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Propane Tanks for storage - Questions

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by antos_ketcham, Apr 10, 2008.

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  1. antos_ketcham

    antos_ketcham Member

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    So here are the questions -

    Can propane tanks be used as storage outdoors (w/glycol) and can they be used as part of an open system?

    Pete

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  2. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    I have no actual knowledge, but that hasn't stopped me yet....

    First, if they're outdoors you will have to insulate then very well. In that case, glycol wouldn't be necessary. Good thing, since that much glycol would be pretty expensive. I figured out that I could go all winter without adding heat to my outside storage and it still wouldn't freeze.

    Second, propane tanks are steel. I assume that means that they'll rust if exposed to oxygen-bearing water. Open systems provide a continual supply of fresh oxygen. My system is open, but the tank is stainless (half a milk bulk tank). The 'open' water stays in the tank and does not circulate.
  3. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Ditto on the outdoors - a 50/50 glycol mix on a large quantity of storage would be unreasonably expensive. Open system would work, but would have to use appropriate boiler chemical to scavenge oxygen and be sure to balance PH (8-9 or so). You might consider an open/very low pressure like some of the OWB's that use a weighted vent to limit air access, results in 2-3 psi or so. I think most OWB's are open systems and they seem to last reasonably well. Also consider a filter screen to block any crud, I think 100 micron should be OK. Leave sufficient space in the tank for expansion.
  4. solarguy

    solarguy New Member

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    If you're going to put your tank outside you can get away w/ a 30% glycol solution that will offer freeze protection to 0, burst protection to -20. Under the most severe winter conditions, when you stop circulating the water/glycol loop, the glycol mixture just turns to slush, usually will not freeze solid. If you're doing an outside tank most cases you're circulating continously.

    The thing about glycol is it requires more energy to heat the water & transfer it's thermal energy so the less glycol the better.
  5. antos_ketcham

    antos_ketcham Member

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    Anyone know a source for propane tanks and coils to go in them?

    Pete
  6. GARYL

    GARYL New Member

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    Saw a 1000 gallon one on Craigs list a few weeks ago for $500. You would have had to go to Syracuse, NY to get it. Usually I see that you can expect top pay about $1 per gallon. The coils can be made and there are many,many threads on this site that will show how others have done it.
    Good luck Pete.
    Gary
  7. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Skip the coil and go with a plate hx.
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