Make electricity with steam at home?

This is probably a silly idea but I really like the idea of making my own electricity. I’ve thought about solar and wind but neither would really work for me. My wife & I will be building a new home in 9-10 years and I have a new idea…. We want to have one of those outdoor wood burning furnaces to heat the house. Is there such a thing as a small steam powered electric generator? If there is, maybe I could use some of the heat generated in the furnace to boil water, make steam and turn a small turbine to generate electricity. This way, I could heat my home in the winter and make my own electricity all year long just with wood. Just an idea (maybe a stupid one). If anyone has any info on this subject please share it with me. Thanx.

4 Responses to “Make electricity with steam at home?”

  1. freakboynv2000 says:

    The killer here is efficiency. The efficiency of a steam turbine is only on the order of 30%. The equipment is pretty expensive too unless you go with some kind of home brew set up which can be dangerous. You would need to burn a lot of wood to make any serious amount of power. It would probably be cheaper to buy from the grid.

  2. teddy bear jr says:

    hydro electric would be a cool thang if you had a creek nearby
    solar would also be cool if you could get appliances to comply with dc current. steam powered electricity will be ok if you have an unlimited supply of fuel and are willing to comply with federal regulations concerning smoke polution.what we need to do and can be acchieved is to get a house with solar powered appliances and back up converters for repletion of backup battery with a step down transformer. using passive energy to heat water and to power small fans to move static heat from double hung walls with heat chambers that bear up static heat like a cr sitting in wall mart parking lot. set a hollow wall on the sunny side of the house and allow the heat withint that wall to be slowly fed to the interior of the house by a solar motor. pump in water heated in palastic barrells and held int he walls overnight to pass slowly through baseboards for slow passive crock pot type heat. I have more ideas.

  3. jake says:

    It is a good and viable concept. Steam is a technology that we developed to an optimum efficiency and then discarded in favor of the petroleum powered internal combustion engine. Steam turbines are expensive and are not well suited to an individual residence. A small community is a different story. The best and most sustainable power source for the turbine and one also that takes in consideration emissions and global warming is solar. Linear parabolic collectors focusing on to a pipe containing a flowing synthetic oil transferring heat to a heat sink and heat exchange unit that then sends superheated steam to the steam turbine seems to be the solution. A small community of houses set up on such a system could make it work. One concept would include battery banks at each residence to buffer the energy. Another would be to use a hybrid system using coal or wood burning as a secondary source in case of multiple days of no sun.

    The return to using systems like this is still before its time. We need to let the resource wars run their course and deplete the remaining petroleum. And of course we need to continue to divert the grain for food production in the US to corn production for alternative fuel for the internal combustion engine. The kicker being the use of very large amounts of natural gas used in the production of inorganic fertilizer to produce the corn to produce the ethanol. When enough of us see the results of our addiction to cheap and abundant energy at any cost, we will return to steam turbines powered by renewable energy sources. It is a good and viable concept, just a little before its time.

  4. analize2much says:

    Actually I think the wood fueled steam is more work then you may be willing to tackle. You need high temps to maintain the power.

    However I myself have been tinkering with the idea of a small generator powered by steam via Solar power. Some test have been done with mirrors and solar panels. This would only work for daylight hours but think it would be the most efficient. You could also recycle the water to an extent with condensation.

    For some interesting reads you might like check out

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