Wednesday, July 15, 2009

100 year old invention still viable today

Hi Folks,

Bear with me while I get a little self indulgent with regard to my ancestor Charles Havelock Taylor. After more than 100 years his hydraulic air compressor is still considered an amazing engineering feat and a solution to energy conservation. Above is the Ainsworth BC tower built in 1898, Cobalt Ontario Plant 1910 and lastly the Peterborogh Lift Lock built in 1906 just to name a few of his acheivements.

Letters to the editor

Tidal energy idea not new

June 2 - To the Editor:

The Portsmouth Herald’s May 27 front-page article about capturing the tidal energy of the Piscataqua River by subsurface turbines reminded me of a unique scheme for producing power from the Great Bay tidal basin that was explored by a Hampton native Lawrence B. Hoyt in his 1913 MIT undergraduate thesis.

In it, he examines converting the potential tidal energy of Great Bay, which he estimates to be about 50,000 gross horsepower, into useful power by means of Taylor Hydraulic Air Compressors, modified to operate efficiently at low head and in reversible tidal flows. The energy they produce is in the form of high-pressure compressed air, which is then used for a variety of power needs.

William L. Thoen

Ipswich, Mass.

Excerpt from patent # 4797563 Filed o7/24/1987 States in Part


It has previously been proposed to use energy derived from a stream of water to generate compressed air. Hydraulic air compressors have been in existence since approximately 1890 when they were used throughout North America and in Europe to provide compressed air for mining camps. These plants operated for several years and were proven to be highly reliable in supplying high pressure compressed air for mining and industrial applications. The last commercial operation is believed to have been located at Colbalt, Ontario, Canada and to have been finally closed in 1981.

Hydraulic air compressors of the type referred to are commonly known as "Taylor Hydraulic Air Compressors". Reference may be made to the following United Stated patents issued to Charles H. Taylor, namely Nos. 543,410, '411 and '412 all issued July 23, 1895 and entitled "Hydraulic Air Compressing Apparatus"; 618,243 issued Jan. 24, 1899 for "Hydraulic Air-Compressing Apparatus" and 892,772 issued

Emails received this weekend

Mr. Charles Taylor is my hero,

Firstly, for having his hydraulic air compressor working for the benefit of the mining industry that was in need of a lot of compressed air.

Secondly, for having this compressor for me in order to produce compressed air for my Air Bucket Turbine (My Patent;




Sadly, the Canadian Researches Counsel NRC/CNRC didn’t understand yet the benefit of Mr. Taylor’s’ compressor that can transform any hydraulic power of any waterway to compressed air power that can be used in my machine where the output energy of my system backed up by Mr. Taylor’s compressor, will produce much more energy than energy produced by using the hydraulic power in conventional water turbines.

As an example; in ragged chute the compressor was using 22.7 cubic meter of water in order to produce 40,000 cubic feet per minute (cfm) of air at 8.625bars, while the average water flow of the Montreal River is about 67.5 cubic meter.

Thus, if we build a Taylor’s type Hydraulic Air Compressor capable of containing the full average water flow of the MontrĂ©al River, the produced compressed airflow would be, around three times the produced 40,000cfm which is (40,000 x 3 = 120,000cfm).

Doing the calculations of the output power of an air bucket turbine using 40,000cfm at 8.625bars will produce around 6 megawatts of electrical power before energy lost deduction.

Thus, with 120,000cfm an output electrical energy will be around 18 megawatts before energy lost deduction.

Now, if we deduct whatever amount of lost energy, the positive output energy would be more than 12 megawatts. (A spreadsheet of calculation is available to anybody needing it; my e-mail is:

The present output energy of the conventional turbines of the hydro electrical power station that is using the full water flow of the Montréal River is about 7 megawatts.

Here I ask the Government, why we don’t use Mr. Taylor’s Hydraulic Air Compressor to producing more energy out of our water ways in a time we are crying to find new sources of renewable energy.

Another very important issue makes me proud of Mr. Taylor, that is;

The power of the Ragged Chute’s Hydraulic Air Compressor is about 5,500hp, and the produced airflow volume was 40,000cfm at 8.625bars or more. Thus every 1hp produces 7.27cfm at 8.625bars (40,000cfm / 5,500hp = 7.27cfm)

While every 1hp, produces 4cfm at 100psi or (6.7bars) in the most performing conventional compressor. .

Thus, how cam 1hp produces in Mr. Taylor’s compressor almost double airflow volume than in conventional compressors regardless of the difference of pressure.

My Biggest question to the scientific community;

Where is the first and second low of thermodynamic, in Mr. Taylor’s Compressor and in the conventional compressors?

And because Mr. Taylor’s compressor is a reality, than, I thing the books of physics have to be updated in order to give Mr. Taylor his due in science.

Inventor; Afif Abou-Raphael

Response from Jordan Tanner - Parks CanadaPeterborough Lift Lock

Hi Bob/Terry

I am sorry if this email gets sent twice, but my browser was having
some issues this morning. I just want to say thank you again for
taking the time to do this, we are all very excited to see these
drawings. As of right now, we at the PLL have no drawings or technical
data of any kind regarding the compressor at the lock. All we have is
a two page report done years ago by a Parks Canada Historian and our
knowledge of other Taylor compressors, so any and all information you
can provide will be greatly appreciated. I would still very much like
to take you guys (and Roy if his health permits) on a grand tour of the
lock, to say thanks. I'm sure you would find it very interesting. Let
me know if you are interested.

Keep in touch,

Jordan Tanner

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