The coil is being used to catch the expanding steam when it escapes from the engine's cylinders and to turn steam back into water before it enters the condensing unit. The coil is important for the system as it increases efficiency and decreases fuel consumption.
"The pre-heater coil is a key component that really separates our heat-regenerative external combustion engine from steam technology of the past, and for this reason, it's really an important patent to have issued," said Harry Schoell, Cyclone's CEO.
The Cyclone is a Rankine Cycle heat regenerative external combustion engine, being capable of turning heat into work. Unlike a traditional internal combustion engine, which ignites fuel under high pressure inside the cylinders, the Cyclone burns it in an external chamber, under atmospheric pressure, outside the cylinders.
The heat resulted from the burning of the fuel is used to turn water into steam, meaning that it's not the fuel that powers the engine, but the steam. According to Cyclone Power, the fuel required to generate steam does not even need to be fueled in the traditional sense.
Cyclone says it has used anything for fuel, including orange peels, algae, fossil fuel, butane, natural gas and powdered coal.
Five versions of the Cyclone engine are planned, with the Mark V (100 hp) and the Mark VI (330 hp) to be used in the automotive industry.