Rotary Steam Engine

Taylor Perryman

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How It's Made

1.) Cut your coke can about 2/3 down and carefully fold over the edges to make sure you will not cut yourself.

2.) Punch holes straight across from each other for your copper tubing.

3.) Next place the candle in the center and put foil around to keep the candle from moving around.

4.) Next we bend the ends of the tubing gently so they curve into a right angle. Each end is bent opposite the other, so the can will spin when it is placed in the water and the engine started.

5.) Light the Candle and enjoy!

How It Works

First you must the copper tubing with water. Both ends of the tubing must be underwater for this to work. When the water in the coil boils, the steam expands. This pushes the water out of the tubes. The reaction pushes the boat forward. As the steam continues to expand, it encounters the section of tubing that used to be full of water. This tubing is cold, and the steam condenses back into water. This causes a vacuum to form, which pulls more water back into the tubes.

How it Ties to Thermodynamics

  • The first law, states that energy cannot be created or destroyed in an isolated system.
  • The second law states that the entropy of any isolated system always increases.

  • The third law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of a system approaches a constant value as the temperature approaches absolute zero.