The Turbosteamer

By on December 14, 2005

BMW is working on solving the energy problems of this century by using the energy solutions of the century before last. Behold the turbosteamer:

A large percentage of the energy released when petroleum is burned disappears out the exhaust system as heat. This has always been the case but the amount of energy released looks set to be cut by more than 80% thanks to a new system devised by BMW.

[…]

The concept uses energy from the exhaust gasses of the traditional Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) to power a steam engine which also contributes power to the automobile – an overall 15 per cent improvement for the combined drive system. Even bigger news is that the drive has been designed so that it can be installed in existing model series – meaning that every model in the BMW range could become 15% more efficient overnight if the company chose to make the reduced consumption accessible to as many people as possible.

It looks like they’ve placed heat exchangers just after the catalytic converters and used the heat to make steam to help drive the car. What you wind up with is more power and cooler exhaust emissions. Very slick. As a novelty, they should replace the horn with a locomotive whistle.

Via Digg.

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