Sunday, August 12, 2012

Alcohol Stove Round Two

I talked about burner location briefly in my last post, but I think it bears mentioning again.  There is an issue with using the bottom of a soda can as your burner.  The rounded edge ends up smothering the flames when you place your pot right on top of the stove.  I think it will work great if I had a pot stand that raised the pot an inch or so over the stove.  I've got an idea for a pot stand that I can make, once I get it made, I'll do another burn test on the first stove and see what I think.  I am sure that it will do much better with a stand.

That is another post though, for now, lets talk about my new stove!  The biggest difference here was that I put the jets on the side of the stove, forcing the flame to curl up and around to reach the pot.  I had watched a few videos on the subject and in cases where you plan to put the pot directly on the stove, the side jet arrangement just seems to work much better.

I took my dremel tool and gave it a quick buff with a wire wheel to remove all of the paint.  I filled it with 40 mL (1.25 ounces) of denatured alcohol and fired it up.  We had a little breeze blowing last night during my test and I did not have a windscreen available.  You can see from the picture below, the impact of the breeze on the burn.

I had a nice consistent flame pattern though, with the flames curling up around the edge of the stove nicely.  I let it burn for 30 seconds and then gently put my GSI cup on top of the stove.  To be honest, the pot doesn't feel very stable to me on top of the stove.  It works though, and if you are interested in going ultra-light, this is certainly a workable stove design.

It took about 6 minutes to bring the 2 cups of water in my GSI cup to a strong rolling boil.  Six minutes is defintely within my tolerances.  I used almost all of the alcohol, but seeing as how 1.25 ounces of alcohol doesn't weigh much, I don't think its a big deal.  With a lid and perhaps a wind screen to block out some of the breeze I could have achieved a quicker boil time.

You can see in the picture above that some of the flames are coming up around the sides of the pot.  This means that I am losing heat.  One solution that I can think of is to make a smaller diameter stove.  It just so happens that I have soem 8 ounce V8 Fusion drink cans at the house.  Stove 3 is already in the works!

I cleaned out the garage today, took a trip to the dump, and really did some much needed organization.  If I have been reading the look in my wife's eye the right way, she would much rather I cut up aluminum cans some place other than where we eat our dinner.  I also broke oyt my bike and went for a quick ride.  Let me tell you, there is nothing like huffing and puffing like a steam locomotive to make you realize how out of shape you are.  I need to do it every day I guess.  I'll leave you with that image in your mind.  Go make something with your hands, its great!

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