Syringe in some water (syringe supplied). Fill the little burner with methylated spirits and light it. Under a minute later you have a steam turbine running.
Designed and built to very high engineering standards in the UK, this turbine can reach speeds of 2500rpm. Its design is based on the original first steam turbine invented by Hero of Alexander around 2000 years ago but with some modern improvements.
It now has ball race bearings, steam safety valve and a water retainer that almost completely stops water spitting out (the original sprayed hot water). It has a wonderful design that would not be out of place on many mantle pieces. Makes a wonderful didactic presentation.
To start the turbine you need to remove the safety valve at the very top of the turbine and syringe in about 12ml of water using the supplied syringe. You then fill the burner with methylated spirit and screw the safety valve back on. You then just simply need to then light burner.
Suitable for children 14 and above. These turbines are also known as aeolipiles, aeolipyles or sometimes eolipiles.
This is a model of a steam engine invented by Hero of Alexandria in about 60 AD. It represents an early example of a machine that will transform thermal energy into kinetic energy. Hero's engine illustrates transformations of energy and aspects of Newton's laws of motion. The engine operates similarly to a rocket engine. The thermal energy supplied by the spirit burner is transformed into kinetic energy in the steam jets. These jets possess momentum, and by Newton's third law (`action and reaction are equal and opposite`), give backward momentum and hence backward force to the nozzles from which they emerge. These forces create a turning movement about the longitudinal axis of the turbine and hence the turbine rotates.