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Steam Power

Since 1950, automobile aficionados have flocked to Pebble Beach to celebrate the world's rarest and most collectible cars. This weekend’s 2014 show saw not only the gathering of Tatras and rare Ferrari Testarossas but also the latest in concept and production cars. Gizmag was on hand to capture it all. Read More
Researchers at Australia's CSIRO have claimed a world record for the highest temperatures ever achieved using solar energy to generate "supercritical" steam at its solar thermal test plant in Newcastle, Australia. Featuring more than 600 directional mirrors (heliostats) directed at two towers housing solar receivers and turbines, the researchers produced the steam at a pressure of 23.5 MPa (3400 psi) and 570° C (1,058° F). Read More
OK, first things first – stop picturing a car with solar panels connected to its engine. What Missouri-based inventors Matt Bellue and Ben Cooper are working on is something a little different than that. They want to take an internal combustion engine, and run it on water and solar-heated oil instead of gasoline. That engine could then be hooked up to a generator, to provide clean electricity. While that may sound a little iffy to some, Bellue and Cooper have already built a small-scale prototype. Read More
You might think that a coal-burning locomotive built in 1937 had nothing left to offer the modern rail industry, short of being a nice museum piece. In the case of Locomotive 3463, however, that appears to be far from true – now in the hands of engineers from the Coalition for Sustainable Rail (CSR), it is set to become the world’s first carbon-neutral higher-speed locomotive. It won’t be electric, however. Instead, it will run on steam generated by the burning of biocoal. Read More

Team Steam USA's campaign to break the land speed record for steam-powered vehicles has received a shot in the arm, having been granted the use of construction molds from the 450-mph (724-km/h)-busting twin-turbo V8 engine-powered Speed Demon streamliner. Read More

It sounds implausible, yet scientists have managed to create a functioning engine, analogous to a Stirling engine, just three micrometers wide and made of a single particle. The minuscule engine was created by Clemens Bechinger and Valentin Blickle at the University of Stuttgart, and though it has its quirks, the pair have apparently demonstrated the engine's ability to do work. Read More
Steam-engined vehicles are quaint, retro and obsolete ... right? Well, maybe not. The current land speed record for a steam-powered vehicle currently sits at 148 mph (238 kph), set by the British car Inspiration team in 2009. Now, Chuk Williams’ U.S. Land Steam Record (USLSR) Team is hoping to steal that title in its LSR Streamliner, powered by a heat-regenerative external combustion Cyclone engine – an engine that could someday find common use in production automobiles. Read More
March 7, 2008 Raser Technologies has committed to two new geothermal projects, bringing its total project count to seven and representing 70-75 megawatts (MW) of power projects initiated since April 2007. Read More
January 29, 2008 Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion uses the temperature difference between surface and deep-sea water to generate electricity – and though it has an efficiency of just 1-3% - researchers believe an OTEC power plant could deliver up to 250MW of clean power, equivalent to one eighth of a large nuclear power plant, or one quarter of an average fossil fuel power plant. Architect and engineer Dominic Michaelis and his son Alex, along with Trevor Cooper-Chadwick of Southampton University are developing the concept with plans of putting the theory to the test on an unprecedented scale by building a floating, hexagonal Energy Island that will harness energy from OTEC, as well as from winds, sea currents, waves, and the sun. Read More
December 18, 2007 The sunshine-rich state of Nevada is set to be home to the first US manufacturing plant for solar thermal power systems. The 130,000-square-foot, highly automated manufacturing and distribution center will produce the reflectors, towers and absorber tubes needed to create and run solar thermal plants, doubling worldwide output of key components for Ausra Inc’s solar thermal power plant technology and creating “green collar” jobs in the process. Read More
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