Author Topic: British Modelling and Electrical Co. Or. British Engineering and Electrical Co.  (Read 5141 times)

Online Alyn Foundry

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Hello All.

I recently decided to re, restore my little " Leek " number 3 gas engine. I dropped the term " Atmospheric " because they work more on the lines of heat expansion against the piston rather than atmospheric pressure against the back of the piston.

These engines were made in three sizes, the bore diameter of mine being the largest at 1 1/4 inches.
Designed specifically to run on " Town gas ".

The working principle is very simple. Starting at TDC the piston travels back drawing air through the top atmospheric valve with a mechanically operated fuel valve also opening at the same time. At about half the back stroke the piston uncovers the ignition port where a small external flame burns continuously, this flame burns through the port ignighting the charge inside the cylinder. A rapid expansion of the burning gas and air forces the piston to BDC, the stored energy within the flywheels carries the piston through the entire exhaust stroke back to TDC, the next cycle begins again.

Many attempts were made to run this engine on our modern gasses, even petroleum/air vapour to no avail. I ended up fitting a modified HT spark plug and a timed ignition system to run on Propane.

Recent events have uncovered an old patent, a method of producing a similar gas from the interaction of a Carbon arc under water. This gas is amazing, it burns very rapidly and is a " searching " gas, it finds its way through the narrowest of gaps!

The reason for my post.....

Does anyone, anywhere have any original plans/drawings for the Leek range of engines? They sold many kits. I need to know the correct hole diameter for the flame port. I'm currently running at 1/8" dia but there's insufficient pressure being generated to carry a stroke.

Oh and by the way, feel free to post pictures of any related principle engines, I know that there were a few different makers around the world.  ;)

Cheers Graham.

Online Jasonb

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There is an old advert on Graces Guide.



Looks very similar to the AGE model available from Bruce Engineering, I was almost tempted to bid on a set of castings that were on e-bay a couple of weeks back

Offline Jo

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 :headscratch: Good job I read all the posts because from the title I would never have realised you were on about an AGE. http://www.modelenginemaker.com/index.php/topic,5165.0.html

I assume by "flame port" you mean the ignition port. Mine is a 25.4mm bore  ::)

Jo

« Last Edit: September 02, 2017, 04:00:18 PM by Jo »
Usus est optimum magister

Online Alyn Foundry

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:headscratch: Good job I read all the posts because from the title I would never have realised you were on about an AGE. http://www.modelenginemaker.com/index.php/topic,5165.0.html

I assume by "flame port" you mean the ignition port. Mine is a 25.4mm bore  ::)

Jo

I wasn't!!

My engine is an original British Engineering and Electrical Co .

So the ignition port is 40 thou, are there any kits running, to your knowledge?

Graham.

Offline Jo

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Yes.  The easiest way to set them up to get them running is to swop out the ignition port with a glow plug. Then once you know it is running you can start playing with the gas type and size of the ignition flame etc.

By all accounts you need acetylene to get it to run as it is the only real gas that has a wide enough ignition range.

Jo
Usus est optimum magister

Online Alyn Foundry

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Hello Jason.

That advertisement brought back some memories!

I have restored several of their 1/4 and 1/2 HP " Otto " cycle engines over the years and my Brotherinlaw still owns one of the horizontal steam engines pictured to the left.

The gas that I can make is predominantly COH2 and was sometimes referred to as " Watergas " or possibly
" Dowson's gas " but seems to work very well on some of my early small power gas engines in my collection.

My gas generator is currently in prototype form, the gas showed me that the fuel valve I had made thirty or so years ago leaked at every point! In fact the engine had been converted into an air pressure operated device when I bought it.

Cheers Graham.


Online Jasonb

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Graham, have you tried acetylene gas? Small generators can be bought quite cheaply from some of teh specialist camping suppliers and even the odd model engineering supplier. This is the gas that Bruce Eng suggest for their version of the Schoenner engine.

Offline Zephyrin

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these engines run on coal gas, the only gas currently avaiable in those days, a mix of mainly methane with some hydrogen.

A toy gas engine from J. Schoenner is on my to do list, as all the infos to build one can be found in the patent (from 1894 !)
DE 77060 C in german or
US 548012 A in english

and small additional changes in the exhaust
DE 80120 C
DE 85332 C

the patent is dowloadable here :
http://mtr.train.free.fr/troisieme%20partie-locomotives-vapeur-vive.htm#fabricants

in Chapter III, in the middle of the page

Online Alyn Foundry

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Hello Zephyrin.

Many thanks for the links you posted.

I can understand why these little gas engines were collectively known as "Nurnberg's " on the Stationary engine rally scene !

I can't believe that I'm the only forum member who owns one of the " Leek " ones, surely there must be others about?

No original plans hiding anywhere?

I'm on the last leg of my refurbishment, a batch of 1mm dia drill bits arrived today to complete the new ignition port.

Cheers Graham.

Offline Chipmaster

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Hi Graham, I think I might have some videos of engines that operate on a similar principle to your Leek engine. I'll start looking through my collection of videos and add them as I find them. The engines all belong to Mike C.

This one is a Hoskins running on propane. This is a video in my Flickr album, click on the picture then on the play button in the middle of the picture on Flickr.

Hoskins by Andy, on Flickr

Andy
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 04:15:31 PM by Chipmaster »

Offline Chipmaster

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Here's a Schoenner and a Leek also running on synthestised coal gas.

This video is in my Flickr album click on the picture then on the play button in the miidle of the picture on Flickr.

Schonner and Leek compilation. by Andy, on Flickr

Andy
« Last Edit: September 08, 2017, 08:32:05 AM by Chipmaster »

Offline Chipmaster

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Another Schoenner on propane.

This video is in my Flickr album click on the picture then on the play button in the miidle of the picture on Flickr.

Schoenner by Andy, on Flickr

Andy
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 10:28:33 PM by Chipmaster »

Offline Chipmaster

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Here's a Schoenner running on propane until it blew a loose relief valve out of the top of the cylinder. These videos are in my Flickr albums click on the picture then on the play button in the miidle of the picture on Flickr.

Another Schoenner by Andy, on Flickr

A Paradox which only runs on s synthetic coal gas mixed by Air Liquide. I thinks its mainly Hydrogen.

00013 by Andy, on Flickr


Andy

Offline Steamer5

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Hi Andy,
 Nice looking engines! Ah coal gas...just old enuff to remember the degassifier in town, had a quick google, methane hydrogen & carbon monoxide ( no wonder the stuff killed you with out knowing it), then they found natural gas here.

Cheers Kerrin
Get excited and make something!

Online Alyn Foundry

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Hello Andy.

Mike C certainly has a nice collection of engines.

I was quite surprised to see the larger ones running on Propane only, I spent many hours fiddling around and gave up with the open flame. I re threaded a 10mm spark plug to 1/8" BSP and ran with HT ignition instead!

For the record, taken from Wikipedia the composition of " Town gas " is.....

   Edit
The composition of coal gas varied according to the type of coal and the temperature of carbonisation. Typical figures were:

hydrogen 50%
methane 35%
carbon monoxide 10%
ethylene 5%
In a plain burner, only the ethylene produced a luminous flame but the light output could be greatly increased by using a gas mantle.

It's a very light gas by comparison to Propane/Butane and burns very rapidly.

As a footnote I noticed one of Mikes engines had two snifters, might explain why my engine has a bung in the cylinder head? There was obviously some chatter going on at the time regarding running improvements?

Cheers Graham.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 01:08:13 PM by Alyn Foundry »