Last post I wondered why a steam car doesn’t have a smokestack. Here’s what I think the differences are between a steam car and a railroad locomotive.
The locomotive burns wood or coal in a firebox to heat the water in the boiler.
The steam car uses kerosene or other liquid fuel that gets transformed into vapor through pressure. The fuel heats a burner which spreads the heat over a wide surface to heat the water in the boiler.
In the locomotive, hot smoke and steam (from the cylinder) are combined and expelled through the blast pipe. They leave a vacuum behind as they shoot upwards which draws air into the firebox and makes the fire burn hotter.
In the steam car, the water in the boiler is contained—it’s under pressure as it becomes steam. The steam only leaves the boiler through a pressure-relieving valve or else it goes into a condenser as water, to be heated into steam again.
I suppose there is an exhaust pipe for the burnt-up gas on the steam car but I didn’t see one.
Back to the beginning of The Western Civ User’s Guide to Time & Space