Steam Engine Planning

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Main > Energy > Steam Engine

Monster steam.jpg

Concept Introduction

Nick Raaum was the project manager. Our present concept is to use a single acting cylinder made from steam piping, using an electronically-controlled valve, and a position sensor that tells when the valve should open and close.

Design Rationale

  • Use stock pipe section for replicability
    • Welded ends
  • Flywheel and pulley is used
  • About 150 rpm
  • Use stock piston seals
  • Machining boils down to lathing piston seal grooves
  • Connecting rod threaded into piston, uses two nuts
  • Use flywheel and linkage
  • Use a condenser - flat plate heat exchanger


On 12.6.08, Nick and Marcin had a strategy session in which we decided:

  • Pursue a simple, single-acting, steam engine with electronically controlled valve
    • Pursue stock pipe sections to eliminate casting requirements?
  • First plan of action:
    • Design drawings
    • Materials and corrosion issues


  • Asco valve - 8 hz, 150 PSIg operating pressure solenoid steam valve - $100 new; one required
  • Programmable Logic Controller - Arduino board?
  • Position sensor - an optical sensor, photoelectric eye?


  • A56 Schedule 80 half inch piping, carbon steel