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Does steam and diesel have a future?

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by 22A, Nov 8, 2021.

  1. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    That'd certainly save an awful lot of effort arranging crimbo lights displays. :)
     
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  2. Steve B

    Steve B Well-Known Member

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    I'm reminded of a visit by Keith Catchpole of Ffestiniog fame to our school's railway society, where as part of his talk he showed a film. This started with something being put into the firebox of "Prince" that Keith described as being nuclear, whereapon we then had a driver's eye view of Prince going from Porthmadog to Tan-y-bwlch in (I think) about 4 minutes...

    Steve B
     
  3. daveannjon

    daveannjon Member

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    An interesting point was raised by Prof Iain Stewart in his current BBC series, if we burned all the fossil fuel it's possible to burn and totally screwed the climate, the earth would survive and regenerate - after a few millions years, we however would be gone completely.

    Dave
     
  4. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

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    Given that humankind's entire recorded history is only about 50,000 years and fossil record about 500,000 years I'm far more inclined to look to adaption to climate change - given the known natural variability over time.
     
  5. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    And that'd be an entirely bad thing, because.... ? :Meh:
     
  6. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    You will have CND Picketing your railway, glueing themselves to the loco handrails , waving placards saying Ban the LOCO.
     
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  7. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    A fossil record of only 500,000 years? All those dinosaurs clearly left no trace hundreds of millions of years ago ...

    Tom
     
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  8. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

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    Sorry Tom....I did say.... Humankind......fossil record.
    The dinosaurs were a far more long lasting species than I suspect we will be ......but time will tell! :rolleyes:
     
  9. hyboy

    hyboy New Member

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    This has probably been posted previously but concerning the future for steam in the broader sense l think this years UK electricity supply will be about 40% steam driven and even into the future about 20% is quite likely.
     
  10. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    On what do you basis do you estimate the future number? Bearing in mind steam is a key component of nuclear generation, the figure isn't necessarily indicative of any requirement for hydrocarbons.

    I'm not trying to be awkward for the sake of it, but the historic assumptions concerning peak demand and base load will (not "may") change with the switch to clean tech, with increasing storage capacity and likely increases in 'decentralised generation' capacity (such as solar pv) occurring at the same time both space and water heating demand is increasingly met by energy efficient tech such as heat pumps, rather than current levels of gas or electricity consumption.
     
  11. hyboy

    hyboy New Member

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    This years generation is a reasonable estimate based on a bit of guesswork as regards the relative contributions from CCGTs which seem to be very much in favour. Nuclear about 17% l believe and yes hydrocarbon free. ( l dont really see biomass in quite the same light ).
    Future generation is, as you suggest, quite difficult to predict. Steam is only likely to feature in Nuclear but the over all total might even decline eventually.
     
  12. Cartman

    Cartman Well-Known Member

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    Meths? I used to have a Mamod model steam engine that ran of a meths spirit burner type thing. Could this not be done on a bigger scale?
     
  13. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Technically, yes but none too efficiently. From an economic standpoint, possibly not too attractive. Biogas from decomposition is a different kettle of fish of course and there have such applications for some time (200+ years, if you include pineapple growing hot-houses!). Quite what scope exists for wider use, I'm uncertain.
     
  14. Enterprise

    Enterprise Part of the furniture

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  15. hyboy

    hyboy New Member

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    Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Yes steam 'features' as l put it but l dont think it turns the turbines if l understand the article correctly. Even if it does , it might remain a fairly niche enterprise, though l wish it well. The future will no doubt bring other technologies too.
     
  16. weltrol

    weltrol Member Friend

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    But on many railways, the overhaul queue is often over ten years :)
     
  17. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Quite comforting to see one old LB&SCR tradition being maintained. :Pompus:
     
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  18. Allegheny

    Allegheny Member

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    It could well be steam, reading the article. Steam is cheap and well understood, compared some of the other possible fluids.
    Energy from waste plants (refuse incinerators) also use steam to turn the turbines.
     
  19. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    From the article, hot brine from below ground in a primary circuit flows through a heat exchanger, evaporating a fluid in a secondary circuit to a gas which drives a turbine; and is then condensed simply by cooling fans before going back into the heat exchanger and repeating the cycle.

    Now, it doesn't say that the working fluid in the secondary circuit is water / steam, but I am really struggling to think of any other fluid that could be used and with properties that would make that cycle work in ambient conditions with appropriate levels of cost and safety. (Though if anyone wants to invest in Turboether , my diethyl-ether driven turbine start up company, please contact me off list ...)

    Tom
     
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  20. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    https://photos.app.goo.gl/p8U1d1nVEMubcd9i6

    Here it is, OK its a Wilesco not Mamod
     

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