Building a Portable Boiler for Experiments with Steam Power.

Idea Generation

What is this project about?

Looking for more support narrowing down your idea? Try using the idea matrix on this page.

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Making a simple and affordable boiler for steam power.

What do you want to get out of this project?

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A functional boiler that I can use for experiments.

where did the skills go? we are taking skills out of the idea generation process, in an attempt to make projects more career-focused. If you want to get leveled-up for a project, share it with the appropriate guide or faculty member for feedback upon completion.

Guiding Question

Turn your idea above into a guiding question.

Check out some resources on how to write a guiding question here.

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What is the best way to make a compact, portable and simple boiler?

Production

What will it take for you to complete this project?

Use the table below to set your own timeline for deliverables, keep in mind when your final work product is due at the end of the cycle.

Keep in mind that this project cycle runs six weeks in total, as opposed to the typical four weeks.

Work Product Deliverables

MilestoneDateDone
Obtain required materials and parts
Prepare materials and parts for assembly
Assemble and test the boiler
Use the boiler to power something
Final Work Product + Notion Page Due
May 21, 2021
Last Day of Project Cycle
May 28, 2021

Exploration

Use this space to take notes, keep track of your sources, or conversations you have with people about this project.

4/26/21: After some researching of boiler designs, I decided on a "tubeless", or "cylindrical" boiler, the simplest kind. Above are the components I have so far, from left to right: sight glass (for measuring water level), compressed air tank (for the boiler itself), and a high pressure water pump (to add water to the boiler whilst it is in steam).
4/26/21: After some researching of boiler designs, I decided on a "tubeless", or "cylindrical" boiler, the simplest kind. Above are the components I have so far, from left to right: sight glass (for measuring water level), compressed air tank (for the boiler itself), and a high pressure water pump (to add water to the boiler whilst it is in steam).
5/12/21: I got the sheet metal cut to the right shape for the firebox, and it's ready for assembly
5/12/21: I got the sheet metal cut to the right shape for the firebox, and it's ready for assembly
5/12/21: The firebox has been partially assembled, it still needs a fire-grate, ash-pan, door and funnel. The boiler tank will sit on top, and rest in the two half-circle cutouts to maximize the surface exposed to the fire.
5/12/21: The firebox has been partially assembled, it still needs a fire-grate, ash-pan, door and funnel. The boiler tank will sit on top, and rest in the two half-circle cutouts to maximize the surface exposed to the fire.
5/13/21 Test-fitting the tank on the firebox, it's a perfect fit!
5/13/21 Test-fitting the tank on the firebox, it's a perfect fit!
5/14/21 I made a 90 degree bend for the funnel, as it (obviously) needs to point straight upwards.
5/14/21 I made a 90 degree bend for the funnel, as it (obviously) needs to point straight upwards.
5/17/21 Here is the boiler tank with the steam manifold attached. The ports from left to right will be: feed-water, whistle, pressure gauge and relief valve, and output to regulator.
5/17/21 Here is the boiler tank with the steam manifold attached. The ports from left to right will be: feed-water, whistle, pressure gauge and relief valve, and output to regulator.

5/17/21: I ordered a pressure relief valve, but it's not supposed to get here until the 21st.

5/20/21: I stripped the red paint from the boiler tank, and it's now (mostly) ready for the high-temperature black paint. Still waiting for the relief valve.

5/20/21: Here's the boiler on the firebox with the sight glass and manifold fitted. It still needs the funnel, relief valve and paint.
5/20/21: Here's the boiler on the firebox with the sight glass and manifold fitted. It still needs the funnel, relief valve and paint.
5/23/21 The boiler has been painted, time to test it!
5/23/21 The boiler has been painted, time to test it!
5/23/21 First firing!
5/23/21 First firing!
5/23/21: A video of the first steam test

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Add a short description and cover photo

Work Product

Reflection

Reflect on this project cycle by answering the questions below.

The act of reflecting allows you to highlight the accomplishments and applications of your project. (questions courtesy of Powderhouse Studios)

Was your project meaningful?

Did this project matter? In what ways did it further your knowledge, force you to grow, or provide something useful?

Was your project ambitious?

Given what you already know, did this project challenge you in meaningful ways?

Was your project deep?

Did your project engage with powerful ideas or tools? Additionally, did you engage with the material in a deep sense (i.e. did you develop ownership over the ideas or tools)? Can you utilize these skills independently now?

Feedback

Use the pages below "QR Partner Feedback" and "Faculty Feedback" to find places for improvement.

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QR Partner Peer Feedback
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Advisor Feedback

Coming up with an Idea
What is a guiding question?