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Williams ws. Rankin

Posted by Howard Langdon 
Re: Williams ws. Rankin
February 08, 2006 03:05PM
Hi Jim,
We are not in the business to manufacture a car, but to develope a clean air, multifuel efficent engine. It is in developement and we are shareing this with you as we progress. We have come a long way. There is a need for what we are doing. In the past there was not a strong enough need. There are new materials to work with and our water lube engine is comming quite well. It is the answer to the same compaints I have heard over over and over. We are doing some thing, and will share what we can. The 2cyl engine can be seen running on the site
www.cyclonepower.com other pictures can be seen from time to time on the up dates. How good the engine is is when the technology is sold. We have enjoyed showing and explaning what we have. enthusiasem is here as we feel we have some thing and would like to share it. Yes our jaws hurt after but it is worth it.
Re: Williams ws. Rankin
February 09, 2006 08:26PM
Jim. Sum props tern faster van the engine. And sum slower. I wood have thought vat you wood no this you are and engineer. Look in the wrecked ad book. To see how nanny small engines can go 120 mph. Do not yous and old book. You sound like the person who
Said a car can not go over 125 P.S.I.
Re: Williams ws. Rankin
February 09, 2006 11:15PM
Of course I know this.
I am very well acquainted with props for both high torque and high speed use.
Of course some props turn faster than the engine. The prop is matched to the hull speed and rpm available. That Gold Cup had the Allison turning about 3,000 rpm, and the prop turned 12,000. So what's the point?
I never said a car cannot use more than 125 psi,the Doble uses 1200 psi. You are confused again and thinking of that nut case Hall.
Get your facts straight first.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/10/2006 03:54AM by James D. Crank.
Re: Williams ws. Rankin
February 10, 2006 06:36AM
Jim are you experimenting with hemp oil. Your posts. Make me wonder
Re: Williams ws. Rankin
February 10, 2006 06:46AM
Re: Williams ws. Rankin
February 11, 2006 01:52AM
Hi Howard,
you had mentioned earlier about using a Lamont boiler. In a light weight hydro there could be a problem with size and weight. The 40sq ft lamont weighs about 325lbs and is 24"di X 26"high. The Cyclone is 44sq ft includeding the engine and condencer is 26"disX 24" high and weighs 340lbs complete including the alternater. the 44sq ft generator including the igniters and fuel injectors and all insulation is 26"di X 7" high and weighs 65lbs.
Re: Williams ws. Rankin
February 11, 2006 02:53AM

So, in a space of 24" dia X 26" high we could get a boiler of 139 Ft2 at 205 lbs.

How much steam would that produce Harry? That is 3.16 times the size of the Cyclone.

Wow ----------- Bill G.
Re: Williams ws. Rankin
February 11, 2006 04:00AM
Hi Bill
That generator is multi tube and designed to operate at super criticals at over 1000lbs per hr. 139sq ft would not necessarly take that configuretion it would gain not as much in heigth but in diameter. The lower the preasure the less volume will be,however temperature into superheat must be maintained or it will fall into saturation. A size would would be closer to 36"dia to a 10." height.
Gravety in relation to combustion gases is horizontal not vertical as in a conventional system. Maintaining a fluid state in the system eleminates burnout.
Re: Williams ws. Rankin
February 11, 2006 06:42AM
Hi Harry,

Are your 340 lbs/44sf generator figures for the six-cylinder Cyclone? I prob. shouldn't have to ask, because I helped load the twin on the truck, and it wasn't that heavy -- I'd guess around 100? If the twin weighs 340 lbs, then I need to get Ken over here to help me lift the 300 lb sheetmetal machine onto its new (finally) homebuilt stand, and the heck with the engine crane! LOL

Any news on the six? What is its target HP/rpm?

Re: Williams ws. Rankin
February 11, 2006 08:54AM
HI Haley I wood like to use your boiler. It But I am a fade my Williams won’t like it. I need 1400psi and1050f steam. All the steam goes in one port. Any ideas.
Re: Williams ws. Rankin
February 13, 2006 10:49AM
Hi Peter
Yes that is the total weight 340lbs on the 6 cyl. That also is the blower and motor every think but water and fuel. The 2cyl weighs about the same as a gasoline counterpart 90lbs.

Hi Howard,
My opinion only. The williams theory is on target,However the engine was made for a car. It has things that you dont need, if you are using it for the race boat. I would use a V out board motor, sleve it for proper exuast porting,let the head stand off the head, run the water from the tank, preheat through the block to the pump to seperate lines to the bump valves in the head. you wont be able to control the clearance volume but you can save on hp/weight ratio and you can get a lot of hp. the bump valve can go to 2000psi and max 1000f. Keep the head hot and the block cool and it will surive. 5000rpm could be obtainable. The boiler would be a different configureation than the cyclone and would work well in your case. It would be 2 long pipes on each head like blow tourches. sketchs later
Re: Williams ws. Rankin
February 13, 2006 08:50PM
HI Harry. I am in the Williams Company so I have to go Williams. Got a test report on 56 in it 30.4 % oval all efficiency. With and 80% efficient boiler.
Re: Williams ws. Rankin
February 13, 2006 09:56PM
Thanks Harry,

Best of luck with that puppy; supercritical, no oil, ultrahigh "delta", etc, quite a challenge! Esp. adapting it to a car. BTW, last night I went with the engine crane (now that there's room for it), and the sheetmetal machine is now at a comfortable working height on its custom stand instead of on the floor. Now I can cut/roll/bend lots of custom sheetmetal parts (boiler/burner cases, ducts, housings, small mechanicals, etc) quickly and easily.

Re: Williams ws. Rankin
February 14, 2006 03:12AM

That's great news about the sheet metal machine Peter, good going. I think I read a post from around three years ago where you were going to get around to cleaning out the shop. It's got to be a great feeling.

Howard, what were the parameters that the Williams was running when that efficiency was recorded? The pressure, temperature, cut off, HP and such? I didn't know there was a 56 "3 engine.

30.4% overall with a 80% efficient boiler takes an engine with 38% efficiency. That would push the inlet temperature and pressure to around 1250 deg and 2000 lbs, and the exhaust at about 170 deg and 6 lbsa. I am guessing 1663 BTU inlet steam and 1100 BTU exhaust, and using what else I know of the Williams from the Phorum.

A 30.4% efficient engine would be using about 1000 psia and 1025 degree steam dropping to a pressure of about 11.5 psi saturated. An overall expansion ratio of 37. That is just a little less than 3% effective cut off. This seems well within the range of what an older Williams engine might do.

This engine would be operating at a low power output to get this type of efficiency, it is about where my "Williams cycle" compound should be at full output.

Howard, I hope I'm not too darn far off here.

Wishing you and your boat project the best, -------- Bill G.
Re: Williams ws. Rankin
February 14, 2006 05:02AM
Hi Bill,

Thanks, yes, both the shop cleanout and the sheetmetal machine stand have been on hold for a few (very busy) years! What a relief getting all these things done at last. 38% is the Williams engine efficiency figure claimed in the Williams paper in Vol 1 #1 (1959) of The Steam Automobile. As I recall, the claimed MEP was about 50 psi.

Hi Howard,

Didn't know the Williams Company was still around. The Williams might be a good mill for a boat. If it were me, I'd shut off the Rankine cams, stay in Williams mode, and just let 'er rip. Flat-out is where an engine like that should really shine. Sounds like a blast!

Re: Williams ws. Rankin
February 14, 2006 12:03PM
Hi Peter,

Maybe, on the Williams, I was giving the expansion line a good slope from start to finish so there is some room. I would have to know the inlet steam conditions. To get 38% an engine would have to expand something like from an enthalpy of 1663 BTU to 1100 BTU converting 563 BTUs to work. Up or down a bit depending on exhaust conditions but not a lot of room.

That starts to put the inlet pressures and temps way too high for any engine of that day, 1450 deg X 2000 lbs. The Williams engines were running in the area of 1000 by 1000, as I understand it. That max'es out to around 30% engine efficiency.

Now we all know that 30% is darned hard to get from our own designs and calculations. It takes a well designed and built engine to do that. At 30% efficiency the Williams engine is truly remarkable, about twice what most IC gas engines were doing in it's day.

The Williams engine is a great one and a hard act to follow, but if we are thinking that 38% is the figure to beat, and it isn't, then some potentially excellent designs might not see the light of day.

Thanks fer listnin ------------ Bill G.
Re: Williams ws. Rankin
February 14, 2006 12:10PM
I have dug out the Machine Design article on the test of the 56CTD Williams and upon studying it there were a few errors in its calculations. it states 1000psi/1000F at the boiler and it developed 31.5HP@2500RPM using 6.44 #/HP-HR steam.
Do the numbers; the enthalpy was 1500BTU and if we give the boiler 150F feedwater 8887BTU's were supplied to the steam to generate 2545BTU's of work then the thermal efficiency was 28.6% (1500-120 X 6.44 engine heat input). If the boiler were 80% efficient it would have an overall plant efficiency(without running auto auxilaries) of 22.9%, still a very remarkable feat.
The tests were sponsored by the Mobil Oil Co. and a physicist Dr. Robert Ayres did the tests, he describes the novelty of the automatic compression release valve system.
In the tabulated "STEAM-ENGINE ROUNDUP" comparing all the companies the Williams data gives 26% thermal efficiency for the 125CID engine. I have not found the engine test data from the University of Pennsylvania?? but believe it gave a similar performance of about 26-28%.
Now if you want more than 31.5HP one needs to increase the cutoff and that raises the water rate. Vicious cycle getting horsepower per cubic inch displacement and very low water rate. Even with the Williams 262CID engine (that is almost 5 times larger than this test engine) simple interpolation wouls gie the larger engine 150HP output@2500RPM, not enough for a record setter in its short economical cutoff.
Best to all,
Re: Williams ws. Rankin
February 14, 2006 02:40PM
Why do I always agree with you George. Howard needs 250hp to get good ground effect in his boat. engine efficency does not mater in racing if their is enough steam. This is my guess as what I would do.

Re: Williams ws. Rankin
February 14, 2006 06:57PM
You're right, George. Flat-out/Williams mode = good steam rate (maybe?) but low net hp.. And with a pretty hefty engine too. Sometimes the typing fingers outrace the brain here. Okay, for a record boat, reverse my first idea. Forget about Williams mode & use the Rankine cams for long admission ... hmm maybe a couple Mountain Wagon or Bryan engines ain't such a bad idea after all ... do IC boat racers worry about net thermal efficiency? ... Then it's "fun time" with boiling up enough water ... power to weight ratio, power to weight ...

Bill, excellent point. I have often wondered how many good steam cars which would have been built, & would have been lots of fun to drive & might even have sold well in limited/specialty/kit production, were dropped because this or that feature/result wasn't as good as some "different market segment"/noncompeting, or showcase, or "right around the corner" design that either didn't get built or only saw prototyping or limited production, and perhaps then disappeared. EG, how many good steam car projects got "spiked", perhaps in the concept stage, because of initial reports/claims on the unbeatable results and allegedly impending market dominance of the Paxton Phoenix, Williams, Lear, Chrysler gas turbine, Wankel, stratified-charge IC, electric, etc.? Personally I'm working on what I can design/build and get running well; no quitting "because X is better [let alone 'theoretically better'] than my design". Doubts/opinions aside, I hope everyone else sticks to their projects too -- and gets good results. "A rising tide lifts all boats".


"Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance." -- Samuel Johnson
Re: Williams ws. Rankin
February 14, 2006 08:40PM
HI Petera brine takes 18-pound pr hp.i need 500 hp means 9000 pounds of steam pr our for 15 minutes. Hut kind of boiler will do it and not go over 500 pounds waite
Re: Williams ws. Rankin
February 14, 2006 09:15PM

If you go back to square one, the whole aim of Howard's exercise is to have a useful platform to test a Williams engine - something that nobody has done for a very long time. He would have enough engine setting options to get the rpm and power he needs and would only have to size the boiler accordingly.

Building a complete new system from a short life engine for the sake of getting some sort of a record looks like a pointless exercise (even though it would work). Steam outboard motor conversions have been around for over 40 years but have not given durable,lowest cost or the most economical engines. Whatever mark someone sets with a steam engine could be easily knocked off by off-the-shelf engines of different types. This is a sad reality of steam record attempts. For instance who really cares what the current steam car record is now as it is still below the speed of a number of stock production sports cars built since the 1960s.

We need to set records for long life, long endurance for a finite amount of fuel and water, above average fuel economy, small package size, lower power to weight cost ratios, low cost and other aspects competitive to a consumer. Proposals that have been mentioned for uneconomical high power, with lousy power to weight ratios, extremely high fuel consumtion, endurance of only a few minutes, large volume are all features that helped put steam out of business 80 to 100 years ago and will do nothing to promote it today (with a real possibility of detrimental aspects being highlighted). In the real world of endurance motor sport steam was dead from the start because the vehicles had a very poor water range (White may have been an exception for a while). The condenser capacity today really limits the power available and at serious power levels steam cannot keep pace. For those who can manage 1/8 mile at a time, there is the annual SACA event. Open hill climbing is a low cost sport that could still attract home built steam cars. Off-road events could also be run for steam car classes. I have been trying to get support for a mini baja class that only requires a 10 hp engine. Currently only petrol engines sponsored by Briggs and Stratton are permitted. Steam clubs would need to act separately. Steam enthusiasts have shown zero interest which is probably indicative of the world interest in steam power by consumers. I think regardless of what you try, the outcome may be similar. This is a serious problem for potential commercial developers as there may be no customers by the time they get to market.

I would like to see someone building useful steam vehicles, not toys or gimmicky things that have no practical use for comsumers. These is a lot of misdirected talent just going down the drain here. Note the lessons learned in 1907 that steam power can be very dangerous and put Stanley out of the racing business. The public and motor sport organisations also saw no future in short duration events and vehicles built for them, but adopted the longer range and more economical internal combustion engined racers and their consumer related products.


PS. We can hype up steam talk for non existing steamers in a list like this but the motoring press will kill you in a few lines once they get a new real steam product on a test track, measure it up and a do a full evaluation that will reveal what it can or can't do. Most will want a vehicle for a day or two - perhaps a week if it is new. Truthful-not speculative- (critical) comparisons on all evaluation items will save a lot of heatache later.
Re: Williams ws. Rankin
February 14, 2006 10:10PM
Hello Peter,

Yeah, If I can just keep up that perserverance.

I, of course, have a good outlook for my engine design and project. As far as compounds go I am sure Andy does for his also. I recently re-read the thread on Efficiency, Power range that Andy started and am starting to see the intelligence behind his design.

I do believe that our present quest for a high efficiency and flexable engine can be fulfilled. These compounds look like they may be able to do it, but there are other configurations and others must be working on or thinking about them also.

I doubt that any one engine configuration will be the be all and end all of steam technology, but we have to put our best into it.

Howard's conundrum is that to get the weight and size of the boiler down the engine must be efficient. To get the HP output needed the engine must run inefficiently at lower expansions increasing the size and weight of the boiler. Two efficiency lines must cross, the BTUs/ft2 and weight of the boiler plus engine and boat, and the HP output of the engine. This crossing must happen at a point where the boats dynamics says that a certain speed can be reached. It's all a HP/lbm issue or energy density.

Now we know that boiler output per ft2 can be raised from whats common, 5 -10 lbs/ft2. Harrys supercritical is about 22, I read in a book at Tom Kimmels place that long ago experiments got up to 100 lbs/ ft2 with an over fired coal burning boiler. There didn't seem to be a limit as long as there was water in the tubes and few bubbles. The tradeoff of course is in boiler thermal efficiency.

With Harrys boiler I wonder how much heat absorbed is radiant and how much convective. Harry was burning acetone in the little engine, which I think gives a flame like propane. Now I would think that even though the heat of combustion creates radiant IR the luminosity of the fire would also influence the rate of heat absorbsion. Coal is very luminant. Higher frequency light carrys more energy, blue light more than red, visible more than infrared, metals absorb best at a certain set of wavelengths, oxide coatings modify this. Something to kick around anyway.

The IC engine went through several design phases to get the high HP and efficiency output. There is a point where any increase in engine efficiency raises the HP/ lbm ratio. Like higher compression ratios and controled spark advance, fuel injection, better rings and such. I believe that steam engine design is entering that phase.

Sure a high efficiency compound, for instance, is bigger and heavier than a single stage, but the power output for the amount of steam in can be phenominal and require less boiler, condenser and total weight. Not thinking of the older compounds here as both mine and Andys are quite a bit different. This coupled with new boiler design to get both the thermal and lbs/ ft2 efficiency up will throw steam technology far forward.

For now I'd investigate installing an exhaust turbine on the Williams engine and running it full bore into the turbine. This would make it into a two stage compound of sorts with a high overall expansion ratio. More HP output and a smaller boiler.

Didn't intend to get quite so long winded. Wishing all the best --------- Bill G.
Re: Williams ws. Rankin
February 15, 2006 02:28AM
Hi Howard,

Yep, I see the problem. Darned if I know how to get that much steam out of that weight of boiler. Maybe something like the SES, or a very radical Lamont. If my boiler idea tests out, I might be able to get 3500 lbs/hr out of 500 lbs of boiler. We shall see. Hope you -- or somebody else here -- can figure out the 500 hp boat plant, that would be fantastic.

Hi Bill,

Efficiency/power/weight is definitely a conundrum. If somebody can equal or beat the gas cars in any/all of these, then more power to 'em sez me. I have some ideas and will build and test them to see. This takes tons of time, leaving little for detailed discussions. I think K.I.S.S. is a good approach to public internet chat. smiling smiley Speaking of which, I gotta get back to the shop. Keep up the good work, and catch ya later,

Re: Williams ws. Rankin
February 15, 2006 09:27AM
Hi Graeme,
I agree with you on the most part, however racing gets attention. Regge Foutain Just set a 'V' bottom boat record of over 175mph It got a lot of press and full page advertising in boating magazenes. The total life expectancey of the engines might be 1.5 hrs. it got the press... To build a reliable hi tech engine is proubly behond the financial capabilites of most folks, they can have fun with off the shelf parts. Racing altho crude by some standards has a way to improve the state of the art. As a spectaters point of view more fun. Jay Carter I belivee sees it this way when he started the steam trials. Hoo Ray for Jay.
Kiss in a boat is definetly the way to go. The gross weight on Howards will have to be less than 8 lbs per hp.to run over 100mph. The model race boats lend a good clue as it has a super heater for a boiler.
Re: Williams ws. Rankin
February 15, 2006 10:36AM
George and Bill,

I've seen the Williams test report reproduced in an early copy of the SACA journal and noted there are errors in it by mixing facts (actual test conditions) and theory (ideal results). Without seeing the test running sheets I'm not prepared to enter into meaningful comment apart from saying what everyone suspects is that all the figures presented so far do not add up. A correct energy audit of a test report should add up with all the measured inputs and outputs being accounted for. If the numbers don't match, you keep doing tests until they make sense.

Anyone claiming a net cycle efficiency above 24% should have the results audited and checked they are repeatable. A full set of test data should be published if anyone wants to claim anything special. If it is not possible to audit (system heat balance) the results I'll take them with a grain of salt. Too much incomplete data gets unofficial mention, errors creep in and meaninless discussion follows.


Re: Williams ws. Rankin
February 15, 2006 01:51PM
Hi Bill,
We ran the acetone for safety reasons the BTU's are very low it evaporates quickly in case of a spill and you can blow it out ,also we have drums of it. Engine start up is much faster with alcohol and faster again with gasoline. Gas is hot and dangerous when experimenting.
Re: Williams ws. Rankin
February 15, 2006 08:20PM
Hello Harry,

You had mentioned a 44 ft2 boiler and 1000 lbs of steam/Hr. I was wondering if that is on burning acetone and if gas would raise the output. I am wondering how much the luminosity affects the radiant heat absorbed by the tubing.

Good safety tip on using acetone for experimental purposes.

Be Well ---------- Bill G.
Re: Williams ws. Rankin
February 16, 2006 06:16PM
HI Guise. It’s nice to see you’re for my boat. The Williams will need 3000 pounds per our.
I have a design for a boiler vat will do it. But it’s expensive to make. I am trying COM up awhiva one vat cheaper to make. I am thinking a bout doing a Lemont. As it can be made all from mild steal.eixpet the super heater. Any idlers
Re: Williams ws. Rankin
February 16, 2006 07:12PM
Hi Howard,

What pressure/temperature do you need? What is the available boiler space: width/length/height?

Re: Williams ws. Rankin
February 16, 2006 09:45PM

How heavy is that engine and the propulsion drive parts?
How heavy is the hull likely to be, or the limit you have to stay under?
Can you run on a fresh water area to pick up feed water as you go and also not have to worry about condensing anything?

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