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Old 25-07-2013, 15:29   #31
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Re: Alcohol Stove

I thought I would add this to the thread.
Explosive Limits

The limit of gas to air ratios between which explosions can occur, are expressed as lower explosive limit (LEL) and upper explosive limit (UEL). Outside of these limits there is no danger of explosion. For propane they are 2.2% (LEL) and 9.5% (UEL). This means that if there is less than 2.2% propane in a room, there is not enough fuel to explode, or if there is above 9.5% propane in a room, there is not enough oxygen present to allow an explosion. (For natural gas, the LEL is 5.3% and the UEL is 14%.) In addition to the gas, a minimum of 11% oxygen is requited to create an explosion with propane.

Most people think that the slightest bit of propane will cause ignition. Not true as you see the parameters are 2.2% to 9.5%. But obviously if you smell it then you had better deal with it.
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Old 25-07-2013, 15:29   #32
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Re: Alcohol stove

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If you own a boat, you can't be in fear of systems onboard. they are only systems. You need to be proactive in keeping them in proper working order.
I agree whole-heartedly. I am not afraid of any systems, but I am afraid of gas leaks. I have seen a house explode from a natural gas leak. Once you have seen it, you don't forget it. I sincerely have no desire to fear-monger, but I just hope that people will be aware of the potential with gas leaks. Natural gas rises and clears by itself given time. Propane settles and does not clear. In a boat, that's a problem.
OK, I'm done. Thanks for listening
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Old 25-07-2013, 18:17   #33
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Re: Alcohol stove

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Originally Posted by Eumelia View Post
I agree whole-heartedly. I am not afraid of any systems, but I am afraid of gas leaks. I have seen a house explode from a natural gas leak. Once you have seen it, you don't forget it. I sincerely have no desire to fear-monger, but I just hope that people will be aware of the potential with gas leaks. Natural gas rises and clears by itself given time. Propane settles and does not clear. In a boat, that's a problem.
OK, I'm done. Thanks for listening
I can understand your concerns about the danger of gas if you have seen a house explode from leaking gas.

However I cannot understand why you do not follow the most simple and basic safety rules after seeing what can happen?

Follow the rules and you are 99.999% safe. Don't and propane will be highly dangerous.
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Old 25-07-2013, 21:13   #34
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Seen two fires on boats one was electrical and one was alcohol. You can't see alcohol burn and it doesn't take much fumes for a fire. In order for propane to explode it takes a fairly high concentration. The sensors they have including your noise will go off way before it gets dangerous. Also alcohol doesn't have near the heat output of propane.. I hate trying to cook with it. I believe if you turn off the gas switch when not using it posses no more danger, just my opinion.
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Old 25-07-2013, 22:18   #35
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Re: Alcohol Stove

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Originally Posted by Greggegner View Post
In order for propane to explode it takes a fairly high concentration.
Not that high a concentration. Just the right propane to air mixture. Please see post #31.
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Old 26-07-2013, 01:49   #36
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Re: Alcohol Stove

I have an Origo non pressurized alcohol stove with an oven. There are pros and cons to everything but this thread repeats some myths I have heard repeatedly about alcohol stoves - Here are a few clarifications

- Every single horror story I have ever heard about alcohol stoves has been with a pressurized alcohol stove. I have never once heard about an accident with an Origo. That is because they have no moving parts, nothing is under pressure and they are virtually idiot proof (unless you try to refill them when there is a flame burning. But if you do that you truly are an idiot)

- Yes, alcohol has a slightly lower heat content. That is why they made the burners big enough to compensate. It really doesnt take much longer to heat water for my coffee with an Origo than it does at home on my propane stove. I have done the experiment thousands of times.

- Alcohol is expensive in West Marine. It is half or a third that price in Home Depot or other hardware stores.

- Alcohol was readily available in every Caribbean island I visited but usually was found in hardware stores rather than the chandlery. I was happier walking to the hardware store than my friends were lugging propane cylinders. I know nothing about the Pacific but I am sure you could get to Tahiti before you ran out!

Bottom line? I would be happy buying a new boat with either a non pressurized alcohol stove or propane. I would not sail with a pressurized alcohol stove for any long cruise. One additional factor - Origo non pressurized stoves are much cheaper to install than a propane system if that makes a difference.

PS. No I am not a commercial troll. I just have experience with their stove. And the oven does seem to work too though you really need an oven thermometer to make sure you get it up to temp. I am not a big baker so I know less about that but it did cook roasts and casseroles just fine.
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Old 26-07-2013, 02:05   #37
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Re: Alcohol Stove

No thermometer on your Origo oven?! For the price of those things I'd have thought it would come with a nuclear powered one..

I have the 2 burner stove btw, pretty damn full proof!
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Old 26-07-2013, 02:29   #38
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Re: Alcohol Stove

I have had a pressurized alcohol stove (Kenyon), an unpressurized alcohol stove (Origo) and a propane stove (Force 10). All three worked. The Kenyon was certainly fiddly, but the external fuel tank could be pumped to a sufficient pressure to assure sufficient flow to be able to cook quite well, oven included, much better than people imply. The Origo was brilliant, the easiest to use and maintain. The Force 10 has more maintenance issues than the Kenyon, less than the Origo. The Origo was the cheapest to buy and install. It did boil water at about the same speed as the Force 10....I timed it numerous times. And the burners had a BTU rating similar to the smaller burners on the Force 10. The least difficult for guests to use is the Force 10, as it is similar to what is at home. The least expensive fuel has been propane. In my opinion, many folks do not bother with the remote solenoid shut-off, without which propane is easily the most dangerous. The Origo was fool-proof.....miss it, somewhat! Don't miss the Kenyon, at all. I have long thought that any hiker travelling without a GPS was an idiot. I have long thought that any camper travelling without and Origo was an idiot, too. No lighting wood fires, for me!
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Old 26-07-2013, 06:28   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sck5 View Post
I have an Origo non pressurized alcohol stove with an oven. There are pros and cons to everything but this thread repeats some myths I have heard repeatedly about alcohol stoves - Here are a few clarifications

- Every single horror story I have ever heard about alcohol stoves has been with a pressurized alcohol stove. I have never once heard about an accident with an Origo. .
The alcohol fire I saw was with an Origo stove, refilling the canister fairly far away from the lit stove. I know that should not have been done that way (wasn't my boat), but the distance and under an open hatch did look ok. I happened to walk by. Everyone has different worries about fire, alcohol spills much easier than propane, every time you fill you have a real chance of spilling. Keeping propane outside in hard containers to me is the equalizer. Also 2% LEL should trip the safety and your noise.
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Old 26-07-2013, 07:06   #40
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Re: Alcohol Stove

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greggegner View Post
The alcohol fire I saw was with an Origo stove, refilling the canister fairly far away from the lit stove. I know that should not have been done that way (wasn't my boat), but the distance and under an open hatch did look ok. I happened to walk by. ...
How did you know if you were only walking by? He was probably standing right over the stove pouring it, since many stoves are close to under the hatch. Or he was breaking the rules and pouring into a hot canister..
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Old 26-07-2013, 07:19   #41
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Re: Alcohol Stove

Check out the Origo non pressurized alcohol stove.We have a two burner and oven unit which we like very much. Denatured alcohol can be purchased at any hardware store and works well. The safety issues from the pressurized system do not exist.
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Old 26-07-2013, 08:37   #42
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Re: Alcohol Stove

Quote:
Originally Posted by sck5 View Post
That is because they have no moving parts, nothing is under pressure and they are virtually idiot proof (unless you try to refill them when there is a flame burning. But if you do that you truly are an idiot)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greggegner View Post
The alcohol fire I saw was with an Origo stove, refilling the canister fairly far away from the lit stove. I know that should not have been done that way (wasn't my boat), but the distance and under an open hatch did look ok.
Well there's proof...smart people don't buy boats...
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Old 26-07-2013, 08:46   #43
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Re: Alcohol Stove

Quote:
Originally Posted by sck5 View Post
I have an Origo non pressurized alcohol stove with an oven. There are pros and cons to everything but this thread repeats some myths I have heard repeatedly about alcohol stoves - Here are a few clarifications

- Every single horror story I have ever heard about alcohol stoves has been with a pressurized alcohol stove. I have never once heard about an accident with an Origo. That is because they have no moving parts, nothing is under pressure and they are virtually idiot proof (unless you try to refill them when there is a flame burning. But if you do that you truly are an idiot)

- Yes, alcohol has a slightly lower heat content. That is why they made the burners big enough to compensate. It really doesnt take much longer to heat water for my coffee with an Origo than it does at home on my propane stove. I have done the experiment thousands of times.

- Alcohol is expensive in West Marine. It is half or a third that price in Home Depot or other hardware stores.

- Alcohol was readily available in every Caribbean island I visited but usually was found in hardware stores rather than the chandlery. I was happier walking to the hardware store than my friends were lugging propane cylinders. I know nothing about the Pacific but I am sure you could get to Tahiti before you ran out!

Bottom line? I would be happy buying a new boat with either a non pressurized alcohol stove or propane. I would not sail with a pressurized alcohol stove for any long cruise. One additional factor - Origo non pressurized stoves are much cheaper to install than a propane system if that makes a difference.

PS. No I am not a commercial troll. I just have experience with their stove. And the oven does seem to work too though you really need an oven thermometer to make sure you get it up to temp. I am not a big baker so I know less about that but it did cook roasts and casseroles just fine.
Exactamundo!
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Old 26-07-2013, 08:53   #44
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Re: Alcohol Stove

Spent some terrible hours in a hospital, watching the pain on my daughter's face. She refueled an alcohol camp stove and DID NOT see the flame. Steer clear - IMO.
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Old 26-07-2013, 09:08   #45
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Re: Alcohol Stove

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Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
Well there's proof...smart people don't buy boats...
I guess that makes me a complete idiot. Counting my sailboat, ski boat, dinghies and kayaks I have six.
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