STEAM ENGINE BIG.
A steam engine is a heat engine that performs mechanical work using steam as its working fluid. The steam engine uses the force produced by steam pressure to push a piston back and forth inside a cylinder. This pushing force is transformed, by a connecting rod and flywheel, into rotational force for work. The term “steam engine” is generally applied only to reciprocating engines as just described, not to the steam turbine.
In general usage, the term steam engine can refer to either complete steam plants (including boilers, etc.) such as railway steam locomotives and portable engines, or may refer to the piston or turbine machinery alone, as in the beam engine and stationary steam engine.
WHAT POWERS A STEAM ENGINE?
It takes energy to do absolutely anything you can think of—to ride on a skateboard, to fly on an airplane, to walk to the shops, or to drive a car down the street. Most of the energy we use for transportation today comes from oil, but that wasn’t always the case. Until the early 20th century, coal was the world’s favorite fuel and it powered everything from trains and ships to the ill-fated steam planes invented by American scientist Samuel P. Langley, an early rival of the Wright brothers. What was so special about coal? There’s lots of it inside Earth, so it was relatively inexpensive and widely available.
Crudely speaking, there are four different parts:
- A fire where the coal burns.
- A boiler is full of water that the fire heats up to make steam.
- A cylinder and piston, rather like a bicycle pump but much bigger. Steam from the boiler is piped into the cylinder, causing the piston to move first one way then the other. This in and out movement (which is also known as “reciprocating”) is used to drive…
- A machine attached to the piston. That could be anything from a water pump to a factory machine… or even a giant steam locomotive running up and down a railroad.
HOW TO MAKE A STEAM ENGINE?
In a steam engine, high-pressure superheated steam from the boiler is fed into the steam chest. Here a D-shaped valve V, called D-slide valve, moves to and fro in a steam chest and this valve regulates the supply of steam into the engine cylinder is operated by a mechanism E, called eccentric which is situated on the crankshaft. There are two different ports A and B in which steam is led into the cylinder on the two sides of the piston and K is the exhaust port in which steam is led out of the cylinder.
STEAM ENGINES TODAY
It may be surprising to know that 95 percent of nuclear power plants use steam engines to generate power. Yes, the radioactive fuel rods in a nuclear power plant are used just like coal in a steam locomotive to boil water and create steam energy. However, the disposal of spent radioactive fuel rods, the vulnerability of the nuclear power plants to earthquakes and other issues leaves the public and the environment at great risk.
Geothermal power is power generated using steam produced by the heat emanating from the molten core of the earth. Geothermal power plants are relatively green technology. Caldara Green Energy, a Norwegian/Icelandic manufacturer of geothermal electrical power production equipment, has been the major innovator in the field.
The steam engine of the locomotive consists of different segments, each with its own important function.
- The Firebox
- The Boiler
- The Regulator
- The Cylinders, Pistons and Cylinder Valves
- The Blast Pipe
- A wide range of fuel can be used to generate steam in a boiler.
- boiler and the engine can be placed apart.
- steam can be condensed to water to use again.
- steam engines can be used where there is no other type of power source is available.
- They occupy more floor area as compare to modern engines.
- The starting time of the steam engine is much more as compared to modern instant start engines.
- The steam engine parts are more prone to rusting.
- Steam engine is less efficient they are about 10–15 % effecient.. Where modern petrol and diesel engines are near 27 and 45 % efficient respectively
- Modern engines are very compact as compared to steam engines.
As you can see the Steam Engine started as a simple water pump and was formed in a power suppliers and eventually into a transportation system and helped bring about the industrial revolution. The reason that the Steam Engine was one of the greatest inventions in history is because it started out as something as simple as a water pump could be changed and modified to efficiently produce power, and power what basically is a train, and supply power to buildings and factories during the industrial revolution and to this day is relied on to power some machines that we use today.
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