## How to determine the size of a dive tank

R/C Submarine modelers

### How to determine the size of a dive tank

Hi there,

you want to determine the required volume of the dive tank for your next project (important for subs, which shall dive statically).

The following steps can already be done on a theoretical basis on the drawing board with a few assumptions, before buying the wrong diving tank.

Therefore a look from the opposite side is maybe helpful:

Consider a well balanced sub, which is floating statically beneath the surface (neutral buoyancy). How much water must be removed from the tank so that the sub is floating at its foreseen waterline?

Step 1: Put all future equipment (RC, motors, servos, batteries etc.) into the WTC; except the tank and its connected components.

Step 2: Insert a corresponding mass (e.g. lead) at the tank position; corresponding to the mass of the tank and its components.

Step 3: Connect the sub to a scale (maybe your friend is a fisher man and has a scale that can be borrowed) and put the sub into the bath tub, a small pond or similar environment (sub totally submerged). The sub should remain in horizontal orientation.

Step 4: Measure the weight of the submerged model.

Step 5: Now carefully: Lift the sub – still attached to the scale – until it has reached the desired waterline and repeat the measurement (sub in horizontal or at desired orientation). It will have gained weight.

Step 6: Difference between both measurements is the volume of the dive tank you need to achieve neutral buoyancy for your sub.

One should add some 15 % to 20% to be sure that the sub will dive statically; in case a small air bubble is hiding under the skin of the boat.

Reason for this “reverse” approach is the following:

A trimmed submerged sub is balanced within its environment (neutral buoyancy) and it will need lift to surface until it has reached its nominal waterline position. It is exactly this “negative” lift which is necessary to submerge and achieve neutral buoyancy (statically well balanced under water).

The rest, how it will behave during cruise under water, is a matter of the individual sub shape and depth rudder efficiencies and has been explained in other contributions within this forum.

I just did it for my Revell GATO (300 ml dive tank necessary).

Cheers

Volker vkgroebi@aol.com
Last edited by gato-cobia on Fri May 29, 2009 8:22 pm, edited 6 times in total.
There are two types of boats: Submarines and targets

gato-cobia
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### Re: How to determine the size of a dive tank

gato-cobia wrote:Step 6: Difference between both measurements is the volume of the dive tank you need.

Hi Volker,

Good to see you here on the forums!

If I may, the difference in weight between the two measurements is equal to the weight of the volume of water that the ballast tank needs to displace.

-Jeff
Rohr 1.....Los!

JWLaRue
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Hi Jeff,

which is exactly what I mean; just this volume of water to be shifted in or out the tank.

Cheers

Volker
There are two types of boats: Submarines and targets

gato-cobia
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Location: Groebenzell-Germany

Volker,

Excellent!

-Jeff
Rohr 1.....Los!

JWLaRue
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Posts: 3885
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 1994 6:00 pm
Location: Annapolis, MD

### Re: Great Formula

sunworksco wrote:This is a wonderful explanation of how to calculate the diving system.What are the considerations for using Engel diving system in a 1/32 scale Type IX-C sub ( 94.5" length ) ?

ENGEL is is delivering tanks for 500 ml, 750 ml and 825 ml as standard sizes and up to 1000 ml upon request and some surcharge.

Knowing, which system you really need is directly depending on your individual sub and primarily on its internal equipment (RC, motors, batteries,...).

Therefore I would suggest to perform the above mentioned few measurements.

Upon these results I would be pleased to suggest an ENGEL system.

But please be sure if you want to dive dynamically (only with rudders) or also statically.

In the latter case you should add some more volume for your diving system.
There are two types of boats: Submarines and targets

gato-cobia
Registered User

Posts: 4
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 12:50 pm
Location: Groebenzell-Germany