Solid-State Heat Engine (Nitinol Engine)


I have made many mistakes in life and in the job I undertook as an engineer. But I firmly believe that this is not one of them. Please hear out my arguments, why this heat engine should be constructed and developed into a working machine as soon as possible.

I believe that there will not be a successful green alternative to nasty fuels like coal or oil, if we don’t take (behavioral) economy into account. You must SEE, that you will save money, if you use Sun-born or Earth-born energy and not any other. (By Sun-born I mean any form of energy that is directly caused by the solar radiation; wind, wave, solar radiation, hydro-potential. And, by Earth-born I mean thermal potential between the Earth’s core and its surface).


Featured heat engine design

When I designed the featured heat engine I wanted it to have the following features:

  1. Rotary motion. It is definitely more effective to transform rotary kinetic energy into electric in the end.
  2. Wires should preferably be in a line, not in a loop. I couldn’t find a way to effectively weld a nitinol wire into a continuous loop with readily available tools. I tried with a TIG torch, but was disappointed by the results. I could find a company that made machines for nitinol wires welding, but I couldn’t expect anyone to have a machine like that to effectively produce a heat engine. So, loop was strongly discouraged.
  3. High power output. When you study the heat engine designs, whatever they are, the transduction from thermal to kinetic energy happens only at the junction between the hot and the cold “pole”. The larger the volume of that junction, the more power you get. From the heat engine designs I studied so far the loops in the engines had a very small junction volume. That volume could easily be multiplied by the number of parallel loops, but I wanted a way around that.
  4. The production should be by standard readily available technology anywhere in the world. How else could the engine become so economical to compete with the current fuels and engines?

Features of the design

Other shape-memory-alloy heat engine designs

The idea of a heat engine that employs a shape-memory-alloy (SMA) as the mediator, through which heat flow transforms into kinetic energy is probably a few minutes younger than that of the SMA alone. Therefore I don’t have to specifically stress out all the patents and designs for the heat engines that have already been tried and developed. Well, I will anyway, just for the sake of completeness if nothing else.


  • 1977-11-01 Alfred Davis Johnson: US4055955A
  • 2008-11-04 Scott Ryan, Kirkpatirck Azad, Siahmakoun Thomas McDaniel Adams, Zhefu Wang: US7444812B2
  • 1981-08-04 Alfred D. JohnsonPaul F. Kirkpatrick: US4281513A
  • 1982-02-03 Frederick E. Wang: EP0045250A1
  • 1990-07-03 David Goldstein: US4938026A
  • 1987-09-08 Ridgway Banks: US4691517A
  • 1987-09-08 Ridgway Banks: US4691518A
  • 1975-10-21 Ridgway Banks: US3913326A
  • 2003-08-22 Tsugunori Kaneda: JP2003232276A (patent not found in pdf)
  • 2011-05-25 A·L·布朗G·P·麦奈特P·W·亚历山大:
  • 2011-05-25 A·L·布朗C·P·亨利G·P·麦奈特N·L·约翰逊P·B·乌索罗P·M·萨罗斯P·W·亚历山大: CN102072120A
  • 2014-03-12 P·W·亚历山大A·L·布朗N·L·约翰逊P·B·乌索罗G·P·麦奈特P·M·萨罗斯C·P·亨利: CN102072120B

Further reading

  • Method of preparing a two-way shape memory alloy:US4435229A
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