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The FeTu ‘roticulating’ concept is the foundation for its novel and disruptive four-chamber mechanical device that offers low-energy conversion between volumetric and rotational heat energy sources.
In May 2016, FeTu Limited was established in West Yorkshire, UK, by its founder Jonathan Fenton. FeTu is an innovative research and development company dedicated to creating revolutionary clean energy solutions.
After 35 years of working professionally as a mechanical engineer, Fenton decided to leave his job and focus on developing a novel green energy device capable of reducing energy consumption and emissions to combat global climate change.
The ‘Roticulating’ Concept and Design
The invention that initially launched this technology company into the marketplace was the FeTu ‘roticulating’ concept, which offers a disruptive technological approach to volumetric and rotational energy conversion.
The concept consists of a four-chamber system that has two moving parts, which, taken together, create a single high-efficiency solution that incorporates radial, axial and reciprocal techniques. The design created by the ‘roticulating’ concept includes four discreet positive displacement chambers that are arranged in two double-acting pairs.
One part of this system controls a single spherical rotor, which is considered the second moving part of the system, that moves in three-dimensional (3D) space, ensuring precise and simultaneous management of the four volumetric chambers.
Otherwise referred to as the driveshaft, this part defines the movement of the chamber. This system is considered to be the world’s first ‘quad-acting’ device, as four distinct chambers are governed by the mechanical constraints of a single set.
The rotor of the FeTu system simultaneously rotates and articulates the drive shaft in a predictable and controlled manner. As the rotor oscillates, the two pairs of anti-phase chambers expand and collapse, preparing the system for complete chamber evacuation.
Taken together, the complete cycling of these chambers can be achieved in a single 360° revolution. Within the outer casing exists several ports, which allow for the controlled entry and exit of fluid media.
Since each subsequent chamber is seamlessly presented in a refined manner, the roticulating device operates in a continuous fluid fashion. Furthermore, the roticulating device is equipped with a built-in volumetric ratio that ensures exceptional efficiency in every motion. By preventing any unwanted contact between the chamber walls, system degradation by wear and/or inefficient friction is eliminated.
Applications of the FeTu Roticulating System
Although the FeTu roticulating system is a single machine, three distinct variants have been developed from the design of this system.
The first variant has been tested as a gas compressor and has passed vacuum and R-134a tests, as well as the ORC pump study.
When used as a gas compressor, the FeTu system has a wide range of applications, including, but not limited to, pharmaceutical and health processes, heavy-duty vehicles, aerospace systems and construction equipment.
When used as an oil-free compressor, the FeTu system achieves pressure ratios as high as 7.2:1 at speeds as low as 1000 rpm. As compared to other commercially available superchargers, this pressure ratio is considerably higher without the faster speed requirements.
The second variant of the FeTu system includes its use as a heat engine in refrigeration and air conditioning applications.
With a low-grade waste heat recovery rate of approximately 30%, this device significantly surpasses traditionally standards required by the industries that are often around 10%. As a result, the FeTu heat engine variant substantially reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) emission rates. Researchers propose that the FeTu heat engine could be refigured in refrigeration systems to utilize either CO2 or air as the working fluid.
Green power generation
The third variant of the FeTu system is the green power generator that converts waste heat into power. The concept of the “two-stage” turbine represents the positive displacement and low-velocity technology of this system, which can be compared to a hybrid between a turbine and a piston engine.
Two high-pressure domains are featured in this system, which include a high and a low-pressure domain. Each of these domains is excited by heat exchangers, which results in the expansion and subsequent contraction of fluid as it travels throughout the closed circuit.
The FeTu rotor then forms a boundary between the two domains, which is driven by the combined forces generated by the pressure of each domain.
As compared to other closed-loop thermodynamic systems, the FeTu turbine takes advantage of these high- and low-pressure zones, doubling its power generation capabilities.
In addition to its exceptional performance capabilities, the FeTu turbine is a simple, reliable and scalable system that offers linear, uniform and uninterrupted media flow.
In terms of advancing the movement towards utilizing green power, FeTu hopes that its turbine will prove to be a vital component of portable electrical power generation from a wide range of heat sources, including solar.
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References and Further Reading
FeTu. [Online] Available at: https://www.fetu.co.uk/ (Accessed on 18 August 2020).
Burton, S (2020) Mayor visits groundbreaking green energy firm in Halifax. [Online] Halifax Courier. Available at: https://www.halifaxcourier.co.uk/business/mayor-visits-groundbreaking-green-energy-firm-halifax-1437433 (Accessed on 18 August 2020).
UK Research and Innovation. [Online] The FeTu roticulating concept - air compressor/supercharger feasibility study. Available at: https://gtr.ukri.org/projects?ref=103809 (Accessed on 18 August 2020).