wvo powered pre-heater system

For discussing the modifications needed for diesel vehicles to run with 2 tank veggie oil conversions.

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Postby Burbarian » Sun Mar 23, 2008 4:48 am

Welder wrote:It looks like it's only a U shaped 5/16 tube soldered to a piece of steel heater line. If it works OK, I'd buy one.


Just ordered it a few days ago. Haven't received it yet. I'll post what I find out.

I like the idea of pre-heating the engine via quick disconnect cam-locks plumbed into the coolant circuit and fed hot engine coolant from a WVO fired boiler in a garage/driveway. A guy would definately need to keep on top of his SCA in the driveway boiler tank, but nothings for nothing anymore ya know!


That is correct. Quick disconnect water line couplings for the DHW preheat. Have to make sure you wear gloves before trying to disconnect, as the fittings will get hot. For a portable rig, quick disconnects and the heat exchanger may be omitted if you have the lines plumbed to heater cores. Then just drop your salamander in the air path when needed. I might do that myself.


Regarding the highway transportation and safety act, do they disallow the transportation of a camp stove in the bed of the truck? Would that be an insurance liability? That was what I meant by not hard-mounting. It is being transported as cargo.

The same could be said for the salamander.
Last edited by Burbarian on Sun Mar 23, 2008 5:15 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby Welder » Sun Mar 23, 2008 4:56 am

Burbarian wrote:That is correct. Quick disconnect water line couplings. Have to make sure you wear gloves before trying to disconnect, as the fittings will get hot.

Regarding the highway transportation and safety act, do they disallow the transportation of a camp stove in the bed of the truck? Would that be an insurance liability? That was what I meant by not hard-mounting. It is being transported as cargo.


Re fittings: I'm a welder and I've got the burn scars to prove it. Ever picked a piece of steel out of your own eye with an exacto razor?



Re insurance: Oh, okay, now I think I get it. You're saying to have a totally modular SVO boiler system and only hook it up via cam-locks while parked, right?
Last edited by Welder on Thu Apr 10, 2008 4:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Burbarian » Sun Mar 23, 2008 5:03 am

Welder wrote:Re fittings: I'm a welder and I've got the burn scars to prove it. Ever picked a piece of steel out of your own eye with an exacto razor?


Nope, not an exacto razor. Tweezers. I do a lot of hobby machining work with a lathe and mill, which produces copious quantities of airborne hot metal particles of various sizes. Though certainly not yellow and white hot molten metal droplets that one gets when welding. I hope your eye survived!

And I shall resist the 'manly urge' to compare scars. This isn't the forum for it. However, I will say this: it is true that many women dig scars. :)

Regarding your question: Yes, totally modular, and for stationary use only.
Last edited by Burbarian on Sun Mar 23, 2008 8:58 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby David » Sun Mar 23, 2008 6:52 am

This is a burner I built for a friend to heat the oil for bio making.
We call it the dragon. It runs on straight WVO and is capable of kicking out over 100Kw of heat when throttled up. it's fun to watch a 25L drum of oil disappear in front of your eyes and the thing sounds for all the world like a jet engine. In a garage it would certainly warm that up as well as the engine.

Image

This is the burner heating up an old gas water heater we use as the heat exchanger. It's running less than 1/4 power in this pic which was taken on an early run before we had it fully sorted but still managed to heat 300L of oil from 16oC to 88oC in around 23 minutes. We overheated the oil purposely thinking the HE would have a dead spot and we were right... sort of the dead spot was heating not a stagnant cold pocket as we were expecting. After a few minutes with the burner off, the temp came right up.

The temp rise through the HE is significant even on one pass and I reckon it could get an engine block up to temp in 5 minutes flat when dialed up.

Image

This pic is taken on a later run where we had it a bit more dialed up and had added a heat shield to stop getting ourselves fried from the radiant heat.

I'm in the process of building a smaller and more efficient HE atm which would be more suitable for heating an engine or my house as I am planning.

If the installation was static, a small compressed air driven burner would suffice, something like a babbington or similar principle. These are easy to build because you are effectively cheating with the compressed air and can be lit with little more trouble than a gas BBQ. On a small HE and with a pump with QD on the hoses, it would be a viable thing for people that have to go to that sort of trouble to combat the cold.

I'm working on an atomizing design at the moment for things like warming up small drums and the like when I couldn't be bothered with the dragon. I'm also building a bigger dragon to heat my pool.
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Postby Burbarian » Sun Mar 23, 2008 8:20 am

David wrote:I'm in the process of building a smaller and more efficient HE atm which would be more suitable for heating an engine or my house as I am planning.


David, it would appear that we are operating on a similar frequency.

Built this for Bertha just a few weeks ago.
Image

It is a pipe-in-pipe heat exchanger to preheat the engine coolant. Good for preheat when away from home. A check valve and the rubber impeller pump will prevent coolant loss in the event of a downstream leak. The inner pipe has spiral fins like a very badly mangled auger to increase fluid contact surface area and minimize fluid dead spots. A torch flame is fired into the inner pipe from one end while engine coolant is pumped into the intra-pipe space flowing in the opposite direction. The coolant gets heated, and flows out the fitting at the flame end, up the return hose, through a check valve, and into the engine. The flame exhaust would ideally be recirculated backwards inside a third pipe sleeved over the second in order to heat the water jacket from the outside, extracting maximum heat energy before going up a 'T' and smoke stack to be vented. This would take advantage of the chimney effect to promote circulation and prevent excess backpressure on the flame jet.

An unexpected side effect of firing a torch flame inside the pipe is the production of a loud roaring mono-tonal acoustic note. Similar to what you get when you blow across the top of a bottle, only much louder. As you have noted in your own setup, that roaring low note sounds just like a jet engine. Currently experimenting with different DIY muffler schemes and torch nozzle/pipe distancing to reduce this sound to an acceptable level. Other than the noise, I find the performance to be surprisingly decent for an alpha proof of concept prototype.

From your posting, I take it that you are using a compressed air jet at 90 degrees to a vo venturi supply tube for the atomization? Do you use a high bypass air inlet for primary oxygen supply or rely entirely on the compressed air? That is a good simple straightforward approach. I shall have to try that. Using a narrow limited flow high pressure orifice, the compressed air jet could be used purely for atomizing the veg, with the high bypass air inlet supplying the combustion oxygen. This could greatly reduce the compressed air supply CFM requirement and allow for at least limited mobile application. Excellent work, by the way.

I'm staying with propane as the preheat torch fuel for now as it is easiest to handle with the least complexity, and no cold start problems. However, given the modularity of the setup, an alternate fueled flame source is readily adaptable should that become available at a later time.

The mobile prototype's outer water jacket pipe will be wrapped with insulation prior to installation in the front bumper. None of that wimpy fragile plastic that modern car bumpers are made of. 1/8 inch thick chromed Detroit steel, definitely handy for mounting stuff to.

Once Big Bertha is burning liquefied swine fat, I shall rechristen her The Road Hog. :)
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Postby Welder » Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:12 pm

Geez David, you could pre-heat a locomotive with that beast!
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Postby David » Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:38 am

Welder wrote:Geez David, you could pre-heat a locomotive with that beast!


:D :D :D

Which is not all that far from the original idea.
I started out building it to heat my 266,000L ( 70K gal) swimming pool.

The reason I got into this whole veg thing was in my quest for a free fuel to run a burner on. I originally tried used engine oil, then went to tranny oil then in looking on the net to find if anyone else had come up with burner plans, found the mention of burning used veg oil..... Only in cars. it got out of hand from there.

Today I run the car on Veg but the pool is still cold. Maybe this winter I'll make it a " Must do" priority to get it warm.

Thinking about it, I reckon having the space where the car was garaged heated would be a lot better than trying to warm the block this way. Sure the burner would warm a block, but is it really practical to go out in I imagine snow to fire something like this up and then wait even 5 minutes for it to heat up then be disconnecting hoses etc before driving off? I couldn't see myself doing it and compared to the way I think a lot of people live, Aussies are virtually manual labor addicts.

If the car were garaged in a warm room temprature area ( or at least a bit above freezing, Then one could start normally and drive off without all the carry on.
Myself I am looking at using this burner to heat my house as well. at a basic level, my idea is to use a heat storage method. Run the burner say in the afternoon and heat a large amount of water stored in 200L drums.
The drums could be under my house and un insulated. The under area of my house is for the most part sealed off anyway so the radiated heat would escape gently through the floor of my house.

I would just have to find the right number of drums to maintain the heat I wanted and maybe partially insulate some drums to slow the rate of heat radiation. There could be a whole range of ideas that would work taking into account the basic thing that such a simple burner needs to be kept an eye on even if it dose not require someone in attendance all the time.
In countries like Scandinavia, they use a similar method of using thermal mass in heating their homes. They have fire places that weigh many tons with chimneys that weave through the stone or brick they are made from. They light 1 rip roaring fire in the morning and one in the evening and the fire heats the stone which then radiates the heat into the home for many hours without the fire burning all the time. It is very efficient.

If a person could either put enough drums in their garage to keep it warm as they radiated the heat or could insulate and store them outside and just have a low power circulation pump and fan on the inside of the garage area to keep the chill off, it could be a cheap, workable solution for some folks anyway. If a person got clever, they could use oil as the thermal mass and have an open section where the oil could be de watered as well.

Something like this I think would be much more preferable and realistic to most people than having to connect and disconnect hoses which may be fine for people here, but not exactly keep the females over joyed.
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I don't give a damn about what might or could happen until a significant group of people can tell me it HAS happened to them.
Until then, it's just more endless gloom and doom Veg folk law.
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Postby Burbarian » Tue Mar 25, 2008 3:59 pm

Back from Easter with the kids. :)

David wrote:Today I run the car on Veg but the pool is still cold. Maybe this winter I'll make it a " Must do" priority to get it warm.


Perhaps go solar? You certainly get considerably more sunshine and much warmer ambient temperatures than the US Northeast.

Thinking about it, I reckon having the space where the car was garaged heated would be a lot better than trying to warm the block this way. Sure the burner would warm a block, but is it really practical to go out in I imagine snow to fire something like this up and then wait even 5 minutes for it to heat up then be disconnecting hoses etc before driving off? I couldn't see myself doing it and compared to the way I think a lot of people live, Aussies are virtually manual labor addicts.


Certainly if you already have an insulated garage, then that would be ideal. However, the building permit alone for the garage is a few thousand, then actually building it is a few tens of thousands and a month or several months depending on excavation, structure and weather. Then there would be ongoing property taxes and maintenance. You could hook up a complete quick disconnect and hydronic preheat sysem in a few hours for $100-$300. Throw in a salamander and you get preheat anywhere for an additional $200. And no additional ongoing property and vehicle taxes and insurance tacked on.

For colder climates, it is standard practice to plug in the block heater after one gets home. Then in the morning you fire up the diesel vehicle, and while it is warming up you do the snow shoveling and ice scraping, then unplug and drive off once the engine has warmed up. Which could take a half hour or more depending on conditions, like if you had to clear a driveway under 3ft of overnight snow. With a hydronic preheat, the procedure would be similar. Plug in the quick connects at the same time as the AC plug when you get home, then in the morning you turn on the pump at the same time that you turn on the coffee maker. It can even be automated with an appliance timer. This preheats the engine while you go have the shower and breakfast. When you go out to do the shoveling and scraping, the engine is already nice and warm. Just unplug as normal, which will depower the pump, then disconnect the hoses and drive off. Ideal for very cold mornings. If there was little or no snowfall, you could just unplug and drive off. No need to wait for warmup.

With quick disconnect preheat, the same heat source can be used to heat several vehicles/engines, without needing to add several spaces in a garage. Just add a heat exchanger and couplings per car, and 'T' off the hot water supply and return. Having a 2-car garage myself, I find my vehicles consistently out in the cold as the missus and daughter keeps their cars in the available space.

Another big advantage with the modular rig is available preheating when away from home, like at a job site or when out hunting / ice fishing or on a ski/snowmobile vacation. Or even when heating up the vehicle prior to the commute home from work. Say it's been sitting outside at a company parking lot in -20C all day. I certainly wouldn't mind the extra coolant heat also preheating the cab!

And of course for people who live in a condo/apartment with the vehicle in a parking lot without available plug-in, a mobile preheater could be used. Just unload the salamander, plug in the quick disconnects, fire it up, and it will be boosting the heat in addition to the engine idling while one does the chipping and scraping off of ice on the windshields and side glass. Driving off on a hot engine is much kinder to said engine than long idling or driving it off prematurely just to get it warm faster under load.

Regarding thermal mass, you have a big pool. If it is insulated, it could be solar heated like a thermal battery, and you could tap into it for home heating. Turn it into a gigantic hot spa, as it were. That's what I'm planning with the pool-in-a-greenhouse. For tax purposes, it is a "rainwater irrigation catchment and heat storage". Then it becomes an agricultural tax writeoff with rebate incentives instead of a taxable luxury item. :)

Last month I posted some details on my thermal mass system here:
http://biodiesel.infopop.cc/eve/forums/ ... 016832/p/2

Note this side discussion has nothing to do with engine preheating, and should probably be moved to the Space Heating section.
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Postby David » Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:33 pm

God I'm glad I don't live where it snows! Cold enough in winter here for me and the only freezing temps we see are at night.

I thought about solar for my pool but I can do a wVO burner setup much cheaper and it works on cloudy and rainy days too.

I guess in the climates you describe burb, having an onboard system makes a lot of sense. Like with my idea however, it wouldn't be practical for every application.

The universal solution I see is just to move to where it is a lot bloody warmer! :lol:
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I don't give a damn about what might or could happen until a significant group of people can tell me it HAS happened to them.
Until then, it's just more endless gloom and doom Veg folk law.
David
 
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Location: Sydney Australia

Postby Burbarian » Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:06 pm

David wrote:God I'm glad I don't live where it snows! Cold enough in winter here for me and the only freezing temps we see are at night.


Now you've got me thinking of retirement via immigration to Oz. What's your immigration policy with regard to semi-insane old retirees with dodgy knees and poor eyesight seeking blessed warmth?

I thought about solar for my pool but I can do a wVO burner setup much cheaper and it works on cloudy and rainy days too.


Indeed. You certainly built a monster. I'd hazard you could relatively easily use that to run a stem generator and produce your own electricity.

I guess in the climates you describe burb, having an onboard system makes a lot of sense. Like with my idea however, it wouldn't be practical for every application.


Absolutely. Different strokes for different folks with different circumstances.

The universal solution I see is just to move to where it is a lot bloody warmer! :lol:


Do you WANT to be overrun by a plague of obnoxious Yank retirees moving into your neighborhood? It would be worse than the mice and the toads! :)
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Postby David » Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:53 pm

Burbarian wrote:
Do you WANT to be overrun by a plague of obnoxious Yank retirees moving into your neighborhood? :)


YES PLEASE!!!!

All I will say is that would be SOOOO much better than what my neighborhood is being overrun with now! :oops:
ESPECIALLY if the Yanks are into WVO!!! :wink:
_____________________

I don't give a damn about what might or could happen until a significant group of people can tell me it HAS happened to them.
Until then, it's just more endless gloom and doom Veg folk law.
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Location: Sydney Australia

Postby Welder » Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:57 am

Burb, the more I think about your idea, the more I like it. It really kicks ass!

I'd even have my trucks quick couplers tucked away in a small lock-box beside the veggie tank I'm gonna build. That way, if I ever got pulled over, they'd never even know I was using the little furnace to preheat my 7.3. It's not that I'd be ashamed about it, but having it plumbed with quick disconnects really avoids all the legal hassles because the furnace legally becomes cargo the second the hosses come off.

It's brilliant!
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Postby Burbarian » Fri Apr 04, 2008 7:58 pm

Welder wrote: It looks like it's only a U shaped 5/16 tube soldered to a piece of steel heater line. If it works OK, I'd buy one.


Just picked it up from the UPS place. It's the other way around. The two hose barbs end on contact with the flat metal housing. The two top fittings connect to a close packed spiral coil of tubing inside the housing. Looks like a fairly decent design. Not as much surface area as an FPHE, but considering the cost and low coolant flow restriction, it looks promising. Will be doing some heat transfer efficiency tests soon. It is also very sturdily built. Looks like it was designed to bolt directly onto an engine.

For $19, I'm ordering several more and use them everywhere. Preheat and/or heat exchange to/from the generator, the construction equipment, etc. Possibly putting one next to each vo tank (2 saddle tanks in the Suburban).
1987 GMC Suburban 6.2L V8 IDI
1985 Merc 300TD
1968 CAT D4D 3304 dozer
1971 Waldon 4100 loader
1981 IHI 30F excavator
1995 Changfa 195 w/ ST 10kw genset
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Postby coachgeo » Fri Apr 04, 2008 8:04 pm

Burbarian wrote:
Welder wrote: It looks like it's only a U shaped 5/16 tube soldered to a piece of steel heater line. If it works OK, I'd buy one.
Just picked it up from the UPS place. It's the other way around. ...
Pic. Please?

Thanx in advance
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Postby Burbarian » Fri Apr 04, 2008 9:07 pm

Pictures of cheap coiled tube-in-a-box heavy duty heat exchanger as requested. Please forgive the poor resolution of 6 year old digital camera.

Top
Image


Bottom
Image


Top fitting with plug on
Image
Comes with top fittings plugged.

Top fitting with plug off
Image
Tubing diameter is small. About 1/4". Giving it some thought, it's probably inadequate for engine preheating unless there is a high temp delta and high flow rate. Big barbs to the engine, small connectors to high intensity heat source.
For a fuel preheater, it may be adequate. One each for d2 and vo. Only actual testing to know either way.

Looking into hose barb
Image
1987 GMC Suburban 6.2L V8 IDI
1985 Merc 300TD
1968 CAT D4D 3304 dozer
1971 Waldon 4100 loader
1981 IHI 30F excavator
1995 Changfa 195 w/ ST 10kw genset
Burbarian
 
Posts: 195
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