Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Baldwin - BLH Diesel engines (VO, 600 series) in photos 1

Yesterday, I made a post about the mechanical progression of the Baldwin 600 series diesel engines, which really is an updated post of a piece I wrote about five years ago or so and put on my original website. I've reproduced it here, minus the photos as I mentioned -- but today I've got FAR MORE photos ready than that original site ever had.

One note - These photos come from a variety of sources in our collection, namely the VO Diesel Engine Maintenance Manual, BLW/BLH manuals DE-100, DE-104, DE-111 and DE-111A (600 Series Diesel Engine Maintenance Manuals), a Baldwin Magazine from 1946, an undated Baldwin-Westinghouse sales brochure, and BLW Bulletin 249 which is a sales brochure for the 600 series engine for various kinds of applications (in other words, not just for locomotives but for stationary power.) All original source material.

Even though we didn't discuss the VO engine in the previous post, let's start with a few views of this engine.

Here is a three quarter shot of an eight cylinder, 1000 BHP Baldwin VO engine. Note that this engine uses the main production version of the engine frame that only includes a half-circle mounting for the main generator, which Baldwin found problematic and changed after the war when it was allowed to do so. Note also the two lube oil filters on the side of the engine; these are a hallmark of VO and early 600 series engines.



Here is a cross section view of the Baldwin VO engine. Readers should immediately examine the cylinder head, and notice the ovoid (egg-shaped) combustion chamber contained entirely within the cylinder head, and connected to the cylinder working volume by a cylindrically shaped passage. All of this is cast into the head. This antiquated design came from the days when atomization of fuel was problematic; this could be remedied by forcing all the air into a small volume, with induced swirl, which would start combustion in the small chamber upon fuel injection and heat all of the mixture to the point that any larger fuel droplets would hopefully both atomize and burn completely as they spread into the working cylinder. What this means, though, is that a large amount of heat is liberated in the cylinder head - given to lube oil and cooling water - and that it's impossible to cool this combustion chamber with intake air. This makes the heads run hot and makes a definite ceiling on fuel rate due to liberated heat. This is why Baldwin had to convert to (more modern, more conventional) open combustion chambers with its new 600 series engine in order to get any increase in power.

Next, at left, we have a late VO series 8-cylinder 1000 HP engine. Note the late-model alteration to include a main engine bed that has large extensions or arms to mount the generator much more solidly than the half-circle flange used previously. Note also the lube oil filters. This engine looks very much like the later 608NA but the sure way to tell is to look at the fuel pumps and push rod tubes. On the VO engines, the fuel pumps are on the cam deck between the intake and exhaust valve push rod tubes. On all 600 series engines, the fuel pumps are BESIDE the push rod tubes. This always works as an ID feature.

Baldwin developed its new 600 series engines while the war was in progress, using some new components and some VO components. Two fascinating shots are found in a Baldwin-Westinghouse sales brochure we have. One of these engines has been seen before in Kirkland's book in a different shot; the other one has not.

This is the shot we're sure hasn't seen light yet. This is certainly the prototype 608NA engine. Note the clear 600 series fuel pump and push rod arrangement, but note the use of the half-circle flange mount for the generator and the two lube oil filter tanks. Note also the four exhaust stacks. We can guess a bit more after seeing the next picture.

This is the prototype 608SC engine. This engine is shown, in a different picture, in John Kirkland's book and in that book Kirkland mentions that only this engine was built this way - with a mix of old VO style and new 600 style components; again note the half-circle flange mount for the generator. Surely the previous photo contradicts this unless we assume that the engine was first built and tested as a normally aspirated, 1000 BHP unit and then altered and turbocharged to produce the 1500 BHP prototype seen here and in Kirkland's book. This assumption seems safe enough, but again it is only my assumption. From an engineering standpoint it would make perfect sense.

Next post in this series will continue with the 600 series engines in every variant we can get a photo of, so keep looking back.

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