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Canister Stove Fuel Consumption....

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Re: Canister Stove Fuel Consumption....

Postby longri » Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:35 pm

AlmostThere wrote:I can get 5-6 days from the smaller canisters with my Snow Peak Giga with windscreen, boiling three cups at dinner and two at breakfast. If I get Optimus, the brand a local store sells, that does not happen. if I get Snow Peak or MSR, no problem. I filter my water first and don't get it all the way to a rolling boil.

You boil 5 cups of water a day for 5 1/2 days with a 100g canister.
That's the same as 5 1/2 cups for 1 day with 20g.
So your stove averages about 50% efficiency.

I wonder why the off-brand fuel doesn't work as well for you? Propane, butane, isobutane all have the same heat content. Maybe your stove struggles more in colder temperatures with the n-butane based Optimus brand canisters. If it takes longer to heat the water there will be greater heat loss to the environment.



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Re: Canister Stove Fuel Consumption....

Postby hikin_jim » Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:42 pm

longri wrote:What is "basic cooking"?
In other words just boiling water with a minimum of simmering if any.

For me: Instant potatoes, ramen, instant rice, instant soup, instant oatmeal, instant pasta, etc. I stopped using freeze dried food a few years ago.

The UL guys talk about how many 2 cup boils can be had from a 100g canister on a Jetboil. They say up to 20 which is about 5g/boil. With a conventional stove it's more like 7g to 8g/boil in my experience, although that is going to vary a lot with water temperature, ambient temperature, wind, and elevation.

Two cup boils though are generally for soloists. If I'm with my daughter, I typically do 3 cups per meal, three for breakfast and three for supper.

How long will, say, a can 110g of gas last a given person? It's going to depend on how much water they boil per meal and how efficiently they boil that water (as well as the environmental variables of wind, water temperature, ambient temperature, and elevation).

If you boil three cups per meal, it might look something like this:
Image

If you boil four cups per meal, it might looks something like this:
Image

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Re: Canister Stove Fuel Consumption....

Postby longri » Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:58 pm

hikin_jim wrote:With a conventional stove it's more like 7g to 8g/boil in my experience...

That's the same as what AlmostThere reported and what I get too. So 20g per day for two people translates into about 2.7 cups of water per person per day. So basically: a cup of hot beverage and a 2 cup instant meal.

Maybe I'm weird in using so much fuel. It feels right to me.
Would you like another 2 cup mug of tea? Sure!
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Re: Canister Stove Fuel Consumption....

Postby hikin_jim » Mon Dec 22, 2014 4:44 pm

longri wrote:Maybe I'm weird in using so much fuel. It feels right to me.
Would you like another 2 cup mug of tea? Sure!
Hey, nothing wrong with that. And my trips vary a lot trip to trip depending on what I'm doing and who I'm going with.

On my most recent 5 day trip to the Sierra, I was travelling fairly light and ate instant type foods (except for some trout that we caught). Minimal fuel usage there except on the trout, but we cooked them on a wood fire.

On other trips where it's more casual/shorter distances, I might make something a little nicer. Here's an egg, sausage, cheese, and green onion frittata. This was for night one of a shorter, three day trip. Most of my gear is pretty light, so it worked.
Image

On another trip where we were only hiking 2 or 3 miles to a base camp and then doing peak bagging from the base camp, I brought my baking set up and made blueberry muffins. My friend brought a 12 pack of beer. lol. We had some nice evenings in camp shall we say. :)

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Re: Canister Stove Fuel Consumption....

Postby rlown » Mon Dec 22, 2014 4:50 pm

would you like another sprinkle of Teflon on your frittata? yikes! pretty sure my AL pot with 35 years under it's belt put me at risk for something. but that would be a different discussion.

That actually looks really good, btw..
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Re: Canister Stove Fuel Consumption....

Postby longri » Mon Dec 22, 2014 5:30 pm

Ha! I've got an old backpacking fry pan that looks a lot like that. It freaked me out a little until I did some reading. Teflon and other versions of PTFE non-stick coatings aren't toxic. If you eat a little bit it's not something to worry about. It might even help things slide out a little easier in the morning. :-)

That egg dish does look tasty. It probably doesn't require a lot of fuel to cook either. What kind of instant eggs did you use?
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Canister Stove Fuel Consumption....

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Dec 22, 2014 6:50 pm

longri wrote:
AlmostThere wrote:I can get 5-6 days from the smaller canisters with my Snow Peak Giga with windscreen, boiling three cups at dinner and two at breakfast. If I get Optimus, the brand a local store sells, that does not happen. if I get Snow Peak or MSR, no problem. I filter my water first and don't get it all the way to a rolling boil.

You boil 5 cups of water a day for 5 1/2 days with a 100g canister.
That's the same as 5 1/2 cups for 1 day with 20g.
So your stove averages about 50% efficiency.

I wonder why the off-brand fuel doesn't work as well for you? Propane, butane, isobutane all have the same heat content. Maybe your stove struggles more in colder temperatures with the n-butane based Optimus brand canisters. If it takes longer to heat the water there will be greater heat loss to the environment.


it operates fine. differences in temperature and usage patterns account for the rest - it would be hard to claim it's at 50% efficiency without some gold standard to go by. I'm probably operating at different altitudes as well, mostly above tree line.

I only know that optimus gets me about half the use that I get with the main brand canisters. that isn't even worth the $.50 price difference. It may be a variance in the valve on the can, or it could easily be that there something in the can itself polluting the fuel. Cheaper brands of fuel are not as clean as the main brands. Sarah kirkconnel has had this experience with cheap fuel before and blogged about it.


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Re: Canister Stove Fuel Consumption....

Postby hikin_jim » Mon Dec 22, 2014 7:39 pm

rlown wrote:would you like another sprinkle of Teflon on your frittata? yikes! pretty sure my AL pot with 35 years under it's belt put me at risk for something. but that would be a different discussion.
Aluminum was at one time of having a link to Alzheimers disease. That idea appears to be discredited now.

rlown wrote:That actually looks really good, btw..
It was good. [burp] My best was another time at Greenstone Lake (general vicinity of Saddlebag Lake near Tioga Pass). We found wild onions. The blossoms on wild onions are particularly pungent. I diced them up, mixed them with smoked sausage and three different types of cheese. One of the gals was vegetarian. She said "don't tell my husband but that smells so good that I have to try it." :lol: I'd say that one went over well.

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Re: Canister Stove Fuel Consumption....

Postby hikin_jim » Mon Dec 22, 2014 7:51 pm

longri wrote:Ha! I've got an old backpacking fry pan that looks a lot like that. It freaked me out a little until I did some reading. Teflon and other versions of PTFE non-stick coatings aren't toxic. If you eat a little bit it's not something to worry about. It might even help things slide out a little easier in the morning. :-)
Yeah, some of my gear is pretty, er, used.

longri wrote:That egg dish does look tasty. It probably doesn't require a lot of fuel to cook either. What kind of instant eggs did you use?
It's actually pretty easy to prepare. I bring olive oil in a little tiny nalgene. I put the Nalgene in a zip lock. Oil tends to get on things even with something "bombproof" like a Nalgene. I grease the pan with the olive oil, add all the ingredients, put the heat on low and cover. I have to check it once or twice, but in five or six minutes (cook time, not including prep time), out it comes.

In this case I used real eggs carried in a cardboard egg carton. I just burned the carton after using the eggs. I just carried the eggs one day. We ate everything the first night.

That said "Ova Easy" is supposed to be pretty good.

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Re: Canister Stove Fuel Consumption....

Postby longri » Mon Dec 22, 2014 7:55 pm

hikin_jim wrote:In this case I used real eggs carried in a cardboard egg carton.

Nice!
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Re: Canister Stove Fuel Consumption....

Postby longri » Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:04 pm

AlmostThere wrote:it would be hard to claim it's at 50% efficiency without some gold standard to go by.

Gold standard? It's just a definition:
Net heat absorbed by the water / heat of fuel combustion.

It isn't precise because we don't know the exact amount of water or temperature rise, but it's possible to come up with a reasonable estimate.

5 cups/day * 5.5 days = 27.5 cups = 6.5 kg of water
I'm taking boiling to mean raising the water 80°C which of course can vary.
So heat absorbed is 80°C * 4.2 kJ/kg°C * 6.5 kg = 2180 kJ.
100g of fuel produces 4600 kJ of energy when it is combusted.

So 2180/4600 = 47%. I rounded up to 50% because it is a rough estimate.

When I've measured the quantities carefully at home my stove achieved an efficiency of 55-60%. In the mountains I'm pretty sure it's less and when I've gone through the above exercise with my own usage I've found it tends to be around 50%, give or take.


AlmostThere wrote:I only know that optimus gets me about half the use that I get with the main brand canisters. that isn't even worth the $.50 price difference. It may be a variance in the valve on the can, or it could easily be that there something in the can itself polluting the fuel. Cheaper brands of fuel are not as clean as the main brands. Sarah kirkconnel has had this experience with cheap fuel before and blogged about it.

Half as much? That's surprising. I don't know who Sarah Kirkconnel is but I'd be curious to read her blog on the subject.

Do you have a link?
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Re: Canister Stove Fuel Consumption....

Postby hikin_jim » Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:17 pm

In terms of cold weather performance, Optimus wouldn't be the best. But in weather above something like 50°F, it shouldn't make an appreciable difference. As I recall the kCal/mol values are fairly similar. I don't think you'd be able to tell one fuel from another without lab equipment. Maybe you got a bad batch? It does happen.

Take a look at this photo.
Image

The molding markings on all of the caps of those canisters are identical. They're all made in Korea. Word on the street is that all the stove companies (Optimus, MSR, Brunton, Snow Peak, Jetboil, and Primus) have their canisters made by the same company in Korea. Yeah the canister colors and the cap colors are different, but the dimensions and the caps are all the same.

A Primus cap. Same markings.
Image

Snow Peak used to make theirs in Japan, but a couple of years ago they gave in and outsourced to Korea. I think economies of scale must be at work here. Old Snow Peak canister left. New on on the right. Same markings.
Image

The only hold out that I know of is Coleman. Coleman makes theirs in France presumably because of the Camping Gaz facilities there (recall that Camping Gaz of France was bought out by Coleman who were in turn bought by Jardin).

It doesn't make sense that there would be much difference with an Optimus canister (except maybe in temps below 50°F). I'm not doubting your experience. I just don't see why Optimus would be so different.

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