I have been thinking about ways of reducing my fuel expenses due to the increasing gas cost. If this 150 mph British Steam Car could be converted from liquid petroleum to french fry grease we might just have my next vehicle pick.
"Burning liquid petroleum gas at 750° F to pressurize that 360-hp Curtis turbine, the 25-ft.-long Steam Car can turn 10.5 gallons of water a minute into some boiling-hot action for the record books—and wicked fast, with velocities in excess of 150 mph.
Unlike a steam locomotive, which uses a steam-powered injector system, the British Steam Car uses compressed-air-powered hydraulics to inject distilled water and pre-prime itself. The water is pumped into the start of 1.86 miles of tubing to develop three megawatts of heat to convert water into 750 F steam. This super-heated “dry” steam is then directed down the car via heavily lagged pipes and two enormous industrial steam valves, which act as throttles, and then into the two-stage turbine. “That’s where we turn pressure into velocity,” says Candy. The steam is injected into the turbine at over two times the speed of sound; under the assault, the turbine revolves at up to 13,000 rpm. The turbine drives the rear wheels via a conventional crown wheel and pinion. The vehicle turns 10.5 gallons of water a minute into super-heated steam at 40 times atmospheric pressure.
It takes longer to start the machine than it can run—eight minutes to get going with enough fuel, compressed air and water to run for three minutes, although the vehicle only needs two minutes to cross the measured mile. “We’ll actually coast through the line,” says Wales. “We’ll then let it roll to a stop rather than use the brakes, and by the time the team manages to find it, things should be cool enough to turn it around and prepare for the return run."