Take a motorcycle engine, block off the intake, replace the spark plugs with fuel injectors hooked up to a water source, put the whole thing on a stand several feet in the air and build an entire array of mirrors around it to focus the sun on the top of the cylinder heads where the air cooling fins are in place. Now... wait for the top end to get to a few hundred degrees and inject water at top dead center.
This should be easy to try.
I believe that this concept has merits and you appear to have something that is worthy of further development. I have been looking into this concept for power generation for some time.+
I am playing with a diesel engine to flash Steam but the pressure raises the flash point. A vacuum reduces waters flash temprature. I will learn through this none the less.
hey, folks almost all the thoughts ive seen here ran through my head, especially using heat from a powerful diesel-like compression stroke to flash water into steam About that, consider the vapor pressure of water versus temperature (a.k.a. a phase diagram). You should probably investigate the temperature required to turn water to steam at the specific compression ratio you are using. You may find that at the pressure in the cylinder after compression and at the time of injection is too high for water to go to the gaseous state, given the temperature of the cylinder.
I fell on this page and read some of your ideas.
My first idea was 1 cycle engine. pressure threw one valve for the down stroke and releas pressure on the up stroke threw the other valve.
4 cycle and 2cycle work with gas, why not whoter to steam,
If you can get the cilender hot enoph to produce steam.
I don't know if you pree heat your woter or not.
But if you do you could bild a woter tank around the head and use the it as a heat exchange.
cooling fins become heating fins or a radeator.
Hot head heats whoter.
Make it a pressure tank and you have ether your woter forsed in your engine without the kneed of a pump. Or you have a steam powerd engine. In theory. What do you think? email is email@example.com
I don't think the engine James is describing has a compression stroke at all. However a four cycle steam engine does use the compression stroke. As far as your question goes' using a big compression ratio such as a diesel engine does' I do not think this will be a sufficant source of heat(alone) to flash cold water to steam. It mainly has to do with the density of air or compressed air. Its just not nor will ever be, as dense as the material the engine block is made from, which is a good conductor of heat. Try this example, you can start a really big fire with a single match, but you can't make much steam from a single match. In other words the heat derived from compression in a diesel engine is adiquate to cause combustion. But "most likely" there won't be enough heat to flash steam of sufficant quantity, or repeatedly in a cyclic fashion. One of the big benifits of James engine design is the mass of the engine block itself acts as a thermal battery. This will allow the engine to run for a duration of time. But the heat that is derived from compression is very benifical to a four cycle steam engine cycle. But I just don't think its enough to run the engine solely from that, as the only source of heat. If the engine has a compression stroke at all, I think it's good, but it is unclear to me where deminshing returns occur, with a really big compression ratio such as 20 to 1, I have had really good results with this, at 8 to 1 or less. No matter what, if you heat the block and the compression stroke is still intact, then it will generate surplus heat that wouldnt normally be there. Hey, the board is active I'm impressed.
why couldn't you use a diesel engine design with an even higher compression ratio? by injecting the water at the max compression of the cylinder, the heat generated by the compression of the air should flash the water into steam.
You will need a high-pressure capable injector to a reach high operating speed with your engine. also if variable valve lift is incorperated in such a valve. you will be able to very very acuritely control the speed. I have already done this. check out www.flashsteam.com+
James Newton replies:
I don't think so... My idea is to inject cool (non-heated) water into a heated cylinder. Since there is no need to compress the "fuel" at top dead center, the exhaust valving could be modified to stay open until just before TDC rather than closing at the bottom before a compression stroke. At TDC, there would be NO pressure in the cylinder. A fuel injector will probably be overkill. Any water spray mechanism would be sufficient.+
I must say, your efforts are very interesting and have a better chance of producing a device that would be fuel efficient.
j.w.holmes at spamatt.net replies:
I would like to state that you are theoretically you are correct. You could in fact wait for the top end to heat up to a couple hundred degrees. And set up a simple cold water injection system. Thru the spark plug port. And the engine probably would run. It is interesting that you are using a two cycle approache. And also that in your design that air cooling fins are common on motorcycle engine's. And that a "pod of aluminum fins" is an exellent solar energy receptor.+
I'd like to say that I'm impressed with your idea. And I like the simplicity aspect. I have some slightly different ideas. But you are heading in the proper direction. And engine cycles are usually a matter of personal choice. It seems that your proposed modifications would make the engine a continuous cycle. like a turbine. differing from the original intermittent engine cycle (four stroke). But the valve train modifications that you speak of are very difficult to make. and that you most likely will only get one power stroke per two crankshaft revolutions (or 720*). But you could fix that by changing the gear ratio from the crank to the cam. In addition to cam lobe modifications. Personally I don't recommend this modification since it is exceedingly difficult. Also Just because there's no compression doesn't mean you don't need at least 400psi on your water delivery device. Trust me I have experience with this. The main thing that you need to realize is that when any piston engine runs. the TDC power stroke occurs several times per second. And your cycle would be more frequent at once per 360*. A four cycle is- about 5hz at idle and 30hz at around 2000rpm.
To get the water in the right place at the right time you need substantial pressure behind it. One thing that is relative in my experiments is the relation to engine speed to injector pressure. for example at 400psi you will be lucky to get 500rpm. And to get the engine to run faster you always need more pressure. when the water has more pressure behind it can move faster. maintaining volume of delivery even thou it has less time to enter the engine cylinder. as the engine reaches speed. The window of time that the water has to travel into the cylinder is very short. without some pressure it just wont get there in time. The fact an engine that has a compression stroke or not makes no difference in this situation. I think that the engine you describe will run.... with low pressure injection -but performance will be less than desirable (very slow/low power). But I would like to stress that what you are describing is a true flash steam engine.
James Newton replies:
Thanks Jeremy. I agree totally re: cycles and the difficulty of modifying cam shafts... I have done it, but I basically made a new cam shaft and then case hardened it after it was done. (see below)
I was thinking that IF the valve clearence were not an issue (valve hitting piston; note that the intake is no longer necessary so the valve would be removed or just have the stem broken off so that it would always be closed.) then the timeing could just be adjusted so that the exaust valve would open (and close) much later. It would close just before TDC. This would cause it to open quite late, but rather than depending on that for pressure release, a small hole could be drilled in the cylinder wall near the lowest point cleared by the top of the piston. The overall effect here is to reduce the pressure in the cylinder at TDC to the point that a standard fuel injector can be used.
Another idea: It might even be possible to drill a second hole, lower than the "exaust" release hole, and have the water just pour into the cylinder into a "bucket" made of an insulated material on top of the piston. Then the cylinder head would have a set of "fingers" or fins (possibly steel wool for max surface area?) that would stick down into the water bucket at TDC... In this case, the exaust valve would also be blocked, and there would be compression at TDC, but the "fuel" would already be sealed in the cylinder. I think you could almost get away with makeing this modification with no more dissassembly than removeing the valve covers (to bust the stems) as long as you could find a way to smooth out the inside edge of the holes in the cylinder wall. Many small engines for hobby or demonstration use have been built with this sort of port "valving" (as you probably know) and I have seen at least one where the fuel was "injected" (gravity feed) at the bottom of the stroke and ignited at the top... via a glow plug as I remember. It was a little thing and I don't remember what it burned, but I expect that it was less volitile than gas or had a much higher combustion point.
Actually the cam-shaft modifications are not impossible. When my father and I made a steam engine (not a flash steam engine) from a Brigs and Stratton gas motor, we removed the cam-shaft, heated and slowly cooled the side of the cam we wanted to add to, ground past the case hardening to make a flat spot, then silver soldered on a chunk of metal. ground it to the shape we needed and then ground off some material on the other side of the original cam lobe. It was a pain... Last time I did that, I just shifted the cam shaft down a bit so that the original cam lobes missed the valve stems and then welded on a new set of lobes of my own design... I was lucky there, to have the room, and to be able to shift the shaft enough without pulling the ends out of the bearings. And I was able to setup an actuator that moved the shaft back and forth between the original and new cams. It was a heck of a hack! <GRIN> I wasn't selling it so good enough was good enough.
In the long view, I don't think that any of my ideas would result in an efficient engine... but since my goal is very (VERY) low cost solar power systems, and the fuel is free, who cares? For higher end, efficient fuel burning systems, I can see the advantage of high pressure injection... But I think the heating (and so the flash to steam) might be better done with a heat transfer system inside the cylinder... Why heat the water when you have to heat the head anyway? Then the "heat of rejection" is 100%. Perhaps heating the cylinder head or makeing a new head with a heat conduction system down the middle.. copper rods or something with the other end sitting in the corn burner. What do you think?
Jul9-08 at 03:40 PM
I have been writing in my journals for 30 years about a conversion I wanted to make to the gas guzzling V-8 engines. My idea has been to use two outside cylinders on one side as gas cylinders without modification. The other side inside cylinders would also be used as gas cylinders without modification.
These four cylinders would be modern fuel injected with all normal computer controls. The engine must be run on these four cylinders until proper block and head temperatures are achieved. Then the four remaining cylinders would be run as two stroke units being powered by "flashsteam" injection at top dead center of the steam cylinders. The exhaust from each gas cylinder would go out of its normal exhaust port and loop around to its adjacent steam cylinder old exhaust port. The old exhaust valve and seat in the steam cylinder will be replaced with a "heat sink" which extends into the old combustion chamber and thereby replacing it. The other side of the "heat sink" will have fins on it extending up through a hole milled in the head which replaced the old exhaust valve. A stainless steel tube will be press fitted in that hole which holds that "heat sink" essentially blocking any flow into the steam cylinder. But the exhaust gas from the adjacent gas cylinder will flow through a side hole in that SS tube with the fins of the "heat sink" protruding upward. This new exhaust tube will have to come out of a hole cut in the old valve cover. There will be two such holes in the old valve covers directly in line with the replaced old exhaust valves. The original intake valves of the converted cylinders will become the new exhaust valves for the new steam cylinders. They must be controlled by a special cam shaft which has a double lobe for each of the new steam exhaust valves. This control will be to open the steam exhaust valve at bottom dead center and close it on top dead center using two new lobes on that cam position. There will be four such new double lobe cam positions. The original exhaust lobes for those cylinders will not be used. A new simplified intake manifold must be fabricated to provide normal injector placement and connection to the throttle body for the gas cylinders. A new manifold from the original intake holes on the steam cylinders which are now steam exhaust holes will be joined to the new SS gas exhaust tubes coming out of the valve covers which will mix the spent steam with the gas exhaust to be outputted to the atmosphere through normal modern exhaust systems. A computer control of the "flashsteam" injectors must be provided.
The idea of using a "Corn Burner" as a heat source has been modified by using the waste heat from the standard internal combustion engine. I am not mixing water or steam into the gas cylinders. The gas cylinders will be unchanged physically or in their normal operation; just their exhaust will be diverted a bit. Limiting some of the water cooling around the new steam cylinder and head should be done to retain their heat. The "flashsteam" injector may be the proper way to run the steam cylinder. I have wanted to make what I call my "Hybrid Steam Engine" for years. Every time the price of fuel goes up, I get more interested in its development. Now the fuel price has pushed me to accomplish my goal. But I do not feel the idea or which could be an invention needs to be held in private for financial gain. I have told many people about the idea without any action. Now with the Internet, maybe this idea will catch the eye of people of the World and not be squashed by the oil companies. Keep in touch because I have some other good ideas such as fine gold recovery and owner builder home construction.
Good morning forum and gas guzzlers 06-02-2008 11:26 AM
Attention: V-8 Engines, it is time to change your eating habits. You are going to have your gut detoured to scavenge some of your waste heat. You are not going to have to use four of your gas cylinders on your eight cylinders engines to run any more. You can have four cylinders with gas; but the other four cylinders will provide power without you expelling hot air. The four converted cylinders will not be letting out your energy just to raise the air temperature around you.
Attention: Drivers of V-8 Engines, do your part to encourage the development of a more efficient internal combustion engine. Be at least interested in ideas to ultimately save your cash and our energy supplies. Enthusiasm is the spice of life; and it will provide rewards. That is better than complaining over a cup of coffee. Positive feedback with constructive criticism is what we inventors need to put our ideas into a working prototype. At least, you can see from my contributions that I am attempting to help our energy situation with positive suggestions.
Attention: Inventors, car buffs, steam engine masters, and others with positive feedback, make your contribution to an energy efficient internal combustion engine. Remember, it doesn't have to be something that needs new castings. Electronic control is common place now. Rust resistant injectors are available. Bring up your problems with the idea in a positive way with alternative approaches. Let us all work toward a common goal which is to finally keep more of our hard earned cash in our pocket instead of paying through to nose for our fuel to propel our vehicles.
Attention: Big SUV and pickup drivers, wouldn't it be wonderful to take your gas guzzler vehicles into a modification shop to have it converted to a hybrid steam engine. There is enough carrying capacity for this energy modification of your gas guzzler vehicle which is upside down in value of typically $10,000 because no dealer will give you jack poo for it toward a new small energy efficient vehicle. Talk about this hybrid steam engine idea that I have proposed. There must be engine builders to help make a prototype.
Attention: As the writer of this hybrid steam engine, I will continue to make a prototype. In my following contribution letters, I will be more specific on the necessary modifications and my progress in making a prototype. I even am thinking about making my own camshaft by wilding and regrinding four of the lobes by following the contour of other lobes which will give me necessary lobe with two high sections. I am not worrying about things like angles just as long as the valve opens at bottom dead center and closes at top dead center. Remember, this hybrid steam engine is not a 6-cycle engine. It is still a 4 cycle gas engine on the four remaining gas cylinders. The four steam cylinders are now 2 cycles with a power stroke on every downward movement of the piston. No gas is mixed with water. No worry about heat losses because that is exactly what the hybrid steam engine does to the block heat as well as the exhaust heat. As far as heat rejection, and condensers in steam engines, that will be something to consider for better efficiency and water consumption. But if all I need to do is to add distilled water to my tank and drive the hybrid steam engine to work with its normal fuel supply, I can do that. I can even collect rain water to use a water supply. As far as freezing in cold climates, that will have to be addressed in a positive way. Water getting into the crankcase from the steam cylinders must be addressed; but has anybody tried water soluble oil in their crankcase? The automatic machining industry use soluble oil in all of their high speed cutting machines to cool and lubricate their cutters. My contribution to this forum will be positive with as much help to others to keep their enthusiasm.
GEORGE J BIRDS JR
601 Canyon Dr.
PO Box 427
Lebec, CA 93243
http://www.flashsteam.com I want add to GEORGE J BIRDS JR. These flash steam injection valves are now coming of age. I think the nozzle end is 18mm 1.5 also worth noting is that the valve uses variable lift settings. At this time there are two US utility patents have been granted. I am now running a batch of 100 injectors. They operate off 12 volts to open the valve. A solid state mosfet array controls the circuit and it is digital. The sensor sampling speed operates at 5000hz+
What a concept!... I've heard of a "hot plate" type flash steam engine, but not of one that uses the heat of ambient air to flash the steam... I'm impressed. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't the temperature inside the combustion chamber prior to injection on a diesel is around 500 degrees? It seems this would be plenty to expand a water vapor injected into it with no modification. Has anyone tried such a thing? How interesting
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