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Porkscratching

Run live steam loco on compressed air

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Not sure if this is the right place to ask but....Just a thought, I wonder if it'd be viable to run a mamod type engine on compressed air... I mean along the track, say fed from a cylinder (cylinders?) Located in wagon towed behind....

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Yes, you can.  HOWEVER, it is going to take a fair amount of air to do so for any distance.

 

HK Porter in the US was the largest name in supplying mines with compressed air loco's.  There was just a discussion on here somewhere about the French trams that ran on a version.  So, it can be made to work, but it is not a particularly efficient way of transmitting power.

 

One can use CO2, which stores as a liquid at about 600 PSI.  (or dry ice & water, write ups in Model Railroader in the 50's).  

 

All of them are low energy in comparison to burning fuel.

 

James

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CA is indeed a poor medium for storing energy, added to which the process of compression is usually wasteful of energy, and even the decompression can be, because it can require extra heat input to prevent is causing freeze-up of mechanisms. However, it has its applications, notably in railway braking.

 

For model use, a really practical problem will be the maximum safe pressure of whatever reservoir might be used. Practical safe pressures at practical volumes are likely to yield impractically low amounts of energy.

 

As a fun experiment, you could try rigging your Mamod up to a fully inflated bicycle tyre (probably 60 to 90psi, depending on type), and seeing what that yields in terms of duration of run 'on the bench'. That will give you some feel for volumes and pressures.

Edited by Nearholmer
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That's a good plan, try it with a jury rig ' air tank' ie a tyre !.

..I'll have to manufacture a 'tit' of some kind to screw in place of the safety valve or whistle for an air input tube. 

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