Steam Engine Research/Power Kinetics
Steam Engine Research
Power Kinetics of Troy, NY secured North and South America rights to the Steam Engine technology produced by a team from the Australian National University for the White Cliffs Solar Power Station. See Steam Engine Design/White Cliffs Report.
- Based in Troy, NY
- Incubated by RPI
- In operation until at least 1995
- Possibly acquired by NationalGrid
- Possible relationship to Sustainable Energy Systems, Inc, Hilltop Road, Troy, NY 12180 ?
- David Borton was/is president 
- Mark P. Rice, President 
- Director of the Rensselaer business incubation program that started PKI
- Possibly a professor of technology at Olin College of Engineering in Needham, MA.
- Professor of Technology Entrepreneurship, 781-239-5237, firstname.lastname@example.org
- W. E. Rogers, Researcher (Principle?)
- David N. Borton, Researcher 
- Phone: (518) 272-7863
- FAX: (518) 270-5204
- email: email@example.com
- R. Rogers, Researcher
- Ronald Whaley, Steam Engine Developer
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Prof. Kaneff
Google search on "power kinetics, troy, ny".
Fresnel concentrating collector May 1981 
Rogers, W.; Borton, D.; Rice, M.; Rogers, R.
AA(Power Kinetics, Inc., Troy, NY.), AB(Power Kinetics, Inc., Troy, NY.), AC(Power Kinetics, Inc., Troy, NY.), AD(Power Kinetics, Inc., Troy, NY.)
Keywords: BOILERS, FRESNEL LENSES, SOLAR COLLECTORS, SOLAR ENERGY, SOLAR ENERGY CONVERSION, DESIGN ANALYSIS, ENERGY TECHNOLOGY, PERFORMANCE TESTS, RECEIVERS
Recent developments: PKI square dish for the Soleras Project Mar. 1984 [adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1984pdst.rept...82R]
Authors: Rogers, W. E.
Affiliation: AA(Power Kinetics, Inc., Troy, NY.)
Keywords: DESIGN ANALYSIS, ENERGY TECHNOLOGY, PERFORMANCE TESTS, SOLAR COLLECTORS, SOLAR ENERGY CONVERSION, STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS, COST EFFECTIVENESS, FABRICATION, MICROPROCESSORS, NUMERICAL CONTROL, QUALITY CONTROL, SOLAR POSITION, TRACKING (POSITION)
A Unique Series of Solar Concentrators - the 4th and 5th Generation Square Dish 1984 
Authors: Inhall, EK1; Rogers, WE2
Affiliations: (1) Australian National University, Canberra, A.C.T. 0200, (2) Power Kinetics Inc., Troy, N.Y. 12180, U.S.A
Abstract: A series of 'Square Dish' solar concentrators have been built during the past 15 years. All these point focus collectors use rows of large mirror panels on pivoted beams, 2 of which span the width of the collector, and are tilted to suit the elevation of the sun. In recent designs, the 4th and 5th generations, the moving structure rotates about a polar axis through its centre of gravity, thus a 300 m2 collector requires only 50 W of power to follow the sun. During peak performance 0.86 of the incident energy was converted to steam at 260 C and 5 MPa, while the average performance delivered 0.81 into the steam. These collectors produce steam for less than the cost of steam from a gas-fired bailer. One version focuses into a stationary absorber such as a steam super-heater, a large heat store with a heat exchanger, or a reaction chamber for high temperature chemical reactions such as reforming of fuels or the destruction of chemical waste.
Kiplinger's Personal Finance May 1982 
Rensselear Polytechnic Institute (RPI) of Troy, NY incubated several high tech companies, of which Power Kinetics was one.
Mark Rice was named as President of Power Kinetics in the article.
Direct and remote coupling of wind turbines to heat pumps and other mechanical devices Apr 27, 2984 
Author: Rogers, W.E.
Affiliation: Power Kinetics, Troy, NY (USA)
Keywords: 17 WIND ENERGY; GAS COMPRESSORS; WIND POWER; HEAT PUMPS; USES; COMPRESSED AIR; VERTICAL AXIS TURBINES; AIR; COMPRESSED GASES; COMPRESSORS; ENERGY SOURCES; FLUIDS; GASES; MACHINERY; POWER; RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES; TURBINES; TURBOMACHINERY; WIND TURBINES
This research set out to find alternative uses for wind power other than dumping the excess energy into the local grid. The alternatives investigated were space conditioning, and the generation of compressed air to power tools and other equipment which can be located at distant points from the wind turbine. Various methods of storage of the energy were considered since often the availability to power does not match the need for it. The research encountered many snags due to the turmoil in the wind industry at the time this research began. Power Kinetics was not in a position to respond in a timely fashion to the added workload required by the multiple changes in design needed to compensate for the limitation of equipment available at the onset of this work. However, as time has permittd, the limitation of purchased wind hardware has been augmented by the company's own designs and the initial research has been conducted. Contrary to initial speculation, the economics of using wind energy economically without the use of the local grid is unattractive today due to the high costs of storage. In most cases, the economics of wind energy are unattractive if a grid is available, when efficiencies of scale are obtained such as in wind farms.
'50-kWe solar-power module (PhD Thesis at RPI) Jan. 1, 1987 
Author: Rogers, W.E.
Keywords: 14 SOLAR ENERGY; CENTRAL RECEIVERS; SOLAR COLLECTORS; POWER SYSTEMS; HYBRID SYSTEMS; SOLAR TRACKING SYSTEMS; SOLAR RECEIVERS; SOLAR THERMAL POWER PLANTS; ENERGY ANALYSIS; MATERIALS; ENERGY SYSTEMS; EQUIPMENT; HELIOSTATS; POWER PLANTS; SOLAR CELL ARRAYS; SOLAR EQUIPMENT; SOLAR POWER PLANTS; SOLAR TRACKING; THERMAL POWER PLANTS
This thesis addresses the comprehensive design analysis of a solar power station being designed and built by Power Kinetics, Inc. which can deliver 50 kilowatts of electricity to a utility grid. To backup the solar-fired boiler, an oil-fired boiler and superheater were integrated into the system. The 300 m/sup 2/ solar collector, the largest collector (by 50%) in the world, is essentially an assembly of aluminum and glass. The tracking portion of the collector, a framework roughly 60 feet square, rotates on a polar axis between a north and south pier. To track the sun, two motions are required. The first, provided for by the right-ascension drive, moves the collector from east to west following the sun at a constant speed throughout the day. The second is powered by the declination drive, which adjusts the rows of mirrors to compensate for the seasonal changes of the apparent motion of the sun and turns the mirrors down to prevent buildup of dirt, ice and snow. Controls use shadowbands to track the sun when the sun is out and use position data when the sky is cloudy. To minimize the wind profile during the night, or when the system is shut down, the collector faces south, or up. Solar energy is reflected into a receiver located on a bipod in front of the mirrors.
The design of solar collectors with stationary focus for photovoltaic or thermal power July 1995 
Authors: Inall E.K.; Rogers W.E.
Describes the design of a series of 'Square Dish' solar collectors built by Power Kinetics Inc., Troy, New York. The fifth generation of the ...
The PKI collector July 1982 
Authors: Rice, M. P.
Affiliation: AA(Power Kinetics, Inc., Troy, NY.)
The design and manufacturing of a solar thermal collector is discussed. The collector has three primary subsystems: concentrator, receiver/fluid loop, and controls. Identical curved reflective columns are utilized in a faceted Fresnel design to support 864 one foot square flat inexpensive second-surface, silvered glass mirrors. The columns are ganged together and rotated through their centers of gravity to provide elevation tracking. The concentrator is supported by a lightweight spaceframe structure which distributes all wind and gravity loads to the base supports. The base of the structure is a track which rotates on wheels mounted on concrete piers. A parallel tube steel heat exchanger is mounted at the concentrator focal area in a well insulated, galvanized steel housing. Two rows of vertical close-packed, staggered tubes connect a mud header and a steam header. Automatic two axis tracking and operational control is provided with a microprocessor based package. Concentrator-mounted shadowbands are the basis for active tracking. A software program provides azimuthal tracking during cloudy periods.
Cleaning up the grid Solar thermal electricity development in Australia, open Apr 1994 [linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/0301421594900043]
David R. Millsa, Anthony Mongera and Bill Keepinb
David R. Mills and Anthony Monger are with the Department of Applied Physics, University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW 2006, Australia
Bill Keepin is with the Energy Foundation, San Francisco, CA, USA
There seems to be mention of Power Kinetics in the body of the article, "Keywords: Solar power; Solar thermal; Solar electricity As we move rapidly .... of the same technology came to US$0.05/kWh.s Power Kinetics Inc of Troy, NY, ..."
The Rogers focusing heliostat experimental program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Dec. 1980 
Authors: Rogers, W. E.; Borton, D. N.; Rice, M. P.
Affiliation: AA(Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst., Troy, NY.), AB(Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst., Troy, NY.), AC(Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst., Troy, NY.)
Keywords: BOILERS, ENERGY POLICY, FOCUSING, HELIOSTATS, SOLAR COLLECTORS, SOLAR HEATING, WATER HEATING, CONCENTRATORS, ENERGY TECHNOLOGY, MIRRORS, SOLAR REFLECTORS, SPACE HEATING (BUILDINGS) A research effort to develop a solar collector package designed specifically with the needs and solar resources of the Northeast in mind is described. The heliostat is a concentrating solar collector which is 30 feet high, 34 feet wide and has 864 square feet of mirror concentrator. Electric controls move the structure so it tracks the path of the Sun as it rises and sets and moves across the sky. When the Sun is not shinning, the mirrors turn down, shielding them from the dirt, ice and snow. However, when it rains the mirrors turn up for cleaning, helping to keep them in peak operating condition. The heliostat's design incorporates a concentrating capability which takes the diffuse energy of the Sun and focuses it, creating temperatures of more than 3,600 F and producing enough steam as a result to displace 70 kW of electricity at peak operation. The unit tested in this demonstration was used for space heating, and domestic hot water as well as to fire an absorption air conditioner.
Sent to Dr. David Borton, May 13, 2011 Dr. Borton: I've been doing some research lately into the use of solar concentrators for power generation using steam turbines and engines. My understanding is that you may have been involved with Power Kinetics, Inc. of Troy, NY. Is that company still doing business or has it been acquired by another company? The specific line of inquiry I am pursuing are details of the conversion of a Lister Diesel engine to steam power that was used in the White Cliffs Solar Power Station in NSW, Australia in the early 1980's. While it may have been that Power Kinetics was more interested in the solar concentrators developed by the Australian National University team, it seems to acquired the specifics on the steam engine at the same time. I am working with the Open Source Ecology project (http://openfarmtech.org/wiki/Main_Page). OSE is developing a set of open source machines that enabled the development of small, local economies including the generation of local power using solar concentrators (etc). I am working on the design of a low-cost, modular, scalable steam engine (http://openfarmtech.org/wiki/Steam_Engine_Design) which could be enhanced using the techniques developed for the White Cliffs project. Any information you might have would be of great use to us. - Mark Norton OSE Steam Engine Project
Sent to Prof. Mark Rice of Babson, May 13, 2011 Prof. Rice: I am trying to track down a company by the name of Power Kinetics of Troy, NY. My research indicates that you helped to incubate this company back in the 1980's while at Rensselaer. Does the company still exist? Was it acquired by another company? I would appreciate any information or contacts you might have. - Mark Norton Open Source Ecology Project http://openfarmtech.org/wiki/Main_Page
Received from Prof. David Borton of RPI, May 17, 2011 Hello Mark, I just submitted my grades and I'm about to get on a plane to a solar conference. I know of your OSE project. Yes, the diesel conversion might be appropriate for your project, The bash valve material is a significant problem for high efficiency, but for lower temperature operation you can probably get something that will work. Next week I should have some time. Regards, David
Sent to Prof. David Borton of RPI, May 29, 2011 Prof. Borton: I hope you had a positive experience at solar conference you attended. I was wondering if you had time now to discuss White Cliffs/Power Kinetics. Reading between the lines in the White Cliffs Report, Power Kinetics was given/sold the North American rights to the White Cliffs steam engine technology, along with with the solar concentrator/collector technology. Would it be possible to get the detailed specifications for the converted Lister Diesel engine? We are rapidly moving towards the point where we build our first steam engine and since it was influenced heavily by the White Cliffs experience, it would be great help to get the engineering details. Would that be possible? You can see our current design concepts at http://openfarmtech.org/wiki/Steam_Engine_Design. As you can see from these drawings, it is a basic low-power, bump valve operated, uniflow steam engine. I've done some initial indicator diagrams that can be viewed at http://openfarmtech.org/wiki/Steam_Engine_Specifications/Work_Diagrams, but we are still vetting the design against thermodynamic and fluid-flow theory. OSE is also working on a parabolic solar concentrator that will generate steam for the steam engine. The concentrator, steam engine, and a basic generator should allow us to generate electricity for general power use. Any comments or suggestions you might have would be quite welcome, given your background and interest in solar power. - Mark J. Norton OSE Steam Engine Project <pre> [[Category:Steam Engine]