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Author Topic: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine  (Read 53903 times)

biggkidd

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Here we go with the second generation found lots of little problems and a few large ones the first time round. But the idea seams sound. For those who haven't followed the first thread I am building this for a power plant for our home which is off grid, four and a half years now.
  Well first to get started a friend gave me another air compressor pump the same exact same model as the one i'm using. It had a bad rod bearing otherwise looks good. For what i'm doing thats not a concern. See first pic below.
Ok what the plan is is to stack the two cylinders rods and pistons with about an inch air gap between to keep the water from contaminating the oil. I'm hoping that will allow the condensation to run off / out and not get past the second set of pistons  & rings. See second pic. You can see in the second pic that the pin boss in the piston gives me the most meat to bolt the rod to the top of the piston.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2012, 11:42:40 AM by biggkidd »
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biggkidd

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.So I found center as best I could by running a piece of thread through the piston pin and marked a line. See pic. Next I used a center punch to get a good demple and drilled them on the drill press. Which by the way is my most high tech tool I own. Then tapped the threads and bolted them together. As you can tell all of my work is low tech and afraid to say not great quality,but its the best i can do with what I have to work with and my limited knowledge of machine type work. See pics.
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admin

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Larry-

You do great work for just having a drill press, and especially for being off-grid.
I dream of going off grid some day, sort of the pioneering spirit thing.



P.S. - I still have not heard about how you intersperse photos with text, but I assume it is in which button on the edit window that you use to insert the photos instead of attaching photo files under the "Additional Options" tab.  I will try playing around with that.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 09:12:41 AM by admin »
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biggkidd

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Thanks.
 Here's a little more of what I've gotten done. First I'll show a pick of the pistons put together. The next pic is where I had to change the bolt pattern in order to stack the two cylinders. In the third and fourth pics you can see where i ran bolts in the old holes and then cut them flush .  So I could drill the new needed pattern.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 09:12:55 AM by admin »
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biggkidd

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You'll notice in the last pic I posted that there are two sets of cylinders. The bottom cylinder is tapped to accept the center bolts of the top cylinder and the top cylinder has had the end bolt holes slotted so they can fit / bolt together. In the first picture here the first set of cylinders has been attached to the crankcase. The pistons are also installed. One nice thing was I was able to leave  the second/ top pistons off while installing the first cylinders.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2012, 07:48:38 PM by biggkidd »
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biggkidd

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Next I installed the second set of pistons then studs. Getting the correct separation between the two sets of cylinders was a bit of a pain. But here's a pic of them finally together . The second pic gives a good view of the rod bolted to the piston.
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admin

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Larry-

That is a pretty slick setup.

I like it.

« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 09:13:15 AM by admin »
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biggkidd

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thanks but I haven't gotten to the hard part yet. Just hang in there its coming . Here in the next pic you can see I put the head / valve back on. In the pic after that notice the oil fill marks embossed in the block and the way I raised the oil fill hole to make it hold more oil. This as designed turned about 1400 rpm and uses a splash oil system. Since I'm turning the engine much slower I thought raising the oil level might be a good idea.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 09:54:17 AM by admin »
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biggkidd

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Ok now we start getting to the fun stuff. This first pic is back from the original set up. You can see with the crank mounted push/pull rod actuating the valve it has a vary limited valve open duration. Maybe20-30 degrees, I believe that was badly hurting power production. So I got the bright idea to make a timing plate or lobe. See second pic. That's a piece of 1/4 plate steel. Now like I said I don't have access to machine tools so you can imagine what fun cutting that out is. Not to mention trying to keep a true center, and oh joy it needs to be balanced too.  :D
« Last Edit: October 30, 2012, 11:46:15 AM by biggkidd »
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biggkidd

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As you can see this from my sloppy drawing this will give each cylinder a guesstimated 120 or so degrees of valve open time. Can anyone guess how I cut and balanced this design in this 14.5" piece of heavy steel?
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admin

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I would probably go after that with one of those thin grinding wheels (and a full face sheild).
« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 09:13:49 AM by admin »
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biggkidd

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That's not it I didn't even think of that. But I'll leave the question open to see if anyone can guess  . I did manage to cut it without to much difficulty though! Balancing it was a bit harder and took a LOT longer. See pictures. As far as the balancing went I can just imagine a lot of you guys saying no way he didn't just do that. But its the best I could manage so yep I used a lawnmower blade balancer. See pictures in next post if I try to many at once I have trouble getting the post to go through.
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biggkidd

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As you could see in the last post my cutting skills supersedes my drawing ability.  ;) I can't remember if i told you guys bud my fine motor skills are not to good due to having multiple sclerosis. So using tools ok a pen or pencil not so good. Now back to balancing this monster  it took lots of drilling and a bit of added counter weight. See pic. No it didn't come out perfect but I think (hope) its close enough.
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biggkidd

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Next was on to modifying the rocker assembly sorry I forgot to take pictures of that. Now up to date i'm working on making a guide for the pushrod. Is riding on the timing plate/lob/eccentric via a roller bearing. See pic. Not quite finished yet. But its more 1/4 " plate with an old nylon at least I think its nylon cutting board cut up in to pieces glued in.
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admin

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I like the balanced plate.
Very creative.

« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 09:14:09 AM by admin »
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biggkidd

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Thanks
  Guys I need some help here please. Can anyone tell me how I can make an oiler to either go on the valve or in line just before the valve to give it and the upper cylinders some lubrication? Thanks.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 09:14:23 AM by admin »
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admin

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2012, 05:15:37 AM »

Guys discuss oiler types on the various forums like the Hatfields and McCoys, or the Ford and Chevy people.

Everyone has their favorite type.

If I were making a steam engine that would run for long periods of time unattended, I would try to make a pump-type with a large drip-cup style oiler attached to it.  The idea is for the oil to drip down into an opening above a small piston, and the piston exposes the oil hole during every stroke.  A check valve keeps steam from blowing back into the drip cup.

Several examples are shown here:
Just a small piston powered off of an eccentric or a moving part would work with a large drip oiler.
http://www.classicsteamengineering.com/index.php?topic=647.new

And then you can make/buy a displacement type, which is also a very popular unit if you can get it to meter small amounts of oil accurately, which a good displacement oiler can do.  I picked this one up the other day:
http://www.classicsteamengineering.com/index.php?topic=644.0

You don't need very much oil introduced into the steam line, just enough to lubricate the top end.

« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 09:14:50 AM by admin »
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biggkidd

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2012, 07:28:44 PM »

Hey thanks !
  I'm constantly amazed at the info you seem to have at your finger tips. Too cool.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 09:14:35 AM by admin »
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fredrosse

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2012, 07:33:14 PM »

Just an observation, stacking cylinders from a 1977 book, building a steam engine using two Chevy six cylinder engine blocks.  The lower part retains all the forced lubrication, the lower pistons become the crossheads.  The upper pistons should have no side loading, and a new cylinder head completes the setup.  This engine uses conventional automotive valves, springs, etc.
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admin

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2012, 08:18:16 PM »

My first steam engine, built for a high school science project, was made from a Briggs and Stratton lawnmower piston.

It was a good way to start building an engine without having to re-invent the wheel so to speak.
http://www.classicsteamengineering.com/index.php?topic=159.0

I have considered making a twin single action steam engine more than once from half a VW engine.
I may make one some day.

« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 09:14:59 AM by admin »
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biggkidd

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2012, 11:12:22 AM »

Fred that's cool! More or less the same I am working on mines just a lot smaller .
 your high school project turned out well. Where did you find that big pulley?

  Hey guy's  I need a big favor. Don't worry it wont cost you a thing! And it wont be hard. I would like you  to pick apart my project and point out  all the problems you can find. This would be a big help. I'm hoping to finish up this weekend. Time & weather permitting of course.
  At the moment I am remaking the cam follower, I wasn't happy with the way it worked.
One thing I should point out is that the majority of the time this is running it will be under full load. Making100-120 amps at 12-14 volts. When the voltage rises and amps drop I'll probably just burn the boiler cooler to make less steam.  To keep from over speeding.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 09:55:02 AM by admin »
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biggkidd

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2012, 11:33:48 AM »

Oops forgot to mention I made an oiler of sorts . May or may not work theres a pic below. But I'm debating where to put it. Should I place it directly over the spool valve to drip there or off center in the valve body , both options are a bit risky. Or go the safe easy route and put it in the steam feed line just before the valve.
Suggestions please.
Thanks
« Last Edit: November 02, 2012, 11:36:05 AM by biggkidd »
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fredrosse

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2012, 02:36:57 AM »

The Valve Cam, why so large a diameter?
A few valve train pictures from an early Domestic Heat-Power Module Engine.  This engine is a uniflow type, so the admission valve has no exhaust port, although the valve train here could be adapted to a conventional steam admission/exhaust type valve.  The valve train uses conventional small diameter cam, with a roller follower, pushrod, and rocker assembly very similar to your design.

Good to see your work and progress.
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biggkidd

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #23 on: November 04, 2012, 04:33:48 PM »

Fred you ask why so large on cam. Two reasons really one I wanted to add some more rotating mass  second cause I'm not to bright. Lol. I figured I needed to stay out side of the pulley area. More later gota run.
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fredrosse

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #24 on: November 04, 2012, 11:57:34 PM »

The contact point between the valve stem and the rocker is an ordinary 5/16 inch Grade 5 Bolt threaded into the rocker, with a locknut.  The bolt hex head was formed into an approximate spherical surface by putting it into a portable hand held electric drill, as the bolt rotates it is held against a small grinding wheel, and the spherical surface is formed by manipulating the bolt head against the grinder. The bolt can be adjusted to set a valve clearance, about 0.004 inches free play on a cold engine.  Somewhat crude, but it works OK.

The pushrod was originally designed to be made out of some steel tubing, a small sleeve turned on a lathe, and the tube pressed into the sleeve on both ends.  Ordinary  1/4 inch ball bearing balls were then to be inserted, to be the spherical load transfer points. 

As it turned out, I just used an ordinary automotive pushrod from a Chevy V8, and used ordinary steel nuts and bolts for the pushrod seating surface.  The bolts were chucked into a lathe, hex head out, and centerdrilled to form a socket for the pushrod ends.  If I had it to do today, I would use a ball mill instead of a centerdrill.

This engine ran 24/7 at 600 RPM, and on a prony brake it made 4.64 BHP at 1040 RPM with 135 PSIG steam, and atmospheric exhaust.
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fredrosse

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #25 on: November 05, 2012, 12:15:27 AM »

Notice the spacer sleeve between the engine cylinder and cylinder head.  This spacer is to give clearance volume, as a uniflow engine with small clearance will develop very high compression pressures if the exhaust is at atmospheric pressure. 

As I recall the sleeve gave the engine about 20% clearance volume.  This amount of clearance volume would be considered way too large on a conventional slide valve counterflow steam engine, but was the norm for uniflow engines exhausting to atmospheric pressure.  The uniflow type engine typically gives much better steam economy than the counterflow types, and also had much better part load economy than the counterflow engines.
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biggkidd

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #26 on: November 07, 2012, 12:07:50 PM »

Fred
Back to your question about why so large on th cam. I need 1.5 in of rocker motion to open the valve fully in both directions  and couldn't figure any other way to accomplish that. But I did make a big mistake the cam profile is to aggressive and promptly blew apart the roller bearing. Also I need to figure in another pivot point as its causing binding as the rocker goes through its arc. The bearing that broke May have been damaged from the git go as it was used. I am waiting for bearings to be delivered  now. Had to order them from Ca  got 10 for the price of two locally,and had to wait either way.. Wish I could figure out a reasonable way to smooth out the cam profile some without starting from scratch again.
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biggkidd

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #27 on: November 08, 2012, 12:06:43 PM »

Hi guys,
  Good news bad news Routine. I did get my bearings yesterday. Also eased the up slope on the cam a little. I did manage to get four hours of run time. Its making some power but still not enough. Anyone know where I can get a really large pulley or pulleys at reasonable prices?
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admin

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #28 on: November 08, 2012, 12:44:08 PM »

I generally get them off of discarded fans, the ones that use to be up in peoples attics, before many houses had air conditioning.  Maybe a scrap yard.
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biggkidd

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #29 on: November 09, 2012, 10:26:44 AM »

 Thanks
  With the pulley set up I've got now there's a 10:1 increase from engine to alternator. Which seems about right. But to make this happen theres a 10" pulley on eng going to a 3" on a jack shaft with another10" which runs a second belt to the alternator with a 3" pulley. The stacked pulleys and two belts are costing me to much power loss. So I think I'll try my hand atmaking a 30" pulley.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 09:15:21 AM by admin »
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admin

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #30 on: November 09, 2012, 11:56:30 PM »

30" pulley, wow.
Don't spin that thing too fast, that is a lot of inertia, and a wheel that big can give way.

« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 10:13:13 AM by admin »
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biggkidd

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #31 on: November 10, 2012, 11:33:25 AM »

Hey,
Yeah 30" is BIG but I hope this will be the final trick to making this all come together. Far as rpm goes I doubt it will ever see 500 more like 200-300 should do nicely. I will have to reconfigure the cam and rocker. Location and the guide but shouldn't be to hard.
Thanks to everyone who has helped out along the way. This has been a fun time and big learning experience!
 ;D
« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 09:15:31 AM by admin »
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fredrosse

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #32 on: November 10, 2012, 12:35:21 PM »

Well aligned V-belt drives have transmission efficiency in the 96% range, or somewhat higher.  Having the jackshaft and two belts should not be costing you much power, with overall drive efficiency of something better than 90% for the jackshaft arrangement. 

From what I have found, automotive alternators have to be driven at 2000 RPM or preferrably higher to get into their reasonable operating range, and most of them can be driven up to 10,000 RPM without any trouble.

For your setup I would think "A" size belts would be appropriate.  Heavier belts would tend to eat more power, lowering the drive system efficiency.
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biggkidd

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #33 on: November 11, 2012, 12:13:00 AM »

Thanks Fred,
  That opens several questions for me, hopefully you can help answer.  What is an A size belt I've been running L4 V-belts which are 1/2" . Do you think I may have a binding issue with the Jack shaft arrangement ? It feels like the effort to turn the engine by hand doubles when changed from engine to alternator with a single belt versus the two belt Jack shaft arrangement .
Thanks much for your help.
 I would like to add that after using alternators to charge our power system for almost five years now I completely agree. I would like to add that if running at full capacity for extended periods that it helps to turn at least 4000 rpm or additional cooling methods if you don't wish to fry the stator in short order. This wouldn't be needed for most people  but we tend to hold a 100% load for  6 plus hours sometimes much longer I've seen my system when rather low run full load for upto 24 hours before the voltage starts to rise and the load starts to ease up.
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admin

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #34 on: November 11, 2012, 01:10:20 AM »

These "home power generation" threads become much more interesting in the wake of the recent storm in the North East.
I read stories of people protesting at the power companies, demanding that their power be turned back on instantly.
Most people have losts their sense and desire for self-sufficiency.

I never wait very long during a power outage in order to fire up my generator, and I have run my house for extended periods on a generator.  I am set up with natural gas for heat, and so I power the air handling unit with the generator, plus various lights in the house, and small appliances.  I acutally connect the entire house panel to my generator, I just don't turn on the big 240 volt loads when on the genset.  I think I have an 8 KW genset, which is a good trade off with power/cost/size/storage space.

For power outages during the summer, I use a small window unit to cool one room only.
We don't have power outages very often, but when we do, they tend to be doosies, like the ice storm that had our power out for 7 days, or the wind storm that had our power out about 5 days.

But you have to admire the self-sufficiency of the early pioneers.  You know they did not protest at their local power company when things got tough.

I dream of having a boiler and steam powered generator set some day, and "being prepared" (as they say in the Boy Scouts).


« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 09:15:47 AM by admin »
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fredrosse

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #35 on: November 11, 2012, 12:44:39 PM »

I too have a small gasoline powered generator, rated at 5000 Watts.  It ran for five days last week with Sandy storm.  House heat is gas hot air, hot water is gas, and I have to cutout the 4500Watt heating element in the dishwasher, and open the 3.5 ton air conditioner breaker.  Beyond that the generator can carry the whole house very well, even when Katharine turns on the 1800 Watt hair dryer!.

When I bought the well pump I selected a smaller one, just to make sure my generator could run it, and I always buy hot water heaters that need no electricity to run.  The high efficiency gas hot water heaters all need AC power to run, something I will always avoid.

It would be absurdly easy for the utility companies to develop and install small gas fired cogeneration systems throughout the community, and these units would provide both power and heat, a Domestic Heat-Power Module.  With this type of unit, the overall efficiency goes way up, at least in the heating season, as all the engine waste heat goes to heat the house, and make hot water, the electricity is almost a free byproduct.  This introduces the possibility of local generation superceding the big utility power generators, and allowing independent ownership of these machines.  I wonder why the utilities would fight this type of machine, it could very significantly lower the industry's Carbon footprint.  It could also introduce the possibility to make whole sections of the grid more resilient with respect to storms and natural disasters.

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biggkidd

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #36 on: November 12, 2012, 11:06:02 AM »

Well guys Carl came to visit from Richmond this weekend and since he was here helped build that big pulley .  It turned out to be 31" OD I am planning to ease the cam profile a bit more before I put things back together again. Still have that to do along with reworking the pushrod  & rocker assembly
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admin

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #37 on: November 12, 2012, 03:58:58 PM »

Larry-

Wow, that is a BIG pulley!
Nice job, it turned out great.

« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 09:15:57 AM by admin »
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biggkidd

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #38 on: November 16, 2012, 10:42:07 AM »

Thanks
  It turned out ok I still need to true it up a little and strengthen it for rotational forces. On to the next set of problems. In order to make the pushrod and rocker line up I need to build a new head. I have to slide the valve back so there's more room. This will move the steam ports from the center of the bores to the back edge. I don't see this as a problem. Do any of you?
« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 09:16:09 AM by admin »
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fredrosse

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #39 on: November 16, 2012, 06:05:13 PM »

Steam admission & exhaust far from the center of the piston has been done on 99.9% of steam engines for about 300 years, don't see any problem with that aspect of your design.
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biggkidd

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #40 on: November 16, 2012, 06:29:10 PM »

Thanks Fred,
That's what I thought but never hurts to ask those who are so much more familiar with these engines. I had never even seen a steam engine in person until I built one. Now its just a matter of working all the bugs out. I hope to make a better valve for it. If any of you can help with a simple design I can make for this engine I would greatly appreciate the help.
Thanks larry
« Last Edit: November 16, 2012, 06:34:48 PM by biggkidd »
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biggkidd

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #41 on: November 19, 2012, 01:47:19 PM »

Ok couple of questions for you guys.
1) what's  the best shape for an eccentric?  Off center circle or ____
2) on a d slide valve are the sides open or closed?
3) I noticed in a picture Fred posted that when the  valve was centered it was covering both steam ports is that normal or necessary?
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fredrosse

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #42 on: November 20, 2012, 02:41:32 AM »

Ok couple of questions for you guys.
1) what's  the best shape for an eccentric?  Off center circle?   YES, STANDARD STEAM ENGINE PRACTICE
2) on a d slide valve are the sides open or closed? CLOSED, PLENTY OF IILLUSTRATIONS AVAILABLE FROM PAT
3) I noticed in a picture Fred posted that when the  valve was centered it was covering both steam ports is that normal or necessary? YES, STANDARD PRACTICE, THIS IS CALLED "STEAM LAP"
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biggkidd

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #43 on: November 20, 2012, 10:40:40 AM »

Thanks a million Fred! I plan to start on a more traditional valve / steam chest, and eccentric this week. Went back over the original posts having remembered some suggestions for port size. The new valve will be real close to this  .027  he recommended . Reading WO's build also answered my UN asked question about the placement of the slide rod for the D valve.
Another question for you guys should I make the pushrod from the eccentric adj. so I can make timing adjustable on the fly.
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Johnlanark

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #44 on: November 20, 2012, 11:59:32 AM »

Hi Biggkid. The length of the pushrod from the eccentric should be set so that the valve travel goes beyond the ports the same distance above and below them. So you may like to have an adjuster to get the length right on first assembly, but it is not something you would need to alter after that.

You may want to fiddle with advance of the valve compared to the crank rotation and this would be by slackening the sheave on the shaft, moving and retightening.

To tune the timing more you would make a new valve that is longer or shorter, the inside pocket is smaller or larger and so on. There are entire books about it!
Have fun, John

 
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biggkidd

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #45 on: November 20, 2012, 12:46:43 PM »

 Thanks John
I wish I could see those old books I've downloaded a few but this screen is just to small. What I was thinking was making it so i can adjust the pushrod at the eccentric from side to side a little to place it advanced or retarded . This may be how a Stevenson link works not exactly sure.
Thanks again for all the help..

  If some of you guys were building this any idea on the port sizes / spacing
 What I've got worked out may be all wrong. But here goes nothing. As now planned the two steam portsare going to be  about .25 x 1.25 ant the exhaust port .5 x 1.25 with .5 in between. With the D valve being around 1.5-6 ID
« Last Edit: November 20, 2012, 01:04:25 PM by biggkidd »
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biggkidd

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #46 on: November 20, 2012, 06:10:52 PM »

If anyone has any suggestions please let me know I plan to start making the above mentioned valve tomorrow morning
Thanks guy's
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biggkidd

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #47 on: November 21, 2012, 04:48:19 PM »

Hi guys making slow but steady progress on the new steam chest. Unfortunately I am having to make all this out of mild steel . Iron seems easier to drill ,tap etc. But steel is what I had and what i can get around here.
I can't thank enough for posting all that great info about the 20 hp Stanley valve. I am trying to use it as a base line guide for my engine.
I do have a few hurdles to cross though . Also a few more questions .  Does the Stanley  or other valves of this type use a spring  or just gravity? Those valves are mounted vertically I'm guessing mine will be horizontal on top of the two cylinders  . Don't  forget this is a two cylinder uniflow type engine.
Thanks Larry
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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #48 on: November 21, 2012, 06:02:03 PM »

That two cylinder thing throws me a little, and I have not had time to look closely at that.

The valve is held against the valve seat with steam pressure only.

The good part about D-valves is that if you get condensate/water in the cylinder, and try to start the engine, the water will be relieved back into the steam chest instead of breaking the end off your cylinder as can happen with a piston valve engine that does not have relief valves.

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #49 on: November 21, 2012, 09:29:18 PM »

You can easily see that when a steam locomotive starts to move, they always have the drain cocks open on both ends of both cylinders, and so steam is spraying everywhere in great clouds.
Those drain cocks will be closed once the cylinders get warmed up.

The other thing that use to baffle me about steam locomotives was the chug,chug, chug sound that they made when the engine had stopped, which I finally figured out was the Westinghouse air brake steam compressor (in the US).

I have also seen spring loaded relief valves on both cylinder heads that will relieve any condensate inside the cylinder, commonly seen on engines with piston valves.  Piston valves to lift off their seat for any reason.

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biggkidd

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #50 on: November 24, 2012, 11:58:54 PM »

I started working on my valve and steam chest Wednesday morning, and finally have some progress to report. I made the floor of the steam chest out of pieces of plate steel sandwiched together and welded. The valve seat is also plate. The valve is a piece of 1" iron pipe and more plate steel. I started off by drilling the head bolt pattern in 2) 1/4" pieces and 1) 1/2" piece. Then bolted them together and cut the two steam ports in. Next I removed the bottom 1/4" plate and cut the exhaust  in the others. The first picture shows all the ports
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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #51 on: November 25, 2012, 12:17:19 AM »

Next i cleaned up the mating surfaces and applied hardening form a gasket and bolted it all back together. Let it cure 12 hours and welded the edges. While waiting for that to air cool. I notched the 1" pipe to accept the pushrod mount.and welded it in then fit and welded the ends on along with the base. Then it was time to give the valve seat a smooth finish. I ran it and the valve face across the belt sander  using120 grit. You guys think that will wear in ok? Or do I need to polish it better?
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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #52 on: November 25, 2012, 12:28:44 AM »

Anyone have any idea how I can keep steam from leaking by this bolt hole in to the exhaust passage? My best idea at the moment is to use threaded rod for a stud and jb weld it. If you look close in the bottom of the exhaust you can see white showing which it the bolt hole. The bolt or stud in question travels through the steam chest. The second picture shows the exhaust passage out.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2012, 12:32:36 AM by biggkidd »
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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #53 on: November 25, 2012, 12:47:04 AM »

Probably should have made the exhaust passage larger, but its done now. The steam port  are .25 x 1.25 and exhaust is .5 x 1.25. Witch makes them slightly over size for my 2.5 bore and 2.0 stroke. The valve id is 1 x 1.25 od is 2.125 x 2.0. The valve pushrod height is .825 @ center.
 I'm sure you guys know this is an off scale version of a 20 hp Stanley . Bet you can't guess were I got that idea!
Thanks again for posting all that great information Pat...
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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #54 on: November 25, 2012, 01:00:41 AM »

Larry-

That is a great looking valve and seat.
Very well done.

I think it will wear in fine with 120 grit.

I would say weld that hole closed if you need to do that.
I have closed holes with welding before.

My heat is out in the house, and the wife wants it repaired now, so off I go.
I will look a bit more when I get some heat going.

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #55 on: November 28, 2012, 10:11:48 AM »

Got a little more done yesterday still a ways to go.
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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #56 on: November 30, 2012, 10:16:18 AM »

Finally got the valve finished.  ;D
Still have to make the eccentric and pushrod  plus all the supports etc.
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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #57 on: December 01, 2012, 10:30:34 AM »

WO,
I cheated by not using a conventional stuffing box. If you'll notice the plate attached to the front of valve behind the spring in the third picture in my last post . There's a recess with a viton O-ring,I went this route due to space limitations. Normally the steam chest runs along the side of the piston inline  where due to this being a two cylinder uniflow it runs across the top  of the two cylinders in place of the head. That is also the reason for the spring
 I did get the eccentric made yesterday afternoon so today I plan to mount the steam chest  and eccentric and hopefully get the pushrod and brackets made.
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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #58 on: December 03, 2012, 10:19:32 AM »

WO,
 I don't know how the viton is going to work myself but it seemed worth a try. I too understand about having more going on than you can keep up with . I'm a single parent of a 7 & 12 year old girls.
 Didn't get anything done this weekend with them home from school . Friday I did get the steam chest mounted and a new eccentric made. But not happy with either so I'll try and fix the problems with them today if I can find the time.
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fredrosse

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #59 on: December 03, 2012, 11:11:20 AM »

I have used Viton O-rings in steam service, it works well, but will eventually deteriorate.  Aflas O-rings are better for steam service in the presence of oil.  My steamboat uses all Aflas O-rings where there is a moving seal, they have been in service for 3 years now without replacement.

If you do not have a crosshead guide for the valve rod, I think you are definately going to need to extend the valve rod straight thru to the other side of the steam chest and have a rod guide on that end of the steam chest.  It could just be a pipe nipple screwed into the valve chest, with a cap on the end, that would not require a stuffing box.
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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #60 on: December 04, 2012, 10:16:04 AM »

Hey thanks Fred.
 I am planning a guide for the valve rod. I almost gave up on this project in the last few days. But I'm just not a good quitter! I was self employeed most of my life but many times during this build I wished I had someone to tell me exactly what to do.  ::)
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biggkidd

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #61 on: December 04, 2012, 10:24:59 PM »

Alright made some good progress today! After several failed attempts at making an eccentric I finally got it right. I couldn't get the ___ thing to turn/spin true. So I bought a 7/8 bore pulley and pressed the hub out of it and used it on my eccentric. Now it spins nice and true.  ;D
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fredrosse

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #62 on: December 05, 2012, 02:22:45 AM »

If you have limited machining facilities it is often very difficult to make some things.  As to the eccentric assembly, that can often be made with only a Heim Joint and a welder.  You could also just use a ball valve!  The trick here is the spherical ball shape.  If the ball valve has, for example, a 1 inch bore fluid flow hole, you can pass a 1/2 inch diameter shaft thru this hole, and weld the shaft to the ball, not welding on the spherical outer surface, just welding inside the ball hole.

Now you have a spherical shaped eccentric with a 1/2 inch stroke.  The remaining parts of the ball valve can be modified with crude tools to make the bearing to which the valve connecting rod is attached.  The spherical bearing surface is very forgiving of poor alignment issues.
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biggkidd

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #63 on: December 06, 2012, 12:00:35 AM »

Fred that's some slick trick with the ball valve. I would love to have your experience and learning. I once many moons ago while still in high school had an offer from a friend's father to work at renalds metals and they were offering a full scholarship. Wish I hadn't turned them down. Oh well life's lessons
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biggkidd

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #64 on: December 10, 2012, 06:30:41 PM »

Got some more done this weekend , bribed my girls so they gave me piece and quite.  Actually had it run a few minutes yesterday. The valve is sticking so i'm planning to pull the steam chest back off and run the valve in by hand with lapping compound. The should smooth it out much better. Also think it's going to need a stiffer valve return spring. I picked two up today hopefully one of them will suit. ;D
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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #65 on: December 11, 2012, 10:32:34 AM »

Got the steam chest and valve off and found that a piece of trash had gotten between the valve and seat. So I'm going to blow the boiler out a couple times. Turns out valve grinding compound is way to course, but did get some of the grooves out of the seat now trying to polish out the surface with rubbing compound.
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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #66 on: December 12, 2012, 10:14:49 AM »

Hey WO, I had a similar idea. But I did a triple blow down on the boiler seems nice and clean now. If the weather will hold I should get everything back together today. But they're calling for rain and highs in the 40s. Not too promising. How's yours coming?
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biggkidd

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #67 on: December 12, 2012, 06:32:38 PM »

Well got it all together but it still doesn't run...  Well at least with over 25 psi. So back to the drawing board. Heres a picture of what doesn't work. The problem is with more than 25 psi the valve doesn't return .
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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #68 on: December 13, 2012, 10:20:53 AM »

 WO
We are thinking along similar paths. With a valve surface area of a bit over four inches  and 25 psi that creates about 100 lbs. of down force. The valve spring is probably around 70 lbs so doesn't have the strength needed. I have come up with a fix I believe. For some reason I had trouble wrapping my mind around how to build a rocker that wouldn't cause the valve stem to deflect but I think I've got it now.
I am introducing oil in the steam line.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 10:50:37 AM by biggkidd »
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fredrosse

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #69 on: December 14, 2012, 02:36:58 AM »

Thinking of a more positive valve mechanism you might consider, made with ordinary Heim Joints, available for a few $$ from e-bay or other surplus sales places.  The attached picture shows parts, fabricated with minimum tools.

1.  The Red, you already have this, the steam valve rod and pin
2.  The Blue, a rocker assembly made from a 1/2 inch long nut (commonly called a threaded rod coupler), a bolt about 3/8 dia x 3 inches long, plus a forked piece of flat bar, about 1 inch x 1/4 inch x 3 inches long, all welded together
3.  The Purple, a stationary rock shaft, a piece of 1/2 inch diameter threaded rod attahed to the engine frame.
4.  The Gray, two Heim Joints, with threaded rod connection.
5.  The Green, existing crankshaft and flywheel hub, with 3/8 bolt mounted eccentric to the crank centerline, gives up/down motion to the Heim Connecting rod.
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fredrosse

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #70 on: December 14, 2012, 02:42:36 AM »

If you are interested in that valve mechanism, give me the dimension from centerline of crankshaft to centerline of valve rod, plus the total travel of the valve, and I will try to work up the dimensions of the parts.
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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #71 on: December 17, 2012, 10:49:30 AM »

WO, Fred,
 First to answer wo's questions yes everything was well greased roller bearings. Fred I cant thank you enough for the ideas and help. I've been a bit under the weather so haven't made any kind of progress  i'm sorry to say. Soon as I get feeling better I'll get back to it. Thanks again.
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biggkidd

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #72 on: December 18, 2012, 10:23:19 AM »

Finally feeling a little better. Seems to be done raining too. :D So I'll try and make some progress today , it stinks not having a shop or garage to work in.  Working around the weather this time of year gets interesting.
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biggkidd

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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #73 on: December 19, 2012, 10:14:41 AM »

Generally daytime temps in the winter here don't go much below 20 F occasionally they may drop into single digits but pretty rare.
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biggkidd

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Hi guys been down with the flu since before Christmas. Just beginning to feel human again , hope to get back to this project soon as I'm able. Fred I did take your advice with the hiem joints, thanks again.
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admin

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That flu stuff is a bummer.
It will definitely slow you down.

Hope you feel better.
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biggkidd

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Got a doozy of a dumb question for you guys. How many horse power would a steem engine need to be  to pull a 10 kw  generator head? From what I have seen a diesel would need aprox. 15 hp or gas would need 20 hp..
 Any idea?
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Roughly from what I have seen with gasoline gensets, I would say it would take roughly 18-20 hp to pull a 10KW load, so maybe a twin cylinder steam engine.
The Stanley twin was rated at 20hp, and it had 4" bores, 5" strokes.

You would need to build an engine more rugged than a Stanley though, it was not rated for continuous duty.

And you will have losses, so the boiler will have to be rated for more than 20 hp.
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biggkidd

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Ok thanks. I must say I was thinking more like 11 hp with a steam engine due to the much higher torque per hp that steam produces. Guess I was wrong maybe others will chime in. ;)
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I think power is power, whether it be delivered at 100 rpm or 1000 rpm.
Similar to an electric motor, for example rated at 10 hp over a wide variety of speed ranges.

A 200 hp diesel engine and a 200 hp gasoline engine both do the same amount of work, but the diesel will pull you up the hill.
The diesel will be limited in what rpm it can run at, while the gasoline engine can rev up higher, say in a race car application.

Sort of like the 2-stroke vs 4-stroke arguements for dirt bikes.
The 4-stroke motocross bikes can out-torque the 2-strokes out of the corners, but the 2-strokes are lighter, and you can approach the corner faster, cut the corner square, and potentially be leaving the corner before the 4-stroke can get turned fully.

I think today's 4-stroke motocross engines are very similar to the 2-strokes, and much of the weight difference it gone.
My preference is to have the bike as light as possible, but the torque that a 4-stroke produces does make the power much more manageable.  The power my bike produces is so explosive and in such a narrow band that it can be tricky to control.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 02:21:45 PM by PatJ »
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biggkidd

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  Thanks for your reply's. I both agree and disagree with you both. First I have several generators six mater of fact. Three of which are currently working the others need repair. Living off grid for five years  has taught me redundancy!!!  ;D All but one are gas   the other is a ten hp diesel rated at 6800 watts continuous  three are ten hp gas rated between4500 and 5500 continuous . I have used them all enough to know there is a lot of difference in what they are capable of. The ten horse diesel will carry nearly double the load as the 10 horse gas ones will. While burning only slightly more fuel. None of them are high end all more low end two are troybuilt10 hp gas one unknown10 hp gas and a leading brand diesel  its cheep (Chinese junk)  (175 hrs and making metal) waiting for repair. They are all 3600 rpm units. As was the other diesel I had .
 What got me thinking and wonderful down this road was looking through my scrap pile . I ran across an old piece of pipe I think would make a nice cylinder  about 6.125" D maybe18" long. Quarter in wall. I was dreaming of building a 6X6  that would make a little power I believe!
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fredrosse

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“I was thinking more like 11 hp with a steam engine due to the much higher torque per hp that steam produces. Guess I was wrong maybe others will chime in.”

In fact there is no difference, a horsepower is a horsepower, be it steam, or an IC engine, or a horse!   

Horsepower is the rate of doing work, and defined as 550 ft-pounds of work output per second, or 33,000 ft-pounds of work output per minute.  Work is defined as a force applied through a distance.

This can be with a high speed engine with low torque, or a low speed engine with high torque, either way the power output is defined the same.

The relevant parameters defining engine horsepower is shaft torque (T), and rotational speed (RPM). The torque here is the average torque produced by the engine, not the maximum torque for design of the connecting rod and bearings, etc., which is often several times greater than the average torque.

If the torque produced by applying a force to a lever (attached to the shaft), say an applied tangential force of 1 pound, with a 1 foot long lever arm, the torque is one pound-foot.  However the work done in one revolution of the shaft is actually a movement of 6.28 feet, (2 x Pi x Radius), so in one revolution this condition produces 6.28 ft-pounds work.   The equation relating engine torque and RPM then is:

HP  =  RPM * Torque (pound-ft) * ( 2 Pi ) / 3,3000
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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #82 on: February 01, 2013, 01:10:10 AM »

Well got back to work on the eng today. Got it all togeather and ran it. Ate the valve again! Thought trash was causing it but now think its a lube issue. Since i know its not trash as i put a screen in line as a filter. So next  step is to pressurize the oiler i guess.

Larry
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Re: take two on converting a twin cylinder air compressor into a steam engine
« Reply #83 on: February 19, 2013, 06:51:11 PM »

 I  had thought the valve was getting trash in it and grooving the face and seat. But that wasn't the case because i put a screen / filter in line and it happened again. So my conclusion is a lac of lubrication. So that's next on the list for this engine. No big hurry though since the boiler is to small. So Ive started on a new one, a 20 hp horizontal fire tube gasafier design. The old boiler makes an outstanding hot water heater though. LOL  ;)
 I have been busy researching and gathering up parts. I bought the main boiler tube from a place that makes commercial boilers as scrap as a drop 24" D  x 56" L  x .308 Wall for $120. From what they told me the max allowable working pressure is 267 Psi. My pressure relief valve got here today 150 psi that cost more than the main tube.   :o
« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 09:45:52 AM by admin »
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biggkidd

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Just wanted to let you guys know. Did finally get this going with the D slide valve using a homemade oiler it now runs with out trashing the valve. ;D  But I'm still not satisfied with it. Its just not making enough power. It has been intresting to play with though. I haven't given up on it yet but am thinking about going back to the original valve i had it had a lot less drag. Its awful hard to tell what to do as my boiler just wont keep up with demand. Speaking of which my fire brick should be by next weekend. Didn't get any pics or video, after watching all of ya'lls builds my stuff is so crude its embarrassing. :'(

Larry
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admin

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I visited the guy who has  the Roper replica steam bike, and he has added a mechanical oiler which consists of a small pump operated off the crankshaft, and a drip-type oiler, I guess with a check valve.

He says it works much better than the displacement lubricator.

I am thinking that for any serious engine I try to make, I will use a mechanical oiler.

Getting the boiler heating surface size coordinated with the engine usage can be a trick.
I wish I knew more about that so as to guide you a bit.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 03:44:01 AM by PatJ »
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biggkidd

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Quote
I visited the guy who has  the Roper replica steam bike, and he has added a mechanical oiler which consists of a small pump operated off the crankshaft, and a drip-type oiler, I guess with a check valve.

He says it works much better than the displacement lubricator.

I am thinking that for any serious engine I try to make, I will use a mechanical oiler.

Getting the boiler heating surface size coordinated with the engine usage can be a trick.
I wish I knew more about that so as to guide you a bit.

Hey,

   I'm using a simple drip oiler myself, it seems to work just fine. It is nothing more than a small resavore and valve with equalized steam pressure on both sides. As to boiler sizing not to worry the boiler I am gathering  parts for will be large enough to carry a 10 - 15 hp engine. I do plan to document and take , post lots of pics from the ground up. Hopefully this will help any others who plan a boiler and if you guys see any problems along the way you will point them out so corrections can be made during the build. Usually I don't this much trouble  building things but thats also using ready made parts. I had never tried to machine and make my own parts before. Its a whole new ball game for me.
  
  I can't thank you and the rest of the folks here enough for all of the help you have given me. I know I wouldn't have gotten this far without it.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 09:46:46 AM by admin »
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