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Thread: Steam Power Plant

  1. #16
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    Re: Steam Power Plant

    Quote Originally Posted by bmcj View Post
    But at what weight penalty? In addition to the fuel, how much water would you have to carry for conversion to steam and what would be the total weight ratio of that system compared to a regular fueled IC system?
    That depends on whether or not you condense the steam. With steam condensation you only need a small amount of water. There was some early work on turbine equipment that used turbo charged boilers (That made the boilers smaller) and had water cooled turbines as well. That would really allow for much higher gas temps and that would lead to higher cycle E's as well. With a small turbine you could make a power plant that would weigh in at about the same as a normal piston engine for airplanes. Altho it would probably have some what higher cooling drag as it will need about twice the radiator size for the same Hp and the temps would be lower as well and that would drive the condenser size up more.
    Quote Originally Posted by autoreply View Post
    If you're prepared to have a power ratio of 1 hp/tonne you can get to around 50%, comparable to a turbocharged diesel.
    That weight isn't necessary you could do much less weight and get as good an E if you look at reducing the life somewhat. Do we really need 20years 24/7/365.25 operational TBO?

  2. #17
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    Re: Steam Power Plant

    Bill Lear was working on a steam turbine for a bus. I have not heard of any work on a steam powered airplane by Lear.

  3. #18
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    Re: Steam Power Plant

    Quote Originally Posted by pie_row View Post
    That depends on whether or not you condense the steam. With steam condensation you only need a small amount of water. There was some early work on turbine equipment that used turbo charged boilers (That made the boilers smaller) and had water cooled turbines as well. That would really allow for much higher gas temps and that would lead to higher cycle E's as well. With a small turbine you could make a power plant that would weigh in at about the same as a normal piston engine for airplanes. Altho it would probably have some what higher cooling drag as it will need about twice the radiator size for the same Hp and the temps would be lower as well and that would drive the condenser size up more.

    That weight isn't necessary you could do much less weight and get as good an E if you look at reducing the life somewhat. Do we really need 20years 24/7/365.25 operational TBO?
    True, but if it gets complicated enough to get decent efficiency, you're basically just building a turbine with an extra water-circuit in it. I don't see the point in that as long as you don't want to burn wood or coal.
    Also, the most efficient steam engine I can find is still way below gasoline engines in performance and that's a very heavy and complicated device.

  4. #19
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    Re: Steam Power Plant

    If you want a steam engine aircraft, these would probably be the people you should talk to...

    Cyclone Power Technologies - How It Works

  5. #20
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    Re: Steam Power Plant

    To compare some numbers, a Rotax 912S is about 100HP at 136lbs.

    Cyclone Power Mark V is 100HP at 336lbs. (Probably not weight optomized for aviation, but it was designed for use in a car)

    I seem to recall the Besler engine being 40HP at 150lbs?

  6. #21
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    Re: Steam Power Plant

    If you really want to add a turbine, how about turbo-compounding? It's already been shown to work on aircraft engines.

    Turbo-compound engine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  7. #22
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    Re: Steam Power Plant

    Here is a more in depth article on the Besler aircraft and engine system. The boiler is a flash type that operates at ~1200PSI and 800*F. The engine is a double acting cylinder, pressure compounded 90* V twin. 150HP @1625RPM.
    William & George BESLER --- Steam-Powered Airplane -- 2 Articles & 2 US Patents
    Last edited by Dieselav8tor; February 1st, 2010 at 12:19 AM. Reason: clarification and punctuation

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