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Re: propane

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Posted by John on April 24, 2002 at 18:14:27:

In Reply to: propane posted by Barry on April 24, 2002 at 08:10:59:

: Will be needing to run firetube process boilers on lpg, which is new to us. Does it act just like natural gas? What should we watch for?

Hello Barry, Propane is a heavier fuel than nat.gas (approximately 1.53 to 1 density) Also Propane has a higher calorific value (approx. 2500 btu per cu. ft vs nat.gas at 1000 btu per cu. ft) Basically 2.5 times less volume of propane to nat.gas flow.
Regulators, butterfly valves, piping, need to be sized to control this. You should make the orfices in the gas burner smaller to provide less fuel, also you might have to raise the gas train/manifold pressure to get the heavier fuel into the air stream to mix. This depends on burner style, propane burns clean like nat.gas but has a smaller flamability range (4-9% vs 5-15%) so combustion set up requires a fine touch. Boiler may develop the "Propane Howl" which is harmonics from the heavier fuel in the mixing process.
Most burner/boiler manufacturers have conversion kits for this, also permits and boiler recertification are required as the boiler now burns a different fuel. If you are using a vaporizer to heat the propane in colder climates, dont let the supply line get warmer than your hand, you will start cracking the propane causing oil release in controls and combustion problems If you need more info, let me know.

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