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Largest piston engine in the world---

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  • Largest piston engine in the world---

    Having recently finished my first steam engine (One of Elmers simple wobblers), and being a veteran insomniac, I was laying in bed the other night wondering just how small the worlds smallest piston engine is, and how large the largest one. I never messed around with model airoplanes, so really the smallest piston engine I have ever seen is the 3/8" diameter engine that I just built. I have seen pictures of really large engines in trans Atlantic ships, and I am curious ---would the largest piston engine be something current, or would it have been built at the time of the industrial revolution. I don't care if it was steam, gasoline, or diesel---long as it was a piston engine.
    Brian Rupnow

  • #2
    Originally posted by brian Rupnow
    I don't care if it was steam, gasoline, or diesel---long as it was a piston engine.
    It seems to me I recall the largest piston engine is in Europe at a retired powerplant, and that it still runs. It was talked about here recently.

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    • #3
      B&w

      Google B&W (I believe Bergmeister and Wane , but not sure of the spelling) They make incredibly large marine engines.

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      • #4
        Smallest I Have Seen

        COX made a .010 Baby Bee in the early 70s.

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        • #5
          perhaps a candidate for one of the biggest if not the biggest?

          http://people.bath.ac.uk/ccsshb/12cyl/

          Im not all that up on engines, though this one comes up in conversation from time to time as the Emma Mearsk has a 14 cylinder version.
          Last edited by sconisbee; 06-16-2008, 10:45 PM.

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          • #6
            Sconisbee I remember seeing that on here before, its amazing to say the least -- for one even though the thing is of great mass its still extremely precision looking in every aspect and detail, I cannot believe the shine on the main bearing bores.

            I seem to recall my power mechanics teacher telling us of one of the large steam engines -- i believe it was used in a ship --- he had magic marker dots on the floor one day, he told us all to scoot our chairs into the inside parameter of all the dots, we did but it was a class full of at least 25 kids and maybe even 30 and it was cramped, Then he said that we all could fit on top of one of the pistons of such and such engine.

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            • #7
              There is a huge ol' power plant out in Alberta that's been used to pump natural gas for decades.
              A buddy of mine looked after it for years till they shut it down last year.
              He sent me a pic of it once... had a big ol' fashion cell phone resting on the top of a head stud. The cell phone didn't begin to cover the width of the stud. The nut holding the head on was absolutely huge!!
              He has a huge ol' con rod out of that motor. Uses it as an oversized gate post in his driveway.
              Not the biggest but pretty damm big for out on the prairies.
              I've always wondered how they moved that monster out there.
              Russ
              I have tools I don't even know I own...

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              • #8
                The largest piston ever built was for an Ericsson engine. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ericsson_cycle
                The Ericsson Cycle Engine (The second of the two discussed here) was used to power a 2000 ton ship, The Caloric Ship Ericsson and the engine ran flawlessly for 73 hours. The combination engine produced about 300 horsepower. It had a combination of 4 dual-piston engines; the larger expansion piston/cylinder, at 4.267 meters or 14 feet in diameter, was perhaps the largest piston ever built.

                That engine ran at a sedate 6.5 RPM.
                Allan Ostling

                Phoenix, Arizona

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                • #9
                  Not the largest pistons, but the most powerful engine is posted somewhere here or at PM.

                  Mebbe 100 feet long (could be wrong) burns about a gallon per revolution, pushes the largest container ships.

                  Ladders welded to the walls of the bearing supports to get down into the crankcase.

                  CRANKSHAFT is something like 100 tons.

                  If I can find it, I will link.

                  Beautiful!

                  Cheers,

                  George

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                  • #10
                    http://people.bath.ac.uk/ccsshb/12cyl/
                    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                    • #11
                      While we cannot aspire to build a larger engine than the largest, someone might be able to build one smaller than the smallest.

                      At present that accomplishment appears to be held by George Luhrs;

                      http://craftsmanshipmuseum.com/Luhrs.htm
                      Jim H.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Evan


                        Evan did you slip a cog? Again?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by deltaenterprizes
                          COX made a .010 Baby Bee in the early 70s.
                          Ahh, a subject I am familiar with. Actually the .010 was in the Cox "Tee Dee" series which began in 1961. Tee Dees (front rotary valve, glow ignition 2-strokes) were manufactured in .010, .020, .049, .051, .09 and .15 cu. in. sizes.

                          The Babe Bee's were all reed valve .049's. The "reedies" were made in (Pee Wee) .020, (Babe Bee) .049, (Killer Bee) .051, and (Queen Bee) .074 cu. in. sizes.

                          Cox engines were MASS produced (millions!) in a 24/7 temperature controlled factory in California with no CNC machines (lotsa screw machines though) to a very consistent & high quality level with extremely tight tolerances and were low priced to boot. We could use a few more Leroy Coxes in America today.

                          There is a fellow in Europe that makes extremely small diesel model engines that make the Tee Dee .010 look like a giant but I can't find a link to them at the moment.
                          Milton

                          "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

                          "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

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                          • #14
                            Evan did you slip a cog? Again?
                            That is the engine George referred to. What did you think?
                            Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                            • #15
                              I believe Sconsisbee already posted the identical link to it a few posts before yours, Just pickin on you

                              I think its amazing, those mains really get me, I bet those guys can see themselves in that finish...

                              Edit; Actually something does perplex me, Am I missing something? yes I am, dont you think an engine of that size spinning at just 102 RPM's would need a flywheel the size of cleveland?
                              I know its quite a few cylinders - I know the crank weighs in @ 300 tons (but keep in mind that its all in tight radius so does not account for "much" --- "much" in comparison to what you think would be needed), but the rest of the engine is 2,000 tons and much of that reciprocating parts that I also might add are firing off a diesel mix so the compression ratio must be adequate -- where's the freekin flywheel to that beast of burden?
                              maybe the 10 cylinder has to have a bigger one than the 14?
                              Last edited by A.K. Boomer; 06-17-2008, 10:27 AM.

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