Boiler burner

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Sshire

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At Cabin Fever, I got the PM Research horizontal boiler kit. It's staying in the box until I finish Elmer's Pumping Engine.
A thought was to run the boiler on propane instead of the Esbit Fuel Tablets (if you've ever smelled the smoke from them, you'd understand)
I've read a number of posts but they all seem to be a round design for vertical boilers. It would seem that a longer, rectangular burner would be correct, but what do I know?
Questions
1. Is is a good idea?
2. If so, what are considerations in designing a propane burner? Safety, efficiency, etc.
3. Is something like this available commercially. (I.e. Can I buy one for $20 and save a weeks work?)
4. Am I crazy? (a rhetorical question)
 

aonemarine

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Stan there are small ceramic burners....now give me a couple to figure out where I saw them....
Building a burner is as easy as drilling some holes in a length of pipe then putting propane thru a jet into one end with an air intake.

Ill find the ceramic ones give me a few...
 

Inky Engines

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Stan

IMHO its an excellent idea. I struggled to raise steam in an hour with solid fuel tablets on my first 2 1/2' boiler, with all the associated smell and cleaning up after. With a 1" diameter ceramic burner it took 4 minutes, and its clean and controllable. The same burner now powers my steam plant with a 3" boiler driving both Elmer's VR75 and Elmer's Vauxhall Donkey pump.

They don't run on propane though, but on a butane / propane (70% - 30%) mix available in lightweight (camping gas) canisters. You can either feed the ceramic burner directly from the gas canister, or transfer the liquid gas to a tank on the steam plant.

As aonemarine points out the burners are available in various shapes suitable for a horizontal boiler, or you could make your own.

Good luck with the boiler build, and thank you for providing the pumping engine log.

Kind regards

Geoff at Inky Engines
 

aarggh

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Those ceramic burners from Stuarts seem a tad expensive for what they are?
 

RonGinger

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Look at some plans for Gscale or Gauge 1 locomotives. They use what is called a poker burner, which is simply a brass tube with a series of slots or holes drilled along the top. They are run by the camp gas containers. There is a ton of stuff on the G1mra site, but most of it is members only.

For that PM research boiler you might look for a backpackers stove and see if you can cobble it into a burner to fit the boiler case.

The ceramic burners are probably best, but only available from the UK, and very expensive.
 

Marty Feldman

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Ceramic burners running on propane/butane are the way to go, certainly. The interesting part is the perforated ceramic surface. You can buy this ceramic burner material in small sheets (that you can then saw to size & shape) -- call Polly Model Engineering, ex Bruce Engineering, in England. Polly also has the fittings that will connect your gas cannister to the burner. You will have to fab up and solder the rest of the burner, the gas intake connection, breathing ports, the interior gas spreaders, and so forth. It isn't hard. You can use West System to cement the ceramic top to the burner housing. For a burner for a PM boiler, you might want to have a look at sardine tins in the supermarket. If you haven't built one of these burners before, you should look at the design of completed commercial ones, paying attention to aspiration issues, that is, getting outside air into the burner.
 

KBC

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At Cabin Fever, I got the PM Research horizontal boiler kit. It's staying in the box until I finish Elmer's Pumping Engine.
A thought was to run the boiler on propane instead of the Esbit Fuel Tablets (if you've ever smelled the smoke from them, you'd understand)
I've read a number of posts but they all seem to be a round design for vertical boilers. It would seem that a longer, rectangular burner would be correct, but what do I know?
Questions
1. Is is a good idea?
2. If so, what are considerations in designing a propane burner? Safety, efficiency, etc.
3. Is something like this available commercially. (I.e. Can I buy one for $20 and save a weeks work?)
4. Am I crazy? (a rhetorical question)
Hi Sshire,
Have a look at Tony Birds thread on this forum, he has some good ideas to make poker burners.

( http://www.homemodelenginemachinist.com/f42/small-gas-poker-burner-18973/

Geo
 

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