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Steam turbine driven turbojet

Posted by novice 
Re: Steam turbine driven turbojet
November 30, 2020 07:28AM
Hi Serge,
I attached a picture of the excel sheet for one of my many calculations. Note that when Fill is mentioned, it refers to the attached concept that I'm developing. Take a look at it and ask any questions.

Note that this is my latest cut for ~200 Hp machine (same as Besler's Airplane). For that matter, anyone may ask questions.



Hi Novice,
To stay on task, I just read Besler was a big boundary layer guy. He called his airplane forced circulation boiler a boundary layer breakthrough.

Here's the question, what is the boiler planned for the nuclear steam generator, i.e. mono-tube, forced circulation, natural circulation (tube boiler) or fire tube? Also, can be any combination? I'm leaning towards a combination that I think will work best.

Kind regards,
Rick


Re: Steam turbine driven turbojet
November 30, 2020 08:02AM
Rick-

Art Gardiner designed a steam generator for the Mark 2 Streamliner that I was planning to build after my crash, and the design he put together wasn't that much bigger than the Mark 1 generator. His design was a multiple pass generator that would put out 3000+lbs/hr, burning somewhere around 50 gph. The coil stack was less than 24 inches in diameter and though we didn't build either the generator or the streamliner, there weren't any fitment problems.

Art and I are strong proponents of using finned tubing-the economizer/evaporator section in his design was finned-which makes a lot of steam in a small package.

Ah well...next time around-maybe I'll build it!


Chuk
Re: Steam turbine driven turbojet
November 30, 2020 11:33AM
I only worked on one nuclear reactor, it’s basically a tank of water with the reactor rods (core) inside the tank and a bank of circulating pumps around the tank circulating the water around the core in the middle of the tank. Each pump in a separate room with valves to isolate the pump for maintenance. The water in the reactor was circulated through a heat exchanger to generator steam so radioactive water was not going to the turbine.
I would call it a forced circulation reactor. Loose the pumps, over heat the reactor, loose the state.
Rolly
Re: Steam turbine driven turbojet
November 30, 2020 12:28PM
Chuk,
I agree, finned economizer tubing is the way-to-go. I remember you showing me the tubing at your shop in Florida.

Also, you got me thinking ... about using condensation in the hot well being supplied by feed water heater. I estimate a temperature rise of 50 Deg F.

Attached is the new calculation w/finned tube and condensed water...up to 240 Hp. Prototype concept drawing attached. I believe the burner needs infrared to achieve best heat transfer along with a high flow burner like yours.

As you know, what is calculated needs to be tested. I will be building a scale prototype to check out my calculation. Might be used on a Bike or something that size. Then I'll make the investment into full scale. You are welcome to build your boiler also. Which ever one works best is the way to go.

Thanks,
Rick


Re: Steam turbine driven turbojet
December 02, 2020 07:15AM
Novice,
Rolly brings up a good point that all current nuclear reactors are PWR (pressure water reactors). You do not want transition of water to steam next to the heat rods.

At Northeaster University (Boston) I took Nuclear Engineering I and II. At that time, my class visited the MIT nuclear PWR facility. This is where the above concept was actually seen and demonstrated. If the water were to transition to steam near the generating rods, it will go into over drive and start a melt down.

The other input I have is from my good friend (Engineer) who was a Nuclear Sub Commander. I often ask how the nuclear system worked, down to some minute detail. Overall principle of operation is that it runs on saturated steam, the most inefficient system there is. Who cares, the energy is cheap and plentiful. It kind of just lolly gags around spinning a turbine and consistently produces electricity to a battery. This is hardly the system for an aircraft engine. I would classify it as a combination forced circulation system on a condensing mono-tube system.

The quest to my query is to see what other concepts were proposed to see if there is something I'm not thinking of pertaining to making a new stellar boiler system.

As always, kind regards,
Rick
Re: Steam turbine driven turbojet
December 02, 2020 08:41AM
The Soviet Era Kirov Class nuclear battle cruisers had a CONAS propulsion system -- COmbined Nuclear And Steam. Basically, the nuclear reactors drove steam turbines, but there were backup boilers in place. This might indicate that Soviet nuclear power was not up to US standards. On the other hand, two alternative uses for the boilers have been suggested and I haven't been able to find a definitive source as to how these played out. One suggestion was that the nuclear plants were for cruising and that the boilers could be fired up in parallel with the reactors only when needed for fast sprints -- thus obviating the need to design a larger nuclear plant for the larger battlecruiser hull. The alternative theory was that the boilers had excess superheater capacity and were capable of also superheating reactor steam, improving system efficiency and output when demand arose. The second idea isn't bad, a fuel oil fired superheater needn't be all that heavy and would consume a relatively small amount of fuel. In an aircraft, it could be fired up for takeoff or other instances when the added power derived from higher efficiency would be beneficial -- the added weight of superheater and fuel would certainly be much less than a PWR with the same peak capacity.
Re: Steam turbine driven turbojet
December 04, 2020 07:00AM
Serge,
I wanted to get back to you about the BTU and Horsepower calculator posted above. If you would like the Excel version, I'll be happy to send it to you?

Any other requests are welcome along with an explanation as to how it works. It is based on the steam boat fellows who have estimated the square foot of a type of boiler; mono tube, fire tube and multi-tube to produce boiler horsepower.

Rick

Also, Chuk,

I performed a calculation on your LSR boiler as a reference. Pretty sure you're at 200 Hp to meet the record you hold (Steam Piston Speed Record).


Re: Steam turbine driven turbojet
December 09, 2020 07:27PM
Rick.H Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>
> Hi Novice,
> To stay on task, I just read Besler was a big
> boundary layer guy. He called his airplane forced
> circulation boiler a boundary layer breakthrough.
>
> Here's the question, what is the boiler planned
> for the nuclear steam generator, i.e. mono-tube,
> forced circulation, natural circulation (tube
> boiler) or fire tube? Also, can be any
> combination? I'm leaning towards a combination
> that I think will work best.
>
> Kind regards,
> Rick

At supercritical pressures water does not boil, just expands in volume with increasing temperatures.
Aircraft had 450MW water heater that was designed as 11 feet stainless steel sphere with just 2.5 feet diameter heating core having hundreds of parallel water channels. Water was pressurized to almost 5500psi and heated to 1000F. Generator was very heavy. Water alone was over 20 tons.


Besler's 4 engines steam aircraft was indeed very interesting.
In his report he was a proponent of his own steam engine, but also did not completely exclude a future development of a compact high efficiency steam turbines of moderate power 150hp and more.
Aircraft project had steam condensers but they did not have any cooling fans. So they were useless at takeoff and there was a significant loss of water.

Small steam turbines have less net efficiency than steam engines with the same steam parameters. Besler steam aircraft engine could only at maximum temperatures 700-720F due to lubrication oil turning into hard deposits on cylinder wall and piston rings. Steam turbine rotor made of modern chromium nickel steel can work thousands of hours at 1200F. With the internal cooling this temperature can be boosted up to 1500F.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/10/2020 08:08AM by novice.


Re: Steam turbine driven turbojet
December 10, 2020 10:27AM
(At supercritical pressures water does not boil, just expands in volume with increasing temperatures.)

Not true.

All water in a boiler boils, there is always space above the water where the steam cushions the expansion creating pressure.

If there were no steam and space the water would hydraulic and burst the pressure vessel with almost no heat, as water expands in volume very fast when heated.

Rolly
Re: Steam turbine driven turbojet
December 11, 2020 08:22AM
Hi Novice,
Again, I enjoy this thread.

I see some real genius with Belsler regarding the Aircraft Steam Engine. I'm going to take a shot understanding his thinking on boundary layer theory. His secret paper to the US government identifies his boundary layer theory and really is talking about convective heat transfer. In order to achieve the highest convective heat transfer, he resolved to have a forced circulation boiler. This method would include a separator drum or tube.

I'm going to get a little technical here. I believe Besler understood the importance of Reynolds Number (Re). Re is indicative of turbulent flow in a system. Re is representative of fluid velocity, density and tube diameter over viscosity. Let it be known that the engineering and scientific community does not understand, at least in a theoretical sense how the boundary layer reacts at high Re numbers. High Re numbers is turbulent flow and by observation, produces exponential values of heat transfer coefficient.

The basic heat transfer equation is q = Hc(T1 - T2). Here is the challenge in a turbulent flow...what is the Hc?

I think Besler went through the same exercise that I'm describing here. The attempt at getting a heat transfer coefficient includes using the Nusselt number with the Re to determine the Hc. To complicate things, it is a differential representation of dx/dt. I tried this calculation using sections of 10 ft tubing and sequentially increased temperature as the water progressed through. Then used different heat transfer coefficients to estimate the water and steam at the various temperatures.

Long story short...it's a bust. I even did a presentation at a SACA meet to present this. I asked for help from the audience...again, a bust.

Besler probably came up short also. However, when you want to develop a concept, you just need to experiment and record results. So here is what he did. He took an assumption on a generator tube square footage and applied a circulation pump to and from a separator tube. His results are stellar by witness of a steam aircraft that can fly. He knew that the water velocity in the generating tube needed to be maximized to gain the most heat transfer. The higher the Re, the higher the heat transfer. One more added acceleration factor. He knew the the gain in fluid velocity has an exponential effect on temperature gain.

Note that this is why a steam blower works so well. It increases steam pressure while expiring pressure in the blower.

So in summary, Besler produced a viable boiler, light enough to go in an aircraft and produce enough power to over come drag. What a wonderful accomplishment.

Great food for thought...

Kind regards,
Rick
Re: Steam turbine driven turbojet
December 15, 2020 07:49AM
I wanted to add to this thought and relate it to the Model Boat speed record and the mono-tube boiler that powered it. The Reynolds number is very high. In other words, the flow through the small copper tubing is very turbulent. Also, the flow velocity is very fast for a little tube.

Gentle reminder: higher the turbulent flow, the greater the convective heat transfer. This relationship is exponential.

Model Boat Steam Speed Record

Let us talk water rates as another topic and sometimes miss understood. I'll use a water rate of 10 gallons/hr. You can achieve this rate with 1/2" pipe or 3/8" tube...which is better? If I asked Besler which one, you guessed it, he would say the 3/8" tube. The flow velocity is far greater in the smaller diameter tube.

On the flip side, it becomes counter productive on efficiency of the system with huge pumps to produce high flow velocity.

efficiency = work out / (heat in + pump work)

Besler's aircraft engine used both a feed pump and forced circulation pump. This no doubt lowered the overall efficiency of this steam powerplant. However, results are stellar.

Chuk and I had a nice conversation at the dinner table one SACA meet with pencils in hand and drawing all over the table clothe at a restaurant (paper of course). We discussed how important it is to continuously increase the diameter of the generating tubes. Reason is to reduce the push back of the water/stream on the feed and circulating pumps. What's the reason for a steam generator tube when a pump has to produce the same pressure as what you get out of the system. At the time, we were discussing a forced and an Inductor jet (French) circulation design made with pancake wound pipe.

Boundary layer diagram (left side is laminar flow, right side is turbulent) and PT 6 concept attached.

Again, food for thought.


Re: Steam turbine driven turbojet
December 15, 2020 12:48PM
Laminar verses turbulent flow in more relevant to the flow of gasses thorough the tubing bank after leaving the combustion chamber. Raytheon in there extensive study on cooling radar tubes found that turbulent flow of gases around pipe or tube did four times more work then Laminar flow of gases. Heat radiates in all direction at the same speed of light in the combustion chamber. Wrapping the combustion chamber with the appropriate size pipe with cool feed water has the highest differential in temperature, and does more work then any other location in a boiler or steam generator. From the combustion chamber the hot gases flow in either laminar flow or turbulent flow based on the tube layout and winding configuration. The winding pattern in a wound coil generator should be wound so the gases flow through the bank in a turbulent pattern to achieve the highest output of a coiled generator, reducing the overall size of the tube bank and size of the generator.

Rolly
Re: Steam turbine driven turbojet
December 16, 2020 06:50AM
Good point Rolly,

On a steam locomotive and on some Stanley Cars, they incorporated a Steam Blower. This uses the steam from the boiler to draw the hot gases through the boiler fire tubes. I use a steam blower on my Steam Scooter.

Here is the concept that sometimes is hard to grasp. Even when the system expires steam and the pressure should be going down, what actually happens is the pressure rises. This is because the increased combustion gas flow through the fire tubes is more turbulent and has an exponential effect on convective heat transfer.

Same effect on generating tubes...same principle.

Rick
Re: Steam turbine driven turbojet
December 16, 2020 12:11PM
Laminar verses turbulent flow

Actually a firetube boiler the combustion gases are going through the tubes in a laminar flow, and because of the shape of the tube being rolled in at the tube sheet more or less a sharp edge this acts as a very poor venturi entrance. The gasses tend to confine themselves to the center of the tube and increase in speed as they travel up the tube.
They only work because the heat in gases of the flue tube also radiates in all directions.
Years ago some of the members in SACA-NE did a study on how much heat was lost, actually how much work was actually doing any work. It was found only the first three inches from the bottom tube sheet did any work. A lot was being done by the tube sheet itself.

To increase the heat transfer rate the venturi mouth would have to be a larger radius allowing much more gas in the tube. This would move the hot gases closer to the wall of the tube. It would also eliminate the number to tubes in the plate nullifying the change.

Rolly
Re: Steam turbine driven turbojet
December 16, 2020 10:36PM
Steam boiler is heated with a high temperature gases. Combustion process can be greatly intensified by turbocharging.
[steamautomobile.com] - German WWII design of the steam turbine
aircraft with the turbocharged steam boilers.
In USA Nathan Price proposed turbocharged steam generator with weight of 1800 lbs producing steam for 5000 hp aircraft steam turbine.

All steam aircraft projects failed because inventors forgot to design air cooled steam condensers. Without condenser steam powerplant has low efficiency and very high water loss.
The best works on automotive steam condensers were done in 1970s. These condensers were very efficient and relatively lightweight due to all aluminum design. With small modifications they can be installed into aircraft wings or fuselage:

[nepis.epa.gov]


Re: Steam turbine driven turbojet
December 21, 2020 12:03PM
A nice article about mono-tubes as considered as a flash boiler.

Flying Steam Engines

This article talks about the key element to steam generation is the velocity of the water through the tubes.
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