The Thermal Hydraulic Engine utilizes small amounts of heat energy from solar, geothermal, or any other heat source, including waste heat from existing processes. It can use this heat to efficiently generate electricity, desalinate or purify water, pump liquids such as water or oil, compress gas, and perform the same kinds of work done by today's other engine technologies at significantly lower cost of infrastructure and operation.

The engine is notable in that it requires no combustion, operates virtually silently, and generates no emissions.

Despite the revolutionary nature of the development, "It's really not all that complicated", says Brian Hageman, the inventor of the Natural Energy Engine. "The engine converts low-grade heat, about the temperature of hot water from your tap, into mechanical work."

"It is a thermal hydraulic engine," Brian continues. "It uses the same principles of expansion and contraction from heat as an everyday thermometer, and uses the expansion to create powerful hydraulic pressure in a manner similar to an automobile's brakes."

Proof of the operating principles of the engine was achieved at the U.S. Department of Energy's Rocky Mountain Oil Testing Center in Wyoming, where a prototype engine successfully pumped crude oil from underground formations using geothermal energy as the sole source of heat for fuel.

As a result, Deluge earned the coveted U.S. Department of Energy Federal Laboratories Consortium's 2005 Outstanding Technology Development Award for its Natural Energy Engine. The Federal announcement, titled "Award-Winning Engine Powered Solely by Water", stated, "Field testing proves Thermal Hydraulic Engine pumps oil without the need for fuel or electricity.. This far reaching, innovative technology can literally replace any engine."

Frequently Asked Questions


What is a Thermal Hydraulic Engine?

The Thermal Hydraulic Engine (hereafter referred to as the "Engine") is a thermal hydraulic engine that operates without combustion and is fueled solely by hot water. The output of the Engine can be utilized to more economically perform tasks such as driving pumps and generators with less energy and more efficiency than other more conventional methods.

How does the Engine work?

The Engine operates in a three-step process.
(1) Heated water is collected where it enters a heat exchanger. From there, the heat from the water is transferred to the working fluid, typically liquefied CO2 because of its high coefficient of expansion.
(2) The working fluid expands and pushes a piston located inside the Engine’s cylinder.
(3) Cooling water next enters the heat exchanger causing the working fluid to contract thus preparing the piston for another revolution. The piston’s motion is then harnessed to operate a hydraulic motor or perform other work.

What is the optimum heat differential of the Engine?

The optimum differential between hot and cold water being applied to the Engine’s heat exchanger is approximately 100 (185 – 85) degrees Fahrenheit (F) / 38 degrees Celsius (C).

What is the size of the Engine?

The Engine that Deluge is currently marketing consists of sixteen (16) cylinder / piston sets (32 cylinders) that generate 335 hp. The dimensions of the pad which houses the cylinders, heat exchangers, hydraulic motor, valves and switch gear are 20 by 40 feet (800 square feet / 74 square meters). However, engineering and modularization are in process to reduce the width of the current pad requirements and for transporting the Engine assembly on a standard size flatbed truck. The unit’s height will extend a maximum of eight (8) feet / 2.4 meters above the pad for approximately 30% of its area.

What are the primary sources of hot water used to fuel the Engine?

Waste Thermal Energy - Thermal energy recovery, as it is sometimes known, is the process of recovering thermal energy that is destined to be a wasted byproduct from manufacturing or existing facility functions. Examples of waste sources include harnessing hot water in transit to a cooling tower, and utilizing a heat exchanger to transfer heat exhaust being discharged up a smoke stack or chimney. Geothermal Energy – Geothermal energy originates from the heat retained within the Earth's core since the original formation of the planet. This is due to the radioactive decay of minerals and from solar energy absorbed at the surface. Water heated by this geothermal energy is harvested both from shafts drilled deep into the earth’s surface or from certain locations where the geothermally heated water rises to the earth’s surface. Solar Thermal Energy - Solar thermal energy (STE) is the result of converting solar energy into thermal energy for the purpose of heating a liquid. The process utilizes solar thermal collectors to gather the sun’s rays and transfer the heat. There are various types of these collectors, such as solar parabolic, solar trough and solar towers.

What is the optimum hot water temperature and flow for the 335 hp Engine?

The 335 hp Engine works most effectively on 3.7 - 3.9 million BTU’s per hour from its heat source. The optimum temperature of water entering the heat exchanger is approximately 185 degrees (F) / 85 degrees (C) at a rate of 125 gallons per minute (gpm) / 473 liters per minute (l/pm).

What is the optimum cold water temperature and flow for the 335 hp Engine?

The optimum inlet temperature of water required to cool the 335 hp Engine is approximately 80 degrees (F) / 26 degrees (C) at a rate of 350 (gpm) / 1,325 (l/pm). The outlet temperature of the water is approximately 100 degrees (F) / 38 degrees (C). Cooling sources are primarily from cooling towers and water flowing from both above and below ground.

What is the efficiency of the 335 hp Engine?

It is the fundamental design of the Engine that provides the basis for its efficiency and economy. Specific efficiency advantages include (1) little energy being dissipated in heat loss, noise and indirect motion, (2) few moving parts, (3) no friction or power losses, (4) no gearing, (5) a fully hydraulic transmission, and (6) low fuel and operating costs. Given the unique characteristics and design, the Engine operates up to 23% efficiency at 3.9 million BTU’s per hour.

What is the output of the 335 hp Engine?

The output torque of the Engine’s hydraulic motor is 1,155 foot pounds (ft-lbf) at 1,800 revolutions per minute (rpm).

What are the application possibilities of the 335 hp Engine?

The potential applications for use of the 335 hp Deluge Engine are virtually limitless. However, the applications offering the most potential include: (1) pumping fluids, (2) water desalination, (3) and electricity generation. Pumping Fluids – Any requirement for moving fluid through a pipeline is a potential opportunity for the 335 hp Deluge Engine. Remote sites with limited or no electrical power to those sites and the pumping of liquids throughout a site utilizing waste thermal energy are two of the biggest opportunities.

Water Desalinization – "The process that removes excess salt and other minerals from water." Most of the modern interest in desalination is focused on developing costeffective ways of providing fresh water for human use in regions where the availability of fresh water is limited. The cost of desalinizing water continues to be very expensive due to the cost of energy required. However, utilizing the Deluge 335 hp Engine with a 180 degree (F) / 82.2 degrees (C) heat source and cooling water potential from the sea is much more economical and attractive.

Electricity Generation – The Deluge 335 hp Engine is ideal for driving either an induction or synchronous generator capable of producing 250 kW of electrical power. Given today’s emphasis on alternative fuels and power generation, this application offers probably the greatest potential. Depending on the magnitude and availability of both heat and cooling sources, multiple 250 kW generators can be networked together.

What are environmental and sustainability attributes of the 335 hp Engine?

The Deluge Natural Energy Engine is essentially a "green" technology. The Engine operates without combustion and can readily be configured to operate without the consumption of fossil fuels resulting in zero emissions. It has no secondary environmental impact and can utilize wasted heat from existing sources. The technology has a small footprint, operates almost noiselessly and is ideally suited to alternative energy applications in both municipal and remote locations.

What has been the history of development for the 335 hp Engine?

An early version of the Engine was first tested by Sandia National Laboratories in 1998. An indepth analysis of the Engine’s physics was published in 2001 in a Master’s thesis under the guidance of the Arizona State University Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department. The Engine also under went testing of its water pump system that same year at the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai, India.

In 2003, the first commercial application of the Engine’s ability to pump crude oil from underground formations was conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy at their Rocky Mountain Testing Center in Wyoming. Use of the Engine to pressurize salt water processed through a reverse osmosis membrane to produce drinking water was successfully tested in 2004 through a cooperative effort with the U.S. Department ofInterior in Yuma, Arizona.

A 2006 independent analysis by the ESG Engineering firm based in Tempe, Arizona resulted in confirmation that electrical cost can be reduced to less than one-twenty-fifth (1/25) of the of traditional pumping costs. And in 2008, an 18 month reliability test in Kansas on a nine (9) cylinder version of the Engine provided the current commercial design for manufacturing. In 2009, the first two sixteen (16) cylinder set Engines to be installed were designed, built and are in the process of being installed at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA), a state-owned facility near Kona, Hawaii. The 335 hp Engine is currently being designed into a modular, one-piece engine block. In addition, there are several other global installations currently under development.

What warranties and other support are included with the Engine?

As a matter of corporate policy, Deluge stands behind all of the Engines that it produces and will provide all necessary assistance to its customers to assure the proper and continued operation of the systems that the company sells. Specifically, Deluge will provide the following:

(1) Full, unconditional performance warranty for Engine and Engine components for one (1) year.
(2) Complete training of customer-designed operating technicians who will be able to repair, overhaul and maintain the Engine.
(3) Complete Operating & Maintenance Manual with delivery of the Engine.
(4) Complete sourcing of replacement parts including model numbers and source of reliable distributor parts.

Are there smaller sizes of the Deluge Engine available?

At this time, Deluge is only offering the 335 hp Engine. However, it is Deluge’s intention to design, engineer and manufacture smaller size engines in the future.

What components does Deluge supply and what responsibilities belong to the customer?

Deluge provides: (1) the Engine, including controls, (2) all heating and cooling tubing, valves, and pumps for circulating heated and cool water (provided by the customer) within the Engine, (3) a hydraulic motor for converting the hydraulic pressure generated in the Engine into rotary motion, and (4) a generator unit or pump assembly.

How much does a 335 hp Deluge Natural Energy Engine cost?

Because certain aspects of each Deluge Engine must necessarily be manufactured to specific customer requirements, it is not possible to quote an Engine price here. However, for planning purposes, Deluge suggests a budgetary number of US $3.00 per watt for Engines utilizing 250kW generators.

How do I work with Deluge, Inc. on projects?

Deluge, Inc. manufactures Engines for any company’s projects. Purchase orders will be delivered in approximately 120 days from receipt of a confirmed order. Installation and start-up engineering is available. Financing for projects is considered by the U.S. Government, state governments, private investment groups, and non-governmental organizations (NGO’s). Projects must be accredited and financially accountable for government projects. Projects are limited to "shovel-ready" projects according to the funding requirements. Submit your project abstracts to Deluge through "Contact Us" and we will respond with further information and due diligence requirements.