Can we think of any innovation to steam power with todays modern technology? I like steam for the reason that wood and water for fuel are everywhere. I understand that it may not be the most technologically developed method of power generation but...

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Hi,

Not sure, but I thought you should save your wood and make/burn alcohol to make steam ?

Solar powered still using parabolic reflectors, to refine that alcohol for the steam engine.
And parabolic reflectors to pre-heat the water so less fuel is needed. Also a condensing tank to cool and return the spent steam back to the water holding tank. Condensing tank could also have tubes running through it circulating water that would be heated or pre-heated by the steam for hot water in home use. Steam power is great.

Ya, really good. I like it. Not sure why I thought alcohol for steam. But if your going to make steam - alcohol may be a faster renewable than wood. I'm no pro at this for sure. I just have to wonder... what do you do when you run out of wood ? Steal some ?

Wood is cool. Our Native American;s moved to new locations to be near new wood and let the old re-grow. I'm not sure that is possible any-more. You can grow food for alcohol to run steam, (we might need some chain saws that run on that too).

Don't worry... I got it cover. I think I have a better solution. I'm just chating...

Great suggestions.

What can we do in the way of microsteam engines. Any design or parts ideas.

Wow!

Micro-steam engines... I would have to wonder if parabolic solar wouldn't work an micro-steam engines. Thats interesting Jordan. Maybe after our next major solar flare we will be back to steam engines or the 60's. We seem to drift from our elementary basics that our lifes depend on. I think thats why true progress has stalled. We are lost out on a evolutionary limb and we need to climb back down to move ahead.

I Just want to add Jordan,

That I'm assuming that when you say micro you really mean miniature or sub-miniature engines as I don't see how one could tool and engine micro. Heat is cool in the sense that the energy loss's can be captured and used. There are such great loss's in electromagnetics. I'm not sure what kind of torgue you would have with such a small size engine and what the stroke would need to be shorten too. But I have seen steam engines run from the heat of a single candle. I don't talk about my work. Lets face it-to make a solar panels it creates a lot of hydrocarbons. Micro ? Am I missing some-thing ?

Yes I was thinking miniature initially. I was thinking more about revolutionizing the steam engine. I have thought about a rotary style engine. Of course electric is better but I want something more 3rd world.

A steam engine/turbine would be a neat project, but their Carnot efficiency is limited to (I believe) 50%. You can extract more energy from the wood through gasification: heating wood without letting in oxygen produces various tars and gasses that can be burned for even more heat or can run an internal combustion engine. Or, a simpler, cheaper way is to use a big compost pile to convert wood into methane to run an engine... like this guy in France:

http://www.journeytoforever.org/biofuel_library/methane_pain.html

  Nice link Erik,

In the summer one could use the heat from the sun to get the compost going and the heat tubes could be coved within the compost. I think it would take a lot of compost to get a lot of heat. Composting is hard work...  Later,

Jordan: I design wood-burning steam engines and small low pressure steam turbines.  While I love my beasties, they are a very inefficient lot, typically 8% or lower thermal efficiency.  The smaller the engine and boiler the less efficient they are. Toy steam engines frequently run at less than 1%.... That's 99% waste heat!!  Outside saw mills and sugar cane processors where massive amounts of burnable or biodegradable materials are produced, there are very few economic applications for low pressure steam.  I build replica full scale and model engines and boilers in the range of 1 (or less) to 5 hp  for steamboats and exhibitions. Check out my steam videos on YouTube by entering my "morsewtr" user name.  My advice is stick with photo-voltaics, they're more efficient, require far less maintenance, and are more reliable. Steam is more fun...but far less civilized...

Hi Mr. Morse,

How did you get such a cool name ? If you follow this link it will lead you to where I left a U-Tube link to solar steam. Its too bad we couldn't grow Bambo at the rate that is grown in warmer climates. Seems to me 1/3 cutting a year would supply a continuous fuel for your engines or a wood stove. You need to give the new growth 2 to 4 years to start a new Bambo tree. I will look for your user name.

                                                                                                         Shann.

http://www.growyourowngroceries.org/steam-engines-as-alternative-en...

Gang: I really can’t see how the Cyclone Engine is different from many previous steam engine designs. It uses a “monotube” or “flash” boiler, a radial “uniflow” engine, and an air cooled condenser to recycle the boiler water. All common stuff that you can Google for more info. Its efficiency may be higher than the average steam engine system primarily because of compactness, but I doubt it can reach 20%. In addition, water is not the best heat transfer medium… here it comes….Boiling GASOLINE…or naptha…to produce high pressure naptha vapor to push pistons allows for better efficiencies…and more modern gas/liquids..like some of the freons..can do even better and are less dangerous. Perhaps you find that boiling a pot of high pressure gasoline over a gasoline fire is not a great idea, too! Here’s a link to some of the Naptha engines of 100 years ago… Prepare to be amazed…These were actually used safely for years before they became illegal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naphtha_launch
http://gasengine.farmcollector.com/Gas-Engines/The-Naphtha-Engine.a...

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