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Messages - Eug

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Welcome Center / Re: Hey from Oz
« on: June 15, 2017, 06:37:57 am »
Yeah, totally agree. They need to make the most of what they have, and I like what I see  :)

I think what attracted me to that type of burner is the blue flame appeared much smaller and more controllable than the yellow one just blasting away. It wasn't so much about it burning hotter or cleaner, just in some situations it may be more suitable - like my fake log fireplace. It would be nice to know how they do it, maybe I'll get some time to play around and see what I can come up with. I have no problems drilling some holes in the air supply pipe, but it would be nice to know the details instead of guessing.....

In the meantime, my Chinese waste oil burner arrived this week so I can begin my build. First thoughts were that it looked very good overall. I was surprised/disappointed there were no instructions in the box - just the burner, oil pump, filter and a bunch of fittings & hoses to assemble. Took a bit of head scratching but it went together OK in the end. They also included some "spare" parts, a pneumatic regulator, gauge and water separator - I assume these can be installed and used if (when) the on-board air pump fails, but hopefully it won't anytime soon. I guess this can be seen as a good or bad thing - you decide.

I took some pics but don't see a way to attach them here without having them hosted.

Also picked up another drum of oil from my friend today but this one had a little coolant in it. Wasn't too happy but as they say, you don't look a gift horse in the mouth. Any good way to separate it other than just letting it sit there?

Welcome Center / Re: Hey from Oz
« on: June 10, 2017, 05:15:09 am »
Unfortunately the delivery was delayed - due to the long weekend, it will be here on Tuesday. At least I picked up the SS fittings to weld into the HW tank so should have that done soon.

I think your suggestion of modifying the existing LPG burner is a good one, but unfortunately it is long gone. I'll build the fire box as planned, and if it doesn't work as I'm hoping, I'll pick up another LPG burner on ebay.

Over the last few weeks, I have watched many vids on YouTube to do with waste oil burning. I came across several that I found intriguing - the oil was burning with a blue flame just like gas. These were from Russia or Czechoslovakia so I couldn't get any solid info, but it appears they are pooling the oil in the bottom of the container and as the oil is heated, it burns like a gas.

What do you think of these? How are they getting this type of flame?




Welcome Center / Re: Hey from Oz
« on: June 06, 2017, 10:59:09 pm »
This is the one I bought


There's not too much info on their listing, so I requested a manual for it. Unfortunately the manual is pretty basic - which is pretty typical with Chinese goods.
But I did some research and came across a few people using them - they all had good things to say, so I decided it was worth a try. Should be here this week, and I'll probably need at least another week to build the rest of it as I still haven't decided on exactly what I'm doing.

Plan A was to simply build a steel box (with doors on opposing sides for access & cleaning), line it with fire bricks or similar, and fit the burner to it. Then just sit the HW tank on top.

Then I started wondering if it's worthwhile putting thermal mass inside the box (I can get lots of used brake discs) to capture the heat and slowly release it, possibly keeping the water warm longer and making the burner cycle on/off less frequently.

I planned to have the flue exiting near the bottom to extract as much heat as I can from the exhaust gasses.

When I begin, I'll take some pics of the build and do a write up in case others are interested.

It's interesting you mentioned converting a wood burning heater. I had the same idea and found one of those LPG heaters on ebay. It was a fancy model with glass on 3 sides and those fake ceramic logs inside. I got it for $50 (the 3 speed fan inside it is forth triple that so I can't go wrong). It would certainly look better than a 44 gal drum, but for now it's not high on my list of priorities. When I finally get around to working on it, I'd like to have the flame under the logs to heat them, which means a fairly small flame - nothing like the stuff on your vids - more like the original LPG flame.
Any ideas how to do that?

Welcome Center / Re: Hey from Oz
« on: June 06, 2017, 08:37:19 am »
Quote from: Oilburner

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


Hey mate.

Yeah, I have seen most if not all your vids, some several times. Love them. Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge. I came across the concept of burning waste oil last winter while searching for an alternative to the heat pumps that we currently use to heat the water, so have been slowly researching/planning over the last year.

Quote from: Oilburner
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.

In all the research that I have done, I came to the conclusion that for me, the best solution is a turn-key one. I have some electronics knowledge (from my younger years) so designing a controller wouldn't be out of the question. I have made other things using an Arduino and I know the amount of time it takes to go from design to prototype to finished product. 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. So it will pay itself off in just one month - it was a no brainer. Not to mention it is fully automatic, it pre-heats the oil and fires up and shuts down when needed. I hope I can set it up and forget about it - maybe check it/clean it every weekend.

I got my hands on a 170L gas HWS with a SS cylinder, so I have stripped it down completely. Didn't really want to, but I need to remove the original 12mm inlet & outlet fittings and TIG weld much larger 38mm ones to suit the existing copper pipe feeding our hydronic heaters. Once that's done, I will re-assemble it and build a stand to put it on. I will stick the burner under it, pretty much the same way you place your inlet tube into the fire extinguishers - offset to one side so it creates a swirl. The Chinese burner comes with a thermostat controller, so I need to find a way to install the probe so it's measuring the water outlet temps.

Quote from: Oilburner
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.

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.

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.

Quote from: Oilburner
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.

Thanks for the tips. 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. It's pretty clean - it goes through 2 sieves before it hits the tank, and they don't mix anti-freeze with it either. I've already started to stockpile it, I go there with a 44 gal drum weekly and bring it back roughly 2/3 full. Any more and it gets too heavy to handle. I might buy an IBC and a pump, and pump it instead of handling heavy drums.

Quote from: Oilburner
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.
I also plan to build a fan forced heater for my workshop. Thinking of doing the drip feed type, pretty much like you show in most of your vids. Instead of a fire extinguisher (I don't have any of those) I was going to use a LPG cylinder from a car (got one already). 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. I'll automate it with the Arduino - stick a thermocouple into the LPG tank to monitor the heat and increase the fan speed accordingly. Might even control the speed of the blower and put a solenoid in to turn the oil feed on/off too. But this isn't a priority right now, I can survive out there with a beanie  :)

Welcome Center / Re: Hey from Oz
« on: May 30, 2017, 06:31:25 am »
Hi Russ

Thanks for the suggestion, but AFAIK, oil heaters aren't very common down under. I recall we had one at our house when I was a young boy, but that was a loooooong time ago. I don't even remember what it looked like, all I remember is the oil tank we had out the back. But it was more of a wall heater type, not furnace type. So yeah, pretty sure I'm unlikely to find what I'm after down here.

That hasn't stopped me from looking, and I have come across several large industrial boilers, but they are just too big and too expensive. So it looks like I will have to build my own.

If I do go ahead and make any worthwhile progress, I will document it and start a thread in the projects section.

Welcome Center / Waste oil fired water heater build
« on: May 29, 2017, 03:57:21 am »
I should add I'm looking for a way to make a waste oil fired water heater, as I already have hydronic heating throughout the house. It used to have a LPG boiler heating the water, but the cost to run it was almost $50 per day so it didn't last long...

I can just go and buy a waste oil water boiler locally, all ready to go for $12K, but that's a lot more than I want to spend. I have been doing a bit of research and hopefully I can get something set up for a lot less.

I have come across lots of great diy builds on the net - so many ways to burn oil - but the truth is I have too many projects already, and just don't want to start another one. Realistically, I would prefer to have something that is automated - keeps track of the water temp and turns itself on/off as necessary.

While reading and searching, I have come across lots of Chinese made waste oil burners, I'm sure you know the ones, if not, google "Chinese waste oil burner" and look at the images. Made some inquiries and it appears they are fully automatic, have a built in compressor and a pre-heat tank, and even come with a pump to pump the bulk oil into the pre-heat tank.

So I guess I have a couple of questions. First, just wondering if anyone has any experience with these types of burners?

And second, as for the actual boiler, I'm wondering is there any reason I can't simply get an old LPG hot water service, remove & discard the burner from under it, and build a stand to sit it on. Then just fit the waste oil burner to the stand and use it to heat the water tank. Obviously make the stand appropriate for the job - thick steel, lined with fire brick or refractory as necessary, install front & rear doors to make cleaning easier, etc.

So my second question is has anyone done anything like this, or can see why it wouldn't work?

Welcome Center / Hey from Oz
« on: May 29, 2017, 02:47:47 am »
Hey guys

I'm from Melbourne, Australia. Been reading about waste oil burners for a few months and came across this forum. Winter is days away and it's already getting cold. I want to set something up and have a bunch of questions, hopefully there are some knowledgeable people here who can answer them.

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