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Propane Tank Regulator

Post questions and info about combustion (flammable vapor) powered cannons here. This includes discussion about fuels, ratios, ignition systems, safety, and anything else relevant.
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Propane Tank Regulator

Unread postAuthor: BFC » Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:37 am

Hey,

So I am working on a Advanced Combustion, that if I ever get time will get finished, I have most of the pieces I need. Except, a regulator for the propane tank.

I have read a bit and see that its a good idea to have one, except I went and talked to a guy at Menards, he wasn't to helpful, I don't even think he knew exactly what I was talking about. (Stupid High School kids =) )

Anyways to tell you the truth, I am not exactly certain what regulator would be best, I have never dealt with them, So I am wondering what regulator I should get? Would one used for compressed air work? Or does Propane need its own specific regulator?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

thanks,
BFC
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Unread postAuthor: Technician1002 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:50 am

If you need adjustable, a Welding gas regulator works fine but is a little expensive. They are adjustable from 0 PSI TO about 30 PSI which is great for most common lower mixes. What pressure do you want?

A BBQ regulator is fixed pressure and the pressure is quite low. It can only blow bubbles in a water tank to a depth of about a foot, which is not much pressure. Most are preset to about 11 inches of water collum.

Some gas appliance regulators using smaller disposable bottles regulate to higher pressures such as 10 PSI.

Do you need an adjustable regulator such as the one used in the cannon shown on the home page?
Image

Sometimes a torch valve with a pressure gauge works fine as you can crack the valve and shut it off when the desired pressure is reached.
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Unread postAuthor: Lockednloaded » Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:17 pm

I've been working on a one touch reg and the regulator is so difficult, the psi jumps around and the pressure is not consistent, if you're building a standard meter, I recommend avoiding a regulator at all costs
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Unread postAuthor: Technician1002 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:47 pm

Proper selection of the regulator makes a world of difference. A high volume small size such as used on cheap air compressors are unstable.

A smaller orifice regulator with a larger diaphragm can be very stable. I used a welding regulator for my precision golf ball launches to regulate the air pressure instead of an unstable air regulator.

Here is the set up..
Image

The obsolete propane tank contains air. High stability at low pressure is not a problem like when it was trying to use the air compressor regulator.
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Unread postAuthor: BFC » Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:27 pm

wow, uhh..

Well maybe I don't need one?? I am using a homemade meter pipe with a PSI gauge in it and two ball valves, where you just open one ball valve to let the Propane in, then close , and open the other end.

The pressure I need to meter to get to is like 30 or 40 psig.

So maybe I don't need a regulator?

I saw a guy on here a while back who had a regulator for 60 psi I think... it was on his propane cannon, (maybe I am wrong??).

If I do need a regulator it needs to be able to pump a meter pipe up to max 40psi.

Lol, or maybe I am just missing something, a little confused right now.

But yea...

thanks,
BFC
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Unread postAuthor: Technician1002 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:50 pm

You probably don't need a regulator. A meter pipe with 2 ball valves is fine, but they open too fast to limit the flow while filling the pipe. A common arrangement is a modified torch, a hose to the meter, then from the meter to the chamber. On the meter, the first valve is opened while the torch valve is closed. Then the torch valve can be cracked to slowly raise the pressure to the desired setting then the valve on the torch is closed, then the meter valve is closed trapping your metered volume between the meter valves. Then the second meter valve is opened to put the charge in the chamber.

The gauge can go on either the meter pipe of on the torch valve. With the first meter valve open it is all the same pressure.

You don't need a regulator. A meter pipe with 2 ball valves, a modified torch and a gauge will do fine.

A welding regulator may be too low for your needs. Here is a photo of mine. The gauge only goes to 30.
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Unread postAuthor: Lockednloaded » Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:23 pm

regulators make it easier if you find a good one, but two BVs work great.

@tech, I believe its the low flow of propane that messes it up, and I'm not going to spring for a welding reg to get a more convenient meter setup
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