Key features of the NIFTE
A lack of dynamic seals and bearings gives NIFTE devices a clear set of advantages over mechanical heat engines. Apart from unprecedented reliability and low maintenance, NIFTEs can be manufactured from very low cost materials using cheap and well established production techniques.
This makes them economically feasible in application areas where pumps are not currently viable. NIFTEs are capable of pumping many different fluids, from shear sensitive biological cultures to viscous and chemically, or mechanically abrasive media. They have a gentle pumping action, and operate in almost total silence. NIFTEs can be tuned during operation to suit a range of different pumping head and flow requirements, and available power sources.
Another key attribute of NIFTEs is their ability to use heat as a power source. Vapour cycle NIFTEs are particularly well suited to using heat at low temperatures, such as waste heat from process loads or heat obtained from solar collectors, thereby making them well suited to applications in remote areas or hostile conditions, or helping users to meet increasingly stringent emission standards.
NIFTEs can also use cool sources for power, taking their input heat from the ambient environment. They are capable of adding or taking heat from the fluid which they pump. This attribute can be adjusted to suit a wide range of applications from those in which no heat flows into or out of the pumped medium, to those in which almost all of the heat flow passing through the system is added to, or removed from the pumped medium.
NIFTEs are self-starting, and require only small temperature differences to excite and sustain oscillations. Furthermore, they do not require active control systems, electronics or other costly or fault prone components to operate.
There are a number of applications in which one, or a combination of the unique features of NIFTE devices make them highly competitive with existing technologies. In many cases NIFTE devices open up the possibility of pumping, heat pumping or compressing where it isn’t currently considered to be an option.