Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Will Steam Power Prevail Again?

Will steam powered vehicles make a mark in the green transportation movement? If it is up to Harry Schoell and his team of engineers it will. Steam engines were long used in transportation and mostly remembered in locomotive applications in the late 1800`s to early 1900`s. There were also quite a few steam powered vehicles, the most popular being the Stanley Steamer.

The development of the internal combustion engine quickly made the steam engine obsolete due to cheap oil and the amount work involved in starting and operating a steam engine. Harry Schoell, Inventor and CEO of Cyclone power technologies, made significant improvements to a steam engine called the Rankine cycle engine, which is now referred to as the "Schoell cycle engine." In fact, the United States Patent office has issued eight patents to Cyclone Power for improvements in many areas of operation.

I can not begin to list all improvements in an order of the most to least important, as they all come together to make a truly amazing system. So, I will start with the way it heats the water into steam. The combustion chamber is a centrifugal design, as where fuel is atomized and the flame is spun around coils filled with water to produce steam, hence the name cyclone. All fuel particles are thrown to the out side of the chamber until completely burned. Most notably, the cyclone engine is capable of burning most any fuel without any modifications. Imagine one day filling your tank with used motor oil either bought very cheap or obtained for free! A few days later, top off your tank with 100% bio-diesel or pure ethanol. The cyclone can even burn fryer oil! If you are on the road somewhere gasoline can be used.

The fact that the cyclone engine can burn plant based fuels such as ethanol, cottonseed oil, even oils produced from orange peels and algae, makes it carbon neutral. Plants produce oxygen when they grow so the emissions from burning them are largely canceled out. One may feel warm and fuzzy driving in their electric car not producing any emissions, but when it is time to recharge the batteries the electric is still produced largely from coal and other fossil fuels. Also the batteries need to be replaced in about five years with current technology, creating a disposal problem of the lithium ion batteries. There is also a question weather our countries aging grid system could handle the added load if thousands upon thousands of cars were plugged in to recharge at any given time.

In an effort to keep this article short I will briefly go over some other points that make this engine no less than incredible. The cyclone operates on a "closed system" meaning water will never have to be added or topped off. The engine will need no oil changes because it is lubricated with water. Yes, I said water! The starting torque of the cyclone is 850 ft lbs from their 100hp engine. This means there will be no need for a transmission. Quiet run, no muffler needed! Clean burn, no catalytic converter or complicated and expensive computer systems.

In closing, the advantages of the cyclone steam engine are numerous. I should hope that Harry Schoell and his team can get this engine where it needs to be, and in my eyes that's in production. The fact that it can run from fuel easily produced in this country, and not primarily from corn or other important food source to drive up prices, is important to our countries national security. Look up Cylone power; I am sure you may also get excited about this new steam technology!

No comments:

Post a Comment