Coolant vs Solar to Heat on-board centrifuge

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Coolant vs Solar to Heat on-board centrifuge

Postby puravida » Thu Oct 01, 2015 7:46 am

Hello Greasers,

New to this forum, scouring for answers to avoid a redundant post, but still unsure of a couple things. Thanks to everyone for all your work and dedication!

I have an already converted '92 International short but with a brand new e-350 7.3l. I'm planning to build Sun Wizards centrifuge design on board...hopefully I'll find a way to mount it on the back of the bus (?!?!). We are traveling to Central America from New England and on-the-go oil filtering is going to be essential.

The problem I'm facing now is in regards to getting enough power to juice the heating elements. I'm not an electrician (or a mechanic) so I've been consulting the (semi)professionals. The general consensus is that powering 2-4500KW 240v water heater heating elements for 4-5 hours will be too much demand on the bus' internal power, and that I'll need to find an alternative source. One suggestion was solar panels on the roof. One thought was better and more power efficient to harness heat from the coolant lines.

My questions are:
-What sort of solar power $ystem would be required to power the heating elements and motor in Sun Wizard's design?
-What are the disadvantages, if any, of using the coolant system instead of the inline heaters?
-Would tapping into the coolant system inhibit the heating performance of the other elements of the veg system? (clean veg tank, heated filters, etc) ---Would I need to add more water to the system to compensate for the additional length of line (probably 10 feet send and 10 feet return)
-Is the heating element (pictured) the thing that would end up going into my dirty tank, and if so, would it be advantageous to make my own out of copper/aluminum pipe to get better surface area coverage in my tank?

coil.jpg
coil.jpg (126.34 KiB) Viewed 403 times

Thanks in advance!
puravida
 
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Re: Coolant vs Solar to Heat on-board centrifuge

Postby SunWizard » Thu Oct 01, 2015 10:15 am

puravida wrote:My questions are:
-What sort of solar power $ystem would be required to power the heating elements and motor in Sun Wizard's design?

1/3 HP motor AC = 5A @120v = 600 watts, or 1/3HP DC motor = 27A @12V = 324 watts or about 2x as efficient.
I used 1-4500w element run at 120v = 1125 watts. Totals about 1500w if DC motor, or 2000w if AC motor.
A much better way to heat on the road is a coolant loop in the dirty tank, and a FPHE in the CF feed line instead of the element, and also still have an element so you can heat when not on the road just as I do at home and describe in the thread. So for the best option, no solar needed, simply use the output of the alternator which should be about 100A @ 13V= 1300w which is more than you need to run a pump for CF.
-What are the disadvantages, if any, of using the coolant system instead of the inline heaters?

You can't use it when not driving, so also have an inline heater used only for that case, they are cheap.
-Would tapping into the coolant system inhibit the heating performance of the other elements of the veg system? (clean veg tank, heated filters, etc)

Yes, but not if you plumb it so the heat for CF and dirty tank loop is after all the other elements. The engine puts out a lot of heat, and its wasted in the radiator, you just need to plumb so you get all the heat before the radiator does by using the heater core lines.
---Would I need to add more water to the system to compensate for the additional length of line (probably 10 feet send and 10 feet return)

Yes you fill all lines with coolant.
-Is the heating element (pictured) the thing that would end up going into my dirty tank, and if so, would it be advantageous to make my own out of copper/aluminum pipe to get better surface area coverage in my tank?

Yes a longer aluminum coolant loop would be better, and loop it around the bottom of the tank.
YVORMV - Your veg. oil results may vary.
95 Dodge Cummins 4x4 SVO WVO conversion.
81 Mercedes 300D- stock and happy on V80/D20 blend.
Low fossil net zero house- 100% solar power and heat.
SunWizard
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Re: Coolant vs Solar to Heat on-board centrifuge

Postby puravida » Thu Oct 01, 2015 10:28 am

Thank you so much, this is very helpful! You are truly a wizard.

FPHE is a new term for me, I'm just reading into it now. I understand correctly, the CF system flow would be: Pump --> FPHE--> Heating element (only used when not driving) --> CF --> back into 55 gallon drum with heating coil. Is that right?
puravida
 
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Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 8:14 am

Re: Coolant vs Solar to Heat on-board centrifuge

Postby SunWizard » Thu Oct 01, 2015 10:40 am

puravida wrote:FPHE is a new term for me, I'm just reading into it now. I understand correctly, the CF system flow would be: Pump --> FPHE--> Heating element (only used when not driving) --> CF --> back into 55 gallon drum with heating coil. Is that right?

Yes. Note if you use an 120V AC motor you will also need an inverter that puts out about 3000 watts peak since motors draw way more at startup.
YVORMV - Your veg. oil results may vary.
95 Dodge Cummins 4x4 SVO WVO conversion.
81 Mercedes 300D- stock and happy on V80/D20 blend.
Low fossil net zero house- 100% solar power and heat.
SunWizard
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1723
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:53 pm
Location: N. Colorado

Re: Coolant vs Solar to Heat on-board centrifuge

Postby puravida » Thu Oct 01, 2015 5:18 pm

Right, I'll keep that in mind. I suppose it will also be necessary to put a shutoff valve at the new T on the coolant line so it's not sending heat to the coil when the dirty tank is empty, right?
puravida
 
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Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 8:14 am

Re: Coolant vs Solar to Heat on-board centrifuge

Postby SunWizard » Thu Oct 01, 2015 5:55 pm

Yes.
YVORMV - Your veg. oil results may vary.
95 Dodge Cummins 4x4 SVO WVO conversion.
81 Mercedes 300D- stock and happy on V80/D20 blend.
Low fossil net zero house- 100% solar power and heat.
SunWizard
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1723
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:53 pm
Location: N. Colorado

Re: Coolant vs Solar to Heat on-board centrifuge

Postby Guisepi » Sat Mar 12, 2016 4:36 pm

I have a setup very similar to what you're talking about.

Definitely use coolant!

With the 7.3 IDI motor (which I have), there's options for coolant loops. There are coolant taps all around the engine, allowing you to tap into the engine anywhere for coolant (look for 1/2" NPT plugs), as well as an extra coolant return plug on the water pump. This allows you to make two separate loops. I would suggest making one from each head on the engine - one for your clean WVO system, and one for your dirty WVO system. This will give you plenty of heat.

My dirty WVO Coolant flow:
- Engine to tee
- One side of the tee goes to a 25' 1/2" stainless coil inside the dirty WVO tank
- Other side of the tee goes to a FPHE and Coolant coil wrapped Racor 900 filters (for transferring oil after centrifuging)
- Then it goes to a HIH for the centrifuge feed line
- In the middle of this HIH, the coolant return from the tank feeds back in.
- From here it goes back to the water pump/engine.

Dirty WVO Oil Flow:
- Heated tank to
- HIH (4 feet) to
- FPHE with 120v hot water element inline (only 625W - Camco Hybrid Heat) to
- 12v VegTherm to
- High pressure pump to
- "Control Center" with pressure relief valve, pressure gauge, pressure adjust valve to
- Centrifuge (mounts on the side of the bus when in use) to
- Drops fuel back into the other end of the dirty WVO tank.

Things to consider:
- Look up "High idle mod" for the IDI motor. This allows you to bump the idle of the engine up to about 1100 RPMs with a switch in the cab. This helps reduce "wet stacking" while idling for long periods. It also helps your alternator produce enough power.
- Consider doing a 3G alternator upgrade for more juice (especially while idling).
- Idling a 7.3 IDI uses about a gallon of fuel/hour. For me (with a 60 GPH centrifuge, and 60 gallon dirty WVO tank), this means that I burn 1 gallon of WVO for every 15 gallons of WVO I clean if doing 4 passes.
- I use a hydronic heater (Webasto TSL-17) for preheating dirty oil. It takes several hours. Otherwise, you can preheat oil while driving (which also takes some time). If I start with cold WVO when centrifuging, it takes up to an hour to get it up to 160F for optimum centrifuging with my heat setup.
- I have been considering adding a couple hot water elements into my dirty tank for when I am stationary and want to centrifuge without running the bus. This is why I added the 120V inline heater as well, although I usually just run the bus when centrifuging.
- Do you really need a centrifuge? I prefilter the oil to 150 microns before it enters the dirty tank. I also use SunWizards capacitance meter to test the water content of the oil. I really only centrifuge if I can't find dry/clean oil on the road. I live full time on the road (8 years in this bus), and rarely find myself taking any wet/super dirty oil. I have the two Racors (10 and 2 micron) for transferring oil from my dirty to my clean tank, which work great for most oil without centrifuging (again, not if it's wet or super dirty). I probably get about 30 gallons per filter , so 60 gallons costs me $18 (obviously depending on oil quality).

I hope this helps :-)
Guisepi
 
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