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Moder steam car

  1. Dec 4, 2004 #1


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    modern steam car

    If found this web site on steam cars
    The author seems very down to earth, and his project worthwhile.
    I wondered as he mentions, about the production costs of
    such vehicles, the engines would surly be cheap to produce
    en mass, and with no gear box and few controls this vehicle
    would be as easy to drive as an electric car
    So what do you think on,
    ! cost of production
    2 fuel efficency
    3 every day usage ?
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2004
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 4, 2004 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    In another thread we talked about diesel-electric: the advantage is that you can run a diesel at constant speed at its most efficient rpm and *maybe* get an efficiency advantage out of it. You could do the same with a steam engine and probably do even better thermodynamically.

    However, this guy has no basis for his claims: he hasn't even built a prototype of the engine so he couldn't possibly know how it will perform in a car. In addition, there are some major problems with some of his other claims:

    -The vibration would be comparable to existing cars because this is still a piston -engine (a steam turbine would be better and more efficient).
    -Steam engines have a power/efficiency curve like any other engine: even if they are flatter than a gas engine (they probably are), it still needs gearing.
    -It would be quieter than a normal car, but not enough to be worth advertising that as an advantage: it would not compare to an electric car.
    -As with all thermodynamic cycles, compression ratio is everything: this car would require a highly pressurized boiler, and that's dangerous.

    Bottom line: he hasn't built anything yet so he doesn't really know anything about how this car will run yet.
  4. Dec 5, 2004 #3


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    I'm more concerned with the fuel efficiency, he says it uses no fuel on idle but also says that there is constantly a pilot light maintaining pressure in the boiler, even when the car is left for long periods of time, and these statements directly counteract each other. His efficiency page directly compares thermal efficiencies of regular internal combustion engines with that of 'existing' steam vehicles, but this is not a direct comparison of fuel mileage figures. 25mpg? I guess he's appealing to some of you SUV owners there....

    I'm not saying he's wrong, but I'm yet to be convinced of the economical benefits of running the vehicle, setting aside the engineering issues Russ pointed out.
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