Directory:Rauen Environmental Heat Engine

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&lt&lt A Congress:Top 100 Technologies -- RD Energy Technology &gt&gt

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Image:Rauen SCE cropped.jpg

Environmental Heat Engine

Compiled by Congress:Founder:Sterling D. Allan

Pure Energy Systems News

April 3, 2006

The Superclassical heat engine of Ken Rauen is designed to be able to tap the heat of the environment as its heat source. It is based upon the experimental evidence of the Proell effect, a macroscopic Maxwell’s Demon.



Official Website

None yet. This present index page is the most thorough coverage available so far as we know.


The Second Law of Thermodynamics (2LT) has never been proven to be universal, that heat transformations must always go "downhill" or create entropy. The presumed universality of the 2LT is based upon a statistical truth, a description of particle collisions based upon the kinetic theory of heat (KTH).

Not all particle collisions need be random. When a series of particle collisions has a net motion in any direction, it is called work, such as when a gas moves a piston. Piston motion need not be present for work to occur.

Heat is transferred from a low temperature via particle collisions to a higher temperature without energy input, relying just upon elastic collisions according to the KTH, with work as the transfer medium, when a gas is displaced through a regenerator under constant volume conditions this is the Proell effect.

The patented engine cycles apply this phenomenon. In constant volume displacement cooling, part of the engine is refrigerated without work input, and this internal heat sink is used to advantage. The waste heat flows of the engine fall into this sink and are recycled to the high temperature of the engine in the next cycle. Depending on how the displacement and regeneration are done, either partial or complete recycling is accomplished.

Carnot's Theorem, the mathematical equation of theoretical maximum engine efficiency determined by a ratio of the highest and lowest absolute temperatures of an engine, and based upon the statistical mechanics of the 2LT, is sidestepped, allowing higher engine efficiencies, and even the use of ambient heat as the heat input.

The patent shows practical application in definitive cycles with some mechanical embodiment, and the mathematical proofs show the full thermodynamic analysis with state variables, enough to satisfy the most rigorous academic scrutiny.

-- Ken Rauen, June 28, 2004

NERL Prototype Engine


An engine was built in 2001 at New Energy Research Laboratory, in Bow, New Hampshire. It resembles a Stirling engine. Funding was small, the engine was designed by Ken who is just a chemist, and mechanical problems prevented its full operation. Promising data was obtained, as seen in the pressure plot of the engine. The cycle is a 3-step cycle, and the pressure fluctuations seen in the accompanying graph indicate the thermodynamic cycle is occurring as designed. The prototype failed to run by itself because of engineering issues of unexpectedly high friction, and poor piston seals. By the pressure graph, it is known that if the engineering challenges are solved, the engine will run.


The Science Behind the Invention

The non-random thermal energy transfer of the Proell effect circumvents the thermal randomness basis of the Second Law. The constant volume process with displacement and regeneration has heretofore unrecognized energy flows. The Stirling engine doesn’t have a net Proell effect because there are two constant volume steps that cancel each other. The Superclassical has only one constant volume step. The cycle is constant volume cooling, adiabatic compression, and constant pressure expansion. More heat is recycled in the constant cooling stroke than classical thermo recognizes. Carnot is exceeded. Math proofs with state variables are available.

Carnot Excedence -- Patent and Mathematical Proofs (by Kenneth Rauen) - Super-efficient thermodynamic exchange possible.

15-page Primer by Ken Rauen - Above and Beyond Carnot: How and why Carnot's Theorem can be circumvented. Low temperature heat sources may be efficiently converted to work, and environmental heat can run heat engines.

A Mathematical Proof of Carnot Excedence: Number 3 (doc) - "This proves Carnot can be exceeded."

A Mathematical Proof of Carnot Excedence: Number 5 (doc) - "This proves 100% efficiency is possible"

US Patent

Ken was awarded US patent number 6,698,200 B1: Efficiency thermodynamic engine for the Superclassical engine (SCE). (Download PDF)

FIELD OF THE INVENTION : The present invention relates to thermodynamic heat engines, in particular to improve efficiency thermodynamic heat engines of at least three cycle steps.

ABSTRACT : A novel thermodynamic engines including a piston operating on a compressible fluid in a thermally insulated volume, which also includes a movable displacer which selectively divides the internal volume between a warm and a cold side, and a regenerator through which the fluid from the selectively divided volume passes and transfer its heat to or receives heat from, wherein the piston and displacer are each periodically moved in various complex motions according to the present invention to provide efficiency higher than Carnot efficiency. The resulting novel structures and methods, generally referred to as "Superclassical Cycle" engines, incorporate constant volume cooling and aspects of the "Proell Effect" (relative to cooling) to achieve improved efficiencies wherein the gas temperature on the cold side of a fluid displacer is below the lowest regenerator temperature due to "self-refrigeration." Thus according to the apparatus and methods according to the present invention, the traditional principals of the Second Law is further refined and higher operating efficiencies achieved.

Proell Effect Infinite Energy Article

The best description of the Proell effect is found in the publication of the research in Infinite Energy magazine’s Issue 52.

Image:Proell bench cropped 200.jpg

Present Disposition

Ironically, September 11th, 2001 ended the funding for the SCE. Since then, all hands-on work has stopped. Ken continues independent theoretical work and designs new mechanical configurations. Better mechanisms are ready for prototyping, but funding and facilities are not currently available.

Commercialization is possible, despite the invention still being deep in R&D. The science is done and the basic technologies have been identified and are “low tech". Other patents can be filed for the technology. Good mechanical engineering and business administration are the biggest needs.

Criteria Score

On April 2, 2006, Ken Rauen provided the following self-ranking of this technology according to the Congress:Technology Criteria set forth by the New Energy Congress.

(0 = least 10 = best)

I. Renewable =10

II. Environmental Impact =10

III. Cost (cents / kw-h) =6 (5-10 cents per kWhr)

IV. Credibility of Evidence =10

V. Stability / Reliability =7 (unproven, estimated)

VI. Implementation =8

VII. Safety/Danger to Persons =9

VIII. Politics of science =8.5

IX. Open-Source conducive =1 (currently not OS offered, but could be negotiated)

X. Stage of Device Development =5, but not difficult, as it only requires good mechanical engineering of existing, low-tech technologies.

Bio of Ken Rauen

Ken Rauen - bio page


See Talk:Directory:Rauen Environmental Heat Engine


Environmental Heat Engine - Yahoo!Groups discussion list surrounding the environmental heat engine concept. Encouraging replications, refinement of theory, and ultimately getting a feasible product to market.

In the News

NEC Announces Substitute Presentation for Joe Cell Seminar - Ken Rauen to speak on harnessing energy from ambient heat via the Proell effect. (PESN June 30, 2006)


Ken Rauen can be reached at kmpr27 {at}

Related Inventions by Rauen

Ken Rauen has other engine designs that circumvent the Second Law. All are still under development and currently all reside in the theoretical and planning stages. Math proofs exist for these engines, but the proofs are currently not available to the public. Those engines are based upon the incomplete ideas of Jacob Wainwright and Boris Kondrashov, which have been completed by Ken.

Related Inventions/Concepts by Others

Image:Evaporate pump 95x95.jpg

Directory:Ghosh Energy from Atmospheric Heat - Pranab Jyoti Ghosh seeks assistance for building a working prototype of a technology that would produce electricity from atmospheric heat, based on combining a number of well-proven concepts.

Image:Maxwells Demon experiment 95x95.jpg

Maxwell's Pressure Demon and the Second Law of Thermodynamics - John Marshall Dudley describes his solid-state experiments that extract energy directly from the motion of the molecules, resulting in a cooling of the gas without any low temperature sink at all, breaking the 2nd law of thermodynamics. (Infinite Energy Mar/Apr, 2006)

Image:US7019412 power gen.gif

US 7019412 -- Power generation methods and systems - A closed loop system for generating mechanical energy at high efficiencies. The system can have a heating source, a superheater, an expander, a receiver, an absorber, a desorber, and regenerator with pumps and controls. The superheater heats a working fluid (a refrigerant or steam). A positive liquid/vapor expander expands a low temperature refrigerant, or steam vapor to the saturated state (having both liquid and vapor parts) utilizing a low-pressure sub-atmospheric exhaust sink. An absorber, generates a low-pressure sub-atmospheric sink using chemosorption which involves the exothermic reaction/absorption of ammonia refrigerant in water. The desorber is used to reconstitute inlet vapor (for reuse) and the regenerator recovers heat generated by chemosorption. The system can meet electrical power needs for residences, businesses or office buildings. The system can supply electrical energy to power grids, and can be an alternative power generation plants. (Issued Mar. 28, 2006)

See also

Congress:Advisor:Kenneth M. Rauen - profile at PESWiki includes links to other Rauen profile pages.

Directory:Ambient Air Engines

Directory:Thermal Electric


- Directory







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