Oil firing question

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Glenn Brooks
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Oil firing question

Post by Glenn Brooks » Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:45 pm

A quick question - if I switch to oil firing, (in my 12” coal fired boiler) , and use the blower steam to atomize the fuel, will I increase steam useage beyond what the boiler typically can continually produce?

If not the blower, what do people normally use as an air source to atomize the fuel?

Thanks
Glenn
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Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

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NP317
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Re: Oil firing question

Post by NP317 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:49 pm

Glenn:
You might average out on steam use.
Coal requires more blower use, while the steam oil atomizer system requires less blower due to some "pressurizing" of the firebox.
I've found that true on both full-sized locomotives and on my miniatures which burn propane.
Propane and oil share similar firing techniques.

Others might have different thoughts and experiences to share.
Russ

Rwilliams
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Re: Oil firing question

Post by Rwilliams » Sat Sep 28, 2019 7:04 pm

In most cases one wants to have two separate valves to maintain the best control of their oil firing. One valve for the blower which will vary depending on the pressure in the boiler and the pressure needed on the gauge.

The atomizer air/steam supply valve is often a fine thread stem for better control of the steam or air that is being used to control the fire and its output. When starting on compressed air, one needs more air to start. Once the boiler pressure reaches 20-40 pounds, the atomizer can then be converted to steam which heats the oil causing better combustion and often less need for pressure. Your mileage can vary.

Firing with coal is much easier. Oil firing requires more attention to the details if steady pressure is desired.

Under normal situations, I have never seen an oil burner that was starved for steam due to the small use of steam for the atomizer function.

hoppercar
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Re: Oil firing question

Post by hoppercar » Sat Sep 28, 2019 7:36 pm

i have had on occasion, with high water in the glass, pull water into the turret steam valve for the burner, and have water droplets snuff the fire out. ...one has to be quick in relighting, to avoid a face full of oil soot, and a nice healthykaboom..when it relights.....but you will have clean tubes for a while

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makinsmoke
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Re: Oil firing question

Post by makinsmoke » Sun Sep 29, 2019 6:57 am

Nelson Reidel put a pressure regulator on his atomizer that eliminated a great deal of fiddling with that part of firing his oil burner.

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Greg_Lewis
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Re: Oil firing question

Post by Greg_Lewis » Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:53 am

hoppercar wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 7:36 pm
. ...one has to be quick in relighting, to avoid a face full of oil soot, and a nice healthykaboom..when it relights.....but you will have clean tubes for a while
And when you do that in 12-inch scale, it's, uh, exciting. :shock:
Greg Lewis, Prop.
Eyeball Engineering — Home of non-interchangeable parts.
Our motto: "That looks about right."
Celebrating 30 years of turning perfectly good metal into bits of useless scrap.

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NP317
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Re: Oil firing question

Post by NP317 » Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:34 am

To prevent a firebox explosion while oil firing, it is imperative when the fire goes out to immediately shut off oil flow
and clear the firebox of gases using the blower! Then slowly reintroduce oil to the burner while providing ignition flame.
The larger the boiler, the more important this becomes.

Many years ago while getting Rayonier #70 (70-ton 2-8-2 logging loco) ready for a day's operation,
I witnessed a young fireman get blown back against the tender oil tank from a firebox explosion.
He was lazy and tried to relight the fire off the hot bricks at the rear of the firebox.
It exploded, and he lost his facial hair and had quite a red burn for days. And a bruised body!

Left quite an impression on me, and I never had that occur while operating steam locomotives, large or small.
My propane burning locos are even more prone to such explosive events. I fire them carefully.
Building in a pilot light for the burner is a good safety idea. My second loco has one. Much safer to fire.
RN

Mike Walsh
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Re: Oil firing question

Post by Mike Walsh » Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:25 pm

I think it is safe to say that once you have seen it happen, or you have done it, it is a lesson learned.

Earlier this year - I watched a gentleman who is getting up there in age, try to hostle an engine over to its train. Snuffed the fire right out. He got out of the engine, went to get his oil wick (we use wicks to fire up, instead of rags), light it up... All the while, white smoke is POURING out of the smokestack.

HE DIDNT TURN OFF THE OIL!

I interrupted the conversation I was having with a fella, and said "watch this, it's gonna go kaboom". He was all "oh, no, he knows what he is doing"... "Dude, the white smoke!"...

Wick lit, firebox door opened... The wick went in...

WAH-BOOOOOOOM!!!!

Sounded like a 12 gauge going off.

Was rather comical. Granted - this is the sort of thing one wants to avoid with their steam engines because who knows what kind of forces the boiler is undergoing during the explosion, while under pressure.

I walked over, talked to the younger man who was accompanying this older gentleman on the hostling duties, and asked if he was OK. He was astonished that he was missing hair on his arm. He was about four feet behind the gentleman who lit it off (blew it up?), and still lost his arm hairs!

Unfortunately, this was the very first day of operation after I had redone the fire brick in this particular engine. This was the first full day of operations for that fire brick (I had cured it for a good while before that, but that day was the true test). I checked the fire brick, and it has a small crack in one area. But nothing to fret about.



Explosions suck when they happen. Especially to you. I had it happen once with my face about two feet from the fire door. I thought my skull broke from the shock wave.

All of the above occurred on 12" gauge, so you can imagine the size of the trains, and the ka-boom's.


You lose your fire, SHUT IT OFF, kill your throttle to avoid inducing cold draft into your firebox, and stop your train safely. Then relight. Unless you're on a train big enough to keep rolling, albeit without throttle, and throw a lit rag in to light it off. Always fun to do on the ATTNW 801!

hoppercar
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Re: Oil firing question

Post by hoppercar » Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:44 pm

i had a spark plug screwed into the firing pan, connected to a coil, and a 12 volt battery.....any loss of fire, meant a quick hit on the button, and instant fire again

Glenn Brooks
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Re: Oil firing question

Post by Glenn Brooks » Sun Sep 29, 2019 6:06 pm

Regarding nozzles, has anyone used a commercial nozzle like this one?

http://www.patriot-supply.com/files/HAGO%20SIPHON.pdf

Wonder if it would work with the steam supply?
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

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NP317
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Re: Oil firing question

Post by NP317 » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:24 pm

Looks like a feasible oil burning nozzle.
Their spec sheets seem to specify compressed air for atomization.

I have just finished a burner assembly built around the oil nozzle that was available from Eccentric Engineer.
I must have gotten the last one in stock. They are off the website now. He might be convinced to make another run of them so contact him.

I'll post pics on this thread of my assembly when I get them onto my computer. Soonish.
RussN

Glenn Brooks
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Re: Oil firing question

Post by Glenn Brooks » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:32 pm

Thanks Russ. Suitable for a 12 x 24” firebox? Like to see what yours looks like either way...

Glenn
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

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