Exhaust Modifications for #17

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Re: Exhaust Modifications for #17

Post by rconner on Mon Jun 24, 2013 3:54 pm




This is what the nozzle looks like from above. The opening is 4", the bar is 0.5" wide over 4". If my math is correct, we reduced the area of the nozzle opening by 2" taking it from 12.6 sq in to 10.6 sq in. That would mean that we are sitting with an opening equivalent to a 3.6" nozzle.

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Re: Exhaust Modifications for #17

Post by DaveLathrop57 on Mon Jun 24, 2013 5:46 pm

OK, it was a spelling thing, not a different term, and what was meant was through. Basically, the area of all the tube openings combined. Wall thickness is .112 (memory here) before rolling in, but that won't change the tube are beind the expanded section. Not nearly enough to bring it down to the place where 40% would rise to 80.

I have somewhere specifications for what the draft openings should be relative to tube opening area total, and the proportion to be at the burner VS in the pan. Those were based on heavy fuel oil in the standard style of construction......now if I can just find them.

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Re: Exhaust Modifications for #17

Post by JJG Koopmans on Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:06 pm

Found it!! Old email from the source themselves, Monticello homework for the 401!
...To try to resolve the nozzle area/steaming issue, we're looking at opening up the air intake in the firepan.  When we designed all that, we used Ralph Johnson's figure of 30% of the open tube area for a intake air area for oil burners.  In discussing this with others, it appears we really should have been between 80 and 100% of the open tube area.  So, we've made plans to modify our existing intakes to get us to 80%, and we'll see what that does....

You better talk to them, there's know-how around!
Kind regards
Jos

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Re: Exhaust Modifications for #17

Post by DaveLathrop57 on Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:39 pm

In fact, I got an email today from Kent McClure there who seems very willing to share their experience with us. I don't know if he will join our group and post here,or send me some information I can pass along....whatever it is I'm very interested in finding out what worked for them and how they figured it out.

I think my information was the Ralph Johnson method, come to think of it.

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Re: Exhaust Modifications for #17

Post by JJG Koopmans on Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:37 am

To me it looks pretty clear what is happening. The firebox is full of atomized oil that is in need of oxygen. Whenever it gets an opportunity it flashes! The incomplete combustion will produce a lot of CO, carbonmonoxide. Since the combustion products are cooled while passing the tubes and mixed with exhaust steam they are below combustion temperature/flash point once outside the stack. However anyone daring to hold a pilot flame at the stack exit might see some spectacular fireworks.
I would like to suggest to ask the crews whether some of them have experienced headaches after duty on the locomotive, sure CO sign.
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Jos

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Re: Exhaust Modifications for #17

Post by DaveLathrop57 on Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:18 am

Probably.....and given the small square firebox, getting good air mixing with the atomized waste oil for complete combustion is a challenge.

Nigel has had a lot of success with his swirl inducing firepan designs used with central burners in even smaller squarer fireboxes, and we know that vaproized fuel burns more completely than atomized. His superheating rhe atmoizing steam with a lop of pipe in the firebox probably also does a lot of good - having the steam cool the oil while it blows it out is counterproductive in a vaporizing setup.

So we have the situation where the secondary draft from the door damper bleeds fuel out to combust in the cab rather than adds air to complete combustion within the firebox. I think this does argue for a better front end. What we want is air sucked in to promote combustion where it will do some good, not to let fuel and heat out where we don't want it.

So.....now I'm wondering about how far we can push the combustion efficiency of waste oil towards that of a vaporizing burner by cleaning the fuel and better firepan / burner design.

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Re: Exhaust Modifications for #17

Post by Low_Water_Odom on Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:12 am

Dave- I'd think that the other advantage of superheating the burner steam is that less steam will be required to do the job, just like superheating the steam to the cylinders.  This means there's less steam used (the boiler doesn't have to produce as much) and therefore fewer pounds of steam are blown into the firebox, so the exhaust system can draw more combustion gases to boil water.

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Re: Exhaust Modifications for #17

Post by DaveLathrop57 on Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:12 pm

Agreed, of course. Steam not used doesn;t need to be replaced.

I forgot about headaches. Everybody has them when I'm there, but they recover soon after I leave. I don't think there's a correlation with the combustion problem.

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Re: Exhaust Modifications for #17

Post by JJG Koopmans on Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:14 pm

Dave,
Imho the present order of attack of the problems is a) proper air quantity firebox
b) vacuum to draw that quantity through the boiler c) optimisation of the locomotive effort to arrive at that vacuum.
Oil quality/burners a.s.o. should be kept in "steady state". Unless we start using the Japanese theory on approach to experimentation we better stick to changing one item at the time. If not we will never really understand what is/was happening!
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Jos

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Re: Exhaust Modifications for #17

Post by DaveLathrop57 on Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:56 pm

Thank you for keeping me on the steady course, Jos - I tend to diverge in ways that aren't entirely linear. Which I'm going to do now......

First, our friends from Monticello are very willling to assist us, and will be joining us as soon as hugh can get them set up. They are now where we hope to be 5 years along the line. I also hope we can assist them as they continue to work on tweaking their performance on Southern 401.

Second, I'm starting to write a grant for the purpose of working on optimizing the combustion of cleaned waste oil in steam locomotives. It's going to be a small amount I'm requesting, just enough to cover the cost of the centrifuge, pump, filtering system, miscellaneous piping, making a few burners and some steel and firebrick to build test chambers for whatever we make to compare. I'm hoping to involve engineering students at NC State and machining and fabrication students at Wake Tech.

I look forward to the Monticello guys comments on air supply and adequate vacuum levels.

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Re: Exhaust Modifications for #17

Post by rconner on Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:27 pm

The way I've always described firing 17 to people is like this. Imagine the fire we need to run 17 as being the size of a grapefruit, and imagine the firebox as being the size of a matchbox. We're trying to put one inside of the other, that's why the fire keeps shooting out of the box.

The increased draft has helped us a lot since we put the bar on. The stack is running noticeably lighter and isn't having the trouble keeping steam like it use to. I've been able to go to the pop climbing a hill, back off on the fire and inject water to seat it, then go back to the pop while still climbing. 

I should also mention that 17 has an oil heater in the tank and we use it before runs.

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Re: Exhaust Modifications for #17

Post by JJG Koopmans on Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:04 am

Of course decreasing the orifice is a remedy for the problem. However it is a solution that carries a price tag in the locomotive effort. The solution lies in increasing the size of the air holes. If I write down in a spreadsheet my line of reasoning about the calorific value of your fuel, the amount of air it needs to burn and the amount of steam that can be produced I can calculate the pressure needed to get the air through the air valves. It is a whopping 6 inches of water, please repeat the calculation yourself as I am extremely untidy in math! Added to that the resistance of the boiler tubes of which I have no inclination to calculate giving the uncertain temperatures and the composition of the mixture in the tubes you will need a very high smokebox vacuum, imho unnecessary.
Kind regards
Jos

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Re: Exhaust Modifications for #17

Post by DaveLathrop57 on Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:15 am

I also wonder if it isn't just the reduction in total opening area, but also the division of a single into a multiple nozzle with an interesting bit of turbulence and broadening of the exhaust stream included.

Robert wrote about air preheaters a while back.....maybe this would be a good time to think about those in conjunction with increasing the intake opening area. I know I don't have a clear vision of them.

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Re: Exhaust Modifications for #17

Post by Low_Water_Odom on Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:06 am

It would be interesting to see what kind of combustion air pre-heaters we could come up with. Something as simple as an automobile radiator fed with exhaust steam to the inlet and a steam trap on the outlet might do the trick.

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Re: Exhaust Modifications for #17

Post by JJG Koopmans on Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:46 am

I quite agree with more sophistication, but please one item a the time! #17 should be made a good to perfect steamer in its present state.  Then and only then the next steps with equipment that isn't there right now.
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Re: Exhaust Modifications for #17

Post by DaveLathrop57 on Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:38 pm

Fine, no argument, just thinking ahead.

So, when we hear from our newest members about their work on air inlet areas on 401, we'll have some basis for looking at the correct proportions for 17. After than, we can better figure out how to achieve the area we need.

Also agree about the detrimental effect of reducing nozzle area increasing back pressure. So, once we have draft areas ironed out, perhaps we can investigate the options for improving the front end arrangement for adequate vacuum.

But, I see no reason not to think further ahead while we're working on the practical matters at hand. I have no expectation that something we can hope to accomplish now would include things that will require a couple years of R&D.

Hugh - would there be any benefit to heating the incoming air with exhaust steam injection rather than through transferred heat? Would moister air be better for combustion?

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Re: Exhaust Modifications for #17

Post by Low_Water_Odom on Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:51 pm

No, I think you want to minimize the amount of steam injected into the firebox, which is another benefit of superheating the atomizing steam. Any steam injected into the firebox displaces air that could otherwise be there to support combustion.

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Re: Exhaust Modifications for #17

Post by DaveLathrop57 on Wed Jun 26, 2013 1:39 pm

Makes sense....just mentally connecting with overfire jets, which were more about forcing air then moistening it. The turbulence was apparently an advantage, but that can probably be optimized through the directing of the air entry ports.

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Re: Exhaust Modifications for #17

Post by JJG Koopmans on Wed Jun 26, 2013 2:24 pm

Hugh, Dave,
Did anybody do the math on air preheating? I used to be a naval architect a long time ago and we discussed intercooling equipment to get as much oxygen in the cylinders as possible. What I mean is that air is heated at the rate of 1kJ/kg.degree K while the burning oil is releasing heat at the rate of 44 MJ/kg for which you would need something like 17.5 kg of air which you cannot get above 100 degree C/273K.
As such you a working on 1.75 MJ near 44 MJ released. Is my math correct?
Kind regards
Jos

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Re: Exhaust Modifications for #17

Post by Low_Water_Odom on Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:06 pm

Jos,

I've never done the math, but I know Wardale planned combustion air preheat for the 5AT. so it must be reasonably achievable. I'll have to convert all the units before I can check your math! I'll see if I can run some numbers tonight.

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Re: Exhaust Modifications for #17

Post by DaveLathrop57 on Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:52 pm

And if you could please explain how he planned to do it, Hugh....I'm still out in the weeds about how it can be practically possible.

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Re: Exhaust Modifications for #17

Post by Low_Water_Odom on Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:16 pm

I searched the 5AT website and couldn't find any details on combustion air preheating.

Steam heat is still used in building heating (HVAC) although it's largely been superseded by hot water.  The basic principal is that low pressure steam is admitted to the top of an air heating coil.  The steam flows into the heat exchanger and condenses as it passes through.  The steam flow is controlled by a steam trap on the outlet.  A steam trap will let only water pass through, not steam.  Thus, it automatically controls the steam flow by limiting it to what can be condensed as it passes through the coil.  Colder air or more air flow condenses more steam, so the steam trap lets more condensate leave the drain in response, effectively matching the steam flow to the required heat.  

Condensing steam has a very high heat transfer rate- remember with no temperature change steam gives up a huge amount of heat condensing from steam to water.

We should be able to pick an off-the-shelf HVAC steam coil based on the desired airflow and heat rise characteristics that could easily be adapted to this application.  Something like this:



I'm thinking we'd provide a short transition duct fabricated from sheet metal that would duct the air from our coil into the combustion air inlet(s).  Providing a couple of smaller coils might be easier to fit than one large one.  Air would be drawn into the firebox through the coils.

Heat added to the combustion air should improve the vaporization and combustion of the fuel oil, and it adds more heat to the boiler as well.  I'll have to sit down and crunch some numbers to see how much benefit we might expect.  Suffice it to say practically all power plant boilers are equipped with combustion air preheating, regardless of fuel used.

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Re: Exhaust Modifications for #17

Post by Overmod on Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:56 am

According to Snyder's patent (Hugh has a copy and might want to post it here; I don't have it but want to say 1935) you don't need the fragile fins or pins. He relies on turbulence between multiple rows of tubes to get the heat transfer (from exhaust or low-pressure steam) accomplished, and any mixing with unheated air accomplished by the time it comes to be drawn up as primary air. I believe some of his logic is described in the patent description.

Heat for the primary combustion air in an oil-burning system is very different from what Snyder was designing. One difficulty with spray burners that use compressed air rather than mechanical fuel atomization is ... exactly the same issue with compressed-air injection in the Diesel cycle: the expansion lowers the temperature so much that it impedes combustion. You would need to put CONSIDERABLE preheat on the compressed air before using it in the pressure burner. That might be done with concentric preheat coils around the burner flame, a bit like the burners used for hot-air balloons (there is sure to be a technical term for this kind of burner but I don't know it).

The primary air for something like a von Boden-Ingles would have exchangers of appropriate characteristics on the openings, with appropriate flow ducting at the 'edges' -- probably optimizing smooth flow into the exchanger bundle at all draft levels.

Secondary air preheat is a bit more tricky, as the pressure to get the secondary air where it is needed is done either with compressed air or steam, and in either case secondary-air heating will become a bit complicated.

Keep in mind that powerplant boilers have 600 degrees of preheating, which is easy to accomplish ... on a stationary boiler. You would need some sort of Franco-Crosti arrangement to get that kind of air temperature effectively on a locomotive, and I suspect you would need a much larger boiler length than on 17 to achieve the necessary gas path length to get effective transfer. Worth considering, I suppose... but there will be a lot happening under the boiler if the exhaust is to wind up back at the stack where people expect it to be ;-}

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Re: Exhaust Modifications for #17

Post by DaveLathrop57 on Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:31 pm

OK, let's say we're installing some form of heat exchanger coil across the air inlets going to the firepan, and running a portion of the exhaust steam through them......I'm going to assume here that the temperature of the exhaust steam isn't much higher than 212F and the efficiency of the transfer isn't real high either.....so maybe we get inlet air temps about 60F or so higher than if we didn't? If I'm underestimating the practical impact of the idea please set me straight.......

And if I'm not, then perhaps the exhaust steam can be better used for making vacuum or, if we can spare it, preheating the feedwater more efficiently instead?

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Re: Exhaust Modifications for #17

Post by Overmod on Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:56 pm

The Snyder patent is #2,096,439, filed in 1934, issued October 9th, 1937. I believe Lamb has some discussion of the idea.

When I was first exposed to this design, I thought heat transfer from the size of pipe involved was, shall we say, a bit optimistic. On the other hand, I have heard from reasonably reliable sources that when this design was tested on C&O, its use produced nontrivial savings in fuel and, I believe, water.

A substantial advantage of this design, if it works as reputed, is that it is made of robust ordinary materials, with no fancy fins or need for modular construction, etc. I am sure that there are much more well-developed heat exchangers suitable for air preheat -- but I have to wonder what it costs to fabricate or buy them, and what it will cost to keep them maintained. (I have spent my time with the fin comb, especially after hailstorms, and would not wish that job on a dog...)

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Re: Exhaust Modifications for #17

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