The four cycle steam engine project.
This project was started in 1994. And has been exclusively directed by Jeremy W. Holmes. Over the years, much effort and many resources have been invested into the project. The primary goal of this project is to create the world’s first four-cycle steam engine.
As it became necessary to fabricate custom components. Such as L912™ Injector technology.
And specialized devices like a corn burning solid fuel external combustion chamber.
A small company was formed. This company is American Corn Burner. And it was founded in 1998. Since that time the company has applied for its own patents. And tediously maintained the environment for its own research and development effort. And offering such devices to others.
From the Research and development perspective. I have done much research on the topic of Flash Steam Engines. And have seen applications where flash boiler’s power live steam engines. But these devices are not flash steam engines. Since the steam does not actually flash in the engine’s combustion chamber (or cylinder). Instead the steam will flash in the boiler device. And reaches the engine as common live steam. Hence there is no real innovation in these devices. And quite frankly a live steam engine leaves much to be desired. In terms of efficiency and operating characteristics. Many things may be improved in the way of valve gear. But in the end all you have is a live steam.
Unless you take a completely different approach such as has been done here. Hot liquid water is directly injected into the engine. Technically the engine actually runs on hot water. Not steam. Steam is only present in two places in the engine, the combustion chamber and the exhaust. In this design there is no boiler. Instead a high-pressure heat exchanger is used. In this device the water is not allowed to boil. The water is kept under substantial pressure.
Until it is released (or injected) into the combustion chamber. Where it will actually flash into steam. Instantaneously the steam is acted upon. Heat of the engine block causes it to stabilize and produce positive pressure. And emitting dry live steam from the exhaust. Since this is a proof of concept device. Attempts to refine the cycle have not yet been made. Such as installing a turbine on the exhaust port. And an interesting fact about this type of engine is that it can pull a strong vacuum on the intake port. And this does not adversely affect performance of the engine.
Speaking with experts about the live steam engine. They will always stress that the boiler is part of the steam engine itself. And the engine will always use the two-stroke cycle. But in the case of the flash steam engine the “boiler” is part of the engine. And the engine generally uses the four-stroke cycle.
The real break through here is the use of modular components. This allows a great verity of engines that can be modified. Such as the proof of concept device shown here (PSTG1). Which is based on a 1920’s hit and miss traction engine. That originally ran on gasoline. In fact it was this type of four-stroke engine that made the steam engine obsolete. And I found it to be a fitting engine to base proof of concept on. But it should be stressed that the same group of modular components that allows this engine to run. May be installed on almost any engine. Including multiple cylinder engines. Future applications for this engine cycle have been mainly targeted at the electrical utility industry. To supplement the utility grid during peak loads. And to compete with diesel powered generators up to 155 kilowatts (PSTG8). Corn is much cheaper to burn than diesel fuel. As per btu weight. And burns remarkably clean.