Tag Archives: heat

Heat wave

(Disaster Manual/1. Disaster/Heat wave)

What Is Extreme Heat?
Conditions of extreme heat are defined as summertime temperatures that are substantially hotter and/or more humid than average for location at that time of year. Humid or muggy conditions, which add to the discomfort of high temperatures, occur when a “dome” of high atmospheric pressure traps hazy, damp air near the ground. Extremely dry and hot conditions can provoke dust storms and low visibility. Droughts occur when a long period passes without substantial rainfall. A heat wave combined with a drought is a very dangerous situation.

Heat Waves and Energy Crunches: the Future is Now
Alex Steffen, 16 Jul 2010
Two stories I came across yesterday struck me as particularly indicative of the gulf between the speed at which global change is unfolding and our perceptions of the urgency of the issues. There’s often a presumption that we have decades to change (so change can begin gradually) and decades more before we have to worry about impacts. The evidence, though, increasingly points to a much shorter horizon for action and adaptation.

1.  The first story reports on a big Stanford study which combined the latest suite of climate models to understand how climate change already under way is likely to affect the hottest extremes of weather in the Western U.S.: “The results were surprising. According to the climate models, an intense heat wave — equal to the longest on record from 1951 to 1999 — is likely to occur as many as five times between 2020 and 2029 over areas of the western and central United States.
The Stanford team also forecast a dramatic spike in extreme seasonal temperatures during the current decade. Temperatures equaling the hottest season on record from 1951 to 1999 could occur four times between now and 2019 over much of the U.S., according to the researchers.
The 2020s and 2030s could be even hotter, particularly in the American West. From 2030 to 2039, most areas of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico could endure at least seven seasons equally as intense as the hottest season ever recorded between 1951 and 1999, the researchers concluded.
The mean global temperature in 30 years would be about 3.6 degrees F (2 degrees C) hotter than in the pre-industrial era of the 1850s.
Many climate scientists and policymakers have targeted a 2-degree C temperature increase as the maximum threshold beyond which the planet is likely to experience serious environmental damage, the study says.
“Frankly, I was expecting that we’d see large temperature increases later this century with higher greenhouse gas levels and global warming,” Diffenbaugh said. “I did not expect to see anything this large within the next three decades. This was definitely a surprise.”

2.  The second story told of a new report from the venerable insurance company Lloyd’s of London and the Royal Institute of International Affairs (often called Chatham House) finding that Peak Oil, rising global demand for energy and the need for emissions reductions (not to mention the vulnerability of energy infrastructure to climate change and political turmoil) are very likely to bring big shifts in energy prices in the relatively short term:  The review is groundbreaking because it comes from the heart of the City and contains the kind of dire warnings that are more associated with environmental groups or others accused by critics of resorting to hype. It takes a pot shot at the International Energy Agency which has been under fire for apparently under-estimating the threats, noting: “IEA expectations [on crude output] over the last decade have generally gone unmet.”
The report the world is heading for a global oil supply crunch and high prices owing to insufficient investment in oil production plus a rebound in global demand following recession. It repeats warning from Professor Paul Stevens, a former economist from Dundee University, at an earlier Chatham House conference that lack of oil by 2013 could force the price of crude above $200 a barrel.

Both of these studies bear further examination and debate, of course, but the overall trend which I see them contributing to has become increasingly clear: a growing chorus of those tasked most explicitly with responsibility for our future — doctors, generals, diplomats, scientists — all telling us that when it comes to planetary crisis, the future is now.
Contrast that urgency with the political debate in most countries. What we see is an appalling gap between our elected leaders’ perception that these are problems for future generations to solve and the reality that we’re already dealing with them today.
There’s a quote that’s been bouncing around the Worldchanging office recently: “When there’s a gap between perception and reality, more reality won’t close the gap.” The gap between the political perception of our problems being slow and distant and the reality of acceleration and imminence points again at the importance of stories that help change our perspectives on scope, scale and speed.
<http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/011398.html>
<http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2010/07/13/Future-heat-waves-forecast-to-hurt-health/UPI-72121278993750/#ixzz1LjtgnFWo>

Extreme Heat: Know the Terms   (see section, E.  Hot Weather Health Emergencies, below)
•  Heat Wave: A prolonged period of excessive heat, often combined with excessive humidity.
•  Heat Index: A number in degrees Fahrenheit (F) that tells how hot it feels when relative humidity is added to the air temperature. Exposure to full sunshine can increase the heat index by 15 degrees.
•  Heat Cramps: Muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion. Although heat cramps are the least severe, they are often the first signal that the body is having trouble with the heat.
•  Heat Exhaustion: Typically occurs when people exercise heavily or work in a hot, humid place where body fluids are lost through heavy sweating. Blood flow to the skin increases, causing blood flow to decrease to the vital organs. This results in a form of mild shock. If not treated, the victim’s condition will worsen. Body temperature will keep rising and the victim may suffer heat stroke.
•  Heat Stroke: A life-threatening condition. The victim’s temperature control system, which produces sweating to cool the body, stops working. The body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly.
•  Sun Stroke: Another term for heat stroke.

Heat Emergencies
A. Before Extreme Heat
To prepare for extreme heat, you should:
•  Install window air conditioners snugly; insulate if necessary.
•  Check air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation.
•  Install temporary window reflectors (for use between windows and drapes), such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.
•  Weather-strip doors and sills to keep cool air in.
•  Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers. (Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80 percent.)
•  Keep storm windows up all year.
Pasted from <http://www.fema.gov/hazard/heat/heat_before.shtm>

B. During a Heat Emergency
What you should do if the weather is extremely hot:
•  Stay indoors as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun. Stay in the shade when possible, and avoid prolonged sun exposure during the hottest part of the day, between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. I know you may want to get a tan.. but trust me, you look just fine the way you are. Skin cancer is not worth it, also tanning speeds up the aging process of your skin.
•  Use sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of about 50—even on cloudy days. Apply a liberal amount of sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.
•  Stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine if air conditioning is not available.
•  Consider spending the warmest part of the day in public buildings such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, and other community facilities. Circulating air can cool the body by increasing the perspiration rate of evaporation.
•  Eat small meals of carbohydrates, salads and fruit, and eat more often. Avoid foods that are high in protein, because they increase metabolic heat. This will help your body regulate in the heat easier.
•  Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
•  Drink plenty of water. Carry water or juice with you and drink continuously even if you don’t feel thirsty. Injury and death can occur from dehydration, which can happen quickly and unnoticed. Symptoms of dehydration are often confused with other causes. Your body needs water to keep cool. Water is the safest liquid to drink during heat emergencies. This is especially true in an emergency.
•  Keep water in your vehicle.
•  Avoid drinks with alcoholic or caffeine. They can make you feel good briefly, but make the heat’s effects on your body worse. This is especially true about beer, which actually dehydrates the body. People who are on fluid-restrictive diets or who have a problem with fluid retention should consult their doctor before increasing liquid intake.
•  Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors reflect heat and sunlight and help you maintain a normal body temperature. Cover as much skin as possible to avoid sunburn and over-warming effects of sunlight on your body. Keep direct sunlight off your face by wearing a wide-brimmed hat. Sunlight can burn and warm and inner core of your body. Also use umbrellas and sunglasses to shield against the sun’s rays. keep a form of shade shelter in your car such as a tube tent for emergencies.
•  Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.
•  Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
•  Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Use a buddy system when working in extreme heat, and take frequent breaks. If you must engage in strenuous activity, do so during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. Try to do outside yard work during these early cool hours or at dusk when the sun is not directly on you.
•  Change into dry clothing if your clothes become saturated with sweat.

Additional Information
An emergency water shortage can be caused by prolonged drought, poor water supply management, or contamination of a surface water supply source or aquifer.
Drought can affect vast territorial regions and large population numbers. Drought also creates environmental conditions that increasethe risk of other hazards such as fire, flash flood, and possible landslides and debris flow.  Conserving water means more water available for critical needs for everyone.
Pasted from <http://www.fema.gov/hazard/heat/heat_during.shtm>

C.  Extreme Heat: A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety
•  Elderly people (65 years and older), infants and children and people with chronic medical conditions are more prone to heat stress.
•  Air-conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat-related illness and death. During conditions of extreme heat, spend time in locations with air-conditioning such as shopping malls, public libraries, or public health sponsored heat-relief shelters in your area.
•  Get informed. Listen to local news and weather channels or contact your local public health department during extreme heat conditions for health and safety updates
•  Drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages and increase your fluid intake, regardless of your activity level.

Heat related notes

1.  Heat-related deaths and illness are preventable yet annually many people succumb to extreme heat. Historically, from 1979-2003, excessive heat exposure caused 8,015 deaths in the United States. During this period, more people in this country died from extreme heat than from hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined. In 2001, 300 deaths were caused by excessive heat exposure.
2.  People suffer heat-related illness when their bodies are unable to compensate and properly cool themselves. The body normally cools itself by sweating. But under some conditions, sweating just isn’t enough. In such cases, a person’s body temperature rises rapidly. Very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs.
3.  Several factors affect the body’s ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather. When the humidity is high, sweat will not evaporate as quickly, preventing the body from releasing heat quickly. Other conditions related to risk include age, obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug and alcohol use.
4.  Because heat-related deaths are preventable, people need to be aware of who is at greatest risk and what actions can be taken to prevent a heat-related illness or death. The elderly, the very young, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases are at highest risk. However, even young and healthy individuals can succumb to heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather. 5.  Air-conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat-related illness and death. If a home is not air-conditioned, people can reduce their risk for heat-related illness by spending time in public facilities that are air-conditioned.
6.  Summertime activity, whether on the playing field or the construction site, must be balanced with measures that aid the body’s cooling mechanisms and prevent heat-related illness. This pamphlet tells how you can prevent, recognize, and cope with heat-related health problems.

D.  During Hot Weather
To protect your health when temperatures are extremely high, remember to keep cool and use common sense. The following tips are important:
1.  Drink Plenty of Fluids:  During hot weather you will need to increase your fluid intake, regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. During heavy exercise in a hot environment, drink two to four cup/glasses (16-32 ounces) of cool fluids each hour.
Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol, or large amounts of sugar—these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
2.  Replace Salt and Minerals: Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body. These are necessary for your body and must be replaced. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, non-alcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. However, if you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage or taking salt tablets.
3.  Wear Appropriate Clothing and Sunscreen:  Wear as little clothing as possible when you are at home. Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool itself and causes a loss of body fluids. It also causes pain and damages the skin. If you must go outdoors, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) along with sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels) 30 minutes prior to going out. Continue to reapply it according to the package directions.
4.  Schedule Outdoor Activities Carefully: If you must be outdoors, try to limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours. Try to rest often in shady areas so that your body’s thermostat will have a chance to recover.
5.  Pace Yourself:  If you are not accustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually. If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, STOP all activity. Get into a cool area or at least into the shade, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak, or faint.
6.  Stay Cool Indoors:  Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library—even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area. Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath or moving to an air- conditioned place is a much better way to cool off. Use your stove and oven less to maintain a cooler temperature in your home
7.  Use a Buddy System:  When working in the heat, monitor the condition of your co-workers and have someone do the same for you. Heat-induced illness can cause a person to become confused or lose consciousness. If you are 65 years of age or older, have a friend or relative call to check on you twice a day during a heat wave. If you know someone in this age group, check on them at least twice a day.
8.  Monitor Those at High Risk:  Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others.
•  Infants and young children are sensitive to the effects of high temperatures and rely on others to regulate their environments and provide adequate liquids.
•  People 65 years of age or older may not compensate for heat stress efficiently and are less likely to sense and respond to change in temperature.
•  People who are overweight may be prone to heat sickness because of their tendency to retain more body heat.
•  People who overexert during work or exercise may become dehydrated and susceptible to heat sickness.
•  People who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation, may be affected by extreme heat.
•  Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.
•  Adjust to the Environment:  Be aware that any sudden change in temperature, such as an early summer heat wave, will be stressful to your body. You will have a greater tolerance for heat if you limit your physical activity until you become accustomed to the heat. If you travel to a hotter climate, allow several days to become acclimated before attempting any vigorous exercise, and work up to it gradually

Do Not Leave Children in Cars
Even in cool temperatures, cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures very quickly. Even with the windows cracked open, interior temperatures can rise almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit within the first 10 minutes. Anyone left inside is at risk for serious heat-related illnesses or even death. Children who are left unattended in parked cars are at greatest risk for heat stroke, and possibly death. When traveling with children, remember to do the following:
•  Never leave infants, children or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open.
•  To remind yourself that a child is in the car, keep a stuffed animal in the car seat. When the child is buckled in, place the stuffed animal in the front with the driver.
•  When leaving your car, check to be sure everyone is out of the car. Do not overlook any children who have fallen asleep in the car.

Use Common Sense
Remember to keep cool and use common sense:
•  Avoid hot foods and heavy meals—they add heat to your body.
•  Drink plenty of fluids and replace salts and minerals in your body. Do not take salt tablets unless under medical supervision.
•  Dress infants and children in cool, loose clothing and shade their heads and faces with hats or an umbrella.
•  Limit sun exposure during mid-day hours and in places of potential severe exposure such as beaches.
•  Do not leave infants, children, or pets in a parked car.
•  Provide plenty of fresh water for your pets, and leave the water in a shady area.

E.  Hot Weather Health Emergencies
Even short periods of high temperatures can cause serious health problems. During hot weather health emergencies, keep informed by listening to local weather and news channels or contact local health departments for health and safety updates. Doing too much on a hot day, spending too much time in the sun or staying too long in an overheated place can cause heat-related illnesses. Know the symptoms of heat disorders and overexposure to the sun, and be ready to give first aid treatment.

Extreme Heat Protection
Extreme heat exposure occurs when the body’s temperature cannot maintain a normal temperature. Usually sweating will cool the body but sometimes it is not enough. Brain damage and organ damage can happen if the body temperature remains too high for too long. When humidity is high, sweat cannot evaporate quickly enough and prevents the body from releasing heat.

Heat Stroke
Heat stroke occurs when the body is unable to regulate its temperature. The body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. Body temperature may rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat  stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.

Recognizing Heat Stroke
Warning signs of heat stroke vary but may include the following:
•  An extremely high body temperature (above 103°F, orally)
•  Dizziness
•  Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating)
•  Nausea
•  Rapid, strong pulse
•  Confusion
•  Lightweight clothing
•  Throbbing headache
•  Unconsciousness

What to Do
If you see any of these signs, you may be dealing with a life-threatening emergency. Have someone call for immediate medical assistance while you begin cooling the victim. Do the following:
•  Get the victim to a shady area.
•  Cool the victim rapidly using whatever methods you can. For example, immerse the victim in a tub of cool water; place the person in a cool shower; spray the victim with cool water from a garden hose; sponge the person with cool water; or if the humidity is low, wrap the victim in a cool, wet sheet and fan him or her vigorously.
•  Monitor body temperature, and continue cooling efforts until the body temperature drops to 101-102°F.
•  If emergency medical personnel are delayed, call the hospital emergency room for further instructions.
•  Do not give the victim fluids to drink.
•  Get medical assistance as soon as possible.
•  Sometimes a victim’s muscles will begin to twitch uncontrollably as a result of heat stroke. If this happens, keep the victim from injuring himself, but do not place any object in the mouth and do not give fluids. If there is vomiting, make sure the airway remains open by turning the victim on his or her side.

Heat Exhaustion
Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. It is the body’s response to an excessive loss of the water and salt contained in sweat. Those most prone to heat exhaustion are elderly people, people with high blood pressure, and people working or exercising in a hot environment.

Recognizing Heat Exhaustion
Warning signs of heat exhaustion include the following:
•  Heavy sweating
•  Dizziness
•  Paleness
•  Headache
•  Muscle cramps
•  Nausea or vomiting
•  Tiredness
•  Fainting
•  Weakness

The skin may be cool and moist. The victim’s pulse rate will be fast and weak, and breathing will be fast and shallow. If heat exhaustion is untreated, it may progress to heat stroke. Seek medical attention immediately if any of the following occurs:
•  Symptoms are severe
•  The victim has heart problems or high blood pressure.  Otherwise, help the victim to cool off, and seek medical attention if symptoms worsen or last longer than 1 hour.

What to Do
Cooling measures that may be effective include the following:
•  Cool, nonalcoholic beverages
•  An air-conditioned environment
•  Rest
•  Lightweight clothing
•  Cool shower, bath, or sponge bath

Heat Cramps
Heat cramps usually affect people who sweat a lot during strenuous activity. This sweating depletes the body’s salt and moisture. The low salt level in the muscles may be the cause of heat cramps. Heat cramps may also be a symptom of heat exhaustion.

Recognizing Heat Cramps
Heat cramps are muscle pains or spasms—usually in the abdomen, arms, or legs—that may occur in association with strenuous activity. If you have heart problems or are on a low-sodium diet, get medical attention for heat cramps.

What to Do
If medical attention is not necessary, take these steps:
•  Stop all activity, and sit quietly in a cool place.
•  Drink clear juice or a sports beverage.
•  Do not return to strenuous activity for a few hours after the cramps subside, because further exertion may lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
•Seek medical attention for heat cramps if they do not subside in 1 hour.

Sunburn
Sunburn should be avoided because it damages the skin. Although the discomfort is usually minor and healing often occurs in about a week, a more severe sunburn may require medical attention.

Recognizing Sunburn
Symptoms of sunburn are well known: the skin becomes red, painful, and abnormally warm after sun exposure.

What to Do
Consult a doctor if the sunburn affects an infant younger than 1 year of age or if these symptoms are present:
•  Fever
•  Fluid-filled blisters
•  Severe pain
Also, remember these tips when treating sunburn:
•  Avoid repeated sun exposure.
•  Apply cold compresses or immerse the sunburned area in cool water.
•  Apply moisturizing lotion to affected areas. Do not use salve, butter, or ointment.
•  Do not break blisters.

Heat Rash
Heat rash is a skin irritation caused by excessive sweating during hot, humid weather. It can occur at any age but is most  common in young children.

Recognizing Heat Rash
Heat rash looks like a red cluster of pimples or small blisters. It is more likely to occur on the neck and upper chest, in the groin, under the breasts, and in elbow creases.

What to Do
The best treatment for heat rash is to provide a cooler, less humid environment. Keep the affected area dry. Dusting powder may be used to increase comfort.
Treating heat rash is simple and usually does not require medical assistance. Other heat-related problems can be much more severe.

F.   Heat Stress in the Elderly
Elderly people (that is, people aged 65 years and older) are more prone to heat stress than younger people for several reasons:
•  Elderly people do not adjust as well as young people to sudden changes in temperature.
•  They are more likely to have a chronic medical condition that changes normal body responses to heat.
•  They are more likely to take prescription medicines that impair the body’s ability to regulate its temperature or that inhibit perspiration.

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Propane fuel & equipment

(Survival manual/5. Energy/Propane fuel & equipment)

A.   What is propane?
Propane, or liquefied petroleum gas (LP-gas), is one of the nation’s most versatile sources of energy and supplies 3 to 4 percent of our total energy. As opposed to relying on foreign sources, approximately 90% of the United States propane supply is produced domestically. For years, families and businesses have counted on clean, dependable propane for heating, hot water, cooking, and clothes drying.

The advantages of propane?
There are six very good reasons why you should consider  increasing  propane use in your home energy needs:
1)  Propane has a wide variety of uses: heating, water heating, cooking, clothes drying, swimming pool water heating, hot tub & sauna heating and emergency generators. Propane is also used to fuel cars and trucks.
2)  Propane is a clean-burning, environmentally friendly fuel that can be stored safely in residential & commercial underground tanks.
3)  Propane heating equipment is designed to operate efficiently. Some equipment can be as high as 96% efficient. That means for every heating dollar you spend, you get 96 cents worth of heat.
4)  Propane heats water at one-half the cost of electricity.
5)  Propane heating and water heating equipment can be installed with special direct venting systems which do not need a chimney. This will save you money on retrofitting and unnecessary construction.
6)  Unlike competitive fuels, most of the propane used in the United States comes from North American sources.

Propane is one the easiest fuel source to use. All you do is screw it on and light the gas. Because propane is already under pressure you do not have to pump it or do anything special. Propane has to be under pressure because its boiling point (point when it turns from a liquid to a gas) is negative 44 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that it is normally a gas. In order to turn it into a liquid you need to pressurize it, which is why it is stored in strong metal containers.

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B.  Facts and figures
•  1 pound of Propane = 22,000 BTUs =8.5 cu ft LP gas.
•  20 lb tank of propane holds approx 4 gallons of propane (366,000 BTUs)
•  Your propane appliance will work for x hours= 366,000 BTUs per 20 lb tank propane/ appliance BTU output hrs .
•  Filling a 20lb tanks costs  about $15.
•  100 pound propane tank will hold about 24 gallon. (100 pounds / 4.24 lbs/gal = 23.58 gal.)
•  100 lb tank holds 2,159,400 potential BTU’s, so a 100,000 BTU input furnace could burn 21.59 hours, if your furnace is fired for 25 minutes of every hour (COLD WEATHER), over 8 hours you will get about 6-7 days on a tank.
•  1000 lb propane tank will hold 235.8 gallons. 1000 pound tank / 4.24 lbs/gal=235 gal.
•  Propane contains roughly 20,000 BTU’s per pound, so if you’re using a burner of 20,000 BTUs, a 1 lb cylinder will last 1 hour. If your burner is 2,000 BTU’s you’ve got about 10 hours of fuel in a 1lb cylinder.
•  1 gallon of propane:  weighs 4.24 pounds and produces 91,500 BTUs heat.
•  1 gallon of propane = 27 kWh (Kilowatt Hours) of electricity; this means that one gallon of propane contains the same amount of usable energy as 27 Kilowatt Hours, or we can say that 27 kWh equals approximately 91,500 BTU ( or 4.15 each  1 pound propane cylinders).
•  A 100 watt light bulb left on for a full day (24 hours) will consume 2.4 kWh. If propane were to power the same light bulb (hypothetically remember, we’re comparing energy content) for 24 hours, it would use .09 gallons of propane.

Notes:
•  The cylinders should be transported in a ventilated area and kept as cool as possible and out of direct sunlight if possible. The best option for 1 lb & 20 lb cylinders is a plastic milk crate with a reflective, white sheet/towel covering the top.
•  Propane cylinders are not rated in gallons. They are rated in weight because propane has been traditionally sold by weight. For instance, a standard BBQ cylinder is called a 20 lb cylinder even though it weighs a bit more than 20 lbs when filled. There is a larger one that is common to the RV world and it is 40 lb.. The taller cylinders that are owned by the propane companies are 100 lb, 250 lb and 500 lb cylinders. The horizontal “hot-dog” ones are 1000 lb units or larger.
•  A 100 lb cylinder is about a foot in diameter. Propane weighs 4.24 pounds per gallon. A 100 lb cylinder holds about 24 gallons of liquefied gas.
•  The 100 lb cylinder is subject to recreational tax, that means it will cost you more per pound to fill the 100 pounder than the bulk tank in your yard. If you lease your bulk tank, when you don’t want it anymore they’ll take it away. There is usually a discount for a ” bulk tank ” refill.
•  Buying your own propane tank vs. leasing/renting: “I bought my own 1,000 gallon tank 4 years ago. The difference in the price of propane paid for the tank by the second refill and I shop around every time I need to fill it.”
• Liquid propane will expand to 270 times its volume when it changes from a liquid to a gas. That’s why you can cook for a long time on such a small amount of propane.
• When your home’s furnace pulls full load on a 100 lb cylinder the vapor will freeze, limiting your 100 pounder to 75% useable volume until it thaws out. The reason is that a 100 lb. tank doesn’t the regulator discharge size to supply the needs of a full house furnace, and starves it for fuel.

C.  My propane appliances:
a)  Coleman PerfectFlow 1-Burner Stove: cooks 2.2 hours on High or up to 9 hours on Low. Lasting 3 days per 1 lb cylinder at 72 min/day [1 hr 12 min]);  5- 1 lb cylinders=15 days, 10 lbs=1 month, a 20 lb cylinder=2 months minimal cooking. 1 each 20 lb cylinder theoretically cooks 74 days of meals at 1 hr/day.
b)  Coleman QuickPack InstaStart Lantern:  illuminates 13 hours on Low and 7.75 hours on High with a 1 lb-ounce propane cylinder; 967 lumens. 1 lb cylinder=4  to 6 days cooking with a
two-burner stove or 3 hours of continuous early morning lighting for 4 days.
c)  MR Heater Big Buddy heater: two 20-lb. cylinders heat up to 400 sq. ft. for up to 220 hrs. (9 days).
The formula for calculating how big of a heater you need is the volume of your tent (LxWxH) x 4. A better insulated space might have a multiplier of 3, or even 2. If you camp in a nice 10×10 Eureka tent, tall enough to stand up in–you will probably need at least a 3000-4000btu heater.
d)  Camp Chef Sport Utility DJ-60LW Sport Stove: two 30,000 BTU/hr low-pressure cast burners, 14.75 inches by 7.5 inches by 28.25 inches, 364 sq. inch cooking surface.

Preview of my propane appliances
(see full  discussion in Warehouse/Equipment/My propane appliances. doc)

1 lb Propane bottles – how long can they be stored? (Answers from the Internet)
 •  The propane can never go bad, only the container. Keep them rust free . I’m using a bottle from 1994 in my shop today. All I originally did was wipe it with vaseline and kept the cap on.
•  ‘I had one that was over twenty years old. Worked just fine.’
•  I’ve been able to find half a dozen credible references for using Vaseline on tank fittings from Propane tanks but none against. Propane and Petroleum will not react with each other.

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D.  Read me first: The thoughts and process of refilling disposable 1 lb propane cylinders
At normal atmospheric pressure and temperature, propane is a gas. It’s heavier than air, so it will tend to settle and collect in low spots. That’s what creates the explosion risk when there is a propane leak, and that’s why propane storage locations must be designed to vent outside and not allowed to vent indoors. This is absolutely crucial. Don’t cut corners here.

The propane we purchase is “Liquefied Propane Gas” (LPG), which has been compressed into a liquid and is stored in cylinders designed to keep the propane compressed. The propane is always under pressure, and will tend to escape if you let it. So, the integrity of your storage cylinder is another extremely important safety factor. Don’t skimp. I don’t know what the lifespan of a refilled “disposable” cylinder is, but if it leaks or is visibly damaged, it’s time to get rid of it.

Myth: Larger propane cylinders generate more pressure than small tanks. This is false, they all generate the same pressure, which is dependent on temperature. Lower ambient temperatures produce lower internal cylinder pressures. Higher temperatures produce higher pressures. That’s why one of the guidelines for refilling disposable propane cylinders is not to do it in direct sunlight or on hot days; you could be dealing with very high pressures indeed under those circumstances.

See, what happens inside the cylinder is that the liquid gas vaporizes just until the pressure is sufficient to prevent additional vaporization, which depends on the temperature.

Pressure keeps the propane a liquid. And the vaporized propane gas exerts pressure. So just enough of the liquid vaporizes to maintain the pressure inside the cylinder to prevent any more of the liquid propane from vaporizing.
Now, you come long, open the valve, light your grill, and thereby release some of the pressure inside the cylinder. Propane abhors a vacuum, so the liquid starts vaporizing again to “fill the vacuum” left behind due to your cooking.

So here’s an interesting feature of propane systems: As long as some liquid propane remains in the tank to vaporize, whether it’s 90% full or 10% full, the pressure inside the cylinder remains constant. That’s why you can cook just as well with a nearly empty tank as with a full tank.

OK, back to the subject at hand: refilling disposable propane cylinders. The goal is to move LIQUID propane into the empty cylinder. It does no good to move GAS into the cylinder. The heavier liquid sits at the bottom of a cylinder, and the lighter gas sits at the top-keep this in mind as you continue reading.

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D.  Refilling A Disposable Propane Tank from a Standard 20 lb Cylinder

Step 1: Safety First & Disclaimer
The 16-ounce disposable propane cylinders are such a convenient size for camping that sometimes there isn’t any other alternatives, it’s a shame that even the major suppliers such as Coleman don’t provide refilling recommendations. The reason you don’t hear much about it, though, is that these cylinders are not DOT-approved for refilling. This means that you can’t take your cylinders to the local propane-equipped service station and have them refilled, refilled cylinders can’t be sold commercially and commercial operators can’t transport refilled cylinders across state lines.
Disclaimer : Whenever there is propane there is risk. If you decide to refill your propane tanks yourself, you have to understand that you do it at your own risk.

Step 2: What you will need
First thing, though, you need to purchase one of these refill adapters from Mr. Heater or one of their distributors. Cabela’s sells a similar item called the Mac Coupler, it’s worthwhile to read the negative reviews on their site.
The negative reviews, which are by far the minority, describe some of the difficulties people experience using this adapter. This can be helpful, because there are a few tricks to refilling these cylinders. To obtain the best results, it helps to understand a little bit about how propane works.

Step 3: Gather your empty, disposable 1 lb. cylinders
I collect empty cylinders from the campgrounds I visit. Most of the people throw them away in the recycling basket I collect them. I also collect the plastic caps because I always store my cylinder with them to protect the tread and the Shreader valve. Use bottles that don’t have dents or rust.

Step 4: Chill Empty Cylinder
You need to create a pressure differential between the supply cylinder and the cylinder being refilled. There are two ways to do this: The official way is to chill the empty cylinder. Remember how propane pressure depends on the ambient temperature? If you can keep the supply tank at room temperature and chill the empty cylinder in the fridge for 30-60 minutes, you can create some temperature differential, and therefore some pressure differential.
But even so, many users report that they only get about a half-full cylinder this way. It may take some experimenting to get it to work optimally. Chill the empties longer? Freeze them? I’m not really sure.

Step 5: Warm the 20 lb. Cylinder
Put your BBQ cylinder in warm water (not hot) for about 1/2 hour. This operation increase the pressure in the giver tank. If your bottle is under the sun a warm and sunny day, just skip this step.

Step 6: Weight the empty 1 lb. cylinders
Weight the empty cylinders. My results after weighing about 24 tanks:
Type #1- With plastic Base (Coleman Type) average empty weight : 384 g. This mean a 100% full tank will weight 849 g (384 g tare weight + 465 g of propane)
Type #2- With metal Base Average empty weight : 417 g. This mean a 100% full tank will weight 882 g (417g tare weight + 465 g of propane)

Step 7: The refill process
To do the refill process, follow the sequence:
#1  Plug and screw the refill adapter onto the 20 lb tank FIRST.
#2  Then, screw the empty 1 lb cylinder onto the adapter.
#3  Flip the tanks over, so they’re upside down, as shown in the picture. In this way the vapor pressure in the 20 lb tank is forcing liquid out of the 20 lb. cylinder into the empty 1 lb cylinder.
#4  Open the valve on the 20 lb tank. The instructions say to leave it open for 1 minute, but you will hear the flow of propane stop after 30-40 seconds. When the sound of the flow stops no more gas is being transferred, close the valve on the 20 lb cylinder.
#5  Turn the tanks back into their normal upright position.

Step 8: Weight the refilled 1 lb cylinder to check fill results
For example after filling a  Coleman type tank, its final weight is found to be 797 grams total weight. Then  797 g total weight – 384 g empty = 413 g propane weight 413 g propane in cylinder / 465 g empty cylinder = .888 or 89% full cylinder.

Step 9: Check for leaks and store refilled cylinders
Once you’ve refilled a cylinder, place some soapy water on both valves (the pressure relief valve and the regular valve you connect to your appliance) and check for bubbles/leaks. I’ve never had a leak, but it’s best not to take a chance. I store my refilled cylinders outside  to be safe. Protect the valve threads with a plastic cap.

Sources:
<http://www.instructables.com/id/Refill-Disposable-Propane-Tank-from-a-Standard-BBQ/>
<http://www.navagear.com/2008/04/refill-disposable-propane-cylinders/>

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