Residential Power Powered by Coal

Residential Power Powered by Coal

PostBy: NoSmoke On: Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:38 am

Are we, us coal burners that is, on the cusp of being able to provide our own residential electrical needs via the use of one of these generators?

http://www.greensteamengine.com/

I know they are promoting other means of producing steam, but hey we are coal burners and it just makes sense that we could produce plenty of steam with our own black gold. I do think it is funny that they thought their transmission drive is revolutionary, but I have a book written in 1882 called "512 mechanical movements" and in that old book, it has this same drive mechanism pictures. It is nothing new because back when locomotives were being built by a host of companies, in order to get around the patents of other companies, they had to be pretty inventive and drive trains such as this were thought up.

I have looked at the pictures and video quite a bit and it appears as if these steam drives could be manufactured at home with relative ease. The electrical side of things is easy of course, I am just wondering if the real challenge would be in the regulatory hurdles of using live steam in a residential home.

Just curious what other people thought of this steam generator?
NoSmoke
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: New Yoker WC90
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vogelzang Pot Bellied Stove
Coal Size/Type: Stove/Nut/Pea Anthracite
Other Heating: Munchkin LP Boiler (Back-up)

Re: Residential Power Powered by Coal

PostBy: Poconoeagle On: Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:47 am

very cool thanks for the link 8-)
Poconoeagle
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Buckwalter & Co. , EFM520
Stove/Furnace Model: No. 28 Glenwood 1880, Alaska

Re: Residential Power Powered by Coal

PostBy: steamup On: Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:27 am

time to get out the laws of thermodyanmics and the mollier diagrams.

It takes 1 btu/lb to raise 1 lb water 1 deg. F.

If you start with 50 deg. water and raise it to 212 deg. f. (boiling point) = 162 btu/lb.

It takes 970 btu/lb to vaporize water.

It takes about 38 btu/lb to raise steam from 0 to 100 psi (at 100 percent combustion/thermal efficiency).

Energy cannot be created or destroyed. You take the energy back out of 100 psi steam at 100 percent mechanical efficiency you can only get 38 btu/lb.

You then exhaust that steam, condense it or waste it.

38 btu/lb / (162+970+38 btu) = 3.2% efficiency with out consideration of combustion, thermal and mechanical losses. If you condense the steam and recover the condensate, you raise the efficiency a little.

This is why power plants run between 1500 and 3200 psi to make power. Higher the pressure, higher the maximum possible efficency. Way beyond residential ability.


Not to mention I do not see one lubricator on that steam engine. How long to you thing that thing will last without oil or grease on the moving parts?
steamup
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman-Anderson AA-130, Keystoker K-6
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: HS Tarm 502 Wood/Coal/Oil
Coal Size/Type: pea, buck, rice


Re: Residential Power Powered by Coal

PostBy: Lightning On: Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:13 pm

Yeah, I didn't think that was gonna go very well lol
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut Size / White Ash

Re: Residential Power Powered by Coal

PostBy: NoSmoke On: Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:42 pm

Thanks for the explanation. I have worked in a variety of boilers but I was just a welder.

I know on some of them, they were low pressure boilers and only had steam lines that were 40 psi, but on others, they were high pressure ones and they showed us safety videos of boiler tenders checking pin holes with broom sticks and the pressure was so great, that the pin hole was well away from where the vapor appeared. They then would wave the broomstick in front of the pin hole and it would cut the stick in half. That got my attention! Most of the time though the boilers were shut down when I was inside them welding up the cracks so I did not care :-) It was a suck job for sure...though building US Navy Destroyers has its bad days too which is what I do now...just not so many sucky days and a lot more money per hour!! :-)

Now if I may ask...and I already sound dumb so why not continue right :-)...what do you think the company making the generators is trying to do with these units? I assume if coal cannot produce steam efficiently, then the "green" alternatives they suggest won't either.

BTW: I am not trying to argue with you here, but I thought I saw a lubricator on some of the working models. At least I think it was. I saw what I thought was the old style oil cup lubricators, but machined from a box shaped billet. It took me a second to figure out what it was...or what I think it was.
NoSmoke
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: New Yoker WC90
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vogelzang Pot Bellied Stove
Coal Size/Type: Stove/Nut/Pea Anthracite
Other Heating: Munchkin LP Boiler (Back-up)

Re: Residential Power Powered by Coal

PostBy: Dann757 On: Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:05 pm

Really interesting.

NoSmoke wrote:though building US Navy Destroyers has its bad days too which is what I do now...just not so many sucky days and a lot more money per hour!!


That's a coincidence, I went to the hardware store the other day and saw an old guy with a navy veteran's cap on. i thanked him for his service, mentioned that my father was a merchant marine in WWII. Turns out this guy's father had been head of MEBA in DC. I told him my dad had survived being torpedoed twice; he had some similar stories, including one about a couple guys in Virginia that got sent in to a warship boiler to do something; and somebody else turned on the steam and they got hurt.

Here's my domestic steam engine, I rigged a little motor to it and it lights the grain of wheat light bulb :D
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Dann757
 

Re: Residential Power Powered by Coal

PostBy: steamup On: Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:39 pm

NoSmoke wrote:Thanks for the explanation. I have worked in a variety of boilers but I was just a welder.

I know on some of them, they were low pressure boilers and only had steam lines that were 40 psi, but on others, they were high pressure ones and they showed us safety videos of boiler tenders checking pin holes with broom sticks and the pressure was so great, that the pin hole was well away from where the vapor appeared. They then would wave the broomstick in front of the pin hole and it would cut the stick in half. That got my attention! Most of the time though the boilers were shut down when I was inside them welding up the cracks so I did not care :-) It was a suck job for sure...though building US Navy Destroyers has its bad days too which is what I do now...just not so many sucky days and a lot more money per hour!! :-)

Now if I may ask...and I already sound dumb so why not continue right :-)...what do you think the company making the generators is trying to do with these units? I assume if coal cannot produce steam efficiently, then the "green" alternatives they suggest won't either.

BTW: I am not trying to argue with you here, but I thought I saw a lubricator on some of the working models. At least I think it was. I saw what I thought was the old style oil cup lubricators, but machined from a box shaped billet. It took me a second to figure out what it was...or what I think it was.



They may have some lubrication but the whole design is more of a wonder machine to me. Lots of parts make for more cost.

A lot of things are being sold that are not as great as they claim to be. No law against claiming "high efficiency" because there is no definition of what "high efficiency" is.
steamup
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman-Anderson AA-130, Keystoker K-6
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: HS Tarm 502 Wood/Coal/Oil
Coal Size/Type: pea, buck, rice

Re: Residential Power Powered by Coal

PostBy: carlherrnstein On: Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:53 pm

I looked at those a year or so ago....I think it would make a better pump than a steam engine. Check out a swashplate pump it works a lot like that engine.
carlherrnstein
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: combustioneer model 77B
Coal Size/Type: pea stoker/Ohio bituminous

Re: Residential Power Powered by Coal

PostBy: NoSmoke On: Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:54 pm

I am familiar with those hydraulic pumps. We used them on the railroad to propel some of the work equipment used.

They were a good pump for stationary hydraulic needs, but due to the variable terrain railroad equipment operates in, we had a lot of problems with them. I guess if the swash plate gets a "jolt" it literally shatters the pump and renders it useless...worse yet it send fragments throughout the entire system...fragments that must be cleaned out of all the pumps, motors, lines and hydraulic coolers.

We lost a lot of pumps because we were trying to propel 150,000 pound machines at 45 mph on varying grades. As the machines encountered downgrades, they would often over-speed and cause cavitation in the hydraulic lines, one split second of this and they would blow a pump. We added in hydraulic accumulators to prevent the split-second cavitation, but they still did not work as designed. One year I went through 6 of these type of pumps at over $30,000 a piece on a single piece of equipment. I ended up going to a New England Railroad before they engineered a solution to the problem.

Those pumps were a nightmare!

These drives do not look that bad however because they are coupled mechanically, unlike the swash plate pumps that require pressure, and back pressure on the swash plates to keep them from shattering. So the mechanical limitations of this does not bother me as much as Steamup's real world figures.

Darn, guess I will have to go back to perfecting my perpetual motion machine! :-)
NoSmoke
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: New Yoker WC90
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vogelzang Pot Bellied Stove
Coal Size/Type: Stove/Nut/Pea Anthracite
Other Heating: Munchkin LP Boiler (Back-up)

Re: Residential Power Powered by Coal

PostBy: Scottscoaled On: Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:45 pm

While those numbers posted by steamup are real numbers for a whole application, I don't think they are accurate for this application. The numbers for the the pressure may be right for 0-100 psi BUT,,,,, the btu requirements to get higher than 15 psi are not linear requirements. that is, it doesn't translate into 10 btu's per lb get you 1 psi. It might be 15 btu's per lb get you 5 psi but the next 5 psi needs 45 btu's per lb. When you are operating at the low pressures that that green machine is advertising, the btu' requirement per pound to get to the psi necessary to run it, might not be so high. Our boilers cant run that high anyway. It's not that they can't, it's that they are not rated for it. The guy at the EFM factory told me 4 years ago when I was looking at this same thing that the boilers would handle 100psi easily. They just can't certify them like that.
Another thing. When you talk about losses, you are taking into account that all the steam is going into air. No reclaimation of the heat that is left. If a shrowd was placed around the steam engine to capture the steam, it could be sent thru a heat exchanger and the recaptured heat would serve a purpose like, heating your house, maybe a greenhouse, maybe the neighbors house. 100% loss isn't the situation all of a sudden.
Another thing. Heating water from 50 degrees to steam isn't the case either. Taking the heat out of steam condenses the steam back to water. Real hot water. so the numbers aren't right on that either.
There is a loss on pumping the condensate back into the boiler. But that handy dandy little condensate pump built into that steam engine looks like it would work just fine.
Somehow, back then, I came up with a figure of around 28,000 btu's per hour to make 10 hp. At 80% efficiency, the efm could power 4 of those 10 hp steam engines.
The real truth is that you can't find a real workable way to get the heat out all of the steam produced to make it an efficient process.
Scottscoaled
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520x4, 700. Van Wert 1200.
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: EFM 150, Keystoker 150
Coal Size/Type: Lots of buck

Re: Residential Power Powered by Coal

PostBy: Richard S. On: Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:53 pm

Once you get by all that it's not as if you can just turn it on or off and up or up and down as the demand for electric changese, you're in the same boat as solar and wind.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Residential Power Powered by Coal

PostBy: Yanche On: Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:44 pm

Now if we could just use thermocouple junctions. One metal heated directly by glowing coal and the other by the frigid outside. We could only wish it was practical. :-) BTY this is the nuclear power source technology used for spacecraft. The cold junction is outer space, the hot junction is heat supplied by a decaying radioisotope. Typically supplies a few kilowatts, depending on model. Requires a Presidential signature approval to launch into orbit.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Re: Residential Power Powered by Coal

PostBy: Lightning On: Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:58 pm

Richard S. wrote:Once you get by all that it's not as if you can just turn it on or off and up or up and down as the demand for electric changese, you're in the same boat as solar and wind.


I agree, it would require a battery bank to absorb the peaks and troughs of daily use :(
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut Size / White Ash