The Steampunk Forum at Brass Goggles
August 03, 2020, 03:47:27 pm *
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]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Does Steampunk Move Forward in Time?  (Read 2096 times)
J. Wilhelm
╬ Admiral und Luftschiffengel ╬
Board Moderator
Immortal
**
United States United States


Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


WWW
« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2020, 12:44:38 am »

I think New Zealand holds the answer is this question.

New Zealand has a lot of geothermal electricity generation, water reservoirs and growing number of wind power generators.
All available to our Victorian ancestors. My Avatar to the left is a road sign from the geothermal area.
The Geothermal Electricity generation is Steam powered; it is superheated water from the earths crust. (how steam punkish)
Parts of our Railway Main trunk lines are electrically powered with power coming from geothermal generation.
So effectively they are Steam Powered Trains. The Steam is transformed into alternate energy.
So if I buy a Tesla and it is charged from a geothermal source, surely that would make it a steam powered car? The steam energy is simply stored in a battery for later use.

All we need to do is remove the petroleum industry from the narrative and we should have our future narrative. From there everything should be fair game.

The carriage two posts up is very viable proposition under this interpretation.



Capturing the energy is half the battle. Storing it is the second. So far energy density in batteries has been a stumbling block, because it's too low. On the back burner we have liquid crystal electrolyte batteries developed by one of the 3 "parents" of Lithium-Ion Batteries, Dr. Goodenough, from the University of Texas (all 3 recipients of the Nobel Prize a short while ago)   We can expect a tripling of the energy density stored today and an end to battery fires due to cargide/anode dendritic buildup.
Logged

Antipodean
Zeppelin Captain
*****
New Zealand New Zealand



« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2020, 08:06:46 am »

Hydrogen and Oxygen were known in the 1600's that would give the Victorians access to the fuel for the Space Shuttle and space travel.
They may not have developed it to the stage we have now, until now. But we are discussing moving Steampunk forward in time.

There have been many water powered vehicles. I recall an Australian who ran his GM on a Hydrogen/ Oxygen mix. He also had a Hydrogen/ Oxygen welder in the 1960s.
Electronics Australia had a multipage article on what he achieved and had recorded the results.
From memory he died in an unusual way and all his work disappeared.
Logged

Did you just go PSSSSSSST at me or have I just sprung a leak?

I'm not retreating, I'm advancing in another direction.
J. Wilhelm
╬ Admiral und Luftschiffengel ╬
Board Moderator
Immortal
**
United States United States


Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


WWW
« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2020, 08:42:45 am »

...
But in fiction books, that breaks the desired goal of planting me in a setting and sticking to it. Lord of the Rings is never getting steam engines and guns.  Perhaps some author might have fun with a setting that evolves, but it's not the norm.

Well there goes my concept for the Engelfolk ... Not Lord of the Rings, but I basically turned elves into real humans and put them in steam powered airships  Roll Eyes

I suspect we're both joking, but what I mean is that Tolkien himself (assuming not dead), wouldn't progress his world or society to that point. Because that's not what Fantasy does.  it's static style/setting, despite political upheavals.

Which is why I added the extra line, which I think, you still might be missing "Perhaps some author might have fun with a setting that evolves"

You wanna do Engelfolk?  Great idea.  Really.

My extra idea is, Book 1 they are 1840s.  Book 10, they are 1930s culture, just got out of the great war. Evolve the setting as Earth did.  Almost nobody does this in fiction.

Which is why Steampunk is locked into a certain time frame. For similar reasons.

One thing though, I feel like I need to interject here. You write about fictional worlds not being able to evolve. I think it's really important that we don't confuse the terms "fiction" with "fantasy." You can have fantasy like in the Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, but you can also write historical fiction, like Abraham Lincoln surviving the assassination attempt by Booth. Or an alternate WWI. Arguably Steampunk is usually more historical by its anachronistic nature (splitting timeline).

I think the reason you never see that evolution in a *fantasy* plot is because it's very hard to do, when you have invented an entirely different reality. Fantasy writers will want to take you out from any possibly identifiable historical or geographical context. Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings are not meant to be identifiable places or periods on Earth. That takes the story entirely out of the historical timeline, into a category called "Uchronia," a term that is used for Steampunk very often in France, but which to me is more closely related to the types of work you see in fantasy settings like Robert E Howard's Conan stories.

Uchronic stories purposefully do not tie to your real world experience because the author is deliberately trying to keep you outside of your own experience, be it a history book or your own past. The minute you have elves inventing firearms and steam driven catapults in Lord of the Rings, these elves stop being elves proper. Tolkien would have to figure the background for the technology and somehow make Middle Earth tech really different from Real World TechTM. That's a lot of work.

Steampunk, however doesn't have to be Uchronic. It can be more linear and truly Anachronistic parting from a specific timeline into a new one, or even a time loop.

In the Valkyrie and the Eagle (VatE), I rejected my elves as supernatural beings and have them live a human existence (I'm taking about the background in Prologue), which starts in the late Bronze Age as a class of shamanistic peoples among the German Tribes.

Their origin then turns to the first contact between the Roman Empire and the Central European nomadic Germanic Tribes.  And when these tribes, as we all know from history, begin to take over the provinces of the faltering Roman Empire and Christianize,  I give them traditions, religion and a language unique to these people (where I get creative and give them specific look and dress).

Simultaneously, I martyr them by turning them from a revered group in pre Christian times (Elves) into a feared group (unnatural powers) under Christianity, which becomes a source of fear and mistrust in the plot. The Engelfolk are, however, tolerated and protected by the early Catholic church, who turns them into an isolated group known as "Angel People" (hence the name in modern German) , at which point I jump to the 19th century to explain a continuing dyaspora of the Engelfolk, who find refuge in military service, as mercenary crews aboard airships.

So obviously I'm giving them a whole background in real world history, 1500 - 1800 years long, and by necessity there are evolving technologies tied to real places and historical characters by means of war. I take the reader from the early 1860s through to the very late 1890s (the Gilded Age in the United States). By necessity there will be technological evolution. Then my timeline slows down and merges back into the real world timeline by WWI.

I think authors like Tolkien, and I mentioned before Robert E Howard (Conan stories) purposefully wanted to avoid real history and places. That effectively freezes their scenery, technologically speaking. If they wanted to evolve their worlds, the amount of research needed would be overwhelming. In my case I just copy real technology!!
Logged
J. Wilhelm
╬ Admiral und Luftschiffengel ╬
Board Moderator
Immortal
**
United States United States


Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


WWW
« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2020, 01:21:33 pm »

Hydrogen and Oxygen were known in the 1600's that would give the Victorians access to the fuel for the Space Shuttle and space travel.
They may not have developed it to the stage we have now, until now. But we are discussing moving Steampunk forward in time.

There have been many water powered vehicles. I recall an Australian who ran his GM on a Hydrogen/ Oxygen mix. He also had a Hydrogen/ Oxygen welder in the 1960s.
Electronics Australia had a multipage article on what he achieved and had recorded the results.
From memory he died in an unusual way and all his work disappeared.

A few things things, though. It's actually a good challenge to use hydrogen:

1. Burning hydrogen in oxygen (oxidation of hydrogen) actually is very inefficient, partly because in combustion, oxygen and hydrogen don't just assemble themselves neatly in stoichionemetric proportions. Instead, incomplete combustion (oxydation) of hydrogen yields a whole bunch of hydrogen "radicals" that are unstable (unfinished) molecules with electric charges that actually are very poisonous and very chemically reactive, and you lose a lot of energy by producing molecules that are not water. In H2 O2 rocket combustion, it takes about 11 chemical steps before you actually get a molecule of water. So when you saw the space shuttle going up a lot of the stuff that is in that white "steam" cloud is highly poisonous gases, actually, not pure steam.

The slower you perform the chemical reaction, the more efficient the combustion is, and cleaner, because you reduce the number of intermediate steps needed to make water. If for example you carefully assemble the water molecules one by one (somehow) then that's the maximum energy efficiency you can get out of the hydrogen-oxygen reaction. This is what fuel cells do. They recombine in liquid phase the molecules one by one to make water, releasing electric energy in return, like a battery. The problem is that the rate of energy production is very slow, and you then have to store the energy somehow (battery) if you want to dispense large amounts of energy quickly {ie step on the accelerator)

2. The energy balance of recombination of hydrogen and oxygen to make water is not in your favor to separate water and then recombine it in combustion or fuel cell. In other words, a water molecule has less energy than a hydrogen H2 molecule and an oxygen atom in an oxygen {O2) molecule. You have to spend more energy separating the water than you can recover recombining the Atoms in combustion to run your car.

That means that it's possible to separare water to burn in your car. But when you "make" your fuel (presumably at home) you have to be OK with having spent more energy (electrical bill) than what you'd get just by storing  electricity in a battery directly.

3. Hydrogen is ridiculously difficult to store in containers for long periods of time. The nucleus of a hydrogen atom is just a proton, and thus hydrogen molecules are extremely small and its also density is low, meaning that you need very large containers to store a decent amount of chemical energy compared to other substances. Also, any container made from any conceivable material will slowly leak hydrogen gas. You can't stop it because H2 just percolates slowly through gaps between molecules or cracks in atomic crystallinesstructures of metals. Fire hazards are a constant problem around hydrogen! One idea is to concentrate hydrogen and stabilize it by freezing or combining with other substances to make a hydroge "slush"

That in itself is not an obstacle though. Ignoring poisonous gases and fire hazards  Roll Eyes  you're free to spend as much energy as you want making your fuel, and you can just haul larger tanks in your car. It certainly makes sense if traditional sources of fuel or electrical power. batteries are not available. In the real world, energy production is very dirty and inefficient. Some people *ahem* are still burning coal to produce electrical power (!!) , and as much as 5% of electrical power supplied by the utility company is lost as radiation (radio waves) transmitted by power lines like giant antennas!
« Last Edit: January 23, 2020, 01:24:19 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #29 on: January 23, 2020, 09:36:50 pm »

It seems Asian manufacturers and territories are backing hydrogen fuel cell technology - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-50212037.

Yours,
Miranda.
Logged
J. Wilhelm
╬ Admiral und Luftschiffengel ╬
Board Moderator
Immortal
**
United States United States


Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


WWW
« Reply #30 on: January 24, 2020, 05:59:27 am »

It seems Asian manufacturers and territories are backing hydrogen fuel cell technology - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-50212037.

Yours,
Miranda.


Range and acceleration. The two big bugabos of the automobile industry. The odd thing about fuel cell technology is that the fuel cell is unable to provide for acceleration as it usually produces a constant power. It's the batteries and electric motors (or super capacitors) on a fuel cell vehicle the ones that provide a practical ride. In many ways, by solving the problem of power on demand in a fuel cell car, you're basically improving on the viability of the battery-only electric car. And it seems to me that an electrical network is much easier to deploy and maintain than a hydrogen pumping station network.

But all things being equal, I think whichever method you choose, hydrogen or electrical, will depend more on how well developed electrical networks are in your country. It's logical to think that for some countries, carrying a type fuel aboard is still the most practical way of doing things... But for relatively small and developed countries like Japan and Korea, in not sure hydrogen is really practical.

I can also see hydrogen fuel cells being more practical for cargo transportation, as it would mean less stops for lorries /trucks carrying goods across borders (Europe / North America), where you could have incompatible electrical infrastructure across the border. Truck drivers don't need to be bothered with electric networks and instead truck stops and specialized fueling stations can concentrate on lorries, vans, buses and the like. Similar to the way Diesel fuel is used in North America. Most diesel-capable stations can be found on important roads and highways aimed at the cargo market.  For everyone else, Diesel may or may not be available in smaller fuel stations across the middle of the city.

Think about it. Hydrogen demands greater protection from collisions and bulky fuel tanks. Hydrogen on bigger vehicles makes sense. Also more careful driving and fueling regulation would be desirable for hydrogen fuel cell operators. Commercial vehicles already require a special license for operation (in the US several categories depending on the size of the vehicle). It's natural that hydrogen would be safer and more practical for lorries and buses.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2020, 06:11:24 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Kensington Locke
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


« Reply #31 on: January 24, 2020, 05:08:09 pm »

I think one assumption some may be making is adding churn to the conversation.

The word "steam" in steampunk has nothing to do with steam power.

Technologically, the image in many people's minds when we say Victorian is "steam power" which helped name the genre.

But the actual time period wasn't purely steam powered or fixated on steam power.

The actual genre Steampunk is chock full of non-steam-powered tech in its fiction or visual depictions.

What those devices all have in common that brands them steampunk is that they look like they were designed by Victorian artists, not 20th century ones.

The contraption in newjack's post may very well be considered steampunk.  it's inspired by victorian concepts of a coach, along with it's coloring and trim by 1800 styles.  Dieselpunk stuff gets delineated from that, not because it runs on Diesel, but because it looks like streamlined WWI or later. It's an entirely different art style which people who aren't newjack recognize.

To bind this back to the topic, Steampunk's fixedness in time has nothing to do with power sources. it has to do with the feeling as if we're VicWardian-like or if we've stepped out of that era into something that is clearly defined as its own thing.

The same as if Lord of the Rings 4 advanced to firearms and rolling/walking war machinery.  When it's no longer swords, it's no longer sword and fantasy.  We've jump the genres.



Logged
Pages: 1 [2]   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 0.284 seconds with 16 queries.