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Steam

Types of steam engines

Types of steam engines

Steam engines are mechanical devices capable of transforming heat energy into mechanical energy in a rotating axis. This heat energy takes advantage of the energy contained in water vapor at high pressure and temperature.

We consider steam engines all those machines that transform the thermal energy of a fluid into mechanical energy. In general, the fluid must be pre-heated and at the outlet of the steam machine it must be cooled to repeat the process.

Steam machines can be classified into these two types:

  • Plunger steam engine
  • Turbine steam engine

History of the steam engine

History of the steam engine

The first reference of the steam engine is found in the Hellenistic period. Then we talk about experiments to take advantage of the expansion of the compounds due to the change of the liquid phase to the gas (vapor) phase: in particular, the Aeolus cell of the heron. It is a hollow metal sphere filled with water, with the arms tangential to the outlet hole: when water is heated, it vaporizes and the water vapor that comes out of the holes, by rotating the ball itself.

You should also remember the attempts to use Leonardo da Vinci's steam with his car called the Architano. In 1606 the…

Steam machine

Steam machine

A steam engine is a device that produces mechanical energy through the use of water vapor. In particular, thermal energy is transformed into mechanical energy by means of steam. Heat is typically produced by burning fossil fuels, particularly coal, but it can also come from wood, hydrocarbons or nuclear reactions.

Description of steam engines

An essential part of the system that includes the steam engine is the steam generator, or the boiler. In the boiler water vapor is obtained by the administration of heat to liquid water. The steam is then sent to the engine, which can be…

Safety in steam engines

Safety in steam engines

Safety in steam engines is an important issue that needs to be studied and prevented due to the characteristics of this type of machine.

The composition of the steam machines formed by boilers and other components under pressure causes fluids with a very high potential energy to be stored. Due to the high pressure and temperature with which you work any steam or explosion leaks can be very harmful for the safety of people.

Throughout the history of steam engines there have been very serious accidents that have involved considerable material damage and even the loss of human lives.

Applications of the steam engine

Applications of the steam engine

The applications where the value machine has been used have been changing with the passage of time.

Initially, since the beginning of the eighteenth century, steam engines have been used to power a multitude of uses. At first the steam engine was used as piston pumps. Subsequently, from the years 1780 began to appear alternative engines. With the alternative engines, the steam engines also served to give power to the factories and the industrial one. At the beginning of the 19th century, steam engines began to be used in transport by land and sea.

Steam engines were of great importance…

Internal combustion engines, external and electric

Internal combustion engines, external and electric

In this website we try to explain the operation of the main types of engines from a theoretical point of view. We present schematically the parts, operating cycles and characteristics of the following types of engines:

  • The thermal engine or internal combustion engine. Inside the thermal engines we explain the gasoline engine (or otto engine) and the diesel engine).
  • The electric motor. This engine has undergone a great evolution throughout history and right now is one of the most used types of engines and with more projection of the future. We will analyze direct current…

James Watt

James Watt

James Watt (Greenock, January 19, 1736 - Handsworth, August 25, 1819) was a Scottish mathematician, engineer, and inventor. Watt's inventions were of great importance for the development of the thermal engine and the steam engine.

Watt invented a control valve (which is still known as regulator "Watt", the centrifugal regulator) to keep constant the speed of the steam engine, he found a way to transform the reciprocating reciprocating movement of the plunger into a movement of continuous rotation of a flywheel. It introduced the "double effect", that is, the steam input alternately at…

Boiler. What is it and how it works?

Boiler. What is it and how it works?

A boiler is a container, or a set of tubes, used to heat water or other fluid. To heat the liquid can be used various fuels such as diesel, coal, biomass, etc. The most common are fossil fuels.

Operation and applications of a boiler

The boiler is a machine or apparatus is designed to heat water or other fluid, usually by combustion of a fuel such as gas, diesel, coal, biomass, etc. The hot or vaporized fluid leaves the boiler for use in different heating processes or applications, generation of motive power from steam, cooking or cleaning. The two most common boiler types are:

Stirling engine

Stirling engine

The Stirling engine is an external combustion thermal engine. Originally it was conceived as an industrial main engine to compete with the steam engine, but in practice, for more than a century it was only used for domestic applications and for low power engines.

The Stirling engine was invented in 1816 by Robert Stirling, a Scottish priest. One of the concerns of the time was the safety of steam engines. Stirling's goal was to get a less dangerous engine than the steam engine.

The operation of the Stirling engine is based on the expansion and contraction of a gas that can be…

History of the Stirling engine

History of the Stirling engine

The route of the Stirling engine throughout history begins in the early 1800s, in England. The hot air engines competed with the steam engine to provide mechanical power to the industrial machinery (in factories and mines) of the first industrial revolution.

Although steam engines had better characteristics than air machines, the air motor had the advantage of being less dangerous. This was due to the first realizations of steam engines suffered devastating boiler explosions. These explosions were due to the use of materials available at the time that were technologically poor.

This…

Advantages and disadvantages of the alternative engine

Advantages and disadvantages of the alternative engine

Since the first developments of the alternative engine with the steam engine, its use has been growing exponentially. The appearance of internal combustion thermal engines has helped to accelerate its popularity.

However, the characteristics of the alternative engine entails a series of advantages and disadvantages that we intend to study.

From the first alternative engines such as the steam engine or the stirling engine to the current thermal engines the characteristics of this engine have varied a lot. Although the operating principle for the generation of mechanical energy is…

What is a motor?

What is a motor?

The engine is a machine capable of transforming a source of energy, which can be in chemical form (in the presence of a fuel), electrical or thermal, into a mechanical energy or mechanically continuous work, typically used in the field application purposes. with the propulsion of various types of vehicles.

In a philosophical sense, an engine is the organism that causes movement or change in other affiliated institutions: Aristotle spoke of motionless motor, a term also picked up by other philosophers, to indicate the cause of the universe, that is, the object or subject which (according…

Steam. What is it?

Steam. What is it?

Steam is a substance in the gas phase that is at a temperature lower than the critical point. Due to this characteristic, the vapor can be condensed in a liquid or a solid increasing its pressure without reducing the temperature.

That is, the vapor is a gas that can be condensed at a constant temperature, increasing the pressure. On the other hand, to convert a non-vaporous gas to liquid, it is not enough to increase the pressure, but the temperature must be lowered.

For example, water has a critical temperature of 374 ° C (647 kelvin), which is the highest temperature at…

Thermodynamics

Thermodynamics

Thermodynamics is the part of physics that deals with the relationship between heat and work. It studies the effects of the variation of pressure, temperature and volume of a physical system (we understand by physical system a liquid, a material, a set of bodies, etc.), at a macroscopic level, that is to say, that can be observed.

The term thermodynamics comes from the stem therm, which means heat and dynamics that refers to movement. The movement of heat in a body.

Matter is composed of different particles that move in a disordered way (what is called entropy). Thermodynamics…