Stanley Style Steamer

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xtal_01

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Posted on "monotube boiler" message board for Taterfarmer:
For best efficiency, cold water injected at the cold end should maximise heat exchange. But what burner and hot-end temperature do you expect?
What pressure will you have as NWP? Normal Working Pressure equals the point at which you will reduce fire and NOT EXCEED during normal useage. Even though you may run at a lower pressure, NWP is the pressure for designing and rating the boiler, safety valves, control system, etc. For safety, you must follow the regulations. (ASME). I'm sure it is law in USA and affects (possibly negates) your insurance.

Stanleyhopeful. The same message applies to you. You need to decide How much Power you want from the boiler - to calculate the size of burner (after guessing at how efficient it will be!) and when you know the steam pressure and volume demand (max) for the main engine plus auxilliaries - like water injectors, steam engine powered alternator for powering electric fuel pumps, etc. - or whatever.... then you can study various designs of boiler to decide what is most suitable for your application. Probably a water drum water-tube vertical design of boiler will be most powerful for your application with continuously fed pre-heated water. What is the Bore and Stroke of your engine? What max pressure is it designed to run at? - That's a good starting point. What thickness is the copper tube you have? - Domestic water pipe probably doesn't have adequate wall thickness to meet regulations/pressure you will want if you go for a flash boiler.

Ignoring Regulations will likely end up with a highly dangerous steam leak, and possible legal problems. So do the decent thing and contact the local club and get copies of the regs for your country, then do the calculations before deciding what design of boiler you need. - You know it makes sense. A gas, oil or steam leak is very likely to cook the occupants of the steam car if anything should happen. If it all complies to the regs and has been certified, then those risks are so small you will get insurance, which is cheaper than your life or suffering from severe burns.
Sorry if this sounds dramatic, but we all want you to enjoy the hobby and not have an "accident". That would be the wrong story to post here.
K2
I don't want to ignore regulations ... I agree, that would be foolish.

On the other hand, I can't afford to purchase a large ASME boiler.

Thus the idea of the flash boiler. It is my understanding that because of it's design, it is not considered a "pressure vessel".

Yes, it will still require the correct pipe schedule .... safety valves and such. And I would want a "good" burner with shut down controls if it gets too hot or if it looses flame.

I am even considering a separate block enclosure (light roof so it will blow upward) outside my workshop to house the boiler ... just in case.

I am "usually" a fairly fave person .... I over design and overbuild my projects (definitely could never design anything that needs to fly).

My background is in heavy industry (worked for two foundries and John Deere tractor) as well as 13 years in the nuclear field (talk about safety).

I do really appreciate all the knowledge the members here have. I am hoping with enough homework and picking your brains I can avoid an "dumb" mistakes.

Just FYI ..... I have attached a few pictures of a lift I built for my wife .....early pictures when it was in the testing stage ... have railings, a gate and a "real" platform now ... still needs the bottom enclosed with a interlocking door so you can't go under it when up ... you can still see the wood on each side of the hole, I wanted to spread the load as I used a beam with my chainfall to lift the mast into place.

My wife was paralyzed from the shoulders down when she was 12. An elevator was going to cost almost $40K (got two quotes). Way out of our budget. So I bought a forklift and used the mast. It is rated at 3000 lbs of lift. My pump is only capable of 3000 psi but all my lines are rated for 4500 psi working pressure. I installed velocity fuses (mechanical flow valves) just in case I do get a failure (broken line). It comes down by gravity (I have a manual valve) so no problem getting down if the power is out (and we always leave it up when we are upstairs. I also have a 10KW backup generator here. Plus I have the original 24 volt hydraulic pump/motor off the forklift. There is already a Tee and switchover valves in the lines. I just need to get that finished (I will run it off a few deep cycle batteries). Total cost about $2K

Perfect .... no... but I did try to make sure it is as safe as possible.

Thanks so much for the input !!!!!!!!!!

Mike

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HMEL

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Having never seen a flash boiler in person ... and after reading a number of posts and reading a few web pages ... I am just a bit confused.

I understand the principle of a flash boiler .... it is the water feed that has me wondering.

Does the feed pressure need to be above the output pressure of the steam?

If not, I assume the steam would prevent the water from feeding into the tube ... am I right or ???

I know the volume of water is very little compared to steam (if I remember steam increases by something like 1700 times the volume of water).

I was just going over a few diagrams on the web and didn't see any details on the pump.

Thanks!
Yes, the pump pressure must be above the pressure of the steam. Base flow calculations on mass not volume. Will require calculations from pump flow and a control scheme to match heat input to steam output. You will also need to consider the logic for emergency shut down of fuel. In general that is why these boilers tend to use gas type fuels. Pump can either be positive displacement or will require a control valve correctly sized for the application. It will be more challenging to find the control valves then the pump. If you get plans follow them and do not deviate unless for a good very good reason.
 

William May

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Fantastic! I definitely will get a set of plans ... didn't even know they were available.

I am not sure what I will use for fuel yet. I have a 2" unrestricted natural gas line run into the new shop .. but it is only at normal house pressure (7" WC) ... not sure if I can get enough btu's off that ... might need to run it on fuel oil or ???. I really don't like the idea of running a burner off gasoline ... scares me a bit.

Thanks!

Mike
Well, I have the plans for the T. Hyler-White Steam car, and it has SIX burners under it's boiler, for which he provided complete drawings. I would think you could build as many of those as you need, and arrange them to suit your boiler setup. They are patterned after the "Clarkson Burners" from the early 1900's
 

William May

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Posted on "monotube boiler" message board for Taterfarmer:
For best efficiency, cold water injected at the cold end should maximise heat exchange. But what burner and hot-end temperature do you expect?
What pressure will you have as NWP? Normal Working Pressure equals the point at which you will reduce fire and NOT EXCEED during normal useage. Even though you may run at a lower pressure, NWP is the pressure for designing and rating the boiler, safety valves, control system, etc. For safety, you must follow the regulations. (ASME). I'm sure it is law in USA and affects (possibly negates) your insurance.

Stanleyhopeful. The same message applies to you. You need to decide How much Power you want from the boiler - to calculate the size of burner (after guessing at how efficient it will be!) and when you know the steam pressure and volume demand (max) for the main engine plus auxilliaries - like water injectors, steam engine powered alternator for powering electric fuel pumps, etc. - or whatever.... then you can study various designs of boiler to decide what is most suitable for your application. Probably a water drum water-tube vertical design of boiler will be most powerful for your application with continuously fed pre-heated water. What is the Bore and Stroke of your engine? What max pressure is it designed to run at? - That's a good starting point. What thickness is the copper tube you have? - Domestic water pipe probably doesn't have adequate wall thickness to meet regulations/pressure you will want if you go for a flash boiler.

Ignoring Regulations will likely end up with a highly dangerous steam leak, and possible legal problems. So do the decent thing and contact the local club and get copies of the regs for your country, then do the calculations before deciding what design of boiler you need. - You know it makes sense. A gas, oil or steam leak is very likely to cook the occupants of the steam car if anything should happen. If it all complies to the regs and has been certified, then those risks are so small you will get insurance, which is cheaper than your life or suffering from severe burns.
Sorry if this sounds dramatic, but we all want you to enjoy the hobby and not have an "accident". That would be the wrong story to post here.
K2
If you want to read about a really serious steam car accident, Google the "Stanley Steam Car Fire At Knott's Berry Farm" Contrary to your first thoughts. this was NOT a boiler accident!. The car had been converted to propane, and the owner filled his propane cannisters COMPLETELY full of propane, with no relief space. He was warned about this practice by several members of steam car clubs in Southern California, but ignored them, as he felt he knew best. While on display at Knott's Berry farm on a hot day, the propane tank vented propane into the body of the Stanley steamer, and if eventually caught fire from the pilot lights on the Stanley. The owner of the car was incinerated, and died at the park. His wife died the following morning, and a few passengers suffered burns, but recovered.
A friend of his started and drove the car home the following day, as it was still completely operable, even though the upholstery was scorched, as there was no major damage to the car, and the fire only lasted about 30 seconds. I met a man at the Horseless Carriage Club 75th Anniversary Convention in 2013, and was discussing the accident, and the man said he knew where that car was, and it had never been restored after the fire. It had just been sold and the new buyer parked it in their shop. I meant to talk to him later about it, but never did get with him. I have done a lot of research on the car, and even have the serial number, but have not found out where it is. Someone who was familiar with the event later wrote a several page explanation of what occurred, and it is online as well.
I had the very same thing occur with one of my own propane tanks a few years ago. The new guy at the place where I buy my propane, had vented the tank such that it was also completely full, just like the Stanley at Knott's. I was hooking it up to my barbecue, and felt something cold spraying on my leg. It turned out the tank was venting liquid propane, and it was blowing right on my pants leg. If I had lit the barbecue, I would have also been on fire. It was all over my clothing, and had filled my pants legs and then my shirt with flammable gas. I had to take off my clothes, air them out and wash them, and I took a shower to clean any residue off. (I'm sure the propane dissipated, but the odorant was still there and strong.)
 

xtal_01

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WOW ... very interesting story!

For better or worse, I have always found myself around burners and furnaces. I won't say they scare me but I have a "good respect" for them and the damage that can be done.

I am lucky, I have a natural gas line to the house. Nice to have no tanks or anything to deal with. The pressure is set at 1/4 psi at the meter ... (I had the gas company install a "large" meter and an unrestricted valve at the street). I have a 2" line to the shop.

My only real fear (other than a leak) is a flame going out and a build up of gas. All the burners in the house have some kind of flame detector. The older ones have a thermocouple device and the newer an electronic flame detector. I plan to do the same on anything I build.

Burned to death ... scalded by steam .... hmmmm .... dangerous hobby.

Mike
 

William May

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WOW ... very interesting story!

For better or worse, I have always found myself around burners and furnaces. I won't say they scare me but I have a "good respect" for them and the damage that can be done.

I am lucky, I have a natural gas line to the house. Nice to have no tanks or anything to deal with. The pressure is set at 1/4 psi at the meter ... (I had the gas company install a "large" meter and an unrestricted valve at the street). I have a 2" line to the shop.

My only real fear (other than a leak) is a flame going out and a build up of gas. All the burners in the house have some kind of flame detector. The older ones have a thermocouple device and the newer an electronic flame detector. I plan to do the same on anything I build.

Burned to death ... scalded by steam .... hmmmm .... dangerous hobby.

Mike
NAH! I did a presentation at a local Model Railroad Museum, where we were working to put in a 7.5" gauge track for live steam. I showed them some of the plans for live steam locomotives, and told them the only difference between us, since we all like trains, was that THEY wanted to die of electrocution, but WE only wanted to die in a steam explosion. Other than that, there was no difference. Everyone just laughed.
 

xtal_01

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Well .... I did do some work in an electric substation once .... 22,000 volts all around me

Again .. a good respect for things all around me.

Seems all my life I have found myself in these situations.

On my first job out of collect I was told to trace some wiring that ran through an old abandon part of a factory that did a lot of leaching with acid. This part of the factory dated from the turn of the last century. I kept watching my step wondering how safe the steel was all around me .... looked like it was about to crumble and collapse .. still remember that.

When I worked in the nuclear industry, we had pipes of HF (Hydrofluoric Acid) running all over. I was told horror stories of exposure to this.

Sooooo many ways of getting in trouble!

Sometimes I am amazed I have made it this far (touch wood).

Whats the old saying about living to 100 ... live to 99 and be very very careful.
 

William May

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Well .... I did do some work in an electric substation once .... 22,000 volts all around me

Again .. a good respect for things all around me.

Seems all my life I have found myself in these situations.

On my first job out of collect I was told to trace some wiring that ran through an old abandon part of a factory that did a lot of leaching with acid. This part of the factory dated from the turn of the last century. I kept watching my step wondering how safe the steel was all around me .... looked like it was about to crumble and collapse .. still remember that.

When I worked in the nuclear industry, we had pipes of HF (Hydrofluoric Acid) running all over. I was told horror stories of exposure to this.

Sooooo many ways of getting in trouble!

Sometimes I am amazed I have made it this far (touch wood).

Whats the old saying about living to 100 ... live to 99 and be very very careful.
Are you a member of the Crystal Radio Society? XTAL?
 

William May

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Gooooood Guess !!!!!!!!!

Yes, or at least was for a long while.

Still like to build a crystal set or a one tube radio once in a while.
I have a crystal radio kit, but have never finished it. Maybe this spring. I have all the Crystal Society newsletters. They were reprinted and bound in booklets.
 

xtal_01

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Yep ... bought all books ... wound a bunch of coils.

I even made a few cat whiskers (growing up in the late 60's / early 70's were I only used diodes).

I still try to find headsets when I come across them at a reasonable price ... they have gone through the roof.

Just the other day I was looking at two sets I have that are dead ... wondering if I can rewind the coils.

Way too many hobbies !

I even managed to pick up an old switchboard a few months ago ... got a few old magneto phones hooked together and working.

Then there is the G scale train set I want to get running around the house ....

Did I mention I am I have the foundation poured for a 4500 sq ft shop .....

I need to clone myself!

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Steamchick

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Excellent! Thanks Helder.
But the flash boiler will have to meet the local Regulations just as everything else does....
Technically, a flash boiler is simply the same as a proper steam superheater, in that it contains steam at pressure and elevated temperature. I.E. NOT at the boiler temperature for the pressure of the steam at the point of boiling. I think that the USA ASME regs may restrict the material selection accordingly to "non-copper alloys". Makers of flash boilers need to check their national regs.
N.B. The Flash boiler regs are quite different from Water-filled boiler regs. as the safety controls (including firing cut-off?) are covered in some detail (or so someone told me years ago! - The Internet isn't loaded with such things...). And UK, Europe, USA, China, Australia, NZ Canada, etc. all have different regulations.... And it may depend on the maximum volume and pressure of the "total containment" of steam and water: from pump, up the pipe-work, through the boiler to the engine valves.... and the maximum pressure therein. Boilers must meet regulations if over 3 bar-litres in the UK. So if the total pipework volume is 0.25l (just a cupful), and pressure maximum is 12bar (on a closed Supply valve or stopped engine valve)... then it must comply just on the boiler regs.... even though the "water" contained may only be a few drops at normal working conditions. e.g. consider what could happen if the flame goes out and the engine is stopped with closed valves.... The flash boiler cools and draws cold water into the coils.... which fill as the pressure drops below atmospheric when the steam condenses. Then the flame re-ignites and the feedpipes and coils of the boiler - near full of water - heat-up and pressure rises until the safety valve lifts - or pipes burst... Then the flash boiler is acting like a normal boiler... until all the excess water is purged and the steam can run the engine. Providing the water hasn't entered the engine and caused a catastrophic failure with an hydraulic lock... The Regulations will define all the controls necessary for a safe system, so please study well.

A note from a professional page concerning breaches of regulations for "boilers"...
"What exactly is Law and what is Guidance?
The standard response is that if you follow the guidance that is written by experts in the industry you will have probably done enough to comply with the law.
A legal view on this is that, ignorance in the eyes of the law is no excuse.
HSE prosecutions in 2017 saw the judiciary levy fines of £69.9m with over 30 in excess of £500,000 and 6% of all prosecutions were immediate custodial sentences with 12% as suspended sentences."

So please get the professional papers on Regulations and guidance and study them well. I am NOT a professional Boiler/Steam engineer so can only suggest good practice, so don't take my word as "gospel", but "check it with the experts". If there are any experts on this thread, please advise?
K2
 

Steamchick

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Xtal, William, Seems from your posts that you are sensible guys. Just from my experience in industry over 45 years, accidents don't seem to discriminate between "experts" and "stupid" guys. So just take care and obey the Regs. You know it makes sense.
I'm enjoying your posts!
K2
 

xtal_01

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Xtal, William, Seems from your posts that you are sensible guys. Just from my experience in industry over 45 years, accidents don't seem to discriminate between "experts" and "stupid" guys. So just take care and obey the Regs. You know it makes sense.
I'm enjoying your posts!
K2
Thanks .... I was told long ago, there was "almost" never a true accident. It was almost always because something was either overlooked in the design stages ... build wrong ... or "tinkered" with in the field.

Maybe between now and when I actually go to build my flash boiler I will win a lottery and then this will become a mute point ... I will just buy a certified one :)

Seems to be the story of my life .. champagne taste and a beer budget.

Thanks!
 

William May

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Xtal, William, Seems from your posts that you are sensible guys. Just from my experience in industry over 45 years, accidents don't seem to discriminate between "experts" and "stupid" guys. So just take care and obey the Regs. You know it makes sense.
I'm enjoying your posts!
K2
I have had years of FAA training on accidents, and there is ALWAYS a chain of events that lead up to it. ALWAYS!
So when I work, I tend to look for these links in the chains, and so far I have always found them before they culminated in any kind of event. It has worked so far, and I am 63 now, so if I keep doing it for the next 30 years, I will come to a close without having a serious accident. Fingers crossed and knocking on wood.
 

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