Hot Water From Generators.

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 18:32
ThreadID: 76645 Views:3038 Replies:6 FollowUps:8
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I once worked in industry where waste heat from a smelter was used to preheat water before the water went through the boilers to make steam for the steam turbines in the smelter powerhouse. I see the hot exhaust gas from portable generators as a possible source for heating or taking the chill off campers shower water. The challenge is to transfer the heat from the gas to the water. The simplest way I can see is to stand a steel gerry can close to the exhaust outlet. May help dampen the generator noise also.Happy Days.
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Reply By: Gazal Champion - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 19:14

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 19:14
Hi Farm boy,
I have made several heat exchangers over the years out of copper tube.
Simplest way would be to get a piece of inch and a half tube and a piece of inch and a quarter tube and dress the ends in on the larger diameter tube so that you can just slide the smaller tube inside the larger one. Braze till sealed at either end and you have created a water jacket. You next have to work out how you will get the exhaust gases to go through the centre pipe.

Braze a piece of half inch copper tube in the side at one and and do the same at the other, ensuring that they only go into the space between the 2 larger pipes. You now have one piece of pipe brazed inside another with a piece of smaller pipe coming out at right angles at each end.

With a shower pump pass water through the smaller tube at one end and pipe the other end into a bucket. You now have hot water for a shower.

Best if you make the exchanger so that it is removable from the exhaust on the geny as there may be times when you do not want hot water.

If you are as capable as you name suggests this should be a doddle for you.
Regards, Bruce

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Reply By: kcandco - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 19:15

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 19:15
Hi Farmboy

I have had similar ideas. if the exhaust could be routed through a pipe running through the water container I imagine 2 birds could be killed wth one stone so to speak.

cheers Kc
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Reply By: B1B2 - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 20:44

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 20:44
G'day Farmboy,
It is normal for ship's to use exhaust gas to make steam while underway. The boiler only runs on fuel while in port. The steam is used to heat the heavy bunker fuel so that we can pump it first, then heat it to 140° to get the viscosity down to 14 centistokes to burn.
To do this with a tiny generator would not be practical IMHO, I keep a 20 litre bucket on the campfire with creek water when I can, and this takes care of washing up and showers. So you are using waste heat from the campfire, it's just as good and cheap.
I then use a 12 volt bilge pump in the shower instead of using our limited drinking water.

Cheers,
Bill
AnswerID: 407721

Reply By: olcoolone - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 21:16

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 21:16
I think you may be pushing stuff up hill.

To convert cold water into warm water using a generator's exhaust you would either need a hugh generator or a very very small amount of water.

The amount of energy (and time) you would need for 1 adult for 1 shower would cost more then buying a Coleman hot water service and the fuel to give 10 adults 50 showers.

The simplest way I can see you getting warm water is use a camp fire or an camp style hot water service.

So I don't think it will work but have fun trying.


AnswerID: 407724

Follow Up By: Member - ross m (WA) - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 21:45

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 21:45
It can be done using a storage tank and wrapping a copper coil around the the exhaust pipe.
Obviously you would need a small pump to circulate the water ,unless you can get some sort of flow from thermal conductivity.


But your right ,a Coleman is easier and that is what I have ;)
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Follow Up By: Member - ross m (WA) - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 21:46

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 21:46
I also meant it would take time to accumalate the water,it wouldnt provide instant hot water.
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Follow Up By: RedJK - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 23:00

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 23:00
What's wrong with plugging an electric jug into the genny?
Too simple?
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FollowupID: 677654

Follow Up By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 23:12

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 23:12
Whats wrong with just going without a shower until you get to a place where you can have one, when going bush you should be prepared to leave all the comforts of the cities and home behind, get out there and rough it and enjoy it.

.
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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 23:19

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 23:19
The problem with small generators is the exhaust manifold from the head to the muffler is only 20mm long in most, you would not be able to wrap enough cooper tube to transfer the heat for liter of water let alone more.

I don't think many people would want to wait 3 hours for some water to heat up for a shower.

You would have more luck using poly pipe to heat the water up in the daytime and store it for night.
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Follow Up By: Ozrover - Monday, Mar 08, 2010 at 10:01

Monday, Mar 08, 2010 at 10:01
I like your thinking Doug, I had a heat exchanger mounted to the cooling system on a land rover for a few years & never used it, just had a bucket tub when things got too smelly in the car!

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Follow Up By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Monday, Mar 08, 2010 at 11:43

Monday, Mar 08, 2010 at 11:43
Hey, RedJK, thats exactly what I thought, but wasnt game to say so. Simple
is the thing...an electric jug does all the science above with none of the hassle.
And before they say the gennie is too small for a jug...it is also then too small
to exhaust heat much water IMHO..:)))...oldbaz.
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Follow Up By: RedJK - Monday, Mar 08, 2010 at 21:36

Monday, Mar 08, 2010 at 21:36
Kiss principal works for me.
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Reply By: Alloy c/t - Monday, Mar 08, 2010 at 10:39

Monday, Mar 08, 2010 at 10:39
Design / Build / Test and then go on the " New Inventors" on the ABC , you could make a fortune and have real 'happy days' ,, retro at home fit would see you in Forbes rich list !! lol.
AnswerID: 407822

Reply By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Tuesday, Mar 09, 2010 at 15:06

Tuesday, Mar 09, 2010 at 15:06
Here you go.............if you can't stand your own smell then this is just for you'

AQUACUBE

.
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