Are steam engines really inefficient?



  1. 0 Votes

    Yes, generally steam engines only have an efficiency of about 5% (though that number can be a little higher if done in the right way) and there’s a reason why you seem very few steam locomotives still in active use.

  2. 0 Votes

    They don’t have to be inefficient, although most used today are.  Most of the world uses steam engines for electricity and older steam engines use coal or wood to heat water.

    However, new steam engines can be surprisingly efficient, especially if the waste steam is used for other heating applications. Steam engines today can reach over 50% efficiency, as opposed to 20% efficiency for car engines. The percentage is determined by the actual energy created divided by the total potential energy stored in the fuel source (the rest is usually wasted as heat).

    The biggest factor that determines how green an engine is the fuel source. Most steam engines are powered by coal or wood and are therefore not very green.

Please signup or login to answer this question.

Sorry,At this time user registration is disabled. We will open registration soon!