A follow-on from last week's post, prompted by a comment made by Perry Chalmers (thanks for the idea). Effectively settled upon an engine design and means of propulsion, one that ties into the Weird Science angle of the setting and makes use of the so-called 'glimmer rock'. At the same time it also rather beautifully ties into the method to make the skyships actually fly through the air.
But before we delve into all that I just wish to announce that on the Patreon page I'll be making a Patrons-only post within the next couple of weeks. The link to the Patreon page can be found in the links on the right hand side of the blog and just $1 will grant access to the Patron only posts made there.
Below (or via link below) is the meat of this week's post.
The Machine's Heart
Most machines typically have what could loosely be described as their 'heart' usually in the form of some sort of engine, be it steam or diesel powered. Skyships are no different and whilst at first glance they may some unusual they still have a firm grounding in real life principles...up to an obvious point.
The core of a skyship's engine is glimmer rock that sort of functions as both an accumulator and as a heating element, the latter not being that much different from an electric kettle. When fed with an electric charge the core heats up and in turns heats the water surrounding it, eventually turning it into steam. After the steam is created it is then fed into two different turbines depending on which pipe system it is in, basically very much like fossil-fuel and nuclear power stations. The smaller of the two systems feeds into a turbine thats connected to a generator that provides electricity to the vessel and also to the engine's core, it is also the system thats nearly constantly running. The other system is much larger and is typically running at a much higher pressure, this basically runs turbines that propel the vessel forward (or in some cases backwards).
With the propulsion turbines in particular they work in very much the same way to a typical steam turbine, though the output is similar to a jet engine. High pressure steam is used to turn a mini-turbine that is connected to much larger turbines via a shaft, these larger turbines in turn suck air in through the front end and (obviously) out through the back end. There are tubes round the mini-turbine for the air flow without the steam pipes blocking said airflow. In some respects it could almost be described as a steam powered jet engine, course that are also rudders on the back end of the turbine assembly that direct the airflow and thus allows the vessel to turn.
Hopefully that should give people a better understanding of how the skyships are suppose to work, though I have realized that an updated post on glimmer rock is needed sometime soon...