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Drinking bird upsized, anchored barge.

  1. Jun 25, 2012 #1
    Hi, first time poster here- not college educated, as my handle suggest ... Just a regular guy :) I was reading "The physics book" today (Clifford A. Pickover) and came across the classic "drinking bird" where the body is filled with methylene chloride, the head covered in a felt material - basically a heat engine. Obviously in stable conditions like a room where there is no wind or possibility of disruption the only thing keeping this device from running for a reeeeally long time (please note I didn't say PMM) would be the water supply. Water in a bowl would evaporate relatively fast ... But what if we scaled the bird up and engineered it with safeguards (especially concerning the Methylene chloride) mounted it to a barge floating in the middle of lake Meade (yes, I live in Vegas) and then anchored the barge to the lake bed and we let the bird drink (so to speak)

    Could this produce measurable power? How about in a large pond on an Ohio farm? Math, engineering & physics are not my strong suits so I leave this up to you - the true scientists to answer this question... Please be gentle- Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 25, 2012 #2

    jack action

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    According to wikipedia:
    1 hp = 746 W, so just do the math to size your bird accordingly!
  4. Jun 25, 2012 #3
    Oh man I am totally doing this! Nobel Prize here I come!
  5. Jun 25, 2012 #4
    No nobels for you, A) it's worthless (but thanks for taking time to humor us with your wit) B) if it wasn't worthless it would belong to the original inventor (which it actually does - patented in 1946)
  6. Jun 25, 2012 #5


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    I had one of the "drinking birds" and it was NOT useless! It gave me and my friends hours of amusement. But certainly useless for generating electrical power!

    By the way, if the inventor received a patent for it in 1946, that patent expired twenty years later, in 1966 (unless he went through the patent renewal process).
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