Heating a pool

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Heating a pool

Postby tubular031 » Wed Aug 19, 2009 2:00 pm

My mom is getting a pool put in at her new place. She wants to heat the pool during the winter so they can swim year round. They are also going to build an enclosue around the pool before its all done (someday...)

Is there any burner setup that I can get/make that can burn veggie to heat the pool?
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Postby coachgeo » Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:44 pm

one or two M67's might due ya or a more recent equivilant.

Not sure how well they would burn veg nor how difficult/dangerous it would be lighting them or keeping someone from being burned by it. Maybe pump water out into a brick shed with some top filled drums with these heater(s) in them. Bottom drain back to pool with a valve to controll flow in and out.

http://www.gr8gear.com/catalog/Military ... on-Heater/
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Postby David » Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:48 pm

I have been toying with this idea for years. Its how I found Veg Fuels and got into it actually. I now have 2 veg cars but the pool is still cold.

There is a lot on info on adapting home heating burnners to run on WVO and they can be seen on Youtube as well as on some discussion forums.
Theyse burners are rare here so I have taken to my making up some burners of my own design.

I have built a few Burners, another one that kicks out some incredible heat just last week. I have found that the burner part is the easiest bit. Transferring the heat and putting it to work is a bit more difficult and expensive.

I prefer to use burners that can run on air from a blower rather than compressed air like the babbington type. For something that will need to run the hours a pool heater will, I think a babbington is impractical.

The one I just made is a 60L Drum with a 1.75" pipe entering from the side with an oil drip feed into that. A vacuum cleaner supplies the air and the flame swirls in a cyclone style. I start it with a bit of Diesel in the drum with some newspaper. Once the paper is buring wll I hit the blower and it's up and running in about 15 sec. A drum of oil with a gate valve feeds the oil intot he air pipe which being exposed to the heat, partially vapourises the oil straight off.

There is also a dribble of oil that hits the drum wall but due to it being almost red hot, this also vaporizes very fast.
It will run on Veg, WMO ETC, and even some Glyc although this is poor fuel and the fumes are not good to get a whiff of so I have given that idea away.

I put a 20L drum of water inside the burner and Boiled it in 7 min flat. The drum really needs some refractory in it to stop the steel burning away too quick and maybe a coil of pipe wrapped around the inside of the burner to pick up the heat.

ATM I have a piece of about 2 FT of 1/2" steel tube in the burner and am running water through it with a small bilge pump. This small amount of tube will pick up enough heat to boil 20L of water in about 20 Min additional to the drum of water placed inside.

The burner is using about 12.5L of oil an hour at a slightly rich burn. The next thing would be to add a secondary air supply to get a cleaner burn which would also allow more fuel to be added for more output.

This idea could also be adapted to a full size 200L drum and a steel water heater tank could be placed inside as the heat exchanger with possibly some coils running on the inside as well. The heat output from this size burner would be pretty awsome and based on the output I'm getting now, I believe that it could do up to 1M BTU. Again, the problem may be capturing that heat with a reasonable efficiency.

To this end, my present intended idea is to make a reverse flow burner that will be more like a gun style. The idea is to admit the oil and air into a tube that is blocked at the end but perforated and enclosed with another tube at one end. If oil is admitted into a hot enough chamber, it does not need to be sprayed as it will vaporize and then burn. This eliminates the need for nozzles pumps and filters and makes for a much simpler system.

The idea is to pre-heat the burner with LP gas and then when it is hot enough, to start the oil flow. AS the outer tube will effectively contain an amount of heat in the perforated tube, it should run hot enough to self sustain. As the heat and flame will exit out the opposite end of the burner to what the air and fuel is admitted, it should be relatively easy to use this gun to replace the burner in a gas fired Pool heater and use the HE built into that. A friend uses a babbington type burner to heat his WVO for bio making by firing the thing down a gas water heater and it is quite effective in this way. A large heater may be enough to give a reasonable heat rise for a pool as well using a gun style heater.

To make burner operation easier, I recommend having controls on the air and the fuel. Too much air will over cool the burners that rely on vaporization and to supply the fuel for the air may make the thing uncontrollable. IF the air and fuel can be controlled, Very precise settings can be obtained. I have one burner that has a turn down ration that far outstrips any commercial burner I have found. It will go from under 1l of fuel an hour to about 20 if you can supply enough air.
Unfortunately this burner requires a lot of preheating and is hard to light. also due to the back pressure it generates it needs a fuel pump as gravity feed cannot supply enough fuel at practical heights.

There are plans for vapourising Burners that run a coil of tube for the fuel so it comes out as a gas. these types of burners are complete and utter rubbish and WILL NOT WORK for very long due to the tubes becoming coked with ash from WVO or WMO.
Do not waste your time with these well publicised but completely flawed systems.
They will work with Bio, Kero or dino because they don't leave deposits like WVO and WMO but these are not the sort of fuels practical for the Volumes required for pool heating.

I'll try to get some pics and Vids of the new Burner later today.
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Postby David » Mon Oct 05, 2009 2:13 am

_____________________

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Until then, it's just more endless gloom and doom Veg folk law.
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Postby tubular031 » Thu Oct 15, 2009 1:36 pm

that is cool! looks a bit crazy but cool!
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Postby 240Volvo » Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:05 pm

OMG, David... your wife must be a very tolerant woman, or completely unaware of what you are doing out in the yard! Pretty cool!
1984 Volvo 240 diesel with a single tank Elsbett conversion: electric fuel filter heater, FPHE, glow plugs, and injectors. Also injector line heaters and block heater, running 20%kero/80%WVO winter blend.
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Postby David » Thu Oct 15, 2009 10:25 pm

A friend said something to my wife the other day about the flames they could see up the back from one of my creations and asked my wife if she was concerned.
Her reply was that if I haven't burnt anything down in all the years I have been playing with fire, there's no point in worrying now.

On the few occasions I have hurt myself and needed medical attention, it has never been while doing something stupid, quite the opposite in fact and that's something I am very quick to " gently" remind her of if ever the subject comes up.

The last time I hurt myself I had been up the back doing some crazy things during the day with chainsaws and burners and came inside for a shower at the end of the day. As I put on a T-Shirt I grabbed from the washing basket she was sorting in the lounge room, I nearly cut my thumb off on the Ceiling fan as I reached up to pull it over my head.

Now if I had hurt myself at any time up the back that day, I would have said it served myself right and was at least half expected but I didn't get a scratch. A trip to the hospital is not something you expect however as a consequence of getting dressed in the lounge room after you have got out of the shower!
:oops:

I have been playing with this burner a bit over the last week or so and am very impressed with it.
I drew off some wet sludge off the bottom of one of my settling tanks and ran the burner on that. I noticed it much preferred to run at higher burn rates than with low ones. When I shut it down, I turned off the oil and switched off the blower and could hear a distinctive hissing sound. I soon worked out this was some oil still dribbling out of the pipe into the hot burner.

It really was quite water laden as a HPT later showed but as long as the burner was running with a decent output, it burned this wet stuff fine.

I tried some WMO and it burns clean and has a lot more heat than veg oil. I don't like the slight aroma it has though which smells the same as when you follow a car with bad rings. WMO also seems a but more touchy to getting the fuel flow right.

I also tried burning Glycerin and it will do that as well as long as you are running oil as well and feeding the glyc is as a supplementary fuel with the oil bucked off. The glyc is very touchy and if you get it the fuel rate incorrect, the fumes that come from the glyc make your eyes water badly and are just plain wrong.
Even when you have stopped the glyc and been burning oil for an hour, you still get the unpleasant glyc smell I guess from the residual ash that it leaves so much of behind.

I tried using the burner to heat fats and dry WVO. It is extremely effective to say the least. While heating the oil and waiting for the bubbles to stop, I noticed the surface of the oil had caught fire and was burning cleanly and happily. I think I couldn't see any smoke before hand as the oil heated up because the flames coming around the top lip of the metal bucket were consuming it.

I wasn't game to try and move 300oC + oil so I turned the burner off and left it. 4 hours later it was still far too hot to touch and I realised what a very good but unexpected insulator the burner was as well for anything placed in it.
For heat drying, one would have to limit the air supply and turn the burner down a lot in order to get the oil to simmer. Otherwise it heats it to flash point before the water has had a chance to evaporate.

I don't dry oil this way as I think it is far too dangerous but a friend is quite keen on this method and also gets a lot of solid fat he has to melt out of tins to make bio with so I tried this to see how it would work.
Now I know!

It may work for drying if one kept an eye on the temp and removed the tins before the oil got too hot and left them for a while and maybe came back and heated them again till the bubbles stopped. For melting fat it seems to work very well due to the sides of the tin being heated as well as the bottom but I think things need to be throttled back again substantially to avoid overheating the melted fat before the sold core has had a chance to turn to liquid.


I have thought of a another useful application for this burner setup as a space heater for a workshop or home.

The idea is to put another barrel on top of what I have to give it greater height and surface area and seal the drums and put a chimney out the top. I will then get 2 200L drums and put them around the burner setup and push air through them and duct it between the burner and the larger drum. I can then duct the hot air to wherever I need it.

I think this should make a very simple and cheap air heater that will be potentially very powerful.

For a water/ Pool heater, I want to find an old gas pool heater and remove the burner and fit an oil burner. I imagine I will have to cut the drum down to fit but that shouldn't matter and I should be able to produce more heat than the original gas burner.

Unfortunately pool heaters aren't as easy to come by as I imagine they are in other places so It may take me a while to find one. I I can get this set u and it works as I expect, I plan to try using my in ground pool as a big heat storage medium and Do limited buns to heat it up when I am around and then just circulate the water through heaters plumbed and ducted under the house.

This way I could warm the house when I was asleep with no worry about something going wrong. A pressure switch at the end of the return line could be set up to stop the pump if I got a leak somewhere but as I would keep the radiators under the house and duct the warm air up, a failure wouldn't be much of a problem anyway.
_____________________

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 zoochy » Sat Oct 17, 2009 2:29 am

These Snorkel stoves work really well.

http://www.snorkel.com/hot-tub-info/sno ... stoves.php

They are designed for burning wood or coal but perhaps you could apply this design into your pool heater. Seems simpler than the ground water heat exchanger you describe.
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.6% turpentine
.3% acetone
.1% eye of newt
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Postby tubular031 » Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:55 am

That is a cool idea! Never would have thought to sit in a tub with a wood fire in a box. I think I would need a massive fire box to heat a big pool.
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Postby David » Sat Oct 24, 2009 6:34 pm

You may not need as big a firebox as you think.

The advantage of that design would be a very high efficiency rate which makes a huge difference in the size of the transfer medium required and the amount of energy invested to do the work needed.

For an unusually large pool, this design may indeed be impractical but it would lend itself to a submerged oil burner which could be more compact but transfer a higher percentage of heat generated.

If a gun or jet style burner were used, the HE could be as simple as a length of pipe with ends raised above the water level. Putt he fire in one end and let the relatively cool exhaust escape out the other in a squared " U" Shape HE. Depending on the length of the pipe used, a bit more efficiency may be gained by welding some small tube through the pipe to interrupt the gas flow through the pipe and circulate it against the walls of the tube and allow pool water to pass through the tubes which would be in the hot gas stream.

A friend told me he has a job replacing a 200Kw gas pool heater. I'm going to have a look at it to see about modifying it to take an oil burner or just salvage the actual heat exchanger from it to put into my own design.

I calculated 200KW would require about 32L of oil an hour to reach full capacity. ( this HE has a 78% efficency rate) but the upside would be that as this is coming out of a municipal pool, I wouldn't need to run it many hours to get my pool up temp.
Have to work out exactly what the temp rise per KW would be but it shouldn't take long!

If this doesn't pan out, I'll try the submerged style HE.
Come to think of it, I like this idea so much for it's simplicity, low cost and ease of construction, I might well price up some suitable materials and seriously look at building one.
_____________________

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
 
Posts: 333
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:12 am
Location: Sydney Australia


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