1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Laser steam generation

  1. May 5, 2014 #1
    I am working on a new concept design and would like some suggestions on which Lasers(s) would be most appropriate for heating a high pressure vessel for producing steam. The concept requires very quick steam generation but heat can not be excessive enough to harm the vessel being heated. As a starting point, 115 degrees C should be sufficient. My concept calls for a number of lasers used in a concentric sprial application.
    Any Thoughts?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 5, 2014 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to the PF.

    That's an extremely inefficient way to heat a vessel. Can you say why you want to use lasers instead of just using nichrome wire?
  4. May 10, 2014 #3
    I concur. Heat by laser is not very efficient. Current solid state lasers are much better than other technologies used in the past. But still, multi-kilowatt lasers sufficient for any kind of significant heating will require a lot of input energy...most of which goes up in waste heat. What size vessel? Lasers typically only achieve sufficient power density (watt/cm^2) to do useful thermal work when focused to a small spot. And THAT is one of the primary useful features of lasers: focusing to a small spot.
  5. May 11, 2014 #4


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Current boiler technology is about 88% efficient in transferring the heat of combustion into turning water into superheated steam. It's not clear how quick 'very quick' is for the OP's application. Also, you don't necessarily want to heat the pressure vessel to generate the steam: you want to heat the water inside the PV.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook