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Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by malcolm, Aug 15, 2008.
You couldn't make this stuff up:-
British Steam Car Challenge
They seem to be using the challenge to draw attention to alternate fuels, so I'm willing to cut them some slack.
Steam powered cars were once quite popular, holding their own against gasoline and electric cars in the marketplace.
When they finally died out, it was more due to a combination of unlucky events rather there being any serious problem with steam technology.
" ~23 cups of tea per second" - Sign me up! :biggrin:
I bet TJ would be interested too!
All joking aside, this might be an interesting technology if you could integrate a solar-thermal water heater to generate the steam, instead of using LPG. I suppose you could keep some LPG on board as a backup on those cloudy English days... :smile:
Malcolm, how do you find this stuff?
All the best,
I decided to summarise the typical Finkenbusch comment by inventing one: http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/11228-post24.html
Pointless of me really.
dpeilow had just posted about the London to Brighton car rally, so I just googled steam car.
But anyway, it just seems to be an exercise in replacing one type of heat engine with a moderately more efficient one.
I thought it was interesting that the guy thought the turbine design wouldn't be all that practical for road cars because of the porr ability to accelerate/decelerate. That may be true, but could it form the basis for a series hybrid?
Bit more info:-
At 25ft (7.6m) long weighing just over 3 tons and using a ton of water every 25 minutes the British Steam car is no ordinary run about. When the car is moving the 40 bar water pressure is maintained using compressed air to fill 2 70-litre hydraulic accumulator bladders. The boilers contain more than 1.86 miles (3Km) of tubing and are insulated with advanced ceramic-and-silica cloth. The burners develop three megawatts of heat. The water boils at 250-degree C because it is at 40 times atmospheric pressure; this is called 'wet' steam. It is then super-heated to 400 degree C 'dry' steam, which is directed down the car via heavily lagged pipes and two industrial steam valves, into a two-stage turbine. The steam is injected into the turbine at more than twice the speed of sound and the turbine spins at up to 13,000rpm. The turbine then drives the rear wheels crown wheel and pinion reduction gear.
The machine actually runs for less time than it takes to start. It takes eight minutes to get going and has enough fuel, compressed air and water to run for three minutes - the record can be achieved in less than two minutes running time.
British Steam Car Challenge
(click the link on the page to Latest Press Release)
I was just about to point out some of the same shortcomings, but you beat me to it... :smile:
There's a whole subculture growing based on the fantasy that steam technology never did die out. (Or is it that the tech age evolved along with the industrial age, it's never quite clear.)
Steampunk - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I already posted a steampunk bike here.
There are parts of the culture that I embrace. Not all mind you but I do like exposed gears and old mechanical solutions for problems. Not into the brass, just the rust.
Don't forget the movie Brazil...
They almost did it.
Steam supercar breaks century old speed record – but it doesn't count - Telegraph
Now there's a speed record that's begging to be broken. :wink:
The electric land speed record currently stands at 257mph
The Bluebird electric land speed project
More on breaking the steam record (probably today).
Full steam ahead as British supercar prepares to smash land-speed record | Automotive Addicts
UK steam car breaks world record | News
Hardly a big margin, though.
Shouldn't the record be 143-ish, not 139?