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Messages - Oilburner

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Waste Motor Oil / Re: New and have questions!
« on: May 01, 2018, 01:20:31 am »

Exactly what I was going to say.
If the stove puts out any heat you are setting yourself up for a runaway.

I suggest putting the oil resivour far away, high as possible and make the tank as large as possible.

The head height of the oil will make a big difference so you want it high to make the oil level as small an influence as possible by getting it high to start with. Same with large tank.  The level will be more stable and so will the output.
You do not want to be adjusting the thing every 5 Min because 5 min burning changes the oil level 10% or whatever.

The best way of all to do this is use some sort of float bowl like in a carburettor. By putting in the intermediate resivour/ control, the oil level would always be the same.
Don't underestimate how much this affects the burn nor the thinning of the oil through warming up. It makes a big difference

An easy way to get flow control would be to have the oil come from the main tank into a secondary lower one.
The lower resivour could be an old jam  tin with an outlet on the bottom going to the burner and another half way up going to a catch tank.  You have the oil slightly overflowing into the catch tank which means the oil going to the burner is always the same height.

As for air, make a pot burner style with holes that direct the air down to the oil pool and a mixing flue in the centre.
I have built these and they Kick out a huge amount of heat.
You'll have to pay attention to airflow within the tank you are using it in though.

The best way to get max heat radiation would be to take the flue from the burner to the top of the tank and have the flue out of the tank half way or more down.  That will give the best surface area for the heat to radiate from.
I did this with one of my drum burners and the heat the thing radiated was insane.  Putting the flue at the top just makes the heat go straight out without doing much. making it travel around and giving an area of hot air to impinge the tank walls and radiate from there will make a world of difference.

Also where you install the thing, make the flue run as far as you can before it exits the building if you are heating a shed or something. Ducting the flue straight out is illogical.  It carrys so much heat with it you want to give the flue the longest path possible to give that heat up.

I'm going to put a burner in my shed and the heater will be at the back and the flue will exit the front and I'll have a fan blowing along it to take as much heat out as possible.

Waste Motor Oil / Re: Collecting/Transporting Drain oil
« on: March 18, 2018, 07:59:16 am »
1500 gal is almost 6000L.
I never cease to be amazed at how much fuel some people go through.

To put it in other terms, if you conservatively say that oil has 10.5 Kw/ L, burning 6000L yields an energy output of 63000Kw.
Have you thought about closing your doors in winter??  :0)

If you were buying that in electricity at the middle of the road rate I pay, that would cost you a solid $22,000 to heat your home for..... 3-5? months?

With that sort of volume, the only readily available container I can think of which is cheap and can be used for transport or storage is an IBC.  They are 275?  gallon, 1000L for the modern world, and can be forked for easy loading and stacking.
I had 6 of them at home for my veg oil to settle and store the finished processed oil. Of course the 6 of them gave me enough fuel to run 2 vehicles for over a year and fuel to spare for travelers and friends.

How long is your winter?
I'd love to work out how much KW worth of heat you are going through a day!

Waste Motor Oil / Re: Waste Oil Boiler install
« on: March 06, 2018, 02:21:39 am »

I wonder if adding an intermittent spray of water into the fire box would help keep things clean?
It certainly works on engines that's for sure and I don't see a lot of difference here.  The water would change to steam and should help Loosen and move the deposits.

That said, any carbon like buildup is incomplete combustion. Maybe turning up the air control or if it's possible, induce a bit more swirl into the flame front. If oil is burning completely it will turn to ash like wood leaves behind and mainly be expelled. You might end up with some powder in the fire box but that would be easy to clean with a vac.

Waste Motor Oil / Re: Transfer Pumps?
« on: February 18, 2018, 08:32:14 pm »

I suppose it depends what your definition of cold is.
I have done cold oil with the hand pumps and they work fine. If you are talking about frozen oil, that may be different.

The thing with the redline pumps is no matter how good the motor, they are still relatively low HP. One I saw was 1/3rd Hp.
 That's not a lot of power to move this biblical cold oil everyone goes on about and at decent flow rates.  If it was such a ridiculous idea to try and move this oil with a hand pump, it would be doubly stupid to try and use an electric pump with that low of a power rating and even more stupid to pay that sort of money for one.

I did look at another brand of US made pump years ago that that a really good flow rate. The company made a whole range of different pumps  for all sorts of applications although I seem to recall most of them were rubber vane pumps. They weren't cheap either but I think unless someone was trying to pump something semi solid, they would work.
I have a couple of these brass vane pumps I was given which are popular on boats and they seem to work well on actual liquids as they are designed rather than semi solid material. They are self priming which is what one really needs and once they have bit into the liquid, move it very fast. By design they do have a lot of inherent drag even when pumping oil though so do take a bit of power.  They are very fast though.

I still think the best idea is to wait until things get warmer instead so the oil is more liquid than solid and prepare in advance rather than trying to muck around at the worst possible time.

Waste Motor Oil / Re: Transfer Pumps?
« on: February 17, 2018, 11:51:11 pm »

I have to say, I think the prices of those things are ridiculous and the flow rates, where they do quite them, very optimistic as well.
I have seen YT vids of them pumping before and for what they are and the price, I really think they are taking the mickey out of people who buy them.

It's one thing to invest in decent equipment, it's quite another to get blatantly ripped off.
They just use modified vehicle oil pumps, I think Fords, so they are nothing specialist nor do the job any better.
They use mains powered motors yet still my battery powered scooter motors I use on my pumps will eat their output for breakfast.

I also strongly suspect they have followed the design of my pumps because years ago they were just tapping into the original port of the pump. Now they are welding in 1" elbows same as I have done well before they started with their original design.

Any gear pump will do the job of pumping thick oil. Does not have to be anything special about them.
I did once have a play with those hand cranked pumps. They have a large roror/ vane inside which is good for oil and they are also positive displacement in operation. I believe there is also a twin rotor version that does higher output.
If one were to put a geared motor on one of these things which should not be hard, I reckon it would surpass the performance of my chev pumps given 1" or better size hose.

Even hand cranked, these pumps should do the job on cold oil and are a fraction of the price of those other units.

Waste Motor Oil / Re: Transfer Pumps?
« on: February 17, 2018, 06:29:02 pm »
I don't think the physical size of a 2 Hp motor over a smaller one is going to be any different.
Would a 2 HP be more expensive where you are?   Not much difference between a 1/4 Hp and anything up to a 2 here if you buy used.

You are talking about frozen oil which in my very limited experience with very cold and thick oil, puts a LOT of drag on a motor.  I think you'd be a lot better off with something bigger rather than too small.  While a smaller motor may work, a lot would depend on how much oil you want to pump. thicker the slower it will move for a start.
I just don't like to labor things. Shortens their life and they under perform.  A few bucks extra on a motor you don't have to worry about will likely make your free fuel gathering a lot easier and faster and with what you are saving, I always think anything spent on equipment for out oil endeavors within reason is a good investment.

I did look up the power to drive those pumps many years ago. it was something like 4-5 HP at full pressure. Now we aren't using pressure but we are doing more flow the way I mod them and they certainly weren't measuring on oil at freezing temp you can be sure of that. Point is while we can get away with much smaller motors, the power required by the pump in it's OEM config is a lot higher than 2HP anyway so it's not overkill by any means.

One other thought comes to mind...
Why are you even trying to muck around with oil when it is so cold?

I pretty much gather all my oil in the summer when it's the most available being I gather Veg oil.  I can go out and with a little effort and traveling around the area and pick up 2000+  litres in a day and certainly a weekend.  I put it in IBC's to settle which helps with the filtering and basically lay in more than enough stock to get me through the winter ( or year).  I filter and  put away the clean ready to go oil and do not even think of mucking around with it over winter. Come half way through spring or when I feel motivated I start filtering again and make room along the production line for more dirty oil to come in at the end.

You Wake up to these things on how to make the process a lot easier once you have been doing it a while.  :0)

Veg is a lot harder to get in winter ( people don't eat out nearly as much) it's slower to pump and usually has more water and I don't like going out on the cold mornings or nights.  In summer it's quite nice.  And of course  the oil is like water so you don't have to worry about fats and are gone to the next pickup much quicker.

I think the key to the problem may not even be the pump you use but rather preparation so you don't have to worry and can move the stuff easily and when it's not such a chore!

Waste Motor Oil / Re: Transfer Pumps?
« on: February 16, 2018, 08:47:17 am »

I have no idea.  I don't live in a frozen hell hole where I have to worry! :0)
If the oil is still liquid like enough to flow down a pipe, these pumps will move it. The load on the motor will be more but depends how long you run it. I wouldn't try to pump an IBC full of frozen oil in one go with it but a 200L drum would just be OK.

If you need to pump a lot of really thick oil then you would need to get a motor up to the job and i'd be looking at something more like 2 HP so you had some margin.

Waste Motor Oil / Re: Transfer Pumps?
« on: February 04, 2018, 06:48:29 am »
For a long time now I have been Using Small Block Chev oil pumps I modify like I have yet to see anyone else do.
Most people seem to use at least one of the small ports as the Pumps come. This to me is highly restrictive and basicaly a waste of their potential in this application.
I block off both the original inlet and outlet of the pumps and bore a hole to take a 1" pipe fitting in the sides of the casings right where the gears are.

I use a 300W 24V scooter motor and can get 80l min on warm oil and have yet to find anything I can't pump that is still at least semi solid.
With no insult intended, I'd go freaking nuts hanging round pumping at 2gpm and a lot higher.  I can get 12GPM ( 50L) running the motors on half power, 12V.

This is a demo vid I did ages back of an early pump in action. I improved a bit on it since

This vid explains the pumps construction a bit more.


I have yet to find a pump other than one powered by a petrol 5 Hp engine that will keep up with these.  I did have one running off a battery lawnmower motor for a while and that was a ball tearer.  They are good up to about 3000 RPM but you do need around 500W+ depending on the oil you are pumping to get them to that. Just because the motor is XXXX rated, don't expect it to be doing that under load!

The performance on thick oil is also very good, about as good as one could get I believe.  If you can draw the semi solid fats into a hose, these things will do it and spit it out the other end.
I have a couple I use at home with AC motors. one is 1/3HP and the other is 1HP, both 2800Rpm motors.  They work really well and move oil fast. I use these for transfering  up to multi 1000L of oil at a time in IBC's and have pumped at least 60K L with these different pumps over the years.

The only problems I have had with the things is the occasional Blockage when I have sucked up cloth Napkins which Jam the gears. Most times I can simply wind the pump back by hand ( with great effort) and  once free reverse the motor and blow out whats left. Few times I have had them wrap round the gears and had to take the back cover off the pump and clear them that way.

You cannot put shutoff valves on these pumps being positive displacement and as I araldite the relief valve closed, the pumps will either stall the motor driving them ( 1 HP no problem) or the hose bursts. they have to be started and stopped with the motor.  Some people might like to put a DC PWM motor speed controller on them if they had need for lower pumping rates.

I have been doing this a while now and always looking for the holy grail with something better but yet to find anything that beats these SBC pumps modified this way that allows for their full flow capabilities.

Welcome Center / Re: Hey from Oz
« on: June 15, 2017, 06:17:37 pm »

I think any burner is controlable with the right mix and amounts of air and fuel.
The blue burners to me appear to be putting a lot of excess air over the top of the combustion which may be the short flame.

I have been wanting to look how to do these confined flames for a long time. I'd like to build a Turbo Jet engine but I know I have to confine the flame front or Ill just melt the Turbine blades in no time. They need to run on hot gas not flame.
There are some guys that have made combustors that run on Diesel which should work the same for oil. They tend to create a pocket of air that suspends the flame and the fuel is added into the centre of the combustor and never  touches the sides therefore keeping the metal cool and the air always over supplied. A burner nozzle pumped by a power steering pump may do the job of sufficient atomisation. Another project to add onto the list of the 100 years worth I have already.

You wouldn't have understood the Chinglish instructions for the burner even if they had been at all helpful.  Guess we in the west expect that but it's a way for the Chinese to save those ever precious cents.
I have always had good luck with industrial Chinese stuff. Added some toys to the collection today. An 8 HP electric start Diesel engine, an 8 HP petrol Fire Pump, a 92CC Chainsaw and a Demolition Hammer.
Bought the chainsaw at the recommendation of a friend that has to of them and does a lot of very heavy work.  with them. So far the engine seems great but has issues with the bar and chain. Think might be transport Damage. The engine fires up easy and has loads of power.  Spose one has to be prepared for these things. I paid $125 for the thing. The Stihl is is cloned after is over $1000.  i'm confident once I get the bar issue sorted the thing will be great.

This will be my 3rd or 4th Diesel and a mate had a water pump and swore by it. I have also bought Chinese Logsplitter, wood chipper, brushcutter and pole saw and all have been great. I think a lot of over patriotic rednecks put the chinese stuff down through ignorance. Sure, some stuff is crap but all the things I have bought I couldn't complain about. My father is brand centric  and the first time I had something Chinese delivered to him he scoffed at it and wondered how long before he had to go buy a Honda. That was about 3 years ago and now his opinion is he wouldn't buy Honda again for what he can get the chinese stuff for that has already well and truly paid for itself and hasn't given any trouble either.
Can't say that for some of the ext Honda equipment he has bought which rubs salt into the wound.

One of his Honda pumps is playing up and I bought him a new Chinese coil for it the other week.  Don't know if he's tried it yet but just in case it doesn't fix the thing I bought the other pump for him and then I'll get him a Chinese carby for the Honda and see how that goes.
Honda coil was $160?  Chinese knockoff, $17 delivered.  Chinese pump I bought today, $123.

Welcome Center / Re: Hey from Oz
« on: June 10, 2017, 08:02:40 pm »
When it comes to creativity in oil burners, those ruskies and assorted baltics sure do take the prize!
I spose when it comes to trying not to freeze to death and having to use whatever you can get hold of with little available funds, ingenuity kicks in pretty well.  :0)

I have seen similar blue flame Vids before. Something I have never been able to achieve so far although I can't say it's ever been a goal either.
it looks to me like they are heating the oil just enough to boil  or evaporate off the volotiles and mix them with the incoming air to create the blue flame.  I notice as you said they all seem to have a pool of oil at the bottom with  a reserve of oil on the outside of the tank.  It would seem to me that they are in fact " Cracking" or pyrolising the oil and burning it in situ.
I think with this type of setup may well be able to get a similar result from wood chips or other solid fuels.

I also wonder if there is much ash or buildup left as a result of burning the oil this way and the oil pool itself seems quite cool and wouldn't burn the carbon deposts to ash and exhaust them.

I designed my first downdraft type burners the same way.  I had a tube going down into an extinguisher bottle with the end blocked off and the air exiting though holes drilled in the sides.  If I remember correctly the first tests had the oil being blown in with the air. This was a failure because the turbulence of the air tended to blow smoking hot but incomplete combusted droplets of oil out everywhere.

 The 2nd approach was to put the oil in the bottom of the bottle and let the connected heat  phase change it to gas.  this worked but I felt the thin gauge of the steel in the extinguishers was not transferring heat fast enough to the oil and I could never get the sort of output I wanted from the amount of air supplied.

I'm not sure where this was different from the burners in the vids.  I'm thinking that perhaps the pooled oil in their burners is not lying on the bottom of the vessel but rather in a smaller vessel sitting within.
I'm also thinking that perhaps the air pipe has a higher clearance than mine did.

In the end I pretty much abandoned this air pipe design. Unlike what I initially expected, I found I could aim the air stream straight down into the oil and it burnt quite well and I could blow the fuel in with the air and get a strong, clean output.  As it's a lot easier to throw a bent bit of pipe into a metal container than have to weld and drill holes in it, I went the easiest way out.

I have researched the Blue/ yellow flame thing and everything I have read says a blue flame is not hotter at all, it's just the way the carbon atoms are being handled. All the papers seem to agree on this and I have not seen any commercial burners that do a blue flame. I surmise when they are all talking about efficiency and emissions, if there were a benefit to a blue over a yellow flame, that's what we'd see commercial burners like yours doing especially the western made ones where efficiency is a big selling point.

Nothing I have read suggests that a blue flame is hotter or cleaner, rather just a more attractive flame.
I would like to know how to construct a blue flame burner as I'm sure it would increase my understanding of combustion and may allow me to develop the method to different applications in a more workable way than what I'm doing now.   

Welcome Center / Re: Hey from Oz
« on: June 07, 2017, 02:51:44 am »

The thing certainly looks the part. With a rating of up to 50 Kw you should never be cold either!

I'm not sure about the thermal mass. No doubt it would store the heat but I'm trying to do the mental arithmetic of how that heat would transfer back to the water/ tank.  I'm big on thermal mass. I had a Pizza oven I built that weighed over a ton.  Took a bit of heating up but once it was you could cook pizzas that night and give it a swab out the next day and do bread.

I guess there is no harm in trying the disks... or bricks. Only thing I can think of is you will want the flame impinging pretty direct for max heating.  Maybe the mindset would be to heat the thermal mass and use the exhaust to heat the water. That way the mass might be working most effectively.

For your fire box perhaps the steel shell with a lining of Kaowool and then the firebricks would work well.
You could also insulate the outside of the thing with either regular roof insulation or Hebel panel/ aerated cement.
I did the casing of my pizza oven with that. It has a great insulating value but you cannot expose it to naked flame.
On the outside of the box it may give it bit of a finished look and provide an additional structure as well.
You can get the stuff anywhere and its easy to cut, just have to go through the steel reo in the centre but you can do that with a cutting disk on a circular saw.

Are you plumbing this up as an additional burner HE to your existing House system rather than convert the LPG burner?
It would seem to me that Converting a Gas spa burner would be the way to go. All you would have to do is remove the gas burner and cut a hole for the oil burner.  The heat exchangers are efficient on those and all the manufacturing would be done.  The spa heater I have is 100KW so would easy handle the burner you have.

This would be the sort of thing you'd be  after:


For extra efficiency, you could sit the tank ( maybe on a frame) on top of the spa heater where the flue normally goes and draft the burner through them both. Preheat the water in the tank then plum it through the spa heater then out to the house.

Whatever you come up with I'd be very interested to see some pics and what you end up doing.

As for the log burner, you can downscale oil burners to any size. I have had a lot of people ask me about them and I have nutted a couple out but they don't make for very exciting Videos and the couple I did got lousy Views so I stick to giving the viewers what they want which is impractical big fires.

Depending on your internal clearance etc, all you have to do is what many with converting wood heaters do is blow air and oil into a pot and burn it that way. I did it with the grannys chamber pot Vid and some others. You could have something like a 1" pipe blowing into a little pot or trough with a small oil drip. You can go as low as you want, you just have to proportion the air and fuel accordingly. Too much of either and you ont have enough heat to sustain burning which is where most people go wrong. Also the smaller you get the less margin for error so it can take a bit of learning to get the air/ fuel tune right.

Welcome Center / Re: Hey from Oz
« on: June 06, 2017, 10:07:15 am »

 I'd rather buy (read already bought) a Chinese waste oil burner. Cost me just over $1K, which may seem like a lot, but to me, it is pretty much exactly the amount that I spend on electricity each month running our heat pumps.

Do you have a link to the burner you bought? Have you run it yet and if so, how is it going?

I'd like to hear how the spa heater works out. We have a pool/spa but it barely gets used - much too cold here most of the year, so yeah, definitely interested to see what you are planning.

I have only played with it so far as I'm moving house in 4 weeks and didn't want to connect it to the pool.  I have been running veg oil in my vehicles 15 years this October and looking for a way to heat the pool was the original reason I got into this oily caper. Done a lot with it but still haven't heated the pool with it and the new place doesn't have one although we are planning on putting in a sunken spa outside.

All I have done is remove the gas burner and put in an oil burner made from a LPG bottle. There are a couple of vids of it on my channel but it's nothing special. Normal side entry, blown in fuel job.  The spa heater is rated at 100KW. At first I thought I can easy double that without thinking about it but a mate that works with these things warned me not to go over the rating. If the water boils in the exchanger tubes there can be all sorts of problems so I'll back the thing off to 90 Kw to be on the safe side for the spa if I use it for that or down to about 30 for the house and just have it cycling.

For a spa it would be an easy setup. Just fire the thing till the water is hot enough and then I imagine you could shut it down as the water should stay warm a good while or just have the thing idling.
Starting off with a spa heater and converting is easy as you have the cabinet, refractory blocks and a good Heat exhanger to work with from the start. All you have to do is make sure you have ample water flow through the HE itself and don't over drive the thing or have flame touching the tubes.

I also have a 200KW set of tubes but no cabinet I can use as well. Probably use the small unit for the house and the larger one for the spa although that said, I always thought of using my pool for a huge thermal mass so I could fire up one or 2 days a week and then just circulate the water through the house. A spa would be much better than a pool for heat loss but still provide a good thermal mass. 


As for solar, our HWS has those vac solar tubes with elec boost. The solar works well during summer, we can switch the boost off but in winter it only gets luke warm so I'm interested to see what you have planned. Please make vids if you go ahead.

I'm a bit surprised to hear that. I was under the impression those Vac tubes worked really well all year round and any sun falling on them heated the water. Guess not.
I have been touting going with used PV panels on other forums and been endlessly told that the Tubes are more efficent. I don't  doubt that ( although there are clearly proviso's) but my position is that's its far cheaper and easier for me to buy used PV, they are much easier to wire up than plumb up ( putting them on the shed up the back is no trouble where running hot water up there would be expensive and inefficient) and once the water is heated which could be quite early in the day given a big enough array, I can have the heater itself switch the power elsewhere through a dual thermostat.
With water heaters the tank can be up to temp fairly early on and then they just boil the water off or whatever they do.

Your info bout the tubes not working so well in winter is another plus for the PV heating.  Electric panels work better in cool weather than hot so will be in their element when you want them the most for this job.  I plan to over drive the element a bit on voltage so I have full power  early and later in the afternoon when the light levels drop.  haven't quite figured how I'm going to do them yet.  Easiest option would be to run an array of about 300V max straight to the heater.
 I can also use a PWM controller to regulate the output or as I have done when playing and learning, run a bunch of panels in parallel and put the power through an inverter to step it up and PWM the output (2Kw) from there.
Think I'll try the direct 300V array first and see how that goes as it's going to be the simplest and I think have reasonable efficiency.

I have a good friend who has an Ultratune workshop. They need to dispose of about 600L of oil each month and I can have it all if I wish.  I might buy an IBC and a pump, and pump it instead of handling heavy drums.

Sounds perfect. Stockpile what you want to get you through. If you can get 600L a month, 2 Ibc's should be fine as you'll get another 6 weeks supply or so over the winter anyway.

I gave up on veg oil tins a LONG time ago. I just ( still) use the Chev oil pump I made and pump from drums into a 200L drum in the back of the wagon. As it's on a DC motor, when I get home I reverse the polarity and pump it out again into a convenient holding drum.  The pump is hard plumbed to the collection drum so when it's empty, I just pull the thing out and sit it in in the driveway till the next run. I have about 5M of hose on it and have been running the thing from one of those  lithium Jumper starter packs for the last 2 years. They fit in your pocket and weigh nothing but the one I have has enough juice for at least 600L of oil in and out again.
 Before that I just got a used battery from the wreckers although no reason you couldn't put in some wiring from the vehicle battery.

I also plan to build a fan forced heater for my workshop.  Anyway, plan is to build it like you show on your vids, but then to put a 44 gal drum over it with a fan installed on top and holes or slots in the front of the drum.

This is also something I have planned. The drum over the top of the bottle is a good Idea. I was thinking of using an old car LPG tank to get more surface area. I also want to run the flue at an angle along the wall as far as possible and maybe have a fan blowing along that as there is a lot of heat in the exhaust gasses and most people seem to just duct that heat away as soon as possible which makes no sense to me.

The other option is to convert a wood burning heater. I'd actually prefer that so I could see the flames. I want to make the shed bit of a man cave as well and make a nice area for my Lister engine and other generators. See how I go. I was going to double the size of the garage but then a friend worked out that would require the excavation of 100 tons or more of soil as the block has a slope. I'm thinking now I might cut and backfill at the centre point of the rear shed to step it up from the existing floor and put a ramp in to get up there. Also Looking at going 4.8M high at the back and putting in a mezzanine. If I do that the spa heater with plumbed radiators may be better for spreading the heat around.

Of course then there is the thing of doing a co gen setup with the lister which is another ambition. Run the thing to generate and backfeed power and use the heat from the coolant to heat the shed. At 4KW, wouldn't be a bad output and  I could also extract some heat from the exhaust although consensus seems to be there isn't a great deal to be gained on that front.  Guess I can always test for myself. 

More than one way to heat with oil!  :0)

Welcome Center / Re: Hey from Oz
« on: June 06, 2017, 03:56:10 am »

Got a few Vids on my YT channel for making burners and also modifying gas water heaters.


I did just as you said, took out the gas burner and put in a self made oil burner. Very easy and you can knock up a burner in less than an hour... if that.  The trick is control. Recently I have been playing with different pumps from fleabay for that along with PWM controllers for the blower and the oil feed pump.  I'm liking pumps because unlike gravity feed, the supply is constant and does not change with tank level, oil warming up or cooling off etc. You set the output and that's it.

For your application you could incorporate some temp sensors and use a Dump load. Put a thermostat on the return water and if it hits a certain temp, a fan comes on  for a radiator and just dumps the the heat or maybe heats another area like a garage where the washing is or could even go to a thermal mass like another tank to store the heat so the burner can be switched off but the water circulated and supply heat.

You have to be a bit creative with this and work out what you want and also work to your skills and abilities. A lot of people want turnkey solutions but that costs a bomb as you have seen. To get the benefit of cost you have to invest your time and effort.   I'm looking at using arduino micro controllers for regulation but I have a lot to learn about them yet.  A dump load may not be the most efficient way to go but it may be simple and allow you to heat with oil where a more sophisticated system would be out of your grasp.

 I'm setting up a spa heater for home heating. Again just removed the gas burner and replaced it with an oil burner.
For the time being I'll open the window if it gets too warm inside. Should be nice to have the window open in winter and fresh air going through.  :0)

I'm going to use a caravan type water pump and probably stage the thing so it's idle or heat. I'm thinking one PWM controller running constantly for idle and another on a thermostat for heating when the temp drops.  When it hits preset, the thing will drop back. I'll have the thermostat on a relay so it just supplies the higher voltage over the top of the other PWM controller.  I'll have to tune the air supply a bit and probably use a 12V Bilge blower so I can control both the air and fuel together. Other alternative may be something like a car throttle body on a solenoid with a hole in the thing so it supplies air when the thing is it idle and then opens to admit the full/ tuned airflow when heat is required.

I'm also looking for a 400L hot water system to use as an extra tank.  I am in 2 minds about this. I may set up as a solar powered pre heater that feeds into the main tank therefore reducing the off peak power requirement or heating up fully and eliminating it.  Other option is to have an oil fired heater.  I'll set that up on a simple shutdown  where I fire the thing up and then one of 2 thermostats running in series hit temp the thing simply cuts the oil supply then a few minutes later the fan.  I'll use 2 thermos so they both have to be closed for the thing to run. If one fails the other will sense temp and shut down.  May even use a 3rd as a master cutout on a non latching relay.  Even if everything failed, the worst that can happen is the heaters expansion valve will blow off and the incoming water will cool everything down till it cycles again.

I may even go for both options being a summer and winter alternative. Summer should give loads of solar powered hot water and winter would be the oil fired.

One thing I'd make you aware of is your oil supply.  Do you have one and is it big enough to meet your needs?
IF you burn 2L of oil an hour which would be pretty much a minimum for what I believe you'll need where you are even 12 hours a day that's 24L. x7  plus a bit extra for rounding is 150L a week MINIMUM.  I'd be wanting a supply of 200L a week myself.  You can store it, you'd probably want 3-4000L per winter so have you the Supply per week/ month or the space for at least 3 IBC's?  The rest you might be able to make up over the winter however be aware that a lot less people go out in winter so if you want to use veg oil, the restaurants don't produce as nearly as much in winter as they do summer.  In Sydney, it's way less oil.

I favor Veg oil and if tht is your choice, would recommend you process in summer although you'll have to watch the fats in winter. You may need to add some Diesel/ turps/ kero to help keep it thin  depending on the temp and the oil you get.  You'll want to strain it at least through some fabric to get out the crumb size particles and dead rodents etc. Dosen't have to be super clean like engine fuel but it has to have anything that can build up and cause blockages removed.
The best way to deal with oil is do nothing.  Put it in a drum or IBC and the longer you do nothing with it the less you'll have to do to it when you do want to use it.  Gravity will take 95% of the crap to the bottom of the container, you pump off and strain the rest into your Clean tank and you are ready to go. If you have the space and supply I'd say be stocking up as early in spring as you can for the winter ahead. I try to do that with the oil I run my Vehicle on and I can usualy get enough put away so I don't have to do any collection or filtering in the cold months and just run off reserves.  When things warm up and the oil is plentiful again I stock up.

 You can use engine oil but again, you'll probably want to strain that as well. I used some the other day that came from my Brother in laws Battle ship of a cruiser. It was taken straight from the engines into a clean tin. it sat for a year and when I went to use it there was thick sludge like gloop on the bottom.  The stuff seems to congeal somewhat no matter how clean and sealed it is and this would cause problems.  You'd at least want to have settling tanks and pump from the top down to get the good liquid from the thick sump gunk.

If you haven't sourced your fuel, I'd implore you to do that before going any further.  Some people like myself can get more oil than they can use, others say they can't get any. In reality I think more depends more on the person than the location.  Some people are afraid to ask and have all sorts of weird and wonderful ideas on things and others like myself have plenty of front and are not afraid to approach people  or take whats sitting around largely being a nuisance.

There are a lot of different ways to design and control a heater so get an idea of the physical dimensions and output of what you need and an idea of how you are going to set it up. As a rule of thumb, 1 L of oil is good for 10 KW of heat output. you can look at your gas heater and get an idea of what it's doing, ( may have to use an online converter to change BTU or Joules into KW or whatever you want to work with) and then you'll know the size of the system you are wanting to do and have an idea of fuel flows, consumption and air/ blower requirements.
From there you can build the thing with an idea of size and control.
You will NOT get away with some simple drip feed unless you don't mind attending to the thing every 30 min.  I'd strongly recommend a pumped system because it's the most consistent and reliable.

Having built a few (!!) drip burners I would say with certainty that heating the air ( or fuel) is not going to make any worthwhile difference to the way the thing burns except for a possible brief period on startup.

The burner should run with an internal temp of over 1000o C. Heating the air even 2-300o is going to do nothing for the oil that is burning from well under 300. There is such an excess of heat in the burner while it's operating and the things will run so far above the boiling temp of the oil, any preheated air ( or fuel) is a moot point.
The other thing may be that you are taking heat from the burner which will be pumped out the flue instead of into the room.

Yesterday I found some motivation and a rush of blood to the head and came up with a new and very simple original design for a burner. I was going to go with another setup but I like to keep my designs as simple as possible which also makes them easy to fabricate.
 It's a horizontal design ( not that it matters which way you turn it) and the air tube runs the length of the burner.  The air tube presently seals against the end of the extinguisher bottle internally and I cut a notch for the air to escape directed at the bottom of the bottle. The fuel has to be heated and vaporised and come into contact with hot metal to do so. The idea of the burner was that the air and fuel would travel to the far end of the burner with the tube passing through the flame front and vaporising the fuel in the regenerative cycle needed to change its state from a liquid to a gas as needed.

I did stand there looking at the thing before I welded it up trying to run simulations of the thing running to work out where the flame front  would travel and the path it would take and if the in rushing air  would cool the central pipe too much to allow vaporisation of the oil or whether it didn't matter and it would burn in the chamber section anyway.
After much head scratching and subsequent splinter removal from my fingers, I wasn't sure what would happen but I was pretty sure that it would happen. As the design is so damn simple anyway,  I pulled out the plasma cutter, cut the extinguisher bottle with a slot and the hole for the inlet needed, tacked it up with the MIG and gave teh thing a run.

Wow! Talk about easy to light. I get a perverted satisfaction when I dream something up, cobble it together and the thing exceeds my hopes and expectations. I could hear the veg oil I was using was a bit wet by the crackling which is always hugely detrimental to easy startups even if it makes little difference to running but the thing was taking off faster than I would have expected.

I ran it a good while with errant flames happily coming out where the thing wasn't sealed and it worked like a charm. I ran it up to full power on the castle blower and with the PWM speed controller ran it low as well. Didn't matter, didn't care, whatever output you want. That's why I love drip burners. You can go from a candle to an inferno all with the same setup.

The biggest surprise was confirmation I thought I saw when it was running but confirmed when I shut it down.  I turned off the fuel, waited till the flame lessened and turned off the blower. Sure enough, I could then see the air inlet tube still glowing quite well.
I wouldn't have thought it would get that hot with the amount of air going through it but I was satisfied that my design theory worked much better than I expected and was sound.  I wasn't so much trying to preheat the air but rather get the fuel to boiling point which it does soooo easily.

As far as your air preheat goes, I would suggest thinking about going the other way.  Post heat the air from the chimney and direct that into the room where you have the heater. There is a shipload of heat we don't recover from the Flue and even though we are using free fuel, it's just good engineering to make things as efficient as you can with simple modifications.

The only thing preheat can do is help briefly with cold start up. once the burner is up and running, there is more than enough heat to vaporize the oil and keep the thing going.  :0)
Alternatively, you could heat water instead of air using the half pipes welded to the Flue.


I have had the thought of fuel injectors for a while now and the research I have done says they will be a hard task.

Firstly to get them to spray you want as much pressure behind them as possible. From what I looked up most operate in the 40-60 Lb range. I was thinking 500-1000 PSI from a power steering pump but maybe that's not necessary?

The other thing and the main reason to use them is flow rate. For the burners I make and I would think most heating applications, they don't flow all that much oil. That could be OK though, you could use multiples and click them in for low, medium high,  or now wer'e talkin!

It also seems you can't run the things permanently wide open or the coils burn out. they are designed to be pulsed. There are some schematics on different sites to build these things and can be done with aurdinos but that's a bit beyond me. The drivers allow the injectors to be controlled in frequency and pulse width, IE, how long each squirt cycle lasts.

If they can't spray oil, they could still be used with a blown air type burner to control the amount of fuel delivered.
Just set them to inject into the airstream and let the air carry the fuel along into the burner.

I was thinking to buy the highest pressure caravan type pulse pump I can find. I think I Have seen them 140/150 PSI and try an injector with one of those and see how it works..... and for how Long!  :0)

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