The philosophy


As expressed in our Manifesto, Nova Somor srl also wants to have a cultural role, aiming to foster people’s change and awareness for a world where less energy is wasted. It therefore seems appropriate to explain the principles of our technology in as simple and comprehensible manner as possible, both for our customers, and for anyone who desires knowledge and understanding.

Over the years we have lost sight of the value of energy, which replaces a great deal of physical work, and of how difficult it is to produce, especially electricity. We take it for granted and continuously design new products and machines that do not consider this difficulty and therefore are wasteful. In order to fully understand what we mean in the case of electricity, we have to imagine the equivalence of Wh (Watt per hour) converted into useful work. One Wh is equivalent to the effort required to raise 5 heavy bags, 25 kg each, upstairs, or to raise 360 kg for a metre. So this famous Kilowatt per hour (1000 Wh) is equivalent to raising 360 tons of weight for a metre. And we pay about 20 euro cents! Just recharging the battery of our mobile phone takes more than 7 Wh. If we were to “physically” produce this energy, we would have to take up one floor, on our shoulders, 35 bags of 25 kg each time we want to recharge our phone!

That’s why our products are not powered by electricity and do not have any electrical component “on board”. Electricity would make our lives easier, but this way we would fall into a never-ending vicious circle, one that multiplies entropic steps and therefore waste. Instead Nova Somor srl builds machines that do not consume any fossil fuels or electricity during use and we think we give a positive contribution to the change which is taking place. It is a concrete example of bio-economy, namely that science developed in the 70s by Nicholas Georgescu Roegen that tries to leave something additional to future generations and to immediately reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.


The intelligence of men like Dornig, D’Amelio, Gasperini and other Italians who made the history of low-temperature thermodynamics, was to think of a new use for those classified as “volatile gases”. Until then, these gases were mainly used in refrigeration systems, especially to produce ice. Our pioneers instead thought that by reversing the cycle one could obtain an engine! And not just for lifting water: Mario Dornig, for example, designed floating power plants for over 100 mW to be anchored in the sea like giant buoys in tropical waters. These ideas are now being fished out and upgraded by projects such as OTEC (Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion).

Volatile gases (high vapour pressure) are still routinely used in refrigerators because of their ability to generate cold during their thermodynamic cycle. One of these: butane, for example, is used to recharge lighters. It may have happened to you, while loading a lighter, that a little gas leaks into the air and immediately freezes the surfaces with which it comes into contact. The same thing happens in a fridge: the gas is compressed in a coil positioned outside and in this phase it overheats (this is why you often find heat behind a fridge) and it becomes liquid. It is then allowed to evaporate in other coils that are inside the refrigerator. In order to evaporate the gas absorbs a lot of heat, and then generates cold. In summary, we use an electric motor to mechanically compress a volatile gas in order to exploit its particular thermodynamic characteristics for cold. The heat pumps work exactly in the same way; however, since the objective of this type of machine is to create heat for the house or for hot water, this time it is the cold that is thrown away, outside the house.

In order to create a low-temperature thermodynamic engine, it is necessary to invert the way of using volatile gases. As Daniele Gasperini did in 1935 with his “Elio Dinamic” pump and later in the ’50s with SOMOR, you put a specific condensed gas in contact with the heat produced by the sun or other source which disperses it (hence the term “waste heat motor”), as does, for example any internal combustion engine that needs a radiator in order not to burn out. The superheated gas expands and generates steam which then moves a piston i.e. drives a motor. But to complete the thermodynamic cycle it is necessary that the vaporised gas, as soon as it has done its job, should be rapidly cooled and then condensed to be reheated. For this phase it is necessary to use the water raised from the well which rises at a temperature low enough to permit this use. One can obtain this excellent result, both in terms of cost and bio-economy, (no condensers or electrical evaporators), only when heat and cold are available for free.

In addition to lifting water from wells, lakes and canals, the shipping industry is particularly interesting because, in this case also, the presence of sea or lake water, suitable for generating cold, combined with the waste heat of engines or obtained thanks to solar radiation, offers the possibility of creating the “delta T” required for implementing the necessary thermodynamic cycles.



The principles of thermodynamics have been known for some time and are simple to understand, but their practical use collides with various problems of a technical nature. Between the 30s and 50s Gasperini cleverly used the then available materials and technical solutions. SOMOR managed to create a solar motor of considerable size which, in combination with a hydraulic Lariom pump, could raise well over 64,000 litres of water per hour from 10 metres deep!

These days we have more effective gases which are much less toxic, lighter and more performing materials and more efficient solar collectors, so we can do much better. But, as well as all that, Nova Somor srl uses both mechanical and hydraulic innovative technological solutions which make our machines more performing and thus more competitive. We are able to compete both with well-tested solutions that use “non-free” energy, and with equivalent electric machines powered by photovoltaics. In addition to good performance, we aim to simplify the production processes and the products themselves and to ensure machine maintenance and repairs are easier in order to reduce costs and minimise environmental impact throughout the life cycle.


* required fields