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Old 10-26-2016, 08:56 PM   #1
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Question Propane powered & propane appliances

I have a few questions regarding propane.
My bus is powered by "liquid" propane but appliances are powered by "vapor" propane.
I'm wanting to have a propane cook top, refrigerator, heater.
How can both be done on a skoolie?
Can it be done with 1 tank?
Thanks for any information
Gordon
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Old 10-27-2016, 09:41 AM   #2
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If your tank doesn't already have a vapour and a liquid valve (double check, some tanks have both) there are still options.

The easiest might be to purchase and install a vaporizer regulator. I like the looks of the Impco AHR-50D, but I'm no pro on these things.

Here's a PDF of Impco vaporizer regulators: http://www.impcotechnologies.com/pdf...Regulators.pdf

There are also some dual valves out there. Here's one:

Dual Cylinder Valve for Simultaneous Liquid and Vapor Withdrawal 8556


These will be dependant on tank position I would think.

It's definitely worth stopping by an industrial propane place and having a chat. Some place that works on forklifts... Unplanned propane explosions are no fun.
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Old 10-27-2016, 10:04 AM   #3
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This has all got me thinking.. I now want a liquid draw propane tank!

I've been using typical 20lbers mounted under the bus. In the winter the vapour flow from the tanks noticeably decreases. A liquid-draw tank with an indoor regulator vaporizer would eliminate this problem. Interesting...
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Old 10-27-2016, 04:25 PM   #4
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That's an interesting thought for those of us who will need propane while living in colder areas... not sure how safe it would be though.
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Old 10-27-2016, 05:54 PM   #5
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Actually what you want the colder it gets is a bigger tank. The vapor boiling off is dependent on temp and the amount of surface area.

So a system like a cell phone tower would use a propane gen set running a charging system. The cell tower runs off an inventor run by many battery's and and usually a solar array.
Here is were it gets tricky in the summer the small genset will run on vapor right off say a 20 or 40 lb tank. As the temp drops the evaporation slows. So what they do is install a 250 or 500 or 1000 gallon tank. Not dependent on the volume of fuel the gen set uses but based on the surface area of the propane in liquid form inside the tank. So if you lay a ten gallon tank on its side its 24" by say 10" of surface area. if you stand it up its about 10"around of surface area. In say 70f that's enough to evaporate enough vapor to run say a 5 to 8 hp engine. So if you have a giant tank several feet long and across you can run a good size engine in warm weather and in the very cold you can still run a good size gen set. this is all in vapor of course.

To run liguid you have to heat the propane to get it back to vapor like in this bus or a car it goes from the tank in liquid into a heat evaporator a small one with coolant heating it can create enough vapor to run about 350hp at wot.

using liquid you would have to put it back in a tank let it evaporate and expand then take it to your lamp or heater?

I have thought a guy could install two vapor tanks say 20lb each run a hose across each tank but only have one full of propane and a off the hose coming from the propane tank that is empty or maybe the middle of the hose would be fine. But now you have a large surface are for the tanks to evaporate and hold vapor. which your talking off the top. I do a lot of propane stuff and this should work for a colder area. in fact if it works better the more empty tanks you add the better it will work. a 100 lb tank with a 20lb tank would be a good combo I think.

A small flame on the bottom of a propane tank like fridge uses to heat the ammonia would do wonders as well. Give up a small amount of energy to get the gas out. anything above -41f is making it better. Sounds weird to have small flame on a tank but in a pinch it could save your life. a hand held propane torch on its lowest setting.
Of course verify this with your government before trying.
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Old 10-27-2016, 06:15 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Geo Jeff View Post
A small flame on the bottom of a propane tank like fridge uses to heat the ammonia would do wonders as well. Give up a small amount of energy to get the gas out. anything above -41f is making it better. Sounds weird to have small flame on a tank but in a pinch it could save your life. a hand held propane torch on its lowest setting.
Of course verify this with your government before trying.
That sounds like an explosion just looking for a place to bust out.

If you must, keep the flame MOVING. Don't leave it in one place, you melt a hole in the tank and it's all over.
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Old 10-27-2016, 06:55 PM   #7
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using liquid you would have to put it back in a tank let it evaporate and expand then take it to your lamp or heater?
No, what I was thinking of was having a liquid draw 20lb propane tank with a line that feeds an ambient temperature vaporizer on the inside of the bus. The warmer indoor temperature should be plenty to feed a properly sized vaporizer. Since the ambient indoor temperatures are almost steady (or at least we try to make it that way) the vapour production will stay mostly constant.

There are many ambient temperature vaporizers. Here's the first one that popped up on a search:
Beam 11A17 Air Heated Vaporizer


You'll note that it appears to be made of aluminum and has 8 fins for decent thermal transmission.
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Old 10-27-2016, 09:20 PM   #8
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Old 11-21-2016, 10:18 PM   #9
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I am no expert yet, but there is no difference between liquid and vapor, it's just a phase change like water and ice, same fittings work with both, just depends which space the inlet is in , see the new thread I started about forklift tanks. If you can have a certified technician add the proper fitting and valve that will always draw from the Vapor space at the top of the tank, prevent liquid from getting to your Vapor appliances, (kaboom! 8-( ), then the only issue is getting the lines in place and proper regulation of the pressure for your appliances. Someone who does a lot of work on RVs or Vanagon / Westies should have no problem with this.

Definitely don't mess around with separate vaporizers or anything like that, and totally unnecessary end complicated and therefore dangerous, stick to tried-and-true standard solution gotta be willing to pay a professional
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Old 11-21-2016, 10:20 PM   #10
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There are also some dual valves out there. Here's one:

Dual Cylinder Valve for Simultaneous Liquid and Vapor Withdrawal 8556
My understanding is these only work in the single hole vertical standing DOT rated tanks like the standard 100 pounders.
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Old 11-21-2016, 10:23 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jazty View Post
This has all got me thinking.. I now want a liquid draw propane tank!

I've been using typical 20lbers mounted under the bus. In the winter the vapour flow from the tanks noticeably decreases. A liquid-draw tank with an indoor regulator vaporizer would eliminate this problem. Interesting...
The forklift styles mounted horizontally giving a much larger surface area, as well as more than double the volume, will alleviate that problem for sure, unless you're talking Alaskan winter or something.

Some people put an electric blanket type heat source around tanks when it gets that cold , pretty expensive if you aren't on Mains power. But a hose with some warm water running through it wrapped a few times around a tank would do the same thing, just don't even think about bringing tanks inside the enclosed space with human beings.
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Old 11-21-2016, 10:26 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Geo Jeff View Post
A small flame on the bottom of a propane tank like fridge uses to heat the ammonia would do wonders as well. Give up a small amount of energy to get the gas out. anything above -41f is making it better. Sounds weird to have small flame on a tank but in a pinch it could save your life. a hand held propane torch on its lowest setting.
Um, yah, , , No. Any source of ignition spark including running electrics are kept far away from propane storage, Open Flame? Forget about it
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Old 11-21-2016, 10:51 PM   #13
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I am no expert yet, but there is no difference between liquid and vapor, it's just a phase change like water and ice, same fittings work with both, just depends which space the inlet is in
Of course. What it ends up coming down to is storage and refills. 20lbers with vapour draw fittings are the most common sized tank and are everywhere. They are also easy to lift and get filled.

Quote:
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Definitely don't mess around with separate vaporizers or anything like that, and totally unnecessary end complicated and therefore dangerous, stick to tried-and-true standard solution gotta be willing to pay a professional
I'll disagree with this (to a point). Vaporizers do a great service. They are trustworthy and are run in all fork lifts and propane vehicles with few incidents. I would have no problem having one in my living space. They can be connected like any other propane appliance. I'd be far more concerned about a propane refrigerator in the living space.

Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
The forklift styles mounted horizontally giving a much larger surface area, as well as more than double the volume, will alleviate that problem for sure, unless you're talking Alaskan winter or something.
Getting back to the first note: horizontal tanks are incredibly difficult to remove and refill. It's all fine if the tank is permanently mounted and you don't mind uprooting and driving the bus into town, but that doesn't work for me. Also, the average low temperature in January of my area is -14.8C (5.4F). Anchorage, Alaska has an average low temperature in January of -12C (11F). Anchorage has it easy . I notice a significant drop in available propane vapour in the winter.

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Some people put an electric blanket type heat source around tanks when it gets that cold , pretty expensive if you aren't on Mains power. But a hose with some warm water running through it wrapped a few times around a tank would do the same thing, just don't even think about bringing tanks inside the enclosed space with human beings.
Yep, if you're plugged in that's a reasonable solution. I'll be switching to liquid draw 20lb tanks and connecting an ambient air driven vaporizer inline (next to my propane oven and propane alarm) when I get annoyed with the availability of cold propane vapour. I'll connect it the same way I do all propane appliances: with great attention to detail, proper fittings and pipe and extensive testing.
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Old 11-21-2016, 11:58 PM   #14
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Um, yah, , , No. Any source of ignition spark including running electrics are kept far away from propane storage, Open Flame? Forget about it
Keep in mind, I would never suggest anyone do something this stupid, however. One year I had a frozen pipe I needed to thaw out in a hurry. It was a small section just a few inches where it had no insulation. I grabbed my portable propane torch and tried to light it, but it would not light, too cold. The propane was liquid and no pressure to push it out, no vapor.
So, my BBQ was sitting there, and as stated, with the larger surface area of the 20lb tank, it did light, poorly, but it did. I took the 1lb can and put it on top of the BBQ and warmed it up. after a few minutes the can was warm and it lit just fine. I thawed the pipes and fixed the insulation problem.
Scary Redneck Crazy? YES, but it did work.
***DON"T TRY THIS AT HOME***
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Old 11-22-2016, 03:05 AM   #15
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...So, my BBQ was sitting there, and as stated, with the larger surface area of the 20lb tank, it did light, poorly, but it did. I handed my beer to a friend, took the 1lb can and put it on top of the BBQ and warmed it up. after a few minutes the can was warm and it lit just fine. I thawed the pipes and fixed the insulation problem.
Scary Redneck Crazy? YES, but it did work.
***DON"T TRY THIS AT HOME***
Fixed it for ya.
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Old 11-22-2016, 07:12 AM   #16
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Keep in mind, I would never suggest anyone do something this stupid, however. One year I had a frozen pipe I needed to thaw out in a hurry. It was a small section just a few inches where it had no insulation. I grabbed my portable propane torch and tried to light it, but it would not light, too cold. The propane was liquid and no pressure to push it out, no vapor.
So, my BBQ was sitting there, and as stated, with the larger surface area of the 20lb tank, it did light, poorly, but it did. I took the 1lb can and put it on top of the BBQ and warmed it up. after a few minutes the can was warm and it lit just fine. I thawed the pipes and fixed the insulation problem.
Scary Redneck Crazy? YES, but it did work.
***DON"T TRY THIS AT HOME***
I have had to crawl under a mobile home more than once to thaw pipes in -20° C.

I will probably get a propane supply company to work it out for me.

Gordon

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