Steam Power Continuation.docx
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Continuation of Steam Engine
Watt's partner Matthew Boulton persuades him to find a way to use the engine to run machinery:
“There is no other Cornwall to be found and the most likely line of consumption of our engines is the
application of them to mills which is certainly an extensive field.”
Watts is a fine engineer.
At some point in time, Matthew Boulton (an accountant in the business), tells Watts to find another
market, another method of production and use of energy.
Recommendation: Make engines more generally useful!
● Watt invents the following in response:
– “Double acting” engine that injects steam at both ends of the cylinder (smoother action) – Steam is
only involved in one half the action. Steam wasn’t even doing the work, it was only injected in one half
of the piston.
– The governor, to control engine speed – Watts invents the GOVERNOR. An essential invention.
– “Sun and moon gearing” to convert reciprocal motion into rotary motion – can now be used in
Someone realized that this mechanism can now be used for travel and transportation.
A lot of this technology is now used in England.
Steam power was in its infancy.
Water power increases and almost doubles.
Wind is starting to fade around this time.
Stationary Steam Power in Europe
Feedback to Science
● Sadi Carnot of France asks - He starts looking at steam engines. He asks why high pressure steam
engines are so efficient. He comes up with concepts of thermodynamics.
● John Smeaton develops the breastwheel in 1750
– As efficient as the overshot wheel, but able to operate in flood conditions
● Euler (the French mathematician) showed that using the force of the water as it comes out of the
waterwheel allows all of the energy to be used
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