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Boiler alternatives for a Stanley

Posted by Burt 
Boiler alternatives for a Stanley
November 06, 2019 05:06PM
Recently I acquired a 1922 Stanley 740, sans boiler. Since this provides me with what is essentially a blank slate, I'm interested to hear about their experiences with non-OEM boiler designs from other car owners, particularly Stanley owners. I'm not convinced that the fire-tube Stanley or Stanley-like boiler is the way to go.

I live in urban Southern California where driving the car will require either a long-distance trailering to some rural locale or driving it on city streets and possibly freeways, provided it were able to make minimum speed. To that end it's getting 4 wheel hydraulic brakes, better illumination, turn signals, 4-way flashers, back-up lights and an electrical system upgraded to 12v neg ground.

My car will also be getting a modern copper core for its condenser, which I'm hopeful will extend water range and be better able to handle increased boiler horsepower.

So, I'm the newbie here. Please feel free to share information and opinions!
Re: Boiler alternatives for a Stanley
November 08, 2019 01:06PM
Hi Burt,

Since no one has chimed in yet I'll throw my hat in the ring. Stanley's came with a fire tube type boiler, 700-1000 copper tubes wrapped in piano wire. Contrary to popular belief a Stanley boiler has never blown up. What does happen is the tubes being copper will scorch, shrink, and start leaking, effectively making the boiler useless till the tubes are expanded or replaced ( a very time consuming and costly operation).

Now as far as alternatives:

1. Buy a reproduction new Stanley boiler (Dan Bourdon and others sell them). Advantages: Keeps car original, has large reserve capacity. Does take a while ( 15-30 min to get up steam from cold).

2. Build a water tube type boiler (Derr style has been used). Advantages: quick steam up (compaired to Stanley type) tolerant to over heating (to a degree).

3. Go with a monotube ( ala Doble, White) flash boiler. Advantages: Quick steam up ( several minutes), handles over heating well, but does require sophisticated controls to keep it operating properly.

Both the water tube and monotube boilers require forced burners, the Stanely is a non draft forced vaporizing burner.

It depends on what performance you want. What level are you looking for? The 20HP Stanley engine will only give you so much, so that is a limiting factor.

I could go on, but I think this should get the discussion started. If you want to hash this into greater detail, off the board, feel free to PM me.

Keith T.
Re: Boiler alternatives for a Stanley
November 09, 2019 09:13AM
Good information. Thank you, Keith.
Re: Boiler alternatives for a Stanley
November 14, 2019 09:39AM
The water tube boilers do not have the steam reserve that a fire tube Stanley type has. I had a Baker water tube boiler in my 1922 Stanley and when I would pull away from a stop sign with 400 PSI showing on the gauge, the boiler pressure would drop like a rock and I would be entering the fast moving traffic without any more than 100 PSI. More like a death wish. With a fire tube boiler, entering traffic with my new fire tube boiler, the steam pressure would hardly vary until I was up to highway speed, and by that time the fire was on full and making super heated steam at 400 + PSI.


Re: Boiler alternatives for a Stanley
November 14, 2019 12:12PM
The difference is in the volume of water present inside the boiler. The less water there is the faster it heats up, the more water there is the more reserve is available, cushion to get through high steam draw periods, but the longer it takes to warm up.
And the less heated water is in the system the less potential for explosion, but explosion risk is alleviated by proper build and safety controls anyway.

One idea to get more reserve is to add extra water reserve capacity to a water tube boiler. A larger pressure tank to contain more water. Increases the warmup time, but retains the safety and simplicity of the water tube build. The one I have on my home made truck converted to steam is a 40 HP peak, ofeldt water tube boiler. 15 gallons fills it up, and it heats up in under 30 minutes. Haven't actually timed it. It has a draft blower. Throw an armload of dry kindling in and turn the blower on immediately it might heat up pretty quick. The few times I've fired it up I just do it by convection mostly until pressure is up, turn the draft blower on to run the engine. I welded it up myself according to spec from plans. Since it's not certified by an official boiler maker I'm not supposed to use it out in public. But I didn't plan to anyway. It's just an off road truck for my own use. As long as I know it's safe I'm satisfied. It's rated to operate at 600 psi but I run it at 200. Automatic draft blower pressure switch cuts out at 175 and the relief valve blows at 200. Plus a soft plug that blows at 750. rated pressure test 900, and supposed burst pressure way above that somewhere. Probably several thousand psi. Cold tested to 750 once, and 500 a second time. I cold test once in awhile just to make sure it stays safe. Run it on rainwater with boiler treatment. I need to build a custom engine for it. the antique westinghouse vertical is better suited to stationary use. I will get my foundry going and work on making one before too long. Might set up the old one to run my shop equipment, or firewood processing equipment.
Re: Boiler alternatives for a Stanley
November 14, 2019 03:47PM
The Derr boiler was a very successful alternatives for a Stanley
Rolly


Re: Boiler alternatives for a Stanley
November 14, 2019 04:20PM
Burt what is the minimum highway speed you hope to maintain? SSSteamer will have a good idea of what can be expected with a condensing car - his cars always seem to go like rockets ( the flying kind not the loco!).

Mike
Re: Boiler alternatives for a Stanley
November 14, 2019 04:53PM
I would be very happy if it were able to maintain 50-55 mph on reasonably level terrain. Higher speed surface streets, and of course freeways are a way of life here. That speed would be well above minimums and the car wouldn't be an undue hazard to other traffic.
Re: Boiler alternatives for a Stanley
November 14, 2019 06:37PM
I should mention that I'm installing a modern 7 row staggered tube copper core in my condenser. It should be capable of much better performance than the original. (fingers crossed).
Re: Boiler alternatives for a Stanley
November 14, 2019 07:12PM
All kinds of cars with water tube boilers performed just fine. Jim Crank told me that with the White steamer the most important consideration is a burner and feed pump that are about twice oversized ... and appropriately responsive controls. Suddenly opening a throttle will instantly draw any boiler down, firetube boilers have a lot of reserve and therefore the drawdown is modest, watertube boilers will be more drastically affected depending on the size of the drum, or lack thereof. Most control systems can't respond immediately and this means that low reserve boilers get behind the demand quickly, this is no problem if they have greater capacity than the peak engine steam consumption. Relatively fast acting controls keep things from falling too far behind and oversized steam generating capacity means the boiler can rapidly catch up. Done properly, the boiler reserve will cover the momentary lapse and there will be no noticeable deficit.
Re: Boiler alternatives for a Stanley
November 14, 2019 10:52PM
The Stanley condensing car with a 20 HP Stanley boiler and Stanley burner can easily maintain 45 MPH all day long and get good water mileage too. Something like 60 to 80 miles out of a 22 gallon water tank. Dave Nergaardhas got up to 150 miles out of his 22 gallon water tank with his condensing Stanley. To get more water mileage, reduce your speed to 35 MPH or less and then put a fan on your condenser like Dave did. A piston valve engine adds to the water mileage too.
A 30 HP boiler with a Baker burner can easily maintain 60 MPH, but the stock condenser cannot keep up at that speed and you will find that you will be out of water at about 25 miles down the road. Drive it at 40 MPH and the condenser can easily keep up with recycling your water vapor back into the water tank. The added weight of the 30 HP boiler and burner over the 20 HP set is a liability to the handling of the condensing car.
The non condensing car is a whole different water management study. What they do have in common is that the slower you drive them, the better the water mileage will be. Fuel mileage for the condensing car when every thing is running correctly is about 10 MPG. I hear claims of better mileage but I haven't experienced that with the 20 and 30 HP Stanley engined steamers. The 10 HP and smaller cars do get better fuel mileage. Especially the early 1900 Locomobile steamers. They running using very little water and fuel. Our 10 HP Stanley usually gets from 10 MPG to 12 MPG on it's Kerosene fuel. Again, slower speeds give better mileage in all departments.
Re: Boiler alternatives for a Stanley
August 19, 2020 11:29AM
Burt Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I should mention that I'm installing a modern 7
> row staggered tube copper core in my condenser.
> It should be capable of much better performance
> than the original. (fingers crossed).


It has been about 10 months and I was wondering if you have made any progress on your project?
Re: Boiler alternatives for a Stanley
September 25, 2020 06:06PM
I've decided on an Ofeldt boiler, which will have about 65 SF of heating surface in the coils. Right now the car is in an upholstery shop getting its interior. I had a discussion today with a shop that does custom brake installations, to get four-wheel hydraulic brakes.

As soon as I get some CAD drawings of the boiler coils there's a shop not far from here that specializes in coiling pipe and tubing. So, I'm on my way.

Also have begun painting body parts and nickel plating others.
Re: Boiler alternatives for a Stanley
September 27, 2020 02:10PM
Please post pictures of the brake upgrade project when you do it.


Thanks.
A.J.
Re: Boiler alternatives for a Stanley
September 28, 2020 07:20AM
Burt,
An Ofeldt is a good boiler in my opinion. I've built one for my steam car. It kind of gives you the best of both worlds with generating tubes and a reserve like a fire-tube. If made from black iron pipe and steel drum, it will be pretty durable and bullet proof. Please try to include a feed water heater, economizer and probably already considering a super heater. You'll have a nice performing car if all put together and operating in concert.

The only push back from Stanley owners would be the question of originality and value. I can't think of a condensing Stanley with an Ofeldt boiler.

Good luck and let us know your progress.

Kind regards,
Rick
Re: Boiler alternatives for a Stanley
September 29, 2020 08:11AM
If your coil shop doesn't work out, I can refer you to two (2) others who can make the coils out of Schedule 40 1/4" black iron pipe. If you want to go with a copper (M, 1/2" OD) coil like my Ofeldt I can recommend a few techniques for you to coil them yourself along with assembly.

Another prominent, experienced boiler builder within this tube bending-assembly area is Rolly. I would take his advice, sound advice.
Re: Boiler alternatives for a Stanley
September 30, 2020 01:57PM
Rick.H Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Burt,
> An Ofeldt is a good boiler in my opinion. I've
> built one for my steam car. It kind of gives you
> the best of both worlds with generating tubes and
> a reserve like a fire-tube. If made from black
> iron pipe and steel drum, it will be pretty
> durable and bullet proof. Please try to include a
> feed water heater, economizer and probably already
> considering a super heater. You'll have a nice
> performing car if all put together and operating
> in concert.
>
> The only push back from Stanley owners would be
> the question of originality and value. I can't
> think of a condensing Stanley with an Ofeldt
> boiler.
>
> Good luck and let us know your progress.
>
> Kind regards,
> Rick

I did a little research to understand the Ofeldt boiler. A larger single vertical tube with a "Tree" of tube loops coming from the stem. Could you explain the advantages to a guy that barely passed thermo 30 years ago? There is more reserve water than a water tube, but more heating surface than a fire tube... sort of a happy inbetween?

thanks!


Re: Boiler alternatives for a Stanley
September 30, 2020 02:55PM
There are several advantages.

The fire tube of a Stanley, the heat (Hot gases) travel up the tube in Laminar flow staying mostly in the center of the tube relying on radiant transfer of the heat to the boundary layer of the tube and the top part of the tube is not covered with water.
The external tube of the Ofeldt design allows turbulent flow of the gases to sounder the tube (much more efficient heat transfer) and the water travels up through tube to the top much like a coffee pot.

But it’s personal chose as Stanley Boiler runes a Stanley just fine.

Rolly


Re: Boiler alternatives for a Stanley
September 30, 2020 07:39PM
I agree with Rolly's explaination...

Alsancle
To add to that explaination, from another thread about Steam Turbine Engines:
"Here is some information, similar to what I'm looking for, that I gathered from another steam guy whom I have great respect. This given a wood fire and typically a boat type boiler:
1) Fire Tube Boiler - 10 Sq Ft / BHP
2) Tube Boiler - 5 Sq Ft / BHP
3) Mono Tube Boiler - 2 Sq Ft / BHP

I would like to use number 3 value in the case of my Ofeldt boiler considering the operating temperatures. When I apply this, I get ~ 6 BHP. Boiler picture attached. Note that this is not a Mono Tube Boiler and would be considered a Tube Boiler. The value is and result is suitable to my needs in the intended I'm building. However, not substantiated."


So the Ofeldt maintains some capacity. What this means is exactly what Pat (SSsssteamer) mentions about pulling out into traffic and maintaining some pressure. 3 Sq Ft / BHP will provide a nice recovery when you do take that speedy get away and run the boiler down.

The boiler you pictured was built by Ron Rogers. He gave me the figures above. His boiler capacity is about 1.8 gallons. Rolly attached Tony Grzyb's boiler that is the father to Ron's Ofeldt at about 1.8 gallons. My boiler is the latest child in this series at 1.6 gallons. Note how I necked down my drum. This should add even greater recovery of pressure.

Last is that most guys can't hold their boilers in their hands like me pictured. F=ma the lighter the boiler, the faster you go.

Hope this answered your question. Don't hesitate to ask more...

Kind regards,
Rick


Re: Boiler alternatives for a Stanley
October 01, 2020 06:40AM
hey Guys, thanks for the replies, let me digest that info and see if I can understand it. My one question right now is that when you say "tube boiler" do you mean "water tube"?
Re: Boiler alternatives for a Stanley
October 01, 2020 06:47AM
One more thing...the 1/4" Black Iron Pipe coils pictured were all wound by Tom Kimmel. He has the process down pretty good!

Tom's Website

You can tool around and see pictures where he wound the coils for Tony Grzyb's boiler (search Tony Grzyb).

When we re-open, I invite you to one of our SACA meets. I would love to talk and explore new ideas. Also, it is not uncommon to have large flames, steam coming out the most interesting engines and see how people make their designs to reality. I'm a director of this club and really want to keep it going! Hope to see you there in the future?

Kind regards,
Rick
Re: Boiler alternatives for a Stanley
October 01, 2020 06:50AM
Yes...tube boiler is a water tube.

Mono tube is one continuous water tube where water tube can be many parallel tubes.
Re: Boiler alternatives for a Stanley
December 25, 2020 02:09PM
Hello Rick:

My apologies for such a tardy reply.

I had some conversations with Ron Rogers regarding his Ofeldt style boiler, and playing around with dimensions to get the maximum square footage in the available space I came up with a unit that uses 10" pipe for the central core and 16 coils, 18" high (or therebouts) of 3/4" steel pipe with a 7" OD on the coils. 8 left hand and 8 right hand coils. Fire would be supplied by a Becket burner. Nominal pressure 600 psi. There would also be an exhaust steam feedwater heater of about 20 linear feet, coiled to fit inside a stainless exhaust pipe 3" OD (about 2 1/2 feet overall length), and a similar unit on the combustion exhaust side. Of course there would also be a superheater coil.

The feedwater heater enclosure would have stainless steel wool in it, and be mounted on an incline to catch and drain cylinder oil.

No pipe has been coiled yet, although we are in the process of getting quotes for the job, so it's not too late to modify or even change completely.

Your thoughts?

Merry Christmas!

Burt
Re: Boiler alternatives for a Stanley
December 28, 2020 08:03AM
Hi Burt,
No problem for the delay...always nice to hear from you.

You know I've been doing some deep thinking about boiler design and convective heat transfer. The equation that is applied for getting the heat transfer coefficient on an Ofeldt is the Grashof number. It takes into account gravity along with the velocity of the fluid through the tubes. Here is the skinny on what the equation tells us regarding design parameters. One needs to maximize the speed of the fluid through generating tubes in concert with the effect of gravity on a lighter fluid. Easier said then done.

I'm not sure about this current design and would like to give it some deep thought. Let me test understanding in terms that I work with:
- Center Drum Diameter is 10"
- Center Drum Height is 18"
- Coil tube diameter is 3/4"
- Generating Coil diameter is 7" on the OD
- Generating Coil height is also 18"

Note that Ron's buggy and Ofeldt, in my book is very successful...extremely successful. The difference between my Ofeldt design and Ron's is that mine is 6-1/2 gallon where Ron's is in the neighborhood of 8 gallons. I've increased the ratio of generating tube to water in the separator drum. A question to all is how small of a separator drum water volume can one go and maintain water level control? Use the Stanley water level controller by the way.

I would lean towards using Ron's same separating, center drum with increased generating tubes. Again, using Ron's generating tube diameter and go with the 7" generating coil diameter. Keep the same 1-1/2" pitch on the coil. This would maintain water-level control capability and good fabrication ability.

Also, please plan to incorporate an Economizer double pancake coil. After discussion with Chuk, I would recommend a finned tube.

Give me a day or so and I'll get back to you. If someone could post a picture of a Becket Burner, that would be helpful?

Last note about Ron, his values on Square Feet / Boiler HP turn out to be pretty accurate. I'll see if I can give you an estimated horsepower rating for my design recommendation.

Awesome news...kind regards,
Rick
Re: Boiler alternatives for a Stanley
December 28, 2020 02:25PM
A quick calculation of Horsepower. This HP relates to an internal combustion engine. HP is dependent on RPM and the steam engine is much lower in values, i.e. 30 Hp Stanley is a mountain wagon.

The Beckett Burner will need to put out at least a 1/2 million BTU. Can it do that?

Hope this helps,
Very best,
Rick


Re: Boiler alternatives for a Stanley
December 30, 2020 08:46AM
Burt,
Correction on boiler water capacity...Ron's boiler would be .8 gallons and mine is .65 gallons. The point is that less is more. I'm still working a recommendation. Hope to have more by the weekend.

To all (hope it's interesting),

A couple of experiences of how to improve boiler steam generation ability. Doble (according to the Jim Crank book) increased Model E from 17.4 lb/ft**2 hr to Model F to 24 - 26 lb/ft**2 hr. This is pounds per square feet per hour of steam generation capability. He did this using a turbo-charging blower device. This significantly improved the combustion gas velocity over/through his mono-tube boiler. Velocity is one of the keys to increasing heat transfer, increasing turbulent flow and increasing the Reynolds Number. Note that the Model F increased tube length to achieve 105 - 110 ft**2. This let the engine enjoy about 2,860 lb/hr of steam.

It was a winter day and Nick Messmer and I were in my basement experimenting with a Primus Burner (~60,000 BTU/hr) on my steam scooter. This was early in the stage of development and we had my scooter running steady state on steam. This was a great accomplishment. However, the RPM and power it put out was not enough to propel itself let alone a person. One of the observation is that the burner produced a lazy flame. It had no push through the fire tube boiler (like a Stanley). One solution was to put one of these heat duct axial blowers connected to the exhaust. I used a temporary plastic bottle to make the connection. When we turned on the axial blower, that little engine came to life! Like it doubled it's RPM. It melted the plastic too.angry smiley

I would think that many Stanley owners have experienced the same effect when a steam blower was added to the car. Nice to hear some confirmation?

Last interesting point to make. I attached a graph of viscosity vs temperature. Simply put, viscosity goes down with temperature increase, asymptotically. What does this mean? Well, that hot water flows easier through a pipe than cold water. You'll hear me talk more about this in other threads. Viscosity is one of the elements to determine Reynolds number.

Cheers,
Rick


Re: Boiler alternatives for a Stanley
December 30, 2020 02:29PM
Thank you, Rick, for the information. I too will need to digest all this and read thru the thread again. In answer to your question about a burner capable of 500k BTU, Beckett does indeed make one that runs on 12-24v and puts out up to 770k BTU: [www.beckettcorp.com]
Re: Boiler alternatives for a Stanley
December 30, 2020 06:08PM
Dear Rick:

Here are some corrections and comments:

"I'm not sure about this current design and would like to give it some deep thought. Let me test understanding in terms that I work with:
- Center Drum Diameter is 10"
- Center Drum Height is 18"
- Coil tube diameter is 3/4"
- Generating Coil diameter is 7" on the OD
- Generating Coil height is also 18" "

I plan on using A53 or A106 pipe, preferably the latter. The center drum would be Sched 80 or 160, 10" pipe. Actual OD 10.750".
Coil pipe would be 3/4 A53 or A106 pipe, again, A106 preferred. Sched 40. Actual OD 1.05"
7 1/2 coils in 18" height. Pitch 2.35" ( 2 x pipe OD + 0.25"winking smiley
Central drum height 18" plus additional as needed for boring and welding. All fittings planned to be in the weld-on caps.

Flame would be introduced tangentially to induce a swirl and minimize direct heat on central core. Insulation of core if required to facilitate circulation.

Nominal boiler pressure 600 psi.
Re: Boiler alternatives for a Stanley
December 31, 2020 06:57AM
Burt
Use the A106 seamless and ask for mill cirts when you buy it.

Rolly
Re: Boiler alternatives for a Stanley
December 31, 2020 11:56AM
Burt-

You might want to get Rolly's opinion on this, but I think you're going to have real problems bending 3/4 sch 40 tubing into a 7" OD spiral. The fact that it would be a spiral instead of a circle will help somewhat, but it's gonna take a helluva bender to get it to your 7" spec. Just Saying....


Happy New Year Everyone!!


Chuk
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1922 735B Small.jpg 61.7 KB open | download SSsssteamer 11/14/2019 Read message
Finished-2.jpg 67.8 KB open | download Rolly 11/14/2019 Read message
Derr boiler-a.JPG 86.6 KB open | download Rolly 11/14/2019 Read message
P1010003aa.JPG 62 KB open | download Rolly 11/14/2019 Read message
OfeldtBoiler.jpg 219.3 KB open | download alsancle 09/30/2020 Read message
Ofeldt-Grzyg,boiler-100_0281.jpg 54.6 KB open | download Rolly 09/30/2020 Read message
IMG_20151126_203604896 reduced.jpg 318.8 KB open | download Rick.H 09/30/2020 Read message
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Burt Generating Tube Calc.jpg 245.8 KB open | download Rick.H 12/28/2020 Read message
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