Steam Thistle Cluaran

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fredrosse
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Re: Steam Thistle Clauran

Post by fredrosse » Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:15 pm

A couple of things you probably know already:

Steam for atomizing oil needs to be dry, and passing the atomizing steam through a coil in the furnace will superheat this steam very well. About 24 inches of 1/4 inch outside diameter stainless steel tubing (Type 304, or 316) does the trick in the furnace, but you can sometimes get outrageous high steam temperatures. If you put the superheat atomizing coil further downstream in the flue gas path, then its coil length needs to increase (maybe 3-4 feet of tubing in the stack base), and then there is little fear of getting 1000F steam temperature. Stainless coil is good for very high temperatures, but if there is a valve or brass component downstream of the superheater there may be temperature/materials issues.

When atomizing steam is not available during startup, you can use Propane Gas to do the atomization, one of the many ways to get up enough steam to use steam atomized oil burners.
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TahoeSteam
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Re: Steam Thistle Clauran

Post by TahoeSteam » Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:01 pm

That is sage advice Fred.

Superheat makes a big difference in fire quality, especially if you experience a little high water or carryover. The superheater helps to boil that carryover into steam rather than putting the fire out if it were able to come over as water.

Propane for initial steam-up atomization is exactly what we do on the big boat to get steam up. We usually can have the engine starting to warm and turning over within 20 minutes of lighting the match.
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RNoe
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Re: Steam Thistle Clauran

Post by RNoe » Mon Apr 27, 2020 12:29 am

Gents:
Many thanks for your input on dry steam for the atomizer.
That has also been my experience from years of firing full-sized oil burning steam logging locomotives.

Happily, the Blackstaffe boiler has a steam dryer for the atomizer built into the design. I will use it. It takes steam from the steam dome which extends up into the stack, and runs the line down through the fire space to the atomizer valve at the aft end of the boiler. A well proven design.

And the pressure regulated atomizer steam controller is one that was successfully used for several decades with an identical Blackstaffe boiler in S.L. Maggie.
So no reinventing the wheel here. Just installing a proven design in a proven system. "How lucky I am", I said, hoping it all works correctly again...

And yes, I have a propane fuel setup for cold fire-up. And if no propane is available, the diesel/kerosene fuel tank/system can be pressurized with a built-in hand pump for cold firing. I know such hand pumps were normal cold start-up methods for some of our west coast steamers in past centuries. I probably will never use that, but just in case... 'Never know when I might be "wilderness steaming" here in the USA.
Not quite like the UK, perhaps?

Pic attached of the 1 pound propane fuel tank in position. I will carry spare tanks aboard the boat.
It is easily replaceable or refillable from a larger standard BBQ tank.

Today I removed the new burner assembly and made 5 changes/corrections/improvements defined during the first steam up.
Next is to fabricate a bracket to hold the atomizer-regulator assembly.
Feels good to get this done.

And fun to have this all coming together.
RussN
Burner 4 sml.JPG
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RNoe
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Re: Steam Thistle Clauran

Post by RNoe » Wed May 13, 2020 5:52 pm

Oil burner atomizer control improvement:
The needle valve I installed for the atomizer control (orange handle visible in the photo in my previous post) is not sensitive enough and makes it difficult to maintain a small "spot" fire.

So I serviced/restored the old pressure controller from the original SL Maggie and installed it on SL Clauran.
Pics below show installed pressure controller (old green painted dome) and associated plumbing.
The orange needle valve controls steam for the maximum firing, and the small brass knob provides steam for the "spot" fire.
The top of the green dome is connected to boiler pressure and will shut off the "max" steam flow when the adjusted pressure is reached.

It still needs to be tested and adjusted, but knowing it worked for decades before with the same boiler design gives me some confidence.
We will see...
RussN
Burner control sml1.jpg
Burner control 2.jpg
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RNoe
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Re: Steam Thistle Clauran

Post by RNoe » Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:36 pm

Progress Report toward getting Clauran in the waters for operation:

After the third steam test at home yesterday, I am not happy with the oil burner system. Simply not very controllable.
But I can easily get steam up to 100 psi in 10 minutes or less.
So I contacted the person who purchased my old Maggie steam launch project and inquired about purchasing the original 1960s Blackstaffe oil burner to install on Clauran's boiler.
Surprise! He had just purchased the original ROSE steam launch and is selling the Maggie project parts. The old Blackstaffe boiler is getting scrapped so I am purchasing the old oil burner, mount, firing valve, plumbing and more!
I plan to entirely replace the present burner assembly with the original system, which worked well for decades of steaming with my Blackstaffe boiler design.

Other test #3 results:
The new 4-chime whistle is beautiful and pleases our musical sense.
The hot well/pump system works as planned and should be fine on the water with proper condensing operating.
The steeple-compound engine works well and just needs the boat in the water for some real work.
The bilge water ejector works as desired, despite the actual ejector being my own design and construction.

So onward to Rev. 3 for the oil burner.
I have my hopes up.
RussN
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RNoe
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Re: Steam Thistle Cluaran

Post by RNoe » Tue Jun 16, 2020 12:47 am

To answer a question I received, I'll post a picture below of the old Blackstaffe steam atomized oil burner that I will return to Clauran's new boiler.
It is a simple burner using steam flow to "suck" oil through a 0.057" diameter hole into the firebox.
No heating coils, no electrical power required, and no moving parts aside for the oil and steam control valves feeding the burner assembly.
BW Engine 2 sml.jpg
You can see the horizontal burner assembly just above and to the left of the hot well, attached to the air mixing tube/burner mount.
The opening in that mixing tube is missing a slide allowing adjustment of the air opening size, to adjust the fuel/air ratio.
I will add that missing item.
The only required plumbing attached are a steam line (center) and an oil line (left side).
Oil flow is controlled by the built-in valve on the right side of the burner assembly.
RussN
Last edited by RNoe on Wed Jul 15, 2020 3:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RNoe
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Re: Steam Thistle Cluaran

Post by RNoe » Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:30 pm

Revision 3 on the oil burner.
An original 1960s Cliff Blackstaffe oil burner for this boiler was acquired (astounding!), plus the original needle valve and pressure regulated atomizer controller, and I finished the installation yesterday, except for the insulation on the two new atomizer lines to the burner.
After the insulating is done, it will be time for another steam test. Whew!
Burner Rev3 sml.jpg
Burner Rev3 sml2.jpg
Fire controls are on the right side in the pictures:
The brown wood triangle is the original atomizer needle valve.
The green domed device shuts the atomizer down to an adjustable idle flame (brass knob) when upper boiler pressure (adjustable) is reached.
The red handle is the oil control valve.
So all three operator adjustments are close together for ease of operation.

You can also see the propane supply line for cold fire ups.
I installed a check valve between the propane and steam lines to prevent steam getting back up to the propane line.
I have no information on temperature tolerance of that stainless steel shrouded line to the propane valve.

I do know that the pressure adjuster leaks steam past the vertical needle valve, and tightening the packing can lock the needle in place. Not good.
Perhaps installing new Teflon packing will help. Otherwise, that leaking steam might help keep the brass valve block hot, preventing condensate build up which could extinguish the fire.

This arrangement worked in SL Maggie for several decades, and I hope it works again.
Testing will tell the truth.
RssN
Last edited by RNoe on Wed Jul 15, 2020 3:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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RNoe
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Re: Steam Thistle Cluaran

Post by RNoe » Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:18 pm

Steam test #4 went OK until the atomizer jet plugged.
So off came the burner for a clean out. Successful.

Steam Test #5 was this morning, still on the trailer at home.
I am relieved to report that all works well and the next step is to test the boat in the water!
The final system to test requires that the boat be in the water: The condenser circuit.

If I could attach a video it would show lots of steam from the hot well, caused by the exhaust return not being condensed.
Otherwise, I am really pleased to be ready for water tests. Finally!!
RussN
Mike Rometer
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Re: Steam Thistle Cluaran

Post by Mike Rometer » Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:19 am

Well done. He's a great bloke that Percy Verance!

Good luck (and fun) with the wet test. :lol:
Retirement is about doing what floats your boat!

A BODGE : - A Bit Of Damn Good Engineering.
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RNoe
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Re: Steam Thistle Cluaran

Post by RNoe » Wed Jul 15, 2020 3:19 pm

Thanks Mike.
I did have to look up your Percy Verance author reference. (I need more morning coffee.)
Try and try again...
So true.
RussN
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