Author Topic: Worthington pump engine question  (Read 2275 times)

Offline crueby

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Worthington pump engine question
« on: May 18, 2022, 08:15:34 PM »
Hi All,
The director at the Boston Waterworks Museum asked me this question, I drew a blank, so throwing it open to the group:

On thier compound corliss Worthington pumping engine, there is a tank like object around the main steam inklet pipe:

There is a handwheel-operated gate valve above and below this tank, the top pipe goes back to the boiler, the bottom leads into the steam inlet of the HP cylinder.

Anyone know what this is? Seems like an oil seperator/condensor would be on the outlet of the exhaust, not the inlet, so I don't think thats what it is. A pre-heater for something else? The horizontal tank behind it is the steam receiver for the pipe going to the LP cylinder to the right in the photo, in other photos it looks like there might be some small pipes between them, possible its a reheater takeoff for the receiver?
One of you should know, who will be first?!  Clock starts.... NOW!   :Lol:
Thanks for any help!
Chris

Offline cnr6400

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Re: Worthington pump engine question
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2022, 08:54:24 PM »
I remember seeing similar equipment labeled as a "receiver" in steam textbooks. As I recall, the purpose was to reduce any shock wave of the first steam past the valve into the engine by allowing the steam to pre-expand before entering the engine. Not sure if that is the exact purpose on the pumping engine, but it could be.  :cheers:
"I've cut that stock three times, and it's still too short!"

Offline crueby

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Re: Worthington pump engine question
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2022, 09:22:43 PM »
I remember seeing similar equipment labeled as a "receiver" in steam textbooks. As I recall, the purpose was to reduce any shock wave of the first steam past the valve into the engine by allowing the steam to pre-expand before entering the engine. Not sure if that is the exact purpose on the pumping engine, but it could be.  :cheers:
The only 'receivers' I have seen before are between the cylinders, not before the first one. Seems odd, letting the initial steam expand would just reduce its pressure and reduce the work it could do.   :headscratch:

Offline john mills

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Re: Worthington pump engine question
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2022, 09:46:08 PM »
is that  a water separator makes sure all is hot that the steam is dry before the engine   it would have water drains ?the bells and morcome and others have a cylinder at the steam inlet  would that not be similar.
     John

Offline crueby

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Re: Worthington pump engine question
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2022, 11:10:51 PM »
is that  a water separator makes sure all is hot that the steam is dry before the engine   it would have water drains ?the bells and morcome and others have a cylinder at the steam inlet  would that not be similar.
     John
Hi John,


Do you know how a water separator would work? I'll try and search on that...


 :cheers:

Offline cnr6400

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Re: Worthington pump engine question
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2022, 11:55:52 PM »
"Seems odd, letting the initial steam expand would just reduce its pressure and reduce the work it could do.   :headscratch:"

Hi Chris, I think it was intended to work this way - Once the first "relaxed" steam had passed through to the engine, and the engine was running, the pressure in the steam chest , receiver, and at the steam valve outlet port would all be equalized. The receiver would just ease the shock wave of the initial steam flow. After this first action, the receiver would not affect load or steam flow capacity - it would just be a larger diameter part of the pipework.  :cheers:
"I've cut that stock three times, and it's still too short!"

Offline crueby

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Re: Worthington pump engine question
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2022, 12:00:19 AM »
"Seems odd, letting the initial steam expand would just reduce its pressure and reduce the work it could do.   :headscratch: "

Hi Chris, I think it was intended to work this way - Once the first "relaxed" steam had passed through to the engine, and the engine was running, the pressure in the steam chest , receiver, and at the steam valve outlet port would all be equalized. The receiver would just ease the shock wave of the initial steam flow. After this first action, the receiver would not affect load or steam flow capacity - it would just be a larger diameter part of the pipework.  :cheers:
Oooohhhh, I get it now! Clever!  I'm so used to needle valves on the models and easing into engine motion, but these big ones were simple gate or butterfly valves, not much in the way of subtle changes.
Thanks! :cheers: :cheers:

Offline crueby

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Re: Worthington pump engine question
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2022, 12:04:17 AM »
Um, thinking more on that (can you hear the clanking and whirring noises too?)  - So, they would open the bottom valve, close to the engine, first, then the top one? That would let the steam expand some as it filled the tank between and flow into the engine at a slightly lower pressure/flow to start it? Then things would equalize as it ran?  Sort of like a garden hose filling/pressurizing with the sprinkler on the end - the water spraying out builds up slowly...
 :cheers:

Online Michael S.

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Re: Worthington pump engine question
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2022, 10:29:34 AM »
I know similar tubes from old books about steam engines. Maybe it's a condensate separator? It is used when the steam for the machine comes from above.
I made a drawing once.

Michael

Offline MJM460

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Re: Worthington pump engine question
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2022, 12:33:54 PM »
The engine has the inlet pipe coming from the top, and it does not look like itís well insulated.  Itís a truly horrible arrangement, gets in the way of any overhead crane and probably has to be removed for any major maintenance.

When it comes to start up, the pipe will be full of condensate which has to be drained before the inlet valve at the compressor is opened.  Then with the generally quite low steam temperatures of the time, there is probably a fair bit of condensate arriving at the engine even while running, so Michaelís sketch probably explains the internals to minimise the condensate entry into the cylinder, especially if there is an additional drain valve on the outlet pipe immediately above the engine inlet isolating valve for start up.

If this separation facility in normal operation was not required, a plain pipe would be sufficient without the cost of the extra complexity of the vessel.

The volume itself probably helps keep the inlet pressure a bit more consistent despite the intermittent flow into the cylinder, though it is probably not large enough to be really effective in that respect.  The larger flow area means the flow velocity drops which should result in some recovery of the velocity pressure, so increase the pressure, there is no expansion of system volume in the work sense.

I hope the words make sense, perhaps I had better make a sketch.

MJM460
The more I learn, the more I find that I still have to learn!

Offline crueby

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Re: Worthington pump engine question
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2022, 02:49:08 PM »
Thanks guys!  The lack of insulation is probably due to it being removed when they turned the building into a museum, and did not want exposed asbestos wrap all over the pipes.

Offline derekwarner

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Re: Worthington pump engine question
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2022, 03:05:31 PM »
 Asbestos...  :thinking:...."probably due to it being removed when they turned the building into a museum"......

This is certainly a most logical reason for the insulation [galvanised sheeting over asbestos] having been previously removed

[I experienced such an experience with a BHP-Engineering Contract assignment, where the Materials Engineers found traces of asbestos on the shell of a MAN-GHH axial turbo compressor that was shut down for planned rotor upgrade

The shutdown was delayed for 4 1/2 days with the compressor wrapped in a plastic shell balloon to allow Hazardous Materials workers de-contaminate the machine...complete with de-containment chambers & showers for 'in-out' workers etc]

So yes, a plausible reason for heat containment insulation and covering sheet lagging to have been removed  :ThumbsUp:

Chris......could you ask for a functional machine schematic?......that would confirm the function of the item

Derek
« Last Edit: May 19, 2022, 03:18:29 PM by derekwarner »
Derek L Warner - Honorary Secretary [Retired]
Illawarra Live Steamers Co-op - Australia
www.ils.org.au

Offline crueby

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Re: Worthington pump engine question
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2022, 03:23:42 PM »
Hi Derek,
They do not have plans for that engine, and have not done any disassembly on any of it either, no documentation on its internals. They did have all that at one time, but it was stored in a tower section of the building that collapsed years ago.   :'(
The plans/docs for thier Leavitt engine are a real loss, that one is a very unique engine. They do have original plans for the Allis triple compound engine, I have a copy of those and have been converting them to a 3D CAD model for them, they have already used some cross sections from the CAD model for signage at the museum. This is the Allis engine there, the pump chambers are in the basement underneath, it is very similar in design to the Holly and RD Wood engines:




Offline derekwarner

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Re: Worthington pump engine question
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2022, 04:27:40 PM »
The Museum  Planners have certainly achieved an inspiring machine for the visual inspection..........those rows of underhead downlighting look similar to the deck downlighting of an ocean liner....& the polished brickwork on the floors  :praise2:

It doesn't really matter what that 'vertical accumulater' type device really was, but some of your responses must be pretty close  :Argue:

Derek 
Derek L Warner - Honorary Secretary [Retired]
Illawarra Live Steamers Co-op - Australia
www.ils.org.au

Offline crueby

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Re: Worthington pump engine question
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2022, 04:59:08 PM »
The Museum  Planners have certainly achieved an inspiring machine for the visual inspection..........those rows of underhead downlighting look similar to the deck downlighting of an ocean liner....& the polished brickwork on the floors  :praise2:

It doesn't really matter what that 'vertical accumulater' type device really was, but some of your responses must be pretty close  :Argue:

Derek
Thanks Derek! Yeah, the lighting on the Allis engine is quite good. The basement level with the pump chambers is all painted black with just a few lights, would make a great horror movie dungeon space! 

I've passed along the info plus answers to other questions they had asked about other parts that I knew to the guys at the museum, they were happy for the information.

 :cheers:

 

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