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Steam genverter system?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Badfish740, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
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    1,404
    Shadow&Flame posted this in the thread about the guy who was apparently running a generator in his apartment:


    This was posted in the thread about "Getting talked down to about wood heat":

    http://www.claverton-energy.com/min...-steam-engine-to-run-on-renewable-energy.html

    Funny how Hearth members think alike ;lol It definitely has my wheels turning I'll say that much. The difficulty with these things is the unevenness of the power so I wonder if it would be best paired with a heavy duty generator head, an inverter, and a good sized battery bank. Kind of the same principle as boiler storage. You run the steam engine for however many hours a day to fill up the batteries, let the batteries discharge over time, and then run the steam engine again when you need to recharge them. Obviously the larger the battery bank, the less time between chargeups. The steam engine could feed power directly when large loads need to be run like a well pump, etc... I wonder how much maintenance they need? I know that the Indian made Listeroids will run for years and years without so much as a tune up. Steam engines seem like more finicky beasts though.

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  2. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Steam engines don't like to start & stop. They need to heat up and stay hot or else they lose a lot of energy to internal condensation. That means you would be burning lots of fuel just to heat the boiler up before you could start the engine itself. They can require constant attention from an operator as well unless automatic methods are employed for speed regulation and lubrication.

    Here's a model, but you get the idea of what could be involved.

  3. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    Eh...oh well. So basically the thing has to run 24/7 or close to it to be efficient. That would be one hungry beast!
  4. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    Northern NH
    Look up the Carnot cycle on Wikapedia and punch in the T high and T cold, then see why there arent many small steam plants. Oh by the way, depending on what state you install them you will need a boiler license and the boiler inspected.
  5. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    That's a really nice video - with good filming skills. Thanks for posting it.
    MasterMech likes this.
  6. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    He built that boiler from scratch _g and the engine from a rough casting kit. He did all the machine work on a Harbor Freight mini-lathe and mini-mill. I am seriously addicted to his site/blog and videos. He's just one of those guys that does everything to 120%.

    He also built a couple gas turbine engines from electrical conduit and automotive turbochargers. It was those builds that had me seriously hooked and landed him on an episode of Mad Scientists on the Discovery Channel.

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