Steam Engines 1

A single-cylinder steam engine

Engines similar to this one were used to power many small factories and workshops in Victorian Britain. It has one horizontal cylinder which is powered by steam entering from one end only, hence the term "single action". There is no reversing gear, so the operator would need to turn the flywheel to set the piston in the correct position before starting the engine. The flywheel would drive a belt to transfer power to any machinery connected to the engine.


Please note that this particular beast exists entirely in the author's imagination!

Schematic

Animation 1

This is what the engine might look like when working. The flywheel has three spokes. This is a little unusual, but I had problems getting it to look as though it was actually rotating!

Animation 1
[ 8 frames @ 13/100 sec. 48KB ]

Animation 2

Cut-away version.

High pressure steam (red) enters the cylinder via the sliding valve and pushes the piston down the cylinder on the power stroke.

The momentum of the flywheel then moves the piston back up the cylinder, expelling the used steam (blue), on the exhaust stroke.

Animation 2
[ 8 frames @ 13/100 sec. 58KB ]

Animation 3

Running at a third of the speed to show the valve operation.

Animation 3
[ 8 frames @ 39/100 sec. 58KB ]