question about scuba diving tank storage heat risk/expansion physics

brandon429

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Team I have this question.

years ago when we were diving actively we could store scuba tanks in the hot trunk of a car, on a strap rack, no airflow, on a scorching hot texas day as long as wet towels were laid over the tanks. it was the strangest physics I'd seen still to this date, the temp differential it could maintain was insane. 105 deg texas day and the tank is literally chilled under the wet beach towel, was radiation transfer that effective even though there's no currents inside a closed car trunk

sitting the tanks in the trunk without the cooling is obvious risk, they'd overheat.

wet towel was common practice here it worked all the time consistently and was baffling just contact alone could wick heat away, with heat surrounding the towel not cool air. And, the towel held water longer it did not dry out for hours on end. the tanks were always cool to the touch, 105 degree days no convection air. must have been high humidity inside low evap off the towel but still enough to keep pressurized steel tank cool to touch
 
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Paul B

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Tanks in the tropics are routinely kept in trunks and the climate is the same or hotter than Texas. They are way over designed for it. I personally have never heard of a tank exploding except if it was in a fire or in a Great White Sharks mouth and someone shoots it with a high powered rifle.

And even then, I doubt it would explode and blow up the shark but I am guessing. :oops:
 
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brandon429

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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hey that is neat to know. I figured if those valves let go it'll sound like a hiss from hades for a while in my trunk and that may be problematic depending on bystanders. but the towels just zapped it cool. neat to know they're tough anyway, meaning they might can withstand even without the towel didn't know that.
 

reddogf5

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LOL, if my scuba tank exploded from sitting in the trunk of my car, I would be super thankful I discovered it was complete garbage before trusting my life to it on a dive, right before I called a lawyer.

Both the water in the towel and the steel of the tank can absorb a lot of energy before their temperatures go up, which could explain why they stayed cool.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Team I have this question.

years ago when we were diving actively we could store scuba tanks in the hot trunk of a car, on a strap rack, no airflow, on a scorching hot texas day as long as wet towels were laid over the tanks. it was the strangest physics I'd seen still to this date, the temp differential it could maintain was insane. 105 deg texas day and the tank is literally chilled under the wet beach towel, was radiation transfer that effective even though there's no currents inside a closed car trunk

sitting the tanks in the trunk without the cooling is obvious risk, they'd overheat.

wet towel was common practice here it worked all the time consistently and was baffling just contact alone could wick heat away, with heat surrounding the towel not cool air. And, the towel held water longer it did not dry out for hours on end. the tanks were always cool to the touch, 105 degree days no convection air. must have been high humidity inside low evap off the towel but still enough to keep pressurized steel tank cool to touch

Ideally, with air flow at least, you can drop the temp of a wet towel to the dew point temp.

In New Orleans in summer, that might only be to 75 deg F.

In Albuquerque, NM, the dewpoint is only 10 deg F right now. :)
 
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brandon429

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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I am contemplating that over and over until it clicks

takes me three.5 hours to get to abq though :)


it was such a shockingly efficient conversion just sitting there in what I assume to be a very humid trunk that if the outside temp was 115 in Amarillo those tanks just sat there cool to the touch even hours in the trunk. glad to understand how after this much time. but that air was stopped/slow though. trunk of a sebring sealed.
 

slojim

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I have not owned my own tank in a long while - are burst disks not still required on the tank valve stem? I'm sure they can fail, but in theory, that's what should let go. Ruins your diving plans though - so good to avoid.
Brandon - your tanks are small enough you could do this on one of yours, if you were so inclined. If you trickled water over a surface and blew a fan on it, it would quickly get to ambient temp, but then it would continue to cool as the evaporation robs some more energy from the system, and might eventually reach the dewpoint inside your house, which might be somewhere around 50F if you run an AC.
 
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