Solar Power

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Greg Wetzel

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How do heritage railways use solar power to preheat the water for the steam locomotives? Also, are there other ways heritage railways have used or have tried using solar power in regard to steam locomotives?
 
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Titfield

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I am not aware of any Heritage Railways who have used solar power but doubtless someone has somewhere! :)
 

Spartacus

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Preheating loco water can actually be rather dangerous. I recall a few years ago a road tanker driver decided he'd 'help out' the steam charter he was supplying by preheating the water. Trouble is that meant that once in the tender the injectors couldn't be used to get the hot water from the tender to the boiler, to avoid disaster I think the fire had to be dropped and the train cancelled.
 

Flying Phil

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I suspect the OP is thinking of pre heating the water in the boiler prior to fire raising. Whilst this could no doubt be done, it does potentially introduce another couple of pipe joints in the pressure vessel that is the boiler. However the washout plug holes could be used?
 

MarkyT

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I don't know if any UK heritage railways have ever purchased these, but specialist Swiss company DLM manufactures electric pre-heating and pre-warming devices for steam locomotives, which could plausibly use renewable energy.
Electric pre-heating device for steam locomotives
The electric pre-heating device considerably improves the operational readiness of steam locomotives. It offers the following advantages:
  • Unattended and gentle electric heating of a steam locomotive up
  • to a boiler pressure of 16 bar.
  • Compensation of radiation losses to keep the engine in steam without attendance.
  • Environmentally friendly heating up without smoke and soot.
  • Saving of man-hours.
  • Extended boiler life.
 
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