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Team Steam USA

Posted by HLS 
Re: Team Steam USA
March 22, 2013 09:36AM
Hi Roger
Sorry you took my answer post to Clint the wrong way. No slams intended only stating the facts and our plan for the future. I feel that the club has been lax in modern steam technology in the last few years and the membership has dropped. We need to do something in this area to improve this. What we are doing at Cyclone has been slammed to an extreme. I am sorry you are so thin skinned about what?
I really like your trikester it looks like a lot of fun. I can appreciate how much work can go into it.
Have a great day
Re: Team Steam USA
March 22, 2013 09:59AM
I just enjoy counting the slams. That's all.
Re: Team Steam USA
March 25, 2013 10:30AM
I would have responded sooner however I was in California visiting steam people and did not have my passwords with me to get on to this Phorum. First of all, I think that Harry is a true and pure inventor and that he is doing important work in steam power development. Anyone who uses the seven Steam Engine Losses from page one of the Stumpf book as the basis for his design work is several steps ahead of most steam people. Second of all, any of us who have tried to make a steam power plant work understand how complex something like this is and how long it takes to complete the engineering development. I appreciate the persistence that Harry has shown. Therefore I suggest that we try to overlook the thinly veiled pejorative references to the work of other people in our steam automobile fraternity. It may be human nature to denigrate the work of others. If we were not competitive we would not put the effort into our work that we do. It would be better for both the steam automobile club and for the level of discussion in this Phorum if these unnecessary comments were left out. That is unprofessional and not worthy of the person and does little to further the success of the Cyclone LSR project. We all look forward to the success of Cyclone's vehicle. It will bring good publicity to modern steam power and the club will benefit. Tom Kimmel
Re: Team Steam USA
March 25, 2013 12:58PM
Hi Tom,
Again I am sorry about some peoples interpretation of what I wrote. I have the most respect for people who build things. I have endured the most criticism of almost any one building new stuff. Even on in the SACA Bulletin, when I first introduced the engine, a highly critical article was written. Even when I sent in an article on the WHE engine it was editorialized that the Bulletin did not endorse the efficiency calculations, I did not ask nor I have ever seen this disclaimer of any other engine. In both of these I had to grin and bear it. I even received a letter from a SACA member as to how I was setting back steam fifty years!
There have been yahoo comments put out on us and I put it aside. I am in no way criticizing anyone.
I am in no way denigrating the works of any one else. You should know that I have made a point of not criticising anyone else's engine, public or private. Not all of us can say that.
I guess I am being held to a higher standard.
I have a number of private emails about the sponsorship of our project, and specific questions were asked of me about how we would manage their money and what our plans are. I gave out no names about anything
and there could be as many as four LSR projects out there.
Good luck to everyone.
Re: Team Steam USA
March 25, 2013 02:32PM
Tom, Thank you for interjecting on this little misunderstanding. I would wish that both USA steam teams succeed and both beat the British very expensive effort, two USA efforts involving much genius and work are better than one, may both be successful. There is no need for posts being interpreted in negative "digs" as both groups are working a lobor of love that the rest of us can be very proud of.
As to Harry's comments on the Yahoo financial website I view it daily and it appears there are a few posters that have a negativity and vendetta that approaches hatefullness. The names he has been called in some of those Cyclone message board statements are horrible.
May any USA efforts by however many groups be applauded and a benefit to the existence and promotion of small portable steam.
Re: Team Steam USA
March 28, 2013 11:09AM
I am pleased to see so many statements of support for the approach of "many different people building different things". Many people, including me, have gotten the impression, now and then, that one kind of steam power system, or component thereof, was "generally and/or officially" favored or discouraged. My own steam car engine, now under construction, has received plenty of criticism; I may be ahead of Harry in the quantity of "tech criticism received". Everybody who does anything, and everything they do and report, gets criticized, and, because of the vast complexities involved in steam power system design, and different philosophies, levels of knowledge, experiences, resources, etc, everyone has a different idea of which equipment is best for a particular application. My personal approach, for the past several months and the foreseeable future, is to avoid all public criticism of other steam projects. Instead, I will simply design, build, run, and measure steam car equipment which looks promising to me for various and sundry reasons, and report my results in The Steam Car Bulletin and on this Forum for possible useful/constructive criticism -- knowing and expecting that a goodly quantity of the other kind of criticism will inevitably accompany it.

Keep On Steaming!


[3rd edit:] P.S.: I forgot to add that I appreciate the many good suggestions which I have received here, including the good ideas which I do not plan to incorporate in my current project (I keep those in mind for future, better projects). Many suggestions from this forum are now part of my steam car project; too many to list.

Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 04/02/2013 02:55AM by Peter Brow.
Re: Team Steam USA
March 31, 2013 03:13PM
Thanks Tom for the mention of the 'Uniflow steam engine' book. For some reason I kept forgetting to get a copy of this great information. I've gotten a public domain copy from Google books. Others want $10 for the same ebook.
And to all working toward the Steam speed record I wish the best of luck.

Re: Team Steam USA
April 03, 2013 02:02PM
I have a feeling that steam people seem to forget that really there is a big division in the depth of interest. Three levels seem to exist: the strictly antique restoration guys, then the ones who think that if it runs on steam that is good enough, then the ones who know the potential in the Rankine cycle and work like mad to see it used; but at the highest possible limits it is capable of using in order to ti make it competative today with the IC engines.The last one is Harry and his company.

The cycle itself has never been the deciding factor, it has always been the hardware and materials that limited the efficiency and power level the particular engine was capable of delivering. And this has historically been decided by the use of injected cylinder oil which the Cyclone does not use.
The Cyclone is reality; but it takes real investment ti see it produced in quantity.
All three levels are certainly of high interest from an engineering standpoint, it all depends on the depth of interest and the contents of ones bank account how far one wants to go.

However, considering the global warming problem and the use of fossil fuels at a great rate, the Cyclone offers a realistic and most satisfactory answer, especially when compared to to the science fiction nonsense offered on the market today.
The greatly revised White Paper that was written for the company offers my take on the matter and let the chips fall where they may.

Re: Team Steam USA
April 05, 2013 08:19AM
Hi Jim,

Your tip on hunting gears is one of many which I have incorporated in my current project. For that, and much other vital tech information and thought-provoking brainstorming, and for your endlessly entertaining & informative raconteurship, historical information, and steam car lore, many sincere thanks.

On some of these other issues, frankly and sincerely, I simply don't know. Lots of arguments and data pointing both ways, too complicated for me to figure out to my satisfaction, let alone to take any public position on, despite my previous indiscretions. No slam-dunk no-brainer obviously true and perfect simple answers that I can see. Either I'm just too dumb to see them, or else they really aren't there. Who knows. Everyone will form their own opinions no matter what I or anyone else says. And why should I waste my irreplaceable time freaking out over all that anyway, when I _do_ know that I can (and will) build and drive a fun modern steam car? Which is all I ever really wanted to do. And if that works out, then maybe I'll make some more for other people to enjoy. Maybe even make some more money in the process. Fun for me whatever the outcome.

If somebody else has all the solutions to all the world's problems (alleged or genuine), then in my book they are more than welcome to turn those into reality, if they can. Go for it. No more argument or opposition from me. But anyone who may have thought or hoped otherwise should permanently forget about me as a "potential source of money and/or salesmanship" for anybody else's project. I wish every success to everyone, but at the same time I have my own steam car project to focus on, build, and fund; and I had that long before I knew that the various other modern projects even existed -- and before they were even conceived.

There are a few things which I _am_ sure about: one of them being that you are right on target about "the science fiction nonsense offered on the market today". I would include EV's, IC/electric hybrids, fuel cell, hydrogen-fueled, and a few other "officially-approved alternative car powerplants" in that category. And current-production vehicles have a host of other idiotic features, often directly or indirectly mandated by law. Plastic headlight lenses, for just one example. Polish the heck out of them, and they fog up again a few months later. My steam car will have glass-lens tri-bar headlights.


Re: Team Steam USA
April 08, 2013 12:50PM
Hi Guys
I had a question asked,how fast will a car will go . There are the two main factors,the rolling resistance and the wind resistance. The rolling resistance is near constant torque which includes tires, gear etc. As the rpm increases, the hp demand also increases. The wind resistance is obvious as it is the pressure in pounds per square ft x the frontal area, times the wind resistance factor.
As an example if it takes 10 hp to go 50 mph, then x 2.6 = 26 hp to go 100 mph, then x 2.6 = 68 hp to go 150 mph. This is just to give an example of what it takes to go fast and why is it is important to do dyno testing. We know how fast we can go as we know our rolling and wind resistance numbers. We can easily go over the 200 mph mark and are looking at 250 mph. This will have to be done at different tracks. Bonneville is longer than Canaveral and will afford the fastest time, but 200 mph won't be to shabby at Canaveral. The testing is to set the cutoff at the right points for each run, as the longer the run the shorter the cuttoff can be. It is necessary to use the smallest water rate for the most hp.
Re: Team Steam USA
April 08, 2013 02:10PM
Hi Harry

I know the timing of the LSR is reliant upon recruiting major sponsors. Any luck in that regard and, related to that, any guess when the Cyclone car will be either at Palm Beach Speedway, NASA and/or Bonneville?

Your success would be a tremendous boost to steam technology globally.

Wishing you the greatest of great fortune.

Re: Team Steam USA
April 08, 2013 03:41PM
Thanks Scotty
We do need all the help we can get for the car and for the future of modern steam. Lately sponsorship has been slow but we are moving ahead. The car is being wired and the engine will be installed shortly. The car does not take priority as we have our day jobs getting out other developments on time. A good thing that has occurred is that Nelson has been named director of racing at Palm Beach Speed Way. This will help with scheduling as it was a problem there before.
Re: Team Steam USA
April 08, 2013 06:59PM


Wind resistance horsepower goes up as a cube of the speed. Wind resistance force is a function of the square of the sped.

Re: Team Steam USA
April 09, 2013 04:51AM
Hi Jim,

Invest my money in "superior expertise"? Nope. And there's my proof. Case closed.


Edited 8 time(s). Last edit at 04/09/2013 05:48AM by Peter Brow.
Re: Team Steam USA
April 09, 2013 06:08AM
On that subject I would just defer to the Wiki

Force to over come aerodynamic drag

Fd = 1/2 p v2 Cd A

Power, Pd, is force, Fd, time velocity, v.
Fd force times distance divided by time
distance divided by time is velocity.
velocity is speed

Pd = Fd v = 1/2 p v3 Cd A

1/2 p Cd A . p air density is nearly constant, Cd is a constant drag coefficient. And assuming A area is constant. Of course some cars do have active aerodynamics.

Power = constant speed3

Another explanation: of drag wind resistance

Here is a calculator to Calculate wind resistance

If it takes 10 hp to go 50 mph, then to go 100 mph it takes (100/50)3 * 10 or 80 HP.
To go 150 mph. it takes (150/50)3 *10, 270 HP
200 MPH takes 640 HP


Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 04/09/2013 06:22AM by steamerandy.
Re: Team Steam USA
April 09, 2013 06:52AM
Hi Andy,

It's not just wind resistance. The navy teaches every junior engine room operator that the power needed to drive a hull through the water is proportional to the cube of the speed.

Re: Team Steam USA
April 09, 2013 07:28AM
It's not just wind resistance. The navy teaches every junior engine room operator that the power needed to drive a hull through the water is proportional to the cube of the speed.
That’s above Hull speed of a displacement Hull.

Great to have you back Jim.

Re: Team Steam USA
April 09, 2013 12:49PM
Hi Guys
Boy do I love to stir the pot!!

Let’s start with the boats. Rolly is right, displacements boat speeds are limited to a ratio of their water line length and, since more power drives them lower in the water, if enough power is used they will sink. Now, planing boats are different as there are other factors: drive system and hull type (see attachment). I have been doing this for over 50 years, I developed and regularly confirm these calculations, and the industry and even Mercury uses these calculations they are on the mark. On the race boats or faster boats wind resistance is of increasing importance, so we also include the WR formula.

Now, wind resistance is force= V^2 X .004 = #per sq ft. X WR (wind resistance) This will give you the force, not the horsepower. It is not cubed as the rolling resistance (the highest number at low speed) has to be combined. In the end, horsepower demand increases with the velocity. Andy is right and there are several ways to get an end result. In the formula, the 2.6 number is just a log for a quick calculation of the effect of these two numbers. One way to visualize it is that if you are using a 24" diameter wheel, the wind force and torque from rolling resistance are the same number.

Re: Team Steam USA
April 09, 2013 02:04PM

This also explains why hydroplanes took over boat racing from displacement hulls. Look at the deck plans for Arrow, all engine room. What fun though!!! What happened to her?
Going over hull speed takes a vast horsepower increase as Ken said..

What scares the hell out of me, is that engineering decisions are made using totally wrong formulas and assumptions, then money and time are wasted. The most serious damage is that the company reputation is irreparably tarnished for all time, especially if the same mistakes are made over and over. Why this happens is the prime question.
We all goof at times, no shame in that for none of us are the supreme fount of knowledge about the Rankine cycle or steam cars. Admit you screwed up, correct what went wrong and forge onward.
This kind of stubborn thinking can sink a company. When one has proven advisors, use their long hands on expertise. Trust but verify at all tmes.
If Cyclone doesn't make it, then steam taken to the upper level is dead and steam cars will remain as a fascinating hobby and nothing else.
Ego cannot be allowed to influence engineering decisions, Abner found this out the hard way with his reheat triples.
I am greatly worried. I desperately want that new steam sports car.

You asked how the White and Doble handled the change from long to short cutoff. Both cars, you got moving and up to maybe 10-15 mph on a level road then shifted to short cutoff.
Their power bands were broad enough to well cover this. Climb any hill and you shifted to longer cutoff to gain the torque you wanted to have.

Only proven "superor expertise", anything else is fantasy posturing and ignorance.

Re: Team Steam USA
April 09, 2013 03:57PM
For developing any vehicle, it is very useful to start with a blank sheet of paper. Calculate what your power requirements will be for the performance you demand or you can start with the power you have and see what performance you will get.

The idea of using technically complete formulas with all the possible variables is very satisfying to the engineer. For boats, as we were just mentioning, you might wish to have exact weight and waterline length, air and water temperature, barometric pressure, Btu per pound of fuel, engine efficiency and torque/speed curve, wind direction and speed, etc. Unfortunately when the metal meets the rail, you usually do not have the academic luxury of having all those figures at hand. Therefore the engineering handbooks of the world have derived practical formulas based on curve-matching where the empirical results are plotted against a few commonly available variables and a formula is derived to match the result. It is also important that real world tests are made against the formulas to confirm their practical range, accuracy and suitability to the purpose intended.

Harry has generously sent off a sheet showing how to calculate the performance of boats and it includes a number of significant variables. He derived and refined these formulas, and especially the constants, over decades, so they should be quite accurate. Of course if the hull has radically different shapes or defects, the formula will be optimistic since any experienced boat builder will be happy to demonstrate that a small variation in the well-faired shape of a hull can cause an amazing loss of speed.

I feel compelled to work out an example here to demonstrate that Harry's system works for boat performance.

The example is Charles Ranleigh Flint's "Arrow" which set the marine steam speed record in 1903 which still has not been beaten. It is a fine example since there was very careful measurement of the boat and its performance and it has been used as an engineering example for over a century.

From the formula, 140000 lb / 4000 HP = 35.0 lb/hp. The square root of 35 is 5.91. Divide the factor of 250 (for the long displacement hulls, submarines and torpedos) by 5.91 and and multiply by 1.1 for twin screws. This gives the calculated speed of 46.48 mph. The actual record run was 46.25 mph.

Ken, try this out on your Navy ships and see how close it comes out.

Karl Petersen
Re: Team Steam USA
April 09, 2013 04:27PM
mistake in the last sentense

the wind force and torque from rolling resistance are the same number.
the wind force and torque from rolling resistance are combined to give a total torque number given the rpm the hp is known.

Re: Team Steam USA
April 09, 2013 05:13PM
Off topic
Maybe not for a displacement hull but in 1942 the Garber landing craft with Lamont boilers did over 65 MPH. Steam powered.
Photo and write up Mechanix illustrated Dec 1942
Re: Team Steam USA
April 09, 2013 06:32PM
Quite right.

The argument is that the wrong formulas are being used, making the data and assumptions worthless.
Re: Team Steam USA
April 09, 2013 06:36PM
Karl Petersen Wrote:

> I feel compelled to work out an example here to
> demonstrate that Harry's system works for boat
> performance.
> The example is Charles Ranleigh Flint's "Arrow"
> which set the marine steam speed record in 1903
> which still has not been beaten. It is a fine
> example since there was very careful measurement
> of the boat and its performance and it has been
> used as an engineering example for over a century.

Continuing off-topic, here's a great account of the record run:


Also note, the engines were quadruple-expansion.

Another note: Flint was one of those occasionally exceptional entrepreneurs, among other things he was the founder of IBM.


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/09/2013 10:39PM by Bill Hinote.
Re: Team Steam USA
April 09, 2013 06:42PM
Karl Petersen Wrote:

> The example is Charles Ranleigh Flint's "Arrow"
> which set the marine steam speed record in 1903
> which still has not been beaten.


This is another opportunity for public exposure. When you get that motor in Frankie's boat be sure to run it for verified speed to take this record away.

Re: Team Steam USA
April 10, 2013 04:34AM
Hi Jim,

Exactly right. There is genuine superior expertise, and then there is "superior expertise" in quotes.

You may have noticed that in my previous post, I broke the Forum record, if not the world record, for the number of times a post has been edited. That is because I was trying to find diplomatic and censorship-exempt ways to say almost everything which you later said. Finally I threw in the towel and kept it short. Then you said it all better than I could. Thanks.

There is no telling exactly what others do or do not know. In any complex alternative-technology development enterprise, whether steam cars, EVs, solar, wind power, or whatever, one fundamental boo-boo, resolutely adhered to, can sink a whole project. This happens often. I could recite a long list of well-funded yet now-gone recent alt-tech enterprises as examples. And complex projects have vast numbers of opportunities for error. This risk, not only high but "no way to know how high", is another reason why I avoid all alt-tech investments. It absolutely boggles my mind to consider the astonishing variety and quantity of fully-avoidable screwups which doom so many such projects, not just technical and scientific errors but financial, managerial, legal, ethical, and PR-related errors, and many more. The business sections of newspapers are full of examples.

No investment advice to anyone is intended or implied. Just explaining my own general approach, for what it's worth.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/10/2013 04:46AM by Peter Brow.
Re: Team Steam USA
April 10, 2013 05:50AM
The power to speed cubed rule is an over simplification. There are 3 terms in the power(speed) function.

Aerodynamic wind resistance varies with the cube of the speed.
Friction, part of which is constant and part proportional to the work output of the engine.
Rolling resistance part of which is proportional to the downward force on the wheels and another part due to tire deformation.
At high speed the aerodynamic wind resistance is dominant. tire deformation is highest from a stop and decreases with speed.
Rolling resistance, proportional to the downward force on the wheels, can increase at speed, with body designs that increase downward force at speed. Some vehicles have active aerodynamics.

Re: Team Steam USA
April 10, 2013 09:39AM
Thanks Rolly
That info on the landing craft is kind of a surprisre as the GG MOM is designed to run 58 mph with a 100hp MK 5 We might have to increase the HP. Is there any real speed info on steam motorcycles that is out there?
The wind resistance of the cyclone LSR car is based on real test data as it is based on the Ron Main design(430plus mph) that was wind tunnel tested and the chassies was towed for rolling resistance. The engine is dyno tested for real HP.
Re: Team Steam USA
April 10, 2013 12:09PM

From what I know and once asking Jay Leno the same question, I don't think anyone ever went after a steam motorcycle speed record. Wouldn't take a big horsepower engine to do that. Some used bike with shaft drive perhaps. With belt drive though it would be very simple to change the ratio compared to shaft drive.

The boat can easily use the special Mk-5 from the land speed record car AFTER it sets the steam car record.
Didn't know about that landing craft speed either, wonder if that article could go in the SACA Bulletin? Lamont steam generators, hmmmmmmmm .

Re: Team Steam USA
April 10, 2013 12:35PM
You can get a copy on E-bay
Photo with men on deck page 51
Looks like it was designed by F.M.Bellanca aircraft designer.
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