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White Paper

Posted by frustrated 
White Paper
January 26, 2015 07:30PM
For your perusal.
open | download - White Paper 1_26_2015.pdf (2.81 MB)
Re: White Paper
January 26, 2015 11:27PM
Very well done......
My own projects are running 15% ammonia in place of anti freeze on combined cycle diesel/low pressure steam turbine.
Re: White Paper
January 27, 2015 12:04AM
I fully agree with the suggestion made in this paper about how to condense the steam. This is what I had in mind too. Using a jet condenser, you create hot water, store the hot water in a holding tank, then circulate the water through an automotive type radiator. With enough water in the holding tank, you could absorb a lot of heat for a short time, like during acceleration, where if you were using a steam condenser you would have to vent steam if it exceeded the capacity of the condenser.

A car that vents steam during acceleration I don't think will ever be accepted by a public that has grown used to (and rightly so) just pumping gas in the tank every now and then. No one would buy a car that needs water more often than it needs gas.

This is how I would rank desireable modern steam cars:

1) either never needs water; is fully condensing under all conditions, runs on distilled water. or,
2) almost completely condensing, may need to be topped off when you pump gas.

Any car that needs water more often than that, will only appeal to steam enthusiasts willing to put up with the quirks of steam power.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/27/2015 12:05AM by dullfig.
Re: White Paper
January 27, 2015 10:41AM
It might also be added that on the battery car that a home steamplant using many of the ideas displayed in the paper could be used to recharge the batteries and make greater use of the biomass etc. that is at the house.If so a city plant that is fueled by natural gas and supplied with solids found in the yard and garden that is chipped and shreded waste as well might be a good thing...A better use for natural gas than CNG or Hydrogen for transportation like eco? politicians seem to root for.Plus with an invertor, it (the steamplant) could also run stop and go "traffic" like a steamcar....and in doing take back some of the control that government has over your personal energy useage and energy back to science instead of politics.To do so would require personal plants that every bit as good as utility plants on efficiecy...in theory at least that steam car could be the power plant at the house acting as a home APU or emergency power generator if so.there might be a need for pto drive on your car as well.And the electric car would furnish the battery bank for the home invertor. If so the electric car could be glorified golf cart running errands and steamcar could be van hauling kids, groceries,or other "heavy hauling" duties.Transportation is still the biggest energy user at most houses.
Re: White Paper
January 27, 2015 02:01PM
I think you'd really have to look at your expenses and paybacks. The biggest loss you are going to get from utility power is along the transmission lines, and at the voltages they use those losses aren't all that bad. Their powerplants are unlikely to be challenged for efficiency unless I good natural gas consuming fuel cell comes online. Those plants use extremely high temperatures and pressures, and we've already shown how very, very difficult to improbable it is to match that with a reciprocating expander. The turbines are massively compounded and, being turbines, don't suffer the loss of efficiency that pressure drops induce into piston expanders. Being totally uniflow, not even a piston going back and forth, there is reduced heat flow to and from the cylinder walls. Even condensing to very low pressure is going to be much more challenging than in a turbine plant, which often goes down to 29 " Hg. The turbines also have huge scale advantages, the square/cube law is wildly in their favor regarding leakage, blowby and heat loss....let's not forget friction, too. Large central generating plants also employ a variety of heat exchangers to recover lost BTU from various plant functions and restore it to the main steam cycle; boosting efficiency further. Much of these exchangers would probably be cost prohibitive on a small scale (if they could be built at all) and, given scale effects, may operate to little gain or perhaps even a loss. Even the generator itself is a point of contention, the big power station generators are more efficient.

My guesstimate is that you would do well to reach half the overall efficiency of a central generating plant.


Re: White Paper
January 27, 2015 03:19PM
In a logical world the Gigawatt plants would be better with scale....in a political world the government will throw enough wrenches in the works.That even half the efficiency might be an improvement .
The utilities are already looking at modular construction instead of large scale custom plants,micro power is the buzz now even on individual level with many looking at true flex fuel.Because you just don't know what direction political wind will blow next.Other than it will cost more doing thier way than yours.
Re: White Paper
January 27, 2015 03:57PM
Indeed Ken.
The local plant at Moss Beach has a net efficiency of 47% I asked during a most fascinating tour.
Local modular small plants is a good example of Government sticking their nose into things that are far beyond their understanding. Industry panders to Government when it should simply ignore the delusions and get rid of the politicians wanting the changes. The scale factor is the key.
Maybe we should all go back to DC like Edison used until Tesla and Westinghouse tipped his wagon over.
The pollution mess that small plants would bring, and the capital cost involved, would really be something to worry about.
Re: White Paper
January 27, 2015 05:41PM
Arnold Walker Wrote:
> In a logical world the Gigawatt plants would be
> better with scale....in a political world the
> government will throw enough wrenches in the
> works.That even half the efficiency might be an
> improvement .

Just a FWIW:

I recently had the experience of a direct relative of my "now-ex", she (the relative) and husband purchased a Chevy Volt expecting to reap some energy (and energy cost) rewards--but instead SoCal Edison billed them with excessive power increase costs!

They are now experiencing power costs which are more than double their expectations. Even more, there are several electric power sources which recognize the cost effectiveness of "off-hour" electrical useage which implies that power users such as EV applications.

IMO we need to provide incentives instead of penalties to take advantage of the potentials.

As usual, just a FWIW.

Re: White Paper
January 27, 2015 06:45PM
So what did you expect???
There was some good tax paybacks if you bought an electric car. But, the Volt is not a pure battery electric car. The Volt doesn't use that much electricity from a wall plug, it recharges itself. Call the CA Air Resources Board and ask if the rebates and tax offsets are still in place.
Con Edison is probably jumping the gun and has mined the DMV records. Sounds like a class action lawsuit against Con Edison.
Con Edison is taking advantage of any electric car owner and lumped the Volt in with the battery electrics. So see if the electric car people are also getting gouged, LA is a hotbed of them.
Or have your electric rates gone up anyhow?

I said years ago that when enough battery electric cars hit the street, the State would put a meter on your charger and slap the missing fuel road tax on the juice you use to recharge,
According to the news yesterday some Senator has just proposed this.

Re: White Paper
January 27, 2015 11:47PM
I just hope piston guys don't throw up your hands and surrender, before the bottoming cycle guys get thier stuff together on turbo compound....if you are going to fight the fight in tech development simple with turbine, works better for us to compound.If done right ...it will be all those extra stages the Utility company is beating you with on thier turbines.
Re: White Paper
January 28, 2015 05:15AM
Very nice write Jim/Ken.

My slow reading has me about half way through. I did notice a units error within "Hydrogen is 51,585 BTU/lb. vs. Diesel oil at 139,200 BTU/lb." On the diesel side that would be a per/gallon number, and I have to assume the hydrogen is in a liquid state and also per gallon. FWIW - Keith
Re: White Paper
January 29, 2015 10:15AM
As a new member of this community, I loved the paper. A couple things came to mind. Steam power is alive and well. The electric cars are actually steam powered in most parts of the country. Rather than trying to stuff an efficient steam plant under the hood, electric cars use large steam plants that transmit the power to batteries for short term storage. That way the expensive, mechanical part of the heat to power conversion is shared by a lot of relatively inexpensive and simple final conversion systems called electric motors. This isn't perfected yet, but it's a lot more likely to happen than a modern steam car.

Though for commercial ships the diesel has supplanted steam power, it's alive and well where range without refueling is critical. Submarines and large naval surface ships are steam powered with nuclear reactors as the heat source. I doubt that this will be an economical solution for commercial ships, but it's revolutionized naval warfare.

I'm playing with a lot simpler steam power plants for models. There's no way it will supplant the gasoline two cycle engines stolen from weedeaters for our model boats in cost, ease of use, or size. The attraction is that it will be a challenge and is doable by an amateur. Thanks for clarifying more modern principles from the cloud of mostly 19th century information.

Lohring Miller
Re: White Paper
March 18, 2015 07:48PM

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 04/21/2015 07:50PM by frustrated.
Re: White Paper
September 20, 2015 11:18AM
I was looking for the thread where you discussed utility plant efficiencies, couldn't find it, I'll drop this link here, to Alstrom combined cycle plants. Don't think there is very much worthwhile technical info, just a number, 61%. They use sequential combustion, and claim low NOX emissions.


The biggest loss you are going to get from utility power is along the transmission lines, and at the voltages they use those losses aren't all that bad. Their powerplants are unlikely to be challenged for efficiency unless I good natural gas consuming fuel cell comes online.

No, the biggest loss is before the energy has become electricity, it is because of the low temperatures used in heat engines. If you apply Carnot Th Tc to a steam engine, you'll find the actual average Th is very much lower than T_admission (much due to the peak Q at around the 375 'C), and that steam plants actually get a pretty decent percentage of the Carnot efficiency if you choose to look at it this way. Off on a tangent this is one of the things that make the Kalina cycles better than water in many bottoming cycle applications, the boiling point of the fluid can be modified: Unless you have an awful amount of heat at 400 'C or a liitle bit above, that peak in the water properties is just spewing out anergy.

New materials are being developed all the time, and stuff often takes a long time to get developed and presented. Two of the lines of investigation that are being followed for topping cycles are thermionics and MHD. I don't know anything about them, but maybe Jeremy is clued in on the MHD thing if I recall. There are many other interesting possibilities for small scale topping cycles.

Aside from that, distributed power has a lot going for it besides political and prudency reasons. Up north, the majority of household electricity may go to heating. Just by throwing the fuel in the stove you can improve upon the fuel efficiency of the central plants. Over 90% is possible. Further savings can be had by burning it in a small engine instead, making electricity, powering a heat pump, and stuff. Almost all of the electricity used in a household is turned to heat within the house itself, so...
Some places the utility plants distribute hot water in addition to electricity, but not many places.
Re: White Paper
September 20, 2015 03:57PM
Ken ,Jim
Nice paper, however I do object to some misinformation about Cyclone. It is not and never was an automobile company. It is an R&D company and is doing research into the Rankin cycle engine. What you are writing a paper about we did experiments on years ago and pretty well know what works and not works, not just opinion. We have run engines for thousands of hours and have three dynos. We built bearing testers , valve testers, heat sensors. . Built the first under water engine using Moden fuel for Raytheon. We delivered the first real compact generator for TARDAK. Neither one of you have ever put your hands on a real modern engine or designed and built one. In the past I brought a MK2 that was a complete heat exchanger, engine, condenser compact package and was the only steam engine to ever run in and enclosed SACA building. I also brought a small WHE engine and ran it at Tom's house.
If you want to lean something it would be good to visit us and see how smooth and quiet these engines are. The MK2 dyno run by Raytheon engineers achieved over 30% total plant efficiency an not even a mention.
Materials are the thing most tested and gave the most surprising results that made a real game changer. Designing new engines at this technological point after this much development work is a matter of looking it up in our book. The new engines have reached a point of simplicity efficiency and durability that they are finally going into a production state.
Again a nicely written opinion piece
Re: White Paper
September 20, 2015 06:02PM
Why don't you post some actual vidoes on youtube. I woulld like to see a walk through of your shop and some of your work being done. Do you have a machine shop. How is your work being done? That wouldn't take but a few minutes. I post on youtube under Steamisthestuff. Just you and your camera. I have built complete engines. But I have copied other people's designs. Bill Barnes
Re: White Paper
September 20, 2015 06:40PM
Hi Bill
We have posted several. It is a regular on How IT'S Made on the History Channel. Just look up cyclone power and there is a lot of U-tube footage. Look at the web site Cyclone Power .com. And there is even the first one cylinder and the mk2 engine that was run at SACA.
The engine was in Popular Science and other publications. Those people were here and saw.
Re: White Paper
September 20, 2015 07:43PM
I would like to see from you no big production. no editing. Just a walk through of your shop takes 10 minutes You explaining your progress. Your machine shop. Milling Machines Lathes Welders. Somebody working in your shop. Parts you make. Your office. I don't think thats asking for too much. I'll post one of my shop. Thanks Bill Barnes
Re: White Paper
September 20, 2015 08:40PM
I deleted a couple of postings. Keep it clean gentlemen. No name calling, please?
Re: White Paper
September 21, 2015 08:21AM
Hi Bill
I would like to see new stuff. I always get a kick out of the show that Rolly goes to each year. There are some folks hear
experimenting an doing some fine work , at least learning. I espesialy like the four stroke engine by Jeremy Holmes.
If I can help any one I will, liminated to some things that are confidential. We hope someone will come out with a new breakthrough
and we could help. However we cannot finance others projects. I have never badmouthed anyones engine project , we are all learning and having fun. Please show pictures of you engine.
Re: White Paper
September 21, 2015 08:51AM
If any one is in New England in two weeks.
We are having are annual steam up and engine show at the Museum of wireless and steam in East Greenwich RI

Two weeks ago I went down and ran the Corliss engine 16 inch bore 36 inch stroke
Fun stuff.


Re: White Paper
October 24, 2015 08:51PM
Here's a walk threw of the shop, On a Saturday evening. When I need financing I ask my Wife.Im not asking you to show any secrets. I love Saca and Steam. Bill Barnes [www.youtube.com]
Re: White Paper
November 09, 2015 04:57AM
Hi Bill,

Thanks for posting the video link; great stuff! Active workshop making real steam machines that actually run great on the road, that's what I like to see! Way to go man. I hope to be posting similar videos in a year or two, once I get this disaster area straightened up and re-establish my machine shop/assembly areas in the 3 bigger/better outbuildings. "The Ranch" here has room to expand too.

[edited for brevity]


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/10/2015 09:50AM by Peter Brow.
Re: White Paper
November 09, 2015 05:09AM
Hi Bill,

I love SACA and steam too. Forever. It had to be said. Right on!

Re: White Paper
November 09, 2015 06:25PM
Thank you ,. Another opinion piece [www.marketwired.com]
Re: White Paper
November 10, 2015 10:10AM
White Paper... This White Paper thread has drifted well off of its original topic. Please, either post related postings to the White Paper topic or start a new thread titled with your new topic. Pat Farrell, moderator

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/10/2015 10:17AM by SSsssteamer.
Re: White Paper
November 10, 2015 11:51PM
I can see you put a lot into this and I for one appreciate your work. I do believe that a modern steam engine can be built that would find its place today. Like a number of folks here I have my own tangent of thought and ideas. Maybe even something worthwhile.

Re: White Paper
December 10, 2015 12:12PM
One thing on combustion air heat exchangers. The blower would set between two heat exchangers. Drawing air from the condenser air flow. The blower output then going the boiler exhaust heat exchanger to the burner.. CPU cooling has advanced heat pipe technology that might also be applied in solving configuration problems.

Re: White Paper
December 10, 2015 12:45PM
Hi Andy,

I agree except that I would put the blower before the heat exchangers, when drawing air into something there are seveer limits on how much pressure drop you can tolerate, not so much so when pushing the air.


Re: White Paper
December 11, 2015 10:37AM
My proto is as Ken describes, and I agree, blowing is much more efficient. There is an old saying that vacuum sucks. -Keith
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