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The Fabulous 1812 Crofton Steam Engine

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English / Deutsch Crofton Pumping Station near Hungerford, Berkshire, was built in 1807 to raise water approximately 40 feet (12 m) to the summit level of the Kennet and Avon Canal. Pumping work was done by two steam engines, the 1812 Boulton & Watt and the 1846 Harvey & Co. of Hayle until 1959. Starting from the early seventies of the last century, the whole station, including both engines, boilers, pumps and the chimney was restored into working order. 'It's the oldest steam engine, that can still do the job it was originally designed for ...' I cannot add anything to this brilliant comment of Guy about the 1812 Boulton & Watt engine. Still today the Kennet & Avon Trust doesn't need electric pumping, when the engines are in steam. And that's it, why I call the 1812 engine fabulous Both engines work with the Cornish cycle, that means, they are single acting only with the downward stroke, the return stroke is caused by the excess weight of the plunger. Work is done by expanding steam (the inlet valve opens only for a very short time, as you can see) at the top side of the piston and sucking condensor vacuum on the bottom side. At the beginning of the working stroke therefore both valves -- inlet and exhaust -- are open at the same time. Because of the low steam pressure vacuum's force (in fact nearly atmosheric pressure) is even larger than steam's force. The most fascinating thing for me about steam engines is, that you can see and understand their working quite easily, there are no dark electronic secrets and black boxes. If you are interested in the station's details, please have a look at the excellent homepage of Crofton Beam Engines . And if you want to visit Crofton, you will find competent persons for answering even very detailed questions. (Thanks!!) Just another complementary information, if you have seen the Tottenham House pump in the video: the landowner has demanded in 1807 to get a pump for his watersupply at -- Tottenham House! My animation of the Cornish cycle was designed with the program Cinderella 2, the music is a version of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake Valse by Kayser Medienverlag, ( ) Germany. Die legendäre Crofton Dampfmaschine, Baujahr 1812 Der Kennet-Avon Kanals verbindet für kleine Boote das Meer bei Bristol mit der Themse. Die Pumpstation Crofton in der Nähe von Hungerford (ca. 120km westlich von London) wurde 1807 gebaut, um Wasser über eine Höhe von 12m auf die Scheitelstrecke des Kanals hinaufzupumpen, da in dieser Höhe keinerlei Quellen vorhanden sind und das durch die Schleusen verlorene Wasser ersetzt werden muss. Die Pumparbeit erfolgte mit Hilfe von zwei großen Balancierdampfmaschinen, der 1812er Boulton & Watt und der ähnlich gebaute 1846er Harvey & Co. of Hayle bis zum Jahre 1959, ab dann kamen elektrische Pumpen zum Einsatz. Die Dampfmaschinen wurden allerdings durch die Voraussicht des leitenden Ingenieurs vor dem Verrotten und dem Abbruch gerettet. Ab den frühen 1970er Jahren wurde die komplette Station (Maschinen, Pumpen, Kessel, Gebäude) schrittweise wieder restauriert und der mehr als zur Hälfte abgetragene Schlot wieder neu errichtet. Heute ist Crofton in arbeitsfähigen Zustand.

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