Author Topic: 4 stroke lawn mower converted to steam, fabricating boiler  (Read 6139 times)

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Offline Burnit0017

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4 stroke lawn mower converted to steam, fabricating boiler
« on: September 09, 2013, 12:09:07 PM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJAN9wnFXto&feature=youtu.be

Hi, because I live in a low wind area, I started a steam engine project. The converted engine idea was from many other project on youtube. The engine conversion was made by modifying the cam using JB Weld to add two extra cams. The monotube boiler is more challenging. It run out of steam after 30 seconds. I fabricated a manual fresh water feed pump but it does not work well if at all. Another problem is the rocket stove after the grate fills with embers and the fire dies down.  Searching for solutions, suggestions are welcome.

Offline niall

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Re: 4 stroke lawn mower converted to steam, fabricating boiler
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2013, 03:02:59 PM »
very nice machine  ......it did,nt take you long to get it up and running as well , must be tempting to think about what you could hang on to it

what about the steam pressure ....does it need any kind of over pressure vent ?......

very nice ... 

Offline Burnit0017

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Re: 4 stroke lawn mower converted to steam, fabricating boiler
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2013, 05:38:07 PM »
Hi, this is a first attempt at using steam. Safety is a MAJOR concern. There a over pressure safety release valve the triggers at 110 psi. I read that monotube boilers are safer than other types boilers. I have to add a fan to the rocket stove. The main problem is the water feed pump. Because the boiler is a monotube, water has to be constantly add to the boiler when operating the engine. The water feed pump has to generate a pressure high than the boiler pressure so the water can enter the boiler. I am currently modifying a small air pump to use a water feed pump. Hopefully it will work but I am not sure. To be useful it has to operate a lot longer than 30 seconds.  ???
40 psi is the target operating pressure.

All the problem areas have been identified and hopefully I will have it running before it snows. I will post results when available. Suggestion are welcome.

Offline Burnit0017

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Re: 4 stroke lawn mower converted to steam, fabricating boiler
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2013, 05:46:42 PM »
system drawing

Offline MadScientist267

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Re: 4 stroke lawn mower converted to steam, fabricating boiler
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2013, 01:19:11 AM »
 He's baaaaaaaccck!  8)

As always, nice looking setup. Wondered what you were up to, we now know... Looking forward to seeing more :)

Steve
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Offline bj

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Re: 4 stroke lawn mower converted to steam, fabricating boiler
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2013, 06:41:56 AM »
  You have put a lot of thought into it, and it looks pretty good.  Only thing that comes to mind
is to make sure your PSV (overpressure valve) is big enough. 
  Well done.
"Even a blind squirrel will find an acorn once in a while"
bj

Offline Burnit0017

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Re: 4 stroke lawn mower converted to steam, fabricating boiler
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2013, 08:04:28 AM »
http://modernsteampower.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/homemade-wood-fired-lamont/


Hi, from the information that is a available all the parts for the pumping is rated at about max 500 psi. The system is small and I am keeping the fire really small until I understand how the system works. The article show what happens if there is a system failure. The over pressure valve is set to trigger at 110 psi. If the OPV ever triggers I will open the output bypass valve to quickly release all the pressure. Safety is always a real concern.

Offline Burnit0017

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Re: 4 stroke lawn mower converted to steam, fabricating boiler
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2013, 08:14:31 AM »
He's baaaaaaaccck!  8)

As always, nice looking setup. Wondered what you were up to, we now know... Looking forward to seeing more :)

Steve

Hi, completed the vawt project and after testing last winter I realized that live in a low wind area. 99.9% of the time the wind speed for my area is below 8 mph. So I started the steam project. What I learned from the vawt project, PMA and MPPT info will be applied to steam project. No or low wind, No power.  :'(

I am converting a small air compress pump to work as a water feed pump for the boiler. I will post results when available. 

Offline Burnit0017

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Re: 4 stroke lawn mower converted to steam, fabricating boiler
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2013, 08:20:41 AM »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glZyl8KX3Wo&feature=youtu.be

boiler modifications: added steam drum, using air compressor pump as fresh water feed pump

hope to test in a few days then I can start to insulate

Offline Burnit0017

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Re: 4 stroke lawn mower converted to steam, fabricating boiler
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2013, 06:53:25 PM »
Hi, I used JB weld epoxy to fabricate the additional lowbs on the cam of the 4 stroke. It did not last long, I was able to scrape it off with my finger nail. It just can't take the heat. I have to refabricate the additional lowbs. It was a good learning experience.

Offline Wolvenar

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Re: 4 stroke lawn mower converted to steam, fabricating boiler
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2013, 12:19:02 AM »
Iv used JB weld for many things, some work well, but others didn't fare so well. Any which way, its all fun to learn what works and what does not.

My latest was sealing a 90 degree elbow in an oil pan to us e to relocate the drain for the boat.

This worked but was very slow to drain.
 I have the engine out again as a new engine problem came up, and found the JB weld really held well. 
In fact it held so well when I wanted to remove the elbow to drill and place a larger pipe, I broke the elbow off instead of breaking the JB weld trying to get it out.

I have also used JB weld to rebuild impeller pump surfaces with a lot of luck.

I have on occasion used JB weld to recondition badly corroded carbs.
I have learned that it works well in iron carbs, but in aluminum carbs in extreme temp environments, the JB weld will crumble as things contract.. I found this unpleasant surprise one spring after failing to be able to start an ATV  I did this with.

Ahh well its all fun, anything I really need done right, I wont leave it to chance.
Trying to make power from alternative energy any which way I can.
Just to abuse what I make. (and run this site)

Offline Burnit0017

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Re: 4 stroke lawn mower converted to steam, fabricating boiler
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2013, 01:28:24 AM »
Hi, the JB weld was rock hard but after a short time the steam turned it into a soft rubbery state and it just fell apart. There are problems with converting a 4 stroke to a engine. The oil pan fills with water. At some point I will have to get a standard steam engine.

The added steam drum to the boiler was a bad idea. It acted like a condenser and the system pressure never exceeded 16 psi. I removed the steam drum and I am using a air compressor pump as a water feed pump. The new water feed pump works well but the oil pan also fills with water. I did a hydrostatic test of the boiler and max pressure is 80 psi with no leaks.  I ran the boiler for one hour and from a cold start it reached 60 psi in 10 minutes. I open the bypass valve and as long as I was pumping water into the boiler it maintained  40 psi. 

The mono tube boiler is working, once I solve the engine problems I can connect a PMA and start to determine how current it will generate.
I will post results when available.

Offline Burnit0017

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Re: 4 stroke lawn mower converted to steam, fabricating boiler
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2013, 04:53:43 AM »

the engine is running again

new cam modifications, work on boiler control circuitry

Offline Burnit0017

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Re: 4 stroke lawn mower converted to steam, fabricating boiler
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2013, 06:17:46 PM »
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=yVgEixbDoY8[/youtube]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=yVgEixbDoY8
Hi, I found this video of a manually operated monotube boiler, check out the second attempt. I am taking a few days to modify my boiler.

Offline Burnit0017

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Re: 4 stroke lawn mower converted to steam, fabricating boiler
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2013, 05:36:57 AM »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQmDLvsFL7c

Hi, converted to 2 cycle to steam. Requires min of 40 psi to operate. As the fire increased I could observe the engine RPM increase. Longest run was about 3 minutes. When the fire dies or the boiler runs out of water the pressure drops.  Working on larger firebox and finding a better water pump. Suggestions welcome.