Getting ready for a two week paper mill shutdown starting next week, the mill is 130+ years old and our #1PM was built around 1900, #3PM in the late 50's (same as me) #4PM mid 90's. One of the powerhouse boilers is fired by wood refuse and is pretty much a massive locomotive engine. Spent a couple nights on the Queen Mary some years back, the engine room was fascinating. My grandfather worked the Bluefield to Norfolk mail route for N&W back in the steam era, guess that is where I got my love for steam engines from.This is incredible! Having worked in a paper mill for 38+ years, I go back far enough to when paper machines were steam powered. Steam has no limits! Thanks.
AHHHH yea the bark boilers are great but the Black Liquor Boiler can cause a weee bit of a problem.Getting ready for a two week paper mill shutdown starting next week, the mill is 130+ years old and our #1PM was built around 1900, #3PM in the late 50's (same as me) #4PM mid 90's. One of the powerhouse boilers is fired by wood refuse and is pretty much a massive locomotive engine. Spent a couple nights on the Queen Mary some years back, the engine room was fascinating. My grandfather worked the Bluefield to Norfolk mail route for N&W back in the steam era, guess that is where I got my love for steam engines from.
I wouldn't stand within 100 yards of that machine under full load. Decades back, we attended a World Plowing Match and there was a much smaller version pulling 12-15 bottoms. The day after we were there, the steam engine blew up during a display run.
In response to both of you, most boiler explosions are caused by operator error and lack of maintenance. Steam tractors are safe if they have a competent engineer and or fireman. The most common cause of an explosion in a steam tractor is running the boiler water low which exposes and heats the crown sheet to a red hot condition. The expansion rate of water to steam is a factor of 1600. The safety valves cannot relieve the pressure fast enough so the boiler will rapidly disassemble itself when water is pumped back into the boiler. Steam tractors should have fusible plugs in the firebox that will melt under a low water condition. Most marine and stationary boilers have multiple interlocking safety systems to protect the equipment and people in the area of boiler. The Case 150 is built of modern materials and has been taken care of from the time it was built. Many old steam engines were not properly maintained and they used any water that they could get to run them. As I am writing this I am operating 2 500 horsepower boilers that I check several times an hour. The water is tested daily by me and I adjust the blow down and chemical rates accordingly. Good maintenance does not cost, it pays...The steam engines that run at public shows now have to be inspected & certified by licensed boiler inspectors . That doesn't mean they still can't blow, but much safer now than somebody just dragging an old one out a junk pile, getting it running, & taking it out in public.
Otherwise, an awesome display of power.
I fully concur and agree about the proper inspection of steam equipment. I have run steam compressors, engines and turbines. A properly fired coal boiler makes little smoke. I cringe when I see great clouds of black smoke rolling out of the stack on a locomotive or steam engine. Smoke like that is done to put on a show in many cases. If you have your draft set correctly and your fuel bed even there is a light grey haze coming from the stack. You will get a puff or two of smoke as you add coal when the fines burn off but the fire should be glowing with small licks of orange and blue shimmering on the surface. I love the way the 150 "talks" as the plow bottoms are lowered. It's amazing what a single 14 inch duplex cylinder with a 14 inch stroke can do. That is raw power in its purest form.Having run steam engines I must say they are incredible. I truely miss those days.
Steam is truely a incredible form of power. I miss the smell of coal