Friday, March 11, 2011

Steam Engines of Epic Proportions

Greetings once again my friends and loyal crew!  So the other day I was visiting the fine Ladies and Chaps at Brass Goggles, when I stumbled upon a wonderful video offered up by Akumabito.  It showed off a mighty 140 ton antique engine used for compressing natural gas.  See for yourself, and when you're finished take note of the size of the smile stretched across your mug.  That will be important later.

Some wonderful information from the procurer of this fine video:
This 600 hp Gas Engine at the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion show in Rollag, MN runs every Labor Day Weekend.  Built in 1914-15 by the Snow Holly Works Schenectady NY, it ran continuously for over fifty years compressing natural gas at National Fuel Gas Corporation's Roystone Station near Titusville, PA.  This engine ran at full power 24/7 for over fifty years without a single mechanical failure. The engine still runs as good as new and not a single part has ever needed replacement.

The engine is 65 feet long and weighs 140 tons. It's foundation is up to 10 feet thick.  It has four combustion chambers with a bore and stroke of 24" x 48" giving it a displacement of 86,856 cubic inches (1,423 Liters), produces 600 HP at 80 RPM.  The flywheel is 18 feet in diameter and weighs 24 tons, and the crankshaft is 16 inches in diameter and weighs 12 tons.

Not to be outdone by those bloody yanks, Great Britain offered this engine up.  The steam engine at Kempton!

This alleges to be the largest steam engine in England and from the looks of it, I'd take their word for it.  This behemoth stands 62 feet tall from base to top and consumed up to 13 tons of coal a day.  For a world more information on this do visit Kempton Steam, and now is a good time to take quick stock of the size of your smile if you forgot to pay attention to that.

Finally, be amused by the smallest steam engine!  After viewing two of the largest I thought what a whimsical way to affect that smile even more, so behold:

Isn't it adorable.  Imagine a tiny airship powered by this miniature motor lofting lazily by in your living room or workshop.  It warms the heart.  Now please take final note of the smile on your face, incredible how such engines can not only serve as the power plant for a small town but also make your cheeks hurt, isn't it.  I know I can't help but smile broadly and think back to steamier days when I see engines such as these in action.

While you think back to steamier days enjoying the images of these engines roaring like they were meant to...go have a great weekend!


Bart said...

Simply beautiful machines. I operate GE and Westinghouse steam-driven turbines at the utility scale supplied by coal fired boilers and it is so nice to see something built to withstand the tests of time; built when the building of the machine was as important as the function the machine performed. Thank you, Captain, for a smile.

Renquist Von Reik said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the sight of such truly inspirational machines as I did!

By the way, If I wasn't a dashing captain, I think I'd be envious of your job!

Bart said...

Thank you for your fine words, Captain. I was just wondering, is there an opening in your engine room?

Renquist Von Reik said...

There's always room for a man of your skills, sir!

Welcome aboard.

Now there are some rather bizarre and esoteric rituals all new crew members must take part in. Good for crew morale and bonding and all that. I'm sure you'll have nothing to worry about.

No problems with black licorice or badgers eh? Right, good then!

Bart said...

Black Licorice glazed roast Badger! Where's the table? I have not had that delicacy since as a lad I blew up the school's boiler (I did achieve a MUCH higher throughput and efficiency regardless of what the Headmaster said to the contrary) and was banished to the rural wilds of Caledonia, Ohio to the care of my very stern Aunt.