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  1. #1

    Default Trail Designs "Sidewinder"

    The Caldera Cone has been around for a few years and has become popular with many groups especially those interested in the Ultra-Light.

    Trail Designs has the "Sidewinder" kit that has an interesting option recently made available. It's a "Modified StarLyte Burner". It's compact size and durability seems to have found it's way into making their kit more user friendly.

    The StarLyte stove originated in the Whiteblaze DIY gear forums. The stove was named after a beautiful trail angel "Starlyte"

    Trail Designs "Sidewinder"

  2. #2

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    That's great, congratulations. I don't use a Caldera Cone but I do use the unmodified Starlyte. Since getting it, I have given all my other alcohol stoves away.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by CenAZwalker View Post
    That's great, congratulations. I don't use a Caldera Cone but I do use the unmodified Starlyte. Since getting it, I have given all my other alcohol stoves away.
    Thank you. They had purchased one of each and liked how they performed and the quality. The no spill feature is nice, hard to resist that safety feature.

    Wow! gave all your other stoves away.....that says a lot....thank you!

  4. #4

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    I've had a Starlyte for about 4 years and its come with me on every trip except when I needed a canister stove due to a burn ban. I can't say I've given away all my other stoves but that's because I don't use them enough to know where they are! I have, however, given several Starlytes as gifts and everyone loves them.

    Zelph, you make a great product. And thanks for the tip on the new caldera cone and modified Starlyte. I just purchased them.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by iamscottym View Post
    I've had a Starlyte for about 4 years and its come with me on every trip except when I needed a canister stove due to a burn ban. I can't say I've given away all my other stoves but that's because I don't use them enough to know where they are! I have, however, given several Starlytes as gifts and everyone loves them.

    Zelph, you make a great product. And thanks for the tip on the new caldera cone and modified Starlyte. I just purchased them.
    Thank you Scotty

    On Friday I received my custom Titanium Caldera Cone made for a pot design that I'm developing. I did 5 wood burning tests yesterday evening. The cone withstands heat to the max. No warpage of any kind. Wow!!! I was impressed. The closure system seems to be bomb proof as they claim. I originally wanted a Ti-Tri set-up but was told the ridgeline on the pot would not allow it. I then asked for a plain cone. All worked out well. I made a stainless steel pot support and now I can use the cone in it's upright position instead of being inverted. See the photo how the pot sits on the support. The support is one piece(2 pieces welded in the middle) made of soft stainless. It easily folds flat and is easily curved to fit inside the pot. User friendly. The cones air entry and exit holes make for an ideal oxygen supply for wood burning mode. The cone shape with top holes direct the flame under the pot....so cool!

    The pot holds 3 cups of water. It has a ridgeline at the 2 cup level. That ridgeline supports the pot when in the alcohol/Esbit mode. It also has a ridgeline at the 3 cup level. In the alcohol mode I'll be using the Modified StarLyte burner. The pot has a removable handle(not shown) Pot weighs 2 ounces and the lid weighs 1 ounce. The lid has a high heat resisting lift tab that fared well through the 5 tests. The tab is pliable food grade Viton material.

    A quick video:

    Last edited by zelph; 06-30-2013 at 16:06.

  6. #6

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    Zelph, your new pot design intrigues me. Is it stamped with a die? Will the pot be titanium or aluminum? Despite the current trend towards the former aluminum's coefficient of thermal conductivity is 10x that of titanium giving aluminum a huge advantage in fuel usage. Its also 20% less dense than titanium. While aluminum alloys are 1/2 to 2/3 the strength of titanium it still appears that aluminum holds an advantage. This is all back of the envelope of course. I could run heat transfer simulations if you're interested.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by iamscottym View Post
    Zelph, your new pot design intrigues me. Is it stamped with a die? Will the pot be titanium or aluminum? Despite the current trend towards the former aluminum's coefficient of thermal conductivity is 10x that of titanium giving aluminum a huge advantage in fuel usage. Its also 20% less dense than titanium. While aluminum alloys are 1/2 to 2/3 the strength of titanium it still appears that aluminum holds an advantage. This is all back of the envelope of course. I could run heat transfer simulations if you're interested.
    The pot is made from a stainless steel mug. I remove the original handle and then weld a ss receiver bracket to the spot where the handle used to be. I have a ss wire form handle that will slide into the bracket. The handle is removed for storage inside the pot. The pot will be able to be placed into a bed of hot campfire coals via a stick attached to the wire form. Because it's ss, it will fare well on a hot bed of coals and a twig fire in the Caldera Cone. The ridgelines on the pot are created in the same manner as the ridges on the Foster pots. The pot has 2 ridges, one at the 2 cup level and one at the 3 cup level. It was stated in a comment posted at Backpackinglight.com that the best efficiency using a Caldera Cone with a Heineken pot was to have the pot supported at the 2 cup level with a silicone band. A Modified StarLyte was used as the heat source. That set-up inspired me to create this ss pot with the ridgeline set at the 2 cup level. The cone was custom designed to hold the pot at the correct height needed for the StarLyte burner.

    Once the pot of water is placed into the cone and the burner ignited, heat begins to be absorbed by the pot and into the water. The portion of the pot sticking up above the cone gets heated by the hot air coming out of the holes in the cone and also the body of the cone is giving off heat and is rising up to the top of the pot. The top of the pot is heating the water also. The water is absorbing heat from all directions. So it stands to reason that the best test results were had by having the cone at the 2 cup level on the Heineken pot. Today I'll do my first tests using alcohol to boil 2 cups of water to see if I get it to boil using 1/2 oz denatured alcohol.

    The nice thing about stainless is the price when compared to Ti. How does the heat transfer of stainless compare to aluminum?

    I'll have some photos later this evening.

  8. #8

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    Scotty, this is what the handle looks like. Pot and handle together weigh 2.7oz.

    Trail Designs will make a cone for any pot you choose.




  9. #9

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    Zelph,

    The thermal conductivity for stainless varies a lot by alloy. See below. Aluminum is second only to copper in thermal conductivity of common metals. Diamond, graphene and carbon nanotubes are orders of magnitude higher but for the cost I can built a hexapod robot to carry my stove fuel for me.

    Pure Aluminum 118 Btu/(hr * degree F* ft)
    Stainless 7-26 Btu/(hr * degree F* ft)
    Titanium 11-13 Btu/(hr * degree F* ft)
    http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/th...als-d_858.html

    I know you've done a lot of real world testing on your stove setups but have you tried running a configuration in a bomb calorimeter? That could tell you the heat flux and relative thermal efficiency of a configuration. Then you could compare that to the efficiency of home water heaters to see how much room for improvement you have.

    I recently saw a custom pot lid on bpl which was carbon fiber and kevlar with aerogel insulation. Have you seen that?

  10. #10

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    Aa pot like this with a custom lid would be a lot more efficient than titanium just based on thermal conductivity. I can't find the weight on it but a 1.3L version is 1.8oz. http://www.amazon.com/Trangia-Minitr...s=trangia+0.8L

    I'll also point out that a titanium caldera cone is preferable to aluminum for the opposite reason an aluminum pot is preferred. Perhaps even the cone could be insulated to really reduce conduction. This would push the system towards primarily heat loss through convection. This is probably already the case for your modified Starlyte.

    Heat transfer can be simplified to a reasonable scenario of convection versus conduction and tabulated but factoring variations due to burner design makes it obnoxiously complicated because that affects the fluid flow velocity. I'm a control systems engineer not a heat transfer guy though. I suppose the easiest way to check heat flow is a thermal camera.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by iamscottym View Post

    I know you've done a lot of real world testing on your stove setups but have you tried running a configuration in a bomb calorimeter? That could tell you the heat flux and relative thermal efficiency of a configuration. Then you could compare that to the efficiency of home water heaters to see how much room for improvement you have.

    I recently saw a custom pot lid on bpl which was carbon fiber and kevlar with aerogel insulation. Have you seen that?
    I had to do a google on the "bomb calorimeter" I'll see if I can get one on ebay and then refine my testing

    The bomb calorimeter method delivers very accurate results. The idea is execute the reaction adiabatically - meaning no heat loss from the system. The compound undergoing combustion is electrically ignited, and does so under pressure in an atmosphere of pure oxygen gas and this ensures complete and rapid combustion. There may be several water baths and thermometers to make sure every joule of energy released is monitored.
    The heat capacity of a bomb calorimeter can be very accurately determined by combustion of a standard substance like benzoic acid whose enthalpy of combustion is known from previous experiments.
    The bomb calorimeter method involves measuring the heat released at constant volume and is strictly speaking called the internal energy change ΔE or ΔU. Methods 1.3a1 and 1.3a2 involve heat energy changes at constant pressure ΔH. From 1.3a bomb calorimeter measurements you can calculate the enthalpy change from the equation
    ΔH = ΔE + ΔnRT (n = the net change in moles of gas in the reaction) I don't think this equation is needed for any UK pre-university advanced level chemistry course these days?
    If there are no gaseous reactants or products (i.e. only liquids/solids involved) OR if moles gaseous reactants = moles gaseous products, then Δn = 0 and ΔH = ΔE or ΔU).

    I recently saw a custom pot lid on bpl which was carbon fiber and kevlar with aerogel insulation. Have you seen that?
    Yes, I saw that and started me thinking on how I could make one

  12. #12

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    TEST RESULTS
    July,3, 2013

    Zelphs Fire Pot , Modified StarLyte , 1/2oz denatured alcohol with custom Caldera Cone.

    Conditions: 70 degree air and starting water temps.Kitchen environment.

    Three tests were performed.

    1. 7 min. boil time and continued to burn for an additional 1 3/4min.

    2. 7 3/4min boil and continued to burn for an additional 2 3/4min.

    3. 8 1/2min. boil and continued to burn for an additional 3 min.

    Because the burner has a tight fitting storage cap, it can be snuffed out once the boil is achieved and then capped after it has cooled sufficiently.

    CONCLUSION:

    Trail Designs Caldera Cones Perform better than anything on the market.

    The 3 tests show that 2 cups of water can be boiled with less than 1/2 oz of denatured alcohol consistently.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by iamscottym View Post
    Aa pot like this with a custom lid would be a lot more efficient than titanium just based on thermal conductivity. I can't find the weight on it but a 1.3L version is 1.8oz. http://www.amazon.com/Trangia-Minitr...s=trangia+0.8L

    I'll also point out that a titanium caldera cone is preferable to aluminum for the opposite reason an aluminum pot is preferred. Perhaps even the cone could be insulated to really reduce conduction. This would push the system towards primarily heat loss through convection. This is probably already the case for your modified Starlyte.

    Heat transfer can be simplified to a reasonable scenario of convection versus conduction and tabulated but factoring variations due to burner design makes it obnoxiously complicated because that affects the fluid flow velocity. I'm a control systems engineer not a heat transfer guy though. I suppose the easiest way to check heat flow is a thermal camera.
    Scotty, all of my previous experience has been with aluminum. I was totally surprised with today's test results using the stainless steel pot.

    A thermal camera would be awesome to have. Nice to be able to "see" the heat patterns involved.

    I'm sure the densely packed absorbing materials inside the Starlyte are a factor that makes it suitable for the enclosed environment of the cone. It prevents radical release of fuel within the fibers. The fact that the fuel can't spill out is a feature that seems like the Western states BLM's would consider adopting in areas of fire hazards. Having a lid for the StarLyte could be considered as the "shut off valve" If the burner should happen to flip over, it would snuff its self out. Over at BPL there is a discussion that indicates solid fuel Esbit is not allowed in areas that have fire bans.

  14. #14

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    Zelph,

    I could make up some insulated lids if you're interested. I work with carbon fiber on high power rockets and have the equipment for vacuum bagging and a cnc router to make the molds. It will take a little trial and error to get the mold right and I don't have food safe epoxy on hand but I could get some. That aluminum pot needs a lid anyway. Do you have a pot preference?

    You wouldn't exactly use a true bomb calorimeter which is used to determine the heat of combustion of a material by burning a sample. Instead I'm imagining a large insulated box in which you'd place the stove and pot and run the stove as usual. The goal is to capture some heat in the water in the pot and the rest of it in the box so you can figure out how much heat is wasted. You'd need something with high heat capacity and thermal conductivity to capture the excess heat so the air in the insulated box doesn't get too much higher than usual ambient temps. Perhaps you could use a copper CPU radiator with the cpu pad immersed in a glass of water. Does this make sense?

    I'm not sure BLMs will ever allow alcohol stoves. I think its easier for them to just say no alcohol stoves than to make an allowance for yours. I think your stove is safer than any white gas stove which they allow. Oh well.

  15. #15

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    I'm also wondering about burning n-heptane instead of ethyl or methyl alcohol. It has 2.5 the heat of combustion of methyl alcohol. That's similar to white gas. Have you tried anything besides alcohol?

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by iamscottym View Post
    I'm also wondering about burning n-heptane instead of ethyl or methyl alcohol. It has 2.5 the heat of combustion of methyl alcohol. That's similar to white gas. Have you tried anything besides alcohol?
    They have some thinner(heptane) at Michaels Craft Store locally. I'll pick up a can today and give it a try. I'll also be testing 1/2 tablets of Esbit to see if it will boil the 2 cups.

    Yes, I'm interested in the carbon fiber lids. I'll send you a PM to get your address so i can send you a pot.

  17. #17
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    Heptane essentially is gasoline/white gas. I didn't think that was advisable in an alcohol stove. Using white gas would eliminate a lot of the advantages of alcohol for me.

    Also, I don't see the need for a bomb calorimeter. It seems that you are most interested in two parameters - the power and efficiency of the system. Power is how fast it heats the water and efficiency is how much heat is delivered to the water from a given amount of fuel. Often these two are at odds - powerful stoves tend to be inefficient and efficient ones have low power. Which is best for you depends on your own preferences.

    The way that I have been able to measure both of these parameters in a single easy test is to use an amount of water and fuel so the water DOES NOT come to a full boil when the stove burns out (say 15 mL fuel and 750 mL of water). You will need to measure accurately and precisely to get good results. Measure the starting temperature of your water, light the stove, and measure the temperature of the water every 1/2 minute (I have a digital probe thermometer and a pot lid with a small hole so I can easily monitor the temperature during the test). Keep measuring until the flame goes out and the temperature starts to drop. Plot the time in minutes (x-axis) vs temp in deg C (y-axis). The points in the middle of the graph should be very linear. Do a linear regression of these points to get a slope for the line. Also subtract the minimum temperature from the maximum temperature to get a change of temperature (delta T). All these calculations can be easily programed into a spreadsheet.

    The power of your system (in Watts) is the slope of the line (degC/min) times the volume of water (in mL) divided by 14.34
    14.34 is a combination of conversion factors including 1 min per 60 sec, the specific heat of water (1 cal/g-deg C), the density of water (1 g/mL), and 4.184 J/cal. Some of these are approximations, but they are close enough for home use.

    The efficiency of your stove (in Joules/mL of fuel) is delta T (in deg C) times the volume of water (in mL) times 4.184 J/cal divided by the volume of fuel used (in mL).

    With these numbers, you could easily estimate other commonly used stove performance standards such as time to boil 2 cups of water (which will be based on the power of the stove) and the Volume of water that can be boiled using 1/2 oz of fuel, or amount of fuel needed to boil 2 cups of water (which are based on the efficiency of the stove).

  18. #18

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    The way that I have been able to measure both of these parameters in a single easy test is to use an amount of water and fuel so the water DOES NOT come to a full boil when the stove burns out (say 15 mL fuel and 750 mL of water). You will need to measure accurately and precisely to get good results. Measure the starting temperature of your water, light the stove, and measure the temperature of the water every 1/2 minute (I have a digital probe thermometer and a pot lid with a small hole so I can easily monitor the temperature during the test). Keep measuring until the flame goes out and the temperature starts to drop. Plot the time in minutes (x-axis) vs temp in deg C (y-axis). The points in the middle of the graph should be very linear. Do a linear regression of these points to get a slope for the line. Also subtract the minimum temperature from the maximum temperature to get a change of temperature (delta T). All these calculations can be easily programed into a spreadsheet.
    I will definitely use this method in the next few days. I have a digital thermometer with remote probe that I can use. Thanks a bunch for your useful insight into the measurement of stove/fuel efficiency. today I'll use 1/2oz fuel and 3 cups of water in the pot/cone set-up and then I'll use 1/4oz fuel for 2 cups of water.

    Heptane essentially is gasoline/white gas. I didn't think that was advisable in an alcohol stove. Using white gas would eliminate a lot of the advantages of alcohol for me.
    The Venom Super Stove has the ability to be modified to burn white gas. I originally did a video using a Super Stove made out of a budlite bottle. Here is a quote from a thread on my site:

    Here is the modification video. Do not use coleman fuel until I post specific intructions on it's use. coleman fuel is more potent than alchy :mrgreen: Need to excercise extreme caution.

    The stuff has mucho btu's, el grande combustiones :mrgreen:

    10ml, 1/3oz will boil 2 cups of 30 degree begining temp of water in 35 degree air temp. No warm weather tests have been made, use caution when experimenting.

  19. #19

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    Below is a rendering of my new pot lid assembly. I'm using 3K 2x2 TW 199gsm high modulus carbon fabric, one layer top and bottom. I'll use aerogel insulation or 2lb/ft^3 expanding foam in the void. Projected weight is 0.95oz.
    Pot Assembly Render 5.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

  20. #20

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    Scotty, the lid looks aerospace cool I look forward to working with you on this project.

    Here is what the pot looks like when it's in the fire and what the handle looks like. The handle is a modified Light My Fire Grandpas Fire Fork. Once the pot is removed from the fire the pot handle cools off within 30 seconds so it can be used to pour water into freezer bags or what ever. Cools off really fast. At the end of the video You'll get a good look at the lid that comes with the pot.


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