What size heat exchanger should I use?

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

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What size heat exchanger should I use?

Postby Luckyr » Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:33 am

So I am getting all of my ducks in a row and I have everything but the heat exchanger and I don't know how big to go. I live in Oregon and it rarely gets frigid but during the winter it hovers around 30-50. I want to be able to sufficiently heat my oil but I don't want to drop a grip of cash if I can avoid it.
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Postby SunWizard » Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:44 am

What Vehicle?
YVORMV - Your veg. oil results may vary.
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Postby Luckyr » Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:49 am

I just updated my sig but it's not showing up yet. Its a 94 dodge 3500, 5.9 cummins, 5spd. Its a farm truck so I'm trying to do everything heavier duty.
1994 Dodge 3500, flatbed, 5.9 cummins, flatbed, dually, 5spd, all around farm truck
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Postby Luckyr » Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:50 am

now my sig shows up, go figure
1994 Dodge 3500, flatbed, 5.9 cummins, flatbed, dually, 5spd, all around farm truck
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Postby SunWizard » Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:01 pm

I used a 26 plate FPHE on my cummins and its worked good to -10F (the coldest I tried.) Some of it depends on how you do the rest of the plumbing, I used TiH which provides a good amount of heat before everything else. See my thread about it here under converted vehicles section.
YVORMV - Your veg. oil results may vary.
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Postby Luckyr » Fri Dec 03, 2010 7:53 am

So my next question is whether to go with a regular FPHE or the arctic fox style. I was talking to a local veg shop and they recommended the arctic fox linehauler, they are quoted as saying "The FPHE has some metal incompatibility issues as well as possible weakness that can cause a failure and cross-contamination, whereas the Linehauler is 100% stainless steel, tig welded in a shop that meets ISO-9001 standards."

A. Is this true or are they just trying to sell me on a high$$ product?
B. Is it really worth the extra $100?
C. Are the FPHE made by brazetek found on ebay any good?
1994 Dodge 3500, flatbed, 5.9 cummins, flatbed, dually, 5spd, all around farm truck
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Postby SunWizard » Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:32 am

Luckyr wrote:So my next question is whether to go with a regular FPHE or the arctic fox style. I was talking to a local veg shop and they recommended the arctic fox linehauler, they are quoted as saying "The FPHE has some metal incompatibility issues as well as possible weakness that can cause a failure and cross-contamination, whereas the Linehauler is 100% stainless steel, tig welded in a shop that meets ISO-9001 standards."

A. Is this true or are they just trying to sell me on a high$$ product?
B. Is it really worth the extra $100?
C. Are the FPHE made by brazetek found on ebay any good?

They are clueless and everything they said is wrong. I wouldn't buy anything from them. The arctic fox is a heated pickup, not a FPHE. Not interchangeable. Don't know about brazetek but haven't heard of problems from any specific brand of FPHE.
YVORMV - Your veg. oil results may vary.
95 Dodge Cummins 4x4 SVO WVO conversion.
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Postby Renntag » Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:48 pm

SunWizard wrote:
Luckyr wrote:So my next question is whether to go with a regular FPHE or the arctic fox style. I was talking to a local veg shop and they recommended the arctic fox linehauler, they are quoted as saying "The FPHE has some metal incompatibility issues as well as possible weakness that can cause a failure and cross-contamination, whereas the Linehauler is 100% stainless steel, tig welded in a shop that meets ISO-9001 standards."

A. Is this true or are they just trying to sell me on a high$$ product?
B. Is it really worth the extra $100?
C. Are the FPHE made by brazetek found on ebay any good?

They are clueless and everything they said is wrong. I wouldn't buy anything from them. The arctic fox is a heated pickup, not a FPHE. Not interchangeable. Don't know about brazetek but haven't heard of problems from any specific brand of FPHE.


SW: The poster specifically mentioned "linehauler" NOT Arctic fox heated pick up.


My $.02:
There is clearly benefit to an arctic fox in temps below 40*F. If your vehicle never sees ambient below this point, you dont need a heated pick up. Note that depending upon your tank design, you can also make your own coolant heated pickup. The Arctic FOx is just convenient to thread into a 2"NPT tank port. (I believe that is the size).

The FPHE is a fantastic tool to transfer energy across fluids and has been proven to be required in SVO systems for temps boosts. Be sure to select the proper size for your flow rate. Size is measured in Square feet or meters of exposed area. Example ten .1 Sq FT plates would be 1 square foot of energy swap surface.

For your truck, you should be able to get an adequate sized FPHE for 100-130$.
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Postby Luckyr » Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:49 pm

well I was actually looking for the difference between a traditional flat plate heat exchanger and an arctic fox brand in-line tube style heat exchanger, here is their page on them http://www.arctic-fox.com/sitepages/pid43.php
1994 Dodge 3500, flatbed, 5.9 cummins, flatbed, dually, 5spd, all around farm truck
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Postby coachgeo » Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:24 pm

Luckyr wrote:well I was actually looking for the difference between a traditional flat plate heat exchanger and an arctic fox brand in-line tube style heat exchanger, here is their page on them http://www.arctic-fox.com/sitepages/pid43.php
This is a bit assumptive; as in never looked inside an artic fox tube in Fat tube heater like the one shown... but usually such designs are single pass or two pass thru hot coolant where a Flat plate heat exchanger is many path. FPHE is better technology in a smaller space. It is also IMHO would be more expensive to manufacture a FPHE so for the A.Fox to be more expensive to me means your just paying for the name A.Fox.
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Postby SunWizard » Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:28 am

Sorry, I saw your first sentence where you said just arctic fox and didn't see where you later said linehauler. By far the majority of people have been using brazed plate FPHE and haven't been having any "metal incompatibility issues" which I guess they fear causing poly which mainly requires time and oxygen which aren't present in the FPHE. I haven't heard of any failures from any weakness. The FPHE will have higher heat transfer in a smaller size so its easier to find space for it and mount it.

A 26 plate FPHE has been a good size for my cummins down to the coldest we get around -10F. The last mile of my driveway is a steep 4wd road so its taken a beating for >4 years with no issues.
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 harrisonm3 » Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:11 pm

I have a 31 plate exchanger and my temps are not getting hot enough. Driving through the mountains in Winter my oil will drop to 80*. If I'm driving freeway speeds It will get to 130*. At idle after driving on the freeway it can go up to a 150*ish. If I make a short stop and shut the truck down the vegetable oil may get to 160+*, but that quickly goes down as soon as I start to drive.

My tube in the hose is made out of PEX. I believe Sunwizard's is made out of aluminum.

Aluminum's heat transfer is definitely better

I also need to block off the grill.

Sunwizard: What did you use to block off your grill?
Did you insulate your TIH setup?
Have an awesome day
Converted Dodge 2500 97 4x4,
3 valve looped return, Heated pickup, TIH, 31 FPHE.
http://veggiescout.blogspot.com/
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Postby SunWizard » Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:23 pm

harrisonm3 wrote:Sunwizard: What did you use to block off your grill?

2 scraps of hard black plastic, 1/8" thick I had laying around, cut to size and bolted through the grill. One for each side and depending on the time of year I use only 1 or both sides.
Did you insulate your TIH setup?

Yes but only some portions of it.

With the low temps you are seeing, are you sure your themostat is good? Where is your coolant temp when the VO temp drops to 80?
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 harrisonm3 » Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:51 pm

I recently put in a 190* t stat that is supposed to be for a Dodge 440.

My coolant temps start to dip when the vegetable oil gets that cold. Usually happens when I'm on the downgrade of a Mt. pass.

I replaced the stock lift pump unnecessarily about a year ago. Maybe the lift pump is pushing fuel so fast that it doesn't heat up enough.
Have an awesome day
Converted Dodge 2500 97 4x4,
3 valve looped return, Heated pickup, TIH, 31 FPHE.
http://veggiescout.blogspot.com/
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Postby David » Sun Feb 27, 2011 5:35 am

Do you have ALL the coolant going throught he HE before it is t'ed off or do you have a path for it to bypass the HE like the typicaly pushed but completely flawed theroy?

If you look up the specs for FPHE's and do teh calculations for the heat transfer denistys of water and oil and the flow rates, you wioll see that a 10 plate unit is amply sufficent for anything smaller than a mack truck -IF- all the coolant is passed through it.

If you have the coolant te'd before the HE, Re route it properly and see how much extra heat you get. I have no idea who first suggested this idea of bypassing the HE but it seems to me to be one of the most ridicilous bits of misinformation in the whole Veg oil game.

I made my own HE and the oil temp is within a degre or 2 of the coolant temp with all the coolant running through it before it can go anywhere else.
I actually made the HE dual circuit but don't bother to heat it the second time as I'm not worried if the oil loses a few degress on the way to the IP because the IP will handle cold oil and I think that having the oil too hot could do more harm than good.
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