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Author Topic: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?  (Read 2431 times)

morfa

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Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« on: August 31, 2020, 11:16:07 PM »

Maybe this is elementary, but my MSM steam plant should run 10 minutes with the gas tank (butane) full (75%) and boiler full @ 355ml water.
What happens if I don't bring it in before one runs out?


My test are in a backyard pool where I can control and watch the water level.


Thanks,
Derek
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carlfmiller

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2020, 12:35:03 AM »

There are experts who no doubt will tell you what for, but my opinion is that since you never want the fire under a dry boiler (call that ruination), that you should adjust the amount of fuel to run out before the water. You can do this by successively weighing the fuel tank, adding a little less fuel each time.  Every time you use it, be sure to open the stop cock the same amount so that is not another variable.


And please remember to post pictures and any performance info-- I am an MSM user and very interested in your experiences.


Carl




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tigertiger

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2020, 02:40:58 AM »

Could you short cut this process?


Put fuel in the burner tank and weigh it. Run the system until the steam drops. Re weigh the fuel tank. Calculate the fuel used. Then minus 10% fuel weight as a safety buffer. Remember to leave stop cock settings the same in future.


Just a thought.
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KBIO

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2020, 08:00:31 AM »

Hello!
Sure that some tests has to be done before to be confident with your plant!
Normally , the manufacturer is aware of the problem and you should run out of gas before water. Unless you build your own plant .....
But to reassure you, the MSM boilers are very strong and well manufactured. It can support dry heating :-))
if I can allow myself a good advice : -" DO NOT answer the phone when testing your plant!! <*< " Above all if this is your wife who says that it will take one second only!!! :embarrassed:

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rhavrane

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2020, 10:47:49 AM »

Bonjour Derek,

I fully agree with Kbio, I always test my steam plants at home in my bathtub before going to the pond, except when my boat is lo,ger than 137 cm.


Example : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSOSj89BY_M


I let the machine run at full speed, blow the whistle and measure the time it takes for the water to reach the bottom of the boiler level. I know I will use the boat less on the lake, so my calculated time is safe.


Besides this, do not worry, if the boiler has been soldered with CuPro, your little burner will never be able to destroy it if you do not insist when the boiler is empty.


For me, the major risk is the over pressure awith a damaged and non operational safety steam valve.


This is why, with the gas regulator/attenuator, I always install a RC safety gas valve on my steam plants :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCgLBAxieNU
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Raphaël
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jpdenver

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2020, 03:37:07 PM »

Hello Derek,
I have an MSM Vertical plant in my Borkum, running a Clyde.   

May I suggest you add a Gas Pressure Regulator - Like the BIX029, (from Forrest Classics)
  into the system.It will help keep you from wasting both Gas and Water. 
That being said, I wear a stop watch around my neck when on the pond. 
 and when close to the end of 10 minutes, I start to swing the boat back by for a glimpse of the sight glass.   
I have never run out of gas, but have come close on the water.Needless to say, but I will anyway, run out of either one, or battery power on the receiver, 
and your boat tends to just sit in the middle of the water.  Not a good thing. 


 If I am running alone, I also have a little Club500 racer with me to act as a tug/pusher to get a steamer back to shore.
I like Raphael's cutoff valves.   Wish I spoke French to understand the narrative on his videos.

Regards,
Jim Pope
Hilltop Boatworks
Denver, CO USA
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tonyH

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2020, 04:18:45 PM »

This, I presume, is the sort of thing that Rhavane suggests. I've fitted one to my torpedo boat and it certainly takes some of the stress out of the steam business. Not overpriced either IMHO
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morfa

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2020, 09:50:16 PM »

Great ideas - will need to study them and chose a route to take -thanks for all the advise.


jpdenver - do you have a picture of the BIX029 installed on your MSM steam plant?


Derek
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jpdenver

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2020, 10:01:06 PM »

Derek,
I use the Bix029 on all my plants.Wander around my you-tube channel and there are a couple of versions.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1J8hR50Urzx9gU6LZYdlMg/videos

Regards,Jim
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RST

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2020, 10:15:55 PM »

I can't add anything but to say I watch Rhavanes videos and I'm not modelling live steam but still interested. I work in France but my French is still awful!  But if you switch-on subtitles, there's often an "English" option to convert which is quite bad, but fills in some gaps. For me anyway, he's quite unusually clear and narrative about his videos which is applaudable so you can pick up a few things, as with everything in life, if you make a bit of effort also. His English is better than most of us can speak French, but it's wonderful if you try a little bit.
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Martin [Admin]

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2020, 12:49:06 AM »


 Also found this regulator on Utube:   
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oz7MhkUN5No
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Geoff

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2020, 04:25:59 PM »

In my experience using the old Cheddar Models Puffing boiler (both Mk 1 and Mk 2) nothing much happens if you run out of water before fire. I have had this happen a couple of times and suffered no damage to the boiler as such. The wooden lagging was a different question and it was charcoaled! Not good. Cheddar confirmed that there is not enough heat in one burner to unsolder a silver soldered boiler. The heat required to unsolder is more than the heat required to solder and a single burner just cannot produce enough heat.


It is however not wise to do this but the boilers in question have been steaming for at least 8 years with no ill effects. If you do suffer this misfortune do nothing when you get the model back and let the boiler cool down naturally for several hours. Under no circumstances attempt to fill the boiler as it will immediately flash steam and shoot a jet straight up and the shock could then do some damage.


On the Mk 1 boiler I have a blowlamp and arranged a small windscreen washer to shoot water onto the flame to put the flame out. This works well. On the Mk 2 I have a ceramic burner and water would destroy it so I inserted a gas valve (Clevdon Steam) on the supply line which is operated by a servo so I can shut the burner down.


In general I time the sailing session and you soon learn how long it will last. For example one of my ships runs out of water consistently at 31 mins so 31 mins and 30 seconds and I'm in trouble so I typically sail for 25 mins and bring it in.


To put to bed an urban myth a small boiler that runs out of water cannot explode as there is no pressure.


Hope this may assist


Cheers


Geoff

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morfa

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2020, 05:41:18 PM »

Thanks for your advice so I can learn from your experience.


I will put the gas value from Clevdon Steam on my wish list and hope when I get it the forum will help me install it correctly.


If I go that route, I will need a new transmitter (TX) as the one I have Flysky FS-GT3C is only 3 channels.
Any suggestions?


I like the trigger models.
I would need it to run
  • the rudder
  • the throttle
  • the whistle
  • the gas value shut-off
  • the lights - still working on how to retro fit LEDs in a pair given to me by a friend's late father.
Cheers,
Derek
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rhavrane

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2020, 06:12:05 PM »

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Raphaël
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morfa

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2020, 12:56:25 AM »

rhavrane,
Will study your video and see how I could connect one to my steam plant.
Good price.
Love your boats!


Thanks
Derek
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morfa

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2020, 12:11:25 AM »

Quick test today - all good.
Well after a little leak in my "oiler", tightening all the pipes and quick fix from the local brass fitter I finally got my boat in the water (all be it my pool) to do a test.
Have to rework the throttle as reverse is weak and not getting full power I think the little Clyde can do.


But - very happy , and thanks for all the encouragement.
Hope to hit the pond this week before the it ices up - hahaha.
Love my country Canada, just gets cold too early.


http://www.morfa.ca/firstlaunch.mp4


Derek
Derek
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Jerry C

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2020, 01:32:53 AM »

Y Draig Goch!  You jammy "illigitimate" ", I have to blow my pool up!!
Well done you. Don’t expect astern to be as fast as ahead as prop inefficient astern. Won’t steer either.
Jerry.

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2020, 07:27:04 AM »

Bonjour Derek,
You made a great job and I have just one concern, where is the whistle  ok2  ?
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Raphaël
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morfa

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2020, 02:27:36 PM »

Funny you should ask as I was going to to post a question.
How to tune a steam whistle? Any suggestions?
Derek
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rhavrane

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2020, 03:05:53 PM »

Bonjour Derek,
If the whistle is correctly buit, you need to unscrew the nut on the top of the whistle and screw/unscrew its body to find the right tone at your working pressure.
Here an example of the same kind of whistle operating at about 30 PSI : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhpJoPB0eAY
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Raphaël
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morfa

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2020, 03:34:13 PM »

Bonjour back,
Nice sound.

Thanks, will give it a go and thanks for the video.
Derek
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plastic

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2020, 06:37:06 PM »

I'm not into steam models but I've worked a lot with autoclaves.       Surely you would always want the gas to run out first because the process of conversion of water to steam will keep the boiler temperature / pressure within its safe design levels.       Directly there's no more water, the temperature of the whole system can rise up to the temperature of the burner flame (assuming no heat losses).
I'd guess that the boiler would probably survive that excursion - but what about the model built around it?     All that wood and plastic and paint will suffer damage or even catch fire.
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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2020, 07:06:12 PM »

Have been watching this discussion with interest since the old school rule/advice that I was given - make sure the gas runs out before the water - seems to be falling out of use. When we were able to meet and attend shows, in my quest to learn about steam plant in boats I spoke with many model owners who were replacing their refillable gas tanks. The refillable gas tank could be filled by weight with a known quantity of gas to ensure it was empty before the water ran out. Now these tanks are being replaced with the disposable cartridges with much higher capacity. While there are many good reasons for doing this, it does leave the model vulnerable should it become stuck by weed or other debris - so methods of isolating the gas remotely or automatically need to be given consideration. Some models are fitted with devices that automatically turn the gas down to a pilot flame but even these can still leave an empty boiler cooking in the middle of the lake. I guess there are many ways that mayhemers have achieved remote gas shut off that would be worth including in your build
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morfa

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2020, 07:42:59 PM »

DBS88 and plastic — could not agree more - that is why I posted the question and spending my early day with my boat trying to find the sweet spot on the timing side.
If I get a bigger boat, I like the shut-off value approach. Will need to research it a lot more.


[/size]rhavrane — thanks for the advice/help — my tuning of the whistle www.morfa.ca/tuning.mp4

[/size]Cheers,
[/size]Derek
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rhavrane

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2020, 09:14:22 PM »

Bonjour Derek,
Well done and happy to have been able to help you  :-))
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Raphaël
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