24 April 2012

"S" is for...


   Yes, Steam! The power behind all of our Modern Science and Conveniences! From the simple coal-fired pumping engines of our mines and factories, to the mighty handwavium-fueled turbines of HMAS Duke of York! Without steam, our Progress would grind to a halt. Humble heated water, yet Modern Life is inconceivable without it.

Simplified Schematic of Triple Expansion Reciprocating Steam Engine

   At its most basic, the steam engine uses the expanding properties of heated water to gaseous form to push a piston. A series of controlling valves directs the flow of the steam, and increases efficeincy in the use of the working fluid in the system. This sort of steam engine is most common in ships and landships, where weight is not a premium concern, but power and reliability are.

HMS Turbinia, the first turbine warship
   More recent developments include the use of steam to spin a set of turbine blades, which are then connected by complicated gearing to provide motive power for large vessels. The concept was first proven by HMS Turbinia. It has since been incorporated in vessels of all sizes, including the huge aetherbattleship, HMAS Duke of York, and small airships such as the Aphid-class and Dauntless and Intrepid.

   With the advent of handwavium and steam turbines, steam engines have become increasingly tiny and intricate, yet surprisingly efficient. These miniscule wonders power the automatons which are quite the wonder of our Modern Age. They can even be attached to galvanic generators to provide energy to Unobtainite, with all of the gravity-neutralizing effects that mineral produces. This is how Professor Maton, for instance, gives flight to his hoverton servitors.

  And so today, we celebrate Steam!


Elderac said...

This was as obvious as Queen Victoria for Q. Makes me wonder why I was thinking Science, Solar System, or Space.

J Womack, Esq. said...

Most of the letters have at least one more alternate (with a few exceptions) choices.

I thought when I finished I might do some of the alternates in a digest form, multiple very short blurbs for them. Sort of an "Also Rans of A to Z"...

Elderac said...

I look forward to it. I have really enjoyed this series and wait eagerly for each day's entry.