The Steampunk Forum at Brass Goggles
December 18, 2017, 04:18:26 am *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: Brassgoggles.co.uk - The Lighter Side Of Steampunk, follow @brasstech for forum technical problems & updates.
 
   Home   Blog Help Rules Login Register  
Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: steam power  (Read 5708 times)
1helios1
Officer
***
United States United States


« on: October 03, 2007, 11:23:28 pm »

im sure plenty of you already know this, but i just found out that steam power is actually better than gas power, the most efficient  car ever built was a steam car. sorry all, i just found that so awesome.
Logged
chicar
Rogue Ætherlord
*
Canada Canada


Student in Techno-Shamanism and Lyncanthrope

Chicar556
WWW
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2007, 02:26:48 am »

Congratulation Mr Obvious Roll Eyes

Just kidding Grin
Logged

The word pagan came from paganus , who mean peasant . Its was a way to significate than christianism was the religion of the elite and paganism the one of the savage worker class.

''Trickster shows us how we trick OURSELVES. Her rampant curiosity backfires, but, then, something NEW is discovered (though usually not what She expected)! This is where creativity comes from—experiment, do something different, maybe even something forbidden, and voila! A breakthrough occurs! Ha! Ha! We are released! The world is created anew! Do something backwards, break your own traditions, the barrier breaks; destroy the world as you know it, let the new in.''
Extract of the Dreamflesh article ''Path of The Sacred Clown''
Offlogic
Officer
***
United States United States


It's still not WEIRD ENOUGH!


WWW
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2007, 02:39:14 am »

There are brackets where steam positively rulez, some where other technologies rawk.
Turn of the century newspapers heralded the size of the mounds of horse manure then-current public transportation would result in.  Go figger.
Logged

HST: Gonzo but not forgotten
HAC
Steam Theologian
Zeppelin Overlord
*******
Canada Canada


HAC_N800
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2007, 02:41:52 am »

im sure plenty of you already know this, but i just found out that steam power is actually better than gas power, the most efficient  car ever built was a steam car. sorry all, i just found that so awesome.

That may be true in the mechanical sense, but its also far more expensive, and requries more maintenance (both in labour and costs),as well as being a far nit more complex in some ways.  Steam is nowhere as near as efficient as IC when it comes to running costs. That's the main reason why you don't see mainline steam locos anymore, save for the restored stuff, and in China, where labour is cheap..
 
Cheers
Harold
Logged

You never know what lonesome is , 'til you get to herdin' cows.
B. Fugu
Zeppelin Captain
*****

ᒪᒡᕆᑦᑦe, ᔅᑦeᐊᒻᐳᓐᒃ, ᐊᓐd ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ. ᓐoᑦᕼᐃᖕ ᐃᔅ ᓱᑉeᕆoᕐ.


« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2007, 03:49:11 am »

According to a train expert friend of mine (though this may be only true of locomotives), diesel is more expensive to purchase, but steam is more expensive to operate.
Logged

http://fugunews.wordpress.com/

"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our entry sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulance and then...explode." --Malcom Reynolds, Serenity
1helios1
Officer
***
United States United States


« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2007, 05:20:54 am »

steam is more efficient, more cost effective, can pretty much never run out, unlike gas. and is better for our lovely planet. the only reason we dont use it much now is because most people think of steam power as primitive, they think we have got something better. if we spent more time with steam power we could surely develop a steam engine which requires less upkeep. early on gas engine companies discredited the steam engine, saying they blew up, when in fact there is no recorded case of a steam car blowing up. all that being said, if we where to take the time that we have taken on the petrol powered car and use it for the steam car, we would have a far better vehicle.
Logged
B. Fugu
Zeppelin Captain
*****

ᒪᒡᕆᑦᑦe, ᔅᑦeᐊᒻᐳᓐᒃ, ᐊᓐd ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ. ᓐoᑦᕼᐃᖕ ᐃᔅ ᓱᑉeᕆoᕐ.


« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2007, 05:37:20 am »

The advantage in my opinion of a steam engine is that you can use any fuel.
Logged
Offlogic
Officer
***
United States United States


It's still not WEIRD ENOUGH!


WWW
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2007, 06:08:58 am »

steam is more efficient, more cost effective, can pretty much never run out, unlike gas

Yeah, steam is great, but what can be proven of any statements of absolutes?  Steam may be an exception, but statistically...?

Steam is great, romantic, under-valued, can be situationally appropriate, relatively easy to reconstruct after civilization-ending catastrophe, etc, but.... c'mon, get a grip, already. X amount of energy expended equals Y amount of work performed.  All fuel supplies eventually run out.

Heinlein (to paraphrase) wrote: "guarantee combustion is inefficient by making it intermittent".
I love "Bob" (& 'BoB') as much as the next geek, but even Relativity has context and bounds... steam included. For the distance of my daily commute I could have a wind-up car (zero output!), but I'd have to eat more to wind it, etc (or 'not', the better option, yes).

Yeah, I like steam, too, but.... 
« Last Edit: October 04, 2007, 06:12:37 am by Offlogic » Logged
1helios1
Officer
***
United States United States


« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2007, 06:22:15 am »

not true, every thing cycles, suppose you burn only wood for your steam power, then the length of a cycle is the  time it takes for a tree to mature. where as for fossil fuel the cycle is far, far longer, so much so that we can use it up before the supply can regenerate
Logged
Faustus Bailey
Guest
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2007, 08:41:03 am »

That's what I like about steam engines, I have recently found (or realized may be a better term) - steam engines, of course, only require something flammable/combustible, and water. To me, this means that basically anywhere a human can go, a steam engine can go, as opposed to your average internal combustion engine, which requires some kind of specially made fuel usually. Maybe I just think of it in terms of some mad engineer striking off into the wilderness in his steam-powered tank, but that's how I think of it. When said mad engineer is planning his expedition, then if he uses internal combustion, he'll have to plan on carrying around a lot of fuel, which is most likely not that easy to obtain. Steam engines, on the other hand, you just need water and something to burn - which, with some exceptions, is going to be anywhere hospitable to humans.

Sure, internal combustion engines and their liquid fuels have the advantage of higher energy efficiency, but higher gas prices would make people rethink their committment to the internal combustion engine.

But that may just be me.
Logged
B. Fugu
Zeppelin Captain
*****

ᒪᒡᕆᑦᑦe, ᔅᑦeᐊᒻᐳᓐᒃ, ᐊᓐd ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ. ᓐoᑦᕼᐃᖕ ᐃᔅ ᓱᑉeᕆoᕐ.


« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2007, 03:31:45 pm »

steam engines, of course, only require something flammable/combustible, and water.

The water requirement could be a problem.....
Logged
SteamKit
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


Call me Kit, everybody else does.


« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2007, 04:37:29 pm »

Did anybody see the new gasoline engine they are working on? To boost efficiency, it's a 6th cycle. On the 5th they inject water into the hot cylinder, to get an extra power stroke using....you guessed it. Good old fashioned steam! Was in a popular science I have laying around here somewhere.
Logged

Allen Personal Translocation Modules: Why travel when you can arrive?

I didn't become an unlicensed surgeon to be called "Mister."
HAC
Steam Theologian
Zeppelin Overlord
*******
Canada Canada


HAC_N800
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2007, 05:51:12 pm »

steam is more efficient, more cost effective, can pretty much never run out, unlike gas. and is better for our lovely planet. the only reason we dont use it much now is because most people think of steam power as primitive, they think we have got something better. if we spent more time with steam power we could surely develop a steam engine which requires less upkeep. early on gas engine companies discredited the steam engine, saying they blew up, when in fact there is no recorded case of a steam car blowing up. all that being said, if we where to take the time that we have taken on the petrol powered car and use it for the steam car, we would have a far better vehicle.
  Advice... Get some good academic texts on steam power/thermodynamics and learn about them  before making blanket statements.

 I spent several years of my life learning steam power and operations from a master steam mechanic and got  dirty doing it.
Steam is not more efficient, nor is it more cost effective. This is even more the case when you scale it down to small HP ranges, such as automobiles.

 Steam is a far more complex beast than most would realize. A steam engine exhausting to air, is at most 8% efficient, compounding and adding a condensor will take this to a maximum of about 25%. Adding super heat will take you to a theoretical maximum of 30%.

 Those figures are acheivable with a large scale (2000-5000) HP steam plant. Scaling it down to even a few hundred HP, drops the efficiency dramatically.
As far as  running costs go, a steam engine will be at least 1.5 times more expensive to run than an equivalent IC engine, all things considered.

 As far as steam car explosions, you can bet there were some, a boiler is an explosion waiting for the right conditions to happen. All it would take would be a defective safety, or, more likely operator error, and there she blows. True, Stanley boilers had no documented explosions, but lots of failures with flues, and the standard tools that came with the car included "flue plugs" for on the road repairs. (if more than 3 flues leaked, you had the boiler rebuilt). Its most likely that this design flaw in the flues, actually acted as an un-intentional safty feature. The boiler would blow a flue, before it let go, which at 600PSI, is a good thing.
   
FYI, the most efficient steam engines today, are the steam turbines found in nuclear power plants, Those routinely acheive 60% efficiency ratings.
One more thing..
As far as Popular Science, it may be popular, but its grain of salt science..

Cheers
Harold

Logged
HAC
Steam Theologian
Zeppelin Overlord
*******
Canada Canada


HAC_N800
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2007, 06:15:55 pm »

That's what I like about steam engines, I have recently found (or realized may be a better term) - steam engines, of course, only require something flammable/combustible, and water. To me, this means that basically anywhere a human can go, a steam engine can go, as opposed to your average internal combustion engine, which requires some kind of specially made fuel usually. Maybe I just think of it in terms of some mad engineer striking off into the wilderness in his steam-powered tank, but that's how I think of it. When said mad engineer is planning his expedition, then if he uses internal combustion, he'll have to plan on carrying around a lot of fuel, which is most likely not that easy to obtain. Steam engines, on the other hand, you just need water and something to burn - which, with some exceptions, is going to be anywhere hospitable to humans.

Sure, internal combustion engines and their liquid fuels have the advantage of higher energy efficiency, but higher gas prices would make people rethink their committment to the internal combustion engine.

But that may just be me.

Think on this, before trip planning..
 Most motive power boilers have an operating limit of about 100 hours before they need cleaning (think of how clogged your kettle gets with deposits). You
can get a gerater time between cleanings with treated water, but that's not always convenient. At the same 100 hour mark, you probably will need to clean the injectors and safety valves. Whiel you're there, 100 hours is also a good time to desoot your flues, (dirty nasty job, that..) and clean out the firebox and firebox bars (if you're running a solid fuel. While you're in there, you;'ll need to check the staybolts, and replace any that don't ring when tapped. The odd flue tube end will need resealing as well, fact of life.
You'll also need to clean out your ashpan daily, which will require dropping the fire. Lubricators should be refilled daily, and drained and steam flushed monthly. You can get away with a longer time between piston seal  repacking, but you will need to do that, say twice a year, around the same time you're checking the valves and doing any work needed there. All your steam line connections should be repacked twice a year, and your steam lines checked every firing for tightness. 
  Oh, and you'll ened to pay for a boiler test and certificate every year, any failings here are usually pretty expensive..
It goes on, but its a bit more complicated than running your average auto. Most times its just fill 'er up, and go, and change the oil every once in awhile..

Steam is a LOT of work, for a LITTLE running... (relatively speaking..)

Cheers
Harold
Logged
Faustus Bailey
Guest
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2007, 08:33:24 pm »

Probably true. I know nothing of the actual mechanics, I only know about the fuel it runs on.
Logged
Pheobsky
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom

A Gentleman.


WWW
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2007, 09:01:54 pm »

Harold
(or any other person of great knowledge in the area of steam engines)

Purely out of curiosity do you think that there would be any possibility of an incorporation of a computer (or other computational engine for that matter) into the controls of a steam engine, so that many of the controls might be automatic -much as in petrol engines ie: not having a choke on new motorcycles etc.
It occurs to me that one application of this could be in an engine where an oil flame was used, the PSI of the boiler could be linked to a valve so that were the pressure to become too great, the flame could be made smaller, as a form of basic self regulating mechanism.
-It occurs to me that this might be an avenue by which steam power could be made less labour intensive in its running.

many thanks
Pheobsky.

ps. I would like to highlight to others that I know very little beyond the basic principles of steam engines,  and computational engines, so this is mostly speculation.
Logged

There's nothing finer than going to the 192O's for a dance!
Mechanism Man
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2007, 09:08:30 pm »

So Hac, are you telling me that the time I have spent converting my old Britannia class locomotive for road use, and the last 18 weeks spent chopping down half the woods on my country estate to fuel it through the winter, as well as all the work put into catching all this summers rain water and storing it in buckets so I have a ready supply to throw in the boiler may not be the whole job? Hmm, cleaning and lubricating you say. Hitting bits to hear if they ring. Checking my stay bolts!? Might just stick with the Land Rover (series 1 of course!).
Then again, it may be worth it just to see the looks on peoples faces as I fly around Londons M25 orbital motorway in a 1951, 143 tonne, 4-6-2 Britannia at a nice comfy 77mph. Ahh, the bliss of steam!    
Logged

Sometimes, I think that the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe, is that none of it has ever tried to contact us...
Calvin and Hobbs.
HAC
Steam Theologian
Zeppelin Overlord
*******
Canada Canada


HAC_N800
« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2007, 09:50:16 pm »

So Hac, are you telling me that the time I have spent converting my old Britannia class locomotive for road use, and the last 18 weeks spent chopping down half the woods on my country estate to fuel it through the winter, as well as all the work put into catching all this summers rain water and storing it in buckets so I have a ready supply to throw in the boiler may not be the whole job? Hmm, cleaning and lubricating you say. Hitting bits to hear if they ring. Checking my stay bolts!? Might just stick with the Land Rover (series 1 of course!).
Then again, it may be worth it just to see the looks on peoples faces as I fly around Londons M25 orbital motorway in a 1951, 143 tonne, 4-6-2 Britannia at a nice comfy 77mph. Ahh, the bliss of steam!    
That was the highlight of my day...  Cheesy Chain steering, perhaps? and rubber road tires?  Tongue
Cheers
Harold
Logged
HAC
Steam Theologian
Zeppelin Overlord
*******
Canada Canada


HAC_N800
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2007, 09:54:10 pm »

Harold
(or any other person of great knowledge in the area of steam engines)

Purely out of curiosity do you think that there would be any possibility of an incorporation of a computer (or other computational engine for that matter) into the controls of a steam engine, so that many of the controls might be automatic -much as in petrol engines ie: not having a choke on new motorcycles etc.
It occurs to me that one application of this could be in an engine where an oil flame was used, the PSI of the boiler could be linked to a valve so that were the pressure to become too great, the flame could be made smaller, as a form of basic self regulating mechanism.
-It occurs to me that this might be an avenue by which steam power could be made less labour intensive in its running.

many thanks
Pheobsky.

ps. I would like to highlight to others that I know very little beyond the basic principles of steam engines,  and computational engines, so this is mostly speculation.

It's possible, with modern sensors, although it could be done as well with mechanical linkages (Besler did it in a steam railcar). There was a proposal a few years back for a modern steam locomotive, that used a system such as you envision,  to make it much like a diesel loco in terms of controls. I can dig up my notes, if you are really interested. The short answer is yes, and such a control system could easily be adapted for automobile use.
Cheers
Harold
Logged
Smaggers
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United Kingdom United Kingdom


You cannot mesmerize me...I'm British!


WWW
« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2007, 10:12:31 pm »

So Harold, an hypothetical thought experiment.  If you could, by some sort of magic, make some part of the steam engine workings more efficient what areas would be the best place to start?

Nothing that would necessarily break the laws of physics, but might bend them a bit,  perhaps an oxygen rich burn, or stronger materials, or a cleaner fuel?
Logged

"I should probably finish one project before taking on another, but the badger won't fit in the freezer." -Steamblast Mary

http://smaggers.deviantart.com/
http://www.bongofish.co.uk
HAC
Steam Theologian
Zeppelin Overlord
*******
Canada Canada


HAC_N800
« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2007, 10:38:23 pm »

So Harold, an hypothetical thought experiment.  If you could, by some sort of magic, make some part of the steam engine workings more efficient what areas would be the best place to start?

Nothing that would necessarily break the laws of physics, but might bend them a bit,  perhaps an oxygen rich burn, or stronger materials, or a cleaner fuel?
Off the top of my head...
  - better firebox, with more complete combustion (this would be an experiment with combustion chamber size, and possibly thermic siphons, as well as a better burner system)
  - fuel? Oil? Gasified coal? CNG? - ideally a clean, hot fuel.
  - use modern hi-strength materials in the running gear/boiler/firebox)
  - Possibly use a modified Schmidt high pressure system for the boiler?
  - Better insulate the boiler/cylinders reduce heat losses
  - Systems to recover and reuse (ie feedwater heat, etc) as much waste heat as possible
  - automated and interlinked controls for throttle and reverser (cutoff)
  - improved counterbalancing to counteract dynamic augment, and minimize railhead damage, possibly using configuration like the PRR duplexes?
  - Better firing controls, using soem form of sensors (usually you judge your fire by the smoke at your  stack, and the colour of your fire)
  - Active condensor for water recovery?

That do for a start? Let me take a bit fo time to really think it through and see what falls out..

Cheers
Harold
Logged
Pheobsky
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom

A Gentleman.


WWW
« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2007, 04:21:38 pm »

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

It's possible, with modern sensors, although it could be done as well with mechanical linkages (Besler did it in a steam railcar). There was a proposal a few years back for a modern steam locomotive, that used a system such as you envision,  to make it much like a diesel loco in terms of controls. I can dig up my notes, if you are really interested. The short answer is yes, and such a control system could easily be adapted for automobile use.
Cheers
Harold

To see the notes would be most interesting, if that would be at all possible, however if it is too much trouble -don't worry, as you have already answered the essence of my question.

Thank you very much  Grin
Logged
HAC
Steam Theologian
Zeppelin Overlord
*******
Canada Canada


HAC_N800
« Reply #22 on: October 06, 2007, 01:05:41 am »

Here you go..  Knew I had a printed copy in my files. I beleive its from 1982, can't be sure, no date on my copy..
Scanned the text, the original is public domain. Had to make it html and link as this exceeded the maximum allowable post length.
I think this was from 1982, but I could be off, as my copy isn't dated..

http://members.shaw.ca/hacmsts/images/ACE3000.htm

Pic of the design concept (spoiler, due to width)

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

This was later revised into the ACE 6000-G that would have seen the locomotive in a Garratt like configuration..


A copy of the patent is online at:
http://www.freepatentsonline.com/4425763.html

Another description of the controls was descibed in an issue of "Model Railroader"

 Microprocessor-based. Completely automatic control throttle, cutoff, and wheelslip control based on inputs from standard diesel-type 8 notch throttle and reverse lever. Coal feed and feedwater supply designed to be largely self-regulating by using engine feed steam or exhaust steam for power. Microprocessor system provides minor "trim" adjustments for optimum operation. Electronic controls allow lead ACE 3000 to be "MU'ed" with other ACE's or diesels if the ACE is the lead engine. "Controlled slip" incorporated into drive logic, to allow maximum low-speed tractive effort to be developed. Fast-acting electronically actuated cylinder drain cocks provide instantaneous relief of cylinder pressure for control of undesirable wheel slip. "Dynamic braking" provided by proven counter-pressure brake principal, in which cylinders are used to provide engine braking.


I can probably dig up more, if there is interest..

Cheers
Harold

Logged
KhaiJBach
Guest
« Reply #23 on: October 06, 2007, 04:03:50 am »

So Hac, are you telling me that the time I have spent converting my old Britannia class locomotive for road use, and the last 18 weeks spent chopping down half the woods on my country estate to fuel it through the winter, as well as all the work put into catching all this summers rain water and storing it in buckets so I have a ready supply to throw in the boiler may not be the whole job? Hmm, cleaning and lubricating you say. Hitting bits to hear if they ring. Checking my stay bolts!? Might just stick with the Land Rover (series 1 of course!).
Then again, it may be worth it just to see the looks on peoples faces as I fly around Londons M25 orbital motorway in a 1951, 143 tonne, 4-6-2 Britannia at a nice comfy 77mph. Ahh, the bliss of steam!   
That was the highlight of my day...  Cheesy Chain steering, perhaps? and rubber road tires?  Tongue
Cheers
Harold

Sirs please. I reserve the Patent on this design which is currently in my head being translated into the 3D Medium on my Babbage Device..

(ok. I just started building this idea... a Steam Train with the rail gear removed and replaced with oversize balloon tired wheels... practical? no. killer looking model? yupyup. (I wanted to go with tracks, but there's no practical way to animate tracks in Poser... (unless one has a PHD in Mathmatics to construct the needed Rigging) so I decided on 8 a side balloon tires...) I'm thinking a steampunk explorer setup......maybe a front Dozer blade with a gunturret above that... ooooh.. that could work...)
Logged
HAC
Steam Theologian
Zeppelin Overlord
*******
Canada Canada


HAC_N800
« Reply #24 on: October 06, 2007, 04:29:37 am »

Sort of like this?   DAZ model...



Good luck with it, I've always found Poser tricky.. I'll stick with Bryce and MAX...

Cheers
Harold

Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.794 seconds with 16 queries.