Carson City’s Langson Energy fuels alternative-power discussion
March 17, 2013
Carson City's Richard Langson, who turned big-time energy use into similar energy production, took his two cents' worth to Texas on Wednesday.
The head of Langson Energy Inc., who 20 years ago burned 50 gallons fuel per mile as a drag-racing champion, now tells the world about low-cost electrical power from his steam and gas turbo-expanders. The power is generated for as low as two cents per kilowatt, he says.
But it all started with racing.
"That's the funny part," he said before heading to Dallas and the Southern Methodist University campus, where his energy technology was being demonstrated. "The supercharger on the race cars is the same twin-screw technology."
His Carson City-based company is gearing up worldwide to distribute Langson's pressure-to-power machines, which the firm touts as the most powerful machines in on Earth. The SMU demonstration and a paper presented Wednesday are part of that process.
As a businessman and innovator, Langson went to SMU's Sixth Geothermal Energy Utilization Conference.
Langson in the morning was presenting a paper called "Water and Steam Applications of the Langson Helical Screw Energy Converter" done by Dr. Ron DiPippo, an author and engineer with expertise in geothermal applications.
In the afternoon, a Langson steam machine was slated to produce clean power live, on-site, in conjunction with the SMU Patterson Building boilers.
The steam machine is the Langson firm's second product from the innovator's work. His gas letdown generator, developed earlier, won the Edison Award, Bronze, as a best new green product.
Before leaving for Texas, Langson offered a few people an impromptu demonstration of his technology at his "skunk works" research and development building. There Langson was asked about costs. Though the question was about the cost for a machine, Langson smiled and said one word: "Cheap." He explained, without giving away the price per machine, that the one being demonstrated produces each kilowatt for about two cents.
So how does he do it? Without getting too technical, Langson said he uses waste steam or gas pressure in his machines to convert to electrical power.
From his "skunk works" R&D building behind the Carson City Hot Springs resort, with one machine his company puts out enough electrical energy to send considerable excess power back into the grid.
The "skunk works" formerly was a bottling plant. Langson, whose family owned the Hot Springs until he sold it while retaining water rights, had bottled artesian water there for major soft drink firms years ago.
In his career, the 60s-plus entrepreneur has been a builder and developer in addition to a bottler and drag racer. His company offices on College Parkway and the "skunk works" building of Langson Energy exhibit various photographs of Langson and his race cars.
Among them is the one in which he bested the legendary "Big Daddy" Don Garlits and won the 1993 IHRA World Championship.
Despite his avid interested in racing, Langson now uses much of his own energy traveling worldwide in demonstrating or promoting his technology and putting together a distribution network to market his machines.
He says his midsize pressure-to-power machines can provide electrical power for 100 homes, larger units for 1,000 to 5,000 houses. He also says the Department of Defense has approved them for use on military bases.
His firm and another cooperative business employ 43 people, with Langson Energy accounting for 11 employees and 16 engineering consultants.
Langson says his green-energy innovations are less expensive by far than such well-known alternatives as solar and wind.
"It's the lowest cost possible," he said.