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  • buenijo's Avatar
    07-31-2020, 05:22 PM
    The damper is installed under the base and the new blower fan is contained inside a small steel cap that press fits on the the damper. The purpose of this approach includes: (1) the fan can be easily removed by disconnecting the power supply cord and removing the cap that contains the fan, (2) closing the damper cuts off all air to the furnace while also isolating the fan from any smoke generated from the furnace. Assuming the furnace ever tests well, and assuming I ever advance the project to install a steam generator, then the damper will be fitted with an extension spring and solenoid latch configured to shut the damper on high steam generator pressure OR high exhaust temperature. ADDENDUM: There will be another long delay before any meaningful progress can be made. I attempted another test without success - and identified a couple problems. I have to assemble another furnace. At least the new damper proved to be an excellent idea. I closed the damper and capped the furnace for cool down, then just popped off the fan.
    19 replies | 2848 view(s)
  • buenijo's Avatar
    07-16-2020, 02:59 PM
    I've been brainstorming the problem with the furnace. I now believe the main problem is OPERATOR ERROR. The blower fan pushes too much air, and this is producing a weak fuel gas that is further cooled and diluted with excess secondary air in the combustion chamber. I purposefully selected a new blower fan I knew to be more powerful than required (I figured I would just dial down the output with a controller). However, I did not expect the fan to push so much air as to prevent furnace operation. I got lazy. I should have had the controller on hand. I ordered a fan speed controller and purchased plugs for the furnace air supply holes. This will allow control of the air flow rate and the mixture. ADDENDUM: Unfortunately, my very limited electronics knowledge got me in trouble. The blower fan is amazing, but both too powerful and apparently too sophisticated. It cannot be controlled with a conventional pwm speed controller, and I am not paying for a fancy unit. Also, the cut in voltage is too high for rheostat control. So, I had to get a new fan. Good news is the new fan is much cheaper. BTW, I got the fancy fan for free. Also, I arrived at an elegant way to install the blower fan to the furnace base that incorporates a damper. This damper will eventually be part of a control system that is critical to operation. The damper was going to be placed elsewhere, but I realized this new location is superior. In fact, it solves several problems. Yeah, I know things are moving slowly - but I expected these kinds of problems. The devils are in the details - and why R&D is so expensive.
    19 replies | 2848 view(s)
  • buenijo's Avatar
    07-13-2020, 11:16 PM
    Yet another installment describing an unconventional a/c system. The usual disclaimer applies: solar makes a lot of sense for powering conventional small a/c systems. This is just one way a stand-alone system based on my design might be configured. It's simple: drive an automotive compressor off the engine via belt drive and use the evaporator to chill a mass of water circulated to the same hydronic fan coil units used for heating. The compressor drive is geared to consume most of the shaft power when engaged. The 24v compressor clutch solenoid (50 watts) is controlled by chilled water temperature feedback. The benefits of this configuration over a heat powered unit like those I described previously include: (1) low cost development, (2) compact footprint, and (3) all the high temperature heat from the steam condenser remains available for useful applications. A disadvantage includes increased fuel consumption. However, a fringe benefit is vast amounts of heat from the steam condenser would be available during this time which can rapidly dry wood fuel thereby eliminating the need to store large quantities of wood for seasoning before use.
    19 replies | 2848 view(s)
  • buenijo's Avatar
    07-11-2020, 10:04 PM
    I configured the furnace as a TLUD. It took a few minutes to heat up, but once hot it burned clean: However, the gases would not ignite when directed into the combustion chamber, and a tarry glaze was deposited: I am working on the solution.
    19 replies | 2848 view(s)
  • buenijo's Avatar
    07-09-2020, 07:44 PM
    I will fire the furnace this weekend if all goes to plan, and share the results - good or bad. I made the previous post primarily for education purposes. It is interesting. To be complete, I'll go ahead and describe another heat powered cooling system that might be configured with a small steam engine system. I did some very limited testing about 7 or 8 years back after acquiring a few pounds of lithium bromide from EBay. I tested the substance based on density and boiling point just to verify it was the stuff I bought, and it passed with flying colors. All I did with respect to testing was learn how to evacuate practically all air from a system by using a combination of cheap refrigerant vacuum pump and steam displacement. Take suction at a low point and start with warm water in the system. As the pressure in the system falls, the warm water boils. Water vapor is less dense than air, and so it rises to the top in the system to displace the air to the suction hose at the bottom. I verified the near complete absence of air by observing the lithium bromide chill the small mass of water down to 32F (after the system was isolated, the lithium bromide solution absorbed the water vapor in the system taking the pressure so low that the small mass of water continued to boil and cool to 32F). The other useful facts I determined is low cost DC mag drive pumps work perfectly under a high vacuum, and 6" schedule 40 PVC pipe holds a high vacuum well. My design is unique for chilling a mass of water DIRECTLY, then circulating the chilled water to a fan coil unit under vacuum. Why not? I mean, the pumps don't care. So, this eliminates a heat exchanger and lowers the chiller water temp - all else equal. The steam engine exhaust condenser would heat the lithium bromide solution that is under vacuum to boil off the water previously absorbed. This very low pressure steam is condensed by the lowest temperature ambient source available meaning air, but a body of water would be ideal. The liquid water from this condenser returns to the chilled water mass in the evaporator. The main challenge is achieving a high rate of absorption and evaporation with a low cost and compact design. I have a design worked out, but it's not something I would pursue until after the test engine is completed. The following video helps one to understand the absorption chiller. A vacuum pump is used to remove air from a chamber reducing the pressure so low that water boils. The pump continues operating to take the pressure lower and lower by removing water vapor. Since water vapor molecules are more energetic than those in the liquid form (on average), then the liquid water temperature decreases. In this video the water gets so cold it begins to freeze. An absorption chiller does the same thing in a different way by using a desiccant to absorb the water vapor. As long as all non-condensible gases are removed, then water is practically the only substance in the enclosure. So, the pressure can get very low indeed as the desiccant absorbs the water vapor!
    19 replies | 2848 view(s)
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  1. I began studying politics in 2002 after returning from Afghanistan on active duty military service. I quickly discovered Ron Paul. I started studying economics in 2005. By late 2005 I was buying gold and silver bullion for long term savings. Few individuals today have a clear understanding of economics. What remains of the U.S. Republic is in constant danger of destruction as long as this condition persists. As the inevitable economic collapse continues, the ignorant public will blame what they incorrectly believed to be a "free market" and "capitalism". They will then likely abandon what liberty remains for greater central control.
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About buenijo
Navy veteran. Degrees in math and physics.
Alternative energy. Economics. Political philosophy. Exotic reptiles.
Whatever pays the bills.
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Computer and Technical:
Scientists and Engineer


“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.” - Confucius.
"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." - Frederic Bastiat
"Being well adjusted to a sick society is not a measure of health." - Jiddu Krishnamurti


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