Trevithick Dredger Engine. Gas or Coal?
Despite my best efforts, and good advice from experienced modellers, I have not been successful with using propane as fuel. The engine runs, but I cannot get the boiler pressure over 20-22 psi, and that is not adequate. Partly the problem is that the Trevithick boiler is the FIRST high pressure boiler ever, and is rather simple and primitive. I do have alternative propane solutions, but they involve redesigning and remaking the burner. I might end up doing just that, but meanwhile I am going to try coal.
I use coal to fire my 3″ scale traction engine. It is messy, dirty, and a bit of a pain to get fired up. But once going it is HOT. And smells good. But needs constant attention, observation, and skill. Not just a matter of adjusting a gas knob.
But, the original Trevithick dredger engines used coal. Or wood. Or dried alpaca dung.
So I intend to build a coal grate. The firebox is only 65mm diameter, so the coal lumps will need to be small, about 1cm diameter I guess. I will make some sort of crusher to reduce the size of the traction engine coal.
I have made a start on the grate. Again, it is all experimental. And I will need a blower of some sort. Maybe a small computer fan on the chimney. All fun. Wait and see.
No book review today! And Antarctica and moon not mentioned! I do have a review in the wings about the Roman emperors who were monsters. But another day for that one.