General Description:

This generator is powered by a simple steam engine equipped with Corliss Valves.  This engine is called a "simple" engine because it has only one cylinder and the steam is expanded only once before being exhausted from the engine.  For an explanation of Corliss valves and how they function please visit the "Corliss Engine Basics" section of the site.  The cylinder and main frame of the engine are placed on one end of the crankshaft.  The flywheel and rotating field of the generator are placed next to each other on the same crankshaft.  The outer end of the crankshaft is supported by a separate outboard bearing.  A DC generator used as the exciter for the main generator is driven from a leather belt and pulley from the main crankshaft.  This arrangement is shown in the picture below with the exciter just out of view to the right.  

This engine has several unique features which helped Allis-Chalmers to be known as one of the leading manufacturers of these engines.  First is an enclosed governor.  The governor is of the flyweight type but is fully enclosed inside of a special casting which also provides continuous splash oil lubrication.  Another feature is direct oil injection into the steam cylinder.  Steam cylinder oil is pumped from the lubricating pump into the steam line just above the throttle valve.  Additionally, oil is pumped into two points in the wall of the cylinder itself to ensure adequate lubrication.  

  Below is a Listing of Specific Engine / Generator Data:

Builder / Date of Manufacture Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Manufactured in 1917
Engine Number 590
Type Single Cylinder Simple Horizontal Non-Condensing Corliss with Direct Connected Generator
Cylinder & Operating Pressure 22" Bore by 42" Stroke, 125 - 150 PSI Steam
Operating Speed Operating Speed of 120 RPM
Flywheel 15' Diameter, Weighing Approximately 13 Tons
Generator Direct Connected 375 KW, 240 Volts, 3 Phase Alternating Current
Exciter 120 Volt DC
Original Purchase Price $10,540

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