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re: efficiency of candles?
5 jul 2005
david lee  wrote:


>> i'm trying to optimize the combustion efficiency of a kerosene-fired
>> absorption-cycle chest freezer.
>> it uses a alladin brand kerosene-lamp wick mechanism to produce the
>> heat needed to distill ammonia. i think this is basically a candle...
>> aside from the customary eyeballing methods, does science teach us
>> anything about how to adjust a wicked burner, to optimize combustion
>> efficiency?

first, it must aspire to righteousness.

>ideally the flame would be pale blue and almost invisible - the 
>luminous yellow colour is caused by incandescent carbon particles, which of 
>course represent wasted fuel - but you probably can only achieve this using 
>a pressure burner (primus- or tilley-type), which vaporizes the fuel and 
>pre-mixes it with air...

you might try preheating the incoming kerosine with a heat exchanger in
the exhaust gas path, or changing the burner to one that vaporizes the fuel
that way, if such a thing exists. be careful. aladdin lamps have a thermal
runaway problem. if unwatched, they can make big sooty 3' flames that
threaten to burn down the house and boil the kerosine and melt the solder
holding the wick adjustment knob on its shaft. getting close enough to turn
the wick down with vice-grips is dangerous.


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