Not so much any more. Steam cars were prevalent in the early days of automobiles, but there are several major drawbacks to steam power. The main issue is the fact that a steam vehicle needs a boiler and plenty of water in it. This adds significant weight to the vehicle. A few concept cars have been developed since that age of steam-powered vehicles, utilizing better methods of harnessing steam power, but none of them have been produced for the market. Perhaps we will see more companies exploring the potential process of creating a boiler-less steam-powered vehicle.
There have been many industrial uses for steam and much of it has been proven quite useful. In the U.S., more than 86% of electricity is generated using steam as the working fluid, nearly all by steam turbines. Steam is also used for energy storage, which is introduced and extracted by heat transfer, usually through pipes. Steam is a capacious reservoir for thermal energy because of water’s high heat of vaporization. Steam is also used in microbiology for sterilization. It uses steam under pressure in microbiology labs and similar environments for sterilization.
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