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10-16-2009, 12:55 PM #1
Skinner Universal-Universal Unaflow engines
Our new plant will use the excellent designs of the Skinner Engine Works of Erie Pennsylvania. Please help with any detailed information.
The Solar Storage Company, based in Silicon Valley California with a temporary office in Melbourne Australia, is building new Skinner engines to run in 2010. The engines are for a solar thermal power plant. Just how we arrange that is part way through the patent process. All will be revealed when we are selling product.
The Skinner designs of greatest interest are the "Universal-Unaflow" type and the "Marine Unaflow" that first appeared around 1929. We have less interest in the "Marine Compound" that first appeared around 1934. The former is a single stage engine and the latter a "Woolf Cycle" compound with "steeple-jacked" pistons.
All detailed information is of interest. We already have access to information from large museums. What we seek is copies or photos of those old drawings, manuals and reports that some of you may have in your collections. Ideally, we will buy a set of piston rings, various other spares and a suitable complete engine. Something smaller would be ideal, perhaps a 150 to 250 horsepower two or three cylinder, the type used in hotels.
Any information on other uniflow/unaflow engines would be good. Consider Ames, Chuse, Hamilton, Harrisburg, Nordberg, Ridgway and Stumpf.
We will be absolutely delighted if anyone has a copy of the "Jour. Franklin Inst., Dec., 1902" report on the "Binary vapor eng., Royal High School, Berlin. Terrel Croft (1922, 1939) reported that this engine achieved an overall thermal efficiency of 26.8% operating with 143 psig superheated steam (590 deg Fahr.) and 4.5 inch absolute back pressure.
We have the addresses of hundreds of Skinner clients. I just hope this post will get some results quicker.
10-19-2009, 08:56 PM #2
10-20-2009, 03:26 AM #3
Binary vapor engines are rankine cycle engines with TWO rankine cycles superimposed one upon another. It allows a greater working temperature differential and hence greater efficiency than a single rankine cycle with a single working fluid.
See Gebhardt's Power Plant Engineering at http://books.google.com/books?id=yn5...ed=0CBMQ6AEwAw for a discussion of Binary Vapor Cycle prime movers of all sorts.
In the United States, William Le Roy Emmet was a noted binary cycle engineer for General Electric Company and in the years between WWI and WWII, GE attempted to market and capitalize on a Binary Cycle Unit based on Mercury as a topping cycle. See http://www.dself.dsl.pipex.com/MUSEU...ry/mercury.htm.
Thermodynamically, these units had a lot to recommend them achieving a unit heat rate below 10,000 Btu/kwhr in an age when a typical central station steam pressure was limited to perhaps 500 psi and 750 degrees F and 12K plus heat rate.
Mercury, unlike similarly used Sulfer Dioxide or Freon based gasses, has the unusual downside of being psychologically altering, hence the "mad hatter" of Alice In Wonderland/Lewis Carroll fame. (Mercury was used in the 19th century for cleaning of pelts for making of hats) There were 7 (I believe) Mercury Topping Cycle units built by GE nationwide of which the aforementioned Schiller Station here in Cow Hampshire was a later (and possibly more advanced) version.
The psychological downsides of mercury as a working fluid were brought to the fore in 1963 when an employee brought a gun to work and shot a supervisor. Shortly thereafter, Public Service of New Hampshire closed Schiller Station Mercury Cycle and converted the boilers to a straight steam cycle topping unit at some penalty in efficiency. Supposedly the mercury that was reclaimed was enough to pay for a good portion of the conversion, the price of mercury having appreciated in the years since the plant was originally built.
You can still go into the basement of Schiller Station and find little blobs of mercury here and there.
10-22-2009, 11:13 AM #4
10-26-2009, 11:26 PM #5
10-26-2009, 11:29 PM #6