Glow Plug as an Insta-Heat Fuel Heater

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

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Glow Plug as an Insta-Heat Fuel Heater

Postby rabiddan1 » Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:14 pm

I'm looking at some electric heat ideas for cheap. I thought about using a Glow-Plug, and to make sure I wouldn't blow up my rig, I tried this...

I filled a 8 oz. jar w/ some generic store bought veg oil, screwed a glow plug into a brass "T" fitting and submerged it in the oil, along with a meat thermometer. Thermometer fully submerged, close to the GP. I connected the GP to a fully charged & isolated 12V battery, and watched the temp raise from room temp to ~150 deg F in about 2 minutes. It hit 200 deg F a few minutes later.
Test #1 a success b/c it didn't blow up.

Test #2: I screwed 2 hose barb fittings in the two open "T" outlets. I put 3/8" rubber hoses on each barb, filled the hose-"T"-hose "reservoir" with veg oil, put the tip of the meat thermometer ~3 inches from the GP, and plugged in the GP. The temp rose much quicker- from ~100 deg F to about 160 deg took 20 sec. 180 degrees at 25 seconds, and it hit about 240 (estimated) at ~41 seconds.

I figure: thick(ish) oil inside the lines will not ignite after ~40 sec, even if the oil is stationary in the lines.

I didn't factor in:

-store bought 100% veg oil doesn't have impurities and crap in it, unlike the chicken lard and fry grease that I'll be using (albeit filtered & dewatered). More impurities may cause an explosion/greasefire faster?

-ambient temp around the Lift Pump where the GP will be placed. That oil might heat up pretty quick.

So the plan is to hook up the GP to a momentary push-button switch + relay, with a thermometer just downstream (between my LiftPump and GlowPlug). This is because I have a 6.2 GMC, and I've heard the stock LPs are weak with thick fluids. I'll just push the button on & off, watching the temp gauge to make sure I'm not out of control.

I'll still have a FPHE before the IP. Is this a good idea, or just a quick way to get a flaming greasefire on wheels? :twisted:
~~~~~~Live Hard or Die Trying~~~~~~
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Postby coachgeo » Sat Jul 11, 2009 7:27 am

hate to say it.... but you've reinvented the wheel.

A net search for

"Glow Plug heaters" WVO

or something to that affect should get you tons of results.
Life; It's all in the Balance

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Postby SunWizard » Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:10 am

Tried and failed many times already. The main problem is that the plug burns the VO on it (even if you cycle it on and off) since its too much heat in a very small area, creates a black layer of hard crud which eventually breaks off and damages everything downstream. Be sure to put a filter after it, and even that can't stop all the damage from polymerized VO bits, because the inline filters are only ~30-50 microns and damage to IP and injectors occurs down to around 10.
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.
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Postby rabiddan1 » Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:58 pm

Thanks! I've been hearing things from "experts" saying it'll start a fire in a second, and I ran some quick experiments that says otherwise.

Much appreciated, Sun
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Postby jburke » Mon Jul 13, 2009 5:18 am

" I'll just push the button on & off, watching the temp gauge to make sure I'm not out of control."

Not while driving I hope.
You might fulfill your motto.
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Postby coachgeo » Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:40 am

jburke wrote:" I'll just push the button on & off, watching the temp gauge to make sure I'm not out of control."

Not while driving I hope.
You might fulfill your motto.
What is your point?
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Postby rabiddan1 » Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:02 am

Burke- so true, so hilarious!

I think i've scratched the glow plug idea, unless I regulate the temp automatically- which will probably end up costing more than a heating element!

Thanks all for the input!
~~~~~~Live Hard or Die Trying~~~~~~
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Postby biovindiesel » Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:53 am

I read somewhere whenever it was that I searched about this.. (/vague) a big concern from using "glow plug fuel heaters" is carbon build-up on the glow plug. These microns and what-nots will likely be too small get stopped by a filter, and will collect in your injectors over time.

Maybe someone with experience crunching BTU numbers can put glowplug heaters to shame with some cost-comparative alternative heating process.

I think Flat Plate Heat Exchangers and insulation layers can make for good heat without having to wire up a fuse/switch/relay.
~Cv
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