// Steam-electric hybrid auto - Page 2
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  1. #11

    You'll soon figure out that

    You'll soon figure out that I am NOT an engineer with this question, but would it be possible to carry enough batteries to power a purely electric steam engine? Thus eliminating fuel completely. The only thing you would have to add is water.

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  3. #12

    P.S. The rationale would be

    P.S. The rationale would be greater range than a traditional electric motor without the mess of any combustion.

  4. #13

    An electric 'fired' steam

    An electric 'fired' steam engine would still have the potential to waste heat. As it is, a modern electric motor is about 90% efficient, meaning it only wastes about 10% of the battery energy as heat. This compares with an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) wasting about 85% of the gasoline energy. I'm not sure what the overall efficiency of a cheap, lightweight, mobile steam engine would be since no one has designed one for a long time, however, it would have a tough time beating an electric motor in efficiency and simplicity.

  5. #14
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    High pressure superheated

    High pressure superheated steam is even used by the refineries to "crack" the hydrocarbons into various gases and oils. Steam can be used efficiently if combined with other things.

    Water4Gas - Save Money Using Water!

  6. #15

    NOTHING is 90% efficient. IC

    NOTHING is 90% efficient. IC engines were about 15% EFF. in the 1930's today we see about 25%. Your electric motors would need SUPER conductors to even come close to maybe 70% efficience. But a steam electric YES - the chevy volt with a steam turbine gen. sounds GOOD.

  7. #16

    Unfortunately, you're

    Unfortunately, you're misinformed about electric motors. Try googling electric motor efficiency and you'll find many confirmations. Here's a link to but one: http://www.ceere.org/iac/assessment%20tool/ARC2410.html. Note that this 90% efficiency number is for the motor only. The battery is about 90% efficient in charging and discharging as well so the total efficiency of a battery-electric vehicle is 90% * 90% *90% or 73% Add 90% efficiency to the power grid delivering the electricity and you get 65% efficiency.
    Take your ICE which gets only about 25% efficiency (your number is 5 - 10% optimistic but I'll use it anyway) with maybe 85% transportation and delivery losses and you're at 22% efficiency.
    This is why the electric drivetrain is so good.
    If you don't believe me about the efficiency, lets look at an appliance that is available in electric or gasoline versions such as a weed wacker, a lawn mower, or a leaf blower. I challenge you to touch most parts of the IC motor driving any of these without burning yourself. You can easily touch nearly any part of the electric appliance.

  8. #17

    I truly believe that your

    I truly believe that your train of though has become completely derailed. Why make a steam-electric hybrid? Are you so hung up on the idea of the hybrid that you can't comprehend that you are waisting a vast amount of power changing from one form of energy to another?

    A steam-electric hybrid makes as much sense as a nematic-electric hybrid. No mater what you do the car can't produce any less emissions.

    Just power the car with steam; simple as that!

    Also, CO2 is not pollution its air, ya know, that gas plants breath and turn into O2.

  9. #18

    Taganan said: External

    Taganan said:
    External Combustion of fuel with forced-air draft produces less pollution and what is produced is more easily controlled.

    Fact checker says:
    The only emission from a properly built and maintained Steam Generator is CO2. CO2 is not pollution its a natural part of our atmosphere. Only those that actually believe Al Gore call it a pollution.

    Taganan said:
    The engine best suited to EC is the steam engine, but as direct power to the wheels it has drawbacks, 1. a wait of at least 30 seconds before the car can move, 2. you can't "gun it" and 3. the water can freeze.

    Fact checker says:
    I agree with you on your starting point, but after that your argument goes off into la la land.

    1. So just how fast is your garage door opener? Mine takes at least 30 seconds to open.

    2. What do you base that one; The Doble? A Three Ton Car, with one gear, and a 0-60 of about 8 seconds, and a top speed of 95 (120 mph on modern roads). Steam engines have about a 1 to 5 horse power to torque ratio. A 200 HP steam engine has about 1050 lb. ft of torque.
    All you would need to move a modern car with a steam power cycle is about 20-40 horse power. Thats about 100-200 lb. ft. of torque, the Chevy Malibu with a 2.4 I4 only has 160 peak torque and you have to wait until 4500 rpms to get that. A steam engine will have its full torque from 0 on up.
    The doble steam car made in the 1930's had well over 1000 ft-lb of torque, didn't have a transmission nor a clutch to bother with, weighed 3 tons and got 24 miles per gallon (Name any other 6000+ lbs car that gets 24 mpg?). It also had a top speed of 95 (120 on modern roads), accelerated from 0-60 in about 8 seconds (name any other 3 ton road vehicle that goes 0-60 in 8 seconds).

    3. Yes water does freeze, but why is it lower than 32* in your garage? It wouldn't be that hard to have a computer controlled system that would bleed some of the 800* F steam through the pipes every now and then while the car was parked in the lot to keep the thing from freezing up. And if built right the system would be small and close together to save on heat loss.

    Taganan said:
    The computer would automatically start the steam engine/alternator to maintain battery charge and stop it when at proper charge. When parked in a parking lot in freezing weather the heat strips would use electricity and the steam engine would be automatically started to charge the batteries. However if there were an electric outlet available, such as when in your own driveway, the car would have a cord to plug in and save fuel.

    Fact checker says:
    I agree with you on the electrical outlet when at home or in a parking lot that has one, but as I said before the computer could just send a pulse of steam through the lines while sitting on the lot. Why waste the heat you have already made.

    Taganan said:
    There is waste heat from the burner exhaust and from the spent steam which can be converted using thermo-electrics into extra electricity to increase the efficiency of the system.

    Fact checker says:
    uh, you mean like a steam engine hooked up to an alternator?

    Taganan said:
    I have had contacts with steam-power buffs. They refuse to consider anything but direct steam drive.

    Fact checker says:
    They have this mentality because the idea of a steam-electric hybrid would be less fuel and energy efficient that a strait steam power cycle.

    Taganan said:
    Internal combustion people say steam is dangerous, boilers explode and the engines are obsolete.

    Fact checker says:
    Have you ever heard of the Stanly Steamer. Its the one car you can be boiled alive and burned to death in; AT THE SAME TIME! And they have blown up more than once. However, the Doble system was much more safe as it only had 2 quarts of water in the system as compared to the 25 gallon fire-tube boiler of the Stanly.

    Taganan said:
    I hope to find someone who will consider this idea, think of improvements and actually build a steam-electric car.

    Fact checker says:
    If Henry Ford had the same mind set I would be driving a car I has to body my self. Why don't you take a try at it.

    Taganan said:
    Except for size all the designs for the burners, boilers and engines exist and need only a good machine shop.

    Fact checker says:
    Speaking as someone that has already built a steam power plant for his farm here in SW Washington, the components are neither large, nor simple to make. However a proper manufacturer could make the parts in mass production that are reliable and safe.

    Taganan said:
    The other components are already being made and could be bought, even the controls and computer.

    Fact checker says:
    Only on the electrical end. Every thing for the steam system would have to be custom made.

    Taganan said:
    The thermo-electrics may also be available.

    Fact checker says:
    If their are systems that could convert heat directly into electricity you wouldn't need the steam engine. However, such does not exist. All the systems that convert waist heat into electricity are steam (water or otherwise) based.


    My final words

    Now that I have craped all over your idea I will say this...

    It is just as viable as any other hybrid system out there. It would operate much cleaner and could possibly result in even greater fuel efficiency over ICE based systems.

    If you want some one that will give an objective viewpoint, feel free to email me.

  10. #19

    No sorry my info comes from

    No sorry my info comes from a 30year ele. engineer who DESIGNED ele motors. Being able to tuch a ele motor when running is no test of efficiency. It may seem that good but it is not. And ic ene. are about 25% efficient. You got to believe about half of what you read and haly of what you see.

  11. #20

    90% efficient! MY GOD THE

    90% efficient! MY GOD THE HUMAN HEART IS'T that good. Electric wast more power than you think. Some are mounted in the wheel of a car and claim 50 horse power! A 5 horse ele. motor would have a armature of about 15 inchs! Electric motors are GREAT but not that great. I think a steam ele. would work very well.

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