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  • buenijo's Avatar
    12-06-2019, 02:32 PM
    I received the heavy steel shelf to be used as a base for the system. There is a heavy rectangular steel tube across the bottom that was not shown in the pics nor listed in the product description. It is in my way, but I can easily remove it by grinding off a few welds. Note the shelf is MORE than heavy enough for my project. It should work well, but it's heavier than I would like. I ordered the furnace fire tube and combustion chamber - 316 stainless for both. I also ordered 1/2" ceramic fiber. Once these arrive, then I will have everything required to continue. I will almost certainly add heavy casters to the base, but these can be had at Home Depot. Building a furnace for my friend's shop (see previous post) would be a valuable experience. My system would be a great deal smaller and more efficient than large gasification wood boilers, and I know of no commercial alternative suitable for small spaces (well, at least nothing I consider reasonably priced). These have to burn at very high rates for efficient operation, and this requires a large furnace and large hot water storage system - with proportionally higher thermal losses and higher cost. By contrast, my system would be confined to a 2' x 3' steel base on casters and weigh approximately 150 pounds when drained of water - and provide heat at a rate up to 10 KW. However, the cyclic operation would take the average heat rate to much lower values if desired. The steam engine system is easily more sophisticated than the furnace. So, it will take more time for development. Indeed, I initially considered the first year of the project would develop the furnace and steam generator, and an additional two years would be necessary to get a test engine operating (3 years total).
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  • buenijo's Avatar
    11-30-2019, 09:32 PM
    A friend of mine is looking to build a workshop on his property. My project has piqued his interest as a means to provide a heating system. It doesn't get very cold where he's at, but a couple months out of the year will see chilly nights in the 40's (it's a desert region in southern CA). He is grid connected AND he has well over 10 KW of solar - so, he's good on the electricity side of things. I thought it funny, but he still wants the generator. I suggested he get a battery system for backup and just configure the solar system to charge the batteries, but he really hates batteries. If the engine system were not included, then the 2' x 3' base I am using would accommodate a small commercial indirect water heater along with a small hydronic water circulation pump. A water feed pump is not required because the condensate would circulate by thermosiphon (like a coffee maker). This would be much simpler than the engine system, and I could have it completed in a fraction of the time. He will not start building his shop until summer of next year. So, the timing is good. Provided he remains interested, then I would build him a furnace insisting only that he purchase the parts. We would then install and test the system together and gather useful data.
    0 replies | 2784 view(s)
  • buenijo's Avatar
    11-30-2019, 03:14 PM
    The blower fan and power supply arrived. However, the heavy shelf I ordered to use as the base will not arrive until next week. Once I have everything in hand to continue, then the task will be to carefully mount the furnace and combustion chamber drums on one end of the base, mount the blower fan under the base, then build the furnace a combustion chamber with superior materials. The furnace design will be based on the crude version I tested previously. The only differences will be the use of more durable components, a larger fire tube, drums with locking lids, the new blower fan, and delivering the hot air and fuel gas into the combustion chamber somewhat differently (tube within a tube). Also, the combustion chamber will be contained within a highly insulated steel drum that will eventually also contain the steam generator.
    0 replies | 2780 view(s)
  • buenijo's Avatar
    11-12-2019, 09:54 PM
    Just sharing promising results from research. I had problems in finding cost effective materials to construct a base for my system. I got good results only after I began searching for products to repurpose for this application. I found steel trays that may be ideal. The width and height is perfect, but is longer than I intended. However, the additional length will accommodate a battery, inverter, and connections for the steam and feed water lines. While longer, the dimensions still allow my system to be shipped UPS Ground (no freight shipping). In short, it is very promising. Interestingly, I had some difficulty in figuring how to mount the components on the tray in way that is simple and effective. However, the solution presented itself in an elegant way that requires very few components (meaning less expensive and less weight). Finally, I found some commercially available indirect water heaters that will work very well as a steam condenser and thermal mass for my system. Some small and surprisingly affordable models I have seen can condense all the steam from my system while storing the heat in the water.
    0 replies | 3842 view(s)
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Navy veteran. Degrees in math and physics.
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Whatever pays the bills.
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“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
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Recent Entries

STEAM ENGINE PROJECT UPDATE (12/06/19)

by buenijo on 12-06-2019 at 02:32 PM
I received the heavy steel shelf to be used as a base for the system. There is a heavy rectangular steel tube across the bottom that was not shown in the pics nor listed in the product description. It is in my way, but I can easily remove it by grinding off a few welds. Note the shelf is MORE than heavy enough for my project. It should work well, but it's heavier than I would like.

I ordered the furnace fire tube and combustion chamber - 316 stainless for both. I also ordered 1/2"

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Updated 12-07-2019 at 10:41 PM by buenijo

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HYDRONIC HEATING SYSTEM FOR REMOTE WORKSHOP

by buenijo on 11-30-2019 at 09:32 PM
A friend of mine is looking to build a workshop on his property. My project has piqued his interest as a means to provide a heating system. It doesn't get very cold where he's at, but a couple months out of the year will see chilly nights in the 40's (it's a desert region in southern CA). He is grid connected AND he has well over 10 KW of solar - so, he's good on the electricity side of things. I thought it funny, but he still wants the generator. I suggested he get a battery system for backup and

Read More

Updated 12-07-2019 at 05:36 PM by buenijo

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STEAM ENGINE PROJECT UPDATE (11/30/19)

by buenijo on 11-30-2019 at 03:14 PM
The blower fan and power supply arrived. However, the heavy shelf I ordered to use as the base will not arrive until next week. Once I have everything in hand to continue, then the task will be to carefully mount the furnace and combustion chamber drums on one end of the base, mount the blower fan under the base, then build the furnace a combustion chamber with superior materials.

The furnace design will be based on the crude version I tested previously. The only differences will

Read More

Updated 12-07-2019 at 03:15 PM by buenijo

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STEAM ENGINE PROJECT UPDATE (11/23/19)

by buenijo on 11-23-2019 at 10:39 PM
I had ordered the part I described in the previous post. However, it proved to be woefully inadequate to serve as a foundation for the system. So, I returned it and ordered a 12 gauge steel shelf 2' x 3' sold individually as part of a heavy duty shelving system. This unit will arrive early next week. I can commence shortly after it arrives (assuming it proves adequate). I also purchased the high quality 24v blower fan I mentioned in a previous post complete with power supply.

The

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Updated 12-06-2019 at 02:47 PM by buenijo

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STEAM ENGINE PROJECT UPDATE (11/12/19)

by buenijo on 11-12-2019 at 09:54 PM
Just sharing promising results from research. I had problems in finding cost effective materials to construct a base for my system. I got good results only after I began searching for products to repurpose for this application. I found steel trays that may be ideal. The width and height is perfect, but is longer than I intended. However, the additional length will accommodate a battery, inverter, and connections for the steam and feed water lines. While longer, the dimensions still allow my system

Read More

Updated 12-06-2019 at 02:47 PM by buenijo

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