Welcome to the Engine Room!
The engine room is the heart of a ship where the power is generated to drive the ship. The main power is derived from two Babcock & Wilcox Boilers. These are oil fired, forced draught, water-tube type boilers with superheaters and economizers. They routinely perform at a pressure of 400 P.S.I. at 750 degrees Fahrenheit. They each have 6000 sq. ft. of heating surface, plus an additional 2400 sq. ft. provided by the superheaters and economizers. The power derived from the boilers is used to run the high and low pressure turbines. The turbines are coupled through cross-compound, double reduction gears which drive a 16" by 166' shaft.
Image showing both the high and low pressure turbines in the S.S. Lane Victory's engine room
In addition to the boilers and propulsion machinery, the engine room also contains auxiliary machinery to run the rest of the ship's systems. Steam driven generators provide electricity for the ship's lights and the D.C. motors. An electrical distribution panel allows the ship's electrical systems to be run from the steam generators, diesel powered auxiliary generators or shore power. There are two refrigerator compressors to maintain the temperature in the walk in freezer & chill boxes. There are also two air compressors of 125 p.s.i. each with 200 gallon receivers.
While the boilers are lit, the engine room can reach an ambient temperature of 120 degrees Farenheit. Each watch is generally manned by at least 3 people; the engineer-on-watch, the fireman, and an oiler.
Engine-room main operating control panel
The engineer-on-watch's station is the main operating control panel. The main operating control panel has gauges that allow the engineer to assess and maintain the overall condition of the Lane Victory's steam plant, propulsion systems and other machinery. Some of the gauges and controls at this station are: main steam pressure, vacuum pressure, auxiliary steam pressure, level of the D.C. heater, level of the main gear sump, R.P.M.'S of the shaft, total revolutions of the shaft, control air pressure, and the forward & astern main throttle wheels.
Boiler burner access
The fireman's station is the fire room; here the fireman monitors and maintains the boiler operation. Sight gauges allow the fireman to monitor the water levels in the boilers. There are periscopes that allow the fireman to monitor the quality of combustion and adjust the fuel-air mixture accordingly. The fire room control panel allows the fireman to monitor steam pressure of each boiler, the superheat temperature, fuel oil temperature, combustion air pressure, and various control air pressure gauges for the automatic water controls of each boiler.
Finally, the oiler's job is to make rounds engine room keeping watch over all the machinery for signs of trouble. As his job title would imply, the oiler is responsible for ensuring all machinery and bearings are well lubricated.