Monday, April 13, 2009

Some days its slow.

I spent all day Saturday working on the gimbal systems for the silver Ball. On Sunday we went out to the site to work on the peroxide systems. We spent most of the day getting the auxiliary door welded into the container. We also tried to setup the water tank and had water delivered to the site. Unfortunately a storage container that can support 60K lbs+ on the proper stacking points can’t support 3600 lbs of water on one end. The container was showing signs of structural stress so we drained the water.  A full 16 hour day and we accomplished almost nothing.  We now need to put together a better reinforcing frame to support the water. We will try again this weekend to get the water tank in place and start wiring the peroxide system container.


I took the aluminum motor to a flame spray vendor to get a thermal barrier coating sprayed on and alas the same shop had larger regen motors chambers  being treated. They looked like the Spacex merlin, but it was hard to tell without getting closer to them. 


As I work on the peroxide system I’m re-learning something I’ve known for all my professional life, if a vendor charges X for and object or service Y, the odds of you building a Y for less than X are almost zero.  Two examples:


Now that I’m getting close to being able to produce my own propellant, both peroxide propulsion and xl space systems look like they will be back in production arghhh!  I’m going to go ahead and finish the project so I have a back up plan. I will have to use many thousands of pounds of peroxide to reclaim my investment, even if my time is worth zero. 


A  part of the peroxide project requires  I make very dry air. I’m shooting for a dew point of around -40C, basically no water. The industrial way to do this is to use a commercial air  dryer. Most commercial systems with low pressure drop are refrigerated air system that won’t get the dew point below about 5C. The self regenerating system that will get all the water out have large pressure drops, 50 to 75 PSI or so. Since I want about 50CFM of air for my sparging column (at less than 1 psi) I would need a monster compressor to make 50CFM at 50 psi I choose to try a method that cost 50% as much as a commercial system and is turning into a monumental hack. Its quite likely that I will go back and pursue the proper industrial method with the help of ebay. Lesson learned.


 


 


 


 


 


 

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

In regards to your make it or buy it comment, If I were to estimate the cost of a 2.5 MW (8M BTU/hr) heat exchanger, I might look at pool heaters. You can buy a 400,000 BTU/Hr pool heater for $2600, so you only need 20 of them for $52K. Of course the pool heaters are only good for low pressure water.

Paul Breed said...

I'm already using a circulating propane hot water heater as my heat source. (The kind used for circulating hot water heat)

Ray said...

Sorry to hear about the fits and starts. All I can say is, having a secure supply of 85%-90% peroxide in the 1000+ pound range when you want it is going to be key for your longer term projects, or even competing in this years LLC.

Timothy J. Massey said...

Why is getting peroxide so difficult? I commented early on when you switched to peroxide-based motors that AA switched *away* from peroxide because of availability issues. Now you're having the same problems...

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