Steam power

Discussion in 'Propulsion' started by parkland, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    That was run through in another forum and the consensus was it is nothing. If enough steam or air is pumped into it, it noisily rotates. When it's all said and done, after a decade nothing has been produced and the main accomplishment is it's a penny stock you can invest money in.
     
  2. kerosene
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    kerosene Senior Member

    Whenever I see license in a topic related to energy I know that 99% chance its a scam.

    Somehow revolutionary energy technology cannot be turned into products that can be sold like regular business - but instead the business model needs to be built around licensing the technology.
     
  3. fredrosse
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    fredrosse USACE Steam

    A statement from another forum thread, in my view sums up the Cyclone Engine:

    "As to the Cyclone Engine Technology, from what I have seen so far (very little to nothing about the real performance of these machines, and annual promises that the Cyclone engines will be powering everything from lawn mowers to automobiles, very "soon"), this technology is really nothing new, and the promoters know that the performance of their engine design is at a dead end, yet they continue to seek investors. Again many "armchair engineers" read a news bite about Cyclone technology, and imagine the coming of a new steam engine break-thru. I have spent 50 years as an engineer in the steam power and steam cycle design arena, I love steam engines and would love to see more applications, but I don't see Cyclone Technologies going anywhere realistically."

    Another ship propulsion technology is the Still Engine, where the cooling jacket and exhaust heat from a Diesel produces steam directly, and runs a steam piston in tandem with the diesel piston. A few of these were tried on commercial ships in the 1930s-1940s, but the small gain in efficiency (straight Diesel = 36%, Still Engine = 40%) could not justify the additional maintenance and complication of the Still system.
     
  4. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    As someone who was around when LSD finally took over from steam plants, I will state that it was not fuel efficency, fuel costs, or capital costs that killed the steam plant, it was manning. SFC of a LSD, if you include cylinder lube oil (which is a consumable) is actually higher than a comperable steam plant. The LSD also heavier, takes up more volume, and runs a more costly fuel. But what it does do is it halves your manning...and has no need for layup personnel.

    Anyway, there are still steam plants out there...some LNG ships run steam plants using the boil-off, though most are switching to special LSDs, again for manning issues.
     
  5. Milehog
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    Milehog Clever Quip

    OK, I searched LSD and came up with lysergic acid diethylamide and limited slip differential.
    I believe the first one has been used on ships though it is prolly about as useful as a limited slip differential in that application.
     
  6. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    Low Speed Diesel...context is everything.
     
  7. Milehog
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    Milehog Clever Quip

    Thank's. I actually did search LSD engines and propulsion without any satisfaction.
     
  8. parkland
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    parkland Senior Member

    What would be cool is a tiny medium speed engine, like 20 - 80 hp and 1000 rpm type deal.
    Something like a low speed lister engine, but multiple cylinders.
     
  9. FAST FRED
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    FAST FRED Senior Member

    Steam power would be fine as in many places used oil ,from cars trucks ,, can be had for the asking , or at very minor cost.

    Of course for the folks of the Green religion , waste veggi oil can be burned.

    There are waste oil furnaces with burners built to burn waste oil (usually have a pre heater for the fuel) so the only problem would be size.

    The waste oil furnaces burn a number of GPH , which would be steam power for a rather large boat.
     
  10. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    To answer the original question, until there is a good, efficient flash boiler, then steam won't make a comback just based on safety issues.

    Think about it this way...nearly everyone has a 100 HP automobile. But that 75 kW is devolped in a 4 cylinder @ 5000 rpm. So in actuallity, each detonation is only ~300 W, which is easy to contain, i.e nobody ever comes around to check and see if your engine block and head gasket are safely functioning because if it isn't, the amount of enery released is so small. A boiler on the other hand must generate, and contain, all that 75 kW each and every second. Boiler code and inspections are so very strict because that is a lot of potential energy just sitting around waiting to be unleashed. Even the small live steam train models have to have certs and perodic inspections.

    So just like the old saying; it's not the cost, it's the maintainence.
     
  11. Rastapop
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    Rastapop Naval Architect

    Steam is far less efficient than diesel. I doubt we'll ever see it in anything other than specialist roles.
     
  12. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    This is one of those "it depends" questions. For really small plants, steam is far more fuel efficient but less mobile than diesel. For medium plants diesels come into thier own mainly on size and weight considerations. For ship sized plants steam is more efficient space and fuel wise but not as econominical in operating costs.

    FWIW, both gas turbine and nuclear have it all over both steam and diesel in terms of power density and fuel economy, but each has thier own issues. Anyone who says "XX" is the best power source without qualifications really hasn't studied the issues.
     
  13. Rastapop
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    Rastapop Naval Architect

    I'm yet to see a ship steam engine that comes anywhere near matching a diesel for efficiency.
     
  14. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    Depends on what you mean by "efficiency". Are we talking heat balance, "fuel" consumption, or total consumption? For vessels you have to look at the total package...how much is being consumed by the total plant to push the ship from A to B...including hotel loads. This is a very different case than just looking at a heat balance.
     

  15. Rastapop
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    Rastapop Naval Architect

    Steam will give say 15%-20% efficiency, 35% from a steam turbine, while a ship's diesel will be around 50%.

    Sure steam can improve its numbers by using heat recovery for hotel services, but so can diesel - it can easily top 75%.

    The diesel will be doing the same job for far less fuel. Short of a major breakthrough, steam won't be coming back.
     
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