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Projects I'm building a steam powered Model A

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by wafflemaster, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. banjeaux bob
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 6,092

    banjeaux bob
    from alaska

    I'm glad you are building a steam powered car Wafflemaster. What troubles me is your blatant disregard for the patient,informed warnings of people who know what they are talking about.Your disregard doesn't stop at their continues at the disregard for not only your safety but that of any bystanders.

    How are you going to feel ,if you survive,when that bomb DOES go off and you're lying in the hospital in a room next to some of your friends and/or neighbors who are also wondering what happened? Do you have enough insurance to pay for all the ambulance,hospital bills,funeral expenses,and property damage that thing is going to cause?

    Even the person holding your beer when you say "watch this" aint going to be far enough away.You seem to be an intelligent sort of fellow.So ,why don't you take the hint?

    WiredSpider likes this.
  2. patterg2003
    Joined: Sep 21, 2014
    Posts: 704


    Everyone here with power boiler experience is simply asking that you seek some local professional input into your design to keep you and those around you safe. You clearly are enjoying the project and have a wide eared grin driving it. We want to keep you smiling and safe.

    John C. Kovalo is giving you good solid advice.

    I have voiced concern as well as many professionals on building to the boiler codes. Codes are a minimum standard of construction. There is an expression "sometimes we don't know what we don't know". That may be where you are and you need to know what you don't know.

    I just finished build an experimental aircraft that is well built as a certified aircraft. We used aircraft professionals to guide us along the way and have passed all the inspections without any issues. The aircraft had to go through a battery of tests to verify that it meets aircraft standards to receive its Certificate of Airworthiness. We also had to place large labels in the aircraft where passengers can clearly read that state the following. " YOU FLY IN THIS AIRCRAFT AT YOUR OWN RISK. THIS AIRCRAFT DOES NOT COMPLY WITH INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED STANDARDS.". The statement is not accurate in that the aircraft was built to the FAA CAR regulations, AC43.13, built to a proven set of engineered plans and government inspected at intervals during its construction. The rigorous testing was done to the FAA AC43.89. The materials and sources are all kept as a record of the aircraft construction as well. At a minimum you need to warn people of the risks with this experiment if they are present when it is fired.

    ASME boilers are designed with a 3.5X safety factory using the appropriate materials and construction methods. The safety relief valves are designed to pop at pressure and dump carefully calculated volumes of steam under that pressure to protect the boiler. A simple PRSV (pressure relief safety valve) that pops at pressure that cannot release the required volume keeps the energy in the boiler and is not a proper sized safety relief valve. I planned a large petroleum plant powerhouse maintenance outage that had 140+ PRSV's to be pulled, serviced, tested, recertified & returned to service. Some systems have a cascade set of valves that go off first with a small valve, intermediate valves and finally the largest valve. PRSVs are serious in the world of steam power. Regular competent inspection & repair of the boiler is as critical as the boilers construction.

    Boilers are pressure tested with water because at failure the water instantly loses its energy. When a pressure test is done with air then it is 10% over operating as the compressed energy is dangerous. Steam at failure is a release of compressed energy until depleted or released in a single explosion. A steam event often is violent and not a simple pop & whisper. Steam from a copper tube will scald no less than the steam from a iron tube. Steam is compressed energy and upon catastrophic failure can injure. All the fittings are not inside the fire box and if the fittings let go then the metal will turn into projectiles.

    One valve that was installed on 150lb condensate in the mill that was the wrong grade exploded 30 minutes after start up and sent shrapnel through a metal liner, insulation and out through the building skin. The pipefitter thought the valve was safe because the valve was pressure rated at twice the service pressure. Wrong material for the service. There is a due diligence here to warn everyone this is an experiment is & make everyone stand well back. The system will not give a warning when it is in imminent failure. Building it safe gives the peace of mind that it is constructed safe, can safely share its enjoyment and not have to worry when it will fail.

    No doubt the notion is unique. Stanley steamers were designed by engineers and intended to be operated by people that were not steam engineers. Stanley steamers had a lot of thought given to them make them safe for the public. It is fun to see Jay Lenno opening the blowdown valves to purge the Stanley boiler. Someone reported that the Stanley boilers were wound with piano wire which likely was to give added hoop strength and a failure protection mechanism. A Stanley steamer was not built in a backyard and released on the world.

    Deathrowdave gave good advice on violations in relation to construction. The same applies to boiler codes and regulation of steam power by the state governments. The paper work and processes involved with power codes is carefully detailed and regulated. Records have to be available for a boiler inspectors review without notice. A part can blow apart and if all the processes are followed then there is no negligence. You cannot predict which part will fail and how it will fail. Those of us that worked or work in power code work follow the regulations to the nth degree as we cannot afford the legal costs & fines with being negligent. Consider the legal consequences if a piece flies off and severely injures a person other than the builder. Lack of knowledge is not a defense. An explosion or an injury to an innocent person could get one sued and fined out of existence.

    "My old Physics professor used to make the distinction between "rigorous" arguments, based on math and the laws of physics, and "hand-waving arguments", whereas the person had an idea that he was SURE had validity but couldn't back up rigorously." Kovalo's statement is very powerful and accurate. The logic for construction does not justify or verify that the system is safe. Please seek out some local steam enthusiasts so they may give friendly guidance.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2017
  3. Homemade44
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 530


    There has been a lot of EXCELLENT advice given in this thread that should be followed to improve the safety of the design. This is a disaster waiting happen. Wafflemaster, you are correct that the failure is going to take place in the copper tubing, but it is going to be sooner rather than later and it will be very bad and not just a small leak.

    I am going to only talk about what is going to happen with the copper and not the other problems that I see with the design. The copper coils are going to fatigue quickly with each heating and cool down of the boiler. The coils are free standing, nothing to stop them from expanding and expanding in a random manner. There is nothing that will keep the coils in relation to each other. They are not evenly heated from top to bottom, flame impingement on the lower part of the tubes only. The lower sections of the copper will become harder faster than remainder of the coil. The movement of the coils in relationship to each other is going to cause work hardening in the copper.

    You are assuming the the phase change, water to steam, is going to take place in the steel containers only. As the head pressure increases the phase change is going to occur in the copper tubes near the exit into the containers. Depending on the quality of water used, demineralized water should be used, this is going to cause two things to happen. The salt in the water will plate out and start decreasing the diameter of the tube. Above that lever the steam will start eating away the ID of the copper tubing. This will be somewhat slow but it is going to weaken the tubing and speed up failure.

    You also have galvanic corrosion that will be taking place at the interface of the steel and copper connection, this will also lead to a weakening of the structure over time.

    Once the steam starts to leak it will produce a cutting action on the material and it only gets worse from there.

    Please get some professional advice from steam professionals. I like your project but want to see you do it safely.

    My experience with boilers is with large power house boiler and some smaller package units. I have seen the results of power house boiler failures where there was nothing left to the boiler but a bunch of steel laying on the ground. The first boiler failure caused the other boiler to blow. The investigation showed that the boiler would not meet code anywhere in the world. This happen in Jamaica, the entire power house was laying on the ground.
    gimpyshotrods likes this.
  4. John C. Kovalo
    Joined: Mar 12, 2017
    Posts: 6

    John C. Kovalo

    Homemade44, I honestly don't know WHAT can be done here to dissuade Wafflemaster from attempting to complete this project; the more I read this thread, and the more I think about it from my own experience, the more scared I get! Take, for example, that I'm the only contributor who commented on the seesawing phenomenon that occurs when two identical pressure vessels are installed side by side - who would have thought of it? And yet, I've seen it with my own eyes, and it's going to guarantee that those frail copper tubes are going to get starved of water and overheat faster than anyone would otherwise predict! And that's just ONE possible phenomenon. Perhaps if SOMEONE WHO KNOWS WAFFLEMASTER is reading this, perhaps you could have a conversation with him about cutting your losses and moving on [or going to a safer alternative]?? PLEASE???
  5. Homemade44
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 530


    John, the seesaw effect is seen for many reasons and when it occurs the stability of the boiler get unpredictable and becomes very unstable. We had four power boilers in our powerhouse and we had times when this phenomenon would take place. We hired Babcox and Wilcox, B&W, to look at the problem and help design a fix. We had tubes that didn't know if they wanted to be risers or downcomers and this lead to total instability outside the capability of the instrumentation to bring it back into control. Many times we would have a total blackout. B&W designed a fix and we implemented it resulting in a very reliable powerhouse. I was the lead person for this project.

    There are so many problems with this design that it needs to be scraped and started over. I wasn't going to respond to this thread but couldn't knowing what could happen and what I have experienced with boiler failures due to design problems. I don't know what else to do to get him to understand.
    Jerrybigbird likes this.
  6. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,735


    Steam, schmeam. I'm building a nuclear powered Deuce. I got a microwave oven, some glow in the dark paint, 20 rolls of aluminum foil and a box of glo-sticks. Git outta my way.
    kaspar, jerseyboy, XXL__ and 17 others like this.
  7. patterg2003
    Joined: Sep 21, 2014
    Posts: 704


    The failure mechanism for this boiler could be the constructor's behavior. Sometimes you cannot save someone from themselves. The builder should take out enough life insurance to keep his family secure and have a will.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2017
  8. 38caddy
    Joined: Mar 15, 2006
    Posts: 62

    from RI

    I am going to support the idea of extreme caution here. I, personally, would overbuild this thing and then still build a blast shield to contain it during any/all tests. However, the modern world was built by people tinkering with things and building them in their garages and backyards and private labs. Anyone ever read the story about Tesla's "death ray"? He was using the Earth as a giant amplifying capacitor to shoot a giant beam of power into the sky. All of a sudden, his supply power went out. The story goes, that he called his friend Westinghouse, furious that his power was cut. It turns out that Tesla's experiment put so much charge into the ground that he reversed polarity of the earth-ground, creating a live power feed back through the ground line into the power plant alternators.
  9. chukazap
    Joined: Mar 13, 2017
    Posts: 3


    Wafflemaster-You're doing a great job-don't let the alarmists and detractors set you off. You're covering your ass-safety wise-that's quite obvious, so let them stew! I have a few steam-powered vehicles that I built myself, and since you've got the one issue I noticed(the sight glass) covered-my feeling is that you should be fine. I could give you plenty of advice regarding steam stuff-and I will if you want-but you're doing fine learning as you go!! Keep up the fun work-it'll be great to see it on the road!!
  10. Locomobiler
    Joined: Mar 13, 2017
    Posts: 18


    Hello all, First post here for me.

    Regarding the steam project and just to add some clarification and I'm speaking from actual experience with this type of project. I've built a 1901 Locomobile steam car with Ofeldt boiler that I have operated extensively and also built a 22' wood-fired steam powered tug also operated extensively - the "Iron Chief".

    Waffle is correct on most points, however there are a few points that need to be made. The use of high pressure cylinders for boiler components should be avoided. One important consideration for boiler components is material type. ASTM-A180 seamless tubing per the ASME B31.1 is all that should really ever be used by the amateur boiler builder. It has the proper material composition and hardness to maintain strength through a wide range of temperatures - compressed gas cylinders -who knows?.. If you are intent on using this boiler assembly, I would at the very least take it to a heat treater and have it stress relieved/annealed. It's cheap to have done. They can even test the hardness to make sure the drum material didn't harden in the process. Some materials like air-hardened will become brittle from simply heating. Sure don't want that in a boiler vessel.

    Per the ASME code, welded seam A53 piping is allowed, however the material must have radio-graphed examination and certification to be used. The piping being used - appears to be schedule 40 Chinese stuff? I would replace all of that, call McMaster-Carr or a good plumbing supply and use ASTM A-180 schedule 80 "Series 300" piping. Again, it's another area of the code which is used incompletely, which states schedule 40 can be used for steam up to 200 psi, however that it is only allowed after structural/stress analysis has been performed. Take a piece of that schedule 40 pipe and slit it longways in half in the threaded portion, take note the metal thickness in the root of the thread, it is very thin, that is why it is only allowed after structural analysis has been performed. i.e. no vibration, properly supported. If one of those is over stressed, fatigues and drops off at full steam pressure, it can cause serious injuries. And it has happened on small steam boats.

    Between the boiler and engine there should be a steam and pressure rated stainless braided PTFE hose to take the vibration off the main steam line. There are some other methods of dealing with this, but the easiest is a proper hose.

    Steel to copper joints are also not allowed under the code, but can work just fine and many people are doing that. The main issue with copper is you never want to run out of water, copper is only good to 406 degrees F and will collapse and fail above that. As long as there is sufficient water in the boiler, there is little danger of that happening. The warnings of a failed tube being catastrophic are simply incorrect, it would be no different than opening a steam line to atmospheric, nothing catastrophic. Usually causes more embarrassment then harm. The boiler should have a plenum over it to shield any event like that. Piping as mentioned above is about impossible to completely contain and needs to be very strong as a failure in external piping can cause severe injury. Again, not catastrophic.

    In reference to the Medina Ohio explosion, that boiler should have never been fired at all. The crown sheet was sagging in between the stays and had several inadequate repairs made. The pressure relief valve didn't even work at all. It's reported that the engine had just been purchased and the seller stipulated on the bill of sale "unsafe, not to be fired".

    The dual OFeldt design is unusual, but not necessarily wrong. If you can get enough fire under it, it should make plenty of steam for a 3+3X3 twin simple. :)

    The way an Ofeldt works is, no heat should be impinged on the bottom of the center drum. Heat should only be applied to the coils, this causes the water to go up the coils and convert to steam. Water not converted to steam at pressure simply comes out the top of the tubes and back down the center drum, making the center drum a downcomer. They have excellent natural internal circulation.

    Since this is a hot rod forum, some things to keep in mind when it comes to performance with a steam propelled vehicle.

    - Feedwater heating: Feedwater should be introduced at near boiler temperature as possible. Anything below that degrades performance. The two primary methods are with an economizer which is simply a coil or grid in the feedwater piping that resides in the boiler flue gas exhaust. And exhaust feedwater heaters, which is a coil inside the engine exhaust piping.

    -Superheating: Is a coil of steam line over the fire. The throttle should be situated before the superheater.

    Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, I will be more than happy to help. Have fun, but please be safe.

    Also, consider joining the Steam Automobile Club of America and have a look at their forum, some very knowledgeable steamfolk there. Another good forum is the "thesteamboatingforum".

    BradinNC, Stogy, chukazap and 5 others like this.
  11. just Mike
    Joined: Jun 17, 2012
    Posts: 36

    just Mike

    Anybody know the land speed record for steam powered car?
    Stogy and Chucky like this.
  12. neilswheels
    Joined: Aug 26, 2006
    Posts: 945

    from England

    Loving this. I run a forge which is based in the grounds of the London Museum of Water and Steam, which has a lot of steam engines, pumps and a couple of trains. I'm amazed by how powerful these things are, and the engineering involved. I understand that there are a lot of safety concerns, a lot of which have been aired, but I'm still loving this project, be careful, but I'm looking forward to seeing the finished car.
    Tuck likes this.
  13. wafflemaster
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 57

    from Reno, NV

    Thank you for the input, I appreciate all the feedback and I'm looking over everything now. I'm investigating the makeup of the cylinders, not sure of the spec yet. I considered using PTFE hose between the boiler and the engine, but I'm not sure if it's 100% necessary in this instance as the engine and boiler are mounted to the same framework and are well supported. A couple short lengths couldn't hurt though.

    The new armored sight-glass arrived today, it's incredibly stout. Rated to 2,600 psi! It must weigh 20 lbs. I'll have to make a dedicated mount for it. So much for my "lightweight" build.


    I'm also switching everything over to schedule 80 pipe and fittings, MSCdirect is a great source for me. They are local so everything is delivered next day. It's nice that I've done this once so that I should have fewer "whoops" parts laying around on my work table. I must've bought 2 of every size of black pipe to make things line up.


    Other items on the list this week:
    • Begin fabricating the firebox. I have some 10 gauge stainless that will work nicely.
    • Adding some flame diffusing disks above the burners to direct more heat to the coils. I may add some of ceramic insulation there too.
    • Install new sight-glass.
    • Install new sched. 80 piping
    • Mockup feed water piping from the newly installed supply tank.
    • Decide on a mounting system for my high pressure pump.
    • Begin constructing the rear propane tank mount.
    • I'm considering making the headlight pivot with the front a Tucker :)
  14. This is a pretty cool project you have going. I think I bought a Model A chassis from you a couple years ago
    wafflemaster likes this.
  15. Locomobiler
    Joined: Mar 13, 2017
    Posts: 18


    The guy that posted right above me has ran 147mph in a land speed record attempt at Bonneville, unfortunately had a vehicular accident and the run did not qualify, I heard he's coming back though for another try, and he will do it.

    It is definitely needed, what can appear to be very stable is typically not to the piping. The twin simple engine you're using even though it is two cylinders, under load has the same output torque pulse per rotation as a V8 internal combustion engine. The torque pulses under heavy load and low RPM will cause vibration between the engine and boiler. The hose is stainless steel braided PTFE with pressed on fittings with pipe thread. No hose clamps etc. A real braided pressed together steam line.

    Wow! this forum software works really nice. It wouldn't be a bad idea to run two sight glasses. You're essentially running two boilers manifolded together. If there is a blockage in one of the crossover pipes, it could boil the unmonitored side dry. Or introduce the feedwater to the side that doesn't have a sight glass and if you have it on the glass on the unfed, it has to be in the other. Another possible issue with that arrangement is stopping may surge water from the rear drum to the front drum, but you'll know all of that when you start driving it more.

    Regarding feedwater, it will use around one gallon per mile, so make the water tank big or consider a condensing system.

    Looks as though you're making great headway and the skills to make it happen. I really like your proposed final concept, should be a real show stealer :)


    Edited to remove current speed record, which was incorrect by a few miles per hour.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
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  16. wafflemaster
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 57

    from Reno, NV

    I considered a condensing system, but I like the look/sound/smell of steam too much to recycle it. I have room for 20-30 gallons, but I'm starting out with 10 for now. That should get me to the office in the mornings at least. And I have some downhill so I can hopefully conserve steam with the Stephenson linkage :)
  17. rudestude
    Joined: Mar 23, 2016
    Posts: 2,809


    Just saw this in a Modern Rod Magazine 1963 found it interesting, [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Sent from my QTAQZ3 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Felipe Toltecatl, pat59 and Stogy like this.
  18. Jerrybigbird
    Joined: Oct 10, 2015
    Posts: 178

    from Montana

    Ive worked for b&w before what plant?
  19. modeleh
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 380


    Fred Marriot was quite the guy. Links below to an interview with him recorded in the 1950s where he talks about running the Rocket up to 180mph on 1300 pounds of steam, the machine broke apart and he lived to tell about it. This was the absolute infancy of the automobile industry, before the Model T, before any decent paved roads, the beach was the only surface remotely smooth enough or long enough to attempt such a run. Even then, some ripples in the sand when crossed at 180 caused the machine to become airborne and the weight of the huge boiler tore up the chassis when it bounced.
    If you have the time to listen to the interview it is really interesting if for nothing more than to listen to how gentlemen spoke to each other and respected one another, something that is also becoming a thing of the past.

    Last edited: Mar 13, 2017
  20. studebakerjoe
    Joined: Jul 7, 2015
    Posts: 808


    Locomobiler, glad to see you made it over here to check out this project. I didn't realize chukazap was Chuk Williams. Its been kind of quiet lately over on the S.A.C.A forum. Joesteamer
  21. CoolYourJets
    Joined: Dec 16, 2016
    Posts: 174


    "Cyclops" rocks! I love the single headlamp.

    Also, those interviews with Fred Marriot is classic. Thanks for posting @modeleh
  22. chukazap
    Joined: Mar 13, 2017
    Posts: 3


    The current Record for Steam Powered vehicles is 148.8 mph-held by the Brits who set it in 2009. The previous Record was 145.+ mph set in 1985 by an American. Both of the vehicles used for these records were steam turbines. The piston-driven Record for Steam-powered vehicles is still held by Fred Marriot who set it in 1906-127.+mph-driving a tiller-steered vehicle!!

    Last edited: Mar 13, 2017
  23. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 2,661

    from NKy

    I'm not saying stop your project , it is cool to me , remember I have had 35 years experience as a Stationary Enginner . Steam is a lost source of energy , great to see someone using it . I just suggest be as safe as possible and build by known safety standards , not what looks like it should work . Your doing a bang up job getting it all to work . You just need to follow standards a bit more , they are written by qualified engineers for a reason. As I have said Good Luck , and be as safe as possible . PM if I can be of any help to you . I'm sorry if it seems as I'm bashing you or your fun , I don't mean to be doing that , I'm just trying to advise you of know safety issues , I have seen during the build so far . I would be thankful for advice from experience during my builds also . I have been advised many times over the years about , building the old hand jamming Harley's when there is much safer designs to be used , but man does that open primary chain look cool spinnin going down the road ! I have taken some ruff rides from starter levers snapping from a not so good design , but damn did I think it was cool ! Really not the safest , but hey I made it work and survived so far . Hind sight is the best ever , just be safe as know possible and keep enjoying the hobby , you are what it's all about .
  24. winduptoy
    Joined: Feb 19, 2013
    Posts: 2,511


    You see a guy wrangling a transmission into a car with all the tires off and it is up on cinderblocks, do you turn away or say something. Now there will be others that think cinderblocks are cool, after all they hold the roof up without falling on the occupants.
    I notice that none of the cars in the background of your photos are on cinderblocks
    I know that you are 'thinking outside the box' but you have made some assumptions that are untruths.
    I am not buying that you have intentionally provided failure points as a condition of safety. When working with the stored energy of steam there needs to be no failure points. There has to be no unintentional release of energy.
    System construction and material suitability are paramount for a steam system to be safe.
    I suspect that you didn't select single ply, two wheel hand truck tires for your daily driver, why?... they are not suitable for the application.
    If you have a car that you perform steering and suspension work on do you reassemble them with grade 2 fasteners bought from the hardware isle of TruValue and then place vice grips where the steering wheel used to be. Why, they are not suitable for the application.
    One more thought, are you willing to have your close friends or family members crawl under the car with you as you wrangle that transmission. It isn't a matter of if the blocks are going to break, it is when....
    System construction and materials selected are not suitable for the application
    flatford39 and WiredSpider like this.
  25. Locomobiler
    Joined: Mar 13, 2017
    Posts: 18


    Building a steam powered car is about half of the project, getting it running reliably with satisfactory performance is the other half. Nothing more frustrating to have a good head of steam, cruising along and start taking feedwater and watch the pressure gauge start dropping and the car slowing down. That is where the feedwater heaters I referenced above come in to play. They are definitely needed, even a small amount of cold water will kill a boiler in short order. This consistent level of performance is why the White and Doble are considered the two best steam cars ever built. They can better maintain steam supply on demand. Jay Leno's Dobles can maintain 70mph no problem.

    Condensing or not is up to you. And it does introduce much complexity to the system. One of the big issues is cylinder lubrication, I see you have a Swift oiler on the engine and you cannot get any better hydrostatic lubricator. Non-condensing and issuing oil with the exhaust steam is the best way to run for the longevity of the engine and ease of operation. Trying to recapture that steam with oil, the oil winds up in the water tank, and then makes it's way to the boiler which should be avoided as much as possible. The oil can cause hot-spots whereby it insulates the tube wall. An advantage with condensing is it can pull a vacuum on the exhaust or at least drop the back pressure and allow the engine to run more freely - sorta like a turbocharger, but with much less effect. Some steamcars and boats run condensing systems with no engine lubrication at all, they claim that water is a lubricant, "need to build up a glaze" etc. Sliding metallic surfaces need oil. Period.

    The burner(s). Not to deter you in any way, but I wouldn't invest a lot of time designing a Propane fuel system. Two issues with Propane, one it is not a very hot fire. Do a google search for BTU/gallon on different fuel types and one can plainly see that Propane is at the lower end of the spectrum for heat. The four predominant types used, listed by order of heat are Kerosene (what I use, it is the hottest and it is safer to handle, it's lamp oil), Fuel oil (stinky), Gasoline (volatile to handle) and lastly Propane (Cold fire by comparison of the other three).

    The other issue with Propane is vaporization. A propane tank is very similar to a steam boiler, it requires heat to boil the liquid to a gas. And the amount of heat absorbed is relative to the amount of gas produced. Each tank has a known vaporization rate relative to ambient temperature. Exceed that rate and the tank tries to pull as much heat as possible to the point moisture condenses on it externally and freezes, it will eventually still have liquid and produce no gas at all. The ill-fated remedy to this is to apply heat to the tank by some means, this is very dangerous to do, as most propane tanks have a pressure relief valve that blows off around 130 degrees F. A large discharge of gas in proximity to the burner is an instant fire.

    Propane is fine for testing and short runs of a few miles, but if extended driving is planned, I would be looking at some sort of vaporizing liquid fuel burners and there are several to choose from.

  26. Frank4000
    Joined: Mar 9, 2017
    Posts: 3


    Are you purposely ignoring the actual steam engine experts in here? No, I'm not referring to the boiler station manager; I'm talking about the couple of folks that have actually built steam engines and cars.

    Wafflemaster is already upgrading his piping to official Sched80. He is making the appropriate changes the steam engine expert has recommended. Just because someone who has managed code/boilers for commercial applications does not mean they are an expert or know how the OFeldt design works. If you don't believe it is designed with points of failure, that is your problem not his.

    So finally, the 'Materials selected' are being changed out; they are suitable for the design. As is the copper, as are the welds at the boiler, as are the multiple steam relief valves. Just because you fly a plane doesn't make you a plane mechanic.

    Chuck and Locomobiler, it is a pleasure to read posts from you guys!

    Edit 2:
    I can't just come in and piss in everyone's cheerios; here is my suggestion:
    WaffleMaster isn't going to stop this project. So instead of preaching about a gut feeling; offer actual technical advice if there is something you are knowledgable on (like the guys who were concerned about the cheap piping, a legit and good concern); otherwise, please stop!

    Especially for those "GET RID OF THE BOILER" folks who probably do not even know what the OFeldt is!
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
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  27. james trotta
    Joined: Mar 14, 2017
    Posts: 1

    james trotta

    I started to do the same thing but using a 1926 model T running gear. I think the pressure of 150 psi is going to be too low for the car. I have a 1901 locomobile surrey which weighs 1500 lbs and the pressure is set to 250 psi and when running it is around 200 psi with that pressure it's slow and at 150 the car barely moves. the model T will be running a pressure greater than 400 psi. What type of burner will you be using

    Locomobiler likes this.
  28. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    from BC

    Not anymore Danny. This place really doesn't have anything to do with traditional hot rods. Neither does this thread, but its interesting, but NOTHING to do with traditional hot rods. Not that that matters anymore...:rolleyes:
  29. sigh
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  30. Pete
    Joined: Mar 8, 2001
    Posts: 4,607


    So I guess disc brakes, radials, tilt columns and LED lights are the new traditional hot rods....if so I'm in the wrong place.
    jerseyboy likes this.

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