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Historical Engine Article Series I - Early Crossley Slide Valve Engine Tests


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Old 03-15-2012, 07:24:39 AM
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Default Historical Engine Article Series I - Early Crossley Slide Valve Engine Tests

Ok, lets give this a try. As I mentioned Previously my focus with this is to share documentation and "exchange dialog" on early engine information, some technical some historical. I understand this topic may be as boring as watching grass grow for some, but think enough collectors may find value in it.


Lets keep this as interactive as possible. Hopefully this will bring out questions and spawn discussion.

The first topic will cover a series of comparison tests done by Dugald Clerk on an 1882 Slide Valve 6 HP Crossley and an 1892 9 HP poppet valve Crossley. From a theoretical standpoint these two engines are worlds apart. Here is table showing the technical differences between these two engines compiled by Clerk.

Discussion concerning the actual limitations of the slide valve system to follow:

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Old 03-15-2012, 10:39:12 AM
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Default Re: Historical Engine Article Series I - Early Crossley Slide Valve Engine Tests

Well the first thing I see that's interesting is the RPMs, we knew already that slide valves were limited by RPM.

But the poppet valve is running the same speed.
Is that done intentionally by Clerk for comparison??

One would think given there were already differences in bore & stroke he would run the engine at its rated speed (probably 200-240 rpm) to test it fairly.

J
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Old 03-16-2012, 06:29:27 AM
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Default Re: Historical Engine Article Series I - Early Crossley Slide Valve Engine Tests

Jon,

At first glance I thought the same, but his tests were designed to look at system efficiencies. He was interested in the amount of fuel per unit HP that each engine consumed and the efficiency gain of the higher compression ratio found in the later style engine. Comparison testing like this has little to do with the size of the engine

Your engine was set up as a test engine and you have the unique ability to have some fun. Wouldn't it would be interesting to recreate some of these early tests and create some PV cards? I wonder when the last time that was done on a Slide Valve engine?


Early slide valve engines were HP limited for several reasons:

1)When compared to Natural Gas or liquid fuels, Hydrogen based illuminating gas has significantly less energy.
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2)Carrier flame ignition has a maximum reliable speed. If exceeded, misfires would become more frequent. In the case of Otto patent style 4 stroke/cycle slide valve systems this was about 100 ignition cycles each minute or 200 RPM. Clerk developed a superior system to use in his 2 cycle engine that functioned at more than twice that speed, however slide valve engines became obsolete before it could be applied to other manufacturers.
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3) Here is a big one, and why it was very unusual to see a slide valve cylinder larger than 15 HP: All Otto type slide valve engines aspirate their air/fuel mixture through a port in the slide via a passageway in the center of the head. The mere design of this port causes flow restrictions, not only by the twists and turns in the air path but by the limitation of its maximum allowable size. The greater its size, the larger surface area cylinder pressure gets exerted upon. There became a point when the spring force needed to prevent combustion gas from escaping past the slide was impractical. On a typical 4-6 HP slide valve engine, spring force on the slide cover is in excess of 600 lbs.
Note: On most slide valve engines the intake port is open well beyond BDC - this is allow the air/gas flow to catch up prior to the compression cycle as there is a large negative pressure in the cylinder.

The following PV diagram shows a power robbing 4 PSI vacuum during the intake stroke. Pressure in the cylinder does not return to atmospheric until part way in the "compression cycle"




4) Another significant shortcoming slide valve engines were the limitation of its compression ratio. 2:1 up to 3:1 compression ratios were typical, any higher than that and slide valve spring tension needed to be increased to a point where mechanical reliability of the slide system became unacceptable.

Last edited by Wayne Grenning; 03-16-2012 at 06:51:46 AM.
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:34:19 AM
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Default Re: Historical Engine Article Series I - Early Crossley Slide Valve Engine Tests

Here is some information for comparison purposes:

Cylinder Compression Pressures.
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Early slide valve engines Pre 1882 ~ 28 to 30 PSIG
Later slide valve engines 1882 onward 38 PSIG
Poppet valve engines up to about 1894 65 PSIG
1894 onward 85 PSIG and higher

This data is representative of Crossley Engine Development

The PV diagram below shows the huge gains from increased compression ratio.
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The dotted line shows the curve from a slide valve engine with a compression ratio of about 2.5 1 with compression pressure of 35 PSIG. It also indicates a peak combustion pressure of just over 125 PSIG
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The solid lines show the affects of increasing the compression ratio in the same engine.
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The lower solid line compression pressure of about 60 PSIG with a peak Combustion pressure of 200 PSIG

The higher line Compression pressure of 80 yielding a combustion pressure of over 250 PSIG.

This clearly shows the benefits of incorporating higher compression ratios.

Simply put, the higher the combustion pressures, the more power the engine will produce.

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Old 03-16-2012, 08:50:12 AM
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Default Re: Historical Engine Article Series I - Early Crossley Slide Valve Engine Tests

Very cool information Wayne, keep it coming
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Old 03-16-2012, 09:41:21 AM
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Default Re: Historical Engine Article Series I - Early Crossley Slide Valve Engine Tests

Here is a little more information on the two engines that were tested.in Clerks trials.
The Early Engine:
Crossley Otto Gas-Engine built in 1882. Slide Valve Construction
Serial number 4683 6 HP Nominal
Originally installed at a factory in Birmingham.




The second later engine:
Crossley Otto Gas Engine Built in 1892 - Poppet Valve Construction
Serial Number 19772 9 HP
After extensive testing it was installed at the Clifton Rocks Railway, Bristol.

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Old 03-16-2012, 10:35:52 AM
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Default Re: Historical Engine Article Series I - Early Crossley Slide Valve Engine Tests

Wayne, wonderful discussion, thanks for posting. I like your concise statement of “Simply put, the higher the combustion pressures, the more power the engine will produce.” I’d just like to point out for those who don’t know, how important the P-V diagram is in determining work and power in engineering.

Most cringe when they hear the word calculus and would think it is useless, but here it is in a nutshell: the area under the curves of the P-V diagram (Pressure on the vertical axis and Volume on the horizontal) is the definition of WORK (Work = the integration of Pressure over very small segments of volume). POWER is the rate of change of Work (the rate of energy transfer), or the first derivative with respect to time. I deal with this stuff every day so it is second nature to me, but it can be a bit abstract at first glance. Basically increase the area under the P-V curve (either increasing the combustion pressure or the volume of the cylinder) and you get more work….
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:02:09 PM
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Default Re: Historical Engine Article Series I - Early Crossley Slide Valve Engine Tests

Thats a hell of a nutshell SDP!!

Wayne
According to the info we have our engine led a double life. It was the power unit in the machine shop at the University as well as a test engine.

Last year Dad picked up an indicator to thread onto the tap that is threaded into the flange above the exhaust valve. That coupled with the bellcrank system that was attached to the back of the piston should allow us to recreate the chart in your diagram.

We've also got a big gasometer like tank that measures how much gas the Otto "gulps" too!!

Maybe some modern day testing is in order...

J
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Old 03-16-2012, 09:37:58 PM
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Default Re: Historical Engine Article Series I - Early Crossley Slide Valve Engine Tests

Jon,
Let me know when (if) you set up the test, I would be most interested in seeing it
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:15:55 PM
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Default Re: Historical Engine Article Series I - Early Crossley Slide Valve Engine Tests

Wayne,
Thanks, for the info. I have an indicator made for gas engines, it has a 300 lb. spring with it and it has a smaller diameter drum on it compared to a steam indicator for the higher speeds of a gas engine. I took some diagrams of my 6 hp Domestic and it was very informative.

I use the engine to run the line shaft in my shop so it has to run fast and make power. The engine runs at 270 rpm and I had to set the ignitor to trip at about 30 degrees advanced when rolling it over by hand to get a good diagram. I figure actual ignition occurs later than that when running at speed.
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:34:10 PM
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Default Re: Historical Engine Article Series I - Early Crossley Slide Valve Engine Tests

SPD, Thanks for sharing your experience with PV diagrams. As you indicated, they are important to understand the dynamics within the combustion chamber.

N. A Otto recognized this, even in the early days of Gasmotorenfabrik Deutz when they were still manufacturing their (Otto Langen )atmospheric engines . The P-V card printed by the indicator told the whole story. The test engineer could read the diagram and tell what component of the engine needed adjusting.

The significance of the PV indicator and diagram were so dramatic, Otto used it to understand the pressure cycles in his new 4 stroke cycle engine of 1876.

The following diagram is an actual P-V card from his experimental 4 stroke-cycle test engine conducted May 9th 1876.



Amazing as it may seem, Otto's first test engine still exists in the private Deutz Co. Engine Museum "Technikum".

Here is an early photo ( ca. 1900 ) of the test engine showing its original configuration. Since the time of this photo it has lost many of its smaller intricate parts. Company sponsored dis-assemblies, and the fact it was shuffled through multiple museums and storage facilities over the last Century have lead to its current incomplete state. Actually, the correct flywheel shown in this photo was misplaced about 90 years ago. The engine as configured today is believed ( by yours truly) to have the flywheel from their very first 1867 Otto Langen Engine. A photographic study of early Deutz Museum engines supports this theory.



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On the topic of PV Diagrams, the next one shows a highly detailed card from a non compression Horizontal engine typical of Forest, Benier, Lenoir, or National Meter ( Crown Pumping Engine) . As previously mentioned, the area under the curve shows power. The pressures associated with a non compression engine are low and more instantaneous than in a 4 stroke cycle . This particular P-V diagram was printed by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers in the UK in 1875
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---------- Post added at 10:32 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:19 PM ----------



---------- Post added at 10:34 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:32 PM ----------

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Bill very interesting! Especially to make a PV card at home! We did a lot of testing on different engines at college, from Rotary ( Wankle ), GM Small Block Chevy and Waukashaw CFR . The PV diagram ( although not mechanically derived as on our early engines) was an essential tool for calculating indicated power and efficiency.

Coolspring Power museum has a Crossley Engine in the Susong building that came from a test cell. I believe it is their intent to make it a working display and have the ability ( as an educational display) to print PV diagrams during their Summer and Fall shows.

It would be interesting to see a photo of your Domestic card. - Wayne
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:29:49 AM
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Default Re: Historical Engine Article Series I - Early Crossley Slide Valve Engine Tests

Wayne we should probably see if the indicator we have is for gas or steam and if it's a steam if it can be used for this particular gas engine.
Other than that it's just a matter of talking father into it...

J
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Old 03-17-2012, 08:10:12 AM
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Default Re: Historical Engine Article Series I - Early Crossley Slide Valve Engine Tests

If you have a steam indicator you might not have a heavy enough spring. If you want to test your engine you could borrow my indicator. If you bring the engine back to Coolspring we could do it there.

I will scan the diagrams that I made when I get a chance.
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:09:16 AM
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Default Re: Historical Engine Article Series I - Early Crossley Slide Valve Engine Tests

Hi Wayne,

I am not very good at reading these charts, but it appears that even with the variable piston speeds, the slide valve maintains the 4lb below atmospheric pressure.

Just a thought - It may be accidental but this would encourage lubrication of the slide valve.

Regards,
Wayne

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Old 03-19-2012, 06:38:07 AM
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Default Re: Historical Engine Article Series I - Early Crossley Slide Valve Engine Tests

Hi,

I have been thinking about this, the indicators seem to be fairly accurate. I understand the slidevalve movement and ports could be consistent with the piston speed, not giving any variation below 4 lb. Another thought, considering the engine is quite large with an 8" bore, all the engines I know of and have seen have a gas trap fitted into the sub base, so the incoming air is drawn through water first.

Could this be the reason why the intake stroke is constant at 4 lb?

Although the line drawing above suggest the engine has a air silencer. Could the information be correct but the drawing not be representative of the actual engine?

Regards,
Wayne

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Old 03-19-2012, 07:04:38 AM
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Default Re: Historical Engine Article Series I - Early Crossley Slide Valve Engine Tests

As mentioned previously, Slide valve cylinder size was limited because of the max intake port cross section in the slide valve itself. A solution to this dilemma was the introduction of a twin cylinder engine. Most engine manufacturers under the Otto Patent built these. Shown below is an early style twin slide offered by Crossley. In this particular engine design, both cylinders share a common water jacket, and the pistons are coupled to the same crank pin. Also note that the manufacturer chose to make a long single slide valve that spanned the front of both combustion chambers. The documentation accompanying this engraving did not specify if both cylinders fired together or 360 degrees apart. It is unclear how reliable this design was in practice, but it can be assumed by its short lived production that the future 2nd generation design utilizing two discrete cylinders was perfered.



On the above engine and on other similarly designed Crossley engines a steped gas valve was used. As the governor called for more fuel the pick blade of the governor jumped to the next step thus increasing the fuel admitted into the engine. The next graphic is of an indicator diagram showing the output of the engine at each of the three steps in the fuel admission valve.

Note: Premier design Crossley and Deutz built slide valve engines incorporated the more primitive all or nothing fuel admission control system.

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Old 03-19-2012, 07:31:26 AM
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Default Re: Historical Engine Article Series I - Early Crossley Slide Valve Engine Tests

Thanks to all who weighed in. This is really neat stuff. And all done with lots of imagination and no computers!
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Old 03-19-2012, 08:06:35 AM
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Default Re: Historical Engine Article Series I - Early Crossley Slide Valve Engine Tests

Wayne Timms,
The negative 4 psi on the intake stroke is the result of the intake port not being large enough. Notice on the first chart that the charge velocity is nearly double that of the poppet valve engine. Also the area of the intake passage is nearly 3 times larger on the later engine.

I have never heard of a water trap in the sub base.

Bill
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Old 03-19-2012, 08:59:49 AM
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Default Re: Historical Engine Article Series I - Early Crossley Slide Valve Engine Tests

Wayne, I didn't mention before but probably should now. The indicator drawing showing the negative 4 PSI suction was modified with a "soft spring" and calibrated for operation in negative pressure. Hence why the PV diagram is incomplete and only emphasizing the intake portion of the cycle. Calibration and resolution of a typical indicator will not show it accurately and is focusing on the area above the atmospheric line - that's why I posted it here as it was kind of unusual to see.

To build upon what you said, Yes any restriction in the intake will cause a pressure drop. An intake silencer by itself will decrease the suction pressure, add to that a Water trap and the engine becomes even further choked. I am not sure what depth of water the intake air is bubbled through ( as I have not seen one of these first hand) , but for example 12" of water will decrease the pressure by almost 1/2 PSI.

---------- Post added at 08:59 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:25 AM ----------

I kind of assumed many reading this have an understanding of pV diagrams. If you feel comfortable with them - disregard this post.

If you need a refresher, this information has been taken from a period text book written when slide valve engines were still being produced and might find inspirational if nothing else.

The first attachment is a cross section of Ottos Patent Model ( Fig 1 ) and the second ( Fig 3) is a typical PV curve.





Following Text is Quoted

""We can easily follow these operations on an indicator diagram, Fig. 3, taken from an Otto Engine. It will give us at once an idea of the alterations in pressure and volume of the gases in the cylinder, and on .more careful study will, in fact, tell us all about the working of the engine.

The arrows indicate the directions of the piston's motion. Horizontal distances, measured from 1, represent, to a given scale, the distances in feet travelled through by the piston, and hence the volume occupied by the gases in the cylinder. Thus the line 1, 2, Fig. 3, corresponds to the length of travel of piston from p to p' in Fig. 1.
Distances measured vertically from the line 0, 1, Fig. 3, give us the pressure in pounds per square inch, above or below the atmospheric pressure, in the cylinder at any point of the stroke. The line 0, 1, is the atmospheric line, and the height above it to any part of the curve represents the pressure, above atmospheric, in the cylinder at that point in the stroke. Thus, heights represent pressures, and horizontal distances the travel of the piston.
Now starting, as we did above, with the piston in position (1), Figs. 1 and 3, we shall have the following operations:—

1. Suction or Charging.—The forward stroke of the piston from 1 to 2, Fig. 3, during which the slide S, Fig. 1, allows the charge of air and gas to be drawn through the passages b and d, into the cylinder. The line 1, 2, is slightly below 0, 1, showing that the pressure all along is less than atmospheric, owing to the vacancy left by the piston, and the cooling of the cylinder by the jacket-water, hence the great indraught of air and gas. At 2, Fig. 3, the inlet port d is closed by the slide, as shown in (2), Fig. 1.
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2. Compression.—The line 2, 3, shows the compression of the charge by the back stroke of the piston from p' to P, Fig. 1. We see the line 2, 3, gradually rises, until near the end of the stroke, the height above 0, 1, represents a pressure between two and three atmospheres, notwithstanding the contraction due to cooling of cylinder by the jacket-water. One revolution of the engine is now completed. At 3, the crank has just passed the centre, and the piston is commencing its next forward stroke as the ignition chamber b comes up to the port d, and the relative position of the ports is that shown (3), Fig. 1.
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3. Combustion and Expansion.—At 3, we have ignition, explosion, the pressure rapidly rising and then gradually falling off as the gases burn and expand, driving forward the piston. Before the end of stroke at 4', the exhaust valve opens. In this operation the heat of combustion has expanded the gases, raised the pressure, and driven the piston, overcoming the resistance of the mechanism and getting up speed. This is the only part of the cycle in which heat is converted into work, hence it is called the working stroke.
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4. Exhaust.—The line 4, 1, shows the pressure in the cylinder during the discharge of the products of combustion by the piston in its return stroke from p' to p.
We are now back at our starting-point. The engine has made two revolutions, and simply goes through the same operations over and over again when working at full power.""

Last edited by Wayne Grenning; 03-19-2012 at 03:54:12 PM.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:05:14 AM
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Default Re: Historical Engine Article Series I - Early Crossley Slide Valve Engine Tests

Since we are discussing PV diagrams: . . . .. I have a challenge for you.

The incomplete PV diagram below is from a 5 HP Atkinson Differential Engine that was tested in 1889. Why is it that a proper indicator chart cannot be made from this style engine ?





Here is a photo of the only remaining Atkinson Differential engine I am aware of:


Last edited by Wayne Grenning; 03-20-2012 at 03:29:48 PM.
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