Can an Air Source Heat Pump Power a Steam Engine for Locomotives?

  • Thread starter Lantern1984
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In summary, an air source heat pump is not capable of powering a steam engine for locomotives. While heat pumps are efficient at converting heat energy into electricity, they are not able to produce the high temperature and pressure levels required for steam engines to function. Additionally, the size and weight of a heat pump would make it impractical for use on a locomotive. Other alternative energy sources, such as diesel-electric hybrid systems, are better suited for powering modern locomotives.
  • #1
Lantern1984
How did you find PF?
Via google while looking up information on heat pumps.
I found this place while trying to find out if a heat pump could power a steam engine. I'm not talking like a generator, just a locomotive, and a small one at that. Think about the ones they have at Disneyland. Could those use a air source heat pump to boil the water to move the train? Or do heat pumps just not get that hot?

Still, I'm sure that won't be my only question. I look forward to coming back here when there's more I want to learn.
 
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  • #2
Welcome to PF; it's good to have you here. :smile:

When you start a thread to ask that question (probably in the Mechanical Engineering or Thermodynamics forum), be sure to post links to the reading you've done so far on the subject. That will help us to better answer your questions. Thanks.
 
  • #3
Welcome to PF! Unfortunately it sounds like what you describe would violate the laws of thermodynamics (free energy/perpetual motion machine), so it wouldn't work. We don't indulge such discussions here, but you can discuss/learn about heat pumps in the mechanical engineering section (and they are great!).
 
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