Please tear my proposal to shreds. Repurposed turbo as steam turbine.

Home Model Engine Machinist Forum

Help Support Home Model Engine Machinist Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Jan 13, 2024
Reaction score
Apologies for quality of sketch, I got a moment of inspiration and have to get it out there as quick as I can before procrastination takes over and I think about something else.

The intended purpose of the machine is to get heat from outside to the house. Wife didn't want a wood burning stove, I did because electricity is expensive here and unreliable. The compromise was a burner outside and radiators indoors. Marriage is all about compromise.

The boiler in the left, creates steam, heats the heat exchanger that provides the hot water radiator circuit for the house (although now I think the heat exchanger should be AFTER the turbo). The stream then turns the turbo. The stream then travels to the radiator from a tractor where it will have cold air blown over it from the air intake side of the turbo, the hot air extracted from the radiator will then be ducted and circulated to the house. Hopefully this will be enough to fully condensate the stream so it can be returned to the boiler.


I added the next part after as to not further confuddle my already terrible sketch. Rather than have an electric water pump inside the house, I'm looking at modifying the turbo and extending the shaft out so I can add a pulley to power a water pump for the radiator circuit.

I'd appreciate some feedback. I'm struggling with calculations on how big I'll need my boiler and how much much work the turbine will need to do to move the air and turn the pulley for the water pump. Also, is it possible to to have the steam/reclamation on a fully closed system? (with pressure release valves everywhere!)

Omitted are systems for cooling and recirculation of oil for turbo

Main considerations for design are reclamation and recycling of water used for steam and use of turbine rather than engine as it starts itself and I have a tonne of turbos in my shed.

Thanks in advance
I have installed several Hydronic (hot water) systems in homes and have run/worked
on commercial Boilers ( 100,200,300 HP) so I think I understand your objectives . according to the drawing, You want a steam boiler to run a pump and use a heat exchanger in the steam system to heat and circulate Hot Water to the radiators and also create a hot air system ..
Hot water systems can work without pumps using what is called a "Thermo Hot water system" . I built and used one in my last workshop....very efficient !
Anyway, There are several issues to contend with in your drawing .
1. Control of the system is extremely complex - You can have only one master ! so what function becomes the master ? the heat in the house ? the turbo operation ? please know that the wrong master ( control demand) produces unwanted effects
2. the steam flow from the boiler is opposite from what you show in the boiler
3. using a heat exchanger is not efficient as it would be if you enclosed the boiler itself and cooled it with fresh air and deliver the air to the home PROVIDED no dangerous flue gases are involved . better to just recover the heat from the boiler chimney .
4. having a small steam engine turning your pump will work if the engine exhaust is directed to the water storage tank of the boiler/
5. Last and very important ! is local regulations on high pressure boiler use.
Most boilers used for heat run less then 12 PSI , but if you desire work to be performed, you will need more than that to be productive with a steam engine

Work on improving the thermosyphon system and no power is required except for control
and manual valves can do that when power goes out


Latest posts