Fun & Games

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Aim of the competition

The aim is to increase understanding as widely as possible that pressure is not a guide to volume of gas remaining in a BBQ propane tank. This is a basic fact of physics. See below. By making, uploading and promoting a video that demonstrates this fact we aim to spread the knowledge so that consumers can make a better choice when looking for a way to tell when their tank is getting low.

 

One idea for a video

 

* Have two identical tanks: One full the other nearly empty
* Both should have pressure gauges fitted. (or you could use one gauge and swap it over) See here for pressure gauge
* Demonstrate the quantity of gas by weighing both tanks one by one. Show the result on the video. (You can get a special tank scale at Amazon) Or you can use a standard bathroom scale.
* Remember that the weight of propane is the total weight minus the empty (Tare) weight of the tank.
* This weight is marked somewhere on the tank body.
* Then hook up the full tank to your BBQ but with the burners switched off. (This will give the static pressure in the tank)
* Open up the tank valve and show the reading on the gauge. Maybe ask a partner beforehand what she thinks it will read? ‘Full’ she will say.
* Close the tank valve and then connect the nearly empty tank in exactly the same way.
* Before turning on the tank valve ask your partner again what she thinks the gauge will read. (Her answer should be something like ‘nearly empty of course!’)
* Turn on the tank valve and show the result. Lo and behold! The gauge reads the same. Partner should be surprised and amazed! ‘Why is that’ she says
* Clever clogs (you) then explains the Propane is a liquefied gas. And the pressure does not vary until all the liquid has gone. And that means the gauge will only start to drop just before the gas runs out. Certainly not in time to finish grilling.

 

Further thoughts:

* The above scenario with a female partner acting as the stooge is a bit sexist.
* Maybe she could be the clever clogs, and you the stooge?  Might attract more attention.
* The above is just one draft script. But there are many ways to demonstrate this.
* Entrants to the competition can invent their own script. The prize will go to the video that combines a number of elements:

* Clarity that pressure does not tell you volume
* Humor.  If the video make people laugh or smile it will have wider appeal
* The number of views or references on social media and number votes/likes. 

To find out more click here