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Author Topic: Hey from Oz  (Read 821 times)

Eug

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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.

Eug

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Waste oil fired water heater build
« Reply #1 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?

Russ

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Re: Hey from Oz
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2017, 10:13:26 pm »
Greetings Eug!

Hard to be thinking about burning oil any more here in the US, but I hear it might be a little cooler where you are  ;).

I cant say that I have ever had, or know anyone who has experience with the chineese heaters.  Many of us out here on the forum have modified some sort of home heating oil furnace or boiler to burn waste oil.  I understand where you are coming from with the hot water heater, but since those arent designed to heat an entire house, I dont know how well they would hold up or if they would provide the amount of heat you are looking for.  I might suggest looking for a used fuel oil boiler if you can find one.  They can easily be modified to burn waste oil and you can use some of the controls to automate your system to turn on and off depending on water temperature.  Now of course this is a big project in itself and you might not want to go down that road and in that case you would want to look more into something like the chineese made one for more of a plug n play option.

Good luck with your project and if you have questions, let us know.  Things are going to be a bit slow around here with it warming up in the northern hemisphere, but there may still be some lurkers out here.  Cheers!

Eug

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Re: Hey from Oz
« Reply #3 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.

Oilburner

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Re: Hey from Oz
« Reply #4 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.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEfdKGemqGDvpn2hSuJl2Nw?view_as=public

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.

Eug

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Re: Hey from Oz
« Reply #5 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.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEfdKGemqGDvpn2hSuJl2Nw?view_as=public

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  :)

Oilburner

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Re: Hey from Oz
« Reply #6 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?

Quote
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. 

Quote

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.

 
Quote
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.

Quote
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)

Eug

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Re: Hey from Oz
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2017, 10:59:09 pm »
This is the one I bought



https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/2016-big-discount-Waste-Oil-Burner_60179085130.html?spm=a2700.8293689.201708-4-43.4.6bBUi5

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?


Oilburner

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Re: Hey from Oz
« Reply #8 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:

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Hurlcon-HX-120-Gas-Spa-Pool-Heater-/122533602591?hash=item1c8792651f:g:7xIAAOSwcgNZNQ9b

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.

Eug

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Re: Hey from Oz
« Reply #9 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?

https://youtu.be/XbMZn6EnFgY

https://youtu.be/GHEXQ7PKI58

https://youtu.be/_zVXfuykttE


Oilburner

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Re: Hey from Oz
« Reply #10 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.   

Eug

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Re: Hey from Oz
« Reply #11 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?
« Last Edit: June 15, 2017, 06:50:50 am by Eug »

Oilburner

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Re: Hey from Oz
« Reply #12 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.