Yanche wrote: It along withe the A-A boiler is unique in the way it burns coal. Coal is burned in a tube, hence the term "Anthratube". When this method of burning coal was researched in the early 1940's there was nothing like it, in fact some of the experts at the time were surprised by the test results. A report was published in 1945 on the Anthratube. I've uploaded a copy. Much of the development work was done by Anthracite Industries, Inc. A company long gone.
Ya wonder why the company is long gone!!!!!
They discovered back in the 1940's that unless you stayed on top of a machine with this operating characteristics that it would blow. When I was in the Navy (70-74) I was on a ship loaded with experimental equipment including the boilers. If someone thought something up they would ship it to us with the instructions to install the piece of equipment, run it under real world conditions and record the results. If we couldn't make it run we were to record why we couldn't make it run and put it back in the crate along with our report and notify the Engineering Officer. Our boiler techs were top notch at getting weird pieces of equipment brought to the boiler room with those instructions. If someone behind a desk somewhere wanted something tested in the real word, they sent it to our ship.
The boilers we had on the ship were called Pressure Fired boilers. They operated at 1200 PSI with 1000 degree superheat. Great when they worked correctly under automatic control. Fast response time, unbelievable recovery time after the Machinists Mates spun the main throttle to the full open stops. The fuel we burned was JP-5 commonly known as jet fuel. No bunker C or black oil of any grade for these babies. JP-5 jet fuel only. Combustion air was supplied to the boilers on start up by a turbine spun by an electric motor then switched to a steam turbine when we got steam up then it was switched to operate as a HUGE turbo charger driven by the exhaust gasses from the boiler. All this was on one shaft with a monster 10 row centrifugal wheel air compressor which delivered unbelievable amounts of combustion air. The whole supercharger rig was mounted on what looked like car coil springs only they were 3 feet in diameter.
The boilers were the epitome of it looked good on paper but in the real world, not so good. They were great when the automatic controls were functioning correctly. There were only a couple of other ships that had this technology and we had to go to special schools before we could even go down the ladder into the boiler room. We ended up documenting that it was humanly impossible to operate the boilers in manual control with a normal fire room compliment. Everything happened too fast and it would get away from the best console board operators we had in no time flat.
I learned a term while I was in called " sailor proof. " For a piece of equipment to function properly off the test bench and in the real world the thing had to be sailor proof. If you had a sailor with minimal training and he/she could operate it without blowing it up or breaking it, it was deemed sailor proof.
Reading the 500 plus posts regarding this technology and the problems being experienced would lead one to believe that the consumer is doing the real world R & D for these companies. The posts on this equipment is technically top notch with some of the best engineering concepts I have ever read. The number of people and the spread of knowledge exhibited is phenomenal!!
However all the posts are documenting that if you depend on the automatic control settings, they still go boom. What I have been seeing is the key is the fire height and you need to visually verify it whenever anything changes as it ramps up and down. That kind of defeats the purpose of automatic controls doesn't it. This whole scenario reminds me of my navy days in the boiler room when we tried and tried and tried to get something to work and came to the conclusion that unless you sat right there and watched it and made manual control changes it was going to bite you.
Maybe it's time to read that 1940's post and tell the companies to do their own real world R & D testing.
All it is going to take is for someone to get a big boom, soot up their premises with coal dust, ash, and flying metal. They turn in a claim to their insurance company that pays for the damages and clean up. Then the insurance company will go back to Coal Gun or AA to recover the money they payed out. It's called subrogation when insurance companies go back to the manufacturer for money. You know the phrase "Money talks." Until you can get these companies to start kicking out enough money for damages, nothing will change.
In order to get their attention I recommend every person that has experienced a boom with damages or time spent cleaning up send a bill to the company. If they get enough of these then you will get somewhere with design changes. If you change the design and something happens, then they can blame it on you. Remember this,,,They have already blamed it on the coal your using. Until they get hit in the pocket book, these posts are going to top the 1000 mark and keep going.