Page 41Gasification

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The UK Stirling boats are fuelled from gas cylinders.
We have been using Propane gas. Butane does not supply as much heat.

What happens when the gas bottle is nearly empty?

Unfortunately, the heat supply to the burner slowly fades.
And with it, the engine power slowly fades.

But the regulator will regulate and compensate for falling pressure”.

The experience is that it doesn’t.

As the gas bottle empties, ice can form around the outside of the bottle.
It is a very clear indicator of the level of the liquid gas inside.

The colder the gas bottle becomes, the slower the liquid gas boils and gasifies.
The engine power just fades away – And this takes many minutes. It is not quick.

The solution is to circulate the engine cooling water over the metal of the gas bottle.
This prevents ice forming and keeps the gasification process active

The bonus is that we can now circulate chilled water around the engine cooling circuit!

The result is that the engine power is slightly enhanced rather than fades slowly.
The engine power is maintained right down to the gas bottle being entirely empty.

It then fails quite quickly. Seconds.
And it is time to change the gas bottle.

You do carry a second gas bottle?

It’s not just Andrew Hall reporting this.

If you listen to Peter Lynn’s description of his boat, he too describes how the engine cooling water is circulated around the gas bottle.

Look, and listen, to the video.