I have very serious reservations about the Soto OD-1R video shot at the Winter 2012 Outdoor Retailer convention. Convince me that the manifold shown in the video in any way emulates a canister in field conditions. I am disappointed that Soto chose this as a method of representing the function of their stove. Soto is company that makes first rate products. The stoves I've seen here, and the stoves I've seen in mountain shops in Japan are all of excellent quality. Such a demonstration is beneath them and is unworthy of the quality of the products they manufacture.
Thank you to Ken and to Steven for the links to the articles here on BPL. Both good articles. Roger knows vastly more than I do about physics, so I appreciate his technical perspective, and he's a good writer too, an invaluable combination.
The purpose, however, of my little experiment was to avoid the lab and avoid theory (although my experiment was carefully based on theory). I wanted to see if the regulator valve would make any practical difference in conditions where it would matter. I deliberately sought out conditions where the fuel temperature would fall below the critical value: boiling point + 10 Fahrenheit degrees (you need to be about +10F above the boiling point to have reasonable pressure).
I ran my test... and I found that the regulator valve made no practical difference in cold conditions, which is just what theory and lab work would suggest. Despite the fact that the theory and lab work were already very solid, I found watching it for myself (and replaying it on video) really worthwhile (which goes to show just what a stove geek I really am). ;) In the video, you can watch as the flames, both flames diminish, and at the end of the test period, you have two very weak flames. There's nothing like seeing it for oneself.
And again, I harbor no ill will towards Soto. I think they make a very fine stove. I'm just not sure that they really understand what they've got. Maybe under certain lab conditions the regulator valve would matter, but under field conditions? I don't see it. None-the-less, I would be most open to Soto describing a set of conditions (temperature, pressure, and duration) under which a regulator valve would make a material difference to someone trying to cook a meal in the field.
Adventures In Stoving