Almost everyone I talk to about the Cricket and this site asks why I am doing it. “Are you trying to make a business out of it,” (especially my wife). My answer has been, “I’m not sure.” I just know that the most fun I’ve ever had, and the most rewarding (and lowest paying) career had been the development of this technology. Over the past 15 years I have been developing Web sites for companies, and I’ve marveled at the Open Source Community. I think Open Source may be a good model for pursuing this project.
I have set up an appointment with a friend who has some old Macs and the drafting software we used to create all of our shop drawings and other graphics. I’ll be posting those as soon as I convert them. This will show what we did for production, but I think there is a different market out there for this technology: the do-it-yourselfer. To that end I’ll be trying to put together a design closer to the Copper Dragon that uses flat plate collectors and external vapor condensers. The only modification we made to the Dragon plates was the insertion of about 3′ of tubing down into the risers that was also inserted up into the header.
The Nucleation Chamber is where the magic happens. It took several years for us to discover the reason our geyser pumps only worked for a week or so. It is because geyser pumping requires the creation of steam bubbles, and after a few days all of the nucleation sites for the bubbles had emptied. Without the nucleation sites, no bubbles would form, and no pumping would occur until the riser wall reached a high enough temperature to flash boil. The nucleation chamber traps steam and deposits a bubble into the super heated liquid at the bottom of the annulus, causing it to expand and pump the hot liquid above it into the header manifold. See the Bubble Nucleation patent.