Steam Engine Indicators


Bill Sauder

Member
Dec 19, 2000
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Does anybody know of any surviving indicator cards for the Olympic? Any other British Recips of the period?

I have been looking for any indicator cards for years and have only found a single one -- used as a bookmark between the pages of an old electrical book.

And how about the McInnes-Dobbie Indicator? Is anyone aware of such a unit on display in a museum? A copy of the instruction book?

I have a number of good illustrations (Mostly from the Sothern Indicator Book) but I am looking for something much more specific to the brand.

Thanks

Bill Sauder
 

Noel F. Jones

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May 14, 2002
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The British journal "Engineering" routinely reproduced indicator diagrams for newbuildings from at least the 1860s. You would need to be near a major library with bound volumes. I know of two sets in Liverpool.

As for originals ...... you're on your own.

No information on indicator apparatus. There are apparently no examples in the London science museum - which is not a good sign. Maybe Tyneside or Glasgow museums may have examples.

Noel
 
Dec 29, 2000
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Indicator?
For steam engines? Well, I have a picture of one, and it was used on a triple-expansion engine, and I know how it works.
Steam turbines have no 'indicator diagramms' like common 'piston-Steam-engines' ;-)
So if you like, just let me know and the picture will be posted as link here. I hope I did not misunderstood indicator diagramm...
And: And indicator diagramm will be left at the engine builder, and will maybe be lost...
But I have also a copy of the diagram taken at the engine I was talking about, and taken with the indicator I have picture of.
 
Dec 29, 2000
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@tom bates:
Tom, an indicator diagrmm, if i did not misunderstood, is the diagramm which show pressure and steam flow in the steam engine cylinder. It is used so adjust the valve gear to minimize steam consuption and optimize power output. So the diagramm shows the steam entry and pressure biuld up, shows how the steam expands and looses pressure during pushing down the piston, shows the point of exhaut valve open point, and shows the point of compression, till the stema inlet process beginns again. All in all the diagramm shows the pressure curve and an engineer can see the time of steam entry, steam exhaust, compression and expansion. This is very important, like the valve adjustment of older cars or diesel engines. A sort of work must be done regualy to keep the engine work properly and efficient.
For example: If the time of exhaust isn't closed in the right time, there will nearly all steam exhaust, so there will be not compression, and the piston might 'hammer' into the crank bearing, because of is mass in motion. consider, that pistons have a heavy weight, and if the piston moves up or down, well there were cruel forces to the crank, if at the 'death end' the piston won't be compress steam as a buffer. If the buffer is not present, the engine 'hammers' because of the hard noise one can hear. But hammering can also ocuur if the time of steam inlet beginns to early, so the piston is in upward motion, but the steam entery for downward motion, so the steam forces the piston don into the bearin, again one can hear a hard hammering sound in the crank bearing.
So if the point is not set very accurate, the crank bearings and crosshead bearings might not hold that long as desingend or considered, even if the 'hammer' isn't to hear. But the indicator diagramm shows, so the engineer will adjust the gear, just to bring the valves into the postion to open and close in the right time.
I have no pictue of an indicator diagramm, but there are some shown on the web,
like http://www.dampfmaschinenmuseum-frankenberg.de/abb16.JPG

Following german page show not only a diagramm, it also shows a simple indicator for steam engines:

http://www.dampfmaschinenmuseum-frankenberg.de/bestuwir.htm

Hope this helps.
 

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