Designer's Corner

Oilheat sidewall vent

Sideventing a water heater can save money for homeowners by eliminating the
need for a chimney. But the system must not permit backdraft to blow combustion
products back into a house.

Sold as a sidewall vent kit, this new system includes an air-deflecting device that changes wind direction at the flue outlet. An aerodynamic cowl positioned on the outer wall of a house, the unit controls natural and forced-draft emissions. It consists of two vanes and an inverted airfoil. The system requires flue gas pressure of 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch of water to work.

In operation, the aerodynamic cowl produces a venturi effect at the end of the exhaust line. Also, the combination of the airfoil with the two vanes diverts airflow laterally to enhance negative pressure.

If outside air does enter the vent, the system shuts down the water heater as a safety measure. Its designers claim the kit is the first oilheat sidewall vent kit available for home water heating. The complete package consists of a water heater, burner, and venting assembly kit. As for the venting kit, it includes a stainless steel vent system and an adapter that fits the heating unit on one end and attaches to the termination assembly on the other.

Mike Brunt, Flexmaster Canada, Etobicoke, ON 416-679-0045.

High-reduction gearhead

Called the Reduto(R), this gearing system operates on the cycloidal principal. It can operate at input speeds to 10,000 rpm and produce a high reduction ratio. Instead of standard gear teeth, the system uses gearing elements with a profile that relies upon an algorithm to determine the angle of the contacting surfaces.

The result is exact reduction ratios expressed in integral numbers. There are three models of the gearbox, each available in 11 reduction ratios that range from 20:1 to 265:1. Peak torque can reach 1,085 lb-ft at greater than 90% efficiency. Input eccentricity can be reduced, yielding a stronger and more efficient gearbox. Because angular disposition of the teeth is trigonometrically defined and contact area accurately matched, backlash reportedly amounts to less than three minutes of arc. This gearbox is intended for use with axial air gap servomotors.

Jim Kubis, Infranor Inc., Naugatuck, CT 203-729-8258.

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