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Insulating steam engine cylinders and steam lines

Posted by Caleb Ramsby 
Re: Insulating steam engine cylinders and steam lines
March 07, 2015 06:46AM
Celeb,maybe the aluminum drawing heat away might the way he is getting away with as small of a condenser as he is...
At the same time,I am puzzled on pressure drop whether you are using a steam chest or a jet there is will be a pressure drop.Other wise it wouldn't be a steam expander...usually in order to have flow at all, the pressure differential would have to be markedly higher.
If he was compound that heat into the cylinder wall might be a problem...at the same time his engine like everyone else
is not perfect.Which is reason we look at everybody's engine in the first place, to get that perfect engine. Maybe somehow we can get that ideal engine that can run forever on on water feed and and gets 10,000 miles on a gallon of fuel.The engine on a nuke sub is about the closest thing to doing that and I honestly don't either of you have one of them yet.I know I don't at least....
Re: Insulating steam engine cylinders and steam lines
March 07, 2015 07:45AM
Ironically,Amishman was trying to get one of those nuke.Laser heating deuterium in a fusion reactor,done that in a hobby fuser but like the UN scientists ,never got a energy balance ...their case after 50years and trillions spent and still trying.....
Got a blue glow and this and other stuff for physic students and their professor to oh and awe about,but nothing to show as far as delivering power in a self sustain manner.
Another one of those things man does in his mind something awesome,only to find that is .0001% of the energy coming for sun 93,000,000 miles away. (I wouldn't want to be shoving the firebox on that sucker...)
Re: Insulating steam engine cylinders and steam lines
March 07, 2015 08:34AM
Hi Caleb

Can you direct me to the video or documentation which shows the rotary valve MkV? I seem to have missed something along the way.
I can find documentation on the rotary valve WHE and its conrod operated exhaust valve but none on the MkV.
The video for the MkV derived MR36 horizontal shaft engine still shows poppet valves as far as I can decipher. The patent shows a water and fuel pump on the crankshaft end cover where the WHE has its rotary valve.
The video of the LSR engine shows no valve mechanism and this engine is similar to the supposedly running engine shown in the Combilift video. The cylinder cover hides the cylinder detail.

Re: Insulating steam engine cylinders and steam lines
March 07, 2015 09:54AM
As a complete novice it would seem to me that wrapping the cylinders in economiser coils would both cool the cylinder and recover the heat. The various results I see indicate piston and liner temperatures don't get above 600 degrees, at least with 1000 degree steam. I still would only consider some kind of steel liner unless you could find a knowledgable ceramic supplier.

Lohring Miller
Re: Insulating steam engine cylinders and steam lines
March 07, 2015 02:40PM
Nothing is hidden by the cylinder cover:


Pause it at 41 seconds in the video. See the tiny right angle fitting jutting out the side of the cylinder head? That is where the steam is going into the engine, very small line.

The absence of the poppet valve that admitted the steam into the top center of the head is obvious.

About cylinder condensation, bellow is a link to Harry's first post on this forum:


What is the number ONE quote he gave from Stumpf?

The very first improvement to the "vacuum" beam engines way, way back was to stop injecting water into the cylinder directly to condense the steam and do so in a separate chamber.

The main advantage of using highly superheated steam is to prevent the condensation of the steam inside the cylinder.

Cylinder temps and steam temps.


Go to page 24. The 20 degrees of cutoff of admission is for roughly 3% of the pistons travel. This is with "only" 1,000 F steam temps. Note at a shorter cutoff then the MKV was designed for, roughly 2/3 of the cylinder wall is well above 500 F.

It is just bad engineering to condense the steam inside the cylinder during expansion. If one is going to waste the massive superheat put into the steam like that, one might as well just use much lower initial steam temperatures and insulate the cylinder.

Cooling the steam inside the cylinder, one will be producing more losses then one can recover.

Aluminum cylinders and anodizing, Harry has stated that ceramic coatings were no good for the cylinder, he indicated that much of the aluminum he used was anodized.

Trying to figure out what is the reality here is very difficult and I am not by any stretch of the imagination the most qualified to do so. Yet, no one else is, so here we are.

It is akin to being at a circus, behind one of those big plywood walls with funny characters painted on one side, with big holes to stick your head through and get your picture taken. I keep hearing people on the other side of the wall exclaiming how great things are, but every time I stick my head through a hole to get a glimpse, pies, oranges, then baseballs and stones are hurled at my head.

I am not enjoying this process, but I think someone has to do it.

Caleb Ramsby
Re: Insulating steam engine cylinders and steam lines
March 07, 2015 03:39PM
Your observations are quite correct, sometimes in preserving a very high temperature engine withdrawing a few percent from the boundary layers will save the engine from meltdown and short term destruction. Consider all the heat loss in modern IC engines where 30-40%
of all the thermal fuel energy is absorbed and sent to the radiator just so the engine can survive and achieve possibly 25% thermal efficiency just to save the engine from catastrophic failure
In your analysis keeping the cylinder wall film temperature down and the heat absorbed by a surrounding feedwater heater to be reclaimed is a great consideration for very high temperature engines. Many decades ago there was a world record setting miniature raceboat engine of high success that to insure the longevity of the very high speed piston valve that its sleeve was receiving circulated feedwater to keep the piston valve from seizing, most of the heat recovered in the feedwater. This is such old and tried stuff .
The great Stumpf's work was based upon very large slow moving pistons and the time per expansion cycle and the large cylinder areas allowing for considerable heat transfer to occure per expansion at lets say 100 RPM..Now consider an engine @ 3600 rpm with an expansion time of less than 1/100th of a second and very small heat transfer area the losses are minimal per expansion cycle, largely recoverable and reduce the sliding film temperatures to a tolerable level.
As far as our new blacksmith turned 12 year study expert quoting 8-10-12 year old quotes from Harry as some sort of proof it is obsolete. As I tried to point out like Tom Kimmel did on his recent rare post R&D work is intensive and what poor Harry knew all those years ago have long been replaced with so many new concepts and materials that reprinting such old obsolete postings have no merit on what has been recently advanced. As an old has-been engineer I have no idea how some people can go back and recall hundreds of old posts from a dozen years ago and have the energy and time to do all of that, sometimes 8 postings per day?? Beware of ancient postings as proof of present knowledge, a great deal of advancement has been learned in all those years. Your thoughts above should be considered by others.
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