A Challenge from Turist - Collyn? Anthony? Anyone Else?

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 29, 2003 at 06:49
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Spoke to Turist tonight. He has a challenge for all those with knowledge of using alternative energy sources. He has been on the road for some days now, camping in National Parks where he can't use his generator. The days have been overcast so he is not getting much charge into the batteries via the Solar Panels. However, it seems he is spending some time around the campfire each night (prior to retiring to his Bushtracker sauna, courtesy of the Webasto Heater). His mind has been working overtime and wonders whether anyone has any experience with a Steam Turbine which could be heated via a campfire and which in turn gould drive a Generator/Alternator to provide power to the Battery Charger in the 'van. Well?
Motley

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Reply By: Deleted User - Sunday, Jun 29, 2003 at 06:59

Sunday, Jun 29, 2003 at 06:59
Hello fellow BOGers


I have had some experience with interacting automatic charging circuits and as Collyn said the result is unpredictable. There are many parameters which affect this both fixed and variable. After-market shops will try and tell you that you need this and that which is what they are all about. I've gone down the manual operation path. I have an 8 sq mm automotive cable which runs from the battery through a 25 amp CB down the LHS door channel to the rear. This runs the HF, UHF and various 12v Hella sockets as well as the Blue Tongue air compressor under the LH front seat. The rear end of the cable is connected through a relay to a pin in the trailer socket. This relay is controlled from a push/pull switch on the dash. The van batteries can be charged when required and also has the advantage of being able to use solar energy to charge the vehicle batteries if needed. I am considering fitting an ammeter in this wire to see more precicely what's going on. This is a no nonsense setup and virtually foolproof and less prone to failure.

EWC


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Reply By: Motley - Sunday, Jun 29, 2003 at 07:00

Sunday, Jun 29, 2003 at 07:00
Just to bring this thread back on track a bit. Has anyone got aview on the potential of a battery charger being driven by a steam powered device using an open fire for heat?
Motley

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Reply By: Deleted User - Sunday, Jun 29, 2003 at 07:01

Sunday, Jun 29, 2003 at 07:01
HI Turist, Dave has a few ideas he is working on on for this . Will discuss these at Cania Gorge.
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Reply By: Deleted User - Sunday, Jun 29, 2003 at 07:02

Sunday, Jun 29, 2003 at 07:02
G'day Pete, A camp fire and a steam generator, let alone getting the steam generator to generate AC, is as far apart from each other as a Model T and the new RX-8. Some really big hurdles come to mind ..... and this is from a certified non -expert. Fuel in for energy/efficiency out ..... To fuel a steam generator, to turn a turbine to make AC to then, via a charger, charge a battery back at DC ........ AAAAAAARRrrrrrrrrggggggggghhhhhhhh ! [wink] Cost, availability of enough fuel, weight, bulk, danger ( i worked closely with a steam generator at an oil company and it used to scare me no end when an alarm went off on it )water source, water cooling, licence to operate, etc , come to mind. I'm not sure but I think a battery charger (switch mode) at say 20 amp would use around 1 hp (.75kw) per hour ..... the amount of steam required to turn a elec generator requiring 1 hp from a camp fire. MMMMmmmmm !!!! Not impossible but highly improbable. Ok ! You bugger .... this is a gee-up isnt it ...... see who is the first sucker !!!! You nearly had me fooled there ............ [smile] Motley 2 - Anthony 0 Anthony
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Reply By: Deleted User - Sunday, Jun 29, 2003 at 07:03

Sunday, Jun 29, 2003 at 07:03
A Donkey Engine springs to mind Griff
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Reply By: Deleted User - Sunday, Jun 29, 2003 at 07:04

Sunday, Jun 29, 2003 at 07:04
Griff, A donkey engine with it's vertical boiler and stack ......... to get into the cargo hatch of a BT would be a pain in the ASS !!!! [smile] Anthony
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Reply By: Motley - Sunday, Jun 29, 2003 at 07:05

Sunday, Jun 29, 2003 at 07:05
Anthony, Seeing all this mental energy is going into working up a head of steam, maybe we should be looking at a Capuccino machine as an optional extra?
Motley

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Reply By: Deleted User - Sunday, Jun 29, 2003 at 07:06

Sunday, Jun 29, 2003 at 07:06
Pete, Now you have my interest ..... espresso/cappuccino there's a great reason to have steam in the camp !!! My three favourite men in order of mortality would be Franklin, Watt and Marconi. Without them I couldn't flick a switch to steam a cappuccino to enjoy in the Brissy early morning sun ..... listening to a favourite CD. [wink] Anthony
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Reply By: Deleted User - Sunday, Jun 29, 2003 at 07:07

Sunday, Jun 29, 2003 at 07:07
Then you'd have to add Edison to the list, in the interests of fairness. Griff
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Reply By: Motley - Sunday, Jun 29, 2003 at 07:08

Sunday, Jun 29, 2003 at 07:08
We're digressing again and, all the time, Turist's batteries are getting flatter! But in the interests of a complete acknowledgement list for your idyllic scene Anthony, we should probably add that well known Ethiopian Goatherder, Kaldi and that well known Capucin monk, Marco d'Aviano
Motley

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Reply By: Deleted User - Sunday, Jun 29, 2003 at 07:09

Sunday, Jun 29, 2003 at 07:09
Pete, You are right ....... geez I forgot about Bob !!! I have rigged up an old exercise bike with an old Bosch 55amp alternator zipped clipped to the frame with the pulley just touching the tyre. If he pedals like Methuselah himself is chasing him for an hour ....he should get 35 amp. [smile] It's on Couriers Please .... to upper NSW Western Plains ..... He'll be right now !!!! We can get back to the coffee/steam powered generator ! Kaldi at one end Starbucks at the other .... can either compare to Italy ? I'm not biased ! [wink] Poor old Marco will he ever be saintly ? Anthony
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Reply By: Deleted User - Sunday, Jun 29, 2003 at 07:10

Sunday, Jun 29, 2003 at 07:10
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Reply By: Deleted User - Sunday, Jun 29, 2003 at 07:11

Sunday, Jun 29, 2003 at 07:11
Steam power - could be a Stirling idea!
Collyn
AnswerID: 559063

Reply By: Deleted User - Sunday, Jun 29, 2003 at 07:12

Sunday, Jun 29, 2003 at 07:12
Now if you are talking Sterling Cycle Engine (external combustion engine) that is a different matter. Only requiring heat to operate and is not a steam engine. I believe these have been used to drive power generators. Heat can come from small coal box or campfire ... or even diesel, lpg etc. And here's a pic .....
AnswerID: 559064

Reply By: Deleted User - Sunday, Jun 29, 2003 at 07:13

Sunday, Jun 29, 2003 at 07:13
Hey - I've got a working model just like that one.

These actually are the solution to silent power generation -the US military were (maybe still are) using them to generate power when very close to enemy lines.

I think there's a company (in NZ?) making as small commercial genny on these lines - costs megabucks though.

My wife and I are just about to head of with our Aboriginal community neighbours - walking for nine days - about 90 km up the Lurajarri song line - along the coast north of Broome. So it's swags and campfires for next week or so.
Collyn
AnswerID: 559065

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