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Question re wick burners vs chick feed types.

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  • Daryl
    I m been very interested in the discussion on burners. What follows relates to high performing silver brazed engines that will accept high heat. The area to
    Message 1 of 5 , Oct 31, 2011
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      I'm been very interested in the discussion on burners. What follows relates to high performing silver brazed engines that will accept high heat. The area to be heated on a putt putt engine is very small so comparisons to heating a conventional steam engine are wanting. The area to be heated on one of my better engines (1/2" copper tube boiler 3" long) is very small and the engine runs best at 350-450F. The shape of the boiler is also an important consideration. A good design will present the most surface area to the flame and taking advantage of the Coanda effect can help.
      I have never tried the chick feed type burner so my trials have been with wicks of various diameters, quantities and shape. References to "small" burners would mean 3/16" diameter and down while "large would be any figure above that. I have always used pure cotton string wicks. It is also important to bear in mind that weight is a very important consideration in putt putt boats so large tanks with a heavy fuel load are seriously detrimental if speed is a consideration, and in any case, space is limited.
      Here are some of my experiences.
      In attempts to get more heat I initially followed what I thought was a logical route of adding wicks and/or increasing wick size. This worked OK initially but as the demand for more heat grew new problems arose. For example adding or enlarging wicks was sometimes detrimental. At about this time, Donald Qualls who is a member of this forum gave me valuable information about the source of the problem.The main cause was that the wicks were too close together or because of a larger size increasing the fuel flow insufficient air flow was available. It is not that air flow was restricted by small inlets as in a fire box but rather that air could not easily flow around 360 degrees of the flame. I hope Donald reads this as his explanation is better. Because the area to be heated was small I could not always move the wicks further apart. As a side note, about this time I also tried the wide lamp type wicks and these were worse. Another complication was that sometimes when I got enough heat to run the engine at it's best in the indoor test tank they would not get up to the same temperature when testing in the outdoor pond. The problem in this case was ambient air temperature. Below 68 degrees methyl hydrate vaporization falls off quite quickly so poor combustion was again a problem. For the engine described above I was able to get up to 7x3/16" wicks arranged in a zig zag pattern spaced about 5/8" apart to burn satisfactorily when air temperature was about 70 degrees F and above.
      Wick tube lengths between 1 1/4" to 2 1/2" are usually satisfactory. Very short tubes can be a problem re overheating of the fuel tank and can cause increased vaporization and a larger flame and boiling of the fuel in the tank while the length of the wick tubes is often dictated by the limitations of the physical space available.
      So to summarize when a lot of heat is required it is my experience that more small wicks are better than enlarging wick size. A burner with good combustion will have very little odor. It is also important to note that putt putt engines don't always perform consistently when testing. There are various reasons for this which I won't go into here but heat is the first thing to look at when this occurs.
      And now to the question. Assuming a chick feed type burner could be accommodated in the space available could it supply the heat required? I ask because from my experiences I doubt that the air supply would be adequate for good combustion. Has anyone compared the heat output by these two methods? It would be difficult I think to set up a fair comparative test.
    • Frank McNeill
      Hi Daryl, Have you experimented with any engines made of square tubing, which apparently does not have to be coiled as round tubing does? In the photos section
      Message 2 of 5 , Nov 1, 2011
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        Hi Daryl,

        Have you experimented with any engines made of square tubing, which apparently does not have to be coiled as round tubing does? In the photos section there is a picture of Richard Jenkins's wooden "Popflea" with a square tube engine shaped like a horse shoe. Richard has also posted a PDF with sketches of multiple square tube engines in our files section. One advantage of such engines is that they do not require soldering or brazing and would probably be more powerful than most of the diaphragm type engines manufactured by the Indian company, Rattandeep Enterprise.

        Old Frank

        --- In pop-pop-steamboats@yahoogroups.com, "Daryl" <darylcanada73@...> wrote:
        >
        > I'm been very interested in the discussion on burners. What follows relates to high performing silver brazed engines that will accept high heat. The area to be heated on a putt putt engine is very small so comparisons to heating a conventional steam engine are wanting. The area to be heated on one of my better engines (1/2" copper tube boiler 3" long) is very small and the engine runs best at 350-450F. The shape of the boiler is also an important consideration. A good design will present the most surface area to the flame and taking advantage of the Coanda effect can help.
        > I have never tried the chick feed type burner so my trials have been with wicks of various diameters, quantities and shape. References to "small" burners would mean 3/16" diameter and down while "large would be any figure above that. I have always used pure cotton string wicks. It is also important to bear in mind that weight is a very important consideration in putt putt boats so large tanks with a heavy fuel load are seriously detrimental if speed is a consideration, and in any case, space is limited.
        > Here are some of my experiences.
        > In attempts to get more heat I initially followed what I thought was a logical route of adding wicks and/or increasing wick size. This worked OK initially but as the demand for more heat grew new problems arose. For example adding or enlarging wicks was sometimes detrimental. At about this time, Donald Qualls who is a member of this forum gave me valuable information about the source of the problem.The main cause was that the wicks were too close together or because of a larger size increasing the fuel flow insufficient air flow was available. It is not that air flow was restricted by small inlets as in a fire box but rather that air could not easily flow around 360 degrees of the flame. I hope Donald reads this as his explanation is better. Because the area to be heated was small I could not always move the wicks further apart. As a side note, about this time I also tried the wide lamp type wicks and these were worse. Another complication was that sometimes when I got enough heat to run the engine at it's best in the indoor test tank they would not get up to the same temperature when testing in the outdoor pond. The problem in this case was ambient air temperature. Below 68 degrees methyl hydrate vaporization falls off quite quickly so poor combustion was again a problem. For the engine described above I was able to get up to 7x3/16" wicks arranged in a zig zag pattern spaced about 5/8" apart to burn satisfactorily when air temperature was about 70 degrees F and above.
        > Wick tube lengths between 1 1/4" to 2 1/2" are usually satisfactory. Very short tubes can be a problem re overheating of the fuel tank and can cause increased vaporization and a larger flame and boiling of the fuel in the tank while the length of the wick tubes is often dictated by the limitations of the physical space available.
        > So to summarize when a lot of heat is required it is my experience that more small wicks are better than enlarging wick size. A burner with good combustion will have very little odor. It is also important to note that putt putt engines don't always perform consistently when testing. There are various reasons for this which I won't go into here but heat is the first thing to look at when this occurs.
        > And now to the question. Assuming a chick feed type burner could be accommodated in the space available could it supply the heat required? I ask because from my experiences I doubt that the air supply would be adequate for good combustion. Has anyone compared the heat output by these two methods? It would be difficult I think to set up a fair comparative test.
        >
      • Jean-Yves Renaud
        No need of square tubing. My first electro-pop-pop was made of round tubing. It had a horse shoe shape because it was glued to the resistor of an old baby
        Message 3 of 5 , Nov 1, 2011
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          No need of square tubing. My first electro-pop-pop was made of round tubing. It had a horse shoe shape because it was glued to the resistor of an old  baby bottle heater (which had a horse shoe shape).
          It worked but then I built many other engines and I'm convinced that for the same tube diameter real coils (with genrally 4 loops) are more powerful.

          Le 01/11/2011 13:59, Frank McNeill a écrit :
           

          Hi Daryl,

          Have you experimented with any engines made of square tubing, which apparently does not have to be coiled as round tubing does? In the photos section there is a picture of Richard Jenkins's wooden "Popflea" with a square tube engine shaped like a horse shoe. Richard has also posted a PDF with sketches of multiple square tube engines in our files section. One advantage of such engines is that they do not require soldering or brazing and would probably be more powerful than most of the diaphragm type engines manufactured by the Indian company, Rattandeep Enterprise.

          Old Frank

          --- In pop-pop-steamboats@yahoogroups.com, "Daryl" <darylcanada73@...> wrote:
          >
          > I'm been very interested in the discussion on burners. What follows relates to high performing silver brazed engines that will accept high heat. The area to be heated on a putt putt engine is very small so comparisons to heating a conventional steam engine are wanting. The area to be heated on one of my better engines (1/2" copper tube boiler 3" long) is very small and the engine runs best at 350-450F. The shape of the boiler is also an important consideration. A good design will present the most surface area to the flame and taking advantage of the Coanda effect can help.
          > I have never tried the chick feed type burner so my trials have been with wicks of various diameters, quantities and shape. References to "small" burners would mean 3/16" diameter and down while "large would be any figure above that. I have always used pure cotton string wicks. It is also important to bear in mind that weight is a very important consideration in putt putt boats so large tanks with a heavy fuel load are seriously detrimental if speed is a consideration, and in any case, space is limited.
          > Here are some of my experiences.
          > In attempts to get more heat I initially followed what I thought was a logical route of adding wicks and/or increasing wick size. This worked OK initially but as the demand for more heat grew new problems arose. For example adding or enlarging wicks was sometimes detrimental. At about this time, Donald Qualls who is a member of this forum gave me valuable information about the source of the problem.The main cause was that the wicks were too close together or because of a larger size increasing the fuel flow insufficient air flow was available. It is not that air flow was restricted by small inlets as in a fire box but rather that air could not easily flow around 360 degrees of the flame. I hope Donald reads this as his explanation is better. Because the area to be heated was small I could not always move the wicks further apart. As a side note, about this time I also tried the wide lamp type wicks and these were worse. Another complication was that sometimes when I got enough heat to run the engine at it's best in the indoor test tank they would not get up to the same temperature when testing in the outdoor pond. The problem in this case was ambient air temperature. Below 68 degrees methyl hydrate vaporization falls off quite quickly so poor combustion was again a problem. For the engine described above I was able to get up to 7x3/16" wicks arranged in a zig zag pattern spaced about 5/8" apart to burn satisfactorily when air temperature was about 70 degrees F and above.
          > Wick tube lengths between 1 1/4" to 2 1/2" are usually satisfactory. Very short tubes can be a problem re overheating of the fuel tank and can cause increased vaporization and a larger flame and boiling of the fuel in the tank while the length of the wick tubes is often dictated by the limitations of the physical space available.
          > So to summarize when a lot of heat is required it is my experience that more small wicks are better than enlarging wick size. A burner with good combustion will have very little odor. It is also important to note that putt putt engines don't always perform consistently when testing. There are various reasons for this which I won't go into here but heat is the first thing to look at when this occurs.
          > And now to the question. Assuming a chick feed type burner could be accommodated in the space available could it supply the heat required? I ask because from my experiences I doubt that the air supply would be adequate for good combustion. Has anyone compared the heat output by these two methods? It would be difficult I think to set up a fair comparative test.
          >

        • Frank McNeill
          Perhaps you didn t notice Jean-Yves, but my question was directed to Daryl. Old Frank
          Message 4 of 5 , Nov 1, 2011
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            Perhaps you didn't notice Jean-Yves, but my question was directed to Daryl.
            Old Frank

            --- In pop-pop-steamboats@yahoogroups.com, Jean-Yves Renaud <boite.de.j-y@...> wrote:
            >
            > No need of square tubing. My first electro-pop-pop was made of round
            > tubing. It had a horse shoe shape because it was glued to the resistor
            > of an old baby bottle heater (which had a horse shoe shape).
            > It worked but then I built many other engines and I'm convinced that for
            > the same tube diameter real coils (with genrally 4 loops) are more powerful.
            >
            > Le 01/11/2011 13:59, Frank McNeill a écrit :
            > >
            > > Hi Daryl,
            > >
            > > Have you experimented with any engines made of square tubing, which
            > > apparently does not have to be coiled as round tubing does? In the
            > > photos section there is a picture of Richard Jenkins's wooden
            > > "Popflea" with a square tube engine shaped like a horse shoe. Richard
            > > has also posted a PDF with sketches of multiple square tube engines in
            > > our files section. One advantage of such engines is that they do not
            > > require soldering or brazing and would probably be more powerful than
            > > most of the diaphragm type engines manufactured by the Indian company,
            > > Rattandeep Enterprise.
            > >
            > > Old Frank
            > >
            > > --- In pop-pop-steamboats@yahoogroups.com
            > > <mailto:pop-pop-steamboats%40yahoogroups.com>, "Daryl"
            > > <darylcanada73@> wrote:
            > > >
            > > > I'm been very interested in the discussion on burners. What follows
            > > relates to high performing silver brazed engines that will accept high
            > > heat. The area to be heated on a putt putt engine is very small so
            > > comparisons to heating a conventional steam engine are wanting. The
            > > area to be heated on one of my better engines (1/2" copper tube boiler
            > > 3" long) is very small and the engine runs best at 350-450F. The shape
            > > of the boiler is also an important consideration. A good design will
            > > present the most surface area to the flame and taking advantage of the
            > > Coanda effect can help.
            > > > I have never tried the chick feed type burner so my trials have been
            > > with wicks of various diameters, quantities and shape. References to
            > > "small" burners would mean 3/16" diameter and down while "large would
            > > be any figure above that. I have always used pure cotton string wicks.
            > > It is also important to bear in mind that weight is a very important
            > > consideration in putt putt boats so large tanks with a heavy fuel load
            > > are seriously detrimental if speed is a consideration, and in any
            > > case, space is limited.
            > > > Here are some of my experiences.
            > > > In attempts to get more heat I initially followed what I thought was
            > > a logical route of adding wicks and/or increasing wick size. This
            > > worked OK initially but as the demand for more heat grew new problems
            > > arose. For example adding or enlarging wicks was sometimes
            > > detrimental. At about this time, Donald Qualls who is a member of this
            > > forum gave me valuable information about the source of the problem.The
            > > main cause was that the wicks were too close together or because of a
            > > larger size increasing the fuel flow insufficient air flow was
            > > available. It is not that air flow was restricted by small inlets as
            > > in a fire box but rather that air could not easily flow around 360
            > > degrees of the flame. I hope Donald reads this as his explanation is
            > > better. Because the area to be heated was small I could not always
            > > move the wicks further apart. As a side note, about this time I also
            > > tried the wide lamp type wicks and these were worse. Another
            > > complication was that sometimes when I got enough heat to run the
            > > engine at it's best in the indoor test tank they would not get up to
            > > the same temperature when testing in the outdoor pond. The problem in
            > > this case was ambient air temperature. Below 68 degrees methyl hydrate
            > > vaporization falls off quite quickly so poor combustion was again a
            > > problem. For the engine described above I was able to get up to
            > > 7x3/16" wicks arranged in a zig zag pattern spaced about 5/8" apart to
            > > burn satisfactorily when air temperature was about 70 degrees F and above.
            > > > Wick tube lengths between 1 1/4" to 2 1/2" are usually satisfactory.
            > > Very short tubes can be a problem re overheating of the fuel tank and
            > > can cause increased vaporization and a larger flame and boiling of the
            > > fuel in the tank while the length of the wick tubes is often dictated
            > > by the limitations of the physical space available.
            > > > So to summarize when a lot of heat is required it is my experience
            > > that more small wicks are better than enlarging wick size. A burner
            > > with good combustion will have very little odor. It is also important
            > > to note that putt putt engines don't always perform consistently when
            > > testing. There are various reasons for this which I won't go into here
            > > but heat is the first thing to look at when this occurs.
            > > > And now to the question. Assuming a chick feed type burner could be
            > > accommodated in the space available could it supply the heat required?
            > > I ask because from my experiences I doubt that the air supply would be
            > > adequate for good combustion. Has anyone compared the heat output by
            > > these two methods? It would be difficult I think to set up a fair
            > > comparative test.
            > > >
            > >
            > >
            >
          • Daryl
            Hi Frank, I have never tried square tubing mostly because it is really expensive here. I think it might be hard to bend and I don t know if it would have any
            Message 5 of 5 , Nov 2, 2011
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              Hi Frank, I have never tried square tubing mostly because it is really expensive here. I think it might be hard to bend and I don't know if it would have any advantage over round tube. I did see Richard's photos before. Certainly a horseshoe shape is easy to build. The difficulty with engines without boilers is that they are quite fussy about maintaining the correct temperature if you want max. power but OK if you are happy with just running.Could be better than India diaphragms. My coffee maker engine is a horseshoe design. So now answer my question.

              --- In pop-pop-steamboats@yahoogroups.com, "Frank McNeill" <frankmcneilll@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi Daryl,
              >
              > Have you experimented with any engines made of square tubing, which apparently does not have to be coiled as round tubing does? In the photos section there is a picture of Richard Jenkins's wooden "Popflea" with a square tube engine shaped like a horse shoe. Richard has also posted a PDF with sketches of multiple square tube engines in our files section. One advantage of such engines is that they do not require soldering or brazing and would probably be more powerful than most of the diaphragm type engines manufactured by the Indian company, Rattandeep Enterprise.
              >
              > Old Frank
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