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Electric batch boiler

Posted by kyleborg 
Electric batch boiler
July 28, 2020 06:49PM
So I presented the following to all the automakers:

1). Replace iron-block ICE engines with iron-block STEAM engines in all current cars, which will make that "Green Transition" they speak of take just a few weeks and very little money (compared to Years and Billions for a full transition to EV platforms and powertrains)

2). Bundle each car with a home solar PV array (100kWh). Combined cost for car + solar array = $35,000-$50,000. Far less than a Tesla BEV.

3). Each steam car system will use my patented Electric Batch Boiler (a cross between a boiler and a fireless loco water tank), which permits steam to be made by the solar PV array at home, stored for a while, and then transferred to the car as needed).

This would save the automakers Billions of dollars, Years of time, and would enable steam car owners to drive for free, or nearly free.

The steam cars' electrical load is kept OFF the national grid and generated directly by the car owners' home solar array.

Also, the world would not need to manufacture Trillions of batteries.

In other words, steam could actually SOLVE some problems instead of just creating more.

But the automakers all said No, because they really aren't trying to save the planet. They're just trying to keep up with Elon. At this point, I hope he puts them all out of business.

Re: Electric batch boiler
July 29, 2020 05:13AM

One of the perks of being club president is that you can vent in the Bulletin and, if people don’t like it, you can simply tell them that they can have the job if they want it. Actually, this behavior may be more of a matter of trying to goad someone else into taking over. So, at the risk of annoying some folks, I’m going to give my un-asked-for opinion regarding the occasional inventor I encounter who relates their efforts to peddle ideas to major companies; invariably complaining that no one took them seriously and that they couldn’t get their foot in the door.

Unsurprisingly, these companies are condemned and painted as some sort of dark picture involving stupidity, ignorance or conspiracy. Just to show you what I rotten person I really am, I honestly don’t have a lot of sympathy; corporations are formed to benefit shareholders, not as a conduit for random individuals to prove out pet theories on someone else’s dime. Working in product development for over 30 years I don’t find this lack of interest surprising --- let me tell you why.

First of all, a company is not necessarily an evil monopoly that is uninterested if they don’t want to investigate your ideas. Take the auto industry for example, it spends billions of dollars in product development --- want to guess how expensive research is for self-driving cars or fuel cells? The reality is that major corporations have a good deal of faith in their current product development channels and not so much in folks just walking up to the door. Frankly, far too many of these revolutionary ideas are firmly rooted in wishful thinking. Since this is a steam car club, let’s just talk about steam ideas I’ve seen from would-be developers who were trying to interest others in their ideas; we can probably safely assume enthusiasts in other disciplines possess similar qualities. These ideas included internal combustion engine heat recovery steam engines that couldn’t possibly work as envisioned simply because the heat in ic engine exhaust gasses are of relatively lower grade heat and therefore limited in steam producing ability.

A few inventions contemplate boosting efficiency by extracting power from the system to make more power. It’s one thing to recover wasted energy, as in a feed water heater or a bottom cycling engine, and it’s another thing to use your output power to make more power. Actually, any accounting student would grasp the concept behind the Law of Conservation of Energy, a thermal cycle is basically describable with double entry bookkeeping --- any debit on one side of the ledge has to be offset by exactly equal credits on the other side. That’s when I first heard the phrase “over unity power generation” and decided further discussion was a waste of time.

Let us not forget the people who haven’t actually studied the definitions of the Carnot or Rankine Cycles. I can’t even begin to enumerate all the different proposals I’ve been handed to use batteries to electrically generate steam which will then power an engine; all this complexity based on the “well-known” fact that steam engines are much more efficient than electric motors. Don’t get me started on the microwave boilers.
Then there are proponents of unique mechanical engine designs, often predicated on the wisdom that “everyone knows pistons and crankshafts are wasteful”. I’ve seen some scathingly scornful articles going back as far as about 170 years debunking this delusion, obviously to no good effect. Anyhow, let’s stipulate that there’s a frightening amount of bad ideas floating around and that companies feel they have better uses for their resources than vetting these.

The next thing frightening companies off is the many theoretically acceptable but mechanically impractical proposals. So far, every supercritical steam car idea I’ve heard fits the bill. Yes, I will grant that super and ultra-critical electrical utility steam generating plants are remarkably efficient. No, I will not buy the theory that a supercritical piston engine can approach the efficiency of the turbines --- we could do an article on that, if there’s interest. Suffice it to say there’s a slew of mechanical issues.

Then there’s the matter of sheer professionalism. The little guy approaching a company has been working on a ‘pet’ idea and is often incapable of viewing it dispassionately --- it’s always the greatest thing since sliced bread. Most products are the result of numerous tradeoffs ranging from government regulations through manufacturing ease, reliability, cost and so forth; achieving the correct balance is difficult and requires a broad understanding not only of the particular class of product but also of the company’s resources, customer preferences and numerous other factors. If you aren’t immersed in this environment, it’s exceedingly difficult to grasp all the variables.

Finally, there is the whole matter of liability. This is a big thing for people dealing with intellectual properties (IP) in general and is as big a concern for movie studios, television networks, music producers, computer game designers, publishers and so on as it is for industry. It’s sort of a truism that that inventions and ideas are “in the air” and pop up when their time is due. This can be for a variety of reasons including changes in societal outlook (try pushing heavy metal rock in the 1930s) or advancements in enabling technology (two people filed patents for electronic television hours apart; largely because electronics were just approaching the point to make it feasible). Similar movies, books and tv shows come out almost simultaneously all the time --- much of this is because they are all responding to the same inputs in the real world. The risk a large corporation faces is that they are also working on the same thing and they face a potential lawsuit should they examine outside submissions which are coincidentally similar. They quite honestly perceive a much greater potential liability than a gain.

Truthfully, I think anyone with a bright idea who doesn’t have a significant stature in the industry will have to emulate Orville and Wilbur. This means doing theoretical and practical research followed by developing a product that is demonstrably superior to current or near-term competition. Roughly equivalent will never do since a new product has to amortize large startup costs that established competitors have placed behind them.

OK, let the hate mail begin! Just, please, keep it clean for Margie’s sake so that she won’t need to edit the responses for the next Bulletin. Maybe we can get a discussion going and, who knows, maybe someone will demand I turn this job over to them!
Re: Electric batch boiler
July 29, 2020 08:52AM
Anyhow, the idea was tried back in the 70s, but they skipped the PV panels and just heated the fluid directly in solar concentrators before transferring heat to the onboard stowage tank. I think they used a Chevy Vega, but won't swear to that. It worked about as poorly as you'd guess. Steam engines aren't highly efficient, so you can't recover most of the energy that you pump into the system. Pressurized water can only be partly converted to steam, so a lot of that isn't available for use, even in the low efficiency engine. The stored hot water is at saturation temperature, so you can't even run engines at superheated temperatures. The whole thing is highly wasteful and you get very little distance per charge....the old Chevy EV-1 would do far better, and there you are talking about quarter century old technology.

Anyways, I'm fascinated by these solar panels. A friend of mine has a 10 kW installation and it takes up about 1000 square feet ---call it a 50 X 20 assembly. That's about 10 watts per square foot. A 100,000 kW installation would take an enormous building. In some regions, depending on roof angle, and such, we might be able to get 20 watts per square foot and reduce this somewhat, but it's still a much bigger installation than 99 percent of the homes out there could manage.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/29/2020 09:39AM by frustrated.
Re: Electric batch boiler
July 29, 2020 03:24PM
I know this is a steam forum, But as the owner of an electric car with over 30,000 miles on it, I don't see a future for IC powered cars, much less steam powered ones. The major car companies seem to agree since that's where their R&D money is going. Investors also have voted with dollars.

IC engines replaced steam in the last century because the complexity of steam power made them more expensive. They were also less efficient, but I don't think this was a major consideration. In this century that's what's happening with electric power versus IC engines. The conversion into batteries and then into power isn't subject to Carnot efficiencies. The least efficient step is power generation, and big steam plants are much more efficient than car sized power plants. These steam plants are being replaced with solar and wind power plants because they are also less expensive. I live in an area where most base load electricity comes from wind and hydro electric sources. Soon battery storage will replace gas turbine topping generators.

Tesla is the only car company with an increasing sales volume this year. Great performance and lower operating costs are a nice side effect. My Tesla performance Model 3 is lots quicker and costs around $100 less a month to operate than the Subaru BRZ it replaced. Steam has been a fun hobby for me since I was in junior high school, though.

Lohring Miller

PS I loved your commentary in the Bulletin as quoted above.
Re: Electric batch boiler
July 29, 2020 03:33PM
Transfering the steam to the car does not sound like something you would ask your grandma to do.

Seeing how long it is taking to get enough electric charging points available out on the road, in parking lots and where your car is parked on the street overnight how easy do you think it would be to have steam available to transfer? No insurance company would even look at that. The range before top up would confine the car to local use.

I think the car manufacturers already understand this idea very well.

Re: Electric batch boiler
July 30, 2020 11:48AM
Last time I checked, electricity was universally available. A plug in is pretty easy to find everywhere. Naturally a 115 volt charge will take some time, but try to find gasoline more easily. I mostly charge at home, but haven't found a lack of high current Superchargers on any long trips on major routes. I can't imagine transferring steam routinely, but who would have thought that transferring a highly inflammable substance like gasoline could be done safely by ordinary people.

Lohring Miller

Re: Electric batch boiler
July 30, 2020 02:43PM
Pasting this in from the "Non Steam Discussions"
Topic... Re: A few thoughts on existing and potential energy sources.

It has been about 9 years since the first post on this topic, the greenies are going nuts. hot smiley

It IS Too Late – Not Possible To Replace Cars In Time
Posted on 15 December 2019 by E.M.Smith

According to the Great Sages of our time, Occasional Cortex and Saint Greta of the Gargoyle, we have less than 12 years to stop using ALL oil products and use stuff like cars charged by the sun and wind, and if we don’t, it is too late and we’re all going to die.

Well, it IS too late. It simply can’t be done in 12 years.
May as well give it up and party for the next decade...

More here ---> It IS Too Late – Not Possible To Replace Cars In Time

Paul Driessen
How exactly do they plan to replace fossil fuels?
Guest Blogger / 3 hours ago March 16, 2020

They want to ban coal, oil and gas. Exactly how will they replace them? Who wins? Who loses?

Guest post by Paul Driessen

Berkeley, CA, Takoma Park, MD and other cities; California, Connecticut, New York, Virginia and other states; Germany, England and other countries; the European Union – all plan to banish oil, natural gas and coal within 10, 20 or 30 years. A number of US states have joined Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiatives and proudly say We Are Still In … the Paris climate treaty, no matter what President Trump says or does...
More here---> How exactly do they plan to replace fossil fuels?
Re: Electric batch boiler
July 30, 2020 03:40PM
Even if you had a nice resistance electrical heat system you would still need some sort of a thermal battery. Were talking about like Sodium used with the tower solar plants that still produce at night from the stored heat. [www.ne.anl.gov]
Re: Electric batch boiler
July 30, 2020 10:24PM
lohring Wrote:
> I know this is a steam forum, But as the owner of
> an electric car with over 30,000 miles on it, I
> don't see a future for IC powered cars, much less
> steam powered ones.
> Lohring Miller

So you don't mind building a trillion batteries? How is building MORE stuff going to help save the planet?

P.S. I think Greta is a fool, and I don't care if the planet ends in 12 years or 12 seconds. I just wanted to make a product that might "help" the "crisis" but it seems that nobody really cares enough to TRY.

All the best ~ Kyle
Re: Electric batch boiler
July 30, 2020 10:47PM
frustrated Wrote:

> Anyways, I'm fascinated by these solar panels.

Its a PV Tree. Made in India. Provides about 5kW times 10 hours = 50kWh/day. I'd need two of them for a steam car.
A car that puts out 25kWh from 100kWh input, incidentally.
I'm well aware of conservation of energy.

The point of my post wasn't to provide technical details about anything.

The point of the post was the concept. Who cares how inefficient steam is, when steam is the ONLY thing that can be generated today and used tomorrow (without building 10 trillion batteries)?

I thought it was a good plan. Guess I was alone haha

Cheers ~ Kyle
Re: Electric batch boiler
July 31, 2020 07:37AM
Lest it seem that I was hard on you, remember that you started out attacking product development in the automotive industry. Since I work at General Motors Global Headquarters for powertrain development, I took that personally --- especially since I know how much time, money, labor and skill go into such development whereas it seemed to me that you were simply dumping on the industry.

The biggest problem is that I perceive you are simply tossing ideas out and then demanding they be taken seriously. Let's take the current situation as a case in point. Someone in the club asked me bout your idea and did so on the basis of a vehicle with a range of only 34 miles and assuming 20 horsepower output over this distance --- I presume that meets some specific application that he has in mind, but I didn't ask. Here's my reply:

Let's assume 20 HP to cruise at 60...that seems to be about the industry average for current automobiles. Let's also assume 20 lbs per hp.-hr. That seems generous considering that we're looking at saturated steam. This works out to 400 pounds of steam per hour or a bit over 225 lbs, let's call it 27 gallons. Now, saturated water at 1000 psig has a temperature of 546 deg. F and possesses 544.69 BTU/lb. Dry saturated steam at that pressure has the identical temperature (naturally) and possesses 1191.82 BTU/lb. Obviously, we can't convert all the water into steam --- dividing the enthalpy for steam by water gives us 2.188, which seems to be the weight of water necessary to produce 1 unit of steam (and that's likely overly optimistic). Anyhow, I get something like 59-1/2 gallons of water (about 500 pounds) to go 34 miles ... and I think assuming a water rate of 20 is pretty generous for saturated steam. It doesn't seem absolutely impossible, but I recently traveled about 600 miles with a 13 gallon tank of diesel, which needn't be a heavy pressure vessel --- I'm having trouble envisioning someone thinking that a system that uses 1-3/4 gallons per mile is not going to drive someone batty, unless they like refueling twice per hour of travel.

Notice that some math is involved, even though I didn't post the calculations in the reply? It wasn'r really necessary to show my work, the math is simple.

A mutual friend, who is a mechanical engineer, added this:

Hi Ken,

What you've got looks reasonable to me. I've been wondering about the calculation of energy available from superheated water, too. For instance, if we've got a non-pressure-vessel steam separator coil full of water on the LSR car, what's that do for us?

Suppose our friend has 1000 lbs of water in a tank at 1000 psig and 546F. Enthalpy of the saturated water is 545.1785 btu/lb, so the tank total is 545,179 btu.

At 900 psig, h = 529.4628 btu/lb. If we neglect the amount boiled off and assume there is still 1000 lbs of water, its energy content is now 529,463 btu.

The difference is 15,716 btu. At 900 psig the difference from saturated liquid to vapor is 667 btu/lb. 15,716/667 = 23.5 lbs of water can be flashed into steam.

The rate of evaporation increases as the pressure drops. Here's the rest of the table:

psig lbs steam
1000 0
900 24
800 66
700 120
600 180
500 242
400 302
300 360
200 415
100 473

Suppose the engine had a 20 lb water rate for steam at 200 psi. 20 hp cruise would use 400 lbs of water in an hour. Which would be about what you'd get from carrying around 1000 lbs of hot water. And since the engine would have a much higher water rate, you'd never get that hour of run time. Maybe it would be as much range as carrying a gallon of gasoline.

Again, notice how the situation was analyzed? Also notice that his 1000 pounds of water for an hour is pretty close to my 500 pounds for a bit over a half hour? This is simple math and thermodynamics, not high-level analysis, and it shows the idea to be terminally flawed. Trust me when I say that there are engineers in the automobile companies that do much more complicated problems while knoshing on their bagel before seriously starting on the work day. Heck, I'm a skilled tradesman and not an engineer, but the vector analysis I perform on balance problems is much more complex.

Now, I'm not picking on you alone (OK, a little bit) but it seems that almost every amateur inventor I run into has a brainstorm, wants to take out a patent, demands that companies throw money his way and yet, somehow, never verifies the concept even theoretically. (Or, if they do, they don't get some qualified individual to double check the math).

Developing an engine is expensive, and companies don't throw that kind of money around; for one thing, doing so would take money away from other projects that have some kind of realistic potential. In my little corner of the world we are developing internal combustion engines, some with advanced features that will further reduce fuel consumption and further reduce pollution (check out the pollutants emitted in a 1965 automobile and you'll realize that the modern car is fantastically clean by comparison --- or just look at photos of big cities circa 1970 and a contrasting photo today). Just down the hall, and by that I mean immediately behind the wall at the end of my shop, is a big facility working on fuel cell development in cooperation with Honda. On the other end of this building, they are working on all kinds of electric propulsion. Most of the actual parts are sourced to outside vendors but that's scheduled to move in house as we pick up speed. Anyhow, the building I work from was valued at over $1 billion after you toss in the huge (over 125 dynos) test wing --- so, yeah, auto companies put a lot of money into engineering, despite what people seem to think.

Just to keep things real, it's important to realize that people who do these things are highly skilled and knowledgeable in their fields --- if you want to compete, it's going to take years of education and practical experience. It's also going to take an enormous amount of work to analyze a proposition just to see if it has potential, the previous examples I gave were just back-of-envelope calculations as part of an informal 'chat'; I doubt either of us spent ten minutes on them. It's probably going to take weeks, or months, of work to generate a proposal that will have any kind of validity.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/31/2020 07:38AM by frustrated.
Re: Electric batch boiler
July 31, 2020 02:51PM
Ken, thanks for the 'long' explanation. It will take me a day or two to fully digest it. My brain works kinda slow LOL

The biggest problem with a tank of stored steam is that it loses energy as the steam is used. I had a solution for that and was going to present it at Berrien Springs about 2 years ago, but didn't.

Sorry for dumping on the auto industry. Its easy to get discouraged sometimes.

Cheers ~ Kyle
Re: Electric batch boiler
August 01, 2020 04:10AM
Ken's sums on water useage raise another point - water is a precious essentail commodity for human existence over which many wars have been, and will be fought. Unless the "stored steam" car is going to condense steam, and return the water to base for re-use I doubt its future even if it were thermodynamically viable. Florida and Georgia are already arguing over water and China is starving all those countries down stream on the Mekong River.

Re: Electric batch boiler
August 01, 2020 03:29PM
Jeremy Holmes Wrote:
> Even if you had a nice resistance electrical heat
> system you would still need some sort of a thermal
> battery. Were talking about like Sodium used with
> the tower solar plants that still produce at night
> from the stored heat.
> [www.ne.anl.gov]

The system I designed is not *entirely* like a fireless loco, it's actually just a tank of supercritical steam which is slowly expanded to sub-critical and re-heated to send "superheated" steam to the engine. Thermal batteries have proven to be useful, but there are a myriad of other ways to use the running car itself to generate electricity/heat on the fly. I had in mind to use wind harps (translates noise and vibration of the car into electricity). I need to put about 1000 btu per minute into the steam flow. That wouldn't be easy but I always figured a billion-dollar corporation could find ways to get the job done without using batteries or sodium or just dismissing the idea outright.
Re: Electric batch boiler
August 02, 2020 02:38PM
Hmmmm.... 1000 BTU per minute?

Time to break out some of that very basic math, again.

According to Google: 1 BTU equals 778.169 ft-lbs so....

1000 BTU equal 778,169 ft-lbs

Of course, everyone knows that 1 horsepower equals 33,000 ft-lbs per minute

778,169 / 33,000 = 23.58087879, which is the horsepower equivalent of 1000 BTU/minute.

GOSH DARN IT ... we already said that it takes 20 hp to go about 60 mph ... so why feed this 1000 BTU/minute into an electrically heated steam tank? The steam engine might, maybe, get 20 percent efficiency --- maybe. An electric motor, which is about 95% efficient, would produce 22.4 horsepower on the same electric current --- which is less power than we need, and would allow us to accelerate to a bit higher speed.

Of course, in the real world, NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) is only a small part of a car's energy consumption --- and car companies are constantly reducing that figure. Anyone who has ever ridden in a car, and operated a paint shaker, would realize that a little 1/3 horsepower paint shaker produces more vibration than a car on a smooth road. Even the best energy recovery system isn't going to pull much power from NVH -- likely not even enough to run the cigarette lighter (back when we had such things).

Sadly, the laws of physics don't just roll over and lie dead for anyone --- not even billion dollar companies. The Law of Conservation of Energy is inviolate, as are the old adages "You can't get something for nothing" or "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch".

Anyhow, the final take is that the whole idea can be dismissed outright simply because the idea of storing energy in the form of steam is drastically impractical --- whereas recovering lost energy to reheat the steam requires magic in order to work. You gotta do the math.
Re: Electric batch boiler
August 02, 2020 06:02PM
frustrated Wrote:
> Hmmmm.... 1000 BTU per minute?

> 778,169 / 33,000 = 23.58087879, which is the
> horsepower equivalent of 1000 BTU/minute.
> You gotta do the math.

That is the same figure I got.
It would be darn near impossible to get that much power from wind and vibration and even brake heat.
And then, even if remotely possible, the sheer complication from 2 dozen "regen" devices on each car would make it totally impractical. We won't save the world by building more stuff, we can only do it by building less. So I guess steam is out of the question.

Anyways, thanks for the enlightenment. Hope you have a great week !

- Kyle B
Re: Electric batch boiler
August 02, 2020 09:01PM
It's even worse than that, you can't get any power from the wind passing the car. No machine is 100 percent efficient --- this means that the energy harvested from the wind is less than the drag caused by the act of harvesting. Trying to recover energy from the wind going by the car actually decreases the overall efficiency. Energy balances are an utterly critical thing to evaluate, but it's something that probably isn't given the importance it deserves in most popular literature.

Re: Electric batch boiler
August 04, 2020 07:49AM
I see some real genius in your idea. There is a late development in tank-less water heaters that might make your device work better. Here is the link:
IR Tankless Water Heater

Some of the key elements are that no metal tubes, IR waves work directly on the water through glass and the efficiency is much better than anything else on the market.

Another point is that steam storage can be useful in certain situations. I can foresee a bicycle where a storage device could be of use and compete against the electric bike. Super environmentally friendly, more so than the electric competitor.

I want you and Ken to play nice now...smiling smiley. However, it is good to see ideas and controversy to further the understanding of steam and it's future.

As always...kind regards,
Re: Electric batch boiler
August 04, 2020 06:39PM
Rick.H Wrote:
> Kyle,
> I see some real genius in your idea. There is a
> late development in tank-less water heaters that
> might make your device work better. Here is the
> link:
> IR Tankless Water
> Heater


Hi Rick,
My idea didn't go into a lot of detail because I wanted to throw the concept out there without getting bogged down in the details. IR tank heaters were my intended direction, since they offer the lowest possible maintenance. And they are very good at making supercritical steam since the high pressure makes water act more like a solid (easy to heat). I actually built a boiler, but after making the supercritical H2O I did not have any means or methods of using it so I didn't go any farther. I've got a bucket of ideas for putting steam back to work in the world, including a method for helping energy-poor communities, and creating a steam economy so people who make steam with their PV systems can sell it to other people. However .... steam is fantastically low efficiency so unless something can be done about that, it won't go anywhere.

Thanks for the vote of confidence. Hope you're having a great week!

Re: Electric batch boiler
August 04, 2020 06:48PM
This idea is over 100 years old.
It is not suitable for road automobiles but can be useful and economical at industrial facilities.


Car driven by high pressure hot water:


It's not fast, does not go far, and can't be used on highways.
But it uses cheap/free energy source.
Re: Electric batch boiler
August 05, 2020 06:44AM
As I type, I'm sipping on my coffee out of a YETI mug. The performance of this cup is pretty good. It will keep my coffee hot all day and into the night. With this technology and some improvements, I think that the steam storage idea could compete with the E systems of today. This is using the thermal storage concept like the electric battery. The key advantage that I just learned is that the thermal method can be replenished way quicker than the electric battery system. This could be the kicker. Note of thanks to Novice.

Note that I like calling the thermal battery storage concept as "Thermal Inertia".

There is a trump card, that is that steam is way cooler than electric power/motion. It has a nostalgic, antique and mechanical motion appeal that beats the electric motor drive from Tesla's invention, hands down. After all, I never get tied of watching a steam train/traction/car go by.

I'll end by saying that there is lots of inventing to go for Steam. I believe IR has great potential as applied to boilers or thermal inertia (storage). There are other concepts too and promote inventor's to pursue their ideas and test. I plan to show some development (postings) as I proceed with my new workshop and projects.

Kind regards,
Re: Electric batch boiler
August 05, 2020 06:54AM
I was looking for a word and found it...Nostalgic

Nostalgic is the best way to describe steam ideas and products. Again, way better than electric power.

Note that I do drive a 2015 Prius hybrid. It provides a level of efficiency that I like. It does feel good to know that every time you apply brake your capturing energy. Perhaps there is a way to incorporate this concept into thermal inertia...just a thought.

Planting a seed...maybe this could be High Temperature Electrolysis (HTE).

Kind regards,
Re: Electric batch boiler
August 05, 2020 09:11AM
Really? Why is Tesla building 2 new factories? Why do they have rising sales when all other manufacturers have falling sales? Nostalga is also reminiscing with a childhood friend about the annual birthday gifts his father, a Pontiac dealer, gave him. Those GTOs don't hold a candle to a Tesla Model 3 in acceleration, handling, or cost of operation. I run both IC and steam power in models. It's fun to reconstruct the past, but electric power has taken over even there.

Steam powered the 19th century, IC engines powered the vehicles of the 20th century, and it looks like electricity will power the vehicles of the 21st century. The old technologies persisted for a while, but the trend has been clear. Batteries with non fossil fuel generation or fuel cells may provide the electricity. Costs are what drive all this, not necessarily efficiency. Electric power plants are getting less expensive starting at the lower power levels. Look at consumer products like leaf blowers, weedeaters, and lawn mowers. First they had cords, but batteries are starting to appear as costs go down. Electric motors are so much less troublesome than IC engines. I bet the same could be said when comparing IC engines to steam around 1915.

Lohring Miller
Re: Electric batch boiler
August 05, 2020 10:02AM
Steam's a non-starter on the automotive side. The lower thermal efficiency means that greenhouse gas production is always going to be higher, unless you can use some sort of renewable biofuel...and in so many cases an ICE can burn the same thing. Take my diesel Cruze --- theoretically, the pollutants are higher but between the particulate filter and urea injection, I get fairly low numbers. Toss in about 50 mpg at a flat 70 mph and the greenhouse gas production is far below what a similar steamer can manage. Let's face it, those "Clean Air" steamers of the 1970s are pretty dirty by current regulatory standards. To a large degree, purchasing decisions are made for the customer, manufacturers have to meet mandated standards. Honestly, ICE is still probably going to predominate for the next 25 years --- among other things, we simply don't have the infrastructure to make the switch to electric. Heck, we get enough brownouts without plugging in millions of cars. Also, the technology is constantly changing. There's no reason an ICE can't get significantly higher fuel economy as new enabling technologies move out of the labs. Likewise, there's a good chance that most of the electric battery technology is already on the road to obsolescence. Then there's the stuff that could still break out, I'd be loathe to count fuel cells as a dead issue given some of the prototypes I've seen driving in and out of our parking lot.

If you want to see regulation in action, look at headlights. We can build headlights with numerous LED segments that can be individually varied...this allows the light to act as a high beam at all times while selectively switching to a low beam setting only those elements focused on other cars. How good is that? You get maximum visibility and other drivers never get blinded by your brights. The beams can also be programmed to do things like paint a snowflake on the road ahead of you when the car detects icy conditions. When I say we can build it, I mean that it's a done deal. Someday the government will quit studying it and the technology will go into your car. Someday.... this study has been going on for a number of years. So, it's not a matter of lack of technology or manufacturer indifference.

The best industry analysis I've seen says that ICE/electric hybrid is probably the mid-term growth market. Of course, crystal balls can get cloudy, but that combination probably best hits the mark for consumer needs given current preferences, economics and infrastructure.
Re: Electric batch boiler
August 05, 2020 12:01PM
Dear Lohring,
Why not build two new factories? Why not have rising sales?

I'll admit, I'm not a true follower of steam in everything I do or by what I buy and use. For example, I use a battery powered lawn mower and weed wacker from Harbor Freight. My other car is a 2016 Toyota Rav 4 Hybrid and I already mentioned my Prius.

I guess my dream, "Steam Dream" is to see some realization of steam locomotion. Right now, the only steam action you see is through antique steam cars, pagents of steam (traction engines) and stuff that we do at SACA along with some isolated people going for motorcycle steam speed records.

Honestly, let me know if you enjoy this video?

Rick's Steam Scooter

Kind regards,
Re: Electric batch boiler
August 05, 2020 04:31PM
Rick.H Wrote:

> [url=https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipObr-68u
> 4NiyLwWHSekeGZxrnLHObIiZAjEPkqbTBJl4xhD5PmX4cCxNir
> 1R]Rick's Steam Scooter[/url]

Hey Rick I think I was there that day, one thing I liked about your scooter was that .....it ran. Unlike most everything else!

One thing that occurred to me a long time ago, looking at every steam system in the world, industrial, mechanical, mobile, cars, trains, boats, EVERYTHING .... was that they all had highly complex boilers, and that was due to the fact that they *[b]made steam at the very same time as they were using it[/b]*

I like stored steam because it is cheap and easy to control.
However, stored steam such as fireless locos use, and like this car
[url=http://www.dlm-ag.ch/images/stories/demo-mobil%20ii_beschleunigen.jpg]Swiss hot-water-car[/url]
will never be suitable for a highway because the steam is so inefficient.

My batch boiler is unique and not inefficient, but it does require continuous re-heat. 1/2 a gallon of liquid fuel would provide enough reheat for 100 miles. But we're trying to get away from fossil fuels. I could use a 20kw battery pack instead.... Guess that beats a 60kw pack in every car in the world....

Its quite a challenge.

Re: Electric batch boiler
August 05, 2020 06:36PM
Renewable energy can be used to produce high pressure hydrogen and oxygen from water in ultrahigh pressure (12000 psi) electrolyzer. Hydrogen can be stored in gaseous form in 35 gallons 10000 psi composite tank or liquified and stored in cryogenic tank. Hydrogen can be used either in internal combustion engine or in ultrahigh temperature steam turbine.
10000 psi vessel that weighs 100 lbs can store up to 6.4 lbs of hydrogen-energy equivalent of 3 gallons of gasoline.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/05/2020 06:41PM by novice.
Re: Electric batch boiler
August 05, 2020 11:26PM
novice Wrote:
> Renewable energy can be used to produce high
> pressure hydrogen and oxygen from water in
> ultrahigh pressure (12000 psi) electrolyzer.
> Hydrogen can be stored in gaseous form in 35
> gallons 10000 psi composite tank or liquified and
> stored in cryogenic tank. Hydrogen can be used
> either in internal combustion engine or in
> ultrahigh temperature steam turbine.
> 10000 psi vessel that weighs 100 lbs can store up
> to 6.4 lbs of hydrogen-energy equivalent of 3
> gallons of gasoline.

That's very cool. A steam car would need about 3lbs of hydrogen according to the numbers.

Of course I worry about proposing a system to automakers that is complicated beyond belief, but imagine this: If a steam car owner can sell his (excess) steam to other steam car owners, I suppose he could also sell his excess hydrogen to FCEV owners. .... and the global reduction of solar panels, electrolyzers, etc installed as "infrastructure" would make the whole thing a positive proposal. Perhaps.
Re: Electric batch boiler
August 06, 2020 07:19AM
Thank you Kyle for your kind words.

On my Steam Scooter I planned to mount an alternator on the left rear. Purpose was to demonstrate regenerative braking. The energy from the alternator would go directly into a stove top electric burner, underneath the burner and supplying heat to the boiler during breaking. The boiler is the storage device in this case. This idea is on hold because it is just enough challenge to get the thing running with reasonable speed.

Ken might be able to help with confirming this idea? Either it was Porsche or Henry Ford who put generators on the front wheels much like the calipers and rotors of today. The intent is to charge the battery and I believe to aid in braking. This idea has been around for many years. A modification to this idea would be to use rotating magnets and coils to generate modulated, high voltage. This is equivalent to the gas lawnmower engine electric system for the spark. High voltage is one of the key factors to efficiently produce hydrogen and oxygen.

A tip-of-the-hat to Novice thumbs up When splitting water, the gas produced is very powerful to produce high pressure. As Novice stated, this process can literally produce great pressure to the tune of > 10 ksi. This can be done with relatively little electric energy. Granted it would be transformed to high voltage. However, it can be done.

My father, God rest his sole, gave me an idea for steam. His idea or concept is to use the same fluid doing the work as the energy source for heat in the Rankine cycle. At the time I did not think of what he was getting at. My immediate thought was the Ofeldt Naptha Engine. As I have learned and perhaps as I got smarter, he was talking about the energy in water and utilizing it's storage capability. My Dad was a medical doctor and was naturally talented in understanding chemistry. He understood stoichiometrics very well and no doubt that this was his intention. Energy was to be gathered using renewable methods, stored and used for some type of traction vehicle. I'm pretty sure he understood Gibbs Free Energy. Putting all these concepts together is pursuant towards a breakthrough concept. Note that this is my opinion.

I mention Gibbs equation where as the temperature of the water rises, less energy is required for electrolysis. This is why Free Energy is part of the definition. This is the fundamental reason for my quest to perform High Temp Electrolysis (HTE). Super critical steam would be a walk in the park to perform HTE.

Any how, hope this provides stimulating thought. Thank you again Kyle for such a good thread.

Kind regards,
Re: Electric batch boiler
August 06, 2020 10:38AM
Rick, I love it. I keep looking at things like steam bicycles and motorcycles as fun projects. I'm only talking about large scale commercial reality. Steam is a challenge, especially if you want to build a compact power plant. I've been working on a steam powered model boat for years. I once held several radio controlled model boat speed records and would love to get the steam powered RC boat record over 100 mph. However, speed control is still an issue with model size flash steam power plants. An RC boat has been built with on-off control, but the tether boat flash steamers run wide open. Since they run over 130 mph, I am still inspired.

Lohring Miller
PS Wasn't stored steam once used in switching locomotives?
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