The 48 propane burners use 11in WC which comes to
about 0.4 psi. It puts out enough BTU's (120K) to keep me going around
the track without loosing steam pressure. At first, the problem was
with the flame being sucked out when under load (going uphill) and the
throttle was opened a bit too much. Sure glad I have those electric
starters. I experimented with a couple blast nozzles making them
larger, but this just made the problem more tolerable but didn't
The original fuel setup used two propane
regulators, a high pressure which reduces tank pressure to about 30psi
and a low pressure regulator which further reduces the pressure to 11in
WC. Wanted to see if boosting the gas pressure on the low pressure
regulator would give me a stronger flame more resistant to being sucked
out. Couldn't find any variable low pressure regulators anywhere. Did
find a 1 psi low pressure regulator and tested it out. Before it was
installed, this picture of the flame using the 11in WC regulator was
After replacing the 11in WC
regulator with a 1 psi unit, here is what the flame looked like.
It's not easy to see with these
photos, but the flame using the 1lb regulator was much fuller and higher
than the lower pressure regulator. Draft was also increased to keep the
flame blue. The same amount of draft with the 11in WC regulator would
have sucked the flame out. Not with this regulator. I may not get the
same number of hours on a tank but I don't think I will be running the
burners at full blast all the time like I used to.
Here's the regulator setup. The high pressure
regulator has the red knob. The 1lb low pressure regulator is blue.
After these modifications were made, the Daylight was taken out for a
test run. It took only 30 minutes to get 120psi of steam. With the
original regulator it took over 45 minutes. The next thing noticed was
the flame was no longer affected by how hard the engine was working. No
more flames being sucked out! The third thing is that the safeties kept
popping when all burners were on. In order to avoid that, the outer
burners were turned off most of the time and turned back on when under
load going uphill. Even though I am burning more fuel with the higher
1lb regulator, I donít run all the burners all the time like I did with
the 11Ē WC regulator. I also moved the blast nozzle all the way up to
the bottom of the petticoat. This also helped reduce the vacuum in the
smokebox which helped eliminate the flame being sucked out.
UPDATE AS OF 2022
After adding two steam
powered air pumps to the engine, I began
having problems maintaining steam pressures to run the engine and all
the pumps. The plan was to increase the propane pressure
from 1psi to 2 psi to see if that helped. A Rego LV340TR regulator
was used for the first stage which lowered the tank pressure to 10
psi. A Rego 596FA was used for the second stage which had
a range of 1-15 psi.
The QCC connection to
the tank was also upgraded from 200K BTU (green) to 400K BTU (red).
The regulator and QCC
fittings are overkill for the BTU's needed but I wanted top make sure I
don't run into capacity problems again.