600 Horsepower Snow Gas Engine - Introduction

 

Exhibit Co-Leads - Mark Himes and Chris Austin

National Fuel Gas Corporation of Titusville, PA, donated a 1917, 600 hp Snow gas compressing engine to Coolspring Power Museum in 1992.  This engine was removed from their Roystone Station, near Ludlow, PA, and had been in storage until reconstruction began in 2006.  Thanks to the tireless efforts of many volunteers and generous contributions from many donors the Snow engine achieved a very successful first run at about 10 PM on June 11, 2013.  The museum officially dedicated the Snow engine exhibit on October 18, 2013.

This engine was manufactured by the Snow-Holly Works of Buffalo, NY, and is serial number G329.  It has two tandem 24 inch bore x 48 inch stroke cylinders that are double-acting.  The natural gas compressing cylinder at the front of the engine was also manufactured by Snow and features an 18 inch bore and 48 inch stroke.  The compressor accepted gas at approximately 50 psi and raised it to 450 psi.  Upon peak compression, the gas in the cylinder exerted a force of about 114,300 pounds on the piston.

At 75 feet long with an 18 ton, 18 ft diameter flywheel, this acquisition is one of the largest gas engines ever to be preserved in running condition.  The overall weight of the engine is estimated to be about 140 tons!

The Snow is housed in a building known as Exley Station, which is named in memory of Clair Exley.  Clair joined the museum staff and served six years on the Board of Directors.  He loved the Snow as he remembered the Snow engines at Van, PA, which he heard running during his childhood years.  Retired from Joy Manufacturing Company in Franklin, PA, he was an excellent pipefitter and spent days on the Snow's intricate piping systems.  Unfortunately, his untimely passing prevented him from hearing this Snow run.

For more information on the Snow engines, please see our Publications page where we describe our booklet on the history of Snow and Worthington engines.  Also, refer to The Flywheel articles for February and March 2014, which provide additional history of the Snow engines and the story of the removal and reconstruction of engine G329.

In addition, the CPM video, "Heath Station - Link to the Past" gives a detailed overview of the operation of an installation of six 400 hp Snow engines (similar in design to our 600 hp Snow) at Heath Station, near Millstone, PA.

Snow 600 hp Engine
The 600 hp Snow engine
Exley Station
The Exley Station exhibit
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