Steam Engine Design/Pressure Relief Valve

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Steam Engine Design/Valves


Boilers, Solar Concentrators, and other steam generators have the potential to build up steam pressure to the point of explosion. For safety, some kind of pressure relief mechanism must be included in the system to allow excess steam to escape well before damage can result. The diagram below shows a very simple kind of relief valve held to the valve seat by a simple weight at the end of a lever arm. The exact amount of weight depends on several factors:

  • Relief pressure desired (above 150 psi, for example)
  • Weight and length of the lever arm
  • Weight and cross sectional area of the valve