I am going to show you how I build this 45 Kilowatt Genset, or steam turbine to power my home and business. This unit was a major effort to get off the ground. I will attempt to show you how to build this beauty. Perhaps you can build one on a smaller scale. This unit is not for the amature. This build is very difficult and dangerous. There are a few things you need to be aware of when working with high power.
1. Respect the power. It will kill you in a heartbeat.
2. DO NOT ATTEMPT THE PROJECT IF YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO WORK WITH HIGH VOLTAGE AND HIGH PRESSURE STEAM.
3. BE REALISTIC. If you don't have the equipment to build this device then send the parts out to be made.
4. What you don't know, ask. I will be happy to help anyone in any I can.
Always wear safety glasses and proper protection when working with electronics and steam.
Ok this is the turbine and generator attached together on the test stand. This is a turbine of my own design the generator portion or Technically the Alternator to be more precise is as mentioned above 45 kw 3 phase AC power output. The turbine in order to produce that level of power it required to run at an astounding 100000 rpm, thats right 100000. Now that will ruin your day if you have a major malfunction this runs at ballistic levels so if you have a destructive or catastrophic event the shrapnel will kill you. It would literally explode. This will turn you into a red mist. That said I have maintained my rpm to more respectable and safe level of around 50000 rpm my power output drops, as should be expected. Though I feel safer at that rpm. My power levels at 50k are about half of my top end of 100k so around 22 kw output 3 phase.
This is more that enough for my purposes. So here is the layout and break down of the genset. From right to left. The large cylinders are far right the alternator left of that larger alum housing is the turbine chamber, the input to the turbine is via the silver high pressure line you see entering the turbine. This LIne is rated for 10000 psi at over 800 degrees. My steam unit runs at a max of 500 degrees F so i have plenty of worry room from a potential runaway. The steam unit will be discussed later right now turbine. so after we see the input line to the left of that you will see the oil pump system I have to use turbine oil rated for aircraft turbines. 150.00 per 5 gallon drum. This is great for the protection of the bearings. I am running hydrostatic bearing at the front of the turbine and a ceramic at the rear. both rated for very high rpm. The pump is a standard 110v ac motor driving a screw pump to maintain pressure at 55 psi for the hydrostatic bearing. the oil is also use to cool the alternator during runs. the oil is returned to the bath via a radiator or heat exchanger.
just below the alternator portion on the right you can see the pressure sensor and oil filter setup, I use a standard automotive sending unit to give me my oil pressure more on that later. In the following steps I will show you more detail for the components of the system.
the top drawer housed the control panel. This is the basic layout of the genset.
Step 1: DA Build
Steam enters at the center and flows to the outside into the jets. the pressure builds and only allows the steam to flow to the od of the part and out the venturies.
This is my design I was inspired by an a similar invention by Tesla. His however had issues. I made some changes and improvements and what you see here is the first layout of my design.
Step 2: Da Real Thing
Step 3: Rotor Time
The next drawing shows all the pieces together.
Step 4: Commin Togeather
The rear bearing is a ceramic bearing and is held in the rear plate you can see this plate further in other pics and steps.
You can see the bearing in the second picture. the third picture shows the bearing housing welded into the main assembly. Now it is ready for assembly.
In the second picture you can just see the other half of the rotor, you can also see the breaking tool i used to run the turbine during breaking in phase. I had to run the turbine with an electric motor to breaking the bearings. That small round piece fit into the assembled rotor and the motor shaft fit into the end. I was then able to run the rotor and alternator for long periods at low speeds to break the system in.
Step 6: Covered
Step 7: High Life
Step 8: Kewl
Step 9: One Panel to Control Them All.
The center digital gauge was handmade by myself. It is the rpm gauge and as you can see it is rated to display 6 digits. The top center is the hours of operation display showing total time machine has run.
The three switches are from the right. Oil pump #1, Oil pump #2, And main power on switch for the Steam plant. As you can see I cut this panel with my cnc mill, I also cut the lettering with the mill as well.
Step 10: Spagetti
Once inside the panel you can see the mess of wires I have to hook up to my new set of gauges. I will add this pic later today. There is a lot of wiring to be done.
You can see the circuit board I made that is the rpm gauge. Also visible are the control relays for the system.
The last picture you see the controls hooked up and running. kewl baby
Step 11: Oil Treatment.
Step 12: Pump It Up
The second picture shows the white secondary scavenger pump that removes excess oil from the system. The last picture is of both pumps working together within the system.
Step 13: Feedback I Need Feedback
The second pic is the oil input line this is the main input for the turbine to keep the bearing lubed and under pressure if the pressure falls below 45 psi the hydrostatic bearing will fail to keep the shaft from the bearing surface and the system will overheat and self destruct. That is why I must monitor the temperature of the oil to avoid a catastrophic failure of the lube cooling system. The other line held on with the hose clamp is the overflow return line. I should never see any oil here, if I do then I need to adjust my scavenger pump settings.
You can also see my mounting saddles and bracket on the right of the alternator This is really all that I need to hold the unit down. keep in mind that you must have a balanced rotor on you turbine if your rotor is not properly balanced the system will self destruct.
I had my rotor professionally balanced by an aircraft engine maintenance facility that works on jet engines. My cost was 1300.00 for the service This was essential to have it balanced right. Don't think that you can get away with just trying to balance the rotor like you would an airplane prop. or a model aircraft propeller. It won't work. The rpm you might run a Propeller at are not even anywhere near the rpm this turbine runs at. It must be balanced at or near operational rpms.
Step 14: High Speed Low Drag
The blue and white wires are the power output wires. There are three white, three blue, and three red, and one green. One set for each phase.
Once the system is running I do what I call scrub the power. I take each of the phase outputs and run through high power rectifiers this helps to level out the signal. I also use a bank of large capacitors for filtering. Then I rectify the three phase power and translate via circuitry. The three phased power is combined into one ac output. I then use a massive transformer to bump the voltage down and increase the amps. I have a net of 220 out and a very nice clean ac sine stable and ready to run any device. I will show my control circuitry to you via a new instructables. It is very involved and would make this one way to big. It requires a detailed explanation. I will also be adding to this instructable as i finish this system.
Step 15: Hot Stuff.
You can see the top of the boiler 1/2 inch thick plate with 32 holes drilled and tapped to hold the cap to the boiler. The seam between the cap and the flange has a gasket made from 1/8 inch thick brass plate that fits the flange perfectly. I took great care in the design of this beast. all of the connections are rated for high temp high pressure all 316 stainless except for the fitting for the temp thermocouple. and the pop valve.
You can see the body of the boiler in the last two pics. The control for the entire turbine is by opening and adjusting the yellow handle valve. This valve like the other parts are rated for over 10000 psi. and 800 degrees F. You can see the output high pressure line coming out from the control valve.
You can see the electrodes entering into the top of the endplate. This is where the 220 volts ac enters the system. There are two insulated high power connectors that allow my power to pass the end plate and connect to the heating elements inside the boiler.
There is also an input fill hose on the top left, and a pressure gauge center all are built to withstand the heat and pressure of this system. the brass colored rod next to the pressure gauge is the pop valve this will open and release all build up pressure in the event that my control circuit fails. Almost like a standard water heater except this one is rated to pop at 150 psi. Which is my operating just above my operating pressure,
Step 16: Top Down
You can also see a better layout of the output piping for the pop valve on the left. You can just make out the two power input lines connections one black one white.
At the bottom left corner of the box you see my control mosfet power switch. This switch is attached to my safety pressure switch which is what drives the system. The bus bar at the bottom shows the connections. if the pressure arrives at 120 psi, the power will be cut off. if it falls below 90 it will turn on. This is a solid state switch, I didn't want to rely on a mechanical switching system.
You can see on the control bottom left the large alum heat sink for the power switch. I had to add this because my first one burned up in testing, due to the high power consumption of the system.
The bottom right of the pic is the main disconnect for the system. to shut off power from the entire unit.
The heating elements are simple for this, what i did is cut large diameter stainless steel discs with two holes in them the disks were about 1/2 inch smaller in diameter then the boiler. One of the holes was 1 inch in diameter and the other was 1/4 inch in diam. I then would stack the disks alternating the holes large over small and tied them together with 1/4 inch tread stock made of again you guessed it stainless steel. the larger hole would allow the nut to pass through the one plate and not make contact to the plate above or below. This insulated the rods and bolts from each other and powered each plate separately I then added a spacer around the rod stock to keep that end of the plate from dropping and closing the gap. I need the gap of the plates to be 1/2 inch apart.
I used purified water or distilled water in the boiler. this greatly increased the resistance to electricity or the dielectric properties of the water to keep my amp draw down in relation to my disk spacing. This is an important part of the design. If you put tap water or contaminated water in the system you will blow fuse after fuse.
I also made sure the plates did not and could not touch the side of the boiler. This will help keep me alive if I for some dumbass reason decided to touch the powered up steam generator.
Step 17: Finaly
More to come keep watching for updates to this.