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60' Tall 1200HP Holly Steam Engine Pump from 1915 in Buffalo NY


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  #1  
Old 07-02-2011, 02:36:52 AM
Brian S. Brian S. is offline
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Default 60' Tall 1200HP Holly Steam Engine Pump from 1915 in Buffalo NY

OK, so this forum section is stationary steam and traction engines. So, I’ll guess that everyone here would like to hear about FIVE old stationary steam engines in Western New York USA (Buffalo) that are 60 foot tall and are EACH rated at 1200 horsepower (OK, my math says that’s 6000 HP total!!!) and each weigh 1100 tons (my math once again says that’s 5500 tons total). That’s right, these are the five Holly Steam Engine Water Pumps at Buffalo’s Ward Pumphouse.

They are the largest engines every made by Holly. For the record, the Holly Manufacturing Company started out in Lockport NY, then merged with Snow Steam Pump Works of Buffalo NY (on the East Side) and then became part of the huge steam monopoly International Steam. They later became Worthington Pump (and Buffalo was the headquarters for a time) before closing in 1987. These engines were first installed in 1915. They’ve been replaced by 3 electric water pumps. Up until the mid-1980’s one of these steam engine water pumps was kept operational should the need arise for a back-up. The engines are all still there and completely intact, but all the boilers have been removed, along with the related plumbing, etc.

Now, onto a few specifications.

WARD STEAM PUMPHOUSE SPECIFICATIONS
  • Type of Engine.............................Vertical Triple Expansion
  • Number of Steam Engines..............5
  • Cylinders/Engine...........................3
  • Horsepower/Engine.......................1200
  • Water Pumped/Day/Engine (gal.)....30 Million
  • Discharge Pipe Diameter................48 in.
  • Flywheel Diameter........................20 ft.
  • Flywheel Weight .........................30 tons
  • Flywheels/Engine.........................2
  • Engine Weight (each)...................1100 tons
  • Cylinder Diameter - High Press.......31 in.
  • Cylinder Diameter - Med. Press.......64 in.
  • Cylinder Diameter - Low Press........98 in.
  • Engine Stroke...............................66 in.
But, what’s better than hearing about them? SEEING THEM, of course. Please read on!!!

On Sunday September 18, 2011 at 2:00 PM sharp a tour will of offered of the Col. Francis G. Ward Pumping Station Pumphouse located at the foot of Porter Avenue (near the entrance to LaSalle Park) in Buffalo NY USA. The tour is organized by and benefits the Buffalo Industrial Heritage Committee. Here’s their website: http://www.buffaloindustrialheritage.com/. Cameras are welcome, and there’s handicapped access at the rear of the building. Reservations are NOT required, so please do not pester the Committee’s webmaster.

By the way, as I mentioned above, these engines have not been run for almost three decades, and they will NOT run for the tour, either. But, there are folks who are trying to work with the City of Buffalo Government to try to get one engine running over the next several years. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for that because that would be incredible.

So mark your calendars -- those of you lucky enough to be from Western NY. And thanks for reading my thread!!

Brian S.
Webmaster of http://www.buffalopitts.com/index.html

PS, here’s a photo...
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Old 07-02-2011, 07:00:23 AM
Farquharman Farquharman is offline
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Default Re: 60' Tall 1200HP Holly Steam Engine Pump from 1915 in Buffalo NY

Would have to be on the same weekend as Wellington!
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Old 07-02-2011, 08:23:22 AM
Jon Muck Jon Muck is offline
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Default Re: 60' Tall 1200HP Holly Steam Engine Pump from 1915 in Buffalo NY

I had the oppertunity to take a tour of the Ward pumping station a couple of years ago. It was pretty impressive to say the least. Anyone that has any interest in this kind of stuff would really enjoy the tour.
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Old 07-03-2011, 08:22:53 PM
Brian S. Brian S. is offline
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Default I forgot...

I forgot to mention that, while reservations are not required, there is a $5.00 minimum donation per person for the tour of the Ward Pumphouse.

I'm sorry I forgot to add that fact.
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Old 07-03-2011, 08:48:09 PM
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Default Re: 60' Tall 1200HP Holly Steam Engine Pump from 1915 in Buffalo NY

How many horsepower boiler would you need to run the engine.
What is the largest tailer mounted rental boiler that can be rented That plant is a work of art
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Old 07-04-2011, 12:02:17 AM
Jim Mackessy Jim Mackessy is offline
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Default Re: 60' Tall 1200HP Holly Steam Engine Pump from 1915 in Buffalo NY

How many horsepower? Good question. There are two 200 HP Cleaver Brooks package boilers operational on site. It would not be too far fetched to roll one of these engines over on that much steam. I have seen the throttle steam pressure for these engines quoted at both 185 psi and 225 psi, I wonder which is correct? The package boilers will only produce 150 psi, so there's another question of what happens in the third cylinder when you run these big gals with no load.
At any rate, they are certainly something to see. I've seen them several times, and I'll pay $5 to go again, and consider it a bargain. Don't miss it!
Jim Mackessy
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:56:30 AM
Whammytap Whammytap is offline
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Default Re: 60' Tall 1200HP Holly Steam Engine Pump from 1915 in Buffalo NY

Hi, everybody, I'm Whammy and I'm new here. I read about these Holly engines in a book and was fascinated, to say the least. Nothing says raw power like a sixty-foot steam engine with...what...a twenty-foot stroke? I live in the Midwest, and am desparately trying to save up money to fly to Buffalo to see these in person!

I have a question for the pros here, though. Please forgive me, I'm sure it's a stupid question but I am new to this whole steam thing. I understand very well how an internal combustion engine works. I found a simplified, animated diagram here on the Internet of a triple-expansion steam engine, and I understand the principle. But these Holly pumping engines look different--the animated diagram had no flywheels. So what are the flywheels for? They're not toothed, so they can't be for the starter. And how did the motion produced by these behemoths translate into pushing water through Buffalo's municipal pipelines? I also saw a diagram for a simple steam engine that pumped water, but its design was more like an oil-pumping machine, what we Midwesterners call a "pump Jack."

Please help me understand exactly how these magnificent machines operated! Any good books out there, something along the lines of "Steam Power For Dummies?"

P.S.--I read that these pumps operated until the '60s, and one of them was kept in operational condition until the 1980s as a backup should the electric pumps fail. How cool is that?
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Old 07-08-2011, 08:57:41 AM
Whammytap Whammytap is offline
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Default Re: 60' Tall 1200HP Holly Steam Engine Pump from 1915 in Buffalo NY

P.P.S.--Oh, I guess I read that last part here. My book "Ghostly Ruins" by Harry Skrdla says "Just a few years after the Holly engines were installed, they were already obsolete. But the engines were massive, and they were already there, and they worked, so they stayed...They ran until 1963..."
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:07:24 AM
Brian S. Brian S. is offline
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Default Flywheels

Hi Whammy...

I’m a Newbie here too, so I assume that the old adage “there’s no such thing as a stupid question” applies here at the SmokeStak Steam forum.

Frankly, my knowledge of steam engines is limited (I saw the History Channel’s Modern Marvels last night and the episode was entitled “Steam” so that’s doubled my meager knowledge – they sell the DVD at http://www.history.com/ – I thought it was one of the better episodes, although they’re all good).

I assume that the flywheels are on the Ward Pumphouse Holly steam engines to provide rotational kinetic energy via their large rotational mass to help dampen out the power pulses and provide a steady flow of power from an engine that turns at a relatively slow speed. The engine’s own moving mass isn’t enough to provide the necessary kinetic energy to keep flow of power smooth for such a slow-speed engine (perhaps all of 60 RPM).

A steam engine without a flywheel would have a highly fluxuating speed during each revolution. A flywheel allows the speed to be uniform over each revolution. Look at the design of a flywheel – much of the mass is located at the outer edge to provide the maximum amount of rotational kinetic energy for a given space.

I’ve never been on the tour, so I don’t know much about how the Holly pumps work, so I don’t know if the engines start up and then are “thrown into gear” to start pumping, or if they start pumping right away (I’d guess thrown into gear, but I’m just not positive). But, any engine that’s started in neutral and then thrown into gear needs some rotational mass to keep the engine from stalling out when trying to start a stationary mass and put it into motion. Try driving a car with a manual transmission with its flywheel removed and you’d probably see a difference in how you start up from a full stop - you’d have to rev the engine more because you’d have only the kinetic energy of the engine’s internal rotating/reciprocating mass to work with. Also remember that water is pretty heavy (over 8 lbs/gallon) so getting it flowing is a lot of work.

I hope that all makes some sense, and I hope I didn’t make it all sound like too nerdy of an explanation. For the record, kinetic energy is the energy contained in a mass in motion; and potential energy is the energy contained in a stationary mass at a given height (e.g., water in a water tower), or in a compressed spring, or in a tank of compressed air, etc.

Thanks for reading.

Brian S.
Webmaster of http://www.buffalopitts.com/
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Old 07-08-2011, 11:53:37 AM
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Default Re: 60' Tall 1200HP Holly Steam Engine Pump from 1915 in Buffalo NY

Steam engines do not have a transmission, at the most, they have a system for adjusting the steam intake valves, which is also used to set the valves to run in reverse. (All that happens for reverse operation in a steam engine is that you let steam in one end of each cylinder to start it off in one direction instead of the other.)

The steam is admitted to the cylinder, the pressure of the steam pushes the piston to the opposite end of the cylinder, and an exhaust valve lets the steam out. The vast majority of steam engines are double-acting, which means that steam is then admitted to the opposite end of the cylinder to push the piston back to the opposite end of the cylinder. The whole process then repeats itself.

The flywheels do indeed provide the kenetic energy to keep the engine moving past the dead spots at each end of the cylinder. On a triple expansion engine, the steam is admitted to a small high pressure cylinder first; it then exhausts to an intermediate pressure cylinder, where it repeats the above steps, then finally is exhausted into the low pressure cylinder to repeat the process again. This allows you to get the maximum amount of energy out of the steam that you can; but sometimes the engine may get stopped at a "dead spot" on the high pressure cylinder. You then have a turning engine that uses a flywheel to turn the entire engine off of dead center.

The pump plungers are directly connected to the opposite end of the piston rods from the steam pistons; the pumps themselves are the cylinders with the domed covers down in the pit in the above picture. The pump end works just like pump down in a water well or a hand pump, as the pump plunger moves to the top of the cylinder, the vacuum it pulls opens an intake valve, which admits water into the pump cylinder. When the pump plunger begins to move downward, the pressure of the water closes the intake valve and opens a discharge valve, which then lets the water out through the discharge pipe.

Some of these pumps are double-acting and some are not, It looks like the Holly pumping engines at Col. Ward are double-acting. Many large stationary steam engines used a condensor to condense the exhaust steam back to water so it could be pumped back into the boiler. The Holly engines at Col. Ward used the water flow through the pumps to cool the steam going through the condensor, that is purpose for the diagonal exhaust pipe you see on the right hand side of the above picture. The large horizontal pipe is the intake pipe, I believe; the large "pipe" set at a right angle to it in the right lower corner of the picture is the condensor itself.

Look on the web and see if you can find an annimation for a "direct acting steam pump." It may illustrate a much smaller steam pump; but these large pumping engines work the same way; only the size and details differ.

Facinating, and ingenious machines these are. Technically simple, but with massive parts. Many of these steam pumping stations continued to operate until late in the 1970s, when rising fuel prices coupled with discounts from the electric utilities who wanted their base load finally shut them down. Quite a few are still in place around the country today.

-James Hefner
Hebrews 10:20a

---------- Post added at 10:53 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:48 AM ----------

A correction/clarifcation to my above post: that large horizontal pipe is the discharge pipe. The large cylinders with the domed covers are air chambers, they are used to even out the pump pulses to lower the stress on both the engines and the piping. The actual pump cylinders are hidden out of view behind them and directly beneath the steam cylinders.

The tiny pipes connecting the top of the air chambers was used to pump air into the tops of the chambers; a Westinghouse air brake pump like the ones you see on steam locomotives was often hung the wall for such a purpose. As the pressure on the discharge fell, the level of water inside the air chamber would fall; as the pressure rose, the level of water would rise against the air pressure. This rising and falling against the air pressure in the tops of the air chambers helped even out the pressure of the water in the discharge pipe.

-James Hefner
Hebrews 10:20a
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Old 07-08-2011, 01:28:04 PM
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Default Re: 60' Tall 1200HP Holly Steam Engine Pump from 1915 in Buffalo NY

Whammytap & Brian S. :

Welcome abord, to Both of you.

If you're impressed with steam, with somewhat limited knowlege, the more you learn, the more impressed you will become with it.

As survivingworldsteam pointed out, Steam engines don't need transmissions or clutches, although traction engines do have clutches for disengaging the drive wheels for doing belt work with the engine.

Most of the old steam powered cars had no transmission and were direct drive from the engine to the rear wheels with chain or gear drive. Reverse the engine to back up. A steam engine has such an incredible amount of low end torque that they can start against a load, even starting a car on an uphill grade by simply easing into the throttle untill it starts to move.

Steam Locomotives pulling 50-100 car freight trains only had 2 or 4 cylinders with the conecting rod hooked directly to the drive wheels, essentially using the Flywheels as drive wheels, and they too could start up against a Full Load just by easing into the throttle with no clutch or transmission.

Steam is an amazing animal !


Some of the old steam cars could get by without a flywheel by having 2 cylinders so one or the other would be pushing the piston while the other was at top or bottom dead center. With a single cylinder you almost have to have a flywheel to avoid having a dead spot with the weight & momentum of the flywheel taking it over center for the next power stroke to take over again.

A triple engine would have No dead spots, so wouldn't need a flywheel, but it does help smooth out the load and hold the RPM steadier.

I'd love to get up to NY to see those engines.

Just seeing that one picture of them gets my heart pumping.

Truely an amazing sight. Should be opened up as a permanent museum.
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Old 07-08-2011, 03:07:21 PM
Joe K Joe K is offline
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Default Re: 60' Tall 1200HP Holly Steam Engine Pump from 1915 in Buffalo NY

To quote Babcock & Wilcox...

Steam - The World's STANDARD power.

Followed by logo of Hero's Aeropile...

Joe
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Old 07-08-2011, 03:13:55 PM
dalmatiangirl61 dalmatiangirl61 is offline
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Default Re: 60' Tall 1200HP Holly Steam Engine Pump from 1915 in Buffalo NY

I fully understand the mechanical part of steam engines, what I do not fully understand is the expansion of steam part, and how it can be expanded 3 times 3 sizes of cylinders I get, it just seems it would only expand so much. And starting under load just by applying more throttle Could we get a good explanation of the physics of steam
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Old 07-08-2011, 03:53:13 PM
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Default Re: 60' Tall 1200HP Holly Steam Engine Pump from 1915 in Buffalo NY

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Originally Posted by dalmatiangirl61 View Post
I fully understand the mechanical part of steam engines, what I do not fully understand is the expansion of steam part, and how it can be expanded 3 times 3 sizes of cylinders I get, it just seems it would only expand so much. And starting under load just by applying more throttle Could we get a good explanation of the physics of steam
Without going into a thermodynamics course, the best I can explain it is that more energy you add to water in the form of heat, the greater the temperature and the more pressure it exerts on the container holding it.

I don't know the exact pressure used with the Col. Ward engines, but I am guessing it was greater than 100 or 150 PSI.

When the steam expands in the first cylinder, it surrenders some of the energy it has in the form of work moving the piston. That causes the steam pressure to drop, and the amount of space the steam takes up to increase.

However, it is still steam, which means it still has energy and pressure. You could create a cylinder that was so huge that the steam would lose enough energy that it would almost condense back to water again. But, such a cylinder would be too big, and cooled cylinder walls would cool the steam entering for the next stroke, so instead the steam is fed to a larger immediate pressure cylinder.

It surrenders additional energy as it pushing the piston and expand once again, so the pressure drops yet again, and the amount of space it takes up increases again. But, it is still steam at a particular pressure (these engines had gauges that let you see the pressure at each stage), so it is fed yet again to a larger lower pressure cylinder.

Another thing a condensor does besides condensing the steam back to water is the it creates a vaccum when the steam gas condenses to water. This creates a greater pressure drop across the low pressure cylinder; which is why triple expansion engines were fitted with a condensor -- the exhaust pressure was near zero, and not atmospheric. This allowed you get even more energy out of the steam in the low pressure cylinder, the energy amount is based on the ratio of the inlet to the exhaust pressure. The steam that exits the low pressure cylinder is now very wet steam at a low pressure, but it is still steam, it is condensed the rest of the way back to water by the discharge water from the pumps flowing through tubes in the condensor; the water carries the remaining heat away. A hotwell pump pumps the water out of the condensor hotwell and sends it on it's way back to the boiler.

I forgot to mention that you can see the intake steam pipe for the engines on the left side, nearly hidden by the lamp posts. The difference in size between the intake pipes and the exhaust pipes on the right give you an idea of how much the steam expands after going through each engine.

-James Hefner
Hebrews 10:20a
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Old 07-08-2011, 05:02:54 PM
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Default Re: 60' Tall 1200HP Holly Steam Engine Pump from 1915 in Buffalo NY

Another way of explaining the triple compounding, and it's advantages, is this:The initial pressure is 185 psi - 225 psi on later examples of this type of engine. As the steam is expanded in the cylinder, it's temperature drops. If the cylinder is large enough to expand it completely, the difference between the intake steam temperature and the exhaust steam temperature is very great, and the average temperature of the cylinder walls stays pretty low. Each incoming charge of steam loses a lot of it's energy when it hits the cooler cylinder walls and trys to condense, and is then flashed back to steam by the rest of the charge, robbing it of more energy.
If we divide the expansion into three cylinders, each one now has a smaller share of the expansion, and therefore a smaller temperature difference between it's intake and exhaust steam temperatures, and hence the cylinder wall temperatures have a smaller effect on the charge, so there is less energy lost. A lot less. If the engine were operated on compressed air, one very large cylinder would be just as efficient as a triple expansion setup, and maybe a little more so due to less mechanical loss on just one cylinder. If the air was at the same pressure as the steam initially, it would not have as much power as the steam, however. It's the unique property of steam to store heat energy and release it that gives it so much more power than compressed air, and it's this unique property that makes compounding worthwhile, as it minimizes the loss in each cylinder.
As to the pumps, they are of a plunger displacement type, and are single acting. The pistons on these are 37" in diameter, and there is one under each cylinder. The crosshead extends ouside of the guides and has four tie bars on it going under the crank shaft where another crosshead is connected to the top of the plunger. There is a patent on the layout held by a man named DeCrow, he was an engineer with Holly and later with Worthington. If I was a little more organized I'd have that number handy, I'll have to dig it up. These are definately fascinating machines! - Jim Mackessy
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Old 07-08-2011, 05:58:59 PM
Jim Mackessy Jim Mackessy is offline
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Default Re: 60' Tall 1200HP Holly Steam Engine Pump from 1915 in Buffalo NY

Here is a scan of the engine stat sheet. I have one of the boiler too, if I can get a small enough file, I'll post it.- Jim Mackessy
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:13:24 PM
Jim Mackessy Jim Mackessy is offline
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Default Re: 60' Tall 1200HP Holly Steam Engine Pump from 1915 in Buffalo NY

Here's the boiler data sheet. For some reason it generated a huge file in the scan stage and I had to fool with the contrast and brightness to get a readable copy with a small file size. - Jim Mackessy
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:53:22 PM
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Default Re: 60' Tall 1200HP Holly Steam Engine Pump from 1915 in Buffalo NY

Here are some pictures of the pump connection from the crosshead (pics #1&2) to the pump piston (pic #3).
The 4 large rods stradle the crankshaft and connect to the pump piston (the rusty looking part in pic #3).
Hope this makes it a little clearer.
PT
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:01:14 PM
Jim Mackessy Jim Mackessy is offline
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Default Re: 60' Tall 1200HP Holly Steam Engine Pump from 1915 in Buffalo NY

Just did a little checking, the saturation temperature for 265 psi steam ( absolute ) is 406 deg. f.. Absolute pressure means from zero, not from normal atmospheric pressure of 14.7 psi, hence we add the 14.7 to the 250 psi (gage) pressure listed on the boiler data sheet.
Compare that to 150 psi @ 358 deg. f., and then the boiler data sheet mentions superheat, add that in and you're in the 500 deg. f. + range. That's a lot of heat!
I don't know where the cut-offs were likely to be set, and I'm not up on my compound engine math, so I'm not going to figure it all out (yet), but you can bet that running at 23 rpm made cylinder condensation losses a very real concern, to the point where they added live steam jackets on the cylinders and the receivers to keep the walls of these areas hot.
DeCrow himself eventually became of the opinion that steam jacketing was actually a net loss of efficiency, because the steam used for the jackets when added to the steam used by the engine resulted in a larger usage than for the same size unjacketed engine when well insulated. He wrote a paper outlining this about 1920, shortly before his death.
The engines also had provisions for allowing full pressure steam into the 2nd cylinder to aid in warming and starting, to give extra power, but this had to be handled very carefully and kept in good repair, because the big low pressure cylinder was not designed to withstand this pressure. In the event the valve was left open and the engine was not started, or if the valve leaked, the cylinder could be blown up. This happened to one of the engines at Col. Ward, and the new low pressure cylinder is of a slightly different design on that engine, with pressure relief valves to prevent any future mishap. A similar accident happenned to a "Manhatten" type engine at the 59th Street powerhouse in New York City. I've seen a photograph of that accident and can truly say I wouldn't have wanted to be anywheres near there when that happened. - Jim Mackessy
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Old 07-09-2011, 12:18:09 AM
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Default Re: 60' Tall 1200HP Holly Steam Engine Pump from 1915 in Buffalo NY

Quote:
Originally Posted by dalmatiangirl61 View Post
I fully understand the mechanical part of steam engines, what I do not fully understand is the expansion of steam part, and how it can be expanded 3 times 3 sizes of cylinders I get, it just seems it would only expand so much. And starting under load just by applying more throttle Could we get a good explanation of the physics of steam
I may be a little off with this, but hopefully close enough to get the point accross without too many major mistakes.

I forget the exact amount of expansion, and it may vary with temperature and pressure, but if I remember right (correct me if I'm wrong), I think when water changes to steam it wants to expand to roughly 17 times it's original volume (it may be 27 times, but I'm thinking around 17 times the volume), and therefore builds pressure in the boiler which keeps it from expanding like it wants to do. If you run that steam through a 1 inch line into a 5 inch cylinder, it can only expand to 5 times its original volume and still has room for more expansion & therefore still has pressure in it as it's coming out of the 5 inch cylinder. If you started at 150 PSI in a 1" line and expanded to 5" cylinder diameter and still had 30PSI left coming out of that cylinder you can run it into a larger diameter cylinder where it can continue to expand as the pressure drops lower from that expansion. (my pressure drop examples are probably way off there, but hopefully get the point accross of what's going on)

Kind of the reverse of comparing disc brakes to drum brakes, with equal line pressure, where the disc brake will have a lot higher pressure on the rotor with its big hockey puck piston than a drum brake will with its smaller diameter pistons pushing on the shoes. Instead of getting More work out of the bigger piston, it gets an equal amount of work from the big one as it does from the smaller one because the bigger one has less pressure applied to it on a larger surface. High (boiler) pressure on the small diameter piston and then lower pressure (from the small piston exhaust) pushing on the larger diameter one will make the same overall pressure on the connecting rods from each cylinder.

Hope I didn't confuse that too much.... It makes sence in my mind, but I don't know if I'm wording it right to make sence to others.

The "Starting under load" part, if you compare it to a gas or diesel engine (ICE), you have to use a starter to crank the engine over and draw in a fresh charge of fuel, compress it, get it to ignite and expand in the cylinder as the fuel burns and generates heat. You can't start them up in gear (high gear direct drive) on an uphill grade, because your starter motor wouldn't be able to crank it over fast enough to draw in the air/fuel mixture and compress it so it will light up and burn.

With a steam engine, the expansion/pressure is already built up in the boiler instead of building it in the engine cylinder from burning gases, and all you need to do is open the throttle lever admitting the pressurised steam into the cylinder where it will start pushing on the piston and make it start moving. If there is No Load on it, it will spin over freely with very little throttle opening. If it has a heavy load on it, you open the throttle valve a little farther admitting more steam into the cylinder, and again, the steam wants to expand which it couldn't do in the boiler or the steam line to the cylinder, but it can move the piston giving it room to expand. Think of it like an old air over hydaulic in-ground car hoist. You'd never be able to lift a car with 175PSI air pressure in a 1/2 inch air line, but if you use that air pressure to pressurize a hydraulic tank and run that into a 12 inch diameter hydraulic cylinder it will pick up the car with just 175PSI. Years ago, they used to market a car lift air-bag that you could carry in your trunk and by slipping a hose over the exhaust pipe to fill the bag, it would lift a 2 or 2 1/2 ton car off the ground using just the back pressure in your exhaust pipe. Lower pressure applied to a larger area.

You can also adjust the valve timing (or cut-off) on a steam engine and keep admitting more high pressure steam as the piston is moving down the bore, where an ICE (internal combustion engine) the intake valve has to be closed already on the compression stroke, the charge ignited before top dead center to start the expansion process which builds maximum pressure at or near top dead center and the pressure quickly falls off as the piston starts moving down. A low octane fuel that causes detination in the cylinder will have most of the heat/expansion already used up at the beginning of the stroke, while a high octane slower burning fuel that controls detination will continue to burn and expand as it heats up farther through the power stroke. Again though, that expansion process is started before top dead center and quickly drops off in an ICE engine while a steam engine will still have the valve open admitting more steam after top dead center and it will continue to expand most of the way through the power stroke.

Now that I feel I've been rambling on and on like an idiot, I hope I didn't confuse you more than I helped you.

Last edited by OTTO-Sawyer; 07-09-2011 at 12:24:52 AM.
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