Modern Steam Power

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  • Seminal review work - [1]
  • Half of all US electricity comes from coal. So half of all EVs burn coal.
  • Jay Carter was really good - bump valve engines, etc.
  • There are very few people who spent years working on steam. This means devoting their lives to making things, perfecting them, and continuously testing them under load. These people are Bill Besler, Jay Carter, the Williams’ family, Roy Ferrier, the MSS group out of Oak Ridge, and Pete Barrett. These people used their own money. Significant contributions to modern steam engine work were done by John Wetz, Bill Cartland, Richard J. Smith, Charlie Keen, Bill Ryan, and now Harry Schoell. In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s some government money, both Federal and from the State of California, went into steam development. The main projects were the S.E.S. people based out of M.I.T. who spent about $7 million of EPA money developing a steam car. The steam generator was very good. The engine was designed by Ricardo in England and was not very innovative. The S.P.S. project out of San Diego used the Solar Turbine division of International Harvester to design their burner and boiler. Brobeck out of the Oakland area used basically Doble technology to make a bus. General Motors worked on their own steam car, the SE-101, and commissioned Bill Besler to make one, a 1969 Chevelle conversion, the SE-124. The numbers were the displacement in cubic inches of the expanders. Bill Lear put about $10 million of his own money into steam development. A book could be written about his work. Stated very briefly, Lear did not have the temperament to do the steady incremental development work that steam engines require. If something did not work well the first time it was tried he abandoned that line of work and went on to something entirely different. That is not the way to do steam engine development.