Steam Car Latest News September 2008
Land Speed Record Car in Steam.
12 boilers fully installed and in steam. We have been making clouds over Lymington and getting through
thousands of litres of demineralised water.
The car is run from the support rigs. The power rig is supplying 175 amps at 24 volts. The water rig supplies
water at 40-50litres per minute at 40-bar pressure. The Gas and Air rig is used to supply liquid propane
at ~14kg per minute. It is a complex process.
The team have been struggling to balance the 12 boilers in super heat. However after nearly 8 hours of
running the car we appear to have a controllable system, delivering superheated steam. Having waited so
long to see steam coming out of the car we are now making a colourless gas that is invisible but
very very loud.
We have missed both the Speedweek and World of Speed events.
The Bonneville Salt Flats are normally available until mid October and we still have a chance of making a
record attempt this year.
The spares, tools, workshop container and carnet, for shipping the car, are all prepared for when we
are ready to pack and go.
Now we have achieved super heat we can work toward running the turbine.
The Turbine is in fixed drive with the wheels through a crown wheel and pinion. The car will be raised on
its rear air jacks, so the rear wheels are free to turn, and a small amount of super heated steam will be
fed on to the turbine. The driver will control the speed of the turbine by applying the brakes.
So far the car has been run using the supplies from the rig. Once the turbine has run, we will need to
disconnect the car from the rigs for its first dynamic run.
The project has generated and enormous amount of interest and goodwill which is very encouraging to the
whole team who have been putting in some very long hours to get through the necessary development required
to get the car mobile.
Land Speed Record Car in Steam.
Here's the picture we have been waiting for!!
Friday 11th July, all twelve boilers on song, evaporating over 10.5 US Gallons per minute,
steam Temp 260 degrees C. only visible after hitting stainless deflector plate at rear of car
Now the chassis is fully laden the suspension is being set up.
Next step is to take the steam temp up into superheat, and a test run hopefully this week.
British Steam Car in Steam
July 2008 Four boilers in steam.
Latest news report
Following successful static testing at which members of the British Steam Car team were
delighted to be engulfed in steam, the project is on track for the World of Speed event at
Bonneville, USA, from 15–21 September – at which attempts will be made to establish a new steam
car world speed record.
This represents 'plan B' for the British Steam Car team, having reluctantly decided to miss the
Bonneville Speed Week in August. Matt Candy, British Steam Car Project Leader, says: "It was a
difficult decision. The car was in steam but we'd run out of time to undertake dynamic testing.
We could have shipped the car to America and done the testing there but that might have meant
difficulties overcoming any problems. We decided to stick to our plan of doing test runs in the
UK, knowing we had full technical backup available. This means we'll miss Bonneville Speed Week
and go to World of Speed instead – an eventuality we'd planned for if time got tight."
All the car's components, electronics and 192 safety sensors are now in place and have been
satisfactorily tested. The highly advanced firebox containing 12 micro boilers is successfully
producing steam. With safety concerns paramount, the vehicle has been inspected by Bonneville
officials and has been pronounced sound. UK testing is now beginning (a limited number of media
places are available to witness these tests).
After completion of the dynamic testing schedule, two 40ft shipping crates will be used to transport
the three-ton, 25ft-long British Steam Car and its backup equipment to Bonneville on 28th August.
It will sail from Portsmouth to New York and then be taken overland to Bonneville, Utah.
The last official steam powered record attempt took place in 1906, with Fred Marriott driving a
Stanley Steamer built by the Stanley brothers. It achieved 127.659mph. In 1985, Bob Barber reached
145.607mph in a steam car but only made one run – to qualify as a world record the average speed of
two runs in opposite directions is taken. The British Steam Car team will officially unveil the car
and carry out preparatory testing at the World of Speed and the attempt(s) on the record will take
place from 22 of September on the famous Bonneville Salt Flats.
Monthly updates are available at www.steamcar.co.uk (which includes profiles of team members and
technical specifications for the British Steam Car). To subscribe to press releases, please email: email@example.com
British Steam Car dates:
W/c 11th August . . . . . . . . . . . . UK Testing begins
28th August . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vehicle departs UK for Bonneville
15th - 21st September . . . . . . . Official unveiling and preparatory testing at World of Speed, Bonneville
with test driver, Don Wales
22nd - 27th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . National and World Record Attempts
October . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Return of British Steam Car to UK and then on permanent display at
National Motor Museum Trust at Beaulieu
Technical information (not previously released).
At 25ft (7.6m) long weighing just over 3 tons and using a ton of water every 25 minutes the British
Steam car is no ordinary run about. When the car is moving the 40 bar water pressure is maintained
using compressed air to fill 2 70-litre hydraulic accumulator bladders. The boilers contain more than
1.86 miles (3Km) of tubing and are insulated with advanced ceramic-and-silica cloth. The burners develop
three megawatts of heat. The water boils at 250-degree C because it is at 40 times atmospheric pressure;
this is called 'wet' steam. It is then super-heated to 400 degree C 'dry' steam, which is directed down
the car via heavily lagged pipes and two industrial steam valves, into a two-stage turbine. The steam is
injected into the turbine at more than twice the speed of sound and the turbine spins at up to 13,000rpm.
The turbine then drives the rear wheels crown wheel and pinion reduction gear.
The machine actually runs for less time than it takes start. It takes eight minutes to get going and has
enough fuel, compressed air and water to run for three minutes - the record can be achieved in less than
two minutes running time
For further information, latest news release, photographs or interviews
Please contact Rebecca at Eventageous PR Ltd on
T: 01452 886380 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictures taken on 25th June 2008.
A selection of pictures of the British Land Speed Record Steam Car.
June 25th 2008 I was invited to the press launch of the car.
Don Wales the test driver, myself and Andy Green who drove Trust SCC at 763.035 MPH.
Front view, the unit to the right is one of the two service units.
These units are used to recharge the car at the end of a run,
and supply water, fuel and electrical power during fire up and warming of the turbine.
Andy Green talking to Don Wales.
First compartment behind the driver holds the air bottle and air control systems.
Above these are the inverters. The next section holds the first four boilers.
The car and the support team.
This side view clearly shows the three boiler compartments, each holding four boilers.
This front shot shows the smooth lines.
The black boxes are the air intakes to the blowers for each fire box unit.
The front four boilers are complete and ready to go, behind these the boilers are installed, awaiting accessories.
This rear shot shows the turbine unit between the rear wheels.
Burner blowers and accessories, three units above are the liquid gas evaporators.
One of the twelve air intake and blower units.
The four flues over which are installed the liquid gas evaporators.
The box to the left of these is the electicly powered heater, used when starting the car.
The air bottle, regulators and general air control systems.
Rear suspension viwed from under the car.
Drive shaft, belt drive to alternator, and the gold coloured unit is one of the inboard disc brake units.
White insulation covers one of the feeds to the turbine.
This area has the air operated throttle unit, one valve is normaly open, venting steam.
As all twelve boiler come up to pressure and temperature, air jacks lift the rear of the car,
and the valves slowly change over to warm up the turbine.
Two of these air jacks lift the rear of the car to warm up.
Turbine and gearbox.
The control units for two of the boilers,
below which the manifold taking the steam to the throttle valve units.