Understanding Steam Engines with Electrical and Hydraulic Analogies


Heat Engines

Potential in Heat Engines

Newcomen Steam Engine

James Watt Engine


  1. Coal, wood, oil, concentrated solar or whatever is used to heat water until it boils and creates steam.
  2. The steam pushes a piston up.
  3. Now we got to get the piston down again. The valve letting in steam to the cylinder gets closed off. Another valve is opened leading the steam into a tank, called a condenser. Here the steam is cooled in some manner. I could be by injecting cold water or using a heat exchanger containing cold water pumped through it.
  4. The condensation of steam creates a vacuum sucking in the rest of the hot steam in the cylinder and pulling the piston down.
  5. The valve to the condenser closes and the valve leading hot steam into the cylinder is opened again. The cycle repeats. Goto step 1.



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