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Originally posted by Arbitrageur
The bird doesn't require energy to move at first:
The initial state of the system is a bird with a wet head oriented vertically with an initial oscillation on its pivot.
Why? As long as you keep it supplied with water and as long as the sun shines it will keep going, with maybe a little maintenance like compensating for wear on the pivots.
It will stop eventually.
It only moves for as long as it does because it does almost no "work", it needs to be light.
You don't understand the operation of the drinking bird. While it does help to make it light, this has nothing to do with how long it moves.
You could extract energy from the drinking bird, but of course you are correct that there's a limit to how much energy you can get out, and the wiki provides this information. The evaporative heat flux from the bird's head is 0.5W, but due to ineffeciencies, the power that can be extracted is only 1 microwatt. (Pretty inefficient, eh?) Since I need about 1000 watts to run my home, I'd need a billion drinking birds to make that much energy, and I don't think I can fit that many in my house, but even if I did, there would be nowhere left for me to live.
Obviously you don't, or you wouldn't say things like this:
Originally posted by OccamsRazor04
No, I understand 100% how it works.
This is completely false. I already provided a source explaining why this is false but moreover you've either never played with the birds or you don't remember what they do, because you would know the source I posted is correct if you did.
The initial state is a bird that is horizontal, that is when it is "balanced". It must be put into the vertical position, that requires energy. At that point the heat engine kicks in to keep it going.
What makes you think evaporation stops at nighttime? Whether the sun is shining or not isn't a critical variable. The reason evaporation would stop in my area is from a lack of water and as I said you'd need a mountain stream or adequate rainfall and storage tanks to keep the water supplied without pumps, so lack of water could be a problem (like an extended drought perhaps?), not nighttime. Evaporation could slow down if humidity got close 100%, but it doesn't get to 100% in my area. However I've lived in other areas where this happens occasionally, which might stop it. And obviously it won't work outside if the temperatures cause the water to freeze and prevent it from evaporating, but this could happen even if the sun is up.
What about night time? Without evaporation the heat engine will stall. It may go for a long time, but only for as long as the conditions are right.
I'm glad we agree on that! So I guess we'll have to keep looking for another energy source.
The setup provides for very little power