Future Hybrids: Steam Engine technology

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Robert T
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Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2005 1:27 am

Future Hybrids: Steam Engine technology

Postby Robert T » Thu Jun 21, 2007 5:09 pm

I hope it comes with a whistle.

http://autos.msn.com/advice/article.asp ... id=4024854

Steam Engine Technology
BMW Turbosteamer
This concept from BMW provides an extra power boost from pressurized steam with an expected 15% fuel economy improvement.

BMW is using the same principal from more than 100 years ago to improve fuel efficiency.

Twin brothers Francis and Freelan Stanley, inventors of the Stanley Steamer, would likely approve of BMW's innovative use of the same principal that worked to power their steam engine cars more than 100 years ago to improve the efficiency in modern vehicles.

Called Turbosteamer, this innovative alternative to the gas-electric hybrid uses wasted heat energy from an engine's wasted exhaust gases to contribute power to the automobile.

This steam assist system starts with a heat exchanger located between the engine and the catalyst that turns water into steam. The pressurized steam is then carried to what is essentially a small steam engine. A second, smaller steam engine, produces a little more mechanical energy.

Combined, the two steam engines generated 14 horsepower and 15 pounds-feet of torque during tests performed on a 1.8-liter BMW four-cylinder engine. Additionally, fuel economy improved by 15 percent in overall driving.

The German automaker is working on simplifying and reducing the size of the system. The company says it intends to make the Turbosteamer ready for volume production in a number of its vehicles within a decade.

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Re: Future Hybrids: Steam Engine technology

Postby EUCLID » Mon Dec 24, 2007 6:28 pm

The concept of using waste heat from an internal combustion engine to make steam is interesting. With external combustion steam engines, waste heat was used to pre-heat incoming water. But the temperature of exhaust from an internal combustion engine is easily high enough to boil water and make steam. If the steam is held under pressure, it can be substantially superheated from the exhaust.

The question in my mind is, what to do with the steam once it is produced from the waste heat? In pursuit of the answer, I have a question for all you scientists out there. Superheated steam is just a hot, dry gas. It can set wood ablaze or melt metal if hot enough. My question is, how does superheated steam interact with the combustion of fossile fuel?

If mixed with a fuel such as diesel fuel, would superheated steam suport combustion or not?

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