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4 cycle Flash Steam Engine

Posted by Jeremy Holmes 
Re: 4 cycle Flash Steam Engine
August 01, 2015 02:25AM
Hi Jeremy,

As I once mentioned, long ago, I like your 4-cycle steam engine concept, and think it may work great due to the heat input into the low-pressure steam which gets intake/compressed before water injection. It is _not_ a "laws of thermodynamics breaker". Plus not having to re-design/rebuild the entire valve train is great. Of course water injection atomization may be an issue, and of course I am "Mr. Traditional Steam Car", so I have the inevitable doubts about any non-"Stanleyoid" engine successfully propelling an automobile. But for non-automotive apps, I am very open-minded.

That being said, in the near future I will need a certified mechanic to inspect/approve vehicles for TX street-legal registration purposes. A steam-hip certifier would be best. Please write me at ashenfern@webtv.net as to your current certification status. I will not require signing a non-disclosure agreement.

Peter



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/02/2015 03:23AM by Peter Brow.
Re: 4 cycle Flash Steam Engine
August 01, 2015 06:51PM
Hi Peter,

I am an L1 ASE Re-Certified Master Tech. My L1 is good till 2016. I probably wont be recertifying unless its just brakes or alignment. I understand in California you need to be L1 Certified to get any car registration for emissions test. My advice to you is use a car body that would be grandfathered like a 1969 mustang or Pinto.

Although external combustion are touted to be better on emissions you will never pass the dyno test. So when it comes to your registration use "assembled parts" or a car body that is exempted.

Best

Jeremy
Re: 4 cycle Flash Steam Engine
August 02, 2015 03:21AM
Hi Jeremy,

I am living in Texas now, near Austin [doing my part to "Keep Austin Weird"!], and after some move-in, house/yard fixup, and workshop setup (more on the way), I finally had some time to check the local vehicle laws in detail. Somewhat different from the CA laws. Your advice is excellent -- actually I already decided to do exactly that. Off the shelf new antique-replica body and chassis (probably Old Ford) is the easiest & safest way to get street-legal here. Antique-replica "hot rods" only have to meet crash-safety, emissions, & smog-equipment requirements for vehicles of the model year that the replica is a replica of ("resembles" is the exact word in the law); 1920s or 1930s in my case, no problem there. They are also exempt from the annual TX safety and emissions tests, but they do need the basic safety inspection from a certified mechanic when first registered. That is things like working brakes, headlights, etc, 20 basic items which I (or anyone) would insist on the car having anyway.

So, my car will have a new antique-style body, not the modern body I was designing. This has both advantages and disadvantages. More air drag, but also cheaper, simpler, and lots less work to get it on the road. Well, the oldies are a hoot to drive, and many people prefer that look. Since the law covers hot rods, body/styling modifications are of course allowed; I will be going for a clean, practical, and conservative antique design and all-weather drivability, not some wild topless "kook rod". Possibly a removable hardtop; car could then be used as either a fun open car, or as an all-weather coupe.

Texas lists a bunch of certifications required for the Master Mechanic who does the pre-registration inspection. Moot point, since you are not planning to re-certify anyway. You came to mind immediately when I read the Master Mechanic inspection requirement. No problem; I'll find somebody local who specializes in inspecting hot rods. The law is mainly to weed out "hillbilly specials" which are slapped together with duck tape and baling wire -- and/or stolen parts. A properly-assembled kit car with all-new parts & correct documents should have no problem passing.

Wishing you every success with your engines; looking forward to your future reports. If you get it running as well as an IC engine, then it would still propel a car, if you are interested in that(?), simply by adding a suitable transmission. Plus you know the street-legal registration methods, used by hundreds of thousands of hot-rodders to get all sorts of non-standard powerplants legally on the road.

Peter
Re: 4 cycle Flash Steam Engine
August 03, 2015 07:37AM
Could not help but be a fly on the wall with your project,thinking that inspite of intent ....there might be another use for you idea.
Regulator valve for low pressure engines running high pressure boilers than don't cost over $1000.00...an overboost shutoff valve for my turbines is one of the reasons.Was looking at piston engines "regulating" my pressure on turbocompound set,more so than stand alone turbines for a while.The highest pressure Brayton cycle used is GE on the combined cycle plant they are building near Fort Hood....and that is 380psi on the natural gas fired gas turbine side.
I am out there trying to do Brayton on both sides.....
Even if you have a Victorian steam boat,might come in handy for the guy wanting to run a Stanley ,high pressure lamonte,or ? in a smaller space than a low pressure boiler....you add a tranducer to trip it before engine ranaway or ?
maybe worse.
probably in the way of the work be done..Bye ...Gone.
Re: 4 cycle Flash Steam Engine
August 03, 2015 01:43PM
Arnold,
You might want to look at the Besler-Doble pressure reducing valve they used for the donkey feed pump for the Series F cars and his Sentinel engines. Used to eliminate varying pressure from influencing the water feed rate.
Jim
Re: 4 cycle Flash Steam Engine
August 03, 2015 03:39PM
Hi all:

Interesting perspective here: IMO all the answers to a workable steam propulsion system are available to anyone with the wherewithal to do the research--and even to make appropriate enquiries when you can't find the solution on your own.

The sheer volume of available data on this website alone, much less the links that are included--makes it inexcusable to try and make another new "steam powered wheel", just means IMO the inquiree (SP?) hasn't done due-diligence and needs to spend more time!!

Anyone disagree with this?

B.
Re: 4 cycle Flash Steam Engine
August 04, 2015 04:02PM
I disagree. The last serious attempts at improving automotive size steam power plants happened around 40 years ago with the exception of Cyclone. No one has taken advantage of the huge improvements in control systems since then. They can make up for problems that come from mechanical simplicity ie. monotube boilers. As an example, digital pumps show promise in hydraulic power transmission. The Artemis pump looks a lot like the Cyclone pump but with the ability to control the output of each cylinder. Adding feedback to an electronic control system through pressure sensors and thermocouples would allow control of the temperature and pressure to each individual expansion cylinder with a pump like this. Unfortunately, it would take a large company's resources to do the development.

Up to the present, mechanical control systems represented the state of the art and that's where the extensive (and excellent) experience represented in this forum lies. The latest steam engines seriously researched in the 1970s started to adapt the mechanical designs for expanders pioneered in IC engines. A lot of work with materials and lubrication was still needed. Outside pressure forced automobile IC engines to solve fuel economy and emissions problems on engines the same or very similar to ones they built in the 1950s. They developed computer engine management systems that are shockingly complex by 1970 standards but reliable. Car engines last at least twice as long with a lot less maintenance. I bet simple steam plants could be improved in much the same way if there was a reason to do it. However, the pressure is only on large turbine plants.

Lohring Miller
Re: 4 cycle Flash Steam Engine
August 04, 2015 08:13PM
Lohring I think what your saying makes sense There has been no serious attempts with external combustion since the 70's.

The exception is the Cyclone effort. he covers some important features like water lubrication without using oil. But I caution you anybody could use the same method.

My engine is open crank case using grease cups. I think there needs to be a departure from the rankine cycle. And Im working on that, please bear in mind I have spent $250,000.00 to get to the level Im at and would not be doing so unless I thought higher efficiency's than 30% were possible.
Re: 4 cycle Flash Steam Engine
August 05, 2015 07:33AM
Jeremy, at this point in my life, engineering is my hobby. I love following other's efforts but can't spend the amounts you have developing new things. Even so, you are seriously underfunded. I bet GE spent hundreds of thousands of 1970 dollars on their limited investigation of automobile steam power. Today I would expect it would take at least tens of millions of current dollars to develop an automotive steam plant. The only place a steam plant might compete is in heavy trucks. They are under pressure to reduce emissions. However, I bet the money is going into detail changes in existing engines.

I'm afraid conventional steam is dead except for hobbysts and in large power plants. I was involved in a (losing) proposal to build the first gas turbine powered destroyer class. These days destroyers and cruisers are gas turbine powered. Steam only survives in the nuclear powered ships. Commercial ships are large diesel engine powered. Those engines look alot like a reciprocating steam engine mechanically but without the boilers and condensers. Putting the fire inside the engine has resulted in a less expensive and more compact power plant. Your efforts might be able to do something similar. Good luck.

Lohring Miller
Re: 4 cycle Flash Steam Engine
October 05, 2015 12:11AM
Hi Lohring,

I discount the value you have stated. ". Even so, you are seriously underfunded."

At this point I am making a batch of 100 complete injector valves.

In addition to using the injector four my 4 cycle engine design, they can be used in any Uniflow with poppet valve and with side cylinder exhaust . this design can guarantee safety. Although the injector( L912 valve) may be the most precision steam admission it is digital.

Meaning this is a way to test and tune the with some software. there is a lot of this that im glossing over
Re: 4 cycle Flash Steam Engine
October 05, 2015 10:29AM
Hi Jeremy,

A 100 unit build is significant. Do you have specs. on max temp/pressure, orifice size, lift and details of the support electronics required? Materials of the seats/valve and life cycle testing data would be cool too. I've seen some of your pictures, but could you provide physical dims.? Have you established cost and delivery/unit?

Thanks,
Keith
Re: 4 cycle Flash Steam Engine
October 05, 2015 06:51PM
Hi Keith,

The inlet is 1/4 npt. The outlet nozzle is 3/16in. When these injector are sold they will have the 12vdc (mosfet) digital switching array.

Im going to leave the nozzle at 3/16in because this size will handle supercritical steam or water injection.

The burst pressure is 40,000 psi. Some will come with heaters built in and also with no heating.

The valve is also variable lift, this is necessary to throttle the engine that's being run, but will be a mechanical setting (you would have to turn a screw to adjust the lift setting)

the valves are just under 13in in length. and about 1in dia at the nozzle.

Bear in mind they are leak proof. Most likely the price is about $2990, but there is some wiggle room.

Oh ya I almost forgot the coolant pump for the coil (magnetic).



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/05/2015 07:13PM by Jeremy Holmes.
Re: 4 cycle Flash Steam Engine
October 07, 2015 03:49PM
Hello Lohring,

You mentioned that GE probably spent hundreds of thousands on their limited investigation of automotive steam power back in the 70's. I can't comment on GE but I can comment on Ford.

Back in 1969 I returned to Michigan having my patent application for my rotary steam engine going. Ford advertised with a press release that they were spending $100,000,000 on steam engine research. I made an appointment and headed for Detroit. I got there and was shuffled right up to a head engineers office where I was greeted warmly. He looked over my patent stuff and commented a little. Then he took me aside confidentially.

Here I was informed of the "true facts". Ford had some two billion dollars already invested in the internal combustion engine. They had just invested $10,000,000 in steam research to prove it would NOT work and had just advertised that it was $100,000,000. He actually said that Ford had no interest in steam engines and that the only way they would was if I actually built a good running steam car and drove it up to their door. He also said I would not like the interest they took.

Now, I think that man did me a favour. Yeah he wore a suit, but I pretty much dropped development of my wonderful rotary engine which I could have wasted a lot of time on. Now I had the spare time to smoke some dope, drop out, become a Hippy, grow hair and associate with other unsavory characters. In 2004 I found this Phorum and rekindled my interest in steam.

Steam car design is a strange and tantalizing thing. The principles of it's thermodynamics are easy and the mechanics of it look simple and inviting to an inventive mind. The basic piece movements on a chess board are also simple and inviting to the mind of some game players and in some cities the park is full of chess players on weekends. I think that the challenge to get to championship level is about the same.

Some of the development projects in steam seemingly had the money but no Bobby Fischer arose. In others perhaps if he had arose he would have been fired. Certainly at Ford back in 1969 he would have gotten canned. I assert that the "big money" was in proving that it would not work. "Big money" also buys outside influence.

Best Regards,

Bill G.
Re: 4 cycle Flash Steam Engine
October 08, 2015 12:50AM
Thanks for the reply and info Jeremy.

Little big for a retro of the current build (4kwe). May work well for a larger production unit.

I want to get rid of the cam driven hydraulic stuff driving the miniature "pencil" valve. Too many components for production.
Re: 4 cycle Flash Steam Engine
October 08, 2015 08:51PM
Hi Keith, Bill,

The injector does have a pencil like control. The pintle valve about 10.4in length and 1/4 dia. The nozzle that bolts to the cylinder head has 18mm thread.



Jeremy


Re: 4 cycle Flash Steam Engine
October 09, 2015 10:51AM
Jeremy, have you checked with Volkswagen? I hear they are considering a low emission replacement for a lot of engines.

LOL

Lohring Miller
Re: 4 cycle Flash Steam Engine
October 09, 2015 07:14PM
First patent

CIP

I am currently manufacturing 100 injector valves, and they will be available for any individuals wanting to work with flash steam. I figure by the summer they will go on to the market, and there is nothing anybody can do about it.

Jeremy Holmes



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/09/2015 07:21PM by Jeremy Holmes.
Re: 4 cycle Flash Steam Engine
October 10, 2015 12:54PM
Lohring,


Volkswagen has done really good with diesel especially the Rabbit from the 80's I think it got over 40 mpg.

Ive worked on the new turbo beetle and changed timing belts cylinder heads, etc. You want to talk about hard to work on. Another one is the PT Cruiser not mechanic friendly. smoking smiley

Jeremy Holmes
Re: 4 cycle Flash Steam Engine
October 11, 2015 09:15AM
I owned a Beetle in the 1960s and one of the first diesel Rabbits in 1979. They both represented out of the box thinking for their time. Because of experiences with computers and NC machine tools in the 1970s, I didn't trust that the early engine management systems would be reliable. The diesel seemed to be the mechanical answer. These days I own a considerably higher performance car that gets around the same fuel economy on gasoline as my old rabbit thanks to electronic engine management. It's too bad that Volkswagen flushed their reputation down the toilet with a cheater engine management system.

All diesels are strugling with similar emission problems and no great solutions. Electric cars (and maybe local delivery vehicles and buses) are looking better daily. They can take advantage of large central plant heat conversion efficiencies as well as local solar power. The battery (or other energy storage) has always been the limiting factor and they are steadly improving. Innovative steam may still have a place, but it will be very difficult to displace the existing technologies. Long haul trucks look like the best bet to me.

Lohring Miller
Re: 4 cycle Flash Steam Engine
October 17, 2015 07:00PM
Well I don't really want to be a stick in the mud but Honda in the 80's and 90's with their Civic HF, OUTSIDE of California was EPAed at 63 mpg, a bit less in cal, I think 59ish. This was done with a LOT of fancy engineering ie; a CARB!, good engine design (single cam!) and weight savings. This variant alone had aluminum wheels, air filre housing, valve cover and other bits. So nothing trick, just paying attention to detail AND weight. And their S2000 model was putting 240 hp out of a 2 liter naturally aspirated engine with a ultra low emissions rating, something GM STILL doesn't want to do! So the target is REALLY high to come up with a viable external combustion engine! Good luck mate! ronp
Re: 4 cycle Flash Steam Engine
November 11, 2015 08:52PM
Well its time for an update. I am working with a Chinese LTD and im making 100 L912 Injectors. I should get a sample early next week, we have gone back and fourth with quality issues. So im optimistic the parts will be made of outstanding quality.

Not all the parts will be made by the Chinese firm. I have two patents so im not worried about dealing with them. Also the electronic switch gear will be included with the Injector. Should anyone be interested in buying one.

I hate works in progress because I built a corn burner but at the time did not realize I needed a low pressure superheater.

Now im under driving the feed water pump and that will lead to more modifications.

If any one whats to see how the engine is supposed to work check this link
Re: 4 cycle Flash Steam Engine
December 07, 2015 06:42PM
Here's another update, so far things have gone well I have received some samples but 90% have been rejected. Im now splitting hairs with them.

I feel confident that we will get some high quality parts.

The goal is to make a high quality steam direct injector valve with variable lift for throttling.

Ive never seen a direct injection valve offered here. Sure one has the versatility to build many types of steam engines with it. Also its digital, so electronics like Arduino .can be used.

Im really working hard to get the steam direct injection valve to market and I am afraid of the ridicule that one of them (my customers) would get here.

Best

Jeremy Holmes



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/07/2015 06:43PM by Jeremy Holmes.
Re: 4 cycle Flash Steam Engine
December 10, 2015 04:38PM
Under a lot of stress, I have a batch of 100 injectors going, and I am all over quality. Before I commit to the batch I want a nice prototype. Its a waiting game now. Ive put out a lot of cash and its tough to balance living and development.

On the lighter side I got a Fox lathe, its 10in swing by 20in length engine lathe. Ive also got a nice solidstate tig machine (220 amps)

So much work to get these injectors to market. Then its back to my engine cycle prototype (4 cycle flash steam).
Re: 4 cycle Flash Steam Engine
December 12, 2015 09:52PM
I wish you the best Jeremy. I really would like to see your flash steam going. As the saying goes "All roads lead to Rome" . I hope my road will meet you there some day.
Re: 4 cycle Flash Steam Engine
December 12, 2015 10:30PM
Hi Steve,

I sure hope so smiling smiley

Im entering a critical phase manufacturing injectors, Im really stressed about this as I have to spend about $25,000 in funding which I am doing by myself.

One big thing about flash steam engines is that they don't work. Ive spent 25 or so years designing one that will work. No one else has taken the approach that I am and especially the methodology has taken much testing and fabrication.

Im not looking to get rich the engine cycle is open source.

I consider it a challenge, when you think about it should be impossible since the funding source is me...
Re: 4 cycle Flash Steam Engine
December 14, 2015 04:56PM
I have a lathe in shipment. I had ordered a different one but thankfully it is on back order. I found a better deal elsewhere and got confirmation today that im getting the better of the two machines

Im happy that it also comes with a 4 jaw chuck.
Re: 4 cycle Flash Steam Engine
May 13, 2016 05:15PM
Recently I have been doing some static pressure tests I had to change the sprockets in order to get high pressure by cranking the engine over by hand. The pressures im reaching exceed 4000psi. Im abit concerned about flow rate so If I can get what I need with the existing static load pump, I have another That has twice the flow.

Im now in the process of rebuilding the electronics I used telephone wire to wire it with and the this type of wire breaks at the connections.

Also I am converting the HPLV to LPHV air injection for the burner. I had hoped to receive some parts today so I could work on it over the weekend. But I will have to wait.
Re: 4 cycle Flash Steam Engine
May 13, 2016 05:55PM
Here are some pictures


Re: 4 cycle Flash Steam Engine
May 25, 2016 08:13PM
I would like to throw my hat in the ring.

It would take a donor 4 or 6 cylinder of an older engine no replacement for displacement.

To run a multi cylinder engine the lift settings for each injector must be synchronized but that can be easily done.

I have 4 or 6 spare injectors... The burner would need a super-heater feeding the intake ports. The engine block could be heated with heat transfer fluid and the water injection supply would also have to be heated.

Jeremy
Re: 4 cycle Flash Steam Engine
June 04, 2016 12:41PM
Hi All,

This is a picture of my axial burner. Although the burner is designed to burn biofuels such as wood pellets or solid corn kernals, I find the corn to burn hotter and with a blue flame which wood pellets will not.

In any event I have decided to hybridize the burner with liquid fuel section also. Here is a picture of the core of the liquid fuel stage. I plan on using kerosene for my immediate experiments


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