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Messages - Boxelder

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Sweet music. Nicely done!

Changfa Engines / Re: Laidong and alternative fuels
« on: April 12, 2019, 05:20:12 PM »
Very interesting.  I'd also be curious to know their prices for the China Horizontals, and what sizes they have.  My 1115 needs a companion, and Chippewa Falls is right on the way between Minneapolis and my hometown in Northern WI.

Sorry, they're already sitting in my shop.

They've been sitting outside in a lean-to since 2005.  The twin is seized up but the single turns over freely - probably TRB.  The single hasn't been run since it was purchased new.  The paint is still on the drive flywheel - no evidence of use whatsoever.

I'm in contact with Butch and would like to have him work his magic on both of them.  Just have to work out the logistics for the road trip.

I'd love to do the work myself, and I have all the tools except for the valve seats.  But what I'm lacking is the knowledge of how to really make them sing, all the parts in balanced harmony.  Some things are best left to the pros.

Uh - wow!  I'll PM you.

General Discussion / Re: Hello
« on: April 01, 2019, 01:43:11 AM »
Same. Momís turning 80 at the end of April and dadís not far behind. Fortunately theyíre both in extremely good health, and theyíre certainly enjoying their first and only grandchild.  But time is a cruel mistress, and Iím looking sideways at the calendar willing it to just hold up for a minute.  If I could pause my life right now I would, but that would interrupt the journey which is supposed to be more important than the destination.

On a very happy note, just today I got my Monarch 10EE lathe up and running!  Itís a 1950ís model, and lived most of its life at NASA Redstone in Huntsville, Alabama. I wish I could have a list of parts it made for the space program.

I love old machines of every kind. They smell right.

Everything else / Re: Solar water heaters.
« on: March 30, 2019, 06:18:38 PM »
We (my wife and I) started a business about a decade ago with the express intent of importing evacuated tube solar water heaters to the U.S. and selling them here.  It was an interesting experiment which resulted in excellent tax write-offs but was the wrong business for us to be in.  First problem - neither my wife nor I enjoy selling things to people.  In fact, we usually avoid interacting with the general public as much as possible.  This turned out to be the stake in the heart, and in retrospect we knew it was probably doomed from the start but we were so gung-ho that we went for it anyways.  The second problem is that Americans are notoriously fussy about their home aesthetics, and we heard "It looks too weird" more times than I could count when we took the samples to home shows.  The third problem was that we couldn't get the FSEC/SRCC certification as they had a 3-year backlog of systems to test to make solar water heaters eligible for the tax breaks available at the time.

Anywho, the Chinese really have their stuff together with the solar water heating.  At the time (2009) the payback period on an integrated system was about two years, and then you'd have free hot water for as long as the system lasted - typically 8 to 10 years.  I have several test systems we imported at the time still chugging along like champs.

We went to Jiaxing, China to see the solar eclipse (er - I mean "meet the manufacturer") and were stunned by how many buildings had the evacuated tube collectors on them.  Basically, if you have hot water in China, it's solar.  They even lay out the new construction east-west, presumably because it's most efficient for solar collection.  Proof - go to Google Maps and zoom in on pretty much any area in China with recent development, then tell me they're not thinking solar efficiency.

If you have excess PV like Glort does, it's a no-brainer to dump it into the water heater if you have no other use for the energy.

I've been playing around with my diesel toys lately, having acquired a 1935 6/1, two LT1A's, and a Changfa ZS1115.  They're generator projects waiting to be built, and free time is limited with a two year old running around.  Nice to have them on the burner, even if it is the back one.  Gives me a sense of future potential.

Must be nice to have all the sunshine in the world down there in Oz.  Dependable as the day is long, eh?

Wrong sub but what the hell:  What's the American equivalent of the Lister and the Changfa?  I've seen Witte diesels and all kinds of hit-and-miss gasoline engines, but is the answer "Briggs and Stratton"?  There's no "chuff-chuff" with those.  Much less satisfying.

Original Lister Cs Engines / Re: I GOT IT!!!
« on: August 16, 2018, 01:54:32 AM »
Nice! I almost snagged that one myself. Good on ya!

Original Lister Cs Engines / Re: I GOT IT!!!
« on: August 14, 2018, 11:39:49 AM »
Was this the one on Craigslist just outside Austin?

Hey Glort - here's a link to videos of their setup.  Pretty great stuff.  The "sparkytest" ones are of the generator mounted in the car.

And yeah, isn't it cheating to set a record for an electric car while using a diesel engine?  I'm sure they were within the rules, but sheesh.

"Home Gamer" is apparently equivalent to "Tinkerer" in this context.  I just use it to differentiate between someone trying to make money at it and someone like myself who never ever makes money at it.  In fact it's always the opposite!  But it's still cheaper than buying an airplane.  My wife has threatened to leave me if I ever make noises to that effect.

Thanks for the link.  I'll go have a look-see.

Glort - the Changfa is already mounted to a 15kVa ST generator head via a Lovejoy style coupling.  This coupling is absolutely massive, and the whole shebang is bolted to an EXTREMELY sturdy double C-channel welded and reinforced frame.  The previous owner was using it for - get this - an electric car conversion which he raced in the 24 Hours of Lemons circuit.  This motor has actually set a record for the longest distance driven in 24 hours by an electrically powered homebrew car.  The problem was it weighs a half a ton, literally.  His 1980's P.O.S. just couldn't handle the weight.  So it was replaced by a Harbor Freight generator which isn't a quarter as stonkin' but happens to be a quarter of the weight.

For my purposes I'm going to be running it intermittently, perhaps two or three hours at a time maybe four days a week.  I'm trying to fire the power company, which is charging what I consider to be penalty rates for a home shop gamer just trying to enjoy his free time.  They're charging me $55 a month base rate, and then commercial usage rates on top of that.  If I can run this thing instead, I might actually make some money back on it - this would be a new experience for me.

38ac - I've done some searching online, and the cheapest LUC radiator I've found is listed at $200.  If you have one or two you're not using, I would definitely like to acquire them from you if you're interested in selling them.  There aren't so many down in Georgia as there are in the midwest.

The engine came with a bolt-on water pump with small pulley.  If I can get away with not using it, that would be preferable.  But I don't mind going that route if it becomes the right decision.

Also, I'm not really going for a "bulletproof forever as my only source of power" setup, it's really more of a "minimal damage to the engine due to the high thermal cycling rates and short duty cycles" setup.  The thermostat I figured would get the top end up to working temperature faster, that's all.  To my mind that might have a positive effect on engine life.  But I'm no engineer.

Lots to do, little time to do it.  I have more projects on my plate than I could complete in a year even if I wasn't working full time.  But you have to strive, right?  It's a lot of fun just tinkering in the shop.  Probably the same for a lot of us on here, yeah?

Wow guys, thanks so much for the detailed responses!

The radiator without a thermostat in the line but with a thermostat in the radiator to control the fan seems like a great combination.  I'm going to try that first and see how it goes.  The tank idea is great if the setup is never going to move, but my plans are to have it be at least partially mobile.  It'd also be nice to have a closed system which could use antifreeze so I didn't have to drain it when it threatens a frost.

Making the plate should be easy enough, I have a Chinese Bridgeport clone and more lathes than I know what to do with.  Time to find a nice thick piece of stock.

I'll visit the local radiator shop and try and find a good top-bottom style setup.  I've seen quite a few videos on YouTube, including 38ac's 5kw setup so I know exactly what you're talking about.  I just wish I had the artistic touch he does for constructing the cart, that thing is excellent!

Thanks again, and I'll keep the group in the loop with what I come up with.

Yeah I did say that. It was misleading. I apologize.

I haven't really made the decision yet whether to use a tank or a radiator. Just trying to get all my ducks in a row with my understanding of the system.

Thanks for the suggestions.  I'll pass along my thinking to the class and see what I'm missing.

Starting with the temperatures on the head, my inclination is to believe that the hottest part of the cylinder would be right at the top where the compression is highest and the burning fuel most intense.  Since heat rises, the hottest part should be the top of the cylinder referential to gravity.

The coolest part of the cylinder should be down at the bottom of the cylinder, underneath the cylinder referential to gravity.  I believe this is why there's the additional nipple on the return line, to get the coolest water back to the coolest spot on the cylinder.  From there it would circulate, do its thing, and eventually recycle back up the "hot" outlet.  There would be no need for a nipple on the exit, since you'd want the hottest water at the top of the jacket to be what exits.

Regarding the thermostat:  Since these engines are designed to be cooled by boiling water, one must assume the optimum working temperature is 212F, 100C.  It'd decrease slightly as altitude increases, but power would also decrease.  The utterpower site recommends a thermostat set at 192F.  I understand the thinking behind it, as it would allow rapid warmup of the engine, and accurate temperature control after warmup.  This should increase efficiency a bit, not that it's my first concern.  What is concerning is that without the thermostat, it'd take quite a while indeed to warm up 55 gallons of water to reasonably high operating temperature.  This means the engine would be running for an extended period of time at a cooler temperature than it was designed to, each time it's fired up.

The thermosiphon cycle:  There would have to be a continuous loop of water, with no downhill portions of the loop.  Whether it's pressurized or not shouldn't matter much as long as the entire loop is pressurized to the same PSI.  But it shouldn't be necessary, and in fact it's something to be avoided when using a 55 gallon drum setup.  Shouldn't be a problem with the 192F thermostat.

The thermostat:  It will surely impede flow a bit, acting as a resistor in the system.  But I bet there'll still be enough flow to be effective, or George's cooling plates would have been redesigned and built without them after a few folks warped their heads.

I plan on using this engine/genset to power my shop, as the local power company charges me $55 every month base rate, and then commercial rates on top of that.  Even though it's on a residential property, their blanket policy is that a second service line is automatically commercial.  Dirty rats.  Since I don't spend that much time down there what with the new addition to the household and all, I figure I can make my own juice and save a few bucks.

Really it's an excuse to play with awesome toys, is what it comes down to.  At least I'm honest with myself.

Changfa Engines / utterpower changfa cooling conversion plate specifics
« on: August 04, 2018, 01:06:31 PM »
Planning on converting the Changfa 1115 to radiator thermosiphon cooling.  George's plate seems to have the thermostat on what I'd consider to be the proper place for the "cool" inlet return line closer to the crankshaft, farther away from the head.  The port by the top of the cylinder would presumably be the "hot" side outlet.  Also, there should apparently be a tube extending down into the jacket a few inches on the return line?

Can someone please talk me through the physics and thinking about these conversion plates?  My understanding is that the cool return line should drop in via that extension tube closer to the crankshaft, and the outlet should be near the top of the cylinder, with no extension tube.  Correct?

Also, I've been looking everywhere for a copy of the utterpower CD, but there's no link to buy them anymore.  Can anyone tell me where I can find one?  I'd love to see what's on it.

Thanks in advance for all advice.

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