Survival Steam Engine Question

On Mon, 14 Jul 2003 08:18:37 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@asdfasdfsdffff.com (John Flanagan) wrote:


I'm wondering how many Federal and local law hoops you would have to jump through to legally distill your own alcohol for fuel. It is against Federal law now to make your own without being licensed by BATF. I'm sure there are many who will not let that stop them from doing it but some would want to be in compliance with the law.
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On Tue, 15 Jul 2003 21:10:25 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@asdfasdfsdffff.com (John Flanagan) wrote:
<snip>

I don't have your post with a distilling link yet, maybe it was http://homedistiller.org/ ?
If, from there, you follow the Introduction/Legality/USA link it has reference there to this site about the production of ethanol for motor fuel:
http://ww2.green-trust.org:8383/ethanol.htm
and that will get you a lot of info on the legality and economics of making ethanol for engine fuel. It will explain the magnanimous gestures made by a kinder, friendlier BATF to let smaller producers of alcohol avoid midnight raid by BATF swat teams.
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wrote:

Here's the link:
http://running_on_alcohol.tripod.com/ethanolfuel/index.html
John
Please note that my return address is wrong due to the amount of junk email I get. So please respond to this message through the newsgroup.
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wrote:

Compared to your suggested steam engine with the auto alternator/generator this is an amazing statement. First of all, both of those setups would need an inverter if you want AC and a battery if you want to store energy.
Depending on your shopping skills and your scrounging/building skills (which are typically considerable on this group) you can have a solar setup for $3.00 to $5.00 per watt. That means for (say) $1,500 you could have about 400 watts which is about 30 amps at 12 volts. The assumed life of a solar cell is about 50 years and you don't need any flash boiler, you don't need to cut any wood, and you don't need any stinking fire. If you are a survivalist, it also means that you can keep a much lower profile because there is no noise and no smoke. All that time you would otherwise be using to scrounge fuel and tend hot, cranky machinery, you could much better use killing (or planting) food.
I have a dead-simple 100 watt system that runs my yard lights and keeps by generator battery charged, I typically look at it about once every three months. Like the Energizer Bunny it just keeps going and going...
Vaughn
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"Would it be possible to convert an internal combustion engine, for example a VW engine, to run on steam?"
That has been done according to a series in that ran "Live Steam Magazine" several years ago. I believe it was the Barrett VW. It operated on steam from a flash-type boiler.
Bob Swinney

Burroughs
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wrote:

Thats interesting! I thought Id heard of something along those lines so brougth it up.
Gunner

"What do you call someone in possesion of all the facts? Paranoid.-William Burroughs
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wrote:

Perhaps not the same VW engine setup mentioned above, but this fellow seems to have done an engine conversion.
http://www.clubvw.org.au/ssssssteam_heat.htm
The problem is his method would seem to involve a bit more precision machining than might be easily possible, at least at first, after some major TEOTWAWKI event. By an average person.
I found the reading of this site interesting. It would seem that in some places, for various reasons, they've converted diesel locomotive engines to run on steam power.
http://www.messiaen.demon.co.uk/trains/newsteam/modern11.htm
Bob
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Why run it on steam? It is possible to run IC engines on a wide variety of fuels, and the results are safer than a homebuilt steam system.
Homemade fuels are low in octane rating, but if the engine is run appropriately (derated in power, no rapid acceleration, or at worse extra head gaskets to lower CR) that is not a problem. Fuel can be derived from coal or wood by destructive distillation. I have seen many books and articles on how to do this.
Engine can also be run very well on ethanol, which has pretty good octane. You need to have the 'proof' up there, but not beyond ability of home stills.
Bob Swinney wrote:

--
Don Stauffer in Minnesota
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Don wrote: <snippage> "Bob Swinney wrote: "Would it be possible to convert an internal combustion engine, for example a VW engine, to run on steam?"
That has been done according to a series in that ran "Live Steam Magazine" several years ago. I believe it was the Barrett VW. It operated on steam from a flash-type boiler."
Mine was the answer, (it is possible in the Barret VW as I stated)
I did not pose the original question "Wouldn't it be possible ....." Those honors go to Gunner.
Bob Swinney
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The question was Gunner's. The answer was mine - about the Barrettr steam car. It was written up in LS several years ago.
Bob Swinney

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A waste of time if you already have a gasoline engine. The engine could be adapted to run on all kinds of gaseous products such as coal gas or methane from sewage/manure. Better to make a gas producer than a boiler. Randy
A thread came up a day or three ago, about building some sort of motor to run a small generator or a belt to supply power to :stuff: in either remote locations or in the event of a long term power failure.
A serious question to the group....in your individual opinions, does anyone have any suggestions for a simply made from common materials, with minimal machining, steam engine?
Boilers are another issue of course..and suggestions on that would be nice as well.
Would it be possible to convert an internal combustion engine, for example a VW engine, to run on steam?
Given the numbers of steamers here on RCM, and itinerant inventors, somebody should have some ideas. Think of it as Junk Yard Wars.....
The only criteria is that it be easy to assemble from common materials, capable of running an automotive generator (at the least) and can be done with minimal tools, or simple machine tools. If it can be scaled up for larger gennys/line shafts, that would be a plus.
Thanks in advance, let the fun begin.
Gunner
"What do you call someone in possesion of all the facts? Paranoid.-William Burroughs
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Better to use a diesel and run it on vegetable oil. Relatively easy to come up with.
--
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Mike Graham | Metalworker, rustic, part-time zealot.
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snipped-for-privacy@metalmangler.com wrote:
Zimmerman wrote:

Ev en better is to use wood smoke in a gas engine. Runs on anything that burns, high availiability and better efficiency than a steam engine.
--
Free men own guns - slaves don't
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wrote:

How hard would it be to make a solar flash boiler, for those of us in the Southwest/South?
Gunner

"What do you call someone in possesion of all the facts? Paranoid.-William Burroughs
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Gunner sez: "How hard would it be to make a solar flash boiler, for those of us in the Southwest/South?"
Boiler? Easy. Solar collector to track the sun - nigh on to impossible!
But wait - there is more. Heard today some folks are driving coast-to-coast on solar/electric powered autos. One of them averages around 40 mph. I wonder how much of the collected electric goes to run the AC?
Bob Swinney

Paranoid.-William
Burroughs
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(Snip)
http://www.motherearthnews.com/menarch/archive/goto.asp?article 7/057-066-01&ID932&Num=6
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wrote:

Try redrok.com . Somewhere is a huge data base like RCM drop box of alt. energy.

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Another "Mother" article. I saw one of these during construction. It was quite impressive in it's capability and simplicity. Of course, it was a tracking design.
--
Ron Thompson
On the Beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast
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Actually, I have been thonking about this since it first came up. A mVW, or other small(sort of) *air cooled* engine, would be the best base. Feedingh steam through the intake and outlet valves, while venting through the spark plug hole. They could probbaly be easily converted from a _4_ cycle to dual 2 cycle engine. Since the older engines have the valves easily accessible, rigging something to open a third (plug hole) valve, would be easier.
For thos who don't know, can't visualize it: 1)intake stroke (pull in fuel air mix, down), 2)compression stroke with plug firing (up), 3)power stroke (down), 4) exhaust stroke (up). With steam, it would be 1)steam enters through intake manifold(power stroke, down), 2)exhaust stroke (up) through sp hole & valve, 3)steam through exhaust manifold (power, down), repeat of 2. POwer on every stroke, with nearly simultaneous opposing power strokes.

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On 17 Jul 2003 17:40:33 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net (Walter Daniels) wrote:

Many years ago saw a book available on this subject from the old Paladin Press catalog. Might have involved regrinding camshaft, but from memory could do a simple conversion just by altering the timing by removing the timing chain, rotating the engine or the camshaft by a varying number of degrees and replacing the chain.
However, don't know how efficient it would be. How large a boiler do you envision, providing how much steam at what pressure? A small 5 horsepower boiler that will produce steam at, say, 100 PSI isn't all that small, requires fairly constant observation to keep the fuel and water up, and may not provide more than a couple of horsepower from an converted engine.
You also have to provide lubrication with steam cylinder oil.
Old steam traction engines looked large and impressive, but from memory only developed 15 to 20 horsepower on the average.

"_Magna est veritas et praevalebit"_ (Truth is mighty and will prevail).
erniegalts [Australia] [misc.survivalism]
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