The specific task of this project is to combine the new engine sub-components we’ve been developing into a complete engine, in the specific form of a condensing steam engine. This will require the building and acquisition of certain components, and this experimental engine will subsequently be fitted to an adapted trike for trialling.
Whilst it may stand to reason the engine will work, we need to find out how well it will work and what are its strengths and weaknesses. Will we get the ‘power amplification’ factor that we need? Can we make the engine light enough to give an acceptable power to weight ratio? Will it have operational ‘quirks’ and can they be overcome? There are a whole host of questions that only building and trialling an engine can answer.
We hope that the information and data gained from this project will enable us to make a more serious case for the development of our biomass fuelled engine ideas, and also point us towards sensible developmental route. It could be possible to develop a form of ‘moped’ using our ideas and clearly there are plenty of moped riders in the world that could be potential future customers (Asia being a good example).
We use a very ‘hands on’ workshop based method of construction and development, and use only rudimentary sketches to assist in this process. However the prior research, ‘thought time’ and planning beforehand is considerable in all our work. During the actual development process, ideas have a habit of twisting and turning, often producing unexpected results. Consequently it is often difficult to explain to people exactly what we’re aiming to do until we’ve actually done it! We expect similar issues with this project, so we’re not going to publish specific plans of our engine design at this stage; we already know that there are many subtle engineering variations that we will be exploring along the way.
This section aims to give a little more information about the main task of the project itself. We’re also including some thoughts on what a finished trike may be like in terms of performance, fuel economy, and so on.