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BMW Developing Steam Assist Drive Based on Waste Heat Recovery

Turbosteamer
BMW’s Turbosteamer. Click to enlarge.

BMW Group Research and Engineering is developing a steam-powered auxiliary drive—called the Turbosteamer—that uses the waste heat present in the exhaust gases and cooling system from a conventional gasoline engine as its source of power.

In tests with a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine, the new auxiliary power unit reduced fuel consumption by up to 15% while generating nearly 14 additional horsepower and 20 additional Nm of torque.

The Turbosteamer is based on the same principle as the steam engine: heated fluid forms steam in two circuits which is used to power the engine.

The primary energy supplier is the high-temperature circuit which uses exhaust heat from the internal combustion engine as an energy source via heat exchangers. More than 80% of the heat energy contained in the exhaust gases is recycled using this technology, according to BMW.

The steam is then conducted directly into an expansion unit linked to the crankshaft of the internal combustion engine. Most of the remaining residual heat is absorbed by the cooling circuit of the engine, which acts as the second energy supply for the Turbosteamer.

The Turbosteamer reinforces our confidence that the internal combustion engine is undoubtedly a technology fit for the future.

—Professor Burkhard Göschel, BMW Board of Management

BMW designed the components of this drive system to fit in existing model series. Engineers carried out tests on a number of sample packages to ensure that a car such as the BMW 3 Series provides adequate space. Their conclusion is that the engine compartment of a four-cylinder model offers sufficient space to accommodate the auxiliary units.

Ongoing development of the concept is focusing initially on making the components simpler and smaller. The long-term development goal is to have a system capable of volume production within ten years.

Comments

anurag verma

great approach and great courage to install a steam turbine in a car. but in that system you should calculate the power to weight ratio because if it comes less than feasibility of the system is decreases.
i also work on the same concept so that i am able to know your approach, but in my system, i am trying to install a gas turbine because turbine have higher mechanical efficieny than the reciprocating engine, as well as in my system there is not any requirement of preparation of steam.

kapil kumar

good day sir,
i m a student of B.Tech mechanical engg. final yearin Kanpur Institute of Tecnology,Kanpur (UP), INDIA.I m working on my final year project on WASTE HEAT RECOVERY SYSTEM for I.C. Engine Using Gas Turbine.i request you to send me some valuable information regarding the sama which will be helpful in my project work.
i will be highly thankful to you.
Thanks.
KAPIL KUMAR

Jeb Archer

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Grant House

The Stanley Steamer worked well in about 1910. It had to be pretty simple. The idea is sound. The exhaust heat ought to be used for something. Current technology might be able to make the components lighter and more powerful. In sunny climates one might even focus sunlight to get more heat - and electricity. Hook unit up to a diesel burning straight filtered vegetable oil and burn no petroleum based fuel at all. Redesign the chasis as needed to handle the parts. No reason why it won't be done.

rich m

the thing that is missing is that the available heat in a gasoline engine has been purposely reduced to prevent overheating. also, the engine might be made of alluminum but if made out of copper or silver it would have more heat in the same engine, also, the radiator and water pump must be removed to prevent heat loss and the engine compartment insulated from cool air at high speeds by closing off the engine from the air... this could help reduce air drag that gets caught up in the parachute like dash board of most cars.

making the engine out of copper instead of alluminum will make a lot more heat, using more liters of metal will help to hold more heat. meaning, a 10.5 liter engine could be 10 times more fuel efficient than the current 5.0 liter engine wich is a gas hog.


if you installed the bmw steamer on an existing engine, you are putting a steam engine on a gas engine that was designed to run cool with low conducting metals wich cannot be changed.
also, the big gas use in a conventional engine cannot be offset by simply adding these great new parts because its still gonna use the same ammount of gas when you hit the gas, even tho it might be 15% more power and efficient its still geared toward high gas use.

a steam gas hybrid might not even work considering the internal combustion engines high gas use compared to the fuel efficency of steamers, why use combustion at all?
because a hybrid could be made to add steam power then designed to run on less gas in hybrid mode wich could easily triple the fuel economy in a car while keeping up with gas hogs in performance, giving the appearance of just a more fuel efficent car instead of the little engine that could. and why would they do that?
i think you gotta fight fire with fire and start selling steam powered cars with maybe a steam electric hybrid, the electric could power the steam, seeing as how electric motor battery combo is not very good, maybe the battery would be better put to use with a steam heat source?

the reason for the combustion gas steam hybrid is that using the steam to harness the unused heat is the answer to the fuel economy problem, if the engine was made out of 10 liters of copper to compensate for years of heat reducing engineering wich we can actually thank bmw for now that it hurts.
but, obviously bwm does not want to help the world or else they wouldnt be trying to sell us their excuse for and add on product when the idea product would be an efficient hybrid.
they obviously are digging us into a hole,
if you had the big money resources they had, you could within 2 years be selling a fair priced hybrid that had over 60 mpg.
my car on a bad day got me 5 mpg, maybe if i take out the air filter and pump up the tires i'll get 15.
maybe
if i had a car that got 60 mpg, then one gallon would get me farther than i got with my $100 gas money limit.
that means i could profit from making payments on a new hybrid like the toyota 44mpg thing, but, if they are at 44mpg with "that" technolegy, then i want 88 mpg with this technolegy and im ready to start making payments.

the car company has the option of selling us a car that is so good that we will save money if we buy it, the car will pay for itself
its no wonder why they wont sell us what we want. this could be their chance to make up for all the money the industry has lost in recent years, but they didnt care about how bad they were then and they dont care how bad they are now and they dont care what we think unless someone in a position of power was to challange them.
some tyrant superpower is obviously trying to keep us grounded

Zachary

Fantastic idea to make steam powered BMW.

Zachary

Fantastic idea to make steam powered BMW.

Zachary

Fantastic idea to make steam powered BMW.

Ben

Ultimate Idea to run steam powered BMW..

Lindsay

Very interesting article to read.

Calvin Brock

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