Very cool story about Jay Leno buying some VERY old equipment to power his very modern garage (adult male playground). I wonder how much power one of these things can generate now – the technology on the dynamos are probably a lot more efficient now. Hopefully Jay will follow up with more details on the energy costs vs. savings.
The engine’s speed is governed by ball-shaped spinning weights. The faster the engine goes, the farther the two balls extend away from each other, due to centrifugal force. When the balls are fully extended, the engine is at top speed. So when people say that they’re “running balls out,” there’s no sexual Ã¢â‚¬â€ or even masculine Ã¢â‚¬â€ connotation. It’s just a reference to the governor. And a really neat thing about really big engines, like some Wrights, is that for a good 15 minutes after the steam stops, the engine keeps running Ã¢â‚¬â€ thanks to its immense flywheel.