James L. GRIGGS
Hydro Dynamics, Inc.
During the past several years of intensive research, Hydro
Dynamics has studied the production of shock waves for the
purpose of transforming fluids. Early prototypes, consisting of
a rotor spinning inside a housing, were able to significantly
increase the temperature of water flowing through the device.
This result indicated that it was possible to harness the power
of cavitation. This controlled cavitation generates shock waves,
which convert mechanical energy into heat energy.
The first patent was issued to the Company for the ShockWave
Power generator in 1993 (U.S. Patent No. 5,188,090). The Hydro
Dynamics, Inc --- The Solutions Company is now patented in the
US, Canada, Japan and 11 European countries. The Company has
also filed process patent applications for gas/liquid mixing
using its technology.
Continuous research has led Hydro Dynamics to develop
commercial applications that provide significant economic
improvements in large industrial processes based upon the
presence of the following attributes:
I. Employs multiple large-scale, high-volume processes
involving heating, evaporation, separation, or mixing;
II. No significant changes or technological advancements in
processing equipment in recent history;III. Requires significant
capacity utilization to lower production costs through economies
IV. Cannot increase capacity without large capital expenditures
(the "Cliff Effect"), and
V. Challenged by ever-tightening environmental regulations.
ShockWave Power (SP) technology represents a new and innovative
way to apply energy to liquids. The technology has two distinct
1. SP can apply direct heat or evaporate liquids
without scale buildup.
2. SP also provides a more efficient process for mixing
dissimilar fluids, such as gases and liquids-a process
used widely in heavy industry for oxidation of chemicals or
separation of oil and water.
While varying by application, one or more of these significant
benefits will be realized through the use of SP over
>> reduced energy requirements,
>> improved process efficiencies (in time, operating
costs, and/or capital costs),
>> elimination of process downtime from the maintenance
requirements of conventional technologies.
>> more effective and efficient mixing and increase
The ShockWave Power (SP) generator works by taking a fluid,
pure or impure, into the machine housing, where it is passed
over the generator's spinning cylinder. The specific geometry of
the holes in the cylinder, clearance between the cylinder, and
the housing and rotational speed create pressure differences
within the liquid where tiny bubbles form and collapse. These
collapsing bubbles generate shock waves that are used to heat,
concentrate and mix. The result is the conversion of mechanical
energy into heat energy. In the case of mixing, the shock waves
increase the surface area of the gas and liquid being mixed so
that a higher mass transfer rate occurs.
ShockWave Power technology provides a unique method of heating
and evaporating liquids that provides industries with
The SP generator heats liquids in a totally different way and
creates the heat in a totally different place - inside the
liquid. The heat is created where it is needed. In the SP
generator, there are no heat transfer surfaces - the metal
surfaces are actually cooler than the liquid. Impurities will
not migrate from a hotter liquid and build up on cooler metal.
Therefore, there is no reason for the SP Generator to scale. The
T between the liquid and the metal is negative.
In addition, there is an ultrasonic cleaning effect that occurs
on the metal surfaces inside the SP generator as the shock waves
are generated within narrow tolerances. This cleaning effect, in
conjunction with a negative T between metal and liquid, ensure
Shock Waves and Steam Heat
For more than two years debate has raged on the
Internet about an ordinary-looking metal drum sitting on the
concrete floor of a factory building in Rome, Georgia, 50
miles from Atlanta. Its inventor, the man about whom the
Internet debate is raging, is James Griggs, an industrial
The invention that has brought Griggs such
notoriety is a device that he began developing in 1987, that
he calls the 'Hydrosonic Pump' and that many of his supporters
believe is over-unity, in that it generates around 30 per cent
more energy as heat than is put in as electricity.
To the skeptics, the Griggs Gadget is, at best,
a case of self-delusion on a grand scale, and, at worst, a
case of scientific fraud. To his supporters, the pump is the
first unequivocal public demonstration of undoubted
Jim Griggs told me, 'the pump is based on a
theory of what takes place when a shock wave is created in a
fluid. We know that when you create a shock wave in a liquid
there is a minute amount of energy released into the fluid in
the form of heat.'
'Most of the previous studies had been done in
how to eliminate that shock wave, instead of putting the heat
to a useful purpose. We've designed a system to take the
shock-wave heat energy, capture it, and produce hot water or
Griggs believes that his device works on
perfectly normal principles and violates no laws of physics.
Just what happens when the Hydrosonic pump is filled up with
water and switched on is described by over-unity investigator
Jed Rothwell who conducted a detailed engineering
investigation of the device in January 1994.
'During one of the demonstrations we watched,'
he says, 'over a 20 minute period, 4.80 Kilowatt Hours of
electricity was input, and 19,050 BTUs of heat evolved, which
equals 5.58 Kilowatt Hours, or 117 per cent of input. The
actual input to output ratio was even better than this, when
you take into account the inefficiencies of the electric
But if there are kilowatts of excess heat
available, why doesn't Griggs simply use the steam to turn a
turbine-generator and connect the output to the input -- thus
getting a perpetual motion machine?
One reason is that converting steam into
electricity is an extremely inefficient process. You would be
lucky to convert 5 per cent of the output heat energy back
into electricity -- and 2 per cent might be nearer the mark.
The Hydrosonic pump would therefore have to be massively
over-unity before you could recover enough energy to make it
self-sustaining, and at present the margin is a 'modest' 30
More importantly, the excess energy does not
actually appear at the output steam pipe for a constant input
of energy. What happens is this; the pump is started and after
five or ten minutes reaches a steady state where it is
converting water at room temperature to steam. Once this
steady state is reached, the pump, according to Griggs, goes
into an over-unity mode where the output temperature is
maintained, but the amount of energy needed at the input to
maintain it, drops by 30 per cent.
Griggs has been working with a number of
physicists and engineers to try to get to the bottom of just
how his device works. As well as Jed Rothwell's consulting
engineering firm in Atlanta he has worked with Professor
Keizios, dean emeritus of the Department of Mechanical
Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology and past
president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
Professor Keizos supervised the design of the instrumentation
that measures the energy input and output of the Griggs
In a second test, during which the over-unity
effect was measured, the adjusted co-efficient of power was a
remarkable 168 per cent -- the machine produced 1.68 times the
energy that was input. A third test did nearly as well with a
Co-efficient of power of 157 per cent.
If the only evidence for these claims were the
colour brochure printed by Griggs's company, Hydro Dynamics
Corporation Inc., and reports of his supporters, then most
observers might be inclined to side with the skeptics:
Griggs's claims seem fundamentally improbable. Yet
surprisingly, Griggs has not only patented his device and
started manufacturing a commercial version on a small scale,
he has also sold and installed devices to users in the Atlanta
The customers include the Atlanta Police
Department, a fire station, a dry cleaning plant, and a
gymnasium. Interestingly, the Hydrosonic pump was installed in
the public buildings by the county engineer after evaluating
the device. The buildings are using the device mainly for
heating purposes, and they have been running for more than a
year. The customers have bills from their local electric
utility company showing a year on year decrease in bills
equivalent to 30 per cent.
What precisely causes the claimed excess heat?
Griggs himself rejects the popular idea that his pump has
something to do with so-called 'cold fusion'.
'We have kind of been lumped into the cold
fusion field', he says wryly, 'because we have experienced
excess energy out of the pump. As far as cold fusion goes, we
don't believe that we're accomplishing any type of nuclear
reaction within our system. We feel that it can be explained
through the theory of cavitation or sonoluminescence.'
Griggs's gadget has been examined by a steady
stream of investigators, both friendly and skeptical. So far,
they have all gone away mystified. Unlike most 'over-unity'
devices, however, you can buy and install a hydrosonic pump in
your own home.
States Patent 5,188,090
( Cl. 126/247
~ February 23, 1993 )
James L. Griggs
Abstract ~ Devices
for heating fluids. The devices employ a cylindrical rotor
which features surface irregularities. The rotor rides a shaft
which is driven by external power means. Fluid injected into
the device is subjected to relative motion between the rotor
and the device housing, and exits the device at increased
pressure and/or temperature. The device is thermodynamically
highly efficient, despite the structural and mechanical
simplicity of the rotor and other compounds. Such devices
accordingly provide efficient, simply, inexpensive and
reliable sources of heated water and other fluids for
residential and industrial use.
The present invention
relates to devices containing rotating members for heating
Various designs exist for
devices which use rotors or other rotating members to increase
pressure and/or temperature of fluids (including, where
desired to convert fluids from the liquidous to gaseous
phases). U.S. Pat. # 3,791,349 issued Feb. 12, 1974 to
Schaefer, for instance, discloses an apparatus and method for
production of steam and pressure by intentional creation of
shock waves in a distended body of water. Various passageways
and chambers are employed to create a tortuous path for the
fluid and to maximize the water hammer effect.
Other devices which employ
rotating members to heat fluids are disclosed in U.S. Pat. #
3,720,372 issued Mar. 13, 1973 to Jacobs which discloses a
turbing type coolant pump driven by an automobile engine to
warm engine coolant; U.S. Pat. # 2,991,764 issued Jul. 11,
1961 which discloses a fluid agitation-type heater; and U.S.
Pat. # 1,758,207 issued May 13, 1930 to Walker which discloses
a hydraulic heat generating system that includes a heat
generator formed of a vaned rotor and stator acting in concert
to heat fluids as they move relative to one another.
These devices employ
structurally complex rotors and stators which include vanes or
passages for fluid flow, thus resulting in structural
complexity, increased manufacturing costs, and increased
likelihood of structural failure and consequent higher
maintenance costs and reduced reliability.
Devices according to the
present invention for heating fluids contain a cylindrical
rotor whose cylindrical surface features a number of
irregularities or bores. The rotor rotates within a housing
whose interior surface conforms closely to the cylindrical and
end surfaces of the rotor. A bearing plate, which serves to
mount bearings and seals for the shaft and rotor, abuts each
side of the housing. The bearing plates feature hollowed
portions which communicate with the void between the housing
and rotor. Inlet ports ar formed in the bearing plates to
allow fluid to enter the rotor/housing void in the vicinity of
the shaft. The housing features one or more exit ports through
which fluid at elevated pressure and/or temperature exits the
apparatus. The shaft may be driven by electric motor or other
motive means, and may be driven directly, geared, powered by
pulley or otherwise driven.
According to one aspect of
the invention, the rotor devices may be utilized to supply
heated water to heat exchangers in HVAC systems and to
deenergized hot water heaters in homes, thereby supplanting
the requirement for energy input into the hot water heaters
and furnace side of the HVAC systems.
It is accordingly a object
of the present invention to provide a device for heating fluid
in a void located between a rotating rotor and stationary
housing, which device is structurally simple and requires
reduced manufacturing and maintenance costs.
It is an additional object
of the present invention to produce a mechanically elegant and
thermodynamically highly efficient means for increasing
pressure and/or temperature of fluids such as water
(including, where desired, converting fluid from liquid to gas
It is an additional object
of the present invention to provide a system for providing
heat and hot water to residences and commercial space using
devices featuring mechanically driven rotors for heating
Other objects, features and
advantages of the present invention will become apparent with
reference to the remainder of this document.
FIG. 1 is a partially
cutaway perspective view of a first embodiment of a device
according to the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a
cross-sectional view of a second embodiment of a device
according to the present invention.
FIG. 3 is a
cross-sectional view of a device according to a third
embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 4 is a schematic
view of a residential heating system according to the present
As shown in FIG. 1, device
10 in briefest terms includes a rotor 12 mounted on a shaft
14, which rotor 12 and shaft 14 rotate within a housing 16.
Shaft 14 in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 has a
primary diameter of 13/4" and may be formed of forged steel,
cast or ductile iron, or other materials as desired. Shaft 14
may be driven by an electric motor or other motive means, and
may be driven directly, geared, driven by pulley, or driven as
Attached rigidly to shaft 14
is rotor 12. Rotor 12 may be formed of aluminum, steel, iron
or other metal or alloy as appropriate. Rotor 12 is
essentially a solid cylinder of material featuring a shaft
bore 18 to receive shaft 14, and a number of irregularities 20
in its cylindrical surface. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1
and 2, rotor 12 is six inches in diameter and nine inches in
length, while in the embodiment shown in FIG. 3 the rotor is
ten inches in diameter and four inches in length. Locking pins
set screws or other fasteners 22 may be used to fix rotor 12
with respect to shaft 14. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1,
rotor 12 features a plurality of regularly spaced and aligned
bores 24 drilled, bored, or otherwise formed in its
cylindrical surface 26. Bores 24 may feature countersunk
bottoms, as shown in FIG. 2. Bores 24 may also be offset from
the radial direction either in a direction to face toward or
away from the direction of rotation of rotor 12. In one
embodiment of the invention, bores 24 are offset substantially
15 degrees from direction of rotation of rotor 12. Each bore
24 may feature a lip 28 (not shown) where it meets surface 26
of rotor 12, and the lip 28 may be flared or otherwise
contoured to form a continuous surface between the surfaces of
bores 28 and cylindrical surface 26 of rotor 12. Such flared
surfaces are useful for providing areas in which vacuum may be
developed as rotor 12 rotates with respect to housing 16. The
depth, diameter and orientation of bores 24 may be adjusted in
dimension to optimize efficiency and effectiveness of device
10 for heating various fluids, and to optimize operation,
efficiency, and effectiveness of device 10 with respect to
particular fluid temperatures, pressures and flow rates, as
they relate to rotational speed of rotor 12. In a preferred
embodiment of the device, the bores 24 are formed radially
substantially 18 degrees apart from on another.
In the embodiment shown in
FIGS. 1 and 2, housing 16 is formed of two housing bells 30A
and 30B which are generally C-shaped in cross section and
whose interior surfaces 32A and 32B conform closely to the
cylindrical surface 26 and ends 34 of rotor 12. The devices
shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 feature a 0.1 inch clearance between
rotor 12 and housing 16. Smaller or larger clearances may
obviously be provided, once again depending upon the
parameters of the fluid involved, the desired flow rate and
the rotational speed of rotor 12. Housing bells 30A and 30B
may be formed of aluminum, stainless steel or otherwise as
desired, and preferably feature a plurality of axially
disposed holes 36 through which bolts or other fasteners 38
connect housing bells 30A and 30B in sealing relationship.
Each housing bell 30A and 30B also features a axial bore
sufficient in diameter to accommodate the shaft 14 together
with seals about the shaft, and additionally to permit flow of
fluid between the shaft, seals, and housing bell 30A and 30B
and bore 40.
The interior surface 32A and
32B of housing bells 30A and 30B may be smooth with no
irregularities, or may be serrated, feature holes or bores or
other irregularities as desired to increase efficiency and
effectiveness of device 10 for particular fluids, flow rates
and rotor 12 rotational speeds. In the preferred embodiment,
there are no such irregularities.
Connected to an outer end
44A and 44B of each bell 30A and 30B is a bearing plate 46A
and 46B. The primary function of bearing plates 46A and 46B is
to carry one or more bearings 48A and 48B (roller, ball, or as
otherwise desired) which in turn carry shaft 14, and to carry
an O-ring 50A and 50B that contacts in sliding relationship a
mechanical seal 52A and 52B attached to shaft 14. The seals
52A and 52B acting in combination with the O-rings 50A and 50B
prevent or minimize leakage of fluid adjacent to shaft 14 from
the device 10. Mechanical seals 52A and 52B are preferably
spring-loaded seals, the springs biasing a gland 54A and 54B
against O-ring 50A and 50B formed preferably of tungsten
carbide. Obviously, other seals and o-rings may be used as
desired. One or more bearings 48A and 48B may be used with
each bearing plate 46A and 46B to carry shaft 14.
Bearing plates 46A and 46B
may be fastened to housing bells 30A and 30B using bolts 58 or
as otherwise desired. Preferably disk-shaped retainer plates
through which shaft 14 extends may be abutted against end
plates 46A and 46B to retain bearings 48A and 48B in place.
In the embodiment shown in
FIGS. 1 and 2, a fluid inlet port 63 is drilled or otherwise
formed in each bearing plate 46A and 46B or housing 16, and
allows fluid to enter device 10 first by entering a chamber or
void 64 hollowed within the bearing plate 46A or B, or
directly into the space 43 located between rotor 12 and
housing 16. Fluid which enters through a bearing plate 46 then
flows from the chamber 64 through the axial bore 40A and 40B
in housing bell 30A and 30B as rotor 12 rotates within housing
16. The fluid is drawn into the space 43 between rotor 12 and
housing 16, where rotation of rotor 12 with respect to
interior surface 32A and 32B of housing bells 30A and 30B
imparts heat to the fluid.
One or more exhaust ports or
bores 66 are formed within one or more of housing bells 30A
and 30B for exhaust of fluid and higher pressure and/or
temperature. Exhaust ports 66 may be oriented radially or as
otherwise desired, and their diameter may be optimized to
accommodate various fluids, and particular fluids at various
input parameters, flow rates and rotor 12 rotational speeds.
Similarly inlet ports 63 may penetrate bearing plates 46A and
46B or housing 16 in an axial direction, or otherwise be
oriented and sized as desired to accommodate various fluids
and particular fluids at various input parameters, flow rates
and rotor 12 rotational speeds.
The device shown in FIGS. 1
and 2, which uses a smaller rotor 12, operates at a higher
rotational velocity (on the order of 5000 rpm) than devices 10
with larger rotors 12. Such higher rotational speed involves
use of drive pulleys or gears, and thus increased mechanical
complexity and lower reliability. Available motors typically
operate efficiently in a range of approximately 3450 rpm,
which the inventor has found is a comfortable rotational
velocity for rotors in the 7.3 to 10 inch diameter range.
Devices as shown in FIGS. 1-3 may be comfortably driven using
5 to 7.5 horsepower electric motors.
The device shown in FIGS. 1
and 2 has been operated with 1/2 inch pipe at 5000 rpm using
city water pressure at approximately 75 pounds. Exit
temperature at that pressure, with a comfortable flow rate, is
approximately 300 F. The device shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 was
controlled using a valve at the inlet port 63 and a valve at
the exhaust port 66 and by adjusting flow rate of water into
the device 10. Preferably, the inlet port 63 valve is set as
desired, and the exhaust water temperature is increased by
constricting the exhaust port 66 orifice and vice versa.
Exhaust pressure is preferably maintained below inlet
pressure; otherwise, flow degrades and the rotor 12 simply
spins at increased speeds a flow of water in void 43
apparently becomes nearer to laminar.
FIG. 3 shows another
embodiment of a device 10 according to the present invention.
This device features a rotor 12 having larger diameter and
smaller length, and being included in a housing 16 which
features only one housing bell 30. The interior surface 32 of
housing bell 30 extends the length of rotor 12. A housing
plate 68 preferably disk shaped and of diameter similar to the
diameter of the housing bell 30 is connected to housing bell
30 in a sealing relationship to form the remaining wall of
housing 16. Housing plate 68, as does housing bell 30,
features an axial bore 40 sufficient in diameter to
accommodate shaft 14, seals 52A and 52B and flow of fluid
between voids 64 formed in bearing plates 46A and 46B. This
embodiment accommodates reduced fluid flow and is preferred
for applications such as residential heating. The inlet port
63 of this device is preferably through housing 16, as is the
exhaust port 66, but may be through bearing plates 46 as well.
The device 10 shown in FIG.
3 is preferably operated with 3/4 inch copper or galvanized
pipe at approximately 3450 rpm, but may be operated at any
other desired speed. At an inlet pressure of approximately 65
pounds and exhaust pressure of approximately 50 pounds, the
outlet temperature is in the range of approximately 300 F.
FIG. 4 shows a residential
heating system 70 according to the present invention. The
inlet side of device 10 is connected to hot water line 71 of
(deactivated) hot water heater 72. Exhaust of device 10 is
connected to exhaust line 73 which in turn is connected to the
furnace or HVAC heat exchanger 74 and a return line 76 to cold
water supply line 77 of hot water heater 72. The device 10
according to one embodiment of such a system features a rotor
12 having a diameter of 8 inches. A heat exchanger inlet
solenoid valve 80 controls flow of water from device 10 to
heat exchanger 74, while a heat exchanger exhaust solenoid
valve 82 controls flow of water from heat exchanger 74 to
return line 76. A third solenoid valve, a heat exchanger
by-pass solenoid valve 84, when open, allows water to flow
directly from device 10 to return line 76, bypassing heat
exchanger 74. Heat exchanger valves 80 and 82 may be connected
to the normally closed side of a ten amp or other appropriate
relay 78, and the by-pass valve 84 is connected to the
normally open side of the relay. The relay is then connected
to the air conditioning side of the home heating thermostat,
so that the by-pass valve 84 is open and the heat exchanger
valves 80 and 82 are closed when the home owner enables the
air conditioning and turns off the heat. A contactor 86 is
connected to the thermostat in the hot water heater and the
home heating thermostat so that actuation of either thermostat
enables contactor 8 to actuate the motor driving device 10.
(In gas water heaters, the temperature switch may be included
in the line to replace the normal thermalcouple.)
The hot water heater 72 is
turned off and used as a reservoir in this system to contain
water heated by device 10. The device 10 is operated to heat
the water to approximately 180.degree.-190.degree. F., so that
water returning to hot water heater 72 reservoir directly via
return line 76 is at approximately that temperature, while
water returning via heat exchanger 74, which experiences
approximately 40.degree. temperature loss, returns to the
reservoir at approximately 150.degree. F. Cutoff valves 88
allow the device 10 and heat exchanger 74 to be isolated when
desired for maintenance and repair.
The foregoing is provided
for purposes of illustration and explanation of preferred
embodiments of the present invention. Modifications may be
made to the disclosed embodiments without departing from the
scope or spirit of the invention.