SP4975 : Alstom, Rugby - Engineering Heritage Award

taken 8 years ago, near to Rugby, Warwickshire, Great Britain

Alstom, Rugby - Engineering Heritage Award
Alstom, Rugby - Engineering Heritage Award
The Institute of Mechanical Engineers awarded the 68th Engineering Heritage Award to the Willans central valve steam engine preserved by Alstom at the Willans Works where it was built in 1901 and to where it was returned for preservation in 1957.

The Willans engine was a compact high speed design that could be direct coupled to a generator and revolutionised electrical generation. For a time it was the dominant design and it is claimed that in 1892 68% of all electricity generation was by Willans engines. However, they were progressively ousted by double acting, pressure lubricated high speed engines and then by turbines. The Willans Works moved to turbine production and thus stayed afloat and turbines are still made here today; in a works dating in part from 1897.

The plaque has just been unveiled and the left is John Wood, FIMeche, FIMI, Deputy President of the IMechE and on the right, receiving the award on behalf of Alstom is Roger Beaumont, CEng, FIMechE, Managing Director, Steam Turbine Product Centre.

Behind them is the star of the show - a three crank engine with compound cylinders on each crank and developing 140 horsepower at 360 rpm and direct coupled to a dynamo with an open commutator. The engine was temporarily on display in the steam turbine training school but is to be located in a specially built display area by the main gate. This is not the most photogenic class of engine but its importance cannot be underestimated and it is most worthy of this august recognition.

It was a special privilege to take photographs in this works (I've photographed this beast twice now) as it is a no photography site and the rule was only relaxed in the vicinity of this presentation.
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SP4975, 182 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Friday, 18 November, 2011   (more nearby)
Friday, 18 November, 2011
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  People, Events  Industry 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 4974 7581 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:22.6847N 1:16.2438W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 4974 7581
View Direction
East-northeast (about 67 degrees)
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Other Tags
Alstom  Willans  Steam Engine  Steam Engine (Preserved)  Stationary Steam Engine  Award 

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