Electrical system for boat

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Lopez Mike
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Re: Electrical system for boat

Post by Lopez Mike » Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:54 am

So now that we've totally hijacked Tom's thread, how large should blowdown piping be for a vertical fire tube boiler with 30 sq.Ft. of heating area?

Right now mine has 1.5" all the way including a giant ball valve. I'm thinking of dropping down to 3/4 ". Those are nominal pipe sizes, of course. Maybe little smaller I.D.
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Re: Electrical system for boat

Post by DetroiTug » Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:20 pm

Lopez Mike wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:28 am
I just sent Beckman an email asking how many amps it draws. Somewhere I got the impression that it was around five amps.
The Beckett style burner for a house furnace which is similar in duty will draw close to 1500 watts with igniter on at start and then drop back to about 300 watts once ignited.

The math on that (volts X amps = Watts or Watts / Volts = Amps) at 12 volts works out to about 125 amps to start and 25 amps to run. A good comparison is a heater blower motor in a car, they are typically fused at 30 amps. I recall one forthright steamcar guy that had a converted house burner from 120 Volts to 12 volts and he said he could get about three hours continual operation off of a fully charged battery.

I started to put one on the Tug as a secondary backup in case I ran out of wood - Just another firebox door with a beckett burner mounted that could be quickly swapped out, the power consumption nixed that idea.

It's possible there are smaller more efficient 12 volt burners, I'm curious to know what Beckmann has to say.

Edited: I looked around after this and found a PDF on the Beckett factory 12vdc burner. Looks like the factory model doesn't draw as much as the converted units, or the math suggests. I may have to rethink using one for backup.

https://www.beckettcorp.com/wp-content/ ... Manual.pdf



-Ron
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DetroiTug
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Re: Electrical system for boat

Post by DetroiTug » Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:26 pm

Lopez Mike wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:54 am
So now that we've totally hijacked Tom's thread, how large should blowdown piping be for a vertical fire tube boiler with 30 sq.Ft. of heating area?

Right now mine has 1.5" all the way including a giant ball valve. I'm thinking of dropping down to 3/4 ". Those are nominal pipe sizes, of course. Maybe little smaller I.D.
1-1/2"? That is some serious blow-downage :) I have two on the tug boiler, 3/4" sch 80 pipe each. On the car Ofeldt boiler, it is 1/4" pipe, I use Apollo steam rated ball valves for all of them without issue.

-Ron
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Lopez Mike
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Re: Electrical system for boat

Post by Lopez Mike » Wed Aug 21, 2019 5:16 pm

From that spec sheet it seems that the firing rate is variable. I hadn't thought of that.

Yes, the big blowdown systems is amazing in use. At the end of a steaming session I clear everyone out on that side of the boat, let the fire die out and let her rip. Takes maybe 15 seconds to blow down dry and sounds like a V2 taking off.

My only clean outs are two 1.5" fittings, one for the big blowdown valving and one opposite it that is plugged off. No way for any serious mechanical action like a brush. Now that the boiler is unbolted from the old hull I'll be doing some flushing to get rid of any stuff that blowdowns haven't gotten. Especially down at the bottom of the water leg. Anyone have any thoughts on solutions I could use for cleaning? It's an all welded boiler including the tubes.

I've heard of using vinegar. A stronger acid perhaps? I have reservations about using phosphoric acid as it supposedly leaves an iron phosphate layer on the steel. I'm doubtful about the thermal properties of such a layer.
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Re: Electrical system for boat

Post by RGSP » Wed Aug 21, 2019 9:02 pm

Lopez Mike wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 5:16 pm
...... I have reservations about using phosphoric acid as it supposedly leaves an iron phosphate layer on the steel. I'm doubtful about the thermal properties of such a layer.
Don't worry about the thermal properties of the iron phosphate layer: most of these chemically grown layers only get to a micron (0.001mm) thick up to perhaps 10x that. The supposedly good thing about a phosphate layer is its mechanical integrity compared with either black or red iron oxides (rusts). The actual temperature drop across the layer is going to be negligible. Limescale, soot, or indeed rust scale layers need to be much much thicker before their effects are noticeable. Whether an iron phosphate layer will have any positive benefit to the boiler in practice is arguable, but it won't do any great harm.
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Re: Electrical system for boat

Post by TriangleTom » Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:54 am

Lopez Mike wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:28 am
I just sent Beckman an email asking how many amps it draws. Somewhere I got the impression that it was around five amps.

Just spent an hour getting a 1.5 inch pipe nipple loose. The dolt who assembled the power plant used a schedule 40 one and by the time I had it in my hand it looked like nothing in this world.

Our association rules require schedule 80 from the boiler to the first shutoff/isolation valve. I'm wondering if bronze stuff would do the trick. And would be as strong and wouldn't have any electrical tricks to pull on me. Or even stainless though I'm suspicious about oxygen starvation and such.

One of my steel 1/2 inch schedule 80 nipples from the boiler to the main steam valve ("Main stimp wowve!) was eroded on the outside to the depth of the threads after five years of damp, heat and neglect. Maybe I'll try painting the replacement pipes though barbecue paint isn't that resistant to corrosion. Maybe there's something better? Something I could brush on?
Is the association you're referring to the NSS? I really have to join.
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Lopez Mike
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Re: Electrical system for boat

Post by Lopez Mike » Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:20 am

They are on the web. Northwest Steam Society.

https://www.northweststeamsociety.org

And thanks for putting up with us hijacking your thread!
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Re: Electrical system for boat

Post by fredrosse » Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:03 pm

From Mike, “Anyone have any thoughts on solutions I could use for cleaning? It's an all welded boiler including the tubes.”

Tri-Sodium-Phosphate protects steel boiler parts, maintaining a pH of 9-10 is ideal. This takes about a tablespoon of the stuff for every new boiler filling. Get pH test strips, about $5.00 per hundred, from various sources to adjust pH as necessary. I get mine from pet store fish tank supplies. The Tri-Sodium-Phosphate keeps scale forming dissolved material soft, so hard scale is not forming in your boiler.

If you decide to “acid clean” your boiler, then be sure to use inhibited solutions, I don’t know details here, since my boiler does not build up scale deposits.

From TriangleTom, “……Or even stainless though I'm suspicious about oxygen starvation and such.”

The ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, the main document for virtually all USA commercial boilers, as well as most of the rest of the world, specifically prohibits use of stainless steel for any “wetted parts” of any boiler. There are some specific exceptions allowed, but a pipe connected to a steamboat boiler is definitely NOT one of these.
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Re: Electrical system for boat

Post by fredrosse » Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:16 pm

"One of my steel 1/2 inch schedule 80 nipples from the boiler to the main steam valve ("Main stimp wowve!) was eroded on the outside to the depth of the threads after five years of damp, heat and neglect. "

Erosion and erosion-corrosion is caused by flowing fluids with enough velocity to wash away protective films on metal pipes. From your description, it is probable that erosion is not at work here, if the damage is on outside visible threads. It is probably just simple corrosion? If that is the case here, so much corrosion in a few years is unusual, unless of course your bilges are having salt water present, and your pipe is down that low in the boat?
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Re: Electrical system for boat

Post by Lopez Mike » Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:59 am

The corroded nipple is screwed into a weldolet near the top of the boiler. I'm pretty sure the corrosion was due to two factors. One is that the boat is stored outside with a tarp. There was a tear in the tarp that allowed rain water to drip right on the nipple. Second is that the nipple penetrates through a couple of inches of fiberglass insulation. Whenever there is water about, either from the torn tarp or from safety valve and whistle activity, some moisture is trapped against the nipple. One would think that any moisture on the outside of the boiler would boil away promptly but at any rate, between making sure that the fiberglass doesn't touch the new nipple and painting all of the black iron piping with aluminum flake loaded polyurethane paint, Things should be better in the new installation.

I've been using TSP all along. Things don't look at all bad where I can see them. I will do some sloshing about when I have the boiler out on the ground and see if much rust of whatever runs out.

Maybe it's time to head for Harbor Freight and buy a bore scope.
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