Wednesday, August 17, 2005

WVO For Home Heating

So from what I've been learning, home heating oil is diesel #2 with a red dye added. (I've never had a home that was heated this way). That means the deal is the same as it would be for cars;put B100 right in (slowly wean your furnace onto it, changethe rubber out, etc, not as simple as it sounds, but simple enough) or heat WVO to reduce viscousity.
I am becoming obsessed with this idea. Standard oil furnaces can be converted to run WVO and there are several designs (DIY and commercial) out there for oil stoves and burners built specifically for WVO.
Here is a pretty straight-forward posting I found on (an unending source of magic and wisdom that site is...)
Scroll down past the bottom of this article for more links on using WVO for home heating. I add to this list as I find them.

Burning 100% Waste Vegetable Oil in a standard oil fired furnace.

The information below is simply what I have done to burn WVO. I experiment with many things;

If you copy these experiments burning WVO, and do not follow the laws of physics; you may cause damage to property and it could injure you or cause death.

If you alter your oil furnace in any way, you are probably breaking the law and you run the risk of burnig down your house and killing someone.

Most Burner Technicians will warn you not to do what I describe below.

How it works;

Viscosity is the main issue in getting the WVO to atomize in the burner. By heating the oil up to 250 F at the nozzel; the WVO burns easily and cleanly.

I filter my WVO to 5 microns and store it in a tank next to my standard #2 Home heating oil tank in my basement.

From here the fuel line goes to a Heated Filter (which is a standard oil tank filter, heated to about 110 F)

On the feed tube and nozzel; I have 2 band heaters that heat the oil to 250F.

Simple enough........... but lots of details make it work !

Depending on what kind of WVO you are collecting/using, you need to keep the work/storage/burner area at a temperature above about 55 F otherwise the oil become too thick to flow.

I heat my “in line standard filter” with hot water from my boiler; if you have a hot air system, you may want to use a large electric band heater to keep the filter at about 110 F.

The burner oil pump needs to be kept above 70 F or so. This can be done by may different methods. One is to bolt a plate with cartridge heaters in it to the face of the pump; another way is to make a insulated box around the pump.

The nozzel and feed tube are heated with two 150 watt band heaters; the temperature is controlled by a thermocouple style temperatrue controller . The band heaters are fitted to the feed tube and nozzel using two adapters made of alumimun or brass.


Filter Bags: as required ; Polyester felt, 18”lg x 7”dia, 5 micron , McMaster Carr #9830K11, $1.77 each

Band Heater: qty = 2, 1” ID x 1.5 “ long, 150 watts each, McMaster Carr #3594K2, $12.00 each

Band heater Adapter, Feed Tube: Brass rod, 1.0 OD x 1.5 Long, drilled thru with .404 drill and a 10-32 set screw added to hold it in place.

Band heater Adapter, Nozzel: Brass rod, 1.0 OD x 1.5 long, drilled thru .708”

Nozzel Holder: From your existing burner or buy from Controls Depot .com
Modify by turning down to .709” in lathe. Band heater Adapter, Nozzel is then press fit over the modified nozzel holder.

Temperature controller: Any thermocouple reading controller will work ; digital is more expensive than an analog unit. E-bay item. $20 to $100

In-Line Oil Filter: F4B filter housing and replaceable filer element........Standard to the industry, Home Depot item or from Controls on line. $15 to $25

Replaceable elements $0.65 to $3.00 depending on your purchase location.

In-line Oil Filter heater: band heater from McMaster Carr or some creative idea.

In-Line Oil Filter heater, temperature controller: Can use a hot water heater thermostate; salvage, or Home Depot $20

Oil Burner Hardware, Nozzels, Gaskets, Filters, Electrodes, Firo-Matic Valves etc:
Controls Nice on line store............ they presume you are a Licenced Professional Burner Technician......... do not ask dumb questions
However they will sell to anyone with a credit card.........

Ok still there after the disclamer??

I find that all of the safety controls still work as desgned; that and the reliability is why I modified my burner rather than use a truely home built burner that you must baby sit while it is running.
I have run the system for 9 months now; and yes early on it had failed to fire up onec and a while , but the safety controls shut down the system if it does not see a good flame.

I hope this helps;

Be sure to e-mail me if you want to talk off line.



Here are some more links on this topic: (From the National Bio-Diesel Board Site) (Mother Earth News' Waste Oil Heater)
Babington Burners
WasteWatts Forum
How to Build a Babington Burner