HobbyKing.com New Products Flash Sale
Reply
Thread Tools
Old Dec 29, 2012, 12:47 AM
Registered User
hookpilot's Avatar
Joined Oct 2004
1,336 Posts
Discussion
Building an Oil/Water Separator

I'm picking up the brass tubing to build my feedwater tank and oil/water separator next week. Could somebody sketch the internal layout of the tank? I see two tubes on top the tank, one with a shut-off valve, and a shut-off valve at the bottom of the tank to drain it. How far down do those pipes/tubes stick into the tank? I'm assuming that if there is a short one, it will be the exhaust exit tube. If the other is long and reaches near the bottom of the tank, it would be the intake tube. Are there internal baffles? Would it be best to run two separate exhaust tubes, one from each cylinder, into the top of the condenser. (All tubing will be 5/32" copper) I'm making mine out of 2" diameter x 3.5" tall brass tubing with top and bottom caps. Is this big enough for my engine. (2 X 5/8" bore and 2 1/4" stroke, rpm range 20 to 80) Max steam consumption 250 to 300 cu. in. per minute. I've searched the Internet for cut-away drawings of the insides of these things to no avail. Help, gang.

Snagboat Mike
hookpilot is offline Find More Posts by hookpilot
Reply With Quote
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Old Dec 29, 2012, 10:06 AM
Registered User
steveciambrone's Avatar
United States, CA, Santa Clarita
Joined Dec 2005
1,228 Posts
The inlet and exhaust tubes do not need to extend into the tank, there is nothing required in the tank. Your size seems about right, but it is dependent on how much the steam is cooled during start up and how much condensate is generated during a run, ambient temperature will make a difference. The cooler the ambient temperature the more condensate will be generated. With valves on the tank it could be drained in the middle of a run.

Steve
steveciambrone is offline Find More Posts by steveciambrone
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 30, 2012, 03:47 AM
Supersonic Engineering
GordonTarling's Avatar
UK, Greater London, Uxbridge
Joined Mar 2001
3,108 Posts
As Steve says, you don't normally require anything inside the tank itself. I built one a couple of years ago and there's an exhaust pipe in the lid as well as a drain pipe, which goes to the bottom of the tank. The steam inlet to it is on the side and is bent inside the tank to encourage the entering steam to swirl around the walls.
GordonTarling is offline Find More Posts by GordonTarling
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 30, 2012, 05:05 PM
Registered User
hookpilot's Avatar
Joined Oct 2004
1,336 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by GordonTarling View Post
As Steve says, you don't normally require anything inside the tank itself. I built one a couple of years ago and there's an exhaust pipe in the lid as well as a drain pipe, which goes to the bottom of the tank. The steam inlet to it is on the side and is bent inside the tank to encourage the entering steam to swirl around the walls.
Gordon and Steve: I've seen commercially available tanks and some have a valve on the top and a drain valve. Why would you want a shutoff valve on one of the top pipes? I understand that you need one on the bottom. Since the Preston's engine has two widely separated cylinders, I'm thinking of routing the exhausts separately to the oil/water separator, and then running the single exhaust out of that up the inside of the smokestack. Thoughts on this...

Mike
hookpilot is offline Find More Posts by hookpilot
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 30, 2012, 05:34 PM
Registered User
hookpilot's Avatar
Joined Oct 2004
1,336 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by GordonTarling View Post
As Steve says, you don't normally require anything inside the tank itself. I built one a couple of years ago and there's an exhaust pipe in the lid as well as a drain pipe, which goes to the bottom of the tank. The steam inlet to it is on the side and is bent inside the tank to encourage the entering steam to swirl around the walls.
Nice tank. I think I'll put the tank drain at the bottom. So mine will have 2 inlets for engine exhausts (2 cylinders) an outlet on top routed up the stack and a tank bottom drain with a shutoff valve to empty it.

Mike
hookpilot is offline Find More Posts by hookpilot
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 30, 2012, 10:14 PM
Registered User
steveciambrone's Avatar
United States, CA, Santa Clarita
Joined Dec 2005
1,228 Posts
Your tank will work fine, I do not have any valves on my tanks. I just suck the condensate and oil out with a syringe. There are several ways to skin a cat.

Thanks
Steve
steveciambrone is offline Find More Posts by steveciambrone
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 30, 2012, 10:24 PM
Registered User
hookpilot's Avatar
Joined Oct 2004
1,336 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveciambrone View Post
Your tank will work fine, I do not have any valves on my tanks. I just suck the condensate and oil out with a syringe. There are several ways to skin a cat.

Thanks
Steve
I could save the $23 cost of a globe valve and do what you suggest in sucking the tank dry with a big 50cc syringe.

Thanks,

Mike
hookpilot is offline Find More Posts by hookpilot
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 31, 2012, 01:36 AM
Registered User
steveciambrone's Avatar
United States, CA, Santa Clarita
Joined Dec 2005
1,228 Posts
Yes I use a large syringe 50cc.

Steve
steveciambrone is offline Find More Posts by steveciambrone
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 31, 2012, 05:36 AM
Registered User
Joined Sep 2012
71 Posts
I have used a syringe but find after you have used it once or twice the steam oil gets a grip and you tend to pull the plunger out.
I have since fitted a valve and use pressure from the running engine to drain the oil trap ,very neat.
Steam up is offline Find More Posts by Steam up
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 31, 2012, 07:36 AM
Registered User
Bradford West Yorkshire, UK
Joined Apr 2010
1,648 Posts
Hey Steamup, if you made that a bit bigger, used electric heating for a separate water container, you could patent the idea and use it for cleaning.

You might want to call it a "Steam Cleaner"

Regards Ian.
Circlip is offline Find More Posts by Circlip
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 31, 2012, 12:13 PM
Registered User
steveciambrone's Avatar
United States, CA, Santa Clarita
Joined Dec 2005
1,228 Posts
I have the same experience with the syringes. To prevent damaging the syringe, after I use it I partially pull back on the syringe about an inch or so. When I go to use it again I press it in to get the plunger moving, it can then be used without pulling the rubber off the plunger. There seems to some degradation of the rubber due to the steam oil, but they still are usable for years the way I have been using them.

Thanks
Steve
steveciambrone is offline Find More Posts by steveciambrone
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 31, 2012, 06:57 PM
Registered User
hookpilot's Avatar
Joined Oct 2004
1,336 Posts
Emptying condensor

Since I have an RN for a wife, new 50cc irrigation syringes are easy to come by.
A turkey baster should also do the trick.

Snagboat Mike
hookpilot is offline Find More Posts by hookpilot
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 26, 2013, 02:07 PM
Registered User
hookpilot's Avatar
Joined Oct 2004
1,336 Posts
Oil/Water Separator for Preston

I've finished building the oil/water separator for the Preston. I opted to use a design that uses steam pressure, closing a valve, to pump oily water out of the tank. We'll see how it works once the engine is installed.

Snagboat Mike
hookpilot is offline Find More Posts by hookpilot
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 26, 2013, 10:15 PM
Just call me "Mo"
mogogear's Avatar
NE PDX OR
Joined Aug 2008
817 Posts
Nice work Mike-- either hook up with pipe or silicone tube.Tubing when it is under the superstructure is sure easy

I used brass pipe for most of me exhaust runs and just used hose to connect the ends- eases the instal land removal of the plant when servicing

The tube with the red cap is for clean out- I use a suction syringe to empty the condenser tank

Yours sure looks nice with the globe valve!
mogogear is offline Find More Posts by mogogear
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion An inrunner building project, from BMW engine-cooling water pump motor modisc Electric Motor Design and Construction 30 Aug 22, 2012 09:08 PM
Need an RC water gun moowalks Aircraft - General - Miscellaneous (FS/W) 11 Mar 16, 2012 07:59 PM
Discussion Show off your condensate/oil separators! Kmot Steam Boats 15 Jan 20, 2011 02:48 PM
Brushless and Water - Like Oil and Water?? rutat Power Systems 19 Nov 16, 2005 08:12 PM