Saturday, September 30, 2023

Weekend Steam II: Really Big Pumping Engine At Iron Mountain, Michigan

 I just happened upon this video, and I scrolled through it to see what the marvel was, and it is pretty neat. This is an amateur  travelogue video, and it is entertaining if you like out of the way places. If you don't, scroll over to the 21:30 mark to see the big pumping engine. Five Million gallons per day from 1500 feet is remarkable, I'd say. It was retired in the 1930's, and  a building was installed to protect it fifty years later.  Be sure to read the comments. John in Philly looked up some fascinating information about this big engine.


John in Philly said...

That is a large machine.
I wondered about the actual pumping part because the rule of thumb for water columns is about a half pound of psi pressure per foot, and 1500 feet means you need to see a 750 psi discharge pressure at the pump to break even at the surface.
I found a bit more information on the pump at Wiki, and I found that the pumping was done via a long shaft that drove a total of eight pumps at different depths.
"The Chapin Mine Steam Pump Engine is a vertical tandem compound steam engine.[9] At its maximum speed of 10 rpm, it produced over 1,200 horsepower (890 kW),[3] and during operation required 11,000 short tons (10,000 t) of coal per year to operate.[5] It is 54 feet (16 m)[2] tall with a flywheel 40 feet (12 m) in diameter, weighing 164 short tons (149 t).[10] The entire engine weighs 600 short tons (540 t). The drive shaft is 24 inches (61 cm) in diameter and the high and low pressure steam are 50 inches (130 cm) and 100 inches (250 cm) in diameter, respectively, both having a stroke of 10 feet (3.0 m).[10]

At the Ludington "C" shaft location, the pumping engine was connected via a 7 inches (18 cm) diameter shaft[11] to a series of eight pumps, the deepest of which was 1,500 feet (460 m) below ground[2] (at the original Chapin "D" shaft location, the depth was only 600 feet (180 m)).[6] Each pump had plungers 28 inches (71 cm) in diameter with a stroke of 10 feet (3.0 m).[10] Water was pumped by each pump through a vertical pipe to a discharge tank just beneath the next pump in series, and thus was carried in eight steps to the surface.[11] The total capacity of the pump system was 3,400 US gallons (13,000 L) per minute.[2]

"Although the Chapin Mine Steam Pump Engine is popularly known as "The Cornish Pump", it is not actually a Cornish engine, which lacks the rotating parts (connecting rod, crank and flywheel) seen in the Chapin Engine.[6] Rather, the name comes from the similarity between the Chapin engine and those used in tin mines in Cornwall in the 19th century.[5]"

The narrator, Sally, mentioned that she worked in the Nuclear Industry.

Merle said...

A few years back I lived in the lower part of the UP. Fascinating place!