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Modern Steam - Formula S Racecar

Posted by Rick.H 
Modern Steam - Formula S Racecar
March 29, 2020 07:45AM
Hi All,
Here is a concept (not to scale) I had to put to paper...hope it is enjoyable to view.

I have included an update to my Gentleman Speedy Roadster car. The drawing is to scale and shows some more details like fenders and a step. The main reason for showing this concept is to make the trip from old style to modern steam. Now my intention is not to build a period exact replica of the Stanley Model H5. I do want it to look like the original in design. However, it is going to have modern steam concepts into it with great hope that it will be a wonderful performer. The trip to modern steam is utilizing the Stanley horizontal, direct drive engine mounted right to the axle or differential. This concept, in my opinion is really sharp and gives light to what I would call an elegant design. I have concept drawing for the next generation engine with high flow piston valves. The real improvement would be to go with independent suspension off the pumpkin. Pat, if you're following, I sincerely hope you would find favor in this impression. I do maintain the upmost respect for period exact representation of Steam Cars.

I'm sure you all have seen many of my TS Diagrams and it shouldn't be any secret to knowing that the use of high pressure and low pressure engines along with a re-heat provides for a very efficient engine. This also leads to better ability to provide condensing due to utilizing maximum pressure and temperature drops.

To take the Stanley direct engine concept and apply it to modern steam is implemented by using a high pressure engine mounded on the rear axle and a low pressure engine mounted on the front axle. This is actually making the car have 4-wheel drive. The losses would be minimal to the HP engine and the re-heat is right in-line to the LP engine. Then all the condensing happens from front to back. Also important to utilize as much surface area for condensing as possible. Hence the use of the spoilers as part of the condensing system.

Another important concept to apply that is not exactly new is to perform feed water heating utilizing the steam exhaust heat. Again to provide better condensing performance. Back in 1982 at Northeastern University, a college professor thought highly of me and gave me a Babcock & Wilcox book on steam boilers. In this book it identified three major concepts that make the boiler so efficient today. These are to perform Feed Water Heating (FWH), economizer and super heating. All 3 need to be applied in this modern steam concept.

Formula S Concept:
- Infrared Burner w/both 2 high flow burner/emitter and 2 low flow radiant
- Hybrid mono-tube & natural circulation tube boiler, 5 to 1 Grzyb Coil to Ofeldt Coil respectfully
- Economizer and super heat
- FWH using the LP engine exhaust
- High flow piston valve engines very similar to the Stanley
- Utilize reheat in the boiler before going to the LP engine
- Condense using FWH, radiators and all airfoil surfaces
- Integral water tank and driver seat
- Hot well integral part of the insulated frame and communicates with airfoil surfaces
- HP engine 700 X 700 system (PSI X Deg. F) with periods of 1,000 X 800
- LP engine 400 X 400 system

My Gentleman Speedy Roadster
- Ofeldt blue flame burner
- Ofeldt natural circulation tube boiler, 1.6 gallon capacity
- Economizer and super heat
- FWH using the engine exhaust
- Non condensing engine, Stanley 10 Hp 3X4
- 400 X 400 system
- Engine output to independent suspension, Jaguar rear end concept
- Modified Model T frame and chassis, wood body like Model H5

Again hope this post is enjoyable and let me know if any questions,

Kind regards,
Rick


Re: Modern Steam - Formula S Racecar
March 31, 2020 12:05PM
Hi Rick,
I like your idea,. I don`t think the specks need to be so specific. Let`s see what we can come up with.
Best, Don
Re: Modern Steam - Formula S Racecar
March 31, 2020 06:23PM
Hi Don,
Thanks for your vote. I welcome any discussion on specifics or just general concepts too.

Here is some history on the subject:

Steam Powered Indy Car

I don't know how this baby ran. I haven't been able to find any running pictures or video. This sort of tells me the obvious thumbs down However, it can be a learning experience.

This one is very educational...

Lear Steam Race Car

Kind regards,
Rick
Re: Modern Steam - Formula S Racecar
March 31, 2020 06:58PM
Just keep in mind that the Indy steam racer was pretty much a disaster. Among other issues, the needed condenser was far too big to fit in the car...just one problem with having to reject 947 BTU per pound of steam.

Regards,

Ken
Re: Modern Steam - Formula S Racecar
April 02, 2020 08:25AM
Ken,
A formula S car would only compete with other formula S cars so everything would be equal.
Don
Re: Modern Steam - Formula S Racecar
April 03, 2020 06:47AM
Hey Ken,
I even wonder if they got to the point where they tested the condenser capability. The Napier delta diesel engine, well they used the wrong oil and seized up the engine. Sounds like that was the show stopper.

As we are considering using a converted diesel to run on steam for the LSR, we should make note of this issue.

On another note, I have always liked the U-boat opposing piston diesel engine. The Napier is this same concept with three (3) sets of heads or banks in a triad configuration. I often wonder how this U-boat engine would perform on steam confused smiley

Kind regards,
Rick
Re: Modern Steam - Formula S Racecar
April 03, 2020 11:07AM
There's the burner below Chuk used on his land speed attempt. Unfortunately the pdf with emails plus the pictures is too big to post here. I'm working on a model version.

Lohring Miller


Re: Modern Steam - Formula S Racecar
April 03, 2020 03:02PM
Hi Rick,

They didn't even need to test a condenser, the problem was mathematics. Unfortunately, way too many people in the steam hobby feel that something must work if they think it looks pretty on paper, we all know of one or more well-known would-be commercial examples.

Jim Crank told me that Ken Wallis just designed the whole thing and assured everyone it would work --- apparently, he just assumed that ICE radiators would do the job. Unfortunately, the much lower thermal efficiency meant the steamer had to reject far more heat to the atmosphere than competitors engines. If the Lear team had talked with people familiar with steam, they would have told him that he would need an oversized cooling unit. When someone finally did the calculations for radiator sizing, they found an acceptable unit wouldn't fit in the car. Testing wasn't necessary, there are formulas to work out heat transfer under specific conditions. Often you don't need to do the math, manufacturers will provide appropriate tables which they have calculated and then verified.

There was no need to do testing, this is all off-the-shelf hardware and calculation.

A lot of this stuff can be calculated ahead of time -- for instance, we can easily calculate how many rpm any given turbine needs to spin in order to generate a reasonable degree of efficiency, This isn't a matter of opinion, steam at a certain pressure that is spouting from a nozzle has a well-known velocity--- any portion of this velocity not transferred to the turbine is lost energy and it's not difficult to calculate the loss.

Regards,

Ken
Re: Modern Steam - Formula S Racecar
April 03, 2020 04:43PM
Quote

The Napier delta diesel engine, well they used the wrong oil and seized up the engine.

Was it really the wrong oil, or incorrect clearances for the temperature it was at?
Re: Modern Steam - Formula S Racecar
April 05, 2020 10:36AM
Chuk, what is with the red flame in your burner pictured above?
Don
Re: Modern Steam - Formula S Racecar
April 05, 2020 06:50PM
Don-

That photo was taken at some point in the testing and development of the burner, and so there could have been any number of reasons for an incomplete burn. It took me quite a bit of testing as well as help from friends to get things just right, but we did. The finished product performed beautifully for the LSR runs-and still does-as my shop boiler!

We actually achieved flameless combustion when the burner was buckled up to the coil stack. That added just enough back pressure to the fuel mixture to make it completely clear when looking into the burner thru the sight glass. When I first witnessed the phenomenon, I thought the flame had gone out and was about to explode with all the vaporized fuel we were pumping thru it-I shut it down! After a few more scary times and quick shut downs, I remembered an article I had read about flameless combustion when I was researching and designing the burner.....after that I was a bit more relaxed when I happened to notice it happening. Conditions had to be just right for it to happen-a perfect combination of heat, oxygen, and fuel.

Ah well-twas lotsa fun building it and making it work!


Chuk
Re: Modern Steam - Formula S Racecar
April 06, 2020 09:03AM
More pictures of Chuk's burner:

Lohring Miller





Re: Modern Steam - Formula S Racecar
April 06, 2020 04:17PM
I should point out that anyone who is interested in Chuk's land speed record attempt, using this boiler, can get more details from The Steam Automobile Club Bulletin Volume 28, Number 6 --- aka the November - December 2014 issue. It provides some more information on the engine, sketches of steam generator and burner layout and a narrative regarding the events of its run at Bonneville. This can be acquired from the SACA "Storeroom". The SACA Storeroom Chuk was quite gracious providing the information, especially given the difficulties presented by his physical condition after the crash. I was only sorry the article wasn't longer, and more detailed, but publication of the magazine was already delayed by some weeks and it's very hard to get back on schedule when that happens.

Regards,

Ken



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/06/2020 04:20PM by frustrated.
Re: Modern Steam - Formula S Racecar
April 07, 2020 06:55AM
Scott,
Could be that clearances weren't correct. I haven't been able to find any more information on it. Just the wrong oil was used.

However, it is just a big jump to take such a complicated diesel engine and use it for steam...a lot can go wrong.

I do believe that an opposing piston engine could be designed to work on steam very well. I think the engine would be quite effective. I haven't pursued any sketch/designs because I would use this type of engine as a diesel burning vegetable oil.

My approach for modern steam is to use the Stanley type engine with improvements on the differential. Perhaps use some type of CVT incorporated. One of these new metal belt device seams to be promising.

Kind regards,
Rick
Re: Modern Steam - Formula S Racecar
April 07, 2020 09:36AM
A picture and drawing drawing of Chuk's engine derived from a Force outboard with a custom cylinder head:

Lohring Miller


Re: Modern Steam - Formula S Racecar
April 07, 2020 11:38AM
Note, the above drawing of the cylinder head was taken from the aforementioned Bulletin article. (I should know, it's my drawing and I figure it must be pretty close because Art Gardiner asked for a copy)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/07/2020 11:39AM by frustrated.
Re: Modern Steam - Formula S Racecar
April 07, 2020 12:16PM
For a truly modern steam car, I would consider something much closer to the PSL engine (the one shown above in Chuk's car) than I would a Stanley. I have a number of reasons for that:

1. Superior Economy - The Stanley engine is positively horrible.

a. The slide (or piston) valve arrangement causes incoming steam to flow through the same passages as the cool exhaust steam; this means that a portion of the heat of incoming steam is effectively transferred straight to the exhaust without being used in the cylinder.


b. The long admission passage contributes even more to an already large clearance volume - efficiency drops as clearance volume increases


c. The slide valve is poorly suited for the use of high superheat due to lubrication issues, the use of either saturated or lightly superheated steam leads to initial condensation which is inefficient.


d. The slide valve is incapable of crisp, shorter cutoff. With lower temperature steam this is probably irrelevant but the valve mechanism is poorly suited for shorter cutoff, even if it could manage high superheat. The cutoff is obtained by changing the valve stroke meaning that shorter cutoffs tend to wiredraw the steam excessively


2. Strength and reliability.

a. The Stanley engine is open framework and subject to flexing under load. Flexing contributes to cyclic fatigue. Flexing also moves the main bearings out of true alignment, increasing the opportunity for the crankshaft to bind


b. The Stephenson's link valve gear arrangement depends upon long, slender elements which are also more subject to stress and derangement.


3. Performance

The large reciprocating masses make the Stanley engine poorly suited for higher RPM. Horsepower increases are obtained by enlarging the engine or by increasing cutoff. The second option increases fatigue and reduces economy.

4. Direct Drive

There's a reason modern automobiles use gearboxes. Despite what people would have you believe, it's entirely possible to built an internal combustion car with just one speed and a clutch. In fact, around 1910 there was a very short lived attempt to do this in order to eliminate costly gearboxes from cars. The thing is that a transmission is advantageous.

a. Higher fuel economy. There's a reason cars today have overdrives (mine has two), being able to cruise at reduced rpm is definitely more economical. It doesn't hurt that it also reduces engine friction and wear.


b. Higher performance. This should go without saying. Assuming you have an adequate steam supply, a steam engine should reach its top horsepower at its highest rpm (remember the PLAN formula?) Thus, at all lower speeds we are tapping a fraction of the power... to the detriment of acceleration. On the other hand, if we have a lower gear ratio, we can reach peak rpm at a much lower vehicle speed and therefore obtain peak power earlier . If we have multiple gears, we can repeat the process. In fact, the amount of time we are able spend at peak power is going to improve with the number of gears we have -- a continuously variable transmission (CVT) would have the best possible outcome if programmed for performance. This was recognized back into the 1960s with GM SE-101 having a dual toric transmission.


c. Durability. Steam fans like to brag about high torque at low cutoff --- as if this is something to brag about. This torque is obtained by wasting large amounts of energy. Beyond that, very high torque has a tendency to destroy the engine itself. Gearboxes can develop high torque from a lower torque, high rpm engine without unduly stressing the engine


Regards,

Ken



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/07/2020 12:17PM by frustrated.
Re: Modern Steam - Formula S Racecar
April 07, 2020 12:26PM
Hi Ken,
Is that the same Ken Wallis portrayed in Ford vs Ferrari? If so, I love that guy! I would say he had a good eye for that sort of thing.

As far as condensers go, I would say one needs all they can get. This is why I suggest using the air foils and what ever hollow frame components you can use. Another key element is to use a feed water heater with the spent steam exhaust. This will take a significant amount of heat out before the condensers. Other concepts are to jet the steam through water and a host of other ideas where I'm sure you can drum up the patents. Anyways, fun to just conceptualize. It's sort of a stress relief thing for me.

On another note you mentioned about the design process where it looks good on paper. My good friend Tony has mentioned many times to me that you engineers don't know anything. He forces me to try my concepts where proof is in the pudding (live results). I deal with Solid Works drawings all day long where some designer thinks that if it works in Solid Works, it will work in real life. As part of ISO standard, one shall have a process where the design needs to be verified and validated. Verification is when it can be made and inspected. Validation is where it's outputs meet the inputs or desired results generally via a test of some sorts. Back to Tony, us engineers can make elephants fly on paper.

An example of our recent talks is my quest for an IR burner. He doesn't think it will produce enough heat. I respect his opinion and this is why I'm trying to build a prototype as seen in another thread of mine. Note that out of all these ideas, I think the application of IR has the greatest potential. This is why I'm making a prototype. When I get anew screen, you'll probably see some more results with the IR burner thread.

One last thing about opinions...everyone has one. My steam powered scooter uses Nylon-tron piston rings. Many people say that this won't work. Most of the people saying it won't work, don't have anything working themselves. I have proof that these rings work very well. Just saying that I encourage folks to try their ideas in real life, gain the experience and report back to the folks. Try the ones that might have the biggest effect. If someone says it won't work, then it's a good one to pursue.

Kind regards,
Rick
Re: Modern Steam - Formula S Racecar
April 07, 2020 02:45PM
X



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/30/2020 05:33AM by IronChief.
Re: Modern Steam - Formula S Racecar
April 07, 2020 09:36PM
Hi Ron,

Actually, locomotive designers frantically tried to get away from the traditional engine design in the 30s and 40s ... after Diesel / Electric started to eat their lunch. By that time, however, it was too late. Note that compound engines such as used by Doble and White used about half the steam of a Stanley. Jay Carter's bump valve uniflow easily bested White and Doble.

Hi Rick,

Are you sure you aren't thinking of Ken Miles? Ken Wallis was backed by Shelby and Goodyear to build a gas turbine powered racing machine but he wasn't affiliated with the GT40.

Regards,

Ken
Re: Modern Steam - Formula S Racecar
April 07, 2020 10:32PM
X



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/30/2020 05:34AM by IronChief.
Re: Modern Steam - Formula S Racecar
April 08, 2020 06:31AM
Ken ... yes, Ken Miles is the one (Love that guy). I stand corrected. Not sure of the credibility of Ken Wallis. All in all, the ones who put the Lear car together didn't figure it out correctly. That's a given.
Re: Modern Steam - Formula S Racecar
April 08, 2020 12:34PM
Hi Ron,
My company is considered essential and I'm working. A little bit nervous about it. However, I'm OK. Thank you for asking.

I like your explanations defending the albeit Stanley Engine.

Hi Ken,
I agree with Ron in that you present some interesting points. However, my favorite word is adiabatic. In that the engine is really adiabatic in its expansion role. Like Ron said, the burner and boiler is what's really important. Hence my work on the IR burner. The attached TS diagrams are the explanation for this reasoning. Note that the expansion line is straight down. The area under the curve is representative of the efficiency.

The first TS is for my latest burner-boiler design. Second is for my Ofeldt powered H5 car and third represents my Steam Scooter.

The biggest reasoning for an expander configuration is to acclimate it to the traction/propeller/wheel, this is the geometry that works. Art Gardner's engine was made for a boat. Note that I'm pretty sure Art or Tim would not argue with my synopsis here. Chuk took the engine and configured it to the land speed car to suit his geometry. Easier to do that than to perform a clean sheet design. Note that my Scooter Engine is a clean sheet design and goes into my specific intended geometry.

My formula S concept is geometry. Doble's configuration, Carter and James Watt all used their configuration as per geometry. One great invention of James is the planet gear drive system...this has potential to improve the geometry.

Ken, I enjoy our conversations.

Kind regards,
Rick


Re: Modern Steam - Formula S Racecar
April 08, 2020 08:16PM
Everyone-

Though I appreciate the honor of having my name attached to the engine I used in our Land Steam Record Attempt-please understand that the engine I used did not belong to me. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Mr. Art Gardiner for loaning me HIS ENGINE to use in my Dragster and the Streamliner. He designed it, he and Jim Tangeman built it, and I had the honor of being granted the use of it. It performed very well in both vehicles I campaigned with it, and survived the crash in excellent condition as well!

Art now has it at his shop, and runs it on air occasionally. So far-it is the fastest documented piston driven steam engine of the 21st Century!


Regards-

Chuk
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