Engine Efficiency of a Leidenfrost Droplet Transporting System


  • Elyse Arseneau University of British Columbia
  • Lucas Philipp University of British Columbia


Leidenfrost effect, film boiling, heat transfer, engine efficiency, droplet transport, saw-tooth surface


Leidenfrost droplet transporting engine energy efficiencies were calculated to determine its feasibility and practicality for various industrial purposes. The engine relied on the Leidenfrost effect to transport water droplets across a superheated aluminum surface with ratchet-like topology (Cole et al., 2015; Linke et al., 2006; Wells et al., 2015). An established protocol was used, permitting an unbiased analysis of only relevant data. Acceleration-time data was collected using Logger Pro 3® motion-tracking software and work was calculated using a Riemann summation technique. A power meter measured the hot plate’s total power input over 3-hours. Average trial times were used to determine each trial’s energy input, and engine efficiencies were subsequently calculated. Droplet size and ratchet angle were varied as parameters in attempt to optimize engine efficiency. The results indicate that this linear Leidenfrost system has an extremely low average percent efficiency (2.86E-07%), analogous to that of a rotational Leidenfrost system (Wells et al., 2005). Varying the droplet size or ratchet angle, as a variation and extension of previous studies, did not influence the efficiency to any statistically meaningful extent.

Author Biography

Elyse Arseneau, University of British Columbia

I am an undergraduate Science student at the University of British Columbia pursuing a Combined Honours in Chemistry and Physics.


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