A totally new design concept has been applied to the "good old" steam engine that allows this previously very reliable but relatively inefficient machine to drive an electric generator to make enough power to provide the thermal input needed to drive the engine AND have a substantial amount of power left that can be used to power any number of devices.
A system that would be small enough to fit in the basement of a 120 square meter residential home could provide enough electric power and thermal energy to support everything within a 20 km radius of the home without any fumes or pollution being released. It would sound like a large electric motor operating so it would not cause any complaints about the sound being produced from its operation.
This would allow for ultimately replacing large power plants providing power over a large distribution system (with the associated 8% to 12% line losses) with a network of smaller systems- all connected to the same "grid" but operating with minimal line losses and providing FULL back-up in the event that a system has to go off-line. Such a system would provide nearly continuous power to all users- no matter what weather conditions occurred, especially because the limited power distribution would allow for installing underground mains and branches to sites that would not be exposed to icing, falling branches or automotive accidents.
This system recycles all of the water used to make the steam so no added water load would be created. After powering the steam engine, the "waste" steam is sent to a condenser where the the condensing heat is removed by water flowing through the condenser. The heat that is released can be as hot as 30 BAR steam although for peak output, the temperature would be closer to 0.5 BAR steam.
If all of the heat released is not required for beneficial use, an air-cooled heat rejection system could support the operation of the plant. Since the power produced has zero cost, any electricity used for fans or pumps would have minimal impact on the effectiveness of plant operations.
This system can be built as large or as small as is needed- as small as a 2 kW system to support a single home or several hundred MW.
Because of the ability to install multiple systems in a distributed generation "grid," it provides huge domestic defense protection- making it nearly impossible to disrupt power distribution throughout the country.