# Novel steam engine

1. ### wolram

3,730
Last edited: Mar 10, 2006

### Staff: Mentor

Interesting innovation, but it is still a steam engine that works on the same basic principle that drove trains 150 years ago. It is long obsolete.

And the reason they never worked for airplanes is that the power to weight ratio is far too low due to the fact that you need fuel and water and a boiler and an engine, whereas you could burn the fuel directly in the engine (at higher efficiency), and get rid of the water and the boiler.

Last edited: Mar 10, 2006
3. ### wolram

3,730
Awwww, Russ you big kill joy, you are supposed to wax lyrical about steam
engines, they are big kids toys, and are getting lighter

4. ### Intuitive

271
Instead of smog we can have fog.

5. ### kleinjahr

75
Not bad, quite interesting. Though I do wonder how well the flex will stand up to use. I didn't notice any provision for waste steam porting/valving for condensate return. Sort of reminds of a design in one of my old P.M. encyclopedias.

Russ: Steam is making a comeback of sorts. There are some experimental models for personal vehicles. Though I do doubt that they will be on the road anytime soon. However, some smaller sawmills still use steam power, largely because it is economical for them and works well. I was at the Paisley Steam Show last summer and was quite impressed when the sawmill bit into a hardwood log without slowing down. http://www.bruceheritage.org/

### Staff: Mentor

Steam itself isn't outdated, it's reciprocating steam engines that are outdated. Steam has been driving turbines for decades.

7. ### Integral

7,345
Staff Emeritus
Hull Oaks Lumber is located in the southern Willamette valley is noted for its steam engine.
A significant benefit it the that they fuel it with sawdust.

One could say that HP has made billions and billions  off of steam engines in the last 20 years. A Thermal Inkjet pen is a very simple steam engine. The work done is squirting ink.

8. ### brewnog

2,793

And what do you plan on burning to ensure that we won't have smog? Water?!

9. ### kleinjahr

75
Russ: While your statement is generally true, there is still a use for reciprocating engines. While they are less efficient than turbines they are generally able to take more abuse (looser tolerances) and keep running under conditions in which a turbine would experience a rather abrupt expansion. Recips are still in use, notably in small sawmills and the Third World.

10. ### david_india

4
Is this possible?

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11. ### Mech_Engineer

2,299
No for two reasons:
1. It is prepetual machine, the battery is running the burner, and being charged by power output from the turbine. This is not possible because you can't get more energy out of the steam engine than you first put into it as heat. In reality you will get much less based on the system efficiency.
2. The pump (compressor in your diagram) is in the wrong spot to be a proper Rankine-cycle steam power system. The pump needs to be located after the condenser before the boiler, and would have to have some power input. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rankine_cycle

12. ### david_india

4
Thank you for your reply Mech_Engineer. How about 4-stroke spark ignition gas engines. I mean they get the power from the battery to the ignition coil and to the rotor which distributes the spark into the cylinder which runs the engine; and the engine runs the alternator which recharges the battery. Why cant this be possible in steam engines. I really appreciate your input. Thanks again.

13. ### Mech_Engineer

2,299
A 4-stroke gas engine gets all of its energy from the gasoline it is burning (and is only about 20% efficient in extracting that energy). There is no external energy input in the diagram you provided, so the only energy in the system is stored in the battery. If you want the engine to run continuously, you need to power the burner with an external energy source, such as burning a fuel.

14. ### david_india

4
Thanks Mech_Engineer!

15. ### david_india

4
Question:

Can the exhaust steam be used to recharge the battery?