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Author Topic: DIY Grid Blackout LPG/Nat.Gas Carburetor  (Read 3868 times)


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DIY Grid Blackout LPG/Nat.Gas Carburetor
« on: January 16, 2011, 08:05:34 PM »
One of the worst effects of an EMP attack is the loss of furnace heat in sub-zero weather in areas served by natural gas.  In many cases the gas pumping stations are self-powered, but without electricity furnaces still won't provide heat.  Restoring local power could be delayed for months or years if certain of the big power grid transformers are destroyed by EMP.  They must be custom built to order offshore.  This is from a recent Congressional Report, I'm not just making this up.

In a National Emergency an adequate number of generators may exist that could be requisitioned for running furnaces.  If you doubt that, just start counting the motorhomes around town.  Their gasoline generators would run fine on natural or propane gas were it not for lack of the gas carburetors needed.  Actually they run much cleaner on gas with fewer oil changes and less of the wear caused by carbon byproducts in gasoline.  What is needed though is a local resource for the parts to convert gasoline generators to run on gas. There won't be the logistics for manufacturing and distributing such equipment to meet the need in time of crisis.

There are gas regulators in existence for many applications.  Every house has one outside for the natural gas service entrance.  Your propane BBQ has one.  They are used on air compressors for air tools used including paint spray guns.  RV's require a regulator for the propane system.  Certain "tower" regulators with an adequate spring design can be modified to the purpose of running an engine. The must be changed from being a pressure reduction type regulator to being a demand (or zero governor) type regulator. 

A regulator has an inlet valve that can open and close.  In a pressure reduction regulator, there is a spring loaded central diaphragm that holds the valve OPEN, and an outlet coming from the diaphragm chamber.  In operation, pressurized gas enters the inlet and passes through the open valve.  When the chamber pressure balances out the diaphram spring the inlet valve closes.  Adjusting the spring pressure raises or lowers the regulator outlet pressure as required.

A demand regulator has the same parts, however the diaphragm spring is positioned and adjusted to hold the inlet valve CLOSED instead of open.  When the inlet is pressurized, no gas flows through the chamber to the outlet.  When enough suction is applied to the outlet to balance the spring pressure, the valve opens to allow gas to flow.  When the regulator outlet is connected to the inlet manifold of an engine, the intake suction opens the valve.  The regulator spring adjustment sets mixture at idle for smooth running.  There is also a restriction valve after the regulator that adjusts mixture when the engine is running under full load.

Suitable regulators can be converted to demand operation by first removing the long diaphragm spring from the tower.  A five inch threaded rod is attached securely to the diaphragm after which the spring is positioned to push upwards on the rod.  Hardware must be acquired or modified to support the bottom of the spring, and a large washer fashioned to center the rod at the top of the spring.  A wing nut or other can be used for adjustment.  The assembly should move and open smoothly under suction.  This may require that the spring tower face upward.  It is preferable to enclose the spring assembly inside a section of plastic tubing friction fitted to the outside of the spring tower with a removable cap on top.  The demand regulator should be covered to protect it from the elements (rain, ice, snow).  A  converted RV-sized regulator should be adequate to run an engine from around four to nearly twenty horsepower (or a two to ten KW generator).

More to follow including carburetor mod for dual fuel.

With regard to safety, none of this should be attempted by unqualified people.  Gas can explode, kill people, and burn down buildings.  Do not break laws against tampering with gas services. This info is only provided to be available for responsible use to save lives during a possible future extended power outage.  Don't work with pressurized gas indoors.  Natural gas is lighter than air and rises, while propane is heavier and settles to the lowest level (think of ignition by water heater).  A propane leak outdoors has even been known to travel under the snow and then leak into a basement.  What has been explained here is NOT complete safety instructions on working with gas systems.  Read up on the codes in your area, and consult qualified persons for more information.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 12:38:31 AM by y2k12 »


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