We are pleased that you have found us! Steam-Technologies is a freelance engineering office operated by Maik Drechsel with a focus on historical rail vehicle technology.
Maik Drechsel

Maik Drechsel

Do you have technical challenges in the areas of mechanical engineering, energy or rail technology? Maik will be happy to support you!
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Indicate steam engines

The focus is on creating and evaluating indicator diagrams from steam engines with a specially developed electronic indicator.

“Often, the operating behavior can be optimized by simple changes to components, machines, systems or even historical vehicles. Through the intelligent application of modern calculation methods, the use of contemporary materials and holistic troubleshooting, constructive weak points can be reliably eliminated and additional potential can be leveraged.”

Contemporary steam locomotive maintenance in practice

Exclusive insights into the secrets of valve setting and indicator diagrams of a steam locomotive.

Benefit from the latest technology

The specially developed electronic indicator is superior to its mechanical model in many respects.

Some of the disadvantages of classical mechanical indicators are:

  • Complicated and time-consuming adaptation work for different loco types – thereby very expensive
  • Accurate adaption to the existing environmental conditions is necessary
  • Susceptible to measurement errors
  • Uncomfortable display and evaluation possibilities
  • Strongly limited system performance

In other words, valve setting of steam engines by means of mechanical indicators has long been outdated. Thanks to the digital measurement technology available today, it is possible to create a system which overcomes the weak points of the known, old system and also provides further diverse possibilities.

The informative info brochure for download!

In the brochure you will find extensive information about electronic indicating. Essential for economical and low-wear operation.

Historical steam meets state-of-the-art measurement technology

4 steps to a meaningful analysis.
Simplified installation on any kind of steam locomotives and steam engines
The application of up-to-date measuring and evaluation technology has created a system that is quick and easy to install, which does not require time-consuming loco-specific adaptation work and is immediately ready for use. With this "plug and play" solution, the time required for installation on any two-cylinder machine is less than an hour.
Fast and precise thanks to the electronic indicator
It was also possible to drastically reduce the effort required to record the indicator diagrams. By capturing and storing the measured data in real time, reasonable conclusions can be drawn about the quality of the steam distribution after only a few meters of test run.
System Performance
  • Piston stroke max. 1250 mm
  • Pressure max. 20 bar (up to 40 bar possible on request)
  • Suitable for saturated and super heated steam
  • Practically unlimited number of measurements in a short time
Of course, the system is not limited to steam locomotives: the flexible device can be installed on every steam engine - whether it is on water or land, mobile or stationary.
Immediate evaluation of the obtained measurement data
A very important advantage is the evaluation of the measurements. If the small paper strips (which were still located on the writing drum immediately after a measurement) had to be measured, when a mechanical indicator is used, the evaluation software provides the possibility to immediately describe the pressure/stroke diagrams of the individual cylinder rooms immediately after a measurement on a laptop on the footplate.
Evaluation Parameter
  • Creation of indicator diagrams / deviations between the cylinder rooms
  • Accurately determining the real cut off and the remaining valve times
  • Detection of maximum pressure
  • Calculation of average pressure
  • Calculation of indicated horsepower
Well-founded recommendations for valve setting
On this basis, a detailed documentation on the condition of the steam engine and its valve gear can be compiled after the test run. This demonstrably opens opportunities to reduce costs for maintenance and operation of the steam locomotive or the steam engine considered in each case.  

Fuel technologie

In times of coal phase-out, skyrocketing prices and multi-layered environmental discussions, steam locomotive operators are facing major challenges in terms of fuel procurement and operation. As a sustainable and future-proof alternative, Steam-Technologies has developed a firing system suitable for steam locomotive operation using renewable wood pellets classified as CO2-neutral to full operational maturity as part of a project funded by the German Federal Foundation for the Environment. More about the project to develop a modern wood firing system for the steam locomotive operation of the future in the video. You can find all further information in the adjacent PDF file.
Steam-Technologies will also be happy to advise you on topics such as oil firing and environmentally friendly, maintenance-free bearing technology on rail vehicles!


A selection of the project partners to date

Contact form

You have questions or already a concrete project? I am gladly at your disposal and look forward to your inquiry!e!

Im Oescher 34, 32130 Enger

Tel.: +49 (0)176 3265 3032 | Fax: +49 (0)5224 6316



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