Experimental Flash Steam and others

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Richard Hed

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I want to scale up some models to about 2-5 HP but I don't want to use ordinary slide valves. I'm thimpfking Corliss or if anyone knows of any other type of valve that is more efficient than slides, I could use some advice or stories. I'm even considering double or triple expansion. Do you thimpfk it is possible to or reasonable to make a triple expansion Corliss?

I welcome any ideas. I need to look into simplified Corliss as the Coles/Ray Corliss (may be a wonderful machine, however) but is simply too complicated. I've seen simplified Corliss dwgs, maybe go that way?
 

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Regular poppet valves - as used in Infernal combustion engines - have a long and well proven history in that application, but I am not sure they lend themselves effectively to steam engines where they close-off the high pressure and superheated steam against lower pressure in the cylinder (e.g. during the exhaust stroke).
Slide valves - in various forms - have been very effective for 200 years of engine development, so what specific issues are you trying to overcome with their limitations?
A friend at the local club has made a Corliss valve engine - but is still trying to get the timing correct - he would tear his hair out if he had enough left! - That's all I know on the subject.
K2
 

Richard Hed

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I'll have to try and get Linux onto my hard-drive - so I can use existing files. I can't seem to find a "file explorer" in Linux on my remote stick. I can't set-up the printer - for a lack of driver! - Linux won't read the printer's CD that is supposed to have Linux drivers included. So back to the hard-drive EmSox stuff for now.
K2
Hey Ken, How are you doing on Linux? I haven't heard anything about it in a while. did you find out how to access your files?
 

Richard Hed

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Regular poppet valves - as used in Infernal combustion engines - have a long and well proven history in that application, but I am not sure they lend themselves effectively to steam engines where they close-off the high pressure and superheated steam against lower pressure in the cylinder (e.g. during the exhaust stroke).
Slide valves - in various forms - have been very effective for 200 years of engine development, so what specific issues are you trying to overcome with their limitations?
A friend at the local club has made a Corliss valve engine - but is still trying to get the timing correct - he would tear his hair out if he had enough left! - That's all I know on the subject.
K2
I thimpfk I read something about poppets not working well with steam, but I am not sure about that. I have always wondered why poppets are not used more with steam.
 

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Hey Ken, How are you doing on Linux? I haven't heard anything about it in a while. did you find out how to access your files?
Thanks for your care and interest Richard. I finally "gave-up trying".. It seemed to me that something inside the "Windows" part of the computer wasn't allowing me to get Linux onto the hard-drive, nor a secondary drive that I have connected. It was logical to me to try and utilise the existing memory I have, rather than just add a CD-Rom or other memory, that is considerably smaller .... but my "Chicken-brained logic" doesn't work in the computer world. I did manage to fill about 1/3rd of my hard-drive with various LINUX programs I downloaded..., added to the 1/3rd capacity used for Windows, so now only have 1/3rd as spare capacity... (!). So as I really don't know what I am doing I have left it for "another day" - as too many interesting projects were demanding attention. ergo... designs and calculations for boilers, burners, etc., holidays, painting doors, gardening, reading books sitting in the sun (not today - it is winter again!) - and time with "her indoors"...
I am about to re-make an old ceramic burner for a boiler and another new one because the tin can I used a decade ago has rusted on both boilers... Can't get tin cans to last longer than 10 years... but the ceramics turn to dust after 20 years anyway... Maybe I'll use a bit of aluminium, or copper, or stainless steel (Oh! The cost!)?
And a Spanish guy wants a 35kW burner making for his 5in track A1 Locomotive when I find a supplier of the nickel-aluminium-chrome alloy knitted wire wool I need... and another guy wants one when I get the first one working and resolve any design tweaks...
So when it gets a bit quieter (??) I'll try again to get set-up with Linux...
Hope you are well?
K2
 

Richard Hed

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Thanks for your care and interest Richard. I finally "gave-up trying".. It seemed to me that something inside the "Windows" part of the computer wasn't allowing me to get Linux onto the hard-drive, nor a secondary drive that I have connected. It was logical to me to try and utilise the existing memory I have, rather than just add a CD-Rom or other memory, that is considerably smaller .... but my "Chicken-brained logic" doesn't work in the computer world. I did manage to fill about 1/3rd of my hard-drive with various LINUX programs I downloaded..., added to the 1/3rd capacity used for Windows, so now only have 1/3rd as spare capacity... (!). So as I really don't know what I am doing I have left it for "another day" - as too many interesting projects were demanding attention. ergo... designs and calculations for boilers, burners, etc., holidays, painting doors, gardening, reading books sitting in the sun (not today - it is winter again!) - and time with "her indoors"...
I am about to re-make an old ceramic burner for a boiler and another new one because the tin can I used a decade ago has rusted on both boilers... Can't get tin cans to last longer than 10 years... but the ceramics turn to dust after 20 years anyway... Maybe I'll use a bit of aluminium, or copper, or stainless steel (Oh! The cost!)?
And a Spanish guy wants a 35kW burner making for his 5in track A1 Locomotive when I find a supplier of the nickel-aluminium-chrome alloy knitted wire wool I need... and another guy wants one when I get the first one working and resolve any design tweaks...
So when it gets a bit quieter (??) I'll try again to get set-up with Linux...
Hope you are well?
K2
I'm fine, yes. But wait, you say someone wants a 35kW burner? have I read that correctly? 35000Watts? That's 47 horsepower! That is QUITE a model!.

As far as Linux goes, you did "partition" the hard drive right? That is, you cut it up into at least two parts, right? Parts in which smux will not be able to recognize the linux portion but the linux portion can and does recognize the smux portion. If you got that far, then when a SINGLE copy of Linux is put on, it shoulc work. There is one other thing you need to read about before installing that, however, and that is "how to dual boot" for whatefer system you choose. Have you read up on that?
 

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Hi Richard,
Considering efficiency of steam locos in model sizes, it is something like that for the gas you need to burn to pull people around a track with a 5 inch track large loco. Only a small fraction of that makes steam.... I.E.Maybe 3.5kW? (5H.P.) Which is the sort of size of traction motor for an electric buggy that can do the same. It should handle a 0.7 mm jet with butane, or propane at 20psi. It is similar in size of burner to a reasonable domestic boiler (mine is rated at 30kW.).
Consider a 1 1/2" bore by 2 " stroke 4-cylinder infernal combustion engine. Compared to the same steam engine as a double acting twin. BMEP is maybe 15 bar for the IC engine? ( Say, double the compression ratio of 7:1?). But the steam loco has 6 bar steam for half a stroke... so average pressure 3.5 bar....? I.E. only 1/4 of the torque.... It runs at perhaps a few hundred rpm as a steam loco, but 10 times that as an infernal combustion engine. So no wonder such a lot of "fuel power" is needed to run a small loco, compared with what the infernal combustion engine can achieve as "power at the wheels". - Even in model sizes.... And the steam loco can only pull 1/6th of the weight on the wheels... as a result of the coefficient of friction of steel wheels on rails. Rubber tyres can develop double the "pull" as the coefficient of friction is so much higher...
The burner I am working on is a 4in diameter and 4in tall cylinder. Glows red hot all over.... Very little external flame. Look up Beakert Duonit on the web. I'll dig out the proper numbers tomorrow, if you wish?
It's all in the numbers....
Cheers!
K2
 

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Hi Richard, As you asked, I have had a look back at the original calculations for the 5in. track, A1 loco boiler.... As an ex-chemical process engineer, he has calculated (very detailed and precise calculations) exactly where all the heat is expected to go and how much power he needs from the combustion process.
The designer calculated he needed 20kW of heat in the boiler to raise steam at the required maximum rate. But this requires a 33kW Burner in his firebox. So he selected a proprietary burner, rated for somewhere between 30 and 70kW (depending upon firing method: forced or atmospheric) with a turn-down ability to around 20% of full power. I am modelling on those same sizes (4" dia x 4" long cylinder forming the burner), except I can increase the burner surface area by 20% within the same physical size - because of available materials - and to reduce the stress on the combustion zone below the level of the factory burner. So this keeps my brain busy, instead of playing computer games with Linux...
Regards,
K2
 

Steamchick

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Incidentally, I mis-remembered the bore and stoke: The loco has 2 off, 2" bore and 2 1/2" stroke cylinders, double-acting. Using steam at 10bar, with some superheat.
Designed to run at 240rpm. - Not a small engine! But it runs successfully. Copy the link address in to u-tube to see his loco in action.

Also: Some pictures of a proprietary 30kW burner "in action",
35328823463_6006abec27_2.jpg

and my first attempt at a 4kw burner.
P6262365.JPG

This took 7 or more iterations to get a stable burner, as the calculations are VERY loose and empirical... It is a start... I am now searching for a suitable supply of the knitted wire-mesh fabric - the key to the whole design... External combustion can pose similar challenges to infernal combustion to get a useful "running" combustion... Wrong mixture either won't burn or will give off toxic exhaust gases, internal pressure can force flames away from the burner or develop "flash-back" and melt-down of the burner! Or small explosions that excite my blood pressure too much!
A comment on "Burner power": A friend uses 3 x 9kW propane burners to drive his steam wagon - with a 4in diameter boiler 8in. high, at 100psi. A 5kW burner would only reach 55psi running the engine with wheels off the ground. Cramming that much burning gas into a firebox 3 1/2" diameter x 3" high has taken some time to develop! N.B. this is at "atmospheric", not compressed, as inside an IC engine cylinder. Get it wrong and the flames escape and burn the paint off the outside...
Cheers!
K2
 

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And this is my latest 10kW burner: ~4 inches diameter and 4 in. tall. (Just a mock-up: OK until the masking tape started to burn.). I had to stand back a bit as it was cooking me! It needs a bit less wire wool on the top surface, and a bit more air as the intake is too small for this jet and goes a bit rich above 20psi Propane... So a new intake Venturi is to be made. Hopefully I can then increase the jet size further - ambition is to achieve over 15kW Gas power! Then it starts to get interesting for loco boilers...
K2
P8042340.JPG
 

Richard Hed

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And this is my latest 10kW burner: ~4 inches diameter and 4 in. tall. (Just a mock-up: OK until the masking tape started to burn.). I had to stand back a bit as it was cooking me! It needs a bit less wire wool on the top surface, and a bit more air as the intake is too small for this jet and goes a bit rich above 20psi Propane... So a new intake Venturi is to be made. Hopefully I can then increase the jet size further - ambition is to achieve over 15kW Gas power! Then it starts to get interesting for loco boilers...
K2
View attachment 128311
Whoa, I had no idea that 15K would be so small. How is it that the metal "hair" doesn't just burn up?"
 

Richard Hed

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I am trying to draw up the compound engine from January 3, 1924 Model Engineer and Electrician Mag. It leaves a LOT to be desired. Most of the dims can be gotten from other parts when not on the part being drawn. However, there are a whole bundle that simply are left to conjecture. The article does, however, provide a "tape measure" which is on e of the ways the old timers did some drawings. YOu take your own tape measure and compare it to the magazines tape and off you go.

I'm wondering if anybody else has drawings for this? I've got a lot done but some parts are very questionable.

BTW, I thimpfk there is a second compound model either in the same year or one befor or after.
 

Steamchick

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On wire mesh burners:
Here's the new parts being made by "proper" people, that have appeared in their brochures only this year I think? - I didn't find anything when I was looking a year or 2 back... but have now found a few manufacturers using knitted NiChrAl wire wool or knitted fabric. - You can buy the material (min $100 + postage) from China.... but buyiong burners is obviously easier. e.g.
But I'm sure the manufacturer's will know the (normal) life-time, service interval (and make a lot of money from) and "annual" replacement of "burnt-out" burners....
My GUESS is that you'll get a season of steaming a loco with one of these burners, but maybe not 2?
"Cemadore" shown attached is a Bekeart burner - type: Furinit/Duonit 98mm diameter x 100 high... Used in a large 5in. Pacific loco fiebox at up to around 25~30kW. - Propane jet with venturi for air induction: So far I am only able to make about 1/3rd of that power without creating uncontrolled "flamations" with my version...!! - But I'm working on it....
However, the "experts" have done the development, and can make burners better than I can and at my costs for materials, they are a reasonable price(!). Considering their burners are "safe" - and people can just buy something for less than £100 that will power their loco worth thousands of pounds, I guess you "pays yer money"... etc.!
"Supersaver" burners use an inner "can" with very narrow slits for gas entering the combustion zone, which is inside the wire "wool" matrix. Then, as the gas exhaust is still very hot, they heat the gauze that is spaced away (1cm?) from the combustion zone, and that glows red-hot as well, increasing the radiant fraction of heat emitted from the burner.
BUT: (And here's the Engineering), many "coal fired" boilers do not easily adapt to a radiant gas burner, as the coal (smoke) contains a lot of particles that glow and burn even when passing through the flue tubes, thus imparting a lot of heat to the water/steam, that is NOT available in Gas fires locos. So if the gas burner isn't suited to your boiler design (fire-box size, and flue-tube CSA really) then you are stuck with coal. I would design a different boiler to be oil or gas powered to the boiler for coal or wood firing. (Wood-fired have twice the fire grate size to coal-fired I think?).
The real calculations are whether the burner you can fit in your firebox gives you enough heat (large enough jet size and matching venturi needed to get enough air to rapidly and cleanly burn all the gas!); the radiant heat to heat the fire-box, and enough remaining exhaust gas heat to heat the flue-tubes. Typically, radiant burners do not have a lot of "residual exhaust gas heat", relative to coal fired... so the boiler cannot achieve the same steam output with gas firing, as can be achieved with coal when the draught is forced....
If a boiler works OK with gas burners (like blow-lamps) that just give a lot of flame, then it will work BETTER with a radiant burner OF THE SAME GAS POWER...
Finally, ceramics are only able to achieve 50~60% of the poewer of steel wire radiants, because the ceramic with crack, melt, or otherwise overheat at (>950 deg. C). temperatures that the wire radiants can manage (~1250 deg.C).
To improve the "Power" of a Cornish boiler with a 1in blow-lamp type burner, I have made a sleeve of wire wool - approx 1 1/4in bore x 1 3/4in OD with a blind-end 1/2in thich that the flame blasts into.... and this means I can increase the size of jet by 1 size over the max that the boiler can take without the wire radiant sleeve. - It means that the heat is radiated into the walls of the fire-tube, rather than hot exhaust gas that goes up the flue!
I have no idea how better a wire burner may be for Flash steam, but I can imagine the tube burner arrangement shown will take a coil or 3 of flash steam boiler up the bore very successfully?
Enjoy!
K2
fecralloy.pngsupersaver.jpg
 

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Andy Munns

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We once drew a scale on the lower part of a drawing that was say zero to 6 or 12 single inches marked on the right and then fractions of one inch on the left side. You used dividers to pick up a size from the drawing and transferred this to the scale below - You did not measure off the actual drawing as there could be scale changes through the copy process and paper shrinkage.

Then, most darings were traced onto film - To copy, this film was passed through a lit roller system onto light sensitive paper that gave a true 1:1 white line on blue background copy (Blueprint). Later on, we had white on black copies and lastly we had black lines on white copy paper. Usually there was a faithful 1:1 copy, but I have seen a significant 2% paper shrinkage over the years that was found when verifying hull lines on ships.
 

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Hi Andy,
AAAH! Yes, I remember it well. I still have (and sometimes use) my Grandfather's scale - wood of course - that even has a vernier at the sub-one-inch end. A very quick and easy tool to use. The only difficulty I have nowadays is finding some lead for my compasses. Imperial sizes must be available somewhere? But all the shops have gone since I last bought a pack of compass leads... or drawing ink pens, etc. I'm on the last of my propelling pencil leads now that they have gone metric as well. I blame CAD... Not sure what I will do when I run out of lead in my pencil... join the "virtual" world?
But my slide rule still works, as does my 1978 calculator (yes, I went "digital" back then).
Old [email protected] K2...
 

Richard Hed

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Hey, calling all us gun nutbags. Take a look at this:

I will examine this site more for more oddities. the one I am looking for is the steam gun that apparently was made sometime around 1820-30s which fired about a thousand rounds per minute. It was rejected because it was too deadly.
 

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