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Superheated steam propulsion?

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RocketFeller

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Anyone know of any serious amateur efforts on this beyond the guy who did Evel Knievel's rocket and the Mythbusters? This individual either didn't follow through or didn't document his later efforts:

Thread: Superheated steam nozzle dynamics

https://www.rocketryforum.com/showthread.php?118834-Superheated-steam-nozzle-dynamics
I've always thought it could make for a cool rocket. The water could be electrically heated until ready to launch. The GSE would be fairly complex, but it could be a fun and cheap (to fly, not build) rocket.
 

OverTheTop

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Have a look on YouTube for steam powered go-karts. Those guys are nuts. I don't think I would want that much super-heated water between my legs...
 

mwtoelle

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I remember that Tim Pickens sucessfully built and flew a large (HPR sized) steam rocket a few times in northern Alabama and central Tennessee about 20 years ago. It did not have any problems in flight from what I could remember.
 
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tfish

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William Inman flew an steam powered rocket out at Black Rock years ago. He also had a steam powered go-cart.

Tony
 

cbrarick

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I've always thought it could make for a cool rocket. The water could be electrically heated until ready to launch. The GSE would be fairly complex, but it could be a fun and cheap (to fly, not build) rocket.
no. you would only make saturated steam, not superheated. You gotta do more to get to superheated. The navy has done quite a bit with steam nozzles.
 

bobkrech

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You can super the steam by using 2 nozzles. The first nozzle is used to drop the pressure so the superheated water expands to a saturated vapor. This will lower the temperature of the steam. The steam is then ducted into a superheater located inside the water heater. This reheats the saturated steam to a higher temperature and unsaturates the the steam. The steam is then expanded thru a second nozzle as unsaturated steam.

This general technique is commonly used in commercial steam powerplants to improve efficiency. https://www.nationalboiler.com/superheater

[video=youtube;5lJq5UkdVZU]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lJq5UkdVZU[/video]
 

Winston

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I remember that Tim Pickens sucessfully built and flew a large (HPR sized) steam rocket a few times in northern Alabama and central Tennessee about 20 years ago. It did not have any problems in flight form what I could remember.
Thanks for that lead:

Steam Rocket Launch - Tim Pickens - Short

[video=youtube;Rbd1mcQJUhE]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rbd1mcQJUhE[/video]

Just pressurized ambient temperature water:

Water Rocket flies to 1752 feet (534m)

[video=youtube;4r9gmLfpFTg]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r9gmLfpFTg[/video]
 

Winston

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You can super the steam by using 2 nozzles. The first nozzle is used to drop the pressure so the superheated water expands to a saturated vapor. This will lower the temperature of the steam. The steam is then ducted into a superheater located inside the water heater. This reheats the saturated steam to a higher temperature and unsaturates the the steam. The steam is then expanded thru a second nozzle as unsaturated steam.

This general technique is commonly used in commercial steam powerplants to improve efficiency. https://www.nationalboiler.com/superheater
Interesting. I wonder if anyone has used that technique in rocketry.
 

Winston

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no. you would only make saturated steam, not superheated. You gotta do more to get to superheated. The navy has done quite a bit with steam nozzles.
For ship/sub steam turbine propulsion?
 

The_Lone_Beagle

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no. you would only make saturated steam, not superheated. You gotta do more to get to superheated. The navy has done quite a bit with steam nozzles.
I'm trying to remember my ships systems class...I was a Marine, so I snoozed through it...it was either 975 degrees F at 1200 psi, or the other way around, 1200 degrees F at 975 psi. Either way...if anything went wrong, it was dangerous...

This happened when I was in the Gulf:
https://articles.mcall.com/1990-10-...re-and-two-burst-of-superheated-steam-sailors
 

cbrarick

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For ship/sub steam turbine propulsion?
Roger. I was a nuclear machinist's mate on USS Dwight D Eisenhower. We had the largest ones ever built. Went on to teach at S1C where then propulsion turbines were about the same size as our main feed pumps. The bubble heads couldn't understand why I wasn't impressed. I think they took offense when I did my first tour of the plant and asked where the main machinery room was with the propulsion turbines.
 

N0QBH

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The former is correct, 1200 psi at 975 degrees F. Former MM on a Knox class frigate.
The power plant was capable of 35,000 hp balls to the walls.
 

cbrarick

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The former is correct, 1200 psi at 975 degrees F. Former MM on a Knox class frigate.
The power plant was capable of 35,000 hp balls to the walls.
hahaha we did >250,000 SHP (and not balls to the walls)
I could tell you, exactly how much, but then everyone who read it would be followed by the black helicopters.....
 
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