Michael Galloway wrote:R John, ok that's cool. I wonder what the land area to power a charcoal slurry diesel would be including the resources to power the fuel processing. The simplicity of chop up the wood and put it in the firebox appeals greatly to me. You could use a small steam generator to run an electric chain saw for that too.
Douglas Alpenstock wrote:
r john wrote:If you want to get into steam safely then forget about water boilers and use thermal oil and thermal oil steam evaporators. The technology is out there off the shelf and is used in the commercial bakery industry.
Very interesting! And it makes sense, from a large scale point of view.
Any thoughts on how you would build a backyard system that mirrors this technology? That would be seriously cool!
Michael Galloway wrote:R John: I'm not familiar with running a diesel engine on charcoal slurry so I can't compare them in detail but I suspect there would be issues affecting the important seals in the cylinder. What I can say is that the steam engine was widespread enough for it's issues and weakness to be known, so we know where we're starting and where we're going.
David: old steamengines were normally 3 or 4% efficient at converting the energy in wood to useful crankshaft work, we're expecting to be over 10% based on what was achieved at the end of the steam age but not widely applied.
For some harder numbers how does 2.48 kg of wood per kWh or 9.9L of wood chip per kWh (250kg/m^3) and 5.8L of water per kWh (assuming no condensing which would add complication) sound?
Douglas: I totally agree with you on the dangers of high pressure steam technology. The boss is certified to issue steam certificates for heritage style steam locomotives and I'm a mechanical engineer with healthy fear of death from steam explosion.
Recently I got to operate the prototype boiler that we've used to prove the key differences with our technology; when I was operating it I commented that I felt much safer operating it than I would have an old style boiler. I could describe it as the pressurised tubes being contained in a mobile bunker, the outer shell is only containing exhaust gasses. I've also done the calculations proving that the worst case scenario of stuff blowing up (which it's designed not to do!) will only result in a lot of steam blowing out the funnel. We're not amateur's playing around, we're young professionals changing the world! (cynicism hasn't set in yet!).
Brian Shaw wrote:This is four months since this topic was up and i'm wondering if it went anywhere...
This is definitely a case that I personally would want to get some diesel military generator and use that to run the equipment. I wouldn't even try to run it off solar.
I can get the idea of wanting to use electric equipment - our reasons might not be the same, but i'm aware some used 400-480v 3 phase stuff thats more powerful can go for cheaper than 240volt stuff because the latter is more used in home garages and the 400-stuff almost never so there's less buyers. I'd hoped/wanted to buy up a bunch of 4xx volt machine tools and such for a large workshop in the future when I found good deals... but I expect to be deeply rural and off grid/unfeasible to run a big powerline i'd think without $$$. So my plan was to just use a big diesel generator and run the tools off that instead - I wouldn't be using the equipment so much that a few gallons diesel would bother me... I want tools for capability not nonstop industrial machining, so the intermittent power of a genset would work fine. (or so I think)