Steam engined cars?
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18-01-2013, 09:17 AM
RE: Steam engined cars?
Anything an internal combustion engine can burn and external combustion engine can burn. External combustion is much less sensitive to the type of fuel because it doesn't enter the engine. It could use hydrogen, liquefied coal, ethanol, waste oil, a salt heat reservoir, uranium rods, animal waste, nut shells, algae, natural gas collected from sewage or landfill... anything that burns or otherwise creates heat can drive a steam engine. The engine itself does not need any modification, although the actual chamber where heat is generated may need to be modified to cope with extremely different fuel types. Internal combustion pushes fuel through the engine block so is sensitive to the type. External combustion pushes steam through the engine so is only really sensitive to the temperature of the combustion chamber and to the water used.

That's not to say it's going to be the best option though, for many of the reasons I outlined above.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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18-01-2013, 12:16 PM (This post was last modified: 18-01-2013 12:30 PM by Luminon.)
RE: Steam engined cars?
(16-01-2013 05:31 AM)Nappa Wrote:  It's no secret that cars used to run on steam, so I got to thinking, copyright laws only last for 70 years, that means I could get a blueprint of one of the engine models before 1943. Maybe I could build my own steam engine? Hell why not go for the entire car while I'm at it? I mean fucking shit how much money am I going to waste on gasoline in my life time? Say about 40$ a week, and that's not including rising gas prices throughout the years. I get about 150,000$ for the next 80 years. Possibly 250,000-300,000$ since by the time I die, oil is going to become a much rarer resource. And don't even get me started on insurance.

I'm pretty sure it would cost less to build my own steam engine car. Assuming I could do it.
To hell with old steam engines. They're a total crap, engineered out of solid iron that can't stand any decent pressure and weighs a ton. Modern materials allow a completely different design. A common pressure cooker you have at home is a better steam generator than what you see in historical movies. That simple bendable pot cover of stainless steel can hold 314 Kg of steam pressure. Now imagine that pressure generated every second and powering anything you want.

Have you ever seen a modern steam engine? They're pretty neat and efficient devices, made of magnesium alloy pipes and pistons of a silver alloy. (so it doesn't rust or need any kind of lubricant) They're powered by a pressure cooker on a rubber hose. I've read an article on them years ago, some hobbyists used them to run a circular saw and cut wood on their back yard. Now after several years of R&D these engines can do pretty much anything. Generate electricity, power a lawnmower or even perhaps run a car.

Reputedly, their efficiency is much, much greater than the petrol engine. Makes sense, in an internal combustion engine you use only the momentary energy of explosion, all the heat is a waste. But with these steam engines, we use only the heat, no chemical reaction occurs inside, no waste of fuel, they're completely ecologic. Water has enormous energy-accumulating properties, it's extremely cheap, practically impossible to compress, so its force is pretty much irresistible.

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18-01-2013, 01:53 PM
RE: Steam engined cars?
How about a good, old-fashioned sail? Sure, you'd have to weave all over the road to tack into the wind, and on calm days you might be a little stuck, but you wouldn't need any fuel.
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18-01-2013, 02:07 PM
RE: Steam engined cars?
"Hey honey, I'm going to hangglide down to the grocers. You need anything besides what's on the list?"

"No, but you can go jump off a cliff!"

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