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Litre Meter, a manufacturer and supplier of custom flowmeters, has supplied LMX220 Pelton wheel flowmeters to the British Steam Car Challenge based at Portmore in Hampshire.

This group of engineers has just broken the world land speed record for a steam-powered car.

The British Steam Car Challenge made its attempt at the land speed record recently at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile’s (FIA’s) official record of 127mph (204km/h) was set by the Stanley Steamer in 1906.

This was subsequently beaten in 1985 by Bob Barber at 145mph.

Although this record is not recognised by the FIA, motor sport’s official governing body, the British Steam Car Challenge overhauled it, clocking up a top speed of 151mph on its second run.

The LMX220 Pelton wheel meters supplied by Litre Meter were used on the steam car itself to monitor the flow of water into the boilers.

Matt Candy, engineering administrator and strategic planner for the British Steam Car Challenge, said: ‘There are 12 boilers on the car, each with its own water supply system – six on either side of the car.

‘The Pelton wheel meters are used to measure the flow of water down each side of the car.

‘It takes the car six to eight minutes to get up to temperature.

‘We use static rigs to supply water, electricity and liquid petroleum gas [LPG].

‘The water is supplied via a piston pump at a pressure of 40bar at 40 litres per minute – 20 litres per minute down each side of the car.

‘Each boiler operates at a temperature of 400C and the steam produced powers a two-stage turbine that runs at a maximum of 13,000rev/min to deliver 360hp to the rear wheels.

‘The car should be able to attain a top speed of 170mph.

‘With the system running at high pressure and high temperature, it is critical that we are able to accurately measure the flow of water in order to control the pressure and the power output,’ he added.

The LMX220 flowmeters have been designed to measure flow rates between 0.01 litres per minute and 28 litres per minute and are rated up to 100bar.

The Pelton wheel flowmeters have a custom-built 316 stainless-steel cover fitted and ferrules and connectors are supplied to enable the instruments to be connected to 9mm pipes.

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