Transition boiling bubble powered micro-engine using a Leidenfrost bearing

Prashant Agrawal*, Anthony Buchoux, Gary Wells, Rodrigo Ledesma Aguilar, Anthony J. Walton, Jonathan G. Terry, Glen McHale, Khellil Sefiane, Adam A. Stokes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Overcoming friction while generating useful torque is a challenge for micro engines. Here we report the development of a microscale engine that utilizes transition boiling as a mode of propulsion and the Leidenfrost effect as a friction-less bearing. The transition boiling micro engine shows significantly improved performance compared to a Leidenfrost engine, which uses vapor entrainment as a propulsion mechanism (up to 3 orders of magnitude higher efficiency). We characterise the performance of the transition boiling engine with temperature and develop an analytical model to model and compare the engine performance with experimental observations. Our results provide a new approach to generating torque with a virtually frictionless bearing in micro-engines unlocking applications in, e.g., remote sensing and low-grade energy harvesting.
Original languageEnglish
Article number120565
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
Early online date22 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Leidenfrost
  • Transition boiling
  • vapor bearing
  • Heat engine
  • Thin-film boiling


Dive into the research topics of 'Transition boiling bubble powered micro-engine using a Leidenfrost bearing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this