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Author Topic: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?  (Read 2826 times)

DBS88

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #75 on: September 27, 2020, 08:21:01 pm »

This topic is showing the true power and strength of this Forum, as we learn from each other and share experiences, whilst I did not start this topic i am truly benefitting from it so thank you.
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morfa

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #76 on: September 27, 2020, 08:28:38 pm »

DBS88,
I could not agree with you more. I started the question - it went from a grade 3 math question to a Master's degree answer.
I too have learned a lot.

I look forward to having my morning coffee (5 hours back from UK and hours back from OZ) and reading the threads and get an education. I guess that's why they call it life-long learning.
Cheers,
Derek
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roycv

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #77 on: September 28, 2020, 03:37:01 am »

Hi it's me again, no one has mentioned the size of the gas tank.  The volume stored in liquid form can only supply so much gas and if called upon for more, it gets colder and freezes up.  If you want a bigger gas flow then a larger tank is needed.

Back in the late 80s we experimented with warming up the camping gas cannister with varied results.  Too much heat to the cannister and the gas pressure expanded thick walled neoprene tube like a balloon!  This happened in my Streamlinia when she was stationary looking to build up steam pressure to plane.  Malcolm reduced the size of the copper warming plate, but eventually we decided to abandon that experiment.  The gas cannisters vary in size so the larger the cannister the more gas it will supply without cooling over much. I presume that is still true?

A friend has a steam driven toy workshop (Mamod and Wilesco accessories) which I am allowed to operate on my own.  This has two proper engineering type stationary engines driving the toys.  The steam is generated from a large boiler about 30cms long and has a blowlamp inserted for the heat.  We use a big 30cm diameter gas container and this stays just cool although must be using supplying a fair quantity of gas.
 In an afternoon of operating we get through about 5 - 6 litres of water.  So it is all action keeping an eye on the water level sight glass, the water is pumped into the boiler via an engine driven pump but this is sort of balanced.  However inattention leads to some frantic hand pumping of the water into the boiler.  All that plus the frequent application of oil to the moving parts.  The stationary engines have displacement lubricators and they last very well.

The pressure of the steam is surprisingly low managing to operate the two stationary engines at about 5 pounds pressure.  It is best to dress when operating in one piece workmans clothes but that adds to the occasion as the children love it.  It all operates at eye level for them.

So managing a distant steam boat does need some thought and reliable equipment.  We only had one fire in my Streamlinia which was from the gas fuel line, the boat was quickly brought in and the fire dealt with, the paint was slightly blackened but not burnt.  However that might not be so good for a detailed model.
The club has a steam driven Envoy tug with twin Cheddar engines and water level control (not mine) and is beautifully set up and runs like a sewing machine and was a small feature in Model Boats magazine that was prompted by myself after a warning from elsewhere not to expect too much.  This boat just requires topping up with water and uses camping gas supply.

 It could almost seem to be electric powered but for the hot steam out of the funnel.  This same member built a steam lorry kit with live steam and RC and that ran remarkably well having instant forward and reverse.  His day job was assembling Electron microscopes so he was very precise in his hobbies as well.  He died last year much too early as well.
Has anyone tried using a 'French blow lamp' they can be a lot of 'fun' as well.  During one experiment I literally fled the area much to the laughter of Malcolm and friend.

Bye for now.
Roy


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steamboatmodel

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #78 on: September 28, 2020, 03:47:52 pm »

I have had two fires on Model Steam Boats;
The first one was a boat I built in High School back in the 1960s. I had built everything in the school shops except for the safety valve, which the instructor insisted I buy. I should have made my own, because we think that that was the part that failed The model was in the middle of a small bay at a friends cottage, when the safety valve lifted and then there was a bang. With the bang flames started appearing, and my buddy started spraying it with water from his model fireboat. My model started to get lower in the water and I suggested he push it ashore instead of filling it with water. Well it sunk before it made shore and was never found even with the help of scuba gear.
The second fire was about 15 years back, my model Launch had weeds tangle its prop. One of the other boaters tried pushing it back to dock. When the models were about twenty feet from shore we noticed that there was a flame coming from the side of the gas burner as well as the front where it should have been. While this was happening all the other Modellers had gathered around, when the models approached the end of the launching dock I went out to retrieve it. I bent down to look at the model to decide whether I could just shut off the gas supply or whether I would have to push the model under if the flame was heating the gas tank. Fortunatly I only had to shut the gas supply off and use a wet cloth to smother the woodwork that was scorched. I then took a deep breath and straightened up and looked around. Where a few minute earlier there had been a crowed of modelers watching, I was alone on the dock with no-one within twenty feet of me, even the modeler who's boat had been pushing mine ashore was twenty feet back. Since then all my gas powered model steam powered boats will have a remote shut off valve.
Gerald.           
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Geoff

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #79 on: September 28, 2020, 04:41:21 pm »

I've experienced one small fire and one bad scorching: Common cause for both in a way!


The Fire.


Model Battleship Canopus 53" long 1899 using Cheddar Models Puffin unit. All worked well in the bath but not on the water with the burner going out every 6 mins or so so it was not unusual for the model to stop. On this occasion the model stopped and I assumed the flame had gone out. Not so as I'd run out of water and the boiler just got hotter and hotter until the wooden lagging charcoaled and gave of black smoke out the funnels. Yes very realistic but not normal! Had to wade out on 5th December to just below the delicate parts - as I got there a small flame appeared on the boat deck which was easily extinguished. Lifted the superstructure deck off and turned the gas off. The lagging looked like it had exploded but due to the insulation and metal shielding under the deck the only damage to the model was one deck light.


Cure:


1) fitted a small windscreen washer which pumps a jet of water onto the blowlamp burner so I can put it out remotely


2) Because the boiler is completely enclosed, in the bath hot oxygen starved air could exit through the cowling vents. On the move this was precluded by the force of the air due to motion, so the starved air gradually increased until it reached the burner putting it out. As soon as the deck was lifted the hot air went up and fresh air dropped in and the burner would relight - repeat the process as many times as you like! Lack of water stopped the model so no motion so the burner continued to burn. Solution was to open some side gun ports and enlarge some deck gratings to facilitate better air flow.


No damage to the boiler and Cheddar confirmed you can't un silver solder one of their boilers with a single blow-lamp.


 
The scorching


In my model of Velox 1904 destroyer I just mistimed it and the boiler ran out of water. Lagging scorched badly but no damage to the model otherwise. I was able to retrieve the model quickly but it was still very hot.


Cure: Inserted a gas cut off valve to the gas can be turned off remotely. In turn this meant replacing the radio as it was only 2 channel - now four and use one for the gas valve. I can't use a water pump as Velox has a ceramic burner and even if I could facilitate access it would shatter when water hit it.


Cheers


Geoff
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DBS88

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #80 on: September 28, 2020, 05:49:33 pm »

Geoff sorry to hear that you suffered two incidents but glad to hear no serious harm done, it would be lovely to see photos and or an explanation of how you achieved the remote gas cut off. Just this week a fellow club member told me he sent his electric tug off to rescue a yacht that had blown into the reeds, his tug ended up with a plastic dog pooh bag wrapped round the prop result burned out motor so it can happen anywhere anytime - it could have been me with my Steam Tug and no gas control!!!. So I am looking to fit remote gas cut off in a boat I am refurbishing and also into the new build that I am collecting the materials for. Heres a photo of the burner that came with the boat I am refurbishing - can you imagine sending out your boat into the middle of a lake with a flame like that and no way of controlling it remotely !!!- the flame would not look out of place beneath a NASA rocket. Anyway to cut a long story short the burner does not look right so will not be using it, currently awaiting a new burner specially made by Pendle Steam and will be fitting gas controls.
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southsteyne2

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #81 on: September 28, 2020, 11:42:45 pm »

Derek whilst the mathematics look good unfortunately I don't think they apply in this situation ,simply because hopefully the system would most likely be used once or so in an emergency
Cheers
John
 
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southsteyne2

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #82 on: September 28, 2020, 11:45:21 pm »

Hi all another way to help with freezing gas tanks is to use two tanks with a tee piece.
Cheers
John
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carlfmiller

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Freezing tanks and Hot boilers
« Reply #83 on: September 29, 2020, 12:19:30 am »

Freezing gas tank was a big issue on this set-up. I fitted a shaped copper block between the boiler face and the gas tank to transfer heat. That worked.  Then I made a bigger tank (Pendle). I had the copper block ready to use on  another boat with Jin's 3" boiler and M29, but the P5 gas regulator made it unnecessary. No cold weather operation for me, so can't speak to a universal solution. Oohya George suggested a fold of copper sheet between boiler and tank; that keeps itself in place (like a spring)  and easy to adjust how much heat gets transferred by changing the width.


Reading this thread, on the MSM Mildura gear now I worry that there is so much gas the water will run out, so it is definitely time to keep using the stop watch (everybody's phone has a timer). The idea of timIng a "hot run" of the burner with the tank full makes good sense, thank you Rafael. Can adjust the fill level (weight) so it runs out before the water.


This thread looks like it hit the forum's funny bone! (keep it up, we're learning a lot)


-Carl




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KBIO

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #84 on: September 29, 2020, 08:06:14 am »

Hello!
I've been reading this post again and I read a lot about gas regulation, gas shutoff  safety valve but I can't find the reason  why the fire has started ?
According to my experience, 99% of the of the time , it is due to a solid loose connection , or worn out and leaking slightly. Gas accumulates  inside the bottom of the boat and fires up when the level hits the burner.
Interesting to get more information on the origin of the fire , though!
Also, concerning the gas tank freezing, due to liquid gaz evaporation in the tank => the bigger the gas jet is, the faster the tank freezes , one solution to solve the problème is to use liquid phase on the burner. Above all for big burners.
At standards condition: - 1 drop of liquid butane / propane  is equivalent to +/- 270 times its volume.
Easy then to understand that it better to warm up the liquid out of the tank than inside it.
And so easy to implement that after you never get back to gaseous phase.
 {-) The fire brigade may be under pressure  when your boiler is not ! Too bad!! :embarrassed:
Regards.

southsteyne2

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #85 on: September 29, 2020, 03:09:43 pm »

I've been reading this post again and I read a lot about gas regulation, gas shutoff  safety valve but I can't find the reason  why the fire has started ?Hi KBIO   I believe the main fear here is the model can become stranded allowing the boiler to run dry and igniting cladding followed by total loss of the model.
CheersJohn
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morfa

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #86 on: September 29, 2020, 03:32:13 pm »

John,
Thanks for the explanation re: Gas accumulates  inside the bottom of the boat and fires up when the level hits the burner.
When I do a refill and do the first start with the igniter in the top, I get a pop of unused gas burn-off. Is that natural?
Derek
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steamboatmodel

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #87 on: September 29, 2020, 03:46:14 pm »

The recommended procedure for refilling gas tanks is to remove them from the model and fill them in a well ventilated area. When you can not remove the tank and must fill it in the model, it is best to use some method of blowing spilt gas out of the model, do not use canned air as most of them contain butane. 
Gerald.
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morfa

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #88 on: September 29, 2020, 04:13:42 pm »

Gerald,
My winter project - once sailing season ends and the snow arrives (ugh!) I want to take the tank and make it removeable and off the tray.
Working with a fellow model boat mayhemer about a new longer boat. If that becomes a reality I will need to factor the position of the gas tank in a new boat.


Lot's to think about. What type of air or apparatus would you suggest to "blow away" the excess gas?


Derek



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DBS88

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #89 on: September 29, 2020, 04:21:02 pm »

Carl re gas freezing, thats a very neat installation with the re fillable gas tank being warmed by the burner.
Also very tidy with the gas flow valve, in close proximity, maintaining the flame to deliver the preset boiler pressure eg 45psi - what happens with this type of gas control valve if the boiler runs dry?
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morfa

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #90 on: September 29, 2020, 04:27:40 pm »

Great question DBS88- and the answer is Carl?
Derek
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steamboatmodel

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #91 on: September 29, 2020, 04:30:41 pm »

Gerald,
My winter project - once sailing season ends and the snow arrives (ugh!) I want to take the tank and make it removeable and off the tray.
Working with a fellow model boat mayhemer about a new longer boat. If that becomes a reality I will need to factor the position of the gas tank in a new boat.


Lot's to think about. What type of air or apparatus would you suggest to "blow away" the excess gas?


Derek
Hi Derek,
I have used a fan from the $ store, the type they sell for summer cooling or some times a good puff of lung power.
Gerald.
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roycv

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #92 on: September 29, 2020, 04:32:14 pm »

Hi assuming the water in the boiler comes from the surrounding water, not going t happen.  Otherwise keep enough water on board to ensure boredom will set in first.
Roy
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morfa

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #93 on: September 29, 2020, 04:44:15 pm »

Gerald,
I have been using the "lung method" but really like the Dollar/Pound Store approach.
Might look into the battery operated version so I can take it to the pond which is remote to power.


Where do you sail in Toronto, my old haunt years ago when I was in the film business — Humber, High Park, Sunny side, Beaches?


Thanks
Derek
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steamboatmodel

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #94 on: September 29, 2020, 04:47:34 pm »

I have had one boiler run dry a Willesco D48, which uses Butane as fuel. These boilers are soft soldered and the end cap at one end came unsoldered. I cleaned up the inside of the boiler and the end cap, then resoldered the cap back in using Stay-Brite silver bearing solder. This is not a hard Silver Solder and melts about 500 F, which allowed me to resolder the one end without melting any of the other joints. I then hydrostatically tested the boiler to 100psi which was four times the working pressure of 25psi.


Derek,
Most of the guys who sail sheet boats do it at Humber Bay, there are a number of the scale boaters sailing at Bluffers Park where I have sailed a number of times. I have also sailed at Rouge Park Beach a couple of times. I am hopping to do most of my sailing in Hay Bay Nappanee where my son has a trailer.
Gerald.
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morfa

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #95 on: September 29, 2020, 05:01:37 pm »

Gerald,
I have a cottage in West Quebec where I hope to sail my new sailboat that is in the planning stages. My lac/pond is deep.
Happy sailing until the freeze.
Derek



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carlfmiller

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #96 on: September 29, 2020, 06:05:23 pm »

The gas attenuator valve, at least this one (Jin's P5) seems to be a binary operation-- it operates at full gas flow when more steam is needed (this is an adjustable setting), and when satisfied, the gas is reduced to an idle flame. When the water runs out, the steam would slow and stop and the gas valve would think more steam is needed so it would open full and stay that way. So this is definitely not a safety feature.


-Carl
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carlfmiller

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #97 on: September 29, 2020, 06:17:30 pm »

Derek/Morfa re the refillable tank-- it comes to you bolted to the tray, but all you need to do is unbolt it, and replace the nuts on the screws without the tank there-- they become 4 little studs and the tank can come in and out of the boat in a jiffy. Gravity holds it in place.  The gas line nut that makes up to the valve has an easy thread to start, and the knob (nut)  is nicely knurled for easy finger-tightening. Since you are supposed to open the valve a little while the tank is being filled, of course there will be spilled gas, so get the tank out 'o there when refilling. Yikes.


I think you got some longer 3mm screws when the steam plant was shipped-- those can be used to make two of the studs longer if you are worried about maintaining the tank location while the boat moves.


-Carl
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morfa

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #98 on: September 29, 2020, 06:26:44 pm »

Thanks good to know and will do it. If I go the route of a longer boat, I will need help with measurements and placement of the MSM steam plant with the gas plant removeable.
Derek
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DBS88

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Re: Gas vs water - what happens when one runs out?
« Reply #99 on: September 29, 2020, 07:11:00 pm »

Have been giving some thought on how to shut the gas off remotely so thinking of using one of the two position (on/off) switches on the transmitter to operate a 90 degree valve via a servo or other method of operating one of the valve - so turn it on for full gas flow then at the end of a run or in case of a problem turn it to the off position to close off the gas supply - I know very little about rc and electrics so this may or may not be possible but it seems in keeping with the keep it simple logic.
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