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I Forge Iron

Alternative Fuel/Energy Sorces


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Hillbilly, Great avatar! Them hounds get into the peanut butter?
I have here an awesome nonstop powersource, my sister-in-law's motormouth. Nonstop hot air 24/7. Maybe not quite hot enough for forging directly so coal is still needed but the blast is constant and plenty strong.
I'm thinking a butterfly for sure so it can be controlled. Keeping her sedentary is not a problem. Keeping myself in close proximity can be a problem.
Available for long term loan, very long term loan, very good terms. :cool:Dan

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Besides making your own charcoal from waste wood I have read of folks burning both dried corn and chicken manure in their forges---I wondered about the latter fellow though!

I did some investigation into a solar forge, old Mother Earth News (1970's) had an array made from 1'sq mirror tiles that would track the sun and said they had a 1600 deg hot point.

Sure looked good for out here until the wind picked up and as I watched the neighbors cinder blocks roll into our yard I re-thought my plan to try to build such an array.

Several Forges in Germany are still water powered---even their airhammers are run from a water wheel or turbine, One an industrial forge till fairly recently was in Lauf ADP and is run by a smithing club now.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Deluge Inc. (low temperature differential heat engine, employ the output as hydraulic with a dead weight accumulator )
Hydro Dynamics, Inc (steam generation through cavitation, very high effciency, some debate if its actually over-unity)

A steam engine can produce maximum torque at almost 0 rpm.

Steam Power

The torque, or twisting force an engine is capable of producing is more of a measure of actual engine power than horsepower. A gasoline engine will produce torque in the range of 250-400 lbs. when the engine itself is over 300 cu. in. and over 200 horsepower. Steam and gas horsepower are not the same.

Most automobile engines will not reach maximum torque until they reach 2200 rpm. A steam engine can reach maximum torque when the piston is hardly moving. It works like this:

A gas engine is powered by a certain amount of compressed fuel and air. The pressure in a gas engine that creates torque increases as the engine turns faster and compresses proportionally more fuel and air. At lower rpms the poppet valve system used in gas engines limits the amount of pressure that can be created as the intake and exhaust valves are quite often open at the same time (valve overlap).

At higher rpms you still have valve overlap. It just isn’t as noticeable as the fuel-air mixture doesn’t have as much time to enter the intake and leak out the exhaust valve before both valves close and ignition takes place.

A steam engine can allow steam into the cylinder and press against the piston depending strictly on the pressure of the steam coming from the boiler. As the pressure builds, the piston moves. If the piston is pushing against a load, the load moves as the pressure increases. If the load is too much for a gasoline engine, the engine dies (quits running). When a steam engine is subject to a load that is "too much" the engine doesn’t die. It breaks.

Steam itself is literally unstoppable and, at pressures past what metal can endure, irresistible. For an example of the power of steam, consider the largest steam explosion in the history of the United States: Mount St. Helens.

lots of steam power hammers still about, but it makes more sense to run a boiler off the waste heat of a forgefurnacekiln

high efficient power production employs combined cycle thermodynamics
Combined cycle

CHP (Combined Heat and Power) is a natural for anyone running a forgefurnacekiln the question is given X temperature for X period, how do you scavenge the energy into usable forms? (gas absorption, thermal hydraulics, thermochemical) you may want to avoid electrical generation all together unless you have some pressing need to transport it across the state line, generally a very inefficient conversion process. Kinetic energy is generally what you want or temperature differentials. Limit electricity to running control systems, computers and LED lighting. Run equipment from kinetic sources.

As far as fuel goes, low temperature differential through geothermal cooling and solar can run a thermal hydraulic, question becomes how much can you generate to how much you want to use. Biomass as a fuel source is very promising for instance a downdraft gasifier.

how do you go about storing energy (pressure, potential energy , as heat (molten saltsalt ponds), Phase Change Materials or electricity (battery)
what efficiencies are involved in conversion and application?

(note molten salts are employed in heat treatments and blueing)

maybe a good place to start is comparing a Brayton Cycle with a Rankine Cycle

a few others
Types of thermodynamic cycles
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  • 1 month later...

I was thinking of trying to compress refuge from french fry grease into bricks.(after someone filters it for diesel alt fuel.)But 2 things stop me...1 I dont have a coal style forge..2 I dont know anyone who filters it. Anyone think it would work? I think it would work but Im not sure about the mess or how long the bricks would last.

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Hi Black Ink.......I see you have the spirit of experimentation.
These 'bricks' you speak of probably would indeed make a fire,but whether or not you could forge with them is another matter.....and unknown to me.

As far as the mess.......well, that could be a problem.
Think of what happens with burnt potatoes or bacon in the skillet......a lot of smoke and an unpleasant odor.

Storing the bricks might be a problem , especially if there's any animal fats involved.
Back before cholestorol was discovered, we used to cook with 'lard'.....rendered animal fat. If it wasn't refrigerated or salted down properly, it acquired a unique odor after a few days. It turned rancid and smelled unpleasant to say the least.

If the 'grease' you speak of is vegetable oil, you might just use it for finishes and as a quenchant for some things.........

Do your experiments safely!

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how long the bricks would last.

to their melting point, which will be far lower than your typical combustion temperature

the issue isnt their energy content which is quite good
rather its their shape, as a brick the best you can hope for is a candle or a frying pan on fire :P

oilsfats are typically aerosoled in order to have a proper oxygen mix for combustion
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