Industry names help to set world steam speed record

Well known names to the building-services industry have contributed to the setting of a new world land-speed record for a steam-powered car. Don Wales, grandson of Sir Malcolm Campbell, achieved an average speed of 148.31 mph on two runs and a peak speed of 155 mph.

Calor has been involved in the project since 1999 as a founding sponsor of the British Steam Car Team Trust. The company contributed financially and also donated LPG cylinders to power the steam boilers.

The car has 12 boilers with nearly two miles of tubing. Demineralised water is pumped into the boilers at up to 50 l/min, and the burners produce 3 MW of heat.

Spirax Sarco offered technical guidance on the specification of the steam system. During the car’s development, the team consulted Spirax Sarco, which discovered that the first boiler design had insufficient output because of a lack of heat-transfer area. The design was modified to achieve the desired output. Spirax Sarco also supplied control valves and positioners for test rigs and to control steam flow in the car.

Murdo MacDonald, major projects manager at Spirax Sarco UK explains that the components helped give the car better control and throttling capabilities.

Laura Luty, bulk market manager for Calor, said, ‘It has always been fascinating to see the way the Steam Car Company used LPG to power the vehicle. Breaking the record is a well deserved triumph for the team, and Calor is proud to have been a part of it.’

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