I read in Gaviotas about this huge wheel that they built, where water was boiled in a bulb and condensed in a bulb much higher up. The higher bulb got heavy and eventually swung down. There it was heated and began to fill the previously heavy bulb.
Definitely not a carnot cycle and I’m not interested enough yet to try to derive its theoretical limits in efficency.
But then I came across it again in a forum, and someone there had a name for it. She called it a Minto wheel, attributed to Wally Minto. Also, this version uses propane or ammonia, which boils much easier than water. Good idea.
I think it would be more effective if the gas condensed in a container not straight up, but in a bulb off to the side a little so that there was already some torque available at the begining of the swing. Then you have a few pairs of these.
Still not interested enough to build it or look much more into it, but it may come back up.