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lehigh 11-14-2011 06:58 PM

wax powered stove
Hey all,
I'm a student at Lehigh university and for a group project we are working on a sailing stove that runs on wax. It is very similar to an alcohol stove, but instead of burning alcohol it burns wax.

I am trying to find out if there is any interest from the sailing community in this type of product. I know it sounds weird, but I'm wondering if you can tell me if you would either be really excited by it, might be willing to try it, or even just think it is a terrible idea. Any input is welcome.

If you have an alcohol stove I would especially appreciate any input, what you like about your alcohol stove, what you would like to see improved. All information is helpful. Thanks!

denby 11-14-2011 07:45 PM

I think you will have a lot of soot to deal with. If so, it would be a problem.

Ulladh 11-14-2011 08:11 PM

Btu's per hour?
Combustion byproducts?
Safety at start and shut down?
Fuel storage?

You need to show the product is better than; diesel, kerosene, propane, or gasoline (coleman stove)

LaurenceU 11-14-2011 08:18 PM

I have a 2 burner alcohol stove which I find is reliable and safe. Improvement if I could have it would be a little more heat output. Have a look at:

fryewe 11-14-2011 08:34 PM

I use unpressurized alcohol. It is simple and reliable and clean.

Burning wax results in a lot of unburned carbon, similar to a pine wood campfire. Makes a mess of your pans, requiring a lot of labor to clean them. If the fire were vented through the cabin roof, potential for sooting up the sails is there.

Not for me.

Doupirate 11-14-2011 09:06 PM

Wax emits ashes. Alcohol not. It is clean combustion. Wax not. My cabin must remain clean. Not blackened with ashes.

You seem to start from a solution looking for a problem, instead of strarting from a problem looking for a solution. You will fail.

neverknow 11-14-2011 10:09 PM

The problem is not the fuel you use. it's the temp that it burns at. All fuels will not burn cleanly if they are not mixed properly with oxygen.

You might be able to use wax if you can get the temp high enough.

PorFin 11-15-2011 10:22 AM

Way back in my youth before camp stoves were common, this was a Boy Scout project. We built a portable camp stove out of a tuna fish can, corregated cardboard, and Gulf Wax. Cut the cardboard into strips as wide as the tuna fish can is deep, roll up the cardboard into a continuous disk that would fit into the can, and then pour melted wax into the can to the top of the cardboard.

Did it work? Yes.

Did it work well? Not really.

BTW, we also built stoves using a coffee can, a roll of toilet paper, and denatured alcohol. Same principle -- container, wicking, and fuel.

Of the two, the alcohol stove was significantly superior.

Minnewaska 11-15-2011 10:28 AM

Primary issue with solid fuels is extinguishing them, particularly in an emergency. Generally requires starving oxygen, rather than eliminating fuel.

centaursailor 11-16-2011 03:03 AM

I sail in a temperate but damp climate here in ireland. I often use 4 night light candles to warm up the cabin on cool damp nights. Placed just under a couple of foil preforated trays they keep the cabin warm and dry till sack time. I have also own a kerosene lamp/heater but feel the candles are safer for storage.
Safe sailing

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