1914 - OIL vs COAL AS FUEL SOURCE FOR BOILERS

my notes:  

- BB35 was the last US battleship to have coal-fired boilers

- Though TEXAS the largest warship at her commissioning and carried the newest guns, the use of coal for fuel was antiquated (especially in light of America's oil supply) .

DENSITY OF OIL

Degrees Baume Specific Gravity Pounds per Gallons Degrees Baume Specific Gravity Pounds per Gallon
12 .986 8.22 24 .913 7.61
14 .973 8.11 26 .901 7.51
16 .960 8.00 28 .890 .742
18 .948 7.90 30 .880 7.33
20 .936 7.80 32 .869 7.24
22 .924 7.70

RELATIVE HEATING EFFECT OF COAL AND OIL

coal BTU per pound 1 lb oil (19,000 BTU) = lbs coal 1 barrel oil = lbs coal 1 ton (2240 lbs) coal = bbl oil
10,000 2.090 656.2 3.41
11,000 1.900 596.6 3.75
12,000 1.742 546.9 4.09
13,000 1608 504.8 4.44
14,000 1.493 468.7 4.78
15,000 1.393 437.5 5.12

my note:  

CUBIC FEET PER TON - for the equivalent amount of fuel; using coal at 14,000 BTU

- - COAL: 43 cubic feet (per "General Information U.S.S. 'TEXAS' finished plans Nos. 37 and 38" , pg 26, Coal Bunker Capacities)

- - OIL: 26.20 cubic feet ((4.78 bbls oil *41gals)*0.1337)) with 0.1337 being cubic feet for one gal of liquid

RELATIVE COST OF COAL AND OIL

(coal 14,000 BTU; oil 19,000 BTU)

Oil - cents per gal Oil - dollars per bbl. = Coal-dollars per ton
2.00 $0.82 $3.92
2.25 0.92 4.41
2.50 1.02 4.90
2..75 1.13 5.39
3.00 1.23 5.88
3.25 1.33 6.37
3.50 1.43 6.86
4.00 1.64 7.84
4.50 1.84 8.82
5.00 2.05 9.80

my note: the percentage difference between oil and coal

- at $0.82 per bbl: coal is 4.9 times more expensive then oil

- at $2.05 per bbl: coal is 3.92 time more expensive then oil

Source
Three tables from "Marine Steam", by Babcock and Wilcox, 1914


OIL POWERED SHIPS

Oil was first tested in the U.S. Navy on small ships. USS Palos, a tug in Boston Navy Yard, was apparently the first U.S. Navy ship to test this type of fuel. As a coal burner, Palos did eight knots. However, when converted to oil she did over 14. It was this highly successful test that led to the testing of oil on larger ships and in January 1909 the USS Cheyenne (formally USS Wyoming) was the first large ship to use oil. Her tests along the California coast were also successful. In 1912 the Navy's first two oil-burning capital ships USS Nevada (BB-36) and Oklahoma (BB-37) were laid down, and were commissioned in 1916.

As oil became the primary fuel in use in the Navy the rating of Coal Passer was no longer needed and it was changed to Fireman in 1917.

Source:
Information Courtesy of Naval Historical Center



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