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Enginion Steam Engine Oil Free Cylinders

Posted by peter heid 
Re: Enginion Steam Engine Oil Free Cylinders
November 04, 2021 10:29AM
I don't think I would describe the story as "well written."

For example, they use the term "ultra vaporized steam." What? You either have wet steam or you have dry, superheated steam. That's all you get! There's no such thing as "ultra vaporized steam," it is meaningless in thermodynamics. Maybe they're describing some highly transient state in a highly dynamic engine, but even then, guys, come on: wet steam or dry steam, that's all there is, seriously.

In hydraulic motors we have this equation: T = P * D ÷ 2π. Or, P = 2π * T ÷ D. So if torque T = 500 N·m = 400 lb·ft = 4800 lb·in and displacement D = 1L = 61 cu.in, that means average pressure P = 2π(4800) ÷ 61 = 494 psi. Yet later on in the article they claim that the heater creates steam at 500°C and 500 bar = 7250 psi.

Notice the 500s: 500 N·m, 500°C, 500 bar. It doesn't really add up? It almost looks like they just threw in a bunch of numbers off-the-cuff that would look impressive to a layperson.

Anyway it appears they wound up being acquired by Amovis, who are here:

(latest news entry dates back to 2013).

Smoke and mirrors?

Here's the latest/greatest info on their "steamcell" and there's absolutely no details, and only the tiny thumbnail images of CAD speculation:

Here's another skeptical article from 2011, unfortunately it descends into pathetic conspiracy theorizing:

"These men at Enginion have a fully functional, efficient modern day steam engine. They together with the VW car co. built several working prototypes, but then decided that the world should not have the EZEE03 and the revolutionary steam engine? They have kept it for themselves.
Look at the facts and modern history of the steam power engine and car. Also consider the consequences upon society the only ones who will lose with this modern day steam engine loose upon the world are the rich, government and Electric power companies. The poor and middle class would be the real winners. Either these people at VW and Enginion were told something, or they are incredibly short sighted as to think that the world is not ready buy a modern day steam powered car. Maybe it’s just greed."
Re: Enginion Steam Engine Oil Free Cylinders
November 04, 2021 12:08PM
Sounds good but I'm not far behind with my engine design. It will use a special bonded ceramic called BAM and is rotary based. So far I have an engineering company that has looked at the design and believes that it will definitely work and work well. Mine is not the wankel style and the sealing issues are considered minor by the engineer my brother and I have worked many years fixing the sealing problems with heat,expansion and friction in mind. The engineer is used to seals designed for pressures far in excess of anything seen in a steam engine albeit not as hot. Think seals able to withstand the bottom of the marianes sp? trench. I'm not sure what expansion this other engine is capable of but my engine is able to fully expand more steam than you would expect. And the BAM coating has a coefficient of friction of half that of teflon but hard as tungsten carbide and a temp of over 2500 degrees easily.
The only thing I don't have yet is the money to have the final engineering and prototype/testing work professionally done.
I won't state for sure that it will work as expected as only real world testing and results are trustworthy. But I fully believe that it can work better than other designs.
Wish me luck.
Re: Enginion Steam Engine Oil Free Cylinders
November 05, 2021 07:25AM
Hi Grunchy,
As a professional, I always try to give some credit where due. "Well written" is my attempt to be kind. I don't stand corrected on my statement that it is well written. However, you make a good point that the devil is in the details.

After just performing some boiler and engine review/comparison of steam Land Speed Record (LSR) design and builds, I don't hold much faith in this claim. I have a saying that might be somewhat offensive and that ideas are like ask holes, everyone has one. It is the person who can build it and test it that has my respect. The demonstration of design - building of a concept...builds the most credibility.

As an Engineer and often having to perform design FMEA (risk analysis), it is far wiser to take something that works and improve it. Steam history is far superior than that of any other propulsion means i.e. than the internal combustion engine. In my opinion, I would take a boiler and engine like used on the Doble and improve upon that. Perhaps improve upon a Stanley.

My apologies if anyone is offended. I do like to see pictures of new stuff being developed. I attached something that I think has great merit, from my recent visit with Billy Barnes (LSR record holder for Steam Motorcycle)…enjoy! Bulletin article to follow.

Kind regards,

Re: Enginion Steam Engine Oil Free Cylinders
November 05, 2021 10:18AM
There is a well known term other than dry or wet steam and that is supercritical.
Re: Enginion Steam Engine Oil Free Cylinders
November 05, 2021 03:28PM
Waaaay back in 2001, Tom Kimmel asked me if I would like to write an article on this technology. They had a few publications that I read. (One is in German—it would be interesting to run that through a translator today). I've attached those original files. If you beg me, I 'll post my review. But I will be embarrased eye rolling smiley.

The main point is: I don't see a lot of difference with the original announcement. The latest news says: "Unquestionably, the Ezee technology would be ideal for vehicle propulsion," says Hoetger, "but it would take about six years before it was application ready."

That must have been right, because the statement in 2001 said: "Solutions to the still-open questions until the year 2001 (the end of the supported pro- ject) will reveal the extent to which the ZEE is a concept capable of development to series production. At present, we assume that development of the ZEE to readiness for series production will require a period of an additional 5 to 7 years".

The 20-year old material is much more descriptive and really caught my attention. The new material says that they have worked for 4 years to solve lubrication issues... yeah, I guess so. Harry Schoell did too. Of maybe he didn't... I'm not sure.

Ted Iskenderian
open | download - EZEE_Technology_Description.pdf (847.2 KB)
open | download - Ezee-03 May 2001 MTZ journal.pdf (766.2 KB)
open | download - Ezee-02 2000.pdf (388.1 KB)
Re: Enginion Steam Engine Oil Free Cylinders
November 08, 2021 06:51AM
A couple of comments:
This seams to use injectors in Liew of a throttle valve? The injectors are injecting super heated steam. Not sure they can handle that?

I'm a little confused with the attached TS diagram...is this a compound or single expansion?

Re: Enginion Steam Engine Oil Free Cylinders
November 08, 2021 08:42AM
That diagram shows and denotes 3 stages of reheat. Usually this corresponds with an expansion cycle as that is what is causing the temperature drop. (ie triple expansion)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/08/2021 08:45AM by kdc2.
Re: Enginion Steam Engine Oil Free Cylinders
November 08, 2021 10:27AM
What I understand is that the fluid is heated to supercritical condition ahead of the injector, then injected at that high density into the cylinder. I'ts not injecting superheated steam.

Ted Iskenderian
Re: Enginion Steam Engine Oil Free Cylinders
November 08, 2021 12:01PM
A thought just occurred to me, maybe the steam injector fires multiple times. That might explain what they are after with the Isothermal cycle.
Re: Enginion Steam Engine Oil Free Cylinders
November 08, 2021 01:10PM
Definitely a weird beast.

The superheater is a bit suspicious because it constitutes pure clearance volume, which we always try to avoid in a steam engine due to the associated loss of efficiency accompanying increased clearance.

On the other hand, the superheater / injector has some nice benefits. Throttle valves sort of suck due to loss of steam energy due to the throttling process...this is why so many designers stick the superheater after the throttle, they can apply more heat so that the temperature reaching the admission valve is at a desirable level. So, it isn't as though Enginion is working virgin territory, this sort of thing has been going on over a century. Likewise, we can consider their injector to be roughly similar to a variable cutoff admission valve (but not the traditional sort of combined admission/exhaust valves found on cars like the Stanley). Both devices are meant to mechanically regulate flow into the cylinder without adding a significant degree of throttling. The injector regulates volume although steam mass is dependent upon both volume and density due to current temperature and pressure. Whether the engine rpm affects mass per injection will depend upon how well the designers managed to combat steam "choking" in the injector ports.

Quite honestly, I designed an engine with an injector scheme many years ago and dropped the idea due to the difficulty of perfecting such a device with limited resources. The idea may be simple but it is also a bit delicate and has a number of failure points which need to be eliminated in order to work with high temperature and high pressure steam. You end up looking at the issue of spending huge amounts of time perfecting one component to the detriment of an entire program. The brute force method has its advantages for the lone developer possessing limited resources.

The valve is a bit less direct in that it doesn't mechanically portion out the admission steam. Rather than proportioning by stroke, as does the injector, it proportions by time the valve is open -- which varies directly with rpm. Admission "choking" is also and issue and the admission mass is also proportional to density.

The superheater has one interesting feature, that being that the steam does not cool off isentropically after cutoff, heat is being applied to the steam throughout the expansion stroke... resulting in a "fatter", more desirable card. Much the same occurs during recompression. I presume the overall effect is something akin to interstage reheating in a compound engine. It has the benefit that we can reduce peak steam temperatures without thermodynamic penalty since the average temperature throughout the cycle will be higher.

I quite honestly have no idea whether the efficiency gained by continuous addition of superheat offsets the efficiency lost by added clearance volume. This gets especially tricky to judge since we have to look at the differences in the area underneath the curve and determine whether the degree to which the fatter card compensates for friction MEP.

One graph is a bit curious in that it clearly shows compound expansions, which do not appear to be reflected in the engine design. My assumption is that this graph reflects a contemplated engine configuration and that it might have been mistakenly added to the paper.


Re: Enginion Steam Engine Oil Free Cylinders
November 08, 2021 01:31PM
Did I read/misread the piston is exposing superheater tubes on stroking? Just glanced at the data so maybe heavy weight on the mis.

Cheers, Keith
Re: Enginion Steam Engine Oil Free Cylinders
November 08, 2021 02:35PM
Hi Keith.

Not exactly. The injectors are on one end of the superheater and the cylinder is on the other. Therefore, there is always heat flowing into the cylinder regardless of where the piston is in its stroke.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/08/2021 02:36PM by frustrated.
Re: Enginion Steam Engine Oil Free Cylinders
November 09, 2021 12:00PM
The super heat comes at a constant like a reservoir hence the reason they call it isothermal. So the comparison w/in the TS diagram is of a standard Rankine cycle to this new isothermal cycle. Some how we are to see that this new cycle is better? It is really a comparison of adiabatic to isothermal...hope everyone is keeping up eye rolling smiley

Looking at the PV diagram (indicator) and considering an isothermal process, the objective is to have the expansion follow an isotherm. From the ideal gas law, PV=nRT. In this case PV = constant. This constant is called an isotherm.

Note that we are probably looking at a 725 square engine. In other words it is a 725 PSI (50 bar) X 725 *F operation. Also note that the indicator shows IVC which stands for Intake Valve Control...I believe. Same analogy for Exhaust Valve Control (EVC).

The isothermal EVC is implementing less compression on the return stroke. This means that the EVC is releasing more steam exhaust than that of the standard Rankine.

So here is what I think is going on. The MEP seams to be made the same, just by eye. Let's say that was the intent. If so, what is the benefit of following an isotherm expansion curve? Here is a thought, they are conserving steam rate (water rate) and maintaining effective torque.

What do you think?

Re: Enginion Steam Engine Oil Free Cylinders
November 09, 2021 10:23PM
If I remember correctly, isothermal expansion gives you maximum efficiency given a maximum, constant value of temperature. Getting work out at a constant high temperature defines a large area under the T-S curve (in this case, a rectangle). But then you need to isentropically expand, at some high value of enthalpy. Oooh, it's been a long time. But that is what I recall form my write-up 20 years ago.

Ted Iskenderian
Re: Enginion Steam Engine Oil Free Cylinders
November 09, 2021 11:20PM
Honestly, I think the term 'isothermal' is not completely accurate for this engine. The amount of heat added by way of the superheater is going to vary, depending. Changes in pressure during expansion is reflected by steam density, which affects the ability of the steam to transmit heat. The temperature changes associated with the pressure changes will also affect the rate of heat flow. Of course, different levels of cutoff will affect mean effective pressure, also altering the flow of heat per a given mass of steam per minute. Likewise, rpm will be a factor. I suppose we can consider the term isothermal to be aspirational rather than descriptive. So, while the result may be closer to isothermal, I doubt it actually achieves that state. Of course, I am wrong a lot.

As far as steam consumption per horsepower/hour goes, I am not so sure of the full benefit. Adding heat through the stroke allows us to achieve greater expansion without crossing the saturation line, which is beneficial. Anyhow, that's the theoretical answer. In the real world, you can only expand just so much until MEP falls to the point where overcoming Friction MEP becomes a losing proposition. It may be more a matter of simplifying the engineering and operational aspects. This constant input of heat throughout expansion should allow us to reduce the admission steam temperature and still avoid crossing the saturation line. This would impose less stress on the boiler and engine, simplify lubrication, and generally make life a bit less stressful. The information provided in the articles doesn't seem to be so complete that you could come up with a definitive answer.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/10/2021 05:13AM by frustrated.
Re: Enginion Steam Engine Oil Free Cylinders
November 11, 2021 12:07PM
Another benefit of the Isothermal indicator curve is that with steam injectors along with modulation similar to diesel injectors, this engine can operate at a higher RPM. Ken has alluded to this in his comments. With higher rpm one gets higher HP. In my opinion, the thermodynamics here and engine design is emanating from an IC standpoint and not a classical steam engine designer.

This design is not self starting and will require a transmission along with needing a reverse gear, from what I can see. To me this takes away from the beauty of a steam engine. The other cousin to the steam engine is the electric motor with maximum torque from a stall. The electric motor on my rear axle of my Toyota Rav4 hybrid is set up this way.

I believe a flash boiler will achieve the same effect as the Isothermal intent here. Plus the flash boiler will work on the double acting and compound engines. This will work with slide, piston and poppet valves and will work with the injector concept here. In my opinion, the concept needs to be to achieve torque, not HP and RPM. This way it can be direct drive, start from a stall and engine run in reverse; and eliminate the transmission.

Just some thoughts...with respect,
Re: Enginion Steam Engine Oil Free Cylinders
November 11, 2021 01:26PM
A major attraction of the scheme is that you are controlling power by duty cycling the injector with high-density, supercritical fluid. In theory, this is a superior way to control power. With enough cylinders, I don't see why this couldn't work from zero rpm.

Ted Iskenderian
Re: Enginion Steam Engine Oil Free Cylinders
November 12, 2021 06:50AM
As far as self-starting goes, it would depend on the type of injector. The injectors with which I am familiar from the US Navy were developed for the Detroit Diesel engines dating back to the 1930s. These were mechanically driven by a power takeoff from the crankshaft and the amount of steam delivered was a function of the injector piston's variable stroke. Among other things, the injector developed the high pressure needed to force the fuel into the cylinder. This type of injector could not be self starting. By contrast, a modern injector is electrically actuated and the high pressure is supplied by a pump. A steam engine using this sort of injector could easily be self starting, the system would simply have to be designed with a start mode. This mode would deliver steam to a cylinder in which the piston has passed Top Dead Center and has also not reached Bottom Dead Center. This would kick the engine in the right direction and then the system could function normally as the next piston in line approaches TDC. Functionally, this is no different than any other steam engine. Conventional engines also need to have enough cylinders to place at least one piston in the "starting band" and they also have to have a "starting mode" -- which means that the engine has to be in long cutoff in order to receive steam when the piston is well past TDC.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/12/2021 08:07AM by frustrated.
Re: Enginion Steam Engine Oil Free Cylinders
November 12, 2021 06:59AM
Nice discussion Ted...I enjoyed it!

Attached is a picture of a new 30 HP Stanley engine. This one is actually the same engine Stanley's used to set the LSR in1906. It is going into a Gentleman Speedy Roadster model K. Also note that this engine is used as the Logo for SACA.

This car will be so fast, it will be scary to open it up. Suffice it to say, this is the type of engine I would improve upon to produce a modern steam vehicle.


Re: Enginion Steam Engine Oil Free Cylinders
November 12, 2021 09:54AM
That is a beauty. And if you mean it is the identical one used in the LSR of 1906, and you have documentation to prove it, I would take it to a photo studio (or make a photo studio with some kind of cloth backdrop) and photograph it in many poses. We are often too much in a hurry to get the work done. If I were there I would do that for you. It's not hard.

Ted Iskenderian
Re: Enginion Steam Engine Oil Free Cylinders
November 12, 2021 01:04PM
No Rick that is not the type engine used on the LPR car in 1906.
The engine used on the 1906 was a dry narrow frame and had no baffle plate.


Re: Enginion Steam Engine Oil Free Cylinders
November 12, 2021 01:34PM
My model of the 1906 LPR engine built with drawing of original parts.
I have redrawn complete CAD drawing of the original engine.


Re: Enginion Steam Engine Oil Free Cylinders
November 13, 2021 01:19AM
There are three different 30 HP engines
The first a dry engine

Type 4 engine The number would have been
preceded by the car type as the K or M or Z
(K serial #)
1906-7 used in the Racer and Vanderbilt
In 1908 - 1909 the K-M-Z
Dry Engine
30 HP 4.5" bore X 6.5" stroke
0.8750 frame rods 18 tpi on 5.750 square bolt pattern.

Two wet engines running in oil. Heavyer frame rods and increased spacing between the rods for a stiffer engine.
All these engines twist and shake

Type 8 Wet engine with baffle plate
1910-1914 (8 serial #)
30 HP Stanley engine
4.5" bore X 6.5" stroke
1" Frame rods 18 tpi on 6.750 square pattern

Type 8 Wet engine with baffle plate
1915-1917 Frame rods increased to 1.125
30 HP Stanley engine (8 serial #)
4.5" bore X 6.5" stroke
1.125 Frame rods 16 tpi on 6.750 square pattern

Re: Enginion Steam Engine Oil Free Cylinders
November 15, 2021 12:12PM
Thanks Rolly, I stand corrected. Was the Rocket a 1:1 gear ratio or the 66:54?

Ted, it is like the engine...sorry for the confusion. Still amazing you can get an engine like this new.
Re: Enginion Steam Engine Oil Free Cylinders
November 15, 2021 01:50PM
The Rocket engine was geared 82 on the engine and 42 on the rearend
The engine you showed in the photo was a wet engine that would run in oil and was stronger bolts and larger bolt pattern.
The wet engine will be a great engine for the car.
I have drawings for a box frame for the 30 HP engine as I built for the 10, and 20 HP engine.

The Rocket engine had ball bearing crosshead and the cylinder heads had all but two threads ground of in the area of the steam ports as they came in on the edge of the heads. It’s a wonder it even ran and finished the first year in 1906


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