User Manual for a Steam Engine
Steam is reliable and renewable!
Parts of a Steam Engine
- A fire where the coal burns.
- A boiler full of water that the fire heats up to make steam.
- A cylinder and piston (steam from the boiler is piped into the cylinder, causing the piston to move first one way then the other)
- A machine attached to the piston (a water pump, factory machine or even a giant steam locomotive)
Inside the locomotive cab, load coal into the firebox (1). The fire heats up the boiler—the "giant kettle" inside the locomotive. The boiler (2) produces steam under high pressure. The boiler is a big tank of water with dozens of thin metal tubes running through it. The tubes run from the firebox to the chimney, carrying the heat and the smoke of the fire with them (shown as white dots inside the tube). This arrangement of boiler tubes means the engine's fire can heat the water in the boiler tank much faster, so it produces steam more quickly and efficiently. The water that makes the steam either comes from tanks mounted on the side of the locomotive or from a separate wagon called a tender, pulled behind the locomotive (the tender also carries the locomotive's supply of coal.)
explainthatstuff.com and Wikipedia.org