Wind and temperature drop.

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brickboo
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2013/05/19 14:10:35 (permalink)

Wind and temperature drop.

Yesterday I went up to 7000 or so feet. I left at 7:15 with coffee and donuts to start at 8:30 or so. It was perfect for a while. Then the temperature dropped to 55 degrees. The worst part was that the wind picked up. I took my umbrella down. 
 
My cart has no bottom under the fire box. In other words I can see the ground when I remove the spillage pan. Seems like plenty of cold air and wind was getting in there. Even the lids were lukewarm and most of the time I can't touch the lids. I have to use my tongs to uncover the food.
 
I noticed a couple of years back on a friends DIY cart the firebox was enclosed with a louvered vent on oppisite sides of the cart for the firebox heat. I don't understand the open bottom concept under the firebox. 
Would one of you engineers slinging dogs make a suggestion that might help me. The water in the spillage pan even quit boiling. Also, because of the wind my Grill's flame was dancing all over the place, and it took longer to grill the Dogs. 
 
I learned a lot yesterday. I'm thinking of making a fireproof bottom for my cart with a handle so it can be removed if necessary. I don't see why it needs to be opened on the bottom. There isn't any grease or other flammable debris that could accumulate and cause a fire down at the bottom. 
Thanks for any help on this too.
#1

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    BobbyVang
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    Re:Wind and temperature drop. 2013/05/19 17:23:31 (permalink)
    Edit: Re-read, open bottoms is so you can store your propane tank there instead of outside of the cart. Since propane weighs more than air, it's mandatory to have an open bottom in case of leaks if you plan to store propane inside on the cart instead of a mount on the outside.
    post edited by BobbyVang - 2013/05/19 18:27:53
    #2
    edwmax
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    Re:Wind and temperature drop. 2013/05/19 18:04:22 (permalink)
    What model cart and who is the manufacture?   I've haven't seen a cart with an open bottom below the burners.   ... I would install a metal bottom about 1 to 1 1/2 inches below the burner. 
    #3
    brickboo
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    Re:Wind and temperature drop. 2013/05/19 19:05:18 (permalink)
    Edwmax,
    http://www.concessioncartscompany.com/detail.aspx?id=2539470&PrefID=11967&.aspx
     
    I called Ben and he said his carts were open in the firebox area too below the burner and just like mine you could see the ground with the spillage pan taken out.
     
    A DIY cart I looked at had the firebox completely enclosed. I really am confused. I mean the wind I'm sure affected my cart quite a bit. Can anyone else comment on a stainless steel cart from any other manufacture and confirm if the the firebox is enclosed or opened, Please?
    Thanks for any info.
    #4
    sillydogz
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    Re:Wind and temperature drop. 2013/05/19 20:57:26 (permalink)
    i have a bens cart and mine is open. i have only used it a few times so i cant comment on its performance yet.
    #5
    jcheese
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    Re:Wind and temperature drop. 2013/05/19 21:05:54 (permalink)
    Were you able to observe the flame(s)? Were they blowing all over?
    Altitude will affect gas pressure and at what degree water boils.
    #6
    BpCBlake
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    Re:Wind and temperature drop. 2013/05/19 21:08:27 (permalink)
    wow, that has a small hotbox for such a big cart. most of bens hotboxes are the width of the cart. I would hate to have that cart at a large festival. people would have to bring you suppiles all the time. I never knew most cart have a open hotbox bottom, I guess they dont sell a lot to people that work on windy mountain passes. or they would have made the hotbox enclosed. bens could do it cause the hotbox is on the other side of the cart from the propane tank bay.
    #7
    Tristan225
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    Re:Wind and temperature drop. 2013/05/19 21:10:01 (permalink)
    Mine's closed, I have storage below it. I have one vent on one side and two doors with stamped vents on the other side. Some times in the winter when it's cold and windy, and the vents point into the wind it can make a big temp difference. I cover the single vent with foil and it helps a lot. There is still plenty of oxygen for the flame (I do not get soot). I would cover that thing up and install an adjustable vent. Health department shouldn't care about it. Fire department maybe, but probably not.    
    #8
    BpCBlake
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    Re:Wind and temperature drop. 2013/05/19 21:10:26 (permalink)
    true. alititude will affect propane and how it burns, that and cold.
     
    #9
    edwmax
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    Re:Wind and temperature drop. 2013/05/19 21:32:46 (permalink)
    I can't tell what type or style the burners are.  Anyway, fresh air intake and hot air exhaust is needed.    Fresh air enters the burner at the big end where the gas-line or valve connects (orifice & venturi).   ... On your cart, there is 2 holes in the back above the valve.  These are apparently exhaust vents and the fresh air supply is from the bottom of the cart.   ... this entire area below the burners does not need to be open and could be closed off to increase the efficiency of the burners by retaining heat.  Just provide smaller fresh air intake vents.  (Some of the other cart manufacturers had pictures of their firebox & burners; I can't find those right now).
     
    From the cart picture, it appears the gas tanks are located in the same compartment below lighted burners.  This looks like a fire hazard to me. if a gas line started to leak & ignites, you will not be able to get to the tank valve to shut it off. The valve handle thought the back wall is not the tank valve. It will shut off the gas supply if the leak is between the valve & burner; but not between the valve & tank.  (keep fire proof gloves on hand for safety and in emergency) And, the HD may not approve the cart as being a hazard to customers.
     
    Two other problems,    the sinks are in a  poor location.  Water (run off on the work surface) & splash will likely contaminate the food; therefore, I don't think the HD will approve.
     
    Next, the condiment trays are out of the operator's sight (behind the top storage box).  ... A liability problem should someone contaminate (accidentally or intentionally) the condiments.
    post edited by edwmax - 2013/05/19 21:43:26
    #10
    edwmax
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    Re:Wind and temperature drop. 2013/05/19 21:39:24 (permalink)
    BpCBlake

    wow, that has a small hotbox for such a big cart. most of bens hotboxes are the width of the cart. I would hate to have that cart at a large festival. people would have to bring you suppiles all the time. I never knew most cart have a open hotbox bottom, I guess they dont sell a lot to people that work on windy mountain passes. or they would have made the hotbox enclosed. bens could do it cause the hotbox is on the other side of the cart from the propane tank bay.

    Many carts have storage area under the fire-box.   The fire box has to be closed and usually insulated.   The standard round burners are mounted to the bottom and the burner venturi is close to the wall so fresh air is drawn directly from the outside.
    #11
    brickboo
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    Re:Wind and temperature drop. 2013/05/20 00:45:02 (permalink)
    I'm sure the altitude affected the flame some but the wind didn't help. My two propane tanks are located at the rear of the cart away from the burner. I have one burner but it looks bigger than the two that I saw on the DIY cart I saw.
     
    I grill most of my dogs and store them in the perforated half size steam pan. I put some of the grilled dogs in a 1/4 size pan with kraut to simmer. The cart has worked fine until last winter when I changed the orifice because of the cold and it worked great again until the high altitude, cold windy day we had Saturday.
     
    I served hot dogs to the tune of $336 between 9:30 and 11:30 Sunday before last at a marathon and I think I could have done more. My son separated the buns for me and the wife collected the money.
     
    I assume you lowlanders will  never have the problem of altitude. Lol.
    Thanks for all of the help. Oh I live in a deep valley that is sitting just below 5000 feet. Ha Ha!
    #12
    Tristan225
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    Re:Wind and temperature drop. 2013/05/20 00:48:39 (permalink)
    I know it plays hell on a beer when you open it!
    brickboo

    I'm sure the altitude affected the flame some but the wind didn't help. My two propane tanks are located at the rear of the cart away from the burner. I have one burner but it looks bigger than the two that I saw on the DIY cart I saw.

    I grill most of my dogs and store them in the perforated half size steam pan. I put some of the grilled dogs in a 1/4 size pan with kraut to simmer. The cart has worked fine until last winter when I changed the orifice because of the cold and it worked great again until the high altitude, cold windy day we had Saturday.

    I served hot dogs to the tune of $336 between 9:30 and 11:30 Sunday before last at a marathon and I think I could have done more. My son separated the buns for me and the wife collected the money.

    I assume you lowlanders will  never have the problem of altitude. Lol.
    Thanks for all of the help. Oh I live in a deep valley that is sitting just below 5000 feet. Ha Ha!


    #13
    edwmax
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    Re:Wind and temperature drop. 2013/05/20 06:36:40 (permalink)
    Good, the tanks are separated from the burners.  But, tanks in an enclosed compartment are a safety hazard and violate fire codes.   I don't see any vents from the pictures to dissipate any accumulated gas that may leak.  So the compartment bottom should be open or expanded mesh.
     
    Altitude should not affect the burner flame. You may need to adjust the burner air vent slightly for a better flame.   However, altitude does increase the time it takes for water to boil and increases cooking time. But the direct heat/cooking at the grill would not be noticeably different than at sea level.
     
    Blowing air (wind) can create a draft thought the burner compartment pushing the heated air out thought the vents.   For this reason, I would close off the area below the burners to retain the heat, keep the steam pans hotter; and decrease the amount of gas being used.  Fresh air intake needs to be provided, this can be provided with a vent in the new bottom just below the burner venturi.
     
    ps. correction about water boiling:   at higher altitudes water boils at a lower temperature, thus increasing cooking time.   The water will not be as hot as at sea level.  This is why pressure cooker work so well.  The increase pressure will make the water hotter than 212 deg F.  At 7000 ft above sea level water boils at 198.8 deg F.
    post edited by edwmax - 2013/05/20 06:53:03
    #14
    brickboo
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    Re:Wind and temperature drop. 2013/05/20 09:22:09 (permalink)
    Edwmax,
    You sound like an engineer! What in the hell are you doing slinging dogs. Ha ha! Thanks again for all of the info.
     
    I think the wind was the main culprit. I will figure to close the bottom. I think something was mentioned about the cart getting too hot if the bottom was closed, if I remember correctly.
     
    You can cook on the top of my cart in some areas around the firebox. I've burned myself more than once. Do you folks with an all metal cart have the same problem? I assume the DIY wooden carts have the enclosed vented system because of this problem. If the wooden carts got this hot they might catch fire probably.
    #15
    edwmax
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    Re:Wind and temperature drop. 2013/05/20 10:50:55 (permalink)
    brickboo

    Edwmax,
    You sound like an engineer! What in the hell are you doing slinging dogs. Ha ha! Thanks again for all of the info.

    I think the wind was the main culprit. I will figure to close the bottom. I think something was mentioned about the cart getting too hot if the bottom was closed, if I remember correctly.

    You can cook on the top of my cart in some areas around the firebox. I've burned myself more than once. Do you folks with an all metal cart have the same problem? I assume the DIY wooden carts have the enclosed vented system because of this problem. If the wooden carts got this hot they might catch fire probably.

     
    Increase the size or number of exhaust vents.  Then you may find the burner can operate with a smaller flame to maintain temperature.
     
    and, slow economy ... may be work will pick up for construction engineers soon.    right now companies only want to pay minimum wage.
    #16
    BpCBlake
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    Re:Wind and temperature drop. 2013/05/20 11:13:23 (permalink)
    sounds like your firebox is not insulated properly. some carts are like this. manufactor flaws.
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