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Steam related,but not heating

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ChrisJ
ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,671
Something's been bothering me for a while and I don't know where to even begin as far as searching for an answer.

Steam trains dumped their steam / blew it up the stack to create draft but ships recycled the steam and often ran it through condensers.

I have to assume the exhaust steam had oil in it, and that oil would not only cause issues for the boilers but also the condensers. How did they deal with the oil?

Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment

Comments

  • dko
    dko Member Posts: 589
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  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,280
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    Nice video, @dko . Thank you! Also worth noting -- he doesn't mention it that much -- is that the main condensate flow from the engines -- the turbines-- will have very little if any oil or dirt of any kind in it (shouldn't have any, unless a seal has blown on a turbine and the pressures are wrong -- all the bearings are outboard of the seals)(Shameless plug here -- take a look at the videos put out by Battleship New Jersey. Some really good stuff on the turbines and reduction gears).

    The older steam piston engines did have a lot of oil in the exhaust steam. I imagine (don't know for use) that they had various kinds of oil/water separators.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    ChrisJ
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,671
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    Nice video, @dko . Thank you! Also worth noting -- he doesn't mention it that much -- is that the main condensate flow from the engines -- the turbines-- will have very little if any oil or dirt of any kind in it (shouldn't have any, unless a seal has blown on a turbine and the pressures are wrong -- all the bearings are outboard of the seals)(Shameless plug here -- take a look at the videos put out by Battleship New Jersey. Some really good stuff on the turbines and reduction gears).

    The older steam piston engines did have a lot of oil in the exhaust steam. I imagine (don't know for use) that they had various kinds of oil/water separators.


    I was picturing older engines, like the Olympic class had.
    I'd assume there was a fair amount of oil in the exhaust steam, no?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    delcrossv
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,280
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    ChrisJ said:

    Nice video, @dko . Thank you! Also worth noting -- he doesn't mention it that much -- is that the main condensate flow from the engines -- the turbines-- will have very little if any oil or dirt of any kind in it (shouldn't have any, unless a seal has blown on a turbine and the pressures are wrong -- all the bearings are outboard of the seals)(Shameless plug here -- take a look at the videos put out by Battleship New Jersey. Some really good stuff on the turbines and reduction gears).

    The older steam piston engines did have a lot of oil in the exhaust steam. I imagine (don't know for use) that they had various kinds of oil/water separators.


    I was picturing older engines, like the Olympic class had.
    I'd assume there was a fair amount of oil in the exhaust steam, no?
    I would think. Maybe we should go visit the Liberty ship John W. Brown, down in Baltimore, and see what she has? She's operational (though somehow I don't think she'll be going much of anywhere for a while...)
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,671
    edited March 26
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    ChrisJ said:

    Nice video, @dko . Thank you! Also worth noting -- he doesn't mention it that much -- is that the main condensate flow from the engines -- the turbines-- will have very little if any oil or dirt of any kind in it (shouldn't have any, unless a seal has blown on a turbine and the pressures are wrong -- all the bearings are outboard of the seals)(Shameless plug here -- take a look at the videos put out by Battleship New Jersey. Some really good stuff on the turbines and reduction gears).

    The older steam piston engines did have a lot of oil in the exhaust steam. I imagine (don't know for use) that they had various kinds of oil/water separators.


    I was picturing older engines, like the Olympic class had.
    I'd assume there was a fair amount of oil in the exhaust steam, no?
    I would think. Maybe we should go visit the Liberty ship John W. Brown, down in Baltimore, and see what she has? She's operational (though somehow I don't think she'll be going much of anywhere for a while...)
    Are you nuts?
    Maybe last week, but I don't think it's a good idea right now.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,280
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    ChrisJ said:

    ChrisJ said:

    Nice video, @dko . Thank you! Also worth noting -- he doesn't mention it that much -- is that the main condensate flow from the engines -- the turbines-- will have very little if any oil or dirt of any kind in it (shouldn't have any, unless a seal has blown on a turbine and the pressures are wrong -- all the bearings are outboard of the seals)(Shameless plug here -- take a look at the videos put out by Battleship New Jersey. Some really good stuff on the turbines and reduction gears).

    The older steam piston engines did have a lot of oil in the exhaust steam. I imagine (don't know for use) that they had various kinds of oil/water separators.


    I was picturing older engines, like the Olympic class had.
    I'd assume there was a fair amount of oil in the exhaust steam, no?
    I would think. Maybe we should go visit the Liberty ship John W. Brown, down in Baltimore, and see what she has? She's operational (though somehow I don't think she'll be going much of anywhere for a while...)
    Are you nuts?
    Maybe last week, but I don't think it's a good idea right now.
    You might be right... what I'd really like to do -- but won't get the chance to --go down to the Philadelphia Navy Yard and take a look at USS New Jersey (BB 62) while she's in the drydock there..
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    CLamb
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,671
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    ChrisJ said:

    ChrisJ said:

    Nice video, @dko . Thank you! Also worth noting -- he doesn't mention it that much -- is that the main condensate flow from the engines -- the turbines-- will have very little if any oil or dirt of any kind in it (shouldn't have any, unless a seal has blown on a turbine and the pressures are wrong -- all the bearings are outboard of the seals)(Shameless plug here -- take a look at the videos put out by Battleship New Jersey. Some really good stuff on the turbines and reduction gears).

    The older steam piston engines did have a lot of oil in the exhaust steam. I imagine (don't know for use) that they had various kinds of oil/water separators.


    I was picturing older engines, like the Olympic class had.
    I'd assume there was a fair amount of oil in the exhaust steam, no?
    I would think. Maybe we should go visit the Liberty ship John W. Brown, down in Baltimore, and see what she has? She's operational (though somehow I don't think she'll be going much of anywhere for a while...)
    Are you nuts?
    Maybe last week, but I don't think it's a good idea right now.
    You might be right... what I'd really like to do -- but won't get the chance to --go down to the Philadelphia Navy Yard and take a look at USS New Jersey (BB 62) while she's in the drydock there..
    Oh there's been a lot of discussion about that in our shop lately.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 742
    edited March 26
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    I don't have my Audel's Powerplant Engineer's Guide handy, but I do recall they had both mechanical and vortex type condensate oil separators= the latter being like a Rolairtrol for oil.


    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,737
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    ChrisJ said:

    Nice video, @dko . Thank you! Also worth noting -- he doesn't mention it that much -- is that the main condensate flow from the engines -- the turbines-- will have very little if any oil or dirt of any kind in it (shouldn't have any, unless a seal has blown on a turbine and the pressures are wrong -- all the bearings are outboard of the seals)(Shameless plug here -- take a look at the videos put out by Battleship New Jersey. Some really good stuff on the turbines and reduction gears).

    The older steam piston engines did have a lot of oil in the exhaust steam. I imagine (don't know for use) that they had various kinds of oil/water separators.


    I was picturing older engines, like the Olympic class had.
    I'd assume there was a fair amount of oil in the exhaust steam, no?
    I would think. Maybe we should go visit the Liberty ship John W. Brown, down in Baltimore, and see what she has? She's operational (though somehow I don't think she'll be going much of anywhere for a while...)
    My grandfather served on Liberty ships and I was lucky enough to have gone on one of the cruises on the John Brown with him about 18 years ago. They do a really nice job with those cruises, it's really quite a show. You can also go into the engine room while it's underway and watch all the operations going on.

    My grandfather was a cadet at Kings Point and spent the war on Liberty ships as an engineer in the engine room. It was quite an experience. He left this world in 2019 (96) , or I'd ask him this question, he was sharp as a tack till the end and always knew the answers.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,246
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    I've asked engine room guys. Those operating jet condensers exhausting into lake say there is no oil. But I know they buy cylinder oil regularly. When condensate goes back into boiler a lot of effort goes into removing the oil. Cotton. Nowadays there are quite effective membranes to filter out non polar liquids like oil. But of course there aren't many steamships anymore. In olden days they also used centrifuges to try to remove water from oil. Can't say for sure but I think big ships distilled water for boilers. If steam power goes back into favor on ships they'll probably use thermocompressors or reverse osmosis. And steam engines will be oil tight.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,280
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    Steam ships operating in fresh water -- lakes -- can use lake water in their boilers, and some do. Very early steam ships on oceans were also once through -- but that didn't last long. All large steam ships for at least the last 130 years used condensers (they also increase power, interestingly) and recycle the water. If makeup water is needed they do use distilled water which is made on board (and tastes horrible, by the way) (and if you think we're fanatical about leaks, you should see those guys...). All boiler water on larger ships is treated for corrosion protection etc. -- with some astonishingly nasty chemicals.

    One might think that engine driven ships -- almost all of them diesels, of course, could and would use seawater. No. The stuff is way too corrosive. So they also, except in small boats, use closed cooling systems of one flavour or another. Usually with heat exchangers to seawater, but there are other schemes.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Long Beach Ed
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 742
    edited March 28
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    Steam ships operating in fresh water -- lakes -- can use lake water in their boilers, and some do. Very early steam ships on oceans were also once through -- but that didn't last long. All large steam ships for at least the last 130 years used condensers (they also increase power, interestingly) and recycle the water. If makeup water is needed they do use distilled water which is made on board (and tastes horrible, by the way) (and if you think we're fanatical about leaks, you should see those guys...). All boiler water on larger ships is treated for corrosion protection etc. -- with some astonishingly nasty chemicals.

    One might think that engine driven ships -- almost all of them diesels, of course, could and would use seawater. No. The stuff is way too corrosive. So they also, except in small boats, use closed cooling systems of one flavour or another. Usually with heat exchangers to seawater, but there are other schemes.

    i've installed enough small marine diesel/inboard gas engines to say they all now use a primary coolant loop(like a car) and a heat exchanger to put the engine heat in the ocean. Sacrificial zinc anodes and copper based alloys are used for corrosion protection. A lot of years ago, I think Beta used a direct cooling scheme, with expected results.

    Outboards are still direct cooled as far as I know.
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,246
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    >>for at least the last 130 years used condensers (they also increase power, interestingly) and recycle the water.<<

    Interesting post, Jamie. Condensate can be dumped or re-used. In latter case OP poses interesting question which I also have been pondering for many decades. As I posted, I've heard about using stuff like cotton to absorb the oil. By the early eighties there was treated paper which supposedly purged oil from water. I suppose if some oil does get into boiler there are anti-foaming agents? I also wonder why steam engine pistons couldn't use some sort of oil less rings?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,280
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    Fortunately oil and water don't mix, unless there is a detergent or soap of some kind present, so if you can get the flow rate down low enough for gravity to do the job you can get rid of most of it -- just as we do when we skim a boiler. There are also centrifugal oil separators used. And as you note there are absorbent or adsorbent materials which can be -- and are -- used.

    Not sure what materials were or are used for closed system piston rings for steam engines. I'll have to look that up!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,671
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    Regardless of the rings the pistons, valves etc need lubrication 
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,280
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    Slide and rotary valves do need lubrication in the steam path, but poppet valves to not, so there will definitely be a small amount of oil -- very small -- carried with the exhaust steam. With a decent surface area and some baffles, I would imagine that the feedwater supply tank would do most of the work.

    And oil/water separators do work and work well -- consider any diesel engine. They all should have them. Only in this application, one is interested in recovering the water, not the oil!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England