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Title: Double-duct liquid metal magnetohydrodynamic engine

An internal combustion, liquid metal (LM) magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) engine and an alternating current (AC) magnetohydrodynamic generator, are used in combination to provide useful AC electric energy output. The engine design has four pistons and a double duct configuration, with each duct containing sodium potassium liquid metal confined between free pistons located at either end of the duct. The liquid metal is forced to flow back and forth in the duct by the movement of the pistons, which are alternatively driven by an internal combustion process. In the MHD generator, the two LM-MHD ducts pass in close proximity through a Hartmann duct with output transformer. AC power is produced by operating the engine with the liquid metal in the two generator ducts always flowing in counter directions. The amount of liquid metal maintained in the ducts may be varied. This provides a variable stroke length for the pistons. The engine/generator provides variable AC power at variable frequencies that correspond to the power demands of the vehicular propulsion. Also the engine should maintain nearly constant efficiency throughout the range of power usage. Automobiles and trucks could be powered by the invention, with no transmission or power converter devices being required.
  1. (Oak Ridge, TN)
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc. (Oak Ridge, TN) ORNL
Patent Number(s):
US 5637935
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN
Country of Publication:
United States
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