How did they stop the Titanic's power and propulsion system?


LouisaH

Member
Apr 7, 2014
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Hi,

My apologies if this question has been raised elsewhere on this forum.

For a Masters of Engineering project, I'm researching the strategies used for starting and stopping the Titanic. I've already found plenty of information about the start-up process, but haven't found much at all on the stop procedure. How did the crew carry out a planned stop? I imagine that they would have to draw the furnace fires, close the dampers, and turn off the electric fans... and somehow keep the steam pressure and flow balanced throughout the system. If anyone has any more information about this process, your help would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Louisa
 

LouisaH

Member
Apr 7, 2014
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Hi David,

Thanks for your response, and for sending the link. I've actually come across Samuel Halpern's article, and it has been an invaluable resource for my research. You triggered me to re-read some of the sections, however, and I came across this paragraph:

"The ship was also equipped with a silent blow-off from the main steam pipeline for use as a "bleed line" to regulate the rise in steam pressure that would otherwise occur when the plant was put on stand-by and the fires banked. This was to prevent the safety valves from popping off which might otherwise occur."

Does this mean that the engineers didn't have to do any specific tasks to control the system steam pressure when the engines were "turned off" and the fires drawn? Does the blow-off in the main steam pipeline automatically control for imbalances in the steam pressure?

Thanks,
Louisa
 
Dec 4, 2000
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Louisa --

Sorry, but I'm a deckie and not a snipe. If I tried to answer you all I could is open my mouth to change feet. Seriously, there was some mechanical automation in 1912 steam plants, but not much beyond the safety blow-offs. You'll have to find someone with old-fashioned steam experience. Good luck with your paper.

-- David G. Brown
 

Kiwi__Power

Member
Feb 17, 2015
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0
11
Hi David,

Thanks for your response, and for sending the link. I've actually come across Samuel Halpern's article, and it has been an invaluable resource for my research. You triggered me to re-read some of the sections, however, and I came across this paragraph:

"The ship was also equipped with a silent blow-off from the main steam pipeline for use as a "bleed line" to regulate the rise in steam pressure that would otherwise occur when the plant was put on stand-by and the fires banked. This was to prevent the safety valves from popping off which might otherwise occur."

Does this mean that the engineers didn't have to do any specific tasks to control the system steam pressure when the engines were "turned off" and the fires drawn? Does the blow-off in the main steam pipeline automatically control for imbalances in the steam pressure?

Thanks,
Louisa

image023.jpg


Some of the boilers can be used to drive dynamos and auxiliary engines only so during docking the load on those boilers would be more or less the same. When you come into dock someone from on deck would notify the boiler rooms that they are coming in using a boiler room telegraph. When the firemen are aware of that, they anticipate a sudden decline in steam demand and slow down the fires to allow the pressure in the boilers to decrease. Then once the bridge rings finished with engines and they close off steam to those, the pressure in those boilers will rise again but not enough to lift the safety. If you're bypassing steam to the condenser or lifting the safety valves you're wasting energy and therefore wasting coal.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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www.titanicology.com
Louisa: If you can get a copy of "Care and Operation of Naval Machinery" by Lt. H C Dinger (NY Van Nostrand Co. 1908), it has a chapter on running engines while underway. It will probably have everything you need to know about running a reciprocating plant back in the early 20th century.
 

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