clear this is one of the greatest examples of technological suppression this world has ever seen. Thankfully we have the internet and many people interested in building these devices for all to use.