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Author Topic: THE SPLIT IN THE STEAMPUNK TIMELINE!  (Read 9308 times)
tophatdan
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« on: June 27, 2010, 08:47:13 pm »

 at the age of 47 sir humphry davy made the most important discovery of his life. a discovery which would change history as we know it.
 whilst experimenting with a new method to produce metallic sodium from molten lye, sir davy had realised a need for a more powerful source of electromotive force, turning to his earlier experiments with dry pile voltaic cells, sir davy set out to invent such a power source.
 the breakthrough came when he discovered a solid calxes oxide, or compound 'dope' consisting of potassium permanganate, zinc and iron oxide. by applying this 'dope' to a ceramic material he had made using nickle and ceramic material, he discovered that he could create an effective high voltage dry pile voltaic stack.
 
 when he made his first attempt at applying a charge from this new ceramic dry pile voltaic stack to molten lye he produced an effective source of metallic sodium, but the experiment was incomplete.
 he wished to make a sodium producing 'engine' from this experiment. so after making modifications to a casters tube he placed this new type of voltaic pile inside of the pre-heated molten sodium hydroxide (lye) and as the cell heated up to over 200 degrees fahrenheit his breakthrough was made.
 this new voltaic pile, when heated began to not only produce pure sodium but also massive amounts of electricity!

 after this initial experiment sir davy decided to attempt the use of defused gasses to 'throttle' the reaction, after further modification to his device he fitted a set of electromotive bellows to the device to add ambient air to the inner core of the voltaic pile as a way of cooling the device which he thought would allow him to 'slow' what he believed to be an out of control reaction. in doing this he inadvertently added a small amount of humidity to the reaction causing the production of hydrogen gas as the metallic sodium reacted and oxidised inside the device, instead of slowing the reaction this step caused it to increase instead.
 the device at this point began to produce it's own heat, increasing in temperature to nearly 500 degrees fahrenheit.
 the device also began to produce large amounts of steam as well at heat, electrical energy and of course metallic sodium.

 astounded by this breakthrough, sir davy made the final leap in his experiment, enclosing the entire unit inside of a 'boiler' which was filled with molten lye, by adding ambient air to the device he could increase the heat after a short warm up period and as the heat increased so did the amount of electrical energy, with the increased output of electrical energy came an increase in the amount of steam produced and as an additional byproduct of the chemical reaction, the device produced large amounts of highly flammable hydrogen gas!

 it struck sir davy that this 'hyper voltaic pile engine' which he had created had many applications. imagine a power source which ran entirely off of lye and air!

 unfortunately he died in 1829 before bringing the project any further than the original prototype.
 this device would have slipped into the pages of history unnoticed if not for his former lab assistant mr. michael faraday.

 when the device and notes were discovered at sir davy's laboratory no one knew what it was and so not knowing its value it was placed into a crate along with all the pertinent research papers and sent to mr. faraday who payed it no attention for a number of years, decided to reassemble the device during his research into chlorides, knowing only that it was a new kind of voltaic pile, after much frustration he managed to recreate the original experiment.
 realizing immediately as sir. davy did, the potential of this device, mr. faraday began to pour all of his time and resources into it's perfection.

 he discovered that in the operation of the device it produced a magnetic field which sir davy had ignored, this was discovered to be the result of a kind of paramagnetic sodium superoxide which was an impurity in the metallic sodium resulting from the high pressures inside the device.

 turning to the works of several locomotive engineers, mr. faraday managed to harness the steam produced by the device as well as capture the hydrogen gas which he worried would combust from the heat of the device. in doing this he increased the pressure of the device greatly, producing a more stable and constant diamagnetic field which he found could be used to 'throttle' the device by moving 4 large iron stalks closer or farther away from the device, as they came closer the field compressed, producing higher pressure, a higher field and therefore a higher electrical output as well as higher temperature. by moving the stalks farther away the field would expand and reduce the operating pressures as well as temperatures allowing the device to be throttled down.

 with this final breakthrough mr. faraday had near perfected the device by 1845. in subsequent experiments he refined the design adding an overhead 'knockout' tower which would allow the steam and hydrogen to be separated, the steam moving on to be used in a steam engine and the hydrogen being moved to pneumatic storage tank to be dispersed slowly as a byproduct.
 the metallic sodium was extruded through 4 pressurised dyes which emptied into a series of reservoirs containing tea tree oil which rapidly cooled it as well as protecting it from further chemical reaction, producing a pleasant smell as a side-effect.
 the electrical energy was almost entirely expelled in the operation of the device but by compressing the field it could be expelled by lugs which perimetered the engine.
 with the addition of a rather ingenious furnace door which allowed additional caustic soda to be added to the reaction chamber without requiring the pressure to be reduced, the 'hyper voltaic pile engine' was completed in time for the Crystal Palace Exhibition in may of 1851 only 22 years after it's inventors death.

 faraday unveiled the 'hyper voltaic pile engine' to the world as a new source of not only steam-power but of electrical energy.
 viewed as a revolution in power, the following year Henri Giffard fitted a small hyper voltaic pile engine to his first powered airship, for the first time finding a practical use for the surplus hydrogen gas.
 by 1860 all locomotives were being built with the new power source, known as 'davy trains' they featured an engine which produced no smoke or soot, only the pleasant smell of tea tree oil.
 the interiors of passenger cars were lit by low voltage electrical arc lamps. the fuel was produced by reacting brine from sea water which was cheap and clean.
 
 by the time of faraday's death in 1867 he was a rich man and though the trains bore the name of his former boss, he had reaped the benefits of the research.

 during this period research into the use of metallic sodium had produced numerous inventions, from industrial uses in metallurgy to the common sodium reactor tea kettle.
 with a cheap and safe source of not only power but of hydrogen gas, the airship developed rapidly into a common place cargo ship as well as an intercontinental passenger transport.

 because this source of power was so cheap, so effective and so common place, electrical research continued only to the end of increasing efficiency in the voltaic pile which was at the device's core, with an infinite source of low voltage direct current energy, households and factories were lit by small long lasting arc lamps powered by localized 'source' engines'.

 industrialization and mechanization moved forward rapidly, reducing and in some cases eliminating the need for manpower.
 this was especially true in the americas where by 1860 all agricultural equipment was ran by the hyper voltaic pile engine.
 fields were plowed by massive mechanical bulls which rolled across the soil belching hydrogen flames out their stacks as the surplus was simply burned off.

 this caused massive labour surpluses and lead to an economic depression and civil revolt among the lower classes across the americas.    
 when abraham lincoln was elected in 1860 he promised a new age of progress which to many meant an end to their own livelihoods, at his inaugural address an anarchist by the name of john wilkes boothe threw a bomb at the podium, maiming the president and nearly killing him.
 boothe was captured and found out to be a member of a southern separatist group known as the 'confederated labour party' lead by a charismatic attorney in kentucky named John Breckinridge.

the assassination attempt and capture of boothe began a short period of descent and rioting which caused the vice president to issue an ultimatum to the members of the 'confederated labour party' which were demanding a halt to further industrialization fearing that they would loose their land and their jobs to factories and machines.

 VP. johnson demanded that confederated labour hand over their leader, known political agitator John Breckinridge, when the kentucky electorate refused, the union invaded kentucky.
 this quickly escalated into a war which lasted from 1860 to 1875.

 during this period new and horrible weapons of war were invented, the mechanized 'tank' the aerial bombardment, the battleship, the submersible boat, all powered by the world's primary source of power, the 'hyper voltaic pile engine'.

 the sodium bomb was invented, a horrible chemical device which mixed metallic sodium with water on impact, doubling the explosive effect by igniting hydrogen on the battlefield and spreading lye everywhere, blinding thousands.

 musket and cannon gave way to reaction rifles which hurled projectiles by compressing the magnetic field of a miniaturized hyper voltaic pile until it 'counter reacted' causing a massive burst of steam and sodium chloride which produced 100 times the pressures of black powder.

 during the war both sides dug deep trenches the longest of which was a 'no mans land' which stretched for 183 miles across southern pennsylvania, in one day along this line over 23,000 men died...

 known as 'the great war' this battle eventually drew in mexico and spain in the south, canada and great britain in the north, before it's end on november, 11 of 1875, 60 million americans and europeans lay dead on the battlefields of the american east...
 the world had never seen such carnage.

 the southern states agreed to return to the union, mexico was given over to spain who's military was restricted and who's naval armada was destroyed or converted to shipping.
 great britain, america, canada, australia, france, japan and india signed an agreement which would give them a monopoly on the production of sodium hydroxide (the world's fuel source.)
 the monarchies of europe held fast together and in the treaty all but spain was allowed to produce sodium as a fuel. but only when in international waters and only for 'primary defensive use' in exchange for retaining their military forces the european monarchs signed a 'police agreement' in which they would create national forces to patroll the sky and waterways and enforce the military and fuel restrictions.

 these tretise ushered in a new age, one where cheap energy as wass once known in the 'davy trains' was no more, no more did the smell of tea tree oil fill the air in homes, factories, train cars and engine rooms.

 forcing much of the world back into an age of darkness this conflict and its tretise forced the rest of the world into the age of piracy...
 now 1880 the world is rapidly changing, massive military buildups have shattered the utopian ideals of cheap clean energy, the world which is powered by the 'hyper voltaic pile engine' is as dependant now on lye as it was coal, fog fills the air year round over population centers where steam engines run 24/7 to keep their world running, many have began to drill for saltwater brine and produce their own low quality caustic soda for personal use, this is a clear violation of international law and the sky police of europe have begun raids on homes all across the world to shut down this practice by fear...
« Last Edit: June 27, 2010, 09:23:49 pm by tophatdan » Logged

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tophatdan
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2010, 08:48:25 pm »

ok so this is how i 'fixed' the steampunk 'problem' let me know what you think...
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2010, 09:08:24 pm »

Very interesting Sir and the perfect setting for any number of novels.
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tophatdan
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2010, 09:12:44 pm »

thank you very much.
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Arkwright
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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2010, 10:05:00 pm »

Hello there!

An interesting line of background to take. I look forward to the stories that shall come out of.

It is interesting that many alternative timelines have a Great War. In deference to our American cousins I chose the South Seas for mine, but its social role in the background is similar.

As I say, I look forward to see what stories come forth.

TTFN

Arkwright
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tophatdan
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« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2010, 10:25:12 pm »

Hello there!

An interesting line of background to take. I look forward to the stories that shall come out of.

It is interesting that many alternative timelines have a Great War. In deference to our American cousins I chose the South Seas for mine, but its social role in the background is similar.

As I say, I look forward to see what stories come forth.

TTFN

Arkwright


well im not sure why anyone else does it but i was using it as a sort of amalgam of the american civil war and the first world war, if you look at the dates you might note that this 'great war' ended on armistice day, also it allows me to rapidly move the technology forward (as war often does) from muskets and railways to reaction rifles and tanks...
 finally it is a great segway into the creation of international laws, sky police and piracy... and becides, a 'wartorn' world allows so much flexability in the moral fiber of your charicters. the 'sodium bomb and the blindings gives an excuse for all of the goggles out there as well...
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« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2010, 10:51:49 pm »

A war is also excellent background for a story.  The Lord of the Rings could have had the hobbits take the ring to the Crack of Doom without the epic background of a world at war but it surely helped. Grin

War as a catalyst for change is of course a perfectly valid reason.  Look at women's suffrage on the UK for example.  Without the Great War and the agreement made at it's oubreak to afford women the vote and thus secure support from the suffragette movement what might have happened with social change in the 20th century?  It's not just technology that moves on; although of course war accelerates technological advancements since more resources are dedicated to research and development.

I like the way that you have taken established researchers and used their characters and areas of expertise to create a plausible series of events that could have led to potentially a massive and fantastical diversion from history as we know it.
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tophatdan
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2010, 12:23:11 am »

the description i give of the 'hyper voltaic pile engine' is quite based in fact, sir. davy was working on dry voltaic pile technology and the 'dope' i describe was an invention of his, however in his time and without modern ceramics, the device never worked any better than any other dry voltaic pile...

 the hyper voltaic pile engine (a plausible device) it actually an amalgam between sir. davy's research in the 1820s and modern hydrogen fuel cells, some of which are capable of operating on ambient air and lye, in modern times we are constantly trying to cool these devices because high heat is not good for modern electronic components, the operating temp for such devices is between 200 and 1000 degrees F. in my mind it wasnt a big jump to think that if davy has succeeded in creating his hyper voltaic pile that the high operating temp and production of water steam as a biproduct would have easily lead such an imaginitive man to see a new kind of steam engine.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2010, 06:20:05 am by tophatdan » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2010, 09:04:54 am »

That is precisely why I found your thread so impressive.

Davy and Faraday have long been personal heroes of mine.  Sir Humphrey's safety lamp was of course iconic during my childhood since I come from mining stock.  I have also had the honour to participate in the annual Faraday commemorative lecture.

You have taken real work and extrapolated - moving on by adding another great mind.  A first class leap of imagination which shows that steampunk does not have to go down the routes of magical substances or a discovery of a fictitious power source such as dilithium crystals. 

Definitely more Verne than Wells Sir and that I intend as a complement.
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Arkwright
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« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2010, 11:43:28 am »

Hello there!

I hope you didn't consider my comment about a great war as a criticism, as it certainly wasn't intended as such.

As Timetinker has said war can bring about enormous social, technological and political change. Whether such change is for the better and whether the “stimulus” of war can be overdone is the theme of many stories in many genres, although I particularly like the “after dinner” discussion of the issue in Things To Come.

I also like the way you have used real science and technology developed to the nth degree; very much in the vein of Jules Verne. But I also think you have created a rich social and political background in which you can explore your characters and map their journey. It is a background with winners and losers and that creates dynamic situations as people try to regain the essence of former lives or fight to protect what they have gained.

Steampunk backgrounds do many things, they provide a “galaxy far away” for traditional stories, but they also provide a chance to explore the obsessions of modern times; where did things go wrong, what if, what will happen if technology develops too rapidly, and so many more. The other advantage of Steampunk backgrounds (for me at least) is that there are still mysteries to solve, giants to be fought (even if it is only metaphorically) and who knows, there may still be monsters in the world…

TTFN

Arkwright 
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« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2010, 03:27:28 pm »

*reads original post* *thinks* *curses the curse of a writer who's been beaten to a really good idea*

As ideas and explainations for a steampunk world go, the concept of the 'hyper voltaic pile engine' is a work of elegant genius. Annoyingly, it would fit right in with the setting of my current steampunk-ish WIP but since it's your idea and I'm not a plagerizing ratbag it's forever off-limits. Damn.

One question though, why tea tree oil?
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tophatdan
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« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2010, 04:08:07 pm »

you are more than welcome to use my idea if you wish, just give credit where credit is due... and thank you for the 'elegant genius' comment.

as for the tea tree oil, to keep metallic sodium from being volatile at room temp. you have to store it in a viscous hydrocarbon to insulate it from any moisture... at that point... why not tea tree oil...?
« Last Edit: June 29, 2010, 04:10:57 pm by tophatdan » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2010, 04:59:08 pm »

you are more than welcome to use my idea if you wish, just give credit where credit is due... and thank you for the 'elegant genius' comment.

You're welcome. It seemed like an accurate assessment since with one invention you justified most of the mainstays of steampunk, particuarly airships since source of power that produces both electricity and steam without sparks or flames + lots of hydrogen with nothing better to do (and a reasonably low risk of going 'fwoosh') produced as a by-product = airships being more practical then planes. When one thing solves numerous problems, then too me at least it seems elegant.

Quote
as for the tea tree oil, to keep metallic sodium from being volatile at room temp. you have to store it in a viscous hydrocarbon to insulate it from any moisture... at that point... why not tea tree oil...?

I see your point. I'd imagine that Austrailia (and by extention the UK since it's one of our colonies) would be making a lot of money in your universe.
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tophatdan
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« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2010, 05:04:16 pm »

Quote
as for the tea tree oil, to keep metallic sodium from being volatile at room temp. you have to store it in a viscous hydrocarbon to insulate it from any moisture... at that point... why not tea tree oil...?

I see your point. I'd imagine that Austrailia (and by extention the UK since it's one of our colonies) would be making a lot of money in your universe.

just another thing that the pirates can be stealing for profit...
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tophatdan
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« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2010, 02:46:52 am »


well, based on the new engine i have started re-designing all of my 'equipment' in my own personal steampunk universe.

basically i just take out all the boilers and add in the voltaic piles...

the problem is, even though i 'designed' the thing, i dont really know what one would look like...

anyone here have any ideas? i guess i should maybe start a new thread for this but what i am asking is for someone to help me 'build' or atleast conceptualize one of these engines...

contained here is a shorthand description of it.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
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pakled
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« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2010, 07:01:47 am »

by a strange coincidence, the last part of the American Civil War was fought in trenches, complete with automatic weapons (well, a token appearance at Petersburg...but still...Wink

Hey, the story line has enough veracity to keep most of us following 'the willing suspension of disbelief', while the very few chemists who pop up...well, ya can never please everyone...Wink

Go for it...
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tophatdan
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« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2010, 03:31:20 pm »

by a strange coincidence, the last part of the American Civil War was fought in trenches, complete with automatic weapons (well, a token appearance at Petersburg...but still...Wink

Hey, the story line has enough veracity to keep most of us following 'the willing suspension of disbelief', while the very few chemists who pop up...well, ya can never please everyone...Wink

Go for it...

the chemistry is sound, i mean its a description of a 21st century hydrogen fuel cell that was somehow constructed by an early 19th century scientist... but its sound! lol, the biproducts of water, hydrogen gas etc. are exactly what you expect... well if that water is coming out at an operating temp. over 500 degrees F then its going to be steam...
 i just need a little help deciding what this thing looks like...

 oh, and thanks for the whole civil war in the trenches comment, i personally loved that... it is basically the first world war fought in the american east 50 years earlier, complete with a competing tretise system...
 one of the things i think it does is it sets the stage for a 'lawless' period in the west as the east preoccupies itself with rebuilding...

 the story i am working on based on this little outline actuially takes place in italy in the 1880s, but sooner or later the heroes will find themselves in the americas...
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« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2010, 04:10:03 pm »

I enjoy the basis of your Steampunk, it seems to be a chemistry equivalent of the Difference Engine plot line that Gibson came up with. Here I thought you were going to discuss Steam vs. Diesel Punk time lines, or the Victorian vs. Edwardian Eras.  Wink
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tophatdan
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« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2010, 06:15:50 pm »

 naw, no heady ethos filled debate here...

 i was looking for a way to explain how a 'steampunk world' came around, as i have said you cant really have the historical split happen right there in the gilded age, it does not leave enough time for development, i mean no one is going to believe that you go from the civil war straight into a world of massive airships and lightning cannons... its just too fantastic.

 some writers would like people to ignore this and just see the 'world around them' not asking what came before, how the people and things got how they are... well i just cant do that, i cant ignore the historical in any story, i decided that there were atleast 2 things i needed;

1: an invention in the early 19th century with the potential to change the world.
2: atleast 20 years of intensive developement for the technology to become comercial and common.
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« Reply #19 on: July 02, 2010, 10:42:59 pm »


well, based on the new engine i have started re-designing all of my 'equipment' in my own personal steampunk universe.

basically i just take out all the boilers and add in the voltaic piles...

the problem is, even though i 'designed' the thing, i dont really know what one would look like...

anyone here have any ideas? i guess i should maybe start a new thread for this but what i am asking is for someone to help me 'build' or atleast conceptualize one of these engines...

contained here is a shorthand description of it.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

In terms of general appearance I can visualise a gradual progression through several distinct phases.

The experimental version could be imagined as fairly sprawling and complex with the various components distinctly separate with lots of scope for adjustment  with constant addition of new parts you might see things crammed in in odd places in a fairly haphazard manner. Probably most of the parts would be either made as one-offs or adapted from other apparatus so probably lots of machined bits and not much in the way of castings, forgings or pressings.

The first production models would probably look fairly similar but rather more organised, with the components fitting together a bit more neatly with a more coherent appearance but still probably looking like a set of parts fitted together than a compact package. The biggest change might be a distinct control panel with all of the instruments and controls standardised and placed together.

As production volume increased and more design refinements were made you'd expect to see more casting and pressings with the whole package a lot more compact and streamlined. They might well be sold as single modules ready to slot into whatever machine they were intended to power so more of a 'box' with pipes, ducts ect coming in and out, a bit like a modern generator.
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« Reply #20 on: July 03, 2010, 01:15:19 am »

This is damned bloody wonderful, sir!

While I'm hardly a man of science, I would still like to know how scientifically accurate the initial experiments in this are. So, is this engine feasible?
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tophatdan
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« Reply #21 on: July 03, 2010, 01:30:48 am »

This is damned bloody wonderful, sir!

While I'm hardly a man of science, I would still like to know how scientifically accurate the initial experiments in this are. So, is this engine feasible?


 with modern high press ceramics, nickle alloys and laboritory pure chemicals, you are looking at a very high operating temperature hydrogen fuel cell being run 'backwards' it would probably run a while, pump out a bunch of hydrogen and water, then fizzle and scorch the lye causing a horrible explosion as all of the contact plates 'reverse electroplated' themselves into oblivion...

 this technology has been explored by NASA as a possible way to produce fuel and water on mars, they have no interest in making metalic sodium so they use hydrogen sulfide gas as a cell fuel instead of lye.
 the problem is that every one of these devices i have read about ends up exploding...

 for information on a hydrogen fuel cell based on the 'voltaic pile' or 'voltaic stack' you can go here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloom_Box

 at the end of the day my 'hyper voltaic pile engine' is a work of fiction backed by some pretty good science, truly it wouldnt work and if it did then that would be a work of pure genius, it would have never existed in the 19th century, its too eccentric to exist in the 21st century. it is however a great device to base all tech off of in a steampunk world...
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« Reply #22 on: July 03, 2010, 03:01:50 am »

This is damned bloody wonderful, sir!

While I'm hardly a man of science, I would still like to know how scientifically accurate the initial experiments in this are. So, is this engine feasible?


 with modern high press ceramics, nickle alloys and laboritory pure chemicals, you are looking at a very high operating temperature hydrogen fuel cell being run 'backwards' it would probably run a while, pump out a bunch of hydrogen and water, then fizzle and scorch the lye causing a horrible explosion as all of the contact plates 'reverse electroplated' themselves into oblivion...

 this technology has been explored by NASA as a possible way to produce fuel and water on mars, they have no interest in making metalic sodium so they use hydrogen sulfide gas as a cell fuel instead of lye.
 the problem is that every one of these devices i have read about ends up exploding...

 for information on a hydrogen fuel cell based on the 'voltaic pile' or 'voltaic stack' you can go here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloom_Box

 at the end of the day my 'hyper voltaic pile engine' is a work of fiction backed by some pretty good science, truly it wouldnt work and if it did then that would be a work of pure genius, it would have never existed in the 19th century, its too eccentric to exist in the 21st century. it is however a great device to base all tech off of in a steampunk world...

Well it certainly is interesting enough. I've never yet heard of anything that can draw a charge, produce hydrogen gas and water while turning that water to steam as well and creating a magnetic field.

It's like the holy grail of energy production.

What I like about your time line though is that it incorporates a maximum number of European as well as American nations, and the early incorporation of the Great War is a definite plus.
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« Reply #23 on: July 03, 2010, 04:44:23 am »

One of the amazing technologies I want to incorporate is the Atomic Battery developed by Henry Moseley in 1913 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_battery
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« Reply #24 on: July 04, 2010, 10:51:28 pm »

This thread interests me, I've been thinking of something along the same lines, to explain my greater use of electrical power sources than the term 'Steampunk' would seem to imply...  Smiley

But anyway, this 'device' strikes me as some kind of mixture of a fuel cell and a 'Sodium Salt Battery'. The sodium salt battery operates in much the same way as described, using very high temperatures and a molten salt as the electrolyte. Molten salt batteries can be made as both "Primary" (single use chemical reaction) and "Secondary" cells (rechargable). Both are somewhat old technology, the fuel cell is very much 19th century, and the molten salt battery is early 20th century (WII as it hapens). So technology wise, this sort of setup is not beyond the realistic realms of possibility in a steampunk timeline.

There also is the 'control rod' device used to moderate the the reaction, somewhat akin to a nuclear fission reactor. I see this being somewhat problematic, at least where the use of a plain Iron rod is concerned - not enough of a magnetc field generated in the iron that would do anything.  I would take an example of Faraday's famous existing work - an iron ring (or iron rod) with insulated wire wrapped around it forming an electromagnet / induction coil.  A magnetic device like this would be able to better harness and control the induced magnetic fields. The coil(s) could also form a two part role in the device - electricity production (via the induced magnetic flux within the wire coil, just as with Faraday's own invention, and by applying electricity to the (other?) coils to produce a powerfull electromagnet cpable of contorting the magnetic field of the reaction.

The device does seem (from the description) to be operating somewhat 'over unity', but this can be easily ignored for now.  Wink


Now then - what would it look like?   To me the answer would be "spherical". A sphere is the easiest and strongest shape to produce, and could cope with high pressures.  I'm thinking something like this:



... only with a number of large coils and steam pipes around the perimeter of the sphere.

Sound good?....


I think this whole timeline idea is well worth developing and rounding out, it would certainly lead to new possibilities in steampunk lore and fiction!  Smiley

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