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
Steam engines are used to power a wide variety of self-transport applications. These are a few examples:
- Marine applications, naval transport: steamships, steam boats, steam yachts.
- Applications of the steam engine in the field of rail transport: Steam locomotive.
- Agricultural applications: used as traction motor for agricultural machinery. The first tractors in the sector were steam tractors.
- Road transport: Steam vans, steam buses, steam tricycles, steam car.
- Applications in construction machinery: Steam steamroller, steam excavator…
The uses of the steam engine have been changing with the passage of time.
Initially, since the early eighteenth century, steam engines have been used to power a multitude of uses. At first, the steam engine was used as a piston pump. A piston pump is a hydraulic pump that generates movement in it by the movement of a piston.
Subsequently, from the years 1780 began to appear alternative engines. With the alternative motors a new use of the steam engine appears: to give power to the factories and to the industrial one. At the beginning of the 19th century, steam…
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…
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 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.…
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 (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…
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:…
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…
A motor or motor is a machine designed to convert a form of energy into mechanical energy . An engine can be classified into a category according to two criteria: the form of energy it accepts to create movement and the type of movement it produces.
As a general rule, engines have an axle, which in rotary offset and through mechanical devices such as drive gears. The exceptions are rocket motors and linear motors . Nowadays, combustion engines…
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.
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…
Within stationary steam engines we can sub-classify into two main types:
- Steam engines with frequent stops and changes of direction: rolling rolls, steam mules, marine engines and similar applications.
- Steam engines that give power. These types of engines rarely stop and do not need changes of direction. This type includes the engines that are used in thermal power plants, nuclear power plants and those that were used in pumping stations, mills, factories and to power trains and trams before the widespread use of electricity.
Steam mules are technically stationary…
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 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 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…