The steam engine was perhaps the most important discovery ever made. It bolstered the Industrial Revolution of the 19th Century. It replaced hard labor with efficient and fast machinery. Even today, the science used behind the steam engine empowers power generation plants. The simple movement of piston powered by the steam generated unimaginable power. Initially, the steam engine was used to pump the water out of coal mines. The invention was not the result of just one brain, but many inventors contributed to the invention of the steam engine and its use in various forms. Here are some more facts about steam engine.
How Was the Steam Engine Invented?
The steam engine was invented by Thomas Newcomen (1663-1729). When he built it in 1712, his goal was to pump water from coal mines.
After 57 years, in 1781, his compatriot James Watt added to the invention a condenser and multiplied its efficiency fourfold.
Finally, it was in 1785 when Boulton began to build the machines designed by Watt.
The steam engine was first patented in 1606 by Jerónimo de Ayanz y Beaumont.
Steam machines work by their powered steam engine, the same ones that have fed the locomotives and other machinery between the 1800s and 1950s. Although they exist in different sizes and shapes, basically they all work in a very similar way.
Giovanni Battista della Porta or also known as John Baptist Porta was the scientist who first discovered the role of steam in creating a vacuum. This theory later became the main concept of the design of the steam engine development carried out by its successors.
How does a steam engine work?
In a boiler, a certain amount of water is boiled incessantly. It is heated by a fire fueled by various fuels such as wood, coal or oil. When the water boils in the boiler, the steam is generated. The generated steam is concentrated in a closed chamber known as steam chamber, generating a high pressure.
The steam from the chamber enters a cylinder-piston system and high speed, causing the piston to move. This repeated motion of the piston is used for the movement of the wheels or any other end.
This movement is capable of rotating wheels for example of a locomotive or even cause the rotation of a rotor in an electric generator. When it finishes with the cycle, the piston returns to the place where it started and all the steam is expelled with inertia.
Key Terms Associated with Steam Engine
Condenser: For cooling and changing steam to water.
Cylinder: The piston is contained by this cylinder.
Piston: The piece that moves with pressure exerted by steam
Turbine/ Locomotive: The piston is attached to this. This where the final motion is required.
Impact of Steam Engine
This event was a transcendent change in the Industrial Revolution in England since the creation of the steam engine replaced the use of human and animal energy by steam energy.
The human being realized the great scope of production that he had with the machines and the speed with which he could manufacture the products if it was compared with the manufacturer.
Throughout time, steam machines made of wood were replaced by those made with iron.