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.
- Steam Machine (Disambiguation)
A steam machine is a heat engine that performs mechanical...
- Marine Steam Engine
A marine steam engine is a steam engine that is used to...
- Steam Machine (Disambiguation)
The first recorded rudimentary steam engine was the aeolipile described by Heron of Alexandria in 1st-century Roman Egypt. Several steam-powered devices were later experimented with or proposed, such as Taqi al-Din's steam jack, a steam turbine in 16th-century Ottoman Egypt, and Thomas Savery's steam pump in 17th-century England.
A steam engine is an engine that uses steam from boiling water to make it move. The steam pushes on the engine parts to make them move. Steam engines can power many kinds of machines including vehicles and electric generators. Steam engines were used in mine pumps starting in the early 18th century and were much improved by James Watt in the
- Separate condenser
- The Partnership of Matthew Boulton and James Watt
- Later improvements
- Preserved Watt engines
The Watt steam engine, alternatively known as the Boulton and Watt steam engine, was an early steam engine and was one of the driving forces of the Industrial Revolution. James Watt developed the design sporadically from 1763 to 1775 with support from Matthew Boulton. Watt's design saved so much more fuel compared with earlier designs that they were licensed based on the amount of fuel they would save. Watt never ceased developing the steam engine, introducing double-acting designs and various s
In 1698, the English mechanical designer Thomas Savery invented a pumping appliance that used steam to draw water directly from a well by means of a vacuum created by condensing steam. The appliance was also proposed for draining mines, but it could only draw fluid up approximately 25 feet, meaning it had to be located within this distance of the mine floor being drained. As mines became deeper, this was often impractical. It also consumed a large amount of fuel compared with later engines. The
In 1763, James Watt was working as instrument maker at the University of Glasgow when he was assigned the job of repairing a model Newcomen engine and noted how inefficient it was. In 1765, Watt conceived the idea of equipping the engine with a separate condensation chamber, which he called a "condenser". Because the condenser and the working cylinder were separate, condensation occurred without significant loss of heat from the cylinder. The condenser remained cold and below atmospheric pressur
The separate condenser showed dramatic potential for improvements on the Newcomen engine but Watt was still discouraged by seemingly insurmountable problems before a marketable engine could be perfected. It was only after entering into partnership with Matthew Boulton that such became reality. Watt told Boulton about his ideas on improving the engine, and Boulton, an avid entrepreneur, agreed to fund development of a test engine at Soho, near Birmingham. At last Watt had access to facilities and
The first Watt engines were atmospheric pressure engines, like the Newcomen engine but with the condensation taking place separate from the cylinder. Driving the engines using both low pressure steam and a partial vacuum raised the possibility of reciprocating engine development. An arrangement of valves could alternately admit low pressure steam to the cylinder and then connect with the condenser. Consequently, the direction of the power stroke might be reversed, making it easier to obtain rota
The oldest surviving Watt engine is Old Bess of 1777, now in the Science Museum, London. The oldest working engine in the world is the Smethwick Engine, brought into service in May 1779 and now at Thinktank in Birmingham. The oldest still in its original engine house and still capable of doing the job for which it was installed is the 1812 Boulton and Watt engine at the Crofton Pumping Station. This was used to pump water for the Kennet and Avon Canal; on certain weekends throughout the year the
A compound steam engine unit is a type of steam engine where steam is expanded in two or more stages. A typical arrangement for a compound engine is that the steam is first expanded in a high-pressure (HP) cylinder, then having given up heat and losing pressure, it exhausts directly into one or more larger-volume low-pressure (LP) cylinders.
Uniflow engines potentially allow greater expansion in a single cylinder without the relatively cool exhaust steam flowing across the hot end of the working cylinder and steam ports of a conventional "counterflow" steam engine during the exhaust stroke. This condition allows higher thermal efficiency.
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A steam locomotive is a type of railway locomotive that produces its pulling power through a steam engine. These locomotives are fuelled by burning combustible material—usually coal, wood, or oil—to produce steam in a boiler. The steam moves reciprocating pistons which are mechanically connected to the locomotive's main wheels (drivers).
A steam aircraft is an aircraft propelled by a steam engine. Steam aircraft were unusual devices because of the difficulty in producing a powerplant with a high enough power-to-weight ratio to be practical. They are distinct from airships that use steam as their lifting gas, which are known as thermal airships.
The Watt steam engine was the first type of steam engine to make use of steam at a pressure just above atmospheric to drive the piston helped by a partial vacuum. Improving on the design of the 1712 Newcomen steam engine, the Watt steam engine, developed sporadically from 1763 to 1775, was a great step in the development of the steam engine.