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Author Topic: Just a thought- Induction hot water heater(?)  (Read 5720 times)
Chaz
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« on: January 05, 2008, 10:46:25 AM »

I have been reading the threads on induction cooking and it occurred to me, would it be possible to do an induction hot water heater??
 I have ZERO experience in these things, but REALLY like the idea of having a cooktop like this. And from what people say, it heats water like "right now". I'm also under the impression they don't use an exorbitant amount of electricity. I wonder if any of these companies thought about doing hot water heaters with that technology?? Like I said, I haven't a clue how they work but it seems that it could be possible.
  I understand the pots and pans have to be magnetic. 300 series stainless isn't, but 400 series is. (it's usually harder than Chinese arithmatic too!) I'm assuming that would be the material they use in the stainless pans.
  Any of you guys got any knowledge on this??
 
    Just thinkin again,
       Chaz
   
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« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2008, 12:35:56 PM »

Chaz,

I thought I would repost in this ditch thread too:

Seriously, if you used something like the Polaris, all you would need would be the induction heating unit.

You can see specs of the Polaris here:

http://www.americanwaterheater.com/products/pdf/lpg100.pdf

Any ideas on an induction heating unit to install inside the tank?

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« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2008, 12:42:29 PM »

RF induction is how microwave ovens heat (water)..(food & Huh)

Ya gotta get the electrons excited somehow... 2,450 mhz Shocked Shocked Shocked

Everything else is "conduction" heating, Nichrome wire with current passing through it excites the atoms that vibrate and create heat. That gets conducted to the metal tube that conducts the heat intothe water.. ( heating element )...

Or something along those lines....

Must be the weather or something today..Huh?
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« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2008, 09:16:19 PM »

Induction cooktops don't get hot, just the pan gets heated. You can touch the cooktop and it will remail cold except where the pan heats it up. Jerry
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« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2008, 09:45:22 PM »

OLD MAN,

That Polaris is a winner.  remember when Charlie said his exhaust was running 600 degrees? Cry  That is heat out the window and efficiency down the tubes.  Angry  I thought it must be a missprint when i first read that the exhaust pipe was made of PVC or ABS.  I can now see how they can do that. Cool  200,000 BTUs and 96% efficiency. Huh  Is there anything that can compare with this?

The only thing I saw that gave me even a little pause was that the thing was using potable water as the heating medium.  With any hard water there would be deposits somewhere in that system, wouldn't there be?  I know the water heater in my RV is full of solids and that eventually will kill the system with "hotspots".

The seconf thought I had was that this would make the ideal heat transfer methode if we could get a fire box at the input to the coils where the gas flame is and run with WVO or WMO or diesel.  96% efficiency and a "cold" exhaust.......gawahhhhn!  Shocked Shocked Shocked

Thanks for the post.  Very interesting....(without the swastika)

John
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« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2008, 05:23:19 AM »

John,

I have used and installed (back when I was in the HVAC business) a lot of Polaris water heaters. They are like buses...either you love them or hate them!  Grin

On the plus side, they are very efficient, quiet, can be installed about anywhere, can be vented with PVC pipe and produce a large amount of hot water. I used to tell my customers they could turn on the hot water faucet and let it run. They would never run out of hot water as long as they had gas. I also used them for hydronic heating. They do not collect deposits because the flue does not get hot enough to boil the deposits out of the water. I have seen one cut open that was 15 years old & it was clean as could be.

The cons are they are somewhat temperamental. They need to be LEVEL. The gas pressure has to be just right. Unfortunately, when they were introduced, a lot of techs didn't read the installation book and had problems. They operate on NEGATIVE gas pressure, meaning if the gas valve opened without the unit being on, no gas comes out. They also require a couple of special gauges to set them up.

The level requirement is because they condense water in the flue. That water runs down the inside and is collected and drained out of the bottom. It will operate fine not level but if the condensate drips on the igniter, it will burn out and the unit won't light next time. I made a lot of service calls on units installed by other techs that were not level.

I would have one of these in the bus for all heating & hot water needs except for the leveling problem. I have been told the new design solves that but it would be a big investment (about $2300 wholesale) to find out.

Put one in your house, you won't be sorry.

TOM
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makemineatwostroke
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« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2008, 07:12:49 AM »

Tom and Chaz, you two may be on to something when Target or Best Buy  opens this morning I am going to buy a induction cook top and set it under a 7 gal SS fish fryer I have and see how long it takes to heat the water to 145 degrees compared to propane.I will post the results for you when finshed Its the Amercian way may not be scientific but I need to know, do you think I should test with lid on or off, insulate or not, and what wattage should I test with ( 900 to 1500) need input here from you guys.We can do it by Email if you like for the ones that don't post
« Last Edit: January 06, 2008, 07:58:44 AM by makemineatwostroke » Logged
captain ron
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« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2008, 07:36:57 AM »

Tom and Chaz, you two may be on to something when Target or Best Buy  opens this morning I am going to buy a induction cook top and set it under a 7 gal SS fish fryer I have and see how long it takes to heat the water to 145 degrees compared to propane.I will post the results for you when finshed Its the Amercian way may not be scientific but I need to know, do you think I should test with lid on or off, insulate or not, and what wattage should I test with ( 900 to 1500) need input here from you guys.We can do it by Email if you like

Way to go 2 stroke. Work on a great idea and hide the stats and results in e-mails.
That does it, I will no further post any of my data on the tests of my new propetual energy WVO fired boiler/thermal conducting/hot water tank/turkey fryer and the amount of money I make selling power back to the state of Delaware.  Grin
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makemineatwostroke
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« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2008, 07:44:57 AM »

Charley, i have no problem with posting the testing and if you have any input on this, post or email  makes no difference some guys just do not like to post so I offered a option for those
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Chaz
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« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2008, 08:29:06 AM »

No, no, no, DEFINITELY post your findings here on this thread, 2stroke!!!!! This is GREAT info!!!! Charlie is right. (Facetious as the ol' biker trash might be!! LOLOL  Grin Grin Grin ya just gotta love the ol' scooter bum!  Cheesy)   Takes one to know one!
 As far as with/without insulation, etc. hell, try it a couple ways if ya got time! This is good info! Maybe us bus nuts should start a little business venture and design and build induction hot water heaters!!  Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes LOL  Well.......................... maybe somebody should.  Wink  I am already up to my eyeballs developing an industrial corn burner.
  That Polaris sounds like an awesome heater. I would have one but I am going to go with a solar panel on my house. One panel will take care of all my hot water needs including heating the house. (before someone thinks I'm crazy, they need to see my house)

Anyway, PLEEEEEEESE post your results here 2stroke!! This is cool.

     Chaz
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« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2008, 08:51:31 AM »

Ok, Does that mean I'm back on the board of directors? Oh and Chaz Biker Trash? I want you to know I resemble that remark.

I don't know a lot about induction other than if you put magnetic steel on it it heats up. So for a hot water tank you would need to put an aquastat on the tank to turn on/off the power source and you should have at least a crude hot water tank. The insulating would come later after the idea is proven to work.
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« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2008, 08:55:58 AM »

Chaz,
     Even better than an induction water heater is one that uses a plasma arc under water to heat water. Several of these have been shown to actually produce more heat in the water than can be accounted for from the electrical power input.  The excess heat is attributed to nuclear fusion of some of the hydrogen in the water. So far none have reached the US market but one is being sold in Russia.
Regards
Jerry 4107 1120
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makemineatwostroke
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« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2008, 09:09:32 AM »

A couple of questions, 1 where I should weld the fitting for the electric element for the test  top, bottom or middle.I got an email from someone asking to compare the electric element with the same wattage.2 should i weld the lid or use alminum tape and what can i use to measure the kw used maybe the power co will help I thought about trying use the the meter but it is 500ft from my shop  thanks
« Last Edit: January 06, 2008, 09:32:22 AM by makemineatwostroke » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2008, 10:11:56 AM »

Well heat rises so I would say bottom would be more efficient. As far as the proto type goes I would think the tape should be fine.
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« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2008, 11:01:18 AM »

another question for you tell me if I am close on this

1 gallon of propane = 1525 btu per min    tranlates to 26.81 kw per min to achive the same btu right or wrong

 
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« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2008, 11:46:53 AM »

Please educate me on induction stove tops. Microwave ovens heat water by disturbing the molecules with high frequency radiation. If you put the water in a metal container, the radiation doesn't reach the water. My concept of induction stove tops was low frequency radiation that disturbed the molecules in the metal container causing heat which transfered to the water. Is this not how they work?
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« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2008, 12:01:23 PM »

Folks,

This whole discussion makes no sense to me.  There would be no reason to use inductive technology to make a water heater.

The reason induction is more efficient for cooktops has to do with heat loss to the environment.  With a stove, the food is inside a pan, and the heat source is outside the pan.  Conventional radiant technology tends to heat the environment around the pan, by which I mean not only the air but also the other parts of the cooktop itself, and this heat is "lost energy" as far as the cooking process is concerned.  By contrast, induction tends to heat only the pan, and thus more of the input energy is transferred to the food.  (Some energy is still lost as the pan itself radiates outward to the environment as well as inward to the food.)

(Another benefit of induction for cooking, versus radiant electric, is that it is more "controllable"  -- eliminating the thermal mass of the radiant elements means changes in the control knob are more instantaneously translated to the pan.  Probably not important when building a hot water heater.)

When it comes to a water heater, the mechanics are completely different.  The heating element is inside the tank, completely surrounded by the water it is heating.  Absolutely every watt that goes in to the element turns directly into heat, which is transferred directly to the water.  There is no opportunity for the heat to be lost to the environment at the element.  Of course, once you heat the water, heat migrates to the environment through the tank, which is why you want the best insulation, and as much of it, as you can get around the tank.  But that's true no matter how you heat the water in the first place.  (Incidentally, while any electric element is nearly 100% efficient, the same is not true for gas, where, inevitably, some of the energy is lost as hot exhaust goes up the flue.)

In fact, if you tried to build an "induction" water heater, you would be tempted to use a steel tank and heat that with induction.  Heating the tank, which is by definition on the outside of the water, would actually be less efficient than heating the water using an immersed element.  More of the heat will end up radiating outward from the tank into the environment, versus heating the water from inside.

FWIW.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2008, 12:02:21 PM »

Stan,
    The induction of the cooktops involves magnetic coupling to and resistance of the pan bottom.  The cooktop is kind of like half of a transformer  with a primary winding and part of the core.  The pan completes the magnetic circuit and is quite lossy due to it's resistance so it gets hot.  Unlike a microwave there is no high frequency involved, in the induction cooktop it's all done at 60 Hz.
Regards
Jerry 4107 1120
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« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2008, 12:08:25 PM »

Please educate me on induction stove tops. ...


Here are the basics:

http://theinductionsite.com/how-induction-works.shtml

-Sean
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« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2008, 12:30:54 PM »

I was aware that what I referred to as low frequency radiation was magnetic and Jerry says it is just 60 hz but the link from Sean says that it is high frequency, but doesn't say how high. Anyone know?
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« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2008, 01:42:59 PM »

You guys are way beyond how far I want to go with this but I really like the discussion.

One advantage of an induction water heater would be for folks who have all electric buses. If induction is more efficient, it would take less electricity to heat the water and thereby reduce overall capacity requirements.

FWIW,

TOM
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« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2008, 02:01:27 PM »

All,
    I should have been corrected.  The induction cooktops work NOT at 60 hz but also NOT at microwave frequencies of 2450 MHZ.  In fact they use frequencies in the range of 15,000 Hz to 50,000Hz usually refereed to as 'ultrasonic' frequencies.  At these frequencies most materials behave much more like the do at 60 hz than at microwave frequencies.
Regards
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« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2008, 02:17:06 PM »

Please excuse my cryptic posts. Lately I have been trying very hard to not post negative comments about the ideas of people who are trying very hard to re-invent the wheel. Since some of the ideas appear to lead into quantum physics there is a lot of room for controversy.
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Sean
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« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2008, 09:07:51 PM »

Sorry, I missed this question earlier:

another question for you tell me if I am close on this

1 gallon of propane = 1525 btu per min    tranlates to 26.81 kw per min to achive the same btu right or wrong
 

Umm, well, if you really just want a one-word answer, then: WrongWink

However, the more detailed explanation is that you are mixing up rates with quantities.

A gallon of "LP Gas" (what is mostly sold in the US as "Propane") holds around 91,000 BTU.  There is no "per minute" or "per hour" in that figure -- BTU's are a measure of energy, and that's how much energy is stored in a gallon of the stuff.

Appliances, on the other hand, are rated by how much energy they consume over time.  So heaters and stoves, for example, are rated in "BTU's per hour."  Many people, including those who write advertising copy, mistakenly write this number as simply "BTU's" -- but, rest assured, heaters and air conditioners can only be described by rates, such as "BTU per hour."

Electrical energy is generally described in the metric system, which uses different terminology.  In that system, a "Watt" (or KiloWatt) is a measure of Power.  Energy, by contrast, is power applied over a period of time.  So there is a translation between "BTU's Per Hour" and "KiloWatts", and there is also a translation between "BTUs" and "KiloWatt-Hours", but you can't translate between "BTUs" and "KiloWatts" -- they are different units.  It would be like asking how many gallons are in a mile.

For reference, 1,000 BTUs/Hr is roughly 0.3 KW (or 300 watts), and 1 KiloWatt-Hour is roughly 3,400 BTU's.

In your example, if your had a stove that was rated at 1,525 BTU's per minute (which is ridiculously high -- that would translate to a "BTU Rating" of over 90,000, where "BTU Rating" is marketing-speak for "BTUs per hour"), then that would, indeed, translate to roughly 26.8 KW (not KW per Minute).

Bear in mind, though, that the average residential gas burner has a "BTU Rating" of around 10,000 -- about a tenth of your example.  My own LP gas range has a pair of, I think, 6,000 BTU/Hr burners.  In "electric" terms, those would translate to 1,750 Watts each -- or about 15 amps at 120 volts.

The topic upon which you are touching, though, is quite germane.  There is absolutely nothing inherently more "efficient" about LP stoves than electric ones (in fact, quite the opposite is true), but, in an RV, getting enough electric power to the appliance can be a challenge.  Plugged in to shore power, you must consider that the average household electric range can use as much electric power as is available to the entire bus conversion (in fact, they use the same plug end).

The whole reason Induction is such an attractive technology in an RV is that it reduces the power consumption down to an amount that is reasonably managed on an RV power budget.  We use our induction stove anytime we have shore power available, or if our generator is running.  (Incidentally, a gallon of LP holds only about 91,000 BTU, whereas a gallon of diesel holds about 139,000 BTU.)

HTH.

-Sean

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makemineatwostroke
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« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2008, 06:08:53 AM »

Thanks for the reply Sean a one word answer will work for me.but this something I would like to try, will it work probably not , and if I need engineering it's a phone call for me to Stewart and Stevenson they have hundreds. have a good day
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« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2008, 02:42:58 PM »

Sean,

Sure glad you jumped in here... The explanation that works.
You said what I was thinking... Smiley Smiley

It is all physics and physical properties of the heat source and container.

It's about what is doing the heating, Not the actual contents being heated
like a microwave does.

Recently an article of news said that using aluminum cookware may
contribute to alzhiemers. I have to make my wife throw out that old
aluminum pan along with the telfon coated stuff..
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« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2008, 03:40:58 PM »

Sean, I wonder if a cast iron divot (is that the right word for those three legged things you set a hot pan on?) placed in a non ferrous container would heat up the contents of the container.

Richard
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« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2008, 05:34:10 PM »

Quote
I wonder if a cast iron divot (is that the right word for those three legged things you set a hot pan on?) placed in a non ferrous container would heat up the contents of the container

I'm not Sean, but our induction cooktop and also our portable induction burner require that the pot be set directly on the "burner".  If you set a steel spatula or even had an iron piece of jewelry on, it will not be affected by the magnetic induction burner. 

As for power usage, well, our portable unit plugs into a standard 120v outlet on a 15 or 20 amp circuit, but it does not have as much power as our built-in cooktop, which utilizes a 240v 30 amp and a 240v 20 amp circuit for a total of five induction burners.  The portable unit gets plenty hot for my use, but might not be hot enough for searing. 

Our induction cooktop does heat faster than any of our microwaves, but it is also drawing more amps while doing so.  I've never tried to experiment with a direct comparison that could read amp draw and such. 

The problem with water heaters is you have to either heat a larger body of water with less Btu's, or you need to heat less volume faster.  Tankless water heaters require much more fuel (electric or otherwise) because they are heating the water in a single pass, quite rapidly.  Personally, I think the best thing I've come across so far are the little Excell water heaters on Ebay, which are non-vented propane tankless units.  With the low gpm we run in our buses, these little units would do quite well. 

IMHO, Christy Hicks
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« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2008, 06:02:13 PM »

Christy,thanks for the info I found out today goofing off with a 1500w induction cook top that the pan has to be flat and works better if the pan is centered on the cook top and would not do anything on the edge also it looked to me that it cooks in a 8in circle.is this the way it works.Another thing I found out is the induction I bought does not like MSW inverter in a motor home I have but is ok with PSW inverter in my bus     thanks
« Last Edit: January 08, 2008, 04:57:03 AM by makemineatwostroke » Logged
Sojourner
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« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2008, 09:06:42 PM »

What Sean posted is common sense. It has been around for years….all TV screen light beam is induction heated to provide the results on screen to see video.

You can get an induction drum heater that will heat water tank as well at a price. Nearly 5 grand and use little more amount of energy than what Sean describes about immersed heating element.

No matter which type of method to heat water, it takes so much electrical energy to produce a given number of BTUs. There are many ways to heat water but only with better insulation and direct heating element into water that will be the best heat riser per KW (1000 watts) of electric power. This is 100% efficient along with proper sized wire gauge or larger from power source to heater unit.

Even better still that uses the least KW of electrical energy per given time is an instant demanding electric water heater which eliminates hot water storage tank to avoid heat loss while waiting to be used.

It is true that induction system will work but it is not practical just to heat plain old water. Why…because you need a tuned (out of tune won’t work well) high frequency AC at high current output power from inductor designs solid state converter supply. Plus it causes any electronic antennae or RF devices nearby to go haywire.

Here are some links that explain the system in detail and source of induction heater available for cash on hand:

Animated photo of induction: http://www.richieburnett.co.uk/indheat.html

http://www.ameritherm.com/aboutinduction.php

http://www.drumheating.com/

Oh well have fun in the mean time. Smiley Smiley

FWIW

Sojourn for Christ, Jerry
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« Reply #30 on: January 08, 2008, 05:21:26 AM »

The drum heater at the above link has an interesting thing in their ad. It says that it works on plastic, metal or fiber drums.
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« Reply #31 on: January 08, 2008, 05:32:54 AM »

Quote
The drum heater at the above link has an interesting thing in their ad. It says that it works on plastic, metal or fiber drums.

Well, it looks like to me, that they use a container of fluid as a "ring" around the barrel, so the induction is happening inside their "ring", not inside the container, and then it heats the container, most likely by conduction.  That would allow you to heat a barrel made out of any material, but not really DIRECTLY by induction.  Christy Hicks
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« Reply #32 on: January 08, 2008, 09:44:11 AM »

The drum heater at the above link has an interesting thing in their ad. It says that it works on plastic, metal or fiber drums.


Umm, two different products advertised on that page.

The "induction drum heater" is for steel drums, you know, the 55-gallon kind.  Induction, of course, will work fine on a steel drum.

The product that works on plastic and fiber is the "LMK Flexible Heating Jacket", which is an entirely different animal that does not work by induction.

FWIW.

-Sean
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« Reply #33 on: January 08, 2008, 06:37:48 PM »

Induction drum heater only work over steel barrel.

However to heat plastic drum or any non conductive materials they have non induction type which is band wrap heater, It is available either wire resistance or liquid or freon flow band wrap.

Please read the link completely…too fully understand what induction is.
http://www.inductionatmospheres.com/induction_heating.html

You can take a high current transformer or rewind with heavier gauge wire and cut off the core end. Then mount the cut surface end with winding to steel surface of plate that is welded to drum or tank.

Now have power box to produce high frequency high current output and connect to modified transformer.

FWIW

Sojourn for Christ, Jerry
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