Engine Specifications as per the "engineering notebook"

A. Gabriel

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Jun 13, 2018
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The photo of the turbine rotor seen on the Prime Mover article was what got me wondering, because there were only three sizes of blade and I couldn’t see any separation between one expansion stage and the next. The OWM mentions 6 expansion stages, 4 of which used the 25.5” rotor blades, but in that photo above the rows of longest blades don’t seem to have breaks in the spacing to suggest new expansion stages. Hence my confusion over whether there were only 3 stages instead of 6.

Now I have managed, with some difficulty, to locate online copies of actual photos of the turbine casing here, but cannot see the fixed blades present on them. Were they installed later or is the space between fixed blades on the casing too small to resolve?
 

A. Gabriel

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Jun 13, 2018
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Cheers, Mr. Spooner. Lamentably being in the Philippines renders me fairly impeded in the ways of procuring said book til I find myself employment — though from the preview pages I have found online, there is even information there concerning the Parsons turbine of the Britannic, an excellent find indeed.

Edit: something perplexing, that book says that there were 6 stages of expansion in the Parsons turbine, but a photo of the rotor of the turbine seems to hint at only three, with no space to fit the missing rows of fixed blades. A little light on the matter would be appreciated.

I did make headway in determining that last garbled heading: the part I marked ????? was “CRHD.” in the notebook, which I have taken to stand for “crosshead”. The unknown heading is then apparently the specification for the crosshead pin for each piston/crank assembly, though not being an engineer I still wonder at the difference between the crosshead pin, the piston rod screw, and the crank pin.
 
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Tim Aldrich

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Jan 26, 2018
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I would say that the fixed blades had been installed later. Lining up the top half of casing (blades installed) to the bottom half would be way easier because the gaps could be watched until the casings were all but touching. Just the thought of having to do it the other way 'round would give me nightmares.
 

Mike Spooner

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Jan 31, 2018
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I have now more photos of the Kempton engines as used in films and documentaries. This are the ones not seen in the films. The building is quite impression built to a typical Victoria standard. Last for ever like the engines them self to. Two tall chimneys 135ft can been seen top right of the building.
Mike & Barring Engine.JPG
Berring driver.JPG
Berring Engine.JPG
Engine driver.JPG
Kempton Listed Building.JPG
 

Mike Spooner

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I forgot to add the Mercury ARC Rectifier which you see in the back ground of films. It's believe the only working one in the UK. Rectifier AC current to DC current.
Mercury Arc Rectifier.JPG
 
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I read some articles here and other places on the turbine and piston engines. What I found most impressive was the amount of time the the turbine and engines ran on the Olympic between overhauls. Mark Chirnside's article said like 20 something years for the piston engines and 7-8 for the turbine. The turbines I worked on were overhauled every 1-2 years sometimes sooner if we threw a blade or wiped a bearing. Of course they were totally different animals but still impressive they got that amount of time on Olympics drivers.
 
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Quite right Mike, but not the last working one in the British Isles. The Manx Electric Railway still use their original Mercury Arc Rectifiers here in the Isle of Man. The electric tramway runs several time daily from Douglas to Ramsey and, of course, up Snaefell. If you ask nicely at Laxey Station then sometimes they will let you into the rectifying shed to see them in operation. And we also have one of the last remaining daily steam railways (365 days a year) in the South of the Island. Another bit of useless information for the pub quiz answers.
 

Mike Spooner

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Thanks Roger for the information on working Mercury Arc Rectifies. The Isle of Man is a bit far to go, to see one in operation. I have to say the one at Kempton was not the original one as it was damaged when the building became abandon for 15 years from 1980 on. The original built in 1926 was three times bigger. The one now is a cast off from the Royal opera house in London built in the nineteen thirty's but still has the original mercury and mahogany cooling fans. They certainly knew how to build things made for very periods in those days. As we now live in the throw away society. Give it 10-15 years now that's good enough.
 
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Mike Spooner

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I can assure you if a turbine is correctly assemble which can be a very delicate operation and properly maintained will out last any piston engines by years. One ship that come to mind is the TS King Edward the first commercial turbine ship in the world using Charles Parsons turbines from 1901-1952. The ship has been scrapped but the turbines are in a museum now.
At Kempton Steam Museum were the worlds largest working steam engine triple expansion is housed was in operation for 50 years of service seven days twenty four hour at a steady 20rpm with no major overhaul. As next to the engine is a turbine in service for forty five years of service running at 5,750rpm without any major overhaul!
If your turbines only last for 1-2 years before trouble, there is something serious wrong!
 

A. Gabriel

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Regarding the Titanic's engines, would the connecting rods have had the same diameter as the piston rods? Also, does anybody have specs for the Stephenson linkages?
 

A. Gabriel

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5750 rpm!! My goodness that puts the Olympic class' turbines (195 rpm max) to shame far and wide, jeez. Even the main dynamos (325 rpm regular) never ran that fast!
 

Mike Spooner

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5750 rpm!! My goodness that puts the Olympic class' turbines (195 rpm max) to shame far and wide, jeez. Even the main dynamos (325 rpm regular) never ran that fast!
Hi Gabriel,
The two General Electric turbines made under licence in the UK for Kempton were designed to run at 6,000rpm in 1933. Ideal for American electric at 60 Hz. They were just too fast for the water pumps were a David Brown herringbone reducing gear box was added at 5-1. Which had a reverse fuel consumption of burning over 30% more coal than the triple exspanion engines.
If I only knew how to enclose photos I would send them on.
Mike.
 

Mike Spooner

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Jan 31, 2018
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Hi Gabriel,
If you look in the RMS TITANIC Owners Workshop Manual book by Richard de Kerbreach and David Hutchings. They give a load of con rods and piston diameters. As they do vary between HP, IP and LP cylinders.
 

A. Gabriel

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Jun 13, 2018
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Sounds about right, as the H&W notebook image from the article I linked in my original post indicates that at least four parts varied in size between cylinders: the piston rod, piston rod screw, crosshead pin, and guide shoe had one size for the HP and IP cylinders, and another size for the LP cylinders. Not having access to the Owners Workshop Manual for the time being (still searching for a pdf!), I cannot yet confirm whether the data in the notebook agrees with data given in the OWM.
 

Rob Lawes

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If I only knew how to enclose photos I would send them on.
If the photo's are saved on your computer, simpply use the "upload a file" button on the bottom right of the reply box.

Click on the button. It will open a new box directing you to find your picture file. Once you've found it, click on the name and it will appear in the botttom of the box. Then press return and it should upload to the page.
 

A. Gabriel

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Jun 13, 2018
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Many thanks Mike. Crosschecking with the H&W notebook image, it looks like the OWM got everything spot on (and even gives the length of the crosshead pins, which it calls “top ends”). Only the guide shoes and piston rod screws are not mentioned there. Why was the crank pin slightly wider than the crankshaft though, and why the 9" hole?