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Anonymous Poster

Nonedible oil lamps

01/27/2008 4:07 AM

I live in a village without electricity. We are using solar lamps, but they are expensive and maintenance is a problem. We are looking for designs of non vegetable oil lamps which can give light bright enough to read. Most oils we tried do not rise up a wick. What are the designs of the lamps in olden days in rich peoples's homes? Any references on the net will help. Data on densities? Any one wants to collaborate with us? We will try out various suggestions and give feedback. Thanks.

T. Vijayendra

Vijayendrat@yahoo.cm

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#1

Re: Nonedible oil lamps

01/27/2008 4:59 AM

I think the "rich" people you are referring to used paraffin oil in the lamps. As far as I know it should also be expensive.

From where are you?

Solar power is can be accumulated free of charge. What seems to be your problem with that?

An alternative way to produce light would be to make candles using animal fat as a basis.

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#2

Re: Nonedible oil lamps

01/27/2008 10:37 AM
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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Nonedible oil lamps

01/27/2008 1:31 PM

I am sure nobody would eat them.

Unfortunately not cheap to buy or run. (for the poor)

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#4

Re: Nonedible oil lamps

01/28/2008 11:37 AM

The link BudT has given is great to start with. When I was a child in my village we did not have electricity.

We used to have 3 types of lamps. The rich went for Aladdin lamps which BudT mentioned. But looking at the Aladdin site I am sure perhaps even a relatively rich person will not be able to afford American Aladdin! May be you better look for some Chinese Aladdin!!

The 2nd type which still is popular was called Petro-max and it uses kerosene same as Aladdin lamp. But the difference is in Petro-max unlike in Aladdin lamp the kerosene container is pressurised by manually pumping air.

Both types uses a fluorescent thread mantle which gives out light when kerosene burn.

the 3rd type of course is the humble wick lamp. In the olden days I remember stories about deaths due to burning by spilling kerosene wick lamps which people used to make from tall leftover empty bottles. still the fuel is kerosene and this is a very inefficient way of converting energy.

When I was growing up i had some dreams of inventing a safe and economical lamp. Anyway one Dr.Godakande succeeded in achieving safety part before I could act (may be I was too selfish making money after I moved into the city life). Yet my dream of achieving economy still remain.

Here are my thoughts.

Have a biogas reactor. In villages this can be done very cheap. Then use biogas to burn into a flame and use an efficient mantle like in the Aladdin lamp/petro-max lamp.

By the way Chinese petro-max lamps (kerosene pressure lamps) are available for about $5 (I think). Perhaps our US friend may think this is so cheap why people grumble, but in this part of the world there are people who cannot afford $5 for a lamp.

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#5

Re: Nonedible oil lamps

01/28/2008 1:46 PM

Hi Vijayendra,

id the oil does not enter the wick or is not rising then either the wick is not made from cotton or it is impregnated with some ugly chemical nonwetting agent. This may be silicone or many other chemicals. Prepare your wicks from cotton and if these do not wet then boil these in water for some time up to one hour.

Any oil that is burnable will wet and rise.

To make more light from the flame you schould heat some coil of stainless steel to a temperature minimum red heat and add a yttria coated surface to be heated to generate light .

The steel coil will give ablue flame if operated without the yttria coated part. The blue flame is an indication of best combustion (without soot and at high temperature).

Yttria coated woven pieces of (I don't know) are used also in gas lamps and petrol lamps to generate light from heat so you can try these.

RHABE

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#9
In reply to #5

Re: Nonedible oil lamps

01/28/2008 5:48 PM

What is Yttria?

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Nadeem

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#13
In reply to #9

Re: Non-edible oil lamps

01/29/2008 3:38 AM

Yttria is Yttrium-oxide made from Yttrium-nitrate by heating in a flame on filaments of cotton (or for other purpose also on wires of platinum).

In former times Thoria was used but this poses severe health concern as any inhaled particles will cause cancer as Thorium is an alfa-radiation emitter.

So if you soak your wick (you can take those from gas or gasoline or kerosene lamps)

in Yttrium-nitrate together with some binding agent (proprietary) and carefully heat it until decomposition then you will get it right.

The result will be very fragile but if treated properly and heated it will glow with an intense light. The flame should not emit any soot, this will rapidly deteriorate the light emission

RHABE

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#15
In reply to #13

Re: Non-edible oil lamps

01/29/2008 8:21 AM

Thanks, RHABE for detailed answer. Is it used commonly in the lanterns or uses are very specific for some purposes other than home lighting? I wonder.

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Nadeem

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#17
In reply to #15

Re: Non-edible oil lamps

01/29/2008 11:59 AM

Hi Nadeem,

I don't know if somebody is still using Thoria in lanterns, all modern lanterns should use Yttria.

If you doubt you can place a piece on a film or a photographic paper for 1hour to 1 day in absolute darkness. Any existing radioactivity will be seen as dark traces on the film. But be careful not to take in by breathing any of the material - not even traces you can't see! As the alfa-particles do not cross more than 0.5mm in air the contact to the film has to be pretty close.

Yttria is used also as good electron emitter in vacuum tubes and vacuum measurement devices.

RHABE

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#6

Re: Nonedible oil lamps

01/28/2008 1:49 PM

I'm curious about powering your computer and connecting to your ISP, if you don't have electricity

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#7

Re: Nonedible oil lamps

01/28/2008 2:42 PM

I didn't mean to be sarastic in my earlier reply, but you're stretching my memory. My parents got electricity, yes even in rural Saskatchewan the year I was born. However, my grandmother didn't get hers until a few years later. I guess by your standards we were all rich,but we wouldn't have thought so. At any rate, she had pressurized Coleman lanterns (Excellent images on this website: http://terrence.marsh.faculty.noctrl.edu/lantern/, and I see there are variations in use today. Matter of fact, todays rich use them for camping. I particularly remember a model similar to the second image under Coleman Lanterns 1931-1945, with the exposed mantles on a long pedastal. They hung it from the ceiling, and it provided excellent white light for a large room. I know they don't come like this today, but I notice a large variety on the web My choice would be something like a modern Coleman with dual mantles.

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#8

Re: Nonedible oil lamps

01/28/2008 5:27 PM

What part of India you live in? I guess South.

There are GOBAR GAS plants you can have and it has light good enough to read. Few years ago, I have seen those small household plants on my trip to India near Itarsi and Hoshangabd area for the production of Methane for home light and cooking and they also lighted up the streets.

To the worldwide friends who do not know what GOBAR or GOBAR GAS is:

Gobar is cow patty. The villagers in India dig up a hole in the ground and put a inverted vessel with a pipe coming out to carry the gas. Another line from the vessel to put cow patty and water for fermentation and production of methane gas. Govt. of India wanted the villagers to have these plants and gave 50% of the expenditure on the spot if some one wanted to have these plants, builds them and produces the expense receipts.

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Nadeem Butt

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#12
In reply to #8

Re: Nonedible oil lamps

01/28/2008 9:08 PM

Hi Nadeem,

Any possibility of getting a design of a biogas reactor you mentioned? I probably can pursue my dream again. Then I do not have to invent the wheel!

I am Sisira from sri Lanka. email sisiraa@gmail.com

did they just burn gas to get the light or did they use a mantle. If so what was the mantle made of.

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#16
In reply to #12

Re: Nonedible oil lamps

01/29/2008 8:40 AM

Hi Sisira:

By all means. I have the original design of the Methane production as accepted by the Govt. of India. I am quite sure, I have some where in my papers. I will look for it when I go home to Houston, Texas next week.

After I saw the design and watch the operation, I asked my brother to take me to the office where they refund half the price of the expenses to put the plant in service. He obliged and I got the standard design from the office. The govt offices has the authorized manufactureres also on the approved vendors' list. It was nice to see that the villagers are moving forward and not rely on the Govt for supplying electricity and street lights. Every one had a light source on the street.

I think they use mantle and I do not remember which kind. I am quite sure they are readily available as they burn in the petromax which people carry on their shoulder when they go in the wedding party. I guess it is made of silk and are very fragile and make sure not to bump them when they are hot.

In the mean while, I can give you the design of the plant (if you can call it a plant) as I have memorized it and know exactly what is required. I will send you the design separately to your e-mail address as a PDF attachment as I do not know how to include the design in the thread.

My e-mail address is Nadeem0430@aol.com. Let us stay in touch.

Regards;

Nadeem

01292008

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#10

Re: Nonedible oil lamps

01/28/2008 6:42 PM

Hello, If you want oil lamps here is a pic that may help. You probably have some potters in the area that you live. They can fashion and fire these lamps from good clay. The wicks can be cotton or even fiberglass. I use good quality paraffin oil in these. Kerosene will work also though it smokes more. I hope this helps. sometimes people get off track too quickly in these forums rather than getting to the question. rustyh2o

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#11

Re: Nonedible oil lamps

01/28/2008 7:54 PM

Hi T,

You might be interested in flashlights with hand-crank generators built in. Also there are some that you just shake. Some of them have LEDs, and shine for a long time. I have seen some for under $5 USD. With one of those you won't need solar or any expense after the purchase, and it will be great for going to the outhouse.

S

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#14
In reply to #11

Re: Nonedible oil lamps

01/29/2008 5:30 AM

And, magneto powered flashlight are getting pretty cheap--low as a dollar or two. The village could pool together for some and pass them around.

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#18

Re: Nonedible oil lamps

01/29/2008 7:00 PM

I recently bought a lamp for camping that I have read by. Has LEDs runs on D cell batteries. Have read by it several times when the power went out due to storms. Have yet to have to replace the batteries. If you can find some rechargeable D cells and charge them with a solar cell. Then al you will have to worry about is running out of books to read.

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#19
In reply to #18

Re: Nonedible oil lamps

01/29/2008 8:47 PM

I have the same thing--a Coleman from WalMart--except mine's a Xenon; I prefer the light color and luminosity vs. LED, and it still gives about 1 week continuous light time. Although cost and availability might be an issue--all chargers are not equally priced or equally good--I do like your idea. However, I'm not confident you would get the same result with rechargeables (NiCad or NiMH) as you do with your alkaline's. I'm guessing you would not; and that Coleman would not recommend...

What say you?

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#21
In reply to #19

Re: Nonedible oil lamps

01/31/2008 6:27 PM

I checked out the Coleman with the Xenon bulb it was brighter. But the LED one last much longer on the same batteries. I have accidentally turn it on and left it on for days. Still haven't changed the batteries.

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#22
In reply to #21

Re: Nonedible oil lamps

02/01/2008 1:53 AM

The Xenon lantern I spoke of has been "in service" since September, and it appears its battery (of alkaline cells) will hold up through until late spring or summer, which was all that was planned when the lantern was purchased. It is only used periodically for short (5 min. to 1/2 hour, more or less) intervals. It also includes a feature which prevents it's being inadvertently left on: In addition to the rotary switch, it must be held aloft by a hanger built in to the top in order for the light switch to be enabled. When not held up, the top part (including hood, globe, and mantle with lamp collapses as a unit down into the (battery containing) base and shuts off power to switch and lamp. This is a feature that might not be available on the Coleman LED lantern--possibly being deemed as unnecessary in "light" of LEDs' very low rate of power consumption.

The choice between cell "immortality" when powering LEDs and cell disposability when powering Xenon incandescents is an interesting and oftentimes subjective one.

As for me, when it comes to "torchlighting" and beam casting I have both, bulb-type and LED-type flashlights (in the case of LED, I use the term, flashlight, loosely): the former for when I need to make out objects (or read print) clearly at more than about 5-8 feet; the latter for close-up use such as nighttime checking under the hood, airing up tires, reading maps, finding a tool, and such. Further, with LEDs my choice is "crank-up" type flashlights--and it's not just because I keep the battery-less magneto lights in my glove and tool boxes where the temperature and humidity can vary widely and the light can go unused for long stretches.

While a preference for battery-less with LEDs and incandescents requiring batteries might seem counterintuitive, I find that for the specific uses for which each type is reserved, there are respectively both technical and cost-of-ownership advantages. For one, while it seems disadvantageous on the surface for cells to regularly discharge and require replacement, I see that instead as a form of insurance against the cells corroding and damaging the flashlight or lantern, or surviving past their warranty period, or both--in which (in the last) case both the cells (discharged or not) and the implement are lost and must be repurchased. In a way, this...dis-economy is a factor over and above limited illuminability that makes battery-powered LED lights less a bargain than they appear...or than is advertised on store shelf packaging. By way of illustration, consider one example of an LED lighting tool which I purchased, only to returned it upon realization that it's primary function (other than lighting at very short range) would turn out only to be the...(that's right) the selling of batteries!

(Continued in next post, same thread)

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#23
In reply to #22

Re: Nonedible oil lamps

02/01/2008 6:37 PM

"I see that instead as a form of insurance against the cells corroding and damaging the flashlight or lantern"

I believe that batteries that are run down are the ones that corrode. It may not be the case for all types, but is for some. Sooner of later, they all run down even without use, so if you are storing a flashlight for a season, remove the batteries.

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#24
In reply to #23

Re: Nonedible oil lamps

02/01/2008 7:44 PM

Yes, I don't disagree...and I was attempting to suggest that--between the lines--in the overall wording of my message. Yes, it's probably true that corrosion likelihood increases with discharge (overdischarge); but batteries also corrode/lead due to "workmanship" defects; and all alkaline's are more likely to leak as their expiration dates approach or expire--after which (no surprise here) the warranty on battery and damaged item expires. Yes, it is true also that removing batteries--and not mixing them (the likelihood of which increases with repetitive removals)--or reversing them--etc--is best practice; but from a practical standpoint it is not always a convenient practice, likely to be followed in all cases (which is one reason I am leery of very low priced, off-brand cells). Many times I have found myself asking myself, "Should I remove the batteries now? Or should I wait until next time after which I am fairly sure the devise will probably not be used for a while?" (After which, what I asked myself is later forgotten about! this even when asking myself once again!) See the dilemma that often defeats the best intentions? Thanks for you additional point to my point. (I am posting as guest so that "my next Post" referred to above will remain inviolate and not lead to confusion.)

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#20

Re: Nonedible oil lamps

01/30/2008 11:46 AM

In olden days the oil of choice was vegetable, probably olive.

What sort of oil do you have available to use, what is it you are presently using for lamp oil?

I could suggest LED lamps connected to a battery with a manual crank generator apparatus.

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#25

Re: Nonedible oil lamps

02/16/2008 2:18 PM

Just dropped in

Check Link: http://www.plantoilstove.com a remarable work done by one of the giant companies

This is as a Primus ( we swedes like Primus and not Coleman ;-) stove running on carbon rich vegatable oil and probably an yttria glow net could be adopted and then you will have a "petromax" running on vegable oil...

Maybe worth writing to this people ..maybe the do not know your problem they usually work at the high end but the engineer resources are formidable within the Siemens company .... maybe you could convince them to make a Siemens lamp to introduce the name in more places ;-) .... or try to get hold of a palm oil stove and a few Petromaxlamps and sit down and think ...go to the local blacksmith and maybe you have a growing small cottage industry ....

biber@telia.com ( as a matter of fact a kicked out Siemens Man , I was to old ......)

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#26
In reply to #25

Re: Nonedible oil lamps

02/16/2008 4:39 PM

Vegetable oil? As in manufactured and bottled...and discardable vegetable oil?

Perhaps in Sweden but...

And, mind you... "We are looking for designs of non vegetable oil lamps...," said the original questioner.

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#27
In reply to #26

Re: Nonedible oil lamps

02/16/2008 6:09 PM

What about Jathropa oil ? Vegatable oil ? Ediable?

A good program running for Diesel manufacture

Check the link

Best

Biber

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