I am looking for plans for a steam boiler.
Heat source: 1.5' diameter circle. The boiler
has to transfer the heat from this foot and a half
circle the best it can into water.
I was thinking either 1)a long cylinder, 1.5feet
caps on each end. I'd only be heating one end
of it though, so I don't know how well it would work.
2) a coil of pipe or tubing, 1.5feet in diameter.
Any thoughts, or links (to plans, please) are
I am also looking for plans for the injector
pump, to push water back into the boiler.
Watch yourself, dude... You get to dinking around with pressure vessels,
especially the fairly "high octane" ones like a boiler a foot and a half
across will be if done right, and you're sailing into potentially
dangererous waters - Definitely physically, possibly legally in some
places. Take all the precautions. An exploding boiler is *NO* kind of
fun, and live steam carries one helluva nasty bite, with a surprisingly
low head needed for it to be serious bad news.
Sounds to me like you're getting ready to try to power up that Tesla
turbine you made in full "old-school, just like Nick dunnit" mode? If
so, fergawdsake don't freewheel it with live steam! At least, not
without wrapping a couple layers of blankets or similar around the
housing as burst-shielding for when those CDs decide to go all to pieces
from the amount of CF.
If you know where you can get a stack of old hard drives for ultra-cheap
or free, I think I'd be looking *REAL* hard at grabbing a bunch of
those, and disassembling them for the platters... Of course, add "blast
shielding" if you end up with metallic discs.
As for your specs for a boiler...
I've got an idea bouncing around, but I need another detail from you
Exactly what is the planned heat source? Propane/LP-Gas-ring? Electric?
Wood fire? Fuel-oil furnace gun? 30 acres of mirrors focused on the top
of a 20 foot tower? :) Other?
What would folks say to the concept of drilling/tapping an
appropriately-sized hole in the side of a (properly prepared... Safety
first, boys and girls! Let's not be blowing ourselves up!) small propane
tank in order to mount the water-injection system on it? Ain't those
just about 18 inches in diameter?
Seems to me that if you had the right kind of burner/heat source, a
propane tank would work nicely - A chamber already rated for pressure
(though I'd have to look it up to see exactly HOW MUCH pressure...) with
a convenient fitting designed for dealing with pressure...
Am I crazy, or does that sound like a reasonable concept?
Don't forget a blow-off/overpressure valve of some sort, and a gauge...
Couple more holes to be drilled/tapped.
Oh, yeah... Almost forgot! It needs some bells and whistles... Well, a
whistle, anyway... See if you can brew up a steam whistle to hang on it
- It's sorta traditional, doncha know! :)
Another idea that just hit me...
Mom had, passed down from grandma, this jumbo canning kettle. Seems to
me it was pretty close to 18 inches across the bottom - might have even
been more. The one mom had had a stamp in the bottom of it. If memory
serves, it read "Max Working Pressure 60 PSI", and the blowout plug was
stamped/engraved 45. Mom never took it much above 18 pounds (according
to the gauge built into the lid) when using it for canning.
That'd be a pretty good head of steam for a CD/HD-platter size unit, I'd
Don Bruder - firstname.lastname@example.org - New Email policy in effect as of Feb. 21, 2004.
Short form: I'm trashing EVERY E-mail that doesn't contain a password in the
Go for the coil of tubing,The smaller diameter keeps the stresses in the
system lower than for a larger diameter vessel. Pump the water continuously
through the coil,into a small separator vessel then back through the coil.
Take your steam supply off the top of the separator. Make sure you have a
safety valve on the separator. If you plan on using it to drive a CD based
Tesla turbine, forget it. The heat will soften the CD's and the whole thing
will come unstuck with great vigour!
Thanks for the reply,
This is the first I've heard of a "seperator". Do
you have links or pics?
Also, what is the recommended material for
the "boiler coil" ? Recommended method
of bending it?
Pick up a couple of old Audel's books, the one for powerplant engineer
is good and covers a heap of detail on steam. As with anything, if you
go into it with awareness of what can be done, and how, it'll work
better and you'll have more fun.
Sorry, forgot the separator question.
It's a small vessel that the ends of the coil are connected to. The heat
boils the water in the coil, the steam rises to the separator, the steam is
taken from the top of the separator and the water continues to circulate
through the coil. If you are serious about building this, you'd better do
some more research. Its a little more complicated that the usual tea kettle.
Designs have evolved since the 1700"so best practice these days is pretty
During the industrial revolution in England there was an average of one
steam explosion per day until the invention of the dead weight safety valve!
Not that this is an answer to your question, but it is with great
sadness that I learned (a couple of weeks ago) that South Carolina is
preparing legislation that will require inspection and licensing of
steam boilers. Who wouldda thought that it hadn't been done decades ago!
Reminds me of when, about 10 years ago, SC decided to outlaw open
alcoholic beverage containers in motor vehicles. After 25 years here,
I'm still finding out just how "quaint" this state is...
Well, if I ever get a steam engine (I'm serious about wanting one), I'll
have to make sure the boiler won't kill me, lest I violate the law.
The inspection and licensing of boiler is one of the bits of government
meddling I agree with. Even a small boiler explosion would leave most of the
Bagdad firecrackers for dead in terms of energy released. A small boiler
exploded in a laundry in Tasmania about 30 years ago and killed about a
dozen people. It was a new boiler that had been sealed up for hydrostatic
testing. The commissioning engineer got sick and another was sent to replace
him. He didn't know that the safety's had gags on them and that the burner
control line was blanked off, They believe that it blew at about 5 or 6
times its rated pressure. Ripped the boiler plate about 2 feet from the back
end. Didn't go on a weld. They are pretty fussy about oiler here in Aus
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