The basic idee of the so called Minto wheel is to build a simple motor, that is driven by a temperature differential between a hot water reservoir and the surrounding cooling air. The spokes of a wheel like structure are made from tubes with a liquid inside, that exist both in a gaseous and a liquid phase in the desired temperature range. The are connected to bulb like reservoirs at both ends in a way, that the ends of the tubes protude into each reservoir a little bit. During operation the warmer gas inside the lower vessel has a higher pressure than the cooled gas in the upper vessel. This pressure pushes the liquid inside the tube and with it the center of mass of the wheel up. This results in a net torque that drives the wheel, brings the next spoke in contact with the hot water and the whole process continues. A cruical thing is to choose the right working fluid. Fluids like Methylen Chloride, Methanol, Butan, Propan, Hexane may work …
The original idea of Anthony and Albert Iske from 1881 has been reinvented or rediscovered – who knows – in the late 1940s by Wally Minto.
Realization of a Minto Wheel – The Helios Project