Lister Engine Forum

Lister Engines => Original Lister Cs Engines => Topic started by: listeroil on February 16, 2020, 08:03:06 PM

Title: Water or steam injection
Post by: listeroil on February 16, 2020, 08:03:06 PM
I would like some advice about water injection please.  I will explain my situation I live off grid in the UK have been doing so for the last 19 years.  For most of that time I have been running old Lister 8/1 engined Startomatics on WVO. No preheating just a thermostat to get the engine up to temperature quick.  One thing I have noticed is that when I first get an engine thats been run on diesel all its life it starts first compression.  However when starting on WVO it takes progressively more turning over to start on cold WVO.  Not a big problem because its electric start.  But not ideal also when doing a decoke I find a lot of erosion occurring above the top piston ring. So I fit a new piston and away we go again.

I have managed to acquire an almost brand new 1974 8/1 Startomatic.  It was bought in 1974 when we had 3 months of power cuts to provide power for a Mansion house in Oxfordshire.  It looks brand new no wear on anything.  Probably done about 300 hours in total.  With this bit of kit I want to set it up right.  I've cast a concrete base and bolted it to that.  It runs so smooth on red diesel at the moment.

I intend to start on red and after 15 mins when the engine is warm changeover to WVO run on that until shut down then change over to red for long enough to start on red diesel next start.  This will be controlled by an Arduino.  Before I run on WVO I intend to fit water injection again controlled by the Arduino.  The Arduino will be used to control a mains operated peristaltic pump this way I can control exactly the amount of water injected per given load.  The 8/1 uses about 500ml fuel per Kwh. 

So the question is how much water to inject the same amount as fuel or less?
Another thought would steam injection be better?  Because I am using a peristaltic pump I could wrap 3/16 copper brake pipe round the exhaust and inject steam in to the inlet manifold.
Title: Re: Water or steam injection
Post by: mike90045 on February 17, 2020, 02:24:32 AM
What ever method, make sure water cannot drain into the intake if something goes wrong.. Makes for real hard starting .

Steam may condense in the intake manifold
Title: Re: Water or steam injection
Post by: veggie on February 17, 2020, 07:35:50 PM
I recently added an Arduino to my lister.
It monitors the engine coolant temperature and RPM using an infrared sensor to a white dot on the flywheel.
The Arduino sends the data to a cloud application so my cell phone can monitor it when I'm not in the garage.
(It will be running for up to 5 hours per cycle as a CHP system and I will not always be nearby).
My phone can communicate with the Arduino also, as part of my phone application I added a kill button.

If the engine senses overspeed, (or If I hit the kill button on my phone for any reason), the Arduino energizes a solenoid which closes the fuel rack until the flywheel rpm is zero..
It also allows me to have the engine run for a set time and then have the arduino turn off.
In the picture below you can see the Solid State relay attached to the right side of the Arduino enclosure.
That relay energizes the shutdown solenoid.

You could just as easily have the relay activate the water injection pump when the coolant temperature reaches some desired set point.
You could also use this same logic to active a fuel switch-over valve after 'x' minutes of running or after the engine shows some heat.
In reverse, the arduino could switch the fuel back to diesel 'x' minutes before auto shutdown.
Whatever you want.  ... As long as you are having fun !  ;D

Also below is the 12vdc fuel switching valve that I will be using to switch from diesel to WVO (Currently my fuel switching is manual).
A second relay will be added to the Arduino to accomplish this.
Title: Re: Water or steam injection
Post by: listeroil on February 18, 2020, 11:56:44 PM
I've been running lister cs engines for 19 years now the first couple of years only on red diesel.  Then I found out about running them on vegoil and started using that.  At the time it was cheaper than red so I ran on new vegoil from tesco's.  Then for some unbeknown reason the price rocketed up to more than red diesel price.  Thats when I started collecting WVO from various sources.  This was not clean and what I did was leave it to stand for at least a month then decant the runny stuff off the top.  I have never dried the oil just used the runny stuff as is the only filtering was a jcloth wrapped round a 5 micron filter in the water filter assembly and the filter close to the engine.  The jcloth works great catches all the sediment before it gets to the 5 micron polypropylene water filter.  When it blocks I just change the jcloth and use the old one to start the fire.  However I now get my oil from just one supplier a firm that make crisps It is lovely and clean no whites.  I get it in an IBC 1000 litres at a time for 200 which is better than the 30p per litre I was paying before for dirty oil and  a lot easier to collect, they load it into my trailer with a forklift.  I will test this oil for water content.

It is not the piston ring thats corroded its the piston itself the area above the top ring. When the carbon is cleaned off the side of the piston above the top ring quite a lot of aluminium is missing scored doesn't happen when running on red.

My reason for using the Arduino is to have a wireless controlled start and stop. I suffer from COPD and have only 24% lung capacity and the generator is about 100ft away and its just to far to walk to switch it on or off I am virtually housebound.  Even though its a startomatic I dont like that function and have dispensed with it.  The plan is to have a wireless camera in the genny shed check there's nobody there and start it with a press of the button in my cabin.  Using the Arduino as an engine starter has some advantages.  First I can spin the engine over decompressed for a few seconds then drop the decompressor for a less stress start.  Second monitor the voltage and switch on the output contactor when the voltage reaches say 200 volts.  Also when switching off switch the output contactor off before actually switching off the engine.  Its not a good idea to have loads connected when the engine runs down.  Also got a current sensor as well as the voltage and water temperature sensor.  All these details can be transmitted back to the handset and be displayed on screen.  I should point out that my son is the one who knows how to program and build the Arduino.  Not me I just do the mechanicals.

I am in the process of setting up a pair of generators that way I can run one until it needs its oil changed.  Then swap over to the other generator until that needs an oil change.  This will give me an instant back up if either one fails.  Ive been on a hunt for years to get 2 good 8/1 engined Startomatics and now have a nice pair.  The second one has a 1981 engine that appears to be in good condition.  Just the gen head needs some attention new anti vibration rubbers new brushes and top box rewiring to push button start.

Regarding the water injection my pump delivers 6.5 litres per hour this equates to 108ml per minute I've calculated that the genny on full load will use 2.25 litres fuel per hour.  So if I run the pump for 2 minutes on and 8 minutes off this will give me 1.296 litres per hour.

I think I am going to do the twin tank system on one of the gennys because I have all the bits to do it and its been a long ongoing plan which is nearly there.  I think I can achieve quite a quick changeover see enclosed picture of system I intend to use.

Title: Re: Water or steam injection
Post by: veggie on February 20, 2020, 02:58:50 PM

You may already be aware, but the arduino "uno" and "mega"do not have WiFi capability.
If you wish to communicate with the system from the house, take a look at the Wemos D1R2.
Form factor and programming language is the same as Arduino but it has WiFi connectivity.
It even uses the Arduino programming software.
Costs around $10
The big difference with the Wemos is that it's pins are all 3.3vdc (like the raspberry Pi) unlike the Arduino which is 5vdc.
Buy local from Amazon. (As you know, ... EBay is not shipping from the Asia at the moment)
Make sure it's the Wemos D1 R2 . The older Wemos D1 has been phased out but there may still be some old inventory being sold.

Title: Re: Water or steam injection
Post by: veggie on February 20, 2020, 03:02:54 PM

Very thoughtful that you gave the two engines a window so that they can view outside while working  ;D
Title: Re: Water or steam injection
Post by: listeroil on February 21, 2020, 02:51:25 PM
Thats very interesting about the wifi circuit board but I dont think it will have the range the genny shed is at least 100ft from the router.  However I will talk to my son and see what we can do as it might be nice to see the information on the computer.  Unfortunately I do not do the Arduino stuff myself.  My son tells me what to buy I buy it he connects it up writes the program and if we are lucky it works. Below is the transmitting module that I bought last week because my son connected the last one the wrong way round and all the magic smoke disappeared.  That  one did work with enough range to start and stop and was being rebuilt to do the monitoring.

Ebay item no 372740389720
● Power supply voltage : 3.2 V -- 5.5 V.(if the modules working long hours in emission state, suggested that when the power supply voltage is greater than 4.5 V , you need concatenating a 1N4007 diode to avoid module built-in LDO got fever)
● Default communication distance : about 600 m (communication distance is adjustable up to 1000 m, air baud rate 5000 BPS).
● Default idle current: 16 ma (modules in different working mode of different current).
● Module size: 27.8mm*14.4mm*4mm.
● Operating frequency range (433.4 473.0 MHz, as many as 100 communication channel) maximum 100 mw fired power (can be set)
● Module supporting software upgrades.
● Default factory Settings: working mode FU3, baud rate 9600 BPS, communication channel CH001 (433.4 M)
433Mhz HC-12 SI4463 Wireless Serial Port Module 1000m Replace Bluetooth TE296


Title: Re: Water or steam injection
Post by: listeroil on February 21, 2020, 05:49:46 PM
Regarding your fuel pump, I'm not sure how the Cs pump handles pressure.
I dont think the pump will be a problem with the injection pump.  The electric fuel pump is 3 to 5 psi and the only place the fuel can go is into the barrel of the IP and that is precision machined to pump the fuel to the injector at a lot higher pressure  Here is what it says in CAV injection pump manual.

Regarding water injection rates how does 16 seconds on and 64 seconds off sound?


Title: Re: Water or steam injection
Post by: listeroil on February 22, 2020, 01:40:12 AM

If the link doesnt work just type in   HC-12

It is funny but I forgot about extending the range on the wifi because years ago i made a cantana which was basically a pringles can with a little ariel it worked great.
Title: Re: Water or steam injection
Post by: veggie on February 23, 2020, 03:53:01 PM
The big difference with the Wemos is that it's pins are all 3.3vdc (like the raspberry Pi) unlike the Arduino which is 5vdc.

Do you see some advantage in that?

I think there are a few boards that have the built in Wifi now.

Nope, No advantage to 3.3 volts. Just pointing out the differences in the boards.
Some people make the mistake of assuming the Wemos is the same as an Arduino in all respects and fry the board by using 5vdv sensors and inputs instead of 3.3v.
Title: Re: Water or steam injection
Post by: veggie on February 23, 2020, 04:17:00 PM
WiFi range.
I have seen a few tests on youtube where users reached 350 ft (clean line of sight) using the Wemos /Arduino module.
It uses the ESP8266 wifi chip and does have an onboard antennae.
I use mine at 75 ft without issues. In one application I added a wifi extender (booster) to my system approx 100ft from the main router.
That enhanced the coverage considerably.
Title: Re: Water or steam injection
Post by: saba on February 23, 2020, 08:55:26 PM
just got a few with external antenna so i can build it in an enclosure.

regards bernhard
Title: Re: Water or steam injection
Post by: veggie on February 25, 2020, 09:29:00 PM
just got a few with external antenna so i can build it in an enclosure.

regards bernhard

If you have any programming issues or need some help to get up and running send me a PM  ;)
Title: Re: Water or steam injection
Post by: starfire on April 24, 2021, 10:19:48 AM
What ever method, make sure water cannot drain into the intake if something goes wrong.. Makes for real hard starting .

Steam may condense in the intake manifold

I am a great believer in passive simple  The best no fuss  water injection I have used  is simply a 20 liter container of water with  the  overflow around  2/3rds from the bottom. The container water level is  slightly below the Lister intake, air is sucked in from the top, a 2 inch air hose in the bottom is vented to atmosphere. The air is literally bubbled through the water giving a humid mix of the intake air. also doubling as the air  filter There is no possibility of water straight into the engine. I burn transformer oil, and without water, the engine gets carbony and knocky after several hours, with water, it burns quiet and clean. I dare say the exhaust heat could be directed at/into  the container to increase water /air mix, but I havent found this necessary. It seems to use around .5 to 1 liter an hour I have a CS 3.5. The downside I guess it  causes a partial vacuum in the intake which is naughty for a diesel, but is reduced by having a large air space above the water giving a  good reserve of air for each "gulp".  My prior messing with electric dose pumps and spray nozzles was too complicated and problematic, steam caused problems with scale and blockages.  Water isnt dood for drinking either, the minute I gave up breast milk for water, I have aged considerably.
Title: Re: Water or steam injection
Post by: dax021 on April 24, 2021, 11:54:34 AM
Hey Starfire, I have been collecting WVO for some time now, but am reluctant to burn it without a WI system installed.  I have read Glort's and other methods, but am quite intrigued by what you've done.  Would you be so kind as to post a couple of pics or diagrams of your system?  Cheers, Peter
Title: Re: Water or steam injection
Post by: starfire on April 25, 2021, 08:02:54 AM
Take a 20 liter plastic oil drum, whack 2 x 2 inch holes thru the top. Insert a length of 2 inch PVC pipe into 1 hole to the bottom, cut the bottom end at an angle to allow and guarantee an  air gap. It just needs to exit the top of the container a few inches, this is the air inlet. Another 2 inch PVC pipe is inserted into the other hole  a few cms and is glued to keep it at the top well above the water level. This connects via flexible tubing to the Lister air inlet manifold.. A small overflow hole is drilled around 1/2 to 1/3 the way up the container to prevent the water overfilling. A third small diameter pipe is inserted thru the container top to supply a slow trickle of water into the container. I used 3/8th clear tubing for this.
Thats all there is to it. The vacuum pulled by the inlet stroke will suck air up thru the water giving a saturated air density into the engine, easy, quick with no moving parts. I got this idea by observing that cars seem to run smoother on rainy days. Keep the pipe to the engine intake fairly  short and use wire reinforced pipe to prevent suck in.
Because its cheap and easy to do, just cobble something together and try it first before making a good permanent one. I think water injection  works similarly to when throwing water onto an oil fire, the heat turns it instantly  into steam that shatters the unburned oil droplets and atomises them further causing total  chaos and mayhem. Even a petrol engine benefits from this, and I wonder why manufacturers havent seemed to follow this up. Piston WW2 aircraft used it frequently to maximise the HP and increase efficiency.  Given enough water, and it takes a frightening amount, a diesel will stop the detonation knock and  will run as smoothly and quietly as a petrol engine.
Title: Re: Water or steam injection
Post by: starfire on April 25, 2021, 08:37:53 AM
And, while I think of it, and havent seen it mentioned here, heard recently the term "hydrodiesel"  This refers to an emulsion of oil and water that is used as diesel fuel. Oddly enough, years ago I tried mixing vege oil and water using a large mixer, a big version of a kitchen whizz we call them here, or a food processor probably in other countries that know no different.  This didnt work to well, the two ingredients would separate out overnight requiring a major fuel system cleanout. The addition of dishwashing liquid done the trick, but it was messy and cost extra money and time. I think this "hydrodiesel" is just another way to achieve the same results, but given a fancy name  I guess people will buy it. This is the problem when you acquire literally dozens of 44 gallon drums of selected oils, paint thinners, used volatile cleaning agents, and some questionable unidentified stuff you cant talk about, the passion is to BURN it to create free power.... it can become an obsession..............
Title: Re: Water or steam injection
Post by: dax021 on April 25, 2021, 09:40:45 AM
Thanks, got it.  Will give it a try
Title: Re: Water or steam injection
Post by: BruceM on April 26, 2021, 05:52:49 AM
I think the Arduino remote start is a great father-sun project, Listeroil.  My 6/1 Listeroid is set up for remote start via a Picaxe 40x2, a bit before Arduino caught on. I'd probably select the Arduino if doing it today; it's cheap and widely supported; I've used the ATmega 328P (same processor as Arduino Uno) for an inverter design.  A good choice, I'm not familiar with WIFI for it so can't comment on that.

FYI- 5V is handy if driving logic level mosfets directly, 3V is much lower power consumption where that is important; not important for your application except perhaps for whatever electronics must be on all the time, drawing down your genset battery perhaps.

If you hit a snag or need assistance, send me a PM. 

20 to 50 cc per minute is plenty of flow.  I use gravity flow and float valve (all cheap 1/4 inch drip tubing/fittings)  to fill a small tank with water level just below intake height, and 1/4 inch tubing with small solenoid valve to a tube up into the intake. Intake suction feeds adequately, flow rate is adjusted by float valve water level.  The Picaxe turns on the water delivery solenoid after 10 minutes with load, load sensed by AC current and air compressor pressure pulsations.  Turns off if no load detected, or engine shut down requested.  I add about 25% methanol for winter.  Has been working very nicely, no pumps, to trouble.  The idea of intake suction feed was learned here on the forum by a guy who had been using it for years.  Adding a float valve lets me have consistent, adjustable  flow rate from a small lidded (see through) container, gravity fed from a see through 4.5 gallon tote with lid. 

Good to see you here Starfire, your breastmilk/water bit was a hoot.  I wouldn't like that water bath for my climate, would cost a fortune in methanol in winter as I expect it would keep evaporating out of the water/methanol mix.  Otherwise seems a nice simple method.

Title: Re: Water or steam injection
Post by: starfire on April 27, 2021, 12:09:26 PM
Hello Bruce. We are lucky in having a temperate climate.  I never did like milk, more into admiring  the containers it comes in these days. Maybe I was just  too young back then to really appreciate the wondrous things in life.