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Thread: 1903 six HP steam engine powers modern off grid power system

  1. #1

    Thumbs up 1903 six HP steam engine powers modern off grid power system

    I. Want. This.

    http://www.otherpower.com/steamengine.shtml

    Steam Powered Battery Charger



    2000 watts at 200 rpm!!!



    Last edited by Anti Federalist; 12-14-2010 at 10:23 PM.



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  3. #2
    I will immediately call the authorities on this. How dare she produce electricity without the blessing of her governments!

    But yes, neat. I want to make a Sterling Engine, mounted to a heliostat, which I haven't been able to figure out how to build yet, with a parabolic mirror or frenel lens mounted to it and have a generator attached to it. Mount that whole deal to your roof.
    "Anarchists oppose the State because it has its very being in such aggression, namely, the expropriation of private property through taxation, the coercive exclusion of other providers of defense service from its territory, and all of the other depredations and coercions that are built upon these twin foci of invasions of individual rights." -Murray Rothbard

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by noxagol View Post
    But yes, neat. I want to make a Sterling Engine, mounted to a heliostat, which I haven't been able to figure out how to build yet, with a parabolic mirror or frenel lens mounted to it and have a generator attached to it. Mount that whole deal to your roof.
    Solar steam. Love it!

    Yeah, the perils of anachronistic technology. So simple you don't need a team of engineers to run it. How can we encourage the interdependence that makes tyranny possible if people have the knowledge and means to be self sufficient? It's just terrible...
    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Van Dyke
    Last night CNN International CNN gave me ten minutes live to talk about Bernie Sanders who has been scantily covered by them in favor of the Donald J. Trump circus. It was pre-empted completely to cover another outburst by Trump. This pandering to the scandal hungry public is a total lack of responsible journalism. I accuse CNN of extreme bias.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    Ron is wrong...

  5. #4
    Not even steam. A sterling engine runs on temperature difference. There is no fuel other than whatever provides heat, which in this case is the sun.

    example of sterling engine :

    example of what i want to do:

    If you want steam engine, this is what you should go with imo based on my light research: http://www.greensteamengine.com/

    I ran across this like two years ago and I can tell you the guy is making improvements. The Z style wasn't around back then. I would make a z 12 if ti were me and the pistons would be pretty big, cause I'm crazy like that. Power goes out, gas and water still work. Fire it up gas, boil some water, and power your neighborhood. Venturi burner works with no eletricity. Once you have power, you can switch to a forced air burner, or start with battery. Forced air burner is WAY better than venturi outside of needing power.

    The Z8 shown on the sight is a 30hp engine. Most homegenerators have a 6.5-13 hp engine which needs copious amounts of gas to run. And oil which must be changed every 100 hours or so. These green steams use the steam to lube and closed ball bearings. It really is an ingenious design. I'd like to see these made as internal combustion engines as well.

    Last edited by noxagol; 12-15-2010 at 12:58 PM. Reason: More info
    "Anarchists oppose the State because it has its very being in such aggression, namely, the expropriation of private property through taxation, the coercive exclusion of other providers of defense service from its territory, and all of the other depredations and coercions that are built upon these twin foci of invasions of individual rights." -Murray Rothbard

  6. #5

  7. #6
    I'm thinking I might try to make a steam engine now.
    "Anarchists oppose the State because it has its very being in such aggression, namely, the expropriation of private property through taxation, the coercive exclusion of other providers of defense service from its territory, and all of the other depredations and coercions that are built upon these twin foci of invasions of individual rights." -Murray Rothbard

  8. #7
    I find that "Z drive" really interesting. I would like to see some data on wear and life expectancy under load. (real world).
    Seems that may be the weak part of a very good design.
    Liberty is lost through complacency and a subservient mindset. When we accept or even welcome automobile checkpoints, random searches, mandatory identification cards, and paramilitary police in our streets, we have lost a vital part of our American heritage. America was born of protest, revolution, and mistrust of government. Subservient societies neither maintain nor deserve freedom for long.
    Ron Paul 2004

    Registered Ron Paul supporter # 2202
    It's all about Freedom

  9. #8
    Is anyone selling small (5-20 hp) steam engines/boilers? There are some enormous advantages to using steam to generate electricity - availability of fuel being among them.
    The proper concern of society is the preservation of individual freedom; the proper concern of the individual is the harmony of society.

    "Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow." - Byron

    "Who overcomes by force, hath overcome but half his foe." - Milton



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  11. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Acala View Post
    Is anyone selling small (5-20 hp) steam engines/boilers? There are some enormous advantages to using steam to generate electricity - availability of fuel being among them.
    I talked to this man. Check this out.

    http://home.earthlink.net/~dlaw70/12stmng.htm
    "..and on Earth anguish of nations, not knowing the way out...while men become faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited Earth." -- Jesus of Nazareth

  12. #10

  13. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by YumYum View Post
    I talked to this man. Check this out.

    http://home.earthlink.net/~dlaw70/12stmng.htm
    3 hp is a bit too small. You need about 2 hp per kilowatt. And muy costoso! I think a used engine would be better. Lots of them went into the iron scrap drive during WWII, but there should be plenty left.
    The proper concern of society is the preservation of individual freedom; the proper concern of the individual is the harmony of society.

    "Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow." - Byron

    "Who overcomes by force, hath overcome but half his foe." - Milton

  14. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Acala View Post
    3 hp is a bit too small. You need about 2 hp per kilowatt. And muy costoso! I think a used engine would be better. Lots of them went into the iron scrap drive during WWII, but there should be plenty left.
    Believe it or not, they can found out in the woods, at abandoned mill, mine and quarry sites, mostly.

    And brought back to life!






  15. #13
    Or convert gas four strokes:


  16. #14
    Giving me ideas.
    A dangerous thing indeed.
    Liberty is lost through complacency and a subservient mindset. When we accept or even welcome automobile checkpoints, random searches, mandatory identification cards, and paramilitary police in our streets, we have lost a vital part of our American heritage. America was born of protest, revolution, and mistrust of government. Subservient societies neither maintain nor deserve freedom for long.
    Ron Paul 2004

    Registered Ron Paul supporter # 2202
    It's all about Freedom

  17. #15

    internal combustion

    I'm in the midst of restoring an engine almost identical to this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvWmQ...eature=related

    I figure I can run it on ethanol or even wood gas if the gasoline becomes too expensive.
    The proper concern of society is the preservation of individual freedom; the proper concern of the individual is the harmony of society.

    "Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow." - Byron

    "Who overcomes by force, hath overcome but half his foe." - Milton

  18. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Acala View Post
    I'm in the midst of restoring an engine almost identical to this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvWmQ...eature=related

    I figure I can run it on ethanol or even wood gas if the gasoline becomes too expensive.
    Awesome, the old "make and break" engines are almost as neat as steam.

    And IIRC, you run just about any volatile liquid fuel in them.

    Please post pic/videos when you get it up and running.



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  20. #17
    "No matter how noble you try to make it, your good intentions will not compensate for the mistakes that people make; that want to run
    our lives and run the economy, and reject the principles of private property and making up our own decisions for ourselves." -Ron Paul

  21. #18
    OK, I'm gonna try to get this thread flowing. I've been doing a lot of research into small scale steam power in my spare time over the last several years. I am convinced that it's viable. However, the big problem is practicality.

    For anyone who is considering building a small scale steam power plant for home power, I recommend that you adopt several design criteria that are rooted in the principle of making the most of steam power's inherent strengths, and minimizing the effects of its weaknesses. The strengths include: (1) clean combustion, (2) can be very quiet if properly designed, (3) multi-fuel capacity, (4) long life. Weaknesses include (1) low thermal efficiency, (2) expensive unconventional components, (3) potentially dangerous.

    In my opinion, a small scale steam power plant for powering a small off grid home should adopt the following:

    1. Use a piston engine, and a monotube steam generator. At low power levels suitable for powering a home a piston engine will be more efficient than a turbine. A monotube steam generator (as opposed to a boiler) is both the safest and most efficient option.
    2. Operate the system at a constant low power (one the order of 1 KW or less) for long periods. This makes for a simpler system, but it also makes for a smaller system. Use the engine to drive a small efficient permanent magnet alternator for battery charging. Use an inverter on the battery to provide electricity, or you could go with a DC system.
    3. Put the heat in the exhaust steam to work for you. If this energy is not put to use, then the net efficiency of the system will be too low to be practical. But if it is put to full use the system can be more efficient than any other option (even grid power). The latent heat in the steam exhaust can (a) provide space heating, (b) heat water (including pasteurization or distillation if desired), (c) provide air conditioning with absorption/adsorption cooling, (d) dry food, (e) can food, and many other applications (drying clothes, drying wood fuel, etc). The largest electrical loads in the home are electric heating elements and air conditioning compressor motors. If these can be displaced, then there is little need for a high powered system. What IS desired is a system that operates reliably at a reasonably high efficiency for long periods at a low output, and is easy and inexpensive to repair.

    This is just an intro to start a discussion. Please reply if you're interested in exploring this topic further. I honestly believe small scale steam power can make a comeback, and hopefully in a big way.

    ADDENDUM: I suggested absorption/adsorption cooling as an option for cooling with heat. Other possibilities include steam jet cooling, refrigerant jet cooling, ammonia absorption, and various absorption cooling systems that operate at a high vacuum and use water as the refrigerant. Each have various advantages and disadvantages. I think there is the most promise with silica gel/water adsorption chiller systems that have recently become available in some markets in Europe. There is a lot of research into these systems going on today. Finally, if the efficiency of a small scale steam engine system can be sufficiently high, then a refrigerant compressor could be driven directly to support a ductless a/c unit. This would avoid the many energy conversion losses in generating electricity and using the electricity in small motors. However, the efficiency would have to go up many fold over traditional small steam units to make this a practical possibility.
    Last edited by buenijo; 11-21-2016 at 02:55 AM.

  22. #19
    A 9-foot parabolic dish plus a 6-inch Tesla turbine generates 18-20 kilowatts per day.

    http://phoenixnavigation.com/ptbc/articles/ptbc45.htm

    The parabolic dish is used to produce steam, the steam runs the Tesla turbine, the Tesla turbine runs an alternator to produce electricity. It's a pretty brilliant concept.

    There's a lot of information at the above link, but the navigation sucks. Here's one table of contents (click the buttons on top to change years): http://phoenixnavigation.com/ptbc/ar...1_articles.htm
    And here's another: http://phoenixnavigation.com/ptbc/toc.htm
    They also have a workshop available, but I don't know anything about it: http://newturbine.phoenixnavigation.com/
    "No matter how noble you try to make it, your good intentions will not compensate for the mistakes that people make; that want to run
    our lives and run the economy, and reject the principles of private property and making up our own decisions for ourselves." -Ron Paul

  23. #20
    I honestly don't mean to be a killjoy here, but basic physics must be considered. Some simple calculations will show that this claim is false... or at least it is vague.

    A 9 foot parabolic dish has a surface area of about 64 square feet. This is about 6 square meters. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory of the U.S. DOE, the region in the U.S. with the greatest solar insolation sees at most 10 KWh of solar energy per square meter on average during each day. The average region will see far less during most of the year.

    So, a 9 foot parabolic dish of 6 square meters placed at the most favorable site in the U.S. will see an average of 60 KWh of solar energy per day. One KWh of energy is equal to about 3412 btu of heat energy. This equates to about 205,000 btu of heat each day (equal to the burning of about 1.7 gallons of gasoline). Assuming that all of this heat can be transferred to water to make steam (not gonna happen), and using this steam to operate a turbine at 12% thermal efficiency (which is unlikely), we can generate at most 7.2 KWh of electricity (assuming zero losses in power conversion and transmission, which is impossible). In reality, the amount of electricity generated under these conditions for end use will be far less. In other words, the "18-20 kilowatts per day" claim is just plain BS. A more realistic figure is 1-2 KWh electricity per day under these conditions.

    Facts and reasoning along these lines have led me to conclude during the last few years that the best means for an individual to truly achieve energy self-reliance is through a small piston steam engine fueled by biomass using extensive cogeneration. Another candidate includes using wood gasification to power internal combustion engines, but this is best used where high power needs are necessary (such as a small community). Photovoltaics is getting much cheaper and the associated electronics are getting cheaper and more reliable, and these systems are more practical in most settings for electricity generation. However, if heat is the primary desired product (as in a cold climate), then wood is really the only viable fuel for genuine energy independence. A small steam engine or wood gas engine system is a viable alternative in this setting for their ability to provide electricity as well as the required heat from wood fuel.

    Finally, anyone who wishes to go off grid must learn that it will be imperative to conserve energy. We take energy for granted in the U.S. When you start thinking seriously about going off grid, only then can you appreciate how much energy we waste in this country.
    Last edited by buenijo; 07-13-2014 at 02:35 PM.

  24. #21
    Welcome to RPF, buenijo!

  25. #22


    Tesla : CENSORED BY THE US GOVERNMENT

  26. #23
    ^^^ Watching now, it's captivating. Thank you for sharing this, and welcome to the forums!

  27. #24
    If anyone needs to be informed about free energy it's libertarians, because for one they believe it should be legal and two many are stuck in the oil/coal/nuclear trap. Don't get me wrong, I know nuclear isn't as bad as many claim, in fact i'll take nuclear over coal any day, but nuclear is still dangerous and there's no reason it should exist when we already have free energy.



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  29. #25
    any suggestions on my first project?? i want to convert or buy an already converted engine ??


    http://cgi.ebay.com/5HP-TECUMSEH-ENG...item3a61f29ff2
    2016 gop est business as usual, rules do not apply.

  30. #26
    Speciallyblend, if you intend to construct a steam system, then I highly recommend that you build the steam generator first. I have a lot of ideas here.

    If you're interested only in a back up source for electrical power only and not something to get off grid permanently, then powering an internal combustion engine with a wood gasifier is probably a better option.

    As far as converting an internal combustion engine to steam, I recommend that you check out this site: http://lynxsteamengines.com/converting.cfm. However, note that generally it's not a good idea. Good results are unlikely. A better option is to install a steam cylinder on top of the gas engine piston and connect the steam piston rod to the gas engine piston, then remove the gas engine piston rings to lessen friction. The gas engine piston and cylinder will serve as the steam engine crosshead.
    Last edited by buenijo; 06-17-2014 at 09:38 PM.

  31. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by buenijo View Post
    I honestly don't mean to be a killjoy here, but basic physics must be considered. Some simple calculations will show that this claim is false... or at least it is vague.

    A 9 foot parabolic dish has a surface area of about 64 square feet. This is about 6 square meters. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory of the U.S. DOE, the region in the U.S. with the greatest solar incidence sees at most 10 KWh of solar energy per square meter on average during each day. The average region will see far less during most of the year.

    So, a 9 foot parabolic dish of 6 square meters placed at the most favorable site in the U.S. will see an average of 60 KWh of solar energy per day. One KWh of energy is equal to about 3412 btu of heat energy. This equates to about 205,000 btu of heat each day (equal to the burning of about 1.7 gallons of gasoline). Assuming that all of this heat can be transferred to water to make steam (not gonna happen), and using this steam to operate a turbine at 12% thermal efficiency (which is unlikely), we can generate at most 7.2 KWh of electricity (assuming zero losses in power conversion and transmission, which is impossible). In reality, the amount of electricity generated under these conditions for end use will be far less. In other words, the "18-20 kilowatts per day" claim is just plain BS. A more realistic figure is 1-2 KWh electricity per day under these conditions.

    Facts and reasoning along these lines have led me to conclude during the last few years that the best means for an individual to truly achieve energy self-reliance is through a small piston steam engine fueled by biomass using extensive cogeneration. Another candidate includes using wood gasification to power internal combustion engines, but this is best used where high power needs are necessary (such as a small community).

    Finally, anyone who wishes to go off grid must learn that it will be imperative to conserve energy. We take energy for granted in the U.S. When you start thinking seriously about going off grid, only then can you appreciate how much energy we waste in this country.
    You're confusing the efficiency of a bladed turbine with a Tesla Turbine. A Tesla Turbine is much more efficient (and cheaper to build, quieter to run, and more durable) than either a bladed turbine or a piston steam engine. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_turbine

    However, they were being a little overly optimistic in their numbers. This was back in 2004 when they were still in their theoretical stage. Their current build is a 7 inch Tesla Turbine generator that averages 1kW/hour, 10 hours/day in Michigan. It uses a parabolic trough made from plywood and covered in reflective material. An average home would probably need 2 of these to cover their electric needs, and if you do it right you could also use the heat to heat your home and water. Once it's built, it's built... it will work a very long time with little maintenance. They're also working on a biomass heater to run the same Tesla turbogenerator.

    The reason the Tesla turbine never caught on at the time he invented it was that it was very hard to make to spec with the metallurgy and metal fabrication technology of the time. Now it's simply a matter of having a metal shop laser cut it out of stock stainless steel.
    "No matter how noble you try to make it, your good intentions will not compensate for the mistakes that people make; that want to run
    our lives and run the economy, and reject the principles of private property and making up our own decisions for ourselves." -Ron Paul

  32. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by buenijo View Post
    Speciallyblend, if you intend to construct a steam system, then I highly recommend that you build the steam generator first. I have a lot of ideas here.

    If you're interested only in a back up source for electrical power only and not something to get off grid permanently, then powering an internal combustion engine with a wood gasifier is probably a better option.

    As far as converting an internal combustion engine to steam, I recommend that you check out this site: http://lynxsteamengines.com/converting.cfm

    I advise anyone that should they pursue a serious effort to get off grid using steam power, then they should prepare to spend on the order of $10,000 minimum. In addition to this will be required a lot of time for development. There are simply no turn key systems out there. If anyone is serious, then I can provide a lot of good ideas and resources that will be helpful on how to best proceed.
    hi , i am very serious but for now will have to look at smaller back up system etc, since i don't have the $$$$ yet to pursue thetotal offgird system yet but look forward to reading the link you provided. thanks . At the moment i am investing in a small solar back up system but all these plans are when i have available money to invest!
    2016 gop est business as usual, rules do not apply.

  33. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Ninja Homer View Post
    You're confusing the efficiency of a bladed turbine with a Tesla Turbine. A Tesla Turbine is much more efficient (and cheaper to build, quieter to run, and more durable) than either a bladed turbine or a piston steam engine. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_turbine

    However, they were being a little overly optimistic in their numbers. This was back in 2004 when they were still in their theoretical stage. Their current build is a 7 inch Tesla Turbine generator that averages 1kW/hour, 10 hours/day in Michigan. It uses a parabolic trough made from plywood and covered in reflective material. An average home would probably need 2 of these to cover their electric needs, and if you do it right you could also use the heat to heat your home and water. Once it's built, it's built... it will work a very long time with little maintenance. They're also working on a biomass heater to run the same Tesla turbogenerator.

    The reason the Tesla turbine never caught on at the time he invented it was that it was very hard to make to spec with the metallurgy and metal fabrication technology of the time. Now it's simply a matter of having a metal shop laser cut it out of stock stainless steel.
    so build me a cheap one hehe ready to be a customer
    2016 gop est business as usual, rules do not apply.

  34. #30
    Ninja Homer, I am familiar with the Tesla turbine. If someone were to design and build a very small turbine suitable for powering a home, then the Tesla approach is probably a good idea simply because it is a simpler design. However, I simply do not expect a very small Tesla steam turbine to be more efficient than a good piston steam engine. I'm not saying it can't be, I argue only that it's a lot more difficult than you may believe. A very small steam turbine is going to have to have extremely precise machining, and operate at extremely high speeds to get the efficiency above a good piston engine (assuming the same steam source, and assuming low power).

    * Please provide a link to where I can view the specifications of their current set up.
    Last edited by buenijo; 07-13-2014 at 02:36 PM.

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