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View Full Version : looking for a 20 HP steam engine and boiler?



tattoomike68
01-25-2008, 09:20 PM
Where would I go to look for one for sale?

Rookie machinist
01-25-2008, 09:31 PM
Here is a link from the live steam site http://mammothlocomotiveworks.net/ourwork.html , I believe this company builds boilers to your specs. Oops missed the part about the engine.

Bguns
01-25-2008, 09:36 PM
http://www.steamtraction.com/
or sister publication
http://www.gasenginemagazine.com/ should get you some replys
Stationary, or wheeled, or self propelled, or, or.....

tattoomike68
01-25-2008, 10:15 PM
I found this one.

http://www.mikebrownsolutions.com/20hpse.htm

$6,500 or buy the plans for $30

Now a boiler might be a bit tricker.

Bguns
01-25-2008, 10:37 PM
And 20 hp at 200... A 200 working psi boiler is even more maintenance/expensive to keep up.

An older slower turning, lower pressure, engine will be a better deal in the long run...

If you need less torque and hi rpm HP tho....

Orrin
01-26-2008, 02:46 PM
It is not easy finding a stationary steam plant of that size. You might improve your chances by subscribing to steam-related magazines, such as Steam Traction, published by Ogden Press; attending every steam show you can find; joining on-line discussion groups; asking lots of questions, etc.

I did all of the above and finally found a three horsepower plant by asking around to see if anyone knew of such a thing. After many years of looking I got lucky and found one all ready to go.

Now that I have something give me some ideas and something to copy, I have nearly everything needed to build another.

Here are some on line discussion groups:

http://www.enginads.com/classifieds/index.php
(After looking at the steam engine classifieds, be sure to click on "Smokstak" and then click on "Stationary Steam and Traction Engines." You will need to register in order to post to this forum.)

http://www.atis.net/
(Click on "Subscription Services Page.")

You can locate steam shows via the Farm Collector Show Directory

www.FarmCollectorShowDirectory.com

You can get the directory at reduced cost by ordering before their mass mailing. Check the Web site for the exact date. The deadline isn't very far off.

Good luck.

Orrin

barts
01-26-2008, 05:09 PM
Where would I go to look for one for sale?

At normal (saturated steam, less than 200 psi) conditions, that's a big plant. Some rules of thumb;

boiler heating surface: water tube, 5sq ft per hp@20 hp = 100 sq ft
firetube, 10 sq ft hp@20 hp = 200 sq ft

water consumption: 5 gallons/hp-hr@20 hp = 100 gallons/hr
fuel: 40,000 btu/hp-hr@20hp = 800K but/hr (~1/10 cord/hr)

Check out http://home1.gte.net/evteng/index.htm Dan Martin knows what he's doing.

- Bart [edited to fix url's trailing semi-colon]

Mark McGrath
01-26-2008, 05:57 PM
Saw a nice steam engine on www.ebay.co.uk the other day.It might be finished now but you could search completed listings.

IOWOLF
01-26-2008, 06:58 PM
What? No one is going to ask WHY he wants one?

Philip in China
01-27-2008, 09:56 AM
Make one! The theory is simple enough. Don't tell me you are confounded by the practicalities!

Rustybolt
01-27-2008, 03:45 PM
My boss is getting rid of a stationary boiler and condenser. It was used to heat the plating baths at a chrome plater or some such. It is around 20 hp. Built by Empire boiler as I recall. I think it's around 30 years old.

barts
01-27-2008, 04:34 PM
My boss is getting rid of a stationary boiler and condenser. It was used to heat the plating baths at a chrome plater or some such. It is around 20 hp. Built by Empire boiler as I recall. I think it's around 30 years old.

A boiler horsepower is 33.5K BTU/hr; this is roughly the amount of steam required to produce 1 hp from an efficient engine (eg one not too small from the job).

I'm also curious about the need for a 20 hp plant....

- Bart

tattoomike68
01-27-2008, 04:52 PM
My brother in law wanted me to find out whats available and what they cost. He owns a machine shop but is a bit uneasy about building a boiler, I know he can build the engine.

He would like to make power with it in a remote location. 20 HP may be more than he needs. He would probably just needs a few lights and maybe pump some water once in a while.

Charlie C
01-27-2008, 05:19 PM
Here is a link where you might find something.

http://www.pcez.com/~artemis/NWSSindex.htm

barts
01-27-2008, 07:23 PM
My brother in law wanted me to find out whats available and what they cost. He owns a machine shop but is a bit uneasy about building a boiler, I know he can build the engine.

He would like to make power with it in a remote location. 20 HP may be more than he needs. He would probably just needs a few lights and maybe pump some water once in a while.

Well, I think he'd find a smaller engine+generator and a battery bank + inverter to be a lot more tractable solution, both in terms of having power 24/7 and not having to have enough boiler & engine on hand to meet peak power demands. Small boilers are not difficult to build given reasonable metalworking skills; if you're going to try to buy and engine and boiler setup turn key I think you'll find a bank of solar panels to be less expensive and easier to run :-).

- Bart

PTSideshow
01-27-2008, 08:42 PM
http://www.homepower.com/

http://www.smokstak.com/forum/

You will find that it might be a bigger pain in the operating seat cushion. If you are talking to generate electricity You would need 3 shifts constant supervision. depending on what you are using for fuel. a bigger pain in the *ss.
Slow speed generators are real hard to come by.
Also the 30 year old boiler will need to be hydro tested. Just because it may be out in the boonies. Since the incident in Ohio
a couple years back they have tightened up the codes and laws regarding boilers and engines to the point that it squeaks.
Go to the second site and see what some are saying about it and the traction engines and inspections.
:D

Orrin
01-28-2008, 11:13 AM
Also the 30 year old boiler will need to be hydro tested. Just because it may be out in the boonies. Since the incident in Ohio
a couple years back they have tightened up the codes and laws regarding boilers and engines to the point that it squeaks.

Not only that, some states require a license for boiler operators. Minnesota, for instance, has some rigorous training requirements for getting one. It isn't like going to the state department of motor vehicles, taking a test and paying your money.

Boilers are costly to begin with and expensive to maintain. Not only that, without expensive water level control equipment, they require constant attention 24/7/365.

I thought I had the link to the remarks of a steam equipment supplier that pokes holes in the dreams of those who want a steam plant. I thought it was on the Tiny Power site, but I cannot find it. Perhaps someone else could chime in and provide the link.

http://www.tinypower.com/links.htm

Orrin

Regards,

Orrin

Orrin
01-28-2008, 11:42 AM
I found the link to If you're thinking of using steam to generate electricity . . .

http://www.tinypower.com/electric.htm

Regards,

Orrin

PTSideshow
01-28-2008, 04:03 PM
The following I put up on another site, I have copied it and pasted it here. It contains the sections for Boilers in Michigan, both miniature and fullsize.

Enclosed is the link to the Michigan boiler act with the appropriate sections.
Most localities have there own or insurance companies have their own standards.
Sections 755 to757c will give you an idea of what is covered and what isn't.
in Michigan if the local city,township doesn't have its own.it reverts to the state level.http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(onuhfj45g3vdyr45i2t5ih45))/mileg.aspx?page=getobject&objectname=mcl-act-290-of-1965&queryid=39491&highlight=
Detroit has its own inspections and licensing, Also Dearborn Michigan. Henry Fords stomping ground. Neither is reciprocal with the other, which means you have to take the test in each city to work in said city. Think revenue/ tax income. Inspections,testing, and license fees and renewals on a yearly basis in Detroit.
Generally even dry cleaning establishments that used steam and had pressure vessels the pants presser had a special license in Detroit to operate the boiler. It paid $2.00/hour more.
Now with flash steam generators and no pressure vessel. No license is needed

As to the grades of operators licenses they generally follow the marine style

* Wipers,oilers, coal passers unlicensed
* Low pressure boiler operators thick small apartment style heating boilers 15 psi or below
* High pressure boiler operators above 15psi
* 3rd Engineer boilers, engines and turbines up to certain horse power ratings
* 2nd Engineer boilers, engines and turbines up to certain horse power ratings
* 1st Engineer boilers, engines and turbines of unlimited horse power

Then in the plant you have a shift engineer in charge of the plant during the shift and then a Chief Engineer in charge of it all.
If refrigeration A/C equipment is involved over a certain size there are licensing endorsements for that.
Also you needed 2 years of experience between licensing levels.

The first class license reads:
A first class Engineer is qualified, authorized and empowered to operate, manage or have charge of Steam Boilers, Engines and Turbines of any pressure or horse power with in the City of Detroit.
It took 2 1/2 days for the testing written multiple guess questions 300 out of a possible 2000, 5 long hand math problems out of a possible 25 problems relating to Horsepower, pressures, pony brakes and all manner of things related.( they had just started to let you use a pocket calculator no memory allowed) A drawing of a generating plant. As it was stated on the paper from coal boat dock to toaster. In Detroit the coal for the plant the city had was on the river. They brought the coal in by boat.
The drawing didn't have to be fancy just complete. then the worst part for most people was the oral question section.
You started at the coal boat and described the steps in generating the steam and electricity till it hit the toaster in a house.
The key was only answer the questions the examiner asks!Don't volunteer any info. They tended to let you run with it and sink your self.
I worked with a guy that took the exam 13 times before passing.
When I sat for the exam in the 70's one part was to set the valve train on a Corliss engine, they had a wood mock up. There was only one working Corliss in the city at the time. But the test was still made up of a lot of engine questions. That would never be put into practice.They have reduced but not eliminated the engine questions.
I have 30 issues on my First License.
To sum it up the small table top boilers and engines don't need licensing, or the Boiler stamps. Some are offered that could or have passed testing only as a safety selling feature.
And the reasons for the seeming nit pickyness. Is the following which in the last 10 years the most infamous boiler/ traction engine accident at a fairgrounds.
http://www.doli.state.mn.us/boilerohio.html
along with 2 pages of pictures.
If there is any thing I didn't cover for you just ask

Peter S
01-28-2008, 04:56 PM
Boilers of all sizes are common in industry and there are smallish ones that are completely automatic in operation. I am not saying they aren't expensive, and they still require maintainance and probably annual survey, but the ones I have seen and worked on run all day, everyday, without anyone in attendance. They look after their own water treatment as well. Naturally, they are gas or diesel fired, but I have also seen an automatic boiler burning sawmill off-cuts, with automatic drop saw and conveyor feeding the dutch oven. No attendant required on that one either and the generating engine it drives doesn't get much attention, certainly no one in attendance.

However....I think for the guy at home idea it is just a dream, maybe there will be the odd extremely dedicated person who could make it work, but it sounds more like something to do for fun on odd occasions, rather than to save money.

Rustybolt
01-28-2008, 05:21 PM
Bart. All I know it was used in a plating plant. A large one, running 24/7. Apparently that requires large amounts of heat. I can ask him if he has any more particulars.