Waste Oil Burner for a Furnace or Boiler

Discussion in 'General Homesteading & Building' started by nj_m715, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. nj_m715

    nj_m715 www.veggear.blogspot.com

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    [​IMG]

    I posted here before about my space heater and cobbled together pressure burner I used in the past. This a syphon burner running on waste vegetable oil, but these things can burn ATF, motor oil, just about anything.

    [​IMG]

    The kit I used is $600. You can complete a conversion for about $700 or spend over $1,000 depending on how many parts you can salvage. You need a constant level tank and an air compressor for a syphon conversion, but it's been running great. It hasn't needed a cleaning so far this year. I was cleaning the pressure burner once a week, twice when it was very cold. It seems like a lot to spend, but it pay's for itself fast when the fuel is free. There are a couple threads where everyone is concerned about the cost of fuel. I can get heat, light, electricity and run all of my vehicles on waste oil. The savings can go back into preps. This "hobby" has really been a life saver (at least a house saver) since I was injured in a crash. We have been getting by, but it would much worse if we were paying for all the fuel.
     
  2. Tirediron

    Tirediron RockyMountainCanadian

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    Looks like a good set up, are you burning WVO at room temp or do you have to preheat for this application???
     

  3. piglett

    piglett Well-Known Member

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    my understanding is that a true waste oil heater is built quite a bit more stout than a normal oil burning heater like you would have in a house or shop.



    piglett
     
  4. nj_m715

    nj_m715 www.veggear.blogspot.com

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    Sure, that's what the companies who are charging 5k-10k for a heater want you to believe. The truth is most are built just like this, unless they use a different system like a babington ball.
    The big difference in the length of the flame. Some heaters have a very shallow fire box. The flame will touch and eventually destroy the back wall. Some people have just built a box to bolt to their heater which makes the fire box deeper. I have a 14.5" deep fire box, so I had no problems.

    The incoming fuel is at room temp, the heater is built into the gun. Most people have good luck running it like this. Some need a little heat on the fuel tank if it's cold enough or if they are burning thicker oil.
     
  5. BasecampUSA

    BasecampUSA Sr. Homesteader

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    Hi nj...

    Wow, I would be very interested in getting more info on this to convert a boiler to use on a solar food dehydrater when the sun isn't shining, as a standby.

    I collect a large quantity of restaurant fry-oil each month in a large storage tank for "biodiesel" conversion and use on the homestead. There are always a lot of people begging me to take waste motor oil too, and I'm seriously thinking about it.
    ================

    I'm trying to envision the flow diagram of the above picture...

    Please help me out so I can sketch a diagram to build this.

    What's the function of the ammo box? I see an inlet and outlet... or is there another connection on the back side ? Filter? Surge tank? Settling tank?

    OK - 2 old refrigeration compressors... parallel or series? Function?

    Pressure guage, regulator and solenoid valve.

    Burner gun with a special controls?

    Fuel oil filter, shutoff valve and copper tubing reused from original installation.

    I have all the tools; tube cutter, flaring bar etc.

    Thanks, -Basey

    ===================
    Solar dryer built last summer using 3 old upright freezers for the drying cabinets:
    Looking to use this waste-oil system for the backup-boiler instead of the biomass unit shown in video.

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilcMzaUgixU[/ame]
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010
  6. nj_m715

    nj_m715 www.veggear.blogspot.com

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    Guess I should have mentioned that all the details and more pics are on my blog, I kind of left that part out.
    It should cover all of your questions. If you still any when you're done, fire away.
     
  7. BasecampUSA

    BasecampUSA Sr. Homesteader

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    Oh, ok...

    this link, I presume then...

    Converting a Home Heating Oil Burner to a Syphon Waste Oil Burner - Associated Content from Yahoo! - associatedcontent.com

    Actually, if I just run the thing manually, I can dispense with the controller and just use a straight cut-in/cut-out thermostat to the water jacket ( I have an old scotch vertical tube boiler with a Beckett gun in a 24" chamber). I'm not going for steam like the biomass boiler in the dehydrator video, just hot water to the heat exchanger.

    Thanks! - Basey
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010
  8. nj_m715

    nj_m715 www.veggear.blogspot.com

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  9. BasecampUSA

    BasecampUSA Sr. Homesteader

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    Maybe, or just put it manually on a simple timer after running some tests... it's outdoors and a long distance from any buildings and people way back here in the woods-clearing homestead.

    The idea is to simply keep hot air going through the dehydrator at nighttime and cloudy days, as the video suggests. We have no auxilliary heat to it yet. Last summer we dried only during sunlight hours (solar by design) and we want to speed up the process with low cost "green" alternatives, either recycling oil, fry grease, or biomass/wood.

    Thanks,

    - Basey
     
  10. nj_m715

    nj_m715 www.veggear.blogspot.com

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    You can use anything to turn it off and on, but I think you'll still need the controller. It regulates the waste oil pre heater. It has nothing to do with a call for heat. A drip stove is a low cost option, but this more automated and burns cleaner when properly tunes. I built a MEN stove years ago. It got warm, but not hot. There are a lot of guys adding blowers and getting more heat. There is a guy on the infopop forum that is running a boiler built from an old military tent heater. It might be more of what you're looking for.
     
  11. nj_m715

    nj_m715 www.veggear.blogspot.com

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  12. BasecampUSA

    BasecampUSA Sr. Homesteader

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    Wow... I bought a new surplus immersion heater (for a 55 gal drum etc.) last spring, but it was made for gasoline drip on a burner plate in the lower part of the unit... I suppose some waste oil could be dripped in on it along with the gas to keep it going... but sounds like a lot of cleaning problems though, because the lower unit can't be disassembled.

    I have a army tent heater too, but this one is for wood and doesn't have the oil burner setup. Those are pretty expensive.

    I've got a German army tent stove with smokestack vent that has a pot burner with a constant-level valve that is made for diesel (heating oil too)... can this be converted? Filtered waste oil blended with the "diesel"?

    Anyway, none of these seem practical for the solar dehydrator, but they sound useful for other applications. It's surprising how many people are desperately looking to get rid of old motor oil.

    Hey nj... What is a MEN stove? I just googled with no results...

    Thanks, -Basey
     
  13. nj_m715

    nj_m715 www.veggear.blogspot.com

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    Build up of crud is one of the problems. I never used mine a lot, but it seems to depend on quality of oil and chimney draft. Some guys clean them a lot, some much less. Sounds like your german stove is like our US stoves. Some guys use the carb or float device as is, some drill out the passage to flow thick oil better, some drip fuel in and forget the carb, some use a very slow speed pump to feed the drip, some gravity. It's all in that very long infopop thread.

    Here's a MEN stove ( mother earth news ) it's been around for a long time. The bottom of the page has links to the updates with forced air blowers.
    http://journeytoforever.org/biofuel_library/ethanol_motherearth/me4.html
    I ran it with straight wvo feed by gravity drip. It's a little weird to light because it uses a down draft, but once the draft starts it runs well. No electric needed, perfect for a small work shop, shed, etc. I built mine from a 55 drum ( against their recommendations, but I had it on hand). It did finally rust up, I tossed the drum, but held onto the burner incase I ever get back to it.
    There's a yahoo group for the tent heaters, I think it's called 1941 stoves ( whatever the military model number is). It's not very active, but Steve has oil burners and might still have complete stoves for sale there and on his GreenTrust website, but if you already have a german one I bet it's very much the same. Read through the long infopop thread and get up to speed. Some guys use old hair driers as blowers. Disable the heater and the motor works from a 12v battery. Recharge it w/ a small pv panel and you can have a cheap, efficient clean burning waste oil heater off grid.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2010
  14. Tirediron

    Tirediron RockyMountainCanadian

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    Have you guys seen the gravity fed Waste oil heaters with the coil in the first part of the flame??, they are supposed to capture enough heat to vaporize the oil and burn quite clean, I can't seem to find the drawings anymore
     
  15. BasecampUSA

    BasecampUSA Sr. Homesteader

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    Thanks for the info, nj...

    --- you too, Tirediron - my biodoesel VW's run a preheat coil... same principle... keeps the viscosity thin and ready for better ignition.

    Looks like I'm going to have a lot fun experimenting...
    Next to my barnyard is a shed that looks like a used industrial parts warehouse full of stuff I've hauled back from process plant demolition and construction overstock... I love to tinker and invent. Miles of pipe, dumpsters full of fittings, tons of structural beams, plate and stainless steel galore.

    Don't worry, I'll fire this stuff off outside and keep a safe distance too :D

    - Basey
     
  16. nj_m715

    nj_m715 www.veggear.blogspot.com

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    I've built and used one of those simple coils. I clogged it in less than a gallon or so of oil. They are easy to build and they work, but they overheat the oil and build carbon inside the tube until it clogs. A MEN stove or tent heater is the way to go for cheap and simple, the syphon beckett is the Cadillac imo.

    http://www.green-trust.org/oil_burner.htm
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2010
  17. DPDISXR4Ti

    DPDISXR4Ti New Member

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    Thanks for linking me over to this thread. I haven't read through your links yet, but a couple quick questions...

    1) What is in the $600 "kit"? If I've got a retired furnace in good condition to start with, no I still need the kit?

    2) What does the air compressor do?

    My thought is to make a very rudimentary heater for purely supplemental use. No thermostat, just a simple on/off operation. Fuel tank would be relatively small and gravity fed.
     
  18. nj_m715

    nj_m715 www.veggear.blogspot.com

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    All those question should be easily answered if you poke around in the links and let me know if you still have questions. I have some hans-on time so I tell you what has worked or not worked for me.
    Check the faq section at ckburners for info about his kits. They turn normal heating oil burners into waste oil heaters. If you want simple non-electric back up heat a military tent heater is good, almost off the shelf option. You can build a MEN stove very cheap if you're handy. You might need more than one men or tent heater depending on the temps and area to be heated. A ckburner conversion can be good up to 200k btu (off the top of my head). I'm probably running about 80-100 btu for a ballpark guess.
     
  19. Tirediron

    Tirediron RockyMountainCanadian

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    Good to see our WO expert back :2thumb:
     
  20. nj_m715

    nj_m715 www.veggear.blogspot.com

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    Thanks. it's nice to be missed. I've reading a little bit here and there, but not posting. I plate has been, still is pretty full.

    DP, did you get to read up on those stoves?