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Monday, July 26, 2010

Propane System is IN!

We finished installing the propane system this last weekend. All power/pressure/leak tested. I'll let the slideshow below speak for itself, but I will bullet some details here:

  • supports two 10 lb propane tanks, steel or aluminum.
  • two stage regulator (provides for more consistent gas pressure at the stove)
  • auto-changeover switch in the regulator. When one tank goes empty, it automatically switches over to the second via a pressure activated mechanical switch.
  • 24 VDC solenoid valve
  • 3/8 inch primary feed hose to the (future) galley stove
  • second output hose (1/4 inch)  for (future) pulpit mounted BBQ, with its own shutoff valve.

Construction Details
  • tank locker built from fiberglass tubing, coosa board, glass and epoxy (similar to the dive tank locker construction)
  • space between the tubes is walled in and sealed to serve as the regulator box. All hoses/wiring go into this center box. All thru-wall ports are vapor tight.
  • With the dive tank locker experience, I changed the design to simplify the construction a bit and made fewer mistakes this time.
  • the side deck location is too narrow for a standard 20 lb tank, so it was split into two 10 lb tanks. A reasonable compromise I think. 10lb tanks, while less common than 20lb tanks, are easily found. There was just enough room to use fiberglass tubing big enough for the larger diameter aluminum tank
  • regulator assembly is mounted on UHMW slides and is designed for easy removal when the regulator needs replacing (and it WILL need replacing at some time)
  • tank assembly is thru bolted to the underside of the deck and glued/sealed with structural adhesive (Plexus)
  • waterways for drainage were routed into the base of the tube assembly reducing the number of external hose fittings.
  • feed hose and solenoid wiring runs to the galley through a dedicated conduit, 1.25" PVC thinwall pipe, that is installed up inside the starboard bulwark, with sweeping 90 degree elbow joints for drops at the tank and stove. Despite a run of nearly 25 feet, it is easy to snake the hose/wire through the conduit without a messenger line. Any future replacement of the hose should be relatively easy.
  • Meets ABYC construction standards (section A) for propane systems (according to my interpretation at least).
Still To Do
  • Construct the locker lid (just temporary plywood one for now). That will be done with the deck refinishing.
  • Solenoid control panel. We will probably go for one of the switch/sniffer/alarm systems. That will be done when the galley stove goes in.

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