02 Dec 2014

Spotlight on the Safire Burner

The Safire Burner was launched in 2013, as a latest Cameron Balloons hot-air balloon burner specially designed to serve balloon-ride businesses. Innovative features make it ideal for this sector, wherever you fly around the globe.

The Safire Burner range is fully certified and approved and is already working day-in day-out for some of the most successful and well-known balloon ride operator’s fleets.

Since the introduction of the Safire Burner, launched at Bristol International Balloon Fiesta 2013, it has delivered outstanding performance in service and become increasingly established in many tourist and bespoke traveller, destination countries. This forward-thinking passenger-rides balloon burner advances power output of ‘big balloon’ burner systems to new levels.


The Cameron Balloons Double Safire burner in action with the SkyDive Dubai crew

 

The Safire offers Cameron Balloons’ reliability, highest quality, trusted and precision-designed parts; immense and dependable power, as well as the huge advantage of a reduction in overall maintenance - all ideal for the commercial pilot or balloon-ride business.

‘The heat output per element, is a massive 70% more than many current generation burners.’ explains Pete Johnson, Designer, Cameron Balloons Technical Department.

Actually, we found ‘when using one Safire, the output is comparable to the output of almost two Shadow or Stratus burners. So when comparing… we in fact need to compare the heat of a single Safire with two Shadow or Stratus.’ Koen Audenaert, www.ballonvaren.be

‘In essence, pilots and operators need one less ‘can, coil and block’ to do the same flying work and, as there is one less unit to maintain, it means there is a reduction in labour time and materials when it comes to annual servicing - making it a very economical burner...’ reports Craig Moore, Cameron Balloons Technical Director

Product trails at CBL HQ with Monique Hoogeslag

Approved Cameron Balloons Safire burner / envelope combinations

Safire Burner Configuration, (Part number) & Permitted Envelope Volume
Double Safire Burner (CB4002) Ideal for use from 180,000 to 315,000cu.ft (5,098 to 8,920cu.metres)
Triple Safire Burner (CB4003) Ideal for use up from 250,000 to 600,000cu.ft (7,080 to 16,992cu.metres)
Quad Safire Burner (CB4004) Ideal for use up from 315,000 to 750,000cu.ft (8,920 to 21,238cu.metres)

Main highlights of The Cameron Balloons Safire rides-balloon Burner:

- The Main Blast control - red trigger action handles - operate the powerful main burner flame, which when on, can be over 8 metres in length, this is ideal for inflating very large hot-air balloons, as well as for in-flight control.

- The liquid fuel is fed from the cylinder via the quarter-turn ‘Quick Shut-Off’ off-take valve, with a choice of the Cameron rego-style ‘Hi-Flow’ or Tema couplings on large calibre hoses. The fuel then vaporises around the double element burner coil, before exiting through the multi-hole precision jets to be ignited by the pilot-light producing a powerful, controllable and slim flame.

- The Main Blast valve handles are arranged so two burner units can easily be operated with one hand if wished, and right / left hand controls have different textures to assist identification – the difference can be felt through flying gloves, and is a useful aid to fuel management sequencing.

- The Whisper control - blue handle - has the rotary action Pilots are at ease with, in an easily located, ergonomic configuration. This operating action easily differentiates it from other burner controls, and delivers the classic quiet golden flame, useful when flying close to livestock. The Whisper valve also features a textured handle grip (which again can be felt with gloves on) assisting with fuel management and in-flight burner identification. Despite being the quiet burner option, it delivers familiar and reliable levels of whisper-style power output.

- The Pilot-Light control – gold twist lever - dispenses fuel into the pilot-light ‘stack’ which is ignited by the push-button piezo to produce a small, strong flame that stays on throughout flight. This system employs proven components from the Stratus burner range to give reliable ignition of the main and whisper flames. It has been designed to need to be positively turned when operated, which prevents accidental switching-off in flight, yet the handle also protrudes just outside the mould-line of the circular base of the burner block so that it can be easily located when required. The Safire is available in either liquid or a vapour pilot-light options, and features an in-line filter-system to protect the pilot jet from any fuel contamination to enhance long term reliability. And, lastly when the pilot-light control is in the ‘off’ position it covers the piezo button which protects against inadvertent igniter use.

- The Safire also has the familiar features of a pressure gauge for each fuel supply, and easily identifiable hoses through a colour-code system enabling efficient fuel management. Each burner ‘can’ has an independent fuel system; an important safety and practical feature, with every ‘can and coil’ the pilots have the security that should a fuel system need to be closed off for any reason, there is still dependable and controllable supplies from other burner units.

- The Safire’s burner coil has a central pre-heating coil to maximise heat transfer for the fuel which, aids large fuel volume vaporisation without the need for a much bigger or wider coil. The coil also features an innovative water droplet reduction system which removes stray moisture which, may try to form on the tubing. Thanks to the high output it is possible to operate at reduced levels of fuel cylinder pressure - useful for operations where this is standard practice. This can offer a significant saving benefit reducing the inert gas required over the course of a flying season.

- The Safire jet ring incorporates proven elements from the Shadow burner range, but the eight precision multi-hole jets have been increased in size to deliver a market-leading level of heat output.

- The geometric can ‘fins’ add great futuristic styling whilst enabling an abundant airstream to flow into the burner supporting the high output combustion process. This and the coil are fabricated in highly polished stainless steel to give a great appearance to the ‘hot section’, and also enable easy in-service cleaning to maintain longevity of appearance.

‘In true Cameron Balloons style, it has a great return for the; power vs. maintenance vs. length-of-service vs. reliability ratio!’ adds Craig Moore, Cameron Balloons Technical Director

Although test data is still being finally corroborated, we are expecting the Safire to be economic in terms of fuel use too and with an expected per flight saving of about 5% – it makes this burner even more advantageous. Over a year or indeed the lifetime of the burner (which is expected to be that of the existing Shadow which if looked after can be well over 15-20+years) again makes this burner very favourable.

This burner is designed to operate with a minimum fuel pressure of (80psi) and 5.5bar

Extra information about the Safire Burner can be found here – Section 8 Supplements

Proud new owner - Capt Mike from Cotswold Balloon Safaris

Due to the huge volume of fuel required for this burner Cameron Balloons has designed two hose end-fitting options;
- The new Cameron Hi-Flow option
- or for those that prefer a Tema option 
(Note the current Cameron Balloons regular ‘Rego’ cylinder / hose fittings are not suitable for this burner.)

The ‘Crossflow’ central valve (red flat handle labelled crossflow) enables fuel from one source to be used for two burners – which provides an extra fuel management option on Triple and Quad models as required - although it should be noted that the burner provides more power if the pilot engages two independent burners and independent fuel supplies

This Safire makes use of the standard central ‘mono-block’ gimbal system, as already in use on Shadow and Stratus models. This makes it interchangeable within an existing burner frame should a power upgrade of an existing balloon be desired.

The double Safire is also available with pneumatic adjustable height frame system, which has the great advantage that it is safely adjustable with ease, during flight.

Larger models have 8 karabiner attachment points which doubles the safety factor when comparing with some competitor systems.

Available in fixed (welded) corner sockets or flexible corner sockets (which have a further degree of articulation using a jointed system which some prefer or need depending on equipment set-up)

‘In short it is a powerful, robust, reliable, easily-identifiable, dependable burner, with tremendous longevity and at its heart… Cameron Balloons engineering at its best!’ adds Pete Johnson, Designer, Cameron Balloons Technical Department.

A typical 'DOUBLE' Safire burner weighs 28kgs and has an output power of 38million Btu at 100psi / 11.0Mw using the two main burners and is 100dBA measured at 45cm below the burner
*Note these weights are typical but may vary depending on particular product specification or selection of frame

Routine maintenance is required at 100 hours or annual service.

More Top Tips –
In flight, each Safire burner unit should be connected to an independent cylinder full of liquid propane / LPG connected, tested immediately before take-off and remained turned on, for the duration of the flight.

The pilot-light is automatically regulated to keep a constant pilot-light flame size - regardless of fuel pressure or altitude and has a filter to remove any fuel impurities.
~ If you notice a reduction of the pilot light, impurities from the fuel known as ‘heavy ends’ may have got into the pilot light jet - it will need dismantling, cleaning and possibly a pilot light jet replacement – this is a job that needs a formal sign off by an BBAC / CAA or equivalent Inspector.

The Safire Burner has commonality for many internal parts with the Cameron Balloons ‘Stratus’ burner – which is useful if you operate a number of different burners; as it means operators, international representatives and maintenance organisations require a reduced number of annual maintenance spares namely; seals, valve stems, springs, shutters and the whole pilot light system.

To improve life of the seals in the blast valve (red handle) and whisper valve (blue handle) lubricate with 0.5ml annually or after every 100hours of service with Cameron KPS125 grease. This is a unique and specialist formula that Cameron Balloons has specifically designed for optimum burner performance.

Please do NOT use any silicone grease or ordinary car or domestic lubricants as they crystallise at high temperatures causing partial or complete fuel blockages.
3% of cylinder contents will fuel a Safire vapour pilot light for around an hour.

Useful note: The cylinder for a fuel supply should not be used below 25% - so that in an emergency – a pilot would have multiple burns at full power should it be needed.
Caution – The Safire burner is designed to use liquid propane, if vapour fuel is used for periods it will overheat and damage the burner, and using just vapour fuel left in a tank will massively reduce heat output and not be enough to maintain height.

Please contact sales@cameronballoons.co.uk for further information or a product trial of the Safire Burner.

Looking 'down the barrel' of a Safire

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