This thread is a continuation of a discussion started on Biodiesel in Ireland. Several members discussed building a tall slim oil stove with glass doors from a large propane bottle. The proposed burner is the M1945 tent heater insert, otherwise known as the Alaska burner. These well tried burners put out about 10kw and as standard will burn kerosene, diesel or biodiesel. However if the control valve is replaced by a williamson peristaltic dosing pump then it will run happily and cleanly on wvo, wmo or heated yellow grease. If you want to read the thread from the beginning go to page 71 of Biodiesel in Ireland
here is a sketch of the initial design.
A WARNING FOR WOULD BE FABRICATORS. CUTTING AND WELDING AN EMPTY PROPANE TANK IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS AND IF DONE WRONGLY COULD KILL YOU.
When you get your propane tank open the valve fully somewhere in the open air and let any remaining gas out. Obviously no naked flames or smoking or any other source of ignition should come anywhere near this project. Unscrew the valve using a large spanner or stilson wrench and turn the tank upside down for a AT LEAST 3 days. Turn back up right and fill to the top with water. Let the water overflow for a couple of minutes to float out any oil. With the bottle upright and full to the brim with water mark out all the cuts accurately with a permanent marker. Begin with the highest cut which will involve cutting the top off the bottle. Drill a small hole in the tank on the highest marked line and let the water drain out down to that level. Now drop in about 6 alka seltzer tablets. These will flood the headspace with carbon dioxide. Cut the top off carefully with a hand grinder or reciprocating saw. Once the top is off the bottle the chances of an explosion is minimal.
IF YOU ARE IN ANY DOUBT ABOUT DOING THIS SAFELY,DONT DO IT.
THESE INSTRUCTIONS ARE FOR GUIDANCE ONLY, I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE IF YOU BLOW YOURSELF UP.
I like the alka seltzer addition: that's a part I hadn't heard of before.
I have only heard of but havent tried, a motorbike mechinic who is well known around these parts for brazing cracks on motorbike tanks (naked flame) he first would drain the petrol tank and hold the filler cap up to the exhaust of another running motorbike for 15 min's then start brazing, seemingly the exhaust fumes (carbon dioxide) would consume any petrol vapours.
As they say dont try this at home!! IMB's version sounds better.
Ive seen it done and it does work, the exhaust fumes will displace any inflammable vapours and prevent any oxygen reaching the ignition site. Its a bit unpleasant working in exhaust fumes but its better than blowing yourself up.
How can I post pics on my messages?
Aidan, you have made a good start. Remember a couple of things before welding on the top. You will need an adapter plate. This is a ring of sheet metal which closes up the gap between the widest part of the burner and the inner walls of the propane tank. This prevents air rushing up the sides of the burner and not passing through the burner. It does not have to be airtight but a good fit will help.
Inside the top you will need a baffle which is a steel disc with about 6 inches cut off one side. The cut off should be to the front if the flue is to be at the back.
Six one inch holes drilled near the bottom will provide enough air and also you need a hole to put the fuel feed pipe to go through.
There is a company in Belfast that supply spares for rayburn, Airco or something like that. They will have the narrow strips of glass ideal for a curved glass door.
John. The way I was thinking of sealing around the burner, is with a length of box iron and put a number of cuts in it so it can form a circle. Weld up the cuts and weld it into place. There will be a slight gap of 5mm so I'll be using a 6mm rope door seal.
How do you suggest I seal between the strips of glass?
That will work but it does not have to be anything heavy duty. Because its below the level of the flame lightweight sheet metal will do.
In the Rayburn stoves there is no sealant used between the glass strips, they are just clamped close together. If you had a diamond disc grinder you could bevel the angles on the strips to make them a better fit but Im not sure its necessary.
I'm planning on running this all day and I'm just a bit afraid of fumes and carbon monoxide.
Originally posted by Trigger:
Aidan . I saw the pics of the stove ,looks good.
How did you recess the door seal ?
What did you use for the hinges ?quote:
Hi Trigger. It was a bit complicated. I started with a length of 20mm box iron. Sliced down the length of it, Put it back together and welded it up again. The reason for this was to make the box narrower to take the 10mm rope door seal(the inside of the 20mm box starts at 16mm. after the cut and weld its about 12mm)Then started again slicing down the length of the box on the two sides I haven't already cut. So now I have two lengths of channel 12mm inside.
To get the channel to bend around the inside of the cylinder I put a number of cuts cross-ways on the channel. Put it into place and weld it all the way around to seal in all the fumes and weld up all the cuts. Don't weld in a continuous line because it will distort the shape of the cylinder. Weld about an inch at a time move about two inches and start again.
I got the hinges at a local steel works, Colms steel and tools. they were about 10 Euro.This message has been edited. Last edited by: aidanflynn02,
This is my latest WVO burner but I have anotehr design in the making as well.
hi all,i am gonna try and set up an alaska burner in my existing wood burning stove (with wrap around boiler)to burn wmo.i can get a williamson pump with an output of 900ml per hour with viton pipe,would this be sufficient.are there any other safety devices that should be installed.i was thinking of having a 1000l tank outside run a copper pipe off it to the pump then pipe straight to the burner.if the pump fails is there a chance the burner can overflow,many thanx darren
thanx for all your help aidan,much appreciated
The williamson pump will lift oil nearly 7 metres so there is no need to have the oil tank higher than the pump. If the pump stops then the flow of oil stops. You need more than 900ml per hour. My burner runs at medium heat at 1000ml per hour at about half speed. It may be a better option to buy a fixed output williamson pump at about 2000ml per hour and power it through a 12v pcm motor controller (about £20 on ebay.)
The most important safety device is a thermostat fixed to your flue. If the flue temp goes above the threshold the stat shuts off the pump. I have one that opens at 120C ( my boiler means that I have a cool flue) I can slide it up or down the flue to adjust it. You can get these from radionics.ie, they are cheap and incredibly reliable.
thanx john,am i better off going for a 12v pump or 240v. lots of thermostats on that site will they all work john or does it need to be specific.do i need 2 thermostats ,one for low temp cut off and one for high temp cut off.also does the alaska have to be raised off the base of the stove to allow air up through the hole in the center,thanx darren.
Both the pumps I have are 12v powered by a small 240v power supply. All of these thermostats can switch 12v dc or 240v ac. Its easier and safer to switch 12v.
There a number of models that will do. 734729 is an adjustable capillary thermostat which would give you very accurate control. 331534 is a simple switch opening at 120C. 228259 is resettable which would mean that you may not need a low temp stat on the flue. if you do fit a low temp stat on the flue you will need a bypass switch for when you light the burner.
yes you do need a small gap underneath the burner to allow air to enter the central flame spreader. 10 mm is enough.
hi john am having no joy with part number 228259.i will phone them but electrics is not my strong point.what are the max and min cut off temps that i should set to
hi john found it its 2282591.how does the resetable one work,why does this allow me to only use one thermostat
If for some reason your burner runs too hot the stat will switch off the pump and the fire may go out. The stat will switch back on when the flue cools and the pump will restart pumping oil into a cold burner. The resettable stat will stay off untill you press the red button.
Every stove and flue is different so its not possible to tell you which stat to get.
Get set up and light the stove. once its running at a nice medium heat measure the temp of the flue about a foot away from the stove. Lets say its 140C, you will want a stat that switches off at about 160C. As you can see from this an adjustable stat would be good for this but they are not resettable so you would need a low temp stat as well which would switch off the pump at below say 75C.
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