Inventors Pack Power Into Miniature Compressor
CENTURY-OLD TECHNOLOGY COMES INTO ITS OWN
November 02, 2014 at 7:00 am | By DAVID GUNTER Feature correspondent
SANDPOINT — More than a century ago, Charles H. Taylor had a bright idea. He wanted to achieve what, until then, had been the purely theoretical notion of what the French called the “carnot cycle” — generating power by using ideal thermodynamics that generate no heat while creating enormous compression.
Drawings and diagrams of Taylor’s subsequent inventions showed up in engineering textbooks for the rest of the 20th Century, always listed as examples of what was still being touted as mere theory.
Funny thing, that, since Taylor’s compressors had long been in use to supply compression to mines and then power the towns that sprung up around them. So successful was this invention — and so marketing-minded the man behind it — that he even scheduled tourist events around the regular “blow-offs” that were necessary because of the surplus of compressed air that the mines and towns couldn’t possibly use up. People gathered around to watch as towering spires of water shot out of the ground in the industrial equivalent of the way Mother Earth uses Old Faithful to relieve underground pressure.