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Old 16-07-2012, 21:24   #91
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Re: Steam powered boat why not do it again?

I just came down the Erie Canal and while I was burning about 1000 lbs of expensive diesel, I noticed the canal is littered with driftwood.

Next time I do the canal, it will be in a driftwood burning, steam-powered boat.
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Old 17-07-2012, 08:19   #92
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Re: Steam powered boat why not do it again?

Be sure to check the legal burn days.
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Old 17-07-2012, 09:06   #93
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Re: Steam powered boat why not do it again?

Internal combustion was a major technological breakthrough that doomed the bulky ineficient steam plants to extinction.

Nuclear power brought back steam only because water makes a good moderator, and fission primarily produces heat, and the sheer bulk of heat produced negates the losses from the sheer ineficiency of a steam system.

All steam, (heat), engines are limited in efficiency by the Carnot equation which calculates the difference between the incoming temperature, and the reduced, (output) temperature, the greater the difference, the higher the possible efficiency. That is why steam powered vessels run at the highest possible temperatures, as the base difference is the condensation point of water.

Internal combustion engines get around this by bringing in room temperature liquid fuel, and relying on the burning of that fuel to create the temperature difference needed.

The basic problem of all external combustion engines is the the need to carry a heat transfer medium, (hundreds of gallons of water), the fuel doesn't transfer all of it's heat to the medium, (it would have to be burned in the core of a completly insulated, and contained boiler, and no mechanism has yet to be invented to completly extract all of the heat back to room temperature, (remember the giant cooling towers of a nuclear plant?)
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Old 17-07-2012, 09:35   #94
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Re: Steam powered boat why not do it again?

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Originally Posted by SailingwithSoul View Post
Personally, I would love to rig some type of hand pedal gearing system .... Muscle power is cleaner, safer, and cheaper than all other alternatives
Only if you're constipated! Or don't you count coliform production and "turbidity" in the water?
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Old 17-07-2012, 09:39   #95
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Re: Steam powered boat why not do it again?

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Originally Posted by sdowney717 View Post
The motive power industries vested interests are in play to keep us using their expensive oils. Steam power heating water with cheaper fuels will certainly get them upset.

Coal is being surpressed also by government regulations, so the trains certainly wont go back to it.
The moment I see someone claiming that he has a great invention, but it is being suppressed by vested interests or the government, I know that he doesn't have a great invention, but just needs an excuse to explain away his failures...
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Old 17-07-2012, 09:40   #96
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Re: Steam powered boat why not do it again?

In the 60's, Oil and Diesel were extremely cheap and plentifull.

The cost of running a Diesel engine in a train was a lot less than a Steam engine,
Hence the end of steam engined powered Trains,

It also killed my trade of Blacksmithing as we built the Steam Engines at that time,
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Old 17-07-2012, 09:56   #97
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Re: Steam powered boat why not do it again?

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In the 60's, Oil and Diesel were extremely cheap and plentifull.

The cost of running a Diesel engine in a train was a lot less than a Steam engine,
Hence the end of steam engined powered Trains,

It also killed my trade of Blacksmithing as we built the Steam Engines at that time,
A lot of big steam engines are oil fired, and all modern steam engines are. So cheaper oil would have made them cheaper too.
What made the diesel (and electric) engines win was mostly the lower maintenance requirements and the flexibility. You can just switch on and off a diesel engine as required. You can't easily do that with a steam engine.

There's a Swiss Engineer who has modernized the steam engine so they're almost as easy to operate as a diesel, and he even has a model for boats on offer but for big boats, not yachts. And his products are mostly targeted at tourist operations that need to meet modern emission and labor standards...
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Old 17-07-2012, 11:16   #98
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Re: Steam powered boat why not do it again?

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[snip]
I once hooked up a small pressure cooker (which i used to use as a still) to a small five horse Briggs & Stratton lawnmower engine and it ran beautiful albeit it was a difficult arrangement of propane torch,,Pressure cooker,and copper piping...but it worked,,,especially when all of the local high priests said it couldn't be done.
[snip]
With a lot less effort, you might have run that B&S on propane directly and saved a lot of complexity and with higher efficiency (losses due to the steam bits in the middle of things don't work at 100% efficiency).

But I hope you won enough on that bet to make it all worthwhile.
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