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Old 04-05-2012, 08:42 PM   post #1 of 10
scm
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Default Propane Powered

At work today they had two BOB CAT 60'' zero turns delivered set up on propane.They have a GENERAC two cylinder air cooled engine in them. Don't know how they're gonna work out because where i used to work we had our trucks on it and you had to have the regulator hooked to the coolant system to keep it from freezing up.
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Old 04-06-2012, 12:29 AM   post #2 of 10
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Default Re: Propane Powered

Wow, that's a pretty neat idea running mowers on propane. It must save them a ton of money on fuel! My grandfather has a 2 cylinder air cooled Gentrac engine set up to run nat. gas as part of an auxiliary power unit. As far as I know, those engines are based on the popular Chinese built honda clones that we all here so much about. I am curious to see how alternative fuel engines like these preform in such diverse applications. I believe that propane only liquifies in extreme cold (-40 C or so) so that shouldn't be an issue (I assume) given these are to run in the summer.
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Old 04-06-2012, 04:32 AM   post #3 of 10
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Default Re: Propane Powered

I believe that most, if not all, propane engines run on liquid propane, not propane vapour like a barbecue. When the liquid propane vapourizes at the carb, it extracts heat from the area for vapourization and that can lead to ice buildup on a humid day at the right temperature and load conditions.

Even a gasoline carb will ice up under the right, above freezing, conditions. That's why there is an exhaust crossover on V type engines and the intake manifold is often nested with the exhaust manifold of inline engines.

It's not fun trying to slow down from interstate speeds for a rest area with the carb and its linkages covered with an inch thick layer of ice because that crossover is plugged.

Propane liquifies at -40, C or F - same temp, at atmospheric pressure. At +68*F (20*C), it takes about 250 psi to make it liquify. You won't start a propane powered vehicle at -40* without a tank heater, and it is possible to have carb icing on a relatively cool foggy morning unless there is heat applied to the carb somehow. ( For propane, it isn't called a carb, but I forget offhand the proper term. Oldtimers disease.)
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:51 AM   post #4 of 10
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Default Re: Propane Powered

Ferris also has a propane mower, big commercial ZTR. Twins tanks on it , and they are rather large. Gravely, Dixie Chopper have propane models as well as others.



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Old 04-06-2012, 12:20 PM   post #5 of 10
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Default Re: Propane Powered

How Does a Propane Engine Work?



A propane engine works similar to a regular gas motor. The propane is pulled from the tank and is switched to a vapor to allow it run into the fuel lines. The vapor is passed through a mixer that combines the vapor with air. The mixture is then sent through the combustion process by a fuel injector system. The injection system is a sequential process that sprays into each chamber one at a time. The motor is very similar to a gasoline motor as it is a timed process. Each cylinder has to be firing in sequential order for it to function correctly.


How Much Maintenance Is Required?



Since the propane is a gas and not a liquid, it's said to burn cleaner while in the combustion chamber. There is virtually no residue, and the time between oil changes is much greater. The propane does burn hotter than gasoline, so the oil will be become more viscous over the course of time. Intervals on the oil change is every 10,000 miles as opposed to every 3,000 to 5,000 miles.



Read more: How Does a Propane Engine Work? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4900012...#ixzz1rHI8qghc
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Old 04-06-2012, 12:38 PM   post #6 of 10
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Default Re: Propane Powered

I had a briggs 8hp generator that had been converted to propane. I dont know how many hours it had on it, but it was a 1973 & when I pulled the head it was like looking at a brand new engine! no carbon whatsoever & a very healthy crosshatch in the cyl. that stuff burns clean.
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Old 04-06-2012, 02:25 PM   post #7 of 10
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Default Re: Propane Powered

Since propane has fewer BTUs per gallon than gasoline a given engine will produce less horsepower on propane than it will on gasoline. If an engine is properly set up for propane this lower BTU/gallon disadvantage can be largely offset due to the higher octane rating of the propane. At 110 octane propane allows running a higher compression ratio and advanced ignition timing. Since the higher compression generally requires a wider plug gap and stronger spark an improved ignition system is often required. The engine must be designed to handle the higher pressures of the increased compression ratio or early mechanical failure may be expected. Lack of any lubricating additives or valve seat protection dictates that hard valve seats and Stellite exhaust valves be used.

Depending on the type of fuel system the engine has, carbureted or injected, the fuel may enter the air stream as a liquid or vapor. If the liquid is injected just ahead of the intake valve it vaporizes and cools, there by condensing, the air stream entering the cylinder. This vaporization is completed after the intake valve closes which allows more oxygen to have entered the cylinder and boosts the compression pressure. The resulting HP increase is significant over the vapor fed engine.

When vapor is fed thru the intake manifold the two methods usually employed include vapor from the tank and liquid fed to a vaporizer and then regulated into the intake air stream. Using this method the vapor displaces considerable intake air and results in less oxygen being taken into the cylinder. While less expensive to produce, and somewhat easier to maintain, this method is inferior to the injection method for engine efficiency and HP output but much more common to find in use.

Vaporizers commonly used are liquid heated, from the engine cooling system, and air heated. I've seen vaporizers that used the heated air from the cooling system on air cooled engines but have also seen a couple that had a heat collection system from the exhaust manifold. Both methods were thermostatically controlled and seemed to work well.

The tank vapor systems I've seen were used on stationary engines and fed from large tanks with sufficient surface area to allow heat absorption sufficient to supply the engines needs.

Personally I like using propane as a fuel source when the engine has been properly set up for this purpose. Seldom have I seen engines that were thus set up being used on small equipment. The efficiency, and cost effectiveness, of propane on a "conversion" that has had only the fuel system changed is highly questionable.

Just my opinion on all this of course, your milage may vary.

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Old 04-06-2012, 03:48 PM   post #8 of 10
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Default Re: Propane Powered

I have seen a few european manufacturers use lpg for their products.



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Old 04-06-2012, 07:09 PM   post #9 of 10
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Default Re: Propane Powered

Allis offered an LP conversion kit for their B-10 model in the 1964 catalog. I've seen a picture of only one, last year someplace at a summer show, but cannot track that down. The kit appeared to include everything on the intake side, and mounting hardware for holding a tank over the front of the hood.

Reading TenCubed's post, I wonder what else was needed? Curious if they cranked up the compression with a replacement head, or accepted the HP loss...
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:12 PM   post #10 of 10
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Default Re: Propane Powered

Personally, I don't see the advantage of propane for any equipment used outside. It can be hard starting, dangerous to transport, can have bridge and tunnel restrictions, and the vapor is heavier than air if it leaks. Granted, it may be easier on the engine in terms of wear- but most OPE engines will die from dust or overheating before the fuel kills them. The fuel would have to be almost free for me to consider it- same as the new NG pickups that will be available to fleets next year- with their $10,000 option.

Diesel engines on OPE are a much better option IMO- and in pickups, too.
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