This was the first project I can remember doing. I can remember the exact moment i conceived the idea. I was about 7 years old watching Adam Heart Davis’s “What The … Did For Us” and they showed Heron’s Steam Ball. I consulted my dad, who was watching the program with me, and we went through a rough verbal design process going from “You don’t expect me to make you a hollow metal ball that spins on a steam tight bearing do you?!” to the end result which was a far simplified version; a soup can with two thin metal pipes perpendicular to the can.The design seemed plausible for a seven year old with parental supervision to construct and so i ate some beans and built the turbine.
It took a lot of soldering to get the lid sealed back on top as i hadn’t considered cans that contain liquids like condensed milk and soup but with a lot of sealing and a strong heat source the concept was proven and it worked spewing scolding hot water 360 degrees. Happy days… I have now improved my design and the instructions on how i built the simpler, new and improved version are available via the link below.