Engines

It should be remembered that the USS Texas began her career as a coal burning ship and was converted into an fuel oil burning ship during modernization in 1927. Because she was a coal burner in 1918, she was selected to join the British Grand Fleet during WW1. The fuel oil burning Battleships of the U.S. Navy were not sent to England due to a shortage of fuel oil during WW1 in Great Britain. Coal, however, was plentiful in Great Britain.  

BATTLESHIP TEXAS BB35 – SPEED AND RANGE

Speed – max (note) 1914

21.0

1945

20.4

Range -nautical miles (note)

 

8,400 nm @ 10 knots

9,605 nm @ 12 knots

3,665 nm @ 20 knots

15,400 nm @ 10 knots

 

6,500 nm @18 knots

SPEED – Max attained: 22.28 knots, 21 – 29 Oct 1913 sea trials, off Rockland, Me . 

The reason for the speed reduction in 1945 was the addition of blisters to the hull ( this widened the hull approx. 5 1/2 feet. maximum on each side ) in 1927 for added protection from torpedoes, and an increase of total operating weights.

RANGE – The 1914 range at 10 knots and 12 knots are in conflict. The range at 12 knots should be less than at 10 knots, this is assuming equal amount of coal. Data from two different sources.  

BATTLESHIP TEXAS BB35 – ENGINES

The below mechanics, did not change between 1913 and 1946 (time period of engine operations) Engine illustration follows the data below

Builder Newport News Shipyard and Dry Dock Company, Newport News, VA. (The ship’s builder)
1915 – superheat, vacuum, steam expansion ratio, tons of coal per IHP per hr etc
Qty 2
Type Triple Expansion steam reciprocating. (piston not turbine)
Pressure Diameter
Piston Cylinders 1- high

1 – intermediate

2 – low

39″

63″

83″

Steam pressure 295 psi coming in
Stroke

Shafts

RPM – max

Reduction gears

48 ”

2 (1 per engine)

120 (at 20 knots)

none

Shaft horsepower
Design

Trial

28,100

28,373

ENGINE HISTORY: The turbine engine was replacing the triple expansion engine in the first decade of the 20th century (ARKANSAS (BB33) was turbine propelled). NEW YORK (BB34), TEXAS (BB35) and OKLAHOMA (BB37) were the last American battleships propelled by reciprocating engines.

ENGINE BASICS: A steam engine is similar to an automobile engine by having pistons, cylinders, valves, piston rods, crankshaft, etc., but with three major differences

  • The pistons are pushed down by steam entering at the top of the cylinder then pushed backup by steam entering the bottom of the cylinder (a 1-stroke operation rather than 4-stroke). The pressure of the expanding steam causes the pushing.
  • The cylinder sizes are not all the same. ( 39″ diameter, 63″ diameter and 83″ diameter)
  • The fuel (steam) from the boiler rooms enters the engine through only one cylinder the 39″ high-pressure cylinder then to the 63″ intermediate cylinder and then separates into the last two cylinders that are each 83″ in diameter. Then to the condenser where the steam is condensed back into water and pumped back to the boiler room. 

BASIC OPERATION: After exhausting from the first cylinder (the 39″ high-pressure cylinder), the steam enters a larger diameter cylinder (the 63″ intermediate-pressure cylinder) and exhausted for final use in 2 even larger cylinders (the 83″ low-pressure cylinders). Each successive larger cylinder creates a larger volume of steam and decreasing steam pressure. The increasing area of piston surface offsets the decreased pressure. (Some commercial passenger ships used 4 different cylinder sizes. 

When exhausted from the low-pressure cylinders, the steam is converted to water in the condenser located against the outboard bulkhead of each Engine Room. The converted water is pumped into fresh water reserve feed tanks for boiler re-use.

Battleship Texas BB-35

It should be remembered that the USS Texas began her career as a coal burning ship and was converted into an fuel oil burning ship during modernization in 1927. Because she was a coal burner in 1918, she was selected to join the British Grand Fleet during WW1. The fuel oil burning Battleships of the U.S. Navy were not sent to England due to a shortage of fuel oil during WW1 in Great Britain. Coal, however, was plentiful in Great Britain.  

BATTLESHIP TEXAS BB35 – SPEED AND RANGE

Speed – max (note) 1914

21.0

1945

20.4

Range -nautical miles (note)

 

8,400 nm @ 10 knots

9,605 nm @ 12 knots

3,665 nm @ 20 knots

15,400 nm @ 10 knots

 

6,500 nm @18 knots

SPEED – Max attained: 22.28 knots, 21 – 29 Oct 1913 sea trials, off Rockland, Me . 

The reason for the speed reduction in 1945 was the addition of blisters to the hull ( this widened the hull approx. 5 1/2 feet. maximum on each side ) in 1927 for added protection from torpedoes, and an increase of total operating weights.

RANGE – The 1914 range at 10 knots and 12 knots are in conflict. The range at 12 knots should be less than at 10 knots, this is assuming equal amount of coal. Data from two different sources.  

BATTLESHIP TEXAS BB35 – ENGINES

The below mechanics, did not change between 1913 and 1946 (time period of engine operations) Engine illustration follows the data below

Builder Newport News Shipyard and Dry Dock Company, Newport News, VA. (The ship’s builder)
1915 – superheat, vacuum, steam expansion ratio, tons of coal per IHP per hr etc
Qty 2
Type Triple Expansion steam reciprocating. (piston not turbine)
Pressure Diameter
Piston Cylinders 1- high

1 – intermediate

2 – low

39″

63″

83″

Steam pressure 295 psi coming in
Stroke

Shafts

RPM – max

Reduction gears

48 ”

2 (1 per engine)

120 (at 20 knots)

none

Shaft horsepower
Design

Trial

28,100

28,373

ENGINE HISTORY: The turbine engine was replacing the triple expansion engine in the first decade of the 20th century (ARKANSAS (BB33) was turbine propelled). NEW YORK (BB34), TEXAS (BB35) and OKLAHOMA (BB37) were the last American battleships propelled by reciprocating engines.

ENGINE BASICS: A steam engine is similar to an automobile engine by having pistons, cylinders, valves, piston rods, crankshaft, etc., but with three major differences

  • The pistons are pushed down by steam entering at the top of the cylinder then pushed backup by steam entering the bottom of the cylinder (a 1-stroke operation rather than 4-stroke). The pressure of the expanding steam causes the pushing.
  • The cylinder sizes are not all the same. ( 39″ diameter, 63″ diameter and 83″ diameter)
  • The fuel (steam) from the boiler rooms enters the engine through only one cylinder the 39″ high-pressure cylinder then to the 63″ intermediate cylinder and then separates into the last two cylinders that are each 83″ in diameter. Then to the condenser where the steam is condensed back into water and pumped back to the boiler room. 

BASIC OPERATION: After exhausting from the first cylinder (the 39″ high-pressure cylinder), the steam enters a larger diameter cylinder (the 63″ intermediate-pressure cylinder) and exhausted for final use in 2 even larger cylinders (the 83″ low-pressure cylinders). Each successive larger cylinder creates a larger volume of steam and decreasing steam pressure. The increasing area of piston surface offsets the decreased pressure. (Some commercial passenger ships used 4 different cylinder sizes. See chart for engine performance comparison with other reciprocating engines in other ships of 1909 to 1928).

When exhausted from the low-pressure cylinders, the steam is converted to water in the condenser located against the outboard bulkhead of each Engine Room. The converted water is pumped into fresh water reserve feed tanks for boiler re-use.

 

To see a diagram of the engine click on it.

Engine Rooms

There were two engine rooms located side by side and separated by a watertight bulkhead on the centerline which  contained a standard watertight door on the second level of the engine rooms.

The bulkhead extended from the third deck, which formed the crown  of the engine, down for half the height of the engine room. Below this point, a narrow centerline wiring passage separated  the two engine rooms. Each room was unusually spacious; 60′ long and an average of 26’9′ wide. Captain Dyson reported : “The very large engine room size was fixed so as to permit the installation of turbine machinery, should such installations appear desirable in light of later developments.”

The watertight centerline bulkhead was a hazardous expedient which could cause a sizable list if damage flooded one of these large compartments.  It was accepted to preserve the ability to operate one shaft. It was assumed that prompt counter flooding of side void tanks on the side opposite the damage could correct the list in minutes. The penalty, of course, was increased draft,  greater displacement, more stress on the damaged hull structure, and finally a reduction in speed. 

The use of such longitudinal  bulkheads was common practice in foreign battleships of this era. The engine rooms took up all of the space between the magazines for No. 3 and No. 4  14″ gun turrets.

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