Can you imagine a steam engine running your car? Well, this old school innovation just might be making a comeback very soon. Designed by Chuk Williams’ U.S. Land Steam Record Team, a streamliner vehicle is currently being outfitted with a Cyclone steam engine that will not only have the ability to run on just about any fuel – including bio – but boast the possibility of being placed in everyday passenger vehicles. And once up and running, the new Cyclone is set to break the world speed record for steam-powered vehicles.
Unlike the steam engines of the past, the Cyclone Engine is a heat-regenerative external combustion engine that is capable of running on virtually any fuel (including bio fuels and fuel mixtures), and it emits far fewer pollutants than traditional gas or diesel powered internal combustion engines. Cyclone engines also do not require a transmission, starter motor, catalytic converter, muffler, radiator or oil pump. The engine is capable of producing 100 HP with maximum starting torque of 850 ft/lbs and the car can reach maximum speeds of up to 160 mph.
“We need to bring this historic record back to the United States, and we want to do it with a steam engine that can eventually be placed into everyday passenger and commercial vehicles – something that hasn’t been done in over 100 years,” said Williams. “With the Cyclone engine, we feel that we have an excellent chance of breaking the existing record of 148 mph set by the British team Inspiration.”
WHY THIS MATTERS:
Because the engine can be outfitted to fit any car, it could be a powerful tool in reducing our dependence on foreign oil. As Cyclone founder Harry Schoell said, “…we think it’s important to demonstrate the power, clean emissions and multi-fuel qualities of a Cyclone engine as you may possibly see it one day in an American made Ford or Chevy.”
The progress of the Cyclone-Williams LSR car can be viewed here.