Author Topic: DES 8/1 Propane Conversion project  (Read 93369 times)

dieselgman

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Re: DES 8/1 Propane Conversion project
« Reply #195 on: January 30, 2016, 01:19:36 PM »
Leland,

Lister/Petter designed and built a number of small water-cooled as well as air-cooled diesels... mostly used in the military for aux power in the Abrams tanks, APCs, and a few other applications. Collectively referred to as the Alpha series, these units were primarily 1800rpm genset builds and apart from the Kubota super-mini are the smallest footprint and physical size in their class. DitchWitch also uses this same powerplant in their trenchers and horizontal drills. These are available in factory natural gas versions as well.

While it is a shame that Lister did not achieve EPA certifications for these, they do enjoy a very wide distribution and are coming into the used marketplace in volume via military disposals.

Take a look at the LPW2 for a cute little piece of equipment! We have them by the truckload.

We now have moved and continue to operate the L/P Americas remanufacturing operation (under new name) for these and have a massive stock of everything you would ever need to keep them going far into the future.

dieselgman
« Last Edit: January 30, 2016, 01:22:42 PM by dieselgman »
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deeiche

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Re: DES 8/1 Propane Conversion project
« Reply #196 on: February 01, 2016, 05:16:14 PM »
Leland,
SNIP
Take a look at the LPW2 for a cute little piece of equipment! We have them by the truckload.
SNIP
dieselgman
Just did a search on eBay for LPW2, price point looks good.
are yours in KS? and how is parts availability.

thx

dieselgman

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Re: DES 8/1 Propane Conversion project
« Reply #197 on: February 02, 2016, 12:33:25 AM »
We warehouse in Kansas... parts availability is excellent and in current production for these models.

dieselgman
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BruceM

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Re: DES 8/1 Propane Conversion project
« Reply #198 on: March 25, 2016, 09:36:17 PM »
We had an intermittent power loss and missing problem that started showing up a month ago.  Ended up being two problems- a loose connection on the spark dwell signal, and an occasionally sticky low pressure regulator.   Thumping on the regulator with a wood handle  could make it misbehave, or alternately, stop misbehaving.  We swapped in our spare and all is well again.  I disassembled the old regulator, found where it was binding, polished and oiled it.  The gulping of the CS intake is once again the issue; our IMP 52 regulator has an 1" diameter aluminum cone that is lifted by diaphram to let the fuel flow.  The shaft it moves on with was binding in it's unbushed hole in the case. 

If we continue to have problems with this style regulator, I'll suggest we try the the KN or Garretson type regulator.  Because of it's design I think it might be better for the CS intake gulping. 

I hate intermittent problems, especially when they come in pairs.  The worst of it was that the regulator problem behaved JUST like an ignition problem, so I chased my own tail there for quite a while before finally believing the evidence of the timing light and dwell signal LED indicator, and knocked on the regulator.

She is back to chugging away reliably, though we are now marginal on cooling for warmer days on long full load runs so am upsizing the cooling system.









 

BruceM

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Re: DES 8/1 Propane Conversion project
« Reply #199 on: April 10, 2016, 08:02:25 PM »
Although our backup IMP52 regulator was still working fine, I was not impressed with it's internal design.  I talked with Nash Fuels and Century Fuel Products, both good Impco distributors.  They are both good outfits but have no real technical support by Impco, which is now owned by a bigger alternative fuels company.  I think they both could provide very good basic support for more typical applications.  I state this as a warning to others- there seems to be no such thing as tech support from Impco anymore, not even to their higher volume dealers.  The brilliant guys who designed IMPCO's products and knew how to apply/modify them for new applications are long gone.

I studied the Impco regulator catalog, looking closely at the internal parts in the exploded view, and found that only the Impco/Garretson KN regulator seemed suited to our gulping intake Lister clone and 10" of WP gas supply.  They fortunately are fairly cheap, on ebay for about $50, so we ordered one to try.

The KN regulator has a large 6"" silicone diaphram that operates a 2.5" long glass filled nylon teeter-totter against a spring (adjustable tension). The tetter-totter opens a silicone face disk against the about 0.5"",  10" WP brass gas inlet.  A very simple design.  We have the 3/8 NPT outlet (wish it were larger) immediately bushed up in size to feed a 3/4" hose about 24 inches long to the carburetor.  In the past with the IMP52 we've found that this hose size was required with any length over a few inches.

It started right up but lacked power initially.  With a minor adjustment to allow the internal valve to open an additional 1/16", and the carburetor adjusted richer, we seem to have a nicely working engine, again.  I'm convinced that the internal mechanisms should hold up much better to our pulsing intake than the IMP52 regulator, where an 1x1"" aluminum cone on a shaft is lifted by diaphram. The IMP52's 1/16" cone shaft was unbushed and in time it bound were it went through the die cast aluminum body.  We were also pleased that now both idle adjustment screw and carburetor rich/lean adjustments worked as they should, and with the IMP52 they made no difference at all.  This makes me pleased that we are finally "in the zone" for the CA110.

The īntake "gulping" of the DES 8/1 propane conversion seems to be THE big issue for a propane carb/regulator.  The CA110 was specifically noted as suited for this, with it's large diaphram directly lifting a metering cone (no shaft).  It seems the KN style regulator is a better match for it in this application.

I'll report back as it logs more hours of service.






EdDee

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Re: DES 8/1 Propane Conversion project
« Reply #200 on: April 11, 2016, 09:07:55 AM »
Hi Bruce,

Just a thought... All SU/Diaphragm carbs I have seen on single cyl engines and feeding a single cylinder of a multi piston engine, have a "damped" slide to take care of the intake pulsing. The more cylinders being fed, the smaller the damping system on the slide. Is there no way to put some form of damping cavity between the carb and the head, even on a T-piece? I suspect that without a fairly heavy damper on the gas metering slide, longevity might become a problem due to it opening and closing many times during the cycle as it "bounces"...

Cheers
Ed
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BruceM

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Re: DES 8/1 Propane Conversion project
« Reply #201 on: April 11, 2016, 05:32:44 PM »
Thanks Ed.  I did think about a reservoir approach, but to eliminate the need for regulator movement at every intake pulse would require
a volume of multiples (3-6?) the engine displacement (1.43 Liters).  That's not convenient and a safety issue.  I don't believe a smaller reservoir will eliminate gulping. It would also require a solenoid or motorized ball valve shut off lest the gas seep into the engine room when the engine is off, since the CA110 carburetor metering valve is not a gas tight seal.  The most dangerous situation would be air leaking into the the reservoir, making it a container of explosive gas/air mix.  Since this is not my engine room, and I'm just a volunteer on the project, that concerns me.

The KN regulator's moving part (besides the silicone diaphram) is very lightweight, just a glass filled nylon rocker on a steel pin pivot and by design it appears to be up to the job.  We'll know for sure in 6 months or so as the engine will be getting a lot of hours during construction of the main house, which has begun.



Tom

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Re: DES 8/1 Propane Conversion project
« Reply #202 on: April 12, 2016, 02:30:29 AM »
Good to hear its getting put to work. Mine powered our home construction too. The workers were kind of skeptical at first, but they all liked it  after seeing how well it worked.
Tom
2004 Ashwamegh 6/1 #217 - ST5 just over 3k hours.

BruceM

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Re: DES 8/1 Propane Conversion project
« Reply #203 on: May 24, 2016, 10:47:58 PM »
Just a quick update:
The Impco/Garretson/KN regulator has continued to work flawlessly during the last month of regular homestead and fairly heavy construction use.  This is clearly the right regulator for the pulsing intake of the DES 8/1 propane conversion. 

I purchased this $24 (including shipping) 220V AVR from China to replace the failed CGG AVR:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/311412889591?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

This unit is identical the the CGG unit except it takes 220/240 instead of 115v.  It has been working well; 3 volts sag as it gets warm, but that's acceptable.

We noticed right away that the ST-3 is much quieter with a pure 240V load; even the tiny load imbalance to power the 115V old CGG AVR was enough to make it moan a bit, even with new SK bearings.  Jeff's ST-3 (and mine) just doesn't do any load imbalance at all without noise and vibration.











Tom

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Re: DES 8/1 Propane Conversion project
« Reply #204 on: May 25, 2016, 06:24:30 PM »
Good to hear things are working well. What compression ratio is it running now?
Tom
2004 Ashwamegh 6/1 #217 - ST5 just over 3k hours.

BruceM

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Re: DES 8/1 Propane Conversion project
« Reply #205 on: May 25, 2016, 09:36:06 PM »
It's running at about 11:1 compression.  With the new gas regulator and leaner mix we might be able to raise that now but the owner is happy with it's operation where it is.


cujet

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Re: DES 8/1 Propane Conversion project
« Reply #206 on: June 05, 2016, 01:56:42 PM »
Now that you have it well "dialed in", any thoughts as to actual BSFC, or just fuel consumption observations in general? Do you feel this engine type has an efficiency advantage over a more conventional setup?

Clearly, many people are on natural gas and could use such a setup. Especially if it was a long life, reliable, quiet engine.

Would you do it again?
People who count on their fingers should maintain a discreet silence

BruceM

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Re: DES 8/1 Propane Conversion project
« Reply #207 on: June 05, 2016, 03:11:04 PM »
I haven't measured fuel efficiency with this setup, since for convenience it's presently plumbed into the home's main propane tank.  The primary design issues were related to my neighbor's disabilities; he needed a super quiet generator/air compressor engine with no exhaust smells and no gas or diesel fuel handling.   

I would love to have this engine for my own homestead, but the cost of the necessary 8/1 rpm flywheels, carb, new pulleys, regulators, etc. currently precludes that.  The only part of the conversion that was a headache was finding the right carburetor and regulator combination for such a slow speed, gulping intake engine, and finding an appropriately hot spark system.  The spark plug in injector hole was easy.

Natural gas and spark should work with the same carb and KN regulator if desired. NG also gives you the option of running at nearly 85% NG with diesel pilot.  The KN/Garret regulator would be a good choice for that setup, but I'm not sure how to best regulate the gas flow to maximize NG and minimize diesel.



dieselgman

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Re: DES 8/1 Propane Conversion project
« Reply #208 on: June 05, 2016, 04:42:12 PM »
In the oil patch... wellhead gas is often available to run the pump jack engines. Supply is often erratic though so sometimes a diesel with the NG as supplemental is used to save on diesel fuel and use a portion of the otherwise wasted gas. Lister HR models seemed to do well with this kind of setup and no spark was needed as long as the diesel was brought up to ignition temps before opening up the gas supply. I think they were only very crudely regulated in that kind of operation with the diesel governor basically controlling engine speed.

dieselgman
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carlb23

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Re: DES 8/1 Propane Conversion project
« Reply #209 on: June 06, 2016, 11:38:02 AM »
In the oil patch... wellhead gas is often available to run the pump jack engines. Supply is often erratic though so sometimes a diesel with the NG as supplemental is used to save on diesel fuel and use a portion of the otherwise wasted gas. Lister HR models seemed to do well with this kind of setup and no spark was needed as long as the diesel was brought up to ignition temps before opening up the gas supply. I think they were only very crudely regulated in that kind of operation with the diesel governor basically controlling engine speed.

dieselgman

Thats exactly how i have my 6/1 setup to run.  Pilot diesel and natural gas flow controlled  by a needle valve.  I have mine setup up for 1800 watts with the governor open just enough to keep the engine running.  This is enough electricity for most loads under a backup situation, if demand is higher the governor will open more to pickup the load.  Simple and easy set it and forget it.   I use a electric gas regulator taken from an old radient natural gas heater which is powered by the generator so if there is a engine or genhead failure the natural gas is shutoff by the gas regulator.

Here is a link of my 6/1 on diesel/natural gas
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwPPui8Fyi0