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A small electric flash evaporator to dewater WVO.
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Your description is basicly correct. The burner manufacturers make special burner nozzles for this. here is a link to this style nozzle page, download the PDF file to see the siphon/pressure fuel flow chart. These nozzles admit a fair amount of air through the back of the nozzle. The pressure of this air controls the amount of fuel flow and the heigh it can be lifted (siphoned). The fuel is input through its own inlet port, If you simply run a tube from this input port down into the fuel some fuel will be "siphoned" up this tube by the air passing across the top of it. -but- there are other web pages showing that fuel can be supplied to this port using either air pressure or a seperate small "lift" pump circulating the fuel through a heater, up to and past the fuel supply input opening to the burner nozzle, then back to the pump input through a slight restriction, this restriction in the return line creates a bit of pressure on the fuel input to increase the amount of fuel, more fuel-more fire- at least to a point. If the fuel pump is driven by a DC motor it could be easily controlled to change the fuel pressure automaticly -Or- a needle valve could be used as the restriction and a small DC motor used to adjust it as nescicary.

A long siphon height draws very little fuel so you get a little fire, a bit of pressure supplies a LOT of fuel so you get a LOT of fire. The flame shape does change a bit as the air and fuel pressures are shifted but should not be a problem for most uses.

These nozzles have fairly large passageways so there is a lot less possibility of clogging them, most descriptions of these burning used engine oil do not even seem to filter the oil at all. Heavy oil (UEO and vegoil) needs to be heated to 150 deg f or higher for reliable operation.

I think used engine oil probably does not hold nearly the water that vegoil does so water is not a problem when burning it but from running the flash evaporator I know that all vegoil has quite a lot of water so I suspect it should be dewatered before burning it in one of these or you will loose heat as the water turns to steam in the burner? - Although, I have read that some folks burning vegoil in there private steamboat boilers actualy inject steam to improve combustion and there are burner nozzles available that are designed to use steam instead of the compressed air so water in vegoil may actualy be a GOOD thing for boiler heat ? (this info is on the "altfuelfurnace"site, below)

Here is a link to a slightly different approach to the same style burner, in the "SVO connections" section, labled "large oil source". This burner is firing a glass melting furnace.

Here is a link to the yahoo discussion group "altfuelfurnace", it discusses burning vegoil in your home oil burner but is mostly about modifications needed for direct high pressure spray nozzles that do not use the extra air input but there are several sections in the "pictures" section of siphon style burners that folks have put together, search there and in the "downloads" section..

Idealy we would like a high flowrate flash evaporator to run unatended and automaticly. The flowrate can be set by selecting the size of the output orifice, the pressure can be set by either automaticly controling the oil feed pump speed or by using an external oil pressure regulator. For a high flow rate it takes a lot of heat so an oil fired burner fits this requierment but it needs to be automaticly controlled to adjust the amount of heat. I think by automaticly tweeking the air and fuel pressure this could be done.


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92 dodge cummins with over 260,000 miles. Running an unheated 50% diesel/50% WVO blend for about the last 75,000 miles when temps above 50 deg f, no modifications or heating except the addition of a throw-away in-line fuel filter (removed during cold weather).
As of 8-01-05 I have been testing a 75% WVO/15% gasahol (90% RUG/10% ethanol)/10% diesel blend. Works fine down to about 65 f then starts rough. Runs ok once engine warms up. Back to a 50/50 diesel blend sence 9-15-05, just to cool now. -- 11-01-05 Modified stock fuel tank internal fuel pickup to have I.D. of 3/8 inch, this eliminated cold start slow idle and bogg on acceleration. Now adding 1 ounce each of acetone and pure gum spirits of turpentine to each 5 gallons of any blend, seems to help keep the fats in solution to a lower temperature --Heated 2nd tank fuel system installed january 2010, now running on a heated blend of 90% veg/5% diesel/5% RUG (no acetone or turpentine, heat replaced these).
 
Location: fisher,illinois,usa | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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bernoulli
 
Location: Saginaw, MI, USA | Registered: January 30, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Tim can you please make a material list and a finished schematic of this ,, cuz this thing is
as revolutionary as the appleseed. I want build one next week to start my blending operation . If someone could come up with a way to get rid of glycerine that would be great
 
Registered: August 24, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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bigdingo -- As I am still testing and making changes to this unit and the fact that it takes a fair amount of welding and fabrication to build the flash and condensing tanks I don't have an easy way of making up a parts list. There are many different water heating elements available from many manufacturers, they all make heat so any of them will work but some won't fit inside a 1 inch pipe due to there "wavy" shape. The intent with this thread is to supply enough basic concept info and some rule-of-thumb guidelines so that anyone wanting to build one of these will have enough info to improvise depending on what parts they may have on hand or buy localy.

The heater is the starting point, sorta - First decide on the gallons per hour you want to dry, this will deturmine the size of the output orifice diameter and also the amount of heat you need to supply, buy the appropriate wattage heater element, this will deturmine the size of the pipe needed for the outer heating chamber, buy the matching fittings for this pipe. Deturmine the type of thermostatic control you wish to use, can be as simple as my salvaged electric cookstove oven thermostat or as elaborate as a PID Digital temp controller (from ebay, actualy cheaper than my oven thermostat). This builds the basic flash heater unit. Mounting this depends on your design, could be horizontal or vertical, heater up or down.

I intend to eventualy mount the heater pipe verticaly (heater screwed into the bottom) to the side of the flash tank, The cold oil will go into the side of the "T" on the bottom of the heater pipe. the hot oil output will run horizontaly from the top output of the heater pipe over to the center of the flash tank then turn down 90 degrees into the top of the tank. This horizontal portion will be connected to a ball valve on the outlet of the heater pipe with a 1/4 inch pipe union so that the entire horizontal portion containing the hi-temp filter unit, top cover for the tank and the internal orifice nozzle can be easily removed for cleaning. I have found it is conveniant to have a 1/4 inch pipe ball valve directly in line with the output of the heater pipe to allow you to shut off the oil flow when removing the orifice assembly for cleaning, It is also conveniant to have a second 1/4 inch pipe ball valve "T"'d into the cold oil inlet line, this valve is used to dump a bit of oil overboard to relieve the pressure on the heater pipe when needed.

Pump - Can be done in a hundred different ways, I like the 12 volt shurflo RV water pumps because it is fairly easy to control the speed which controls the pumping pressure. could also be a fuel pump from a oil fired furnace burner, or a gear type hydraulic pump with an external pressure regulator etc.

Tanks -- I have not found any pre-made tanks to use here, I am converting salvaged 15 pound dry fire extinguishers into my tanks. These tanks will be 5 inches in diameter and 15 inches tall. You could also use salvage 20 pound B-B-Q type propane tanks, or any other metal tank. I suspect the size of the tanks sorta depends on the flow rate but I do not have any rule-of-thumb info about this yet.

Should have a flash tank made up shortly to try with the prototype heater pipe. I have received the hi-temp filter unit and a .018 and a .030 diameter orifice to further refine the flow rates of verious sized orifices. I will have to power the heater with 220 volts to be able to heat the oil fast enough for the larger orifice, hoping for a flow rate of 20-25 gallons/hour with it. more testing shortly.


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92 dodge cummins with over 260,000 miles. Running an unheated 50% diesel/50% WVO blend for about the last 75,000 miles when temps above 50 deg f, no modifications or heating except the addition of a throw-away in-line fuel filter (removed during cold weather).
As of 8-01-05 I have been testing a 75% WVO/15% gasahol (90% RUG/10% ethanol)/10% diesel blend. Works fine down to about 65 f then starts rough. Runs ok once engine warms up. Back to a 50/50 diesel blend sence 9-15-05, just to cool now. -- 11-01-05 Modified stock fuel tank internal fuel pickup to have I.D. of 3/8 inch, this eliminated cold start slow idle and bogg on acceleration. Now adding 1 ounce each of acetone and pure gum spirits of turpentine to each 5 gallons of any blend, seems to help keep the fats in solution to a lower temperature --Heated 2nd tank fuel system installed january 2010, now running on a heated blend of 90% veg/5% diesel/5% RUG (no acetone or turpentine, heat replaced these).
 
Location: fisher,illinois,usa | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I saw an item on eBay that looks similar your core design: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7546651946
Since it's not a screw in heating element I'm unsure it can handle the pressures you are creating without leaking. Maybe someone's willing to take the risk to see it can used for this purpose.

Chad
 
Location: Elk River, MN | Registered: July 06, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'd have bought that if I was in the states.

20 dollars

Got to be worth a punt.

I got to it with 15 seconds to go and no international bidding without emailing first Frown


mathematical elegance -- desired result achieved with minimal complication
 
Location: Manchester UK | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Tim without detracting at all from the very excellant work you have done and reported I agree that a diagram would help a lot. Even if it is just one possible implementation that can be varied in a number of ways.

For example I have to admit that I found your description of your intended next set up difficult to follow as words alone. Prolly just my tired old mind rather than your description but pictures really do help.

Just MHO for what it's worth.

In any case thanks for your contribution and keep up the good and genuinely worthwhile work.


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Location: Manchester UK | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Why not take a propane tank, heat to 80C with coolant, and pull a vacuum? This could be done on the road easy enough and the oil will even be pre-heated to be burned.

Andy
 
Registered: January 02, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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May work just fine. From reading other posts that do this to dewater oil proir to making biodiesel it seems to take a good bit of time, depends on amount of water and how much oil I suppose but for 25 gallon or so it seems to take 3-4 hours minimum. I suspect for a couple gallon at a time it would be a lot quicker.

Do some testing and keep us posted.

I will try this if I get time.

Working on the flash tank now, hope to get some pictures and more info in a few days.


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92 dodge cummins with over 260,000 miles. Running an unheated 50% diesel/50% WVO blend for about the last 75,000 miles when temps above 50 deg f, no modifications or heating except the addition of a throw-away in-line fuel filter (removed during cold weather).
As of 8-01-05 I have been testing a 75% WVO/15% gasahol (90% RUG/10% ethanol)/10% diesel blend. Works fine down to about 65 f then starts rough. Runs ok once engine warms up. Back to a 50/50 diesel blend sence 9-15-05, just to cool now. -- 11-01-05 Modified stock fuel tank internal fuel pickup to have I.D. of 3/8 inch, this eliminated cold start slow idle and bogg on acceleration. Now adding 1 ounce each of acetone and pure gum spirits of turpentine to each 5 gallons of any blend, seems to help keep the fats in solution to a lower temperature --Heated 2nd tank fuel system installed january 2010, now running on a heated blend of 90% veg/5% diesel/5% RUG (no acetone or turpentine, heat replaced these).
 
Location: fisher,illinois,usa | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well you need a HOTTTT misted spray of oil to encourage the water vapor to head north while the oil recollects down south right? Wellll how about a diesel fuel injector out of a car. Not sure how to get it pressurized to pop though



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Location: North Tx | Registered: November 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That's an interesting idea. Would it work as a constant spray? Would a pressure washer have enough pressure to pop it? What would the maximum flow rate be? How would I find out the answers to these questions?


mathematical elegance -- desired result achieved with minimal complication
 
Location: Manchester UK | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Ant:
That's an interesting idea. Would it work as a constant spray?


Sure think it would. On older bosch injectors just remove the innerds and supply constant pressure like your pressure washer idea. How much pressure.... well the "pop" pressure is listed for most all diesel injectors. This will give you some idea of pressure needed. The ones for my car I believe pop at 114 bar so do the math.

quote:
What would the maximum flow rate be? How would I find out the answers to these questions?
I would suggest you ask these questions over at Mercedesshope


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Location: North Tx | Registered: November 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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quote:
I don't know where the water was going but the oil tested "dry"



Tim, what you are seeing, i believe, it the dew point effect ie, a particular temperature and pressure at which the moisture in the air changes from invisible vapor to visible condensate (fog)
The water is escaping alright, you just cannot see it. wait 'til winter comes around, you will see lots of "steam" (not really steam, but water vapor.
 
Location: Raleigh,NC | Registered: September 23, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Tim (& all)

I am new to this forum and I recently read this entire post with great intrest and it looks like you have come up with a very good idea for dewatering large quanities of WVO. Have you thought about what it would require to make this a continous flow operation? How much could this dewater per hour? If the fuel opening was enlarged to increase flow what effect would this have on the heating requirement and the pump? Could it be designed to operate safely 24 hours per day, say for a coop that collects and processes a lot of WVO? Have you looked at adding a 10 or even 5 micron filter at the end of the process to produce a finished product in 1 operation?

Bill
 
Location: Murphy, NC | Registered: October 06, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Bill C2 ---

The current prototype unit has a .013 orifice and 1100 watts of heat using 110 volts, it dewaters about 4 1/2 gallon/hour.

Continuous flow -- This unit is designed to be, and works fine as, a continuous flow unit, I have run the unfinished prototype for 6 hours straight with no intervention, just ran out of oil to dry. Once I add the closed loop pressure control for the pump it will be completely automated and could run 24 hours a day unattended.
As long as the pressure control and the temp control don't fail it would not cause any problems to run unattended, it the output orifice plugs up the unit just holds the temp and pressure but there would be no flow. Additional alarms for overtemp, over/under pressure and flow could indicate if there was a problem. These alarms could switch off all power until repairs were made.

Flow -- More flow requires a corresponding increase in applied heat, twice the flow requires twice the heat, any flow is possible if you have enough heat. The pump would have to have a flow capacity equal to or larger than the orifice outflow rate, Shurflo pumps are available up to at least 3 1/2 G/M of water, based on my testing of shurflo 1 G/M and 1.8 G/M pumps a 3.5 G/M rated pump would likely flow just a bit over 1 G/M (60 G/H)pumping oil, way more than enough when using electricity for heat.

Probably the upper end of practical flow will be around 25-30 gallon/hour with this small design, the limitation is with the availability of cheap water heater type heating elements and the amount of readily available electrical power. A standard 220 volt water heater elemant will supply around 4500 watts of heat, this requires around 20 1/2 amps at 220 volts, pretty much the upper limit for the standard 220 volt outlet found in a home. These electrical outlets would normaly be used for powering an electric cloths dryer or electric kitchen stove or waterheater.
I will be testing the prototype unit shortly using 220 volts and a .o32 orifice, suspect it will flow 20-25 G/H.

Running 24 hours per day at 20 G/h is 480 gallon, add a second unit and you have 960 gallon a day, thats a BIG co-op.

Magnito is drying oil at a rate of about 5 G/Minute using a modified oil fired pressure washer/steam cleaner for the huge heat source required for this flow rate, It is not automated so requires continuous operator attention. Oil flow just depends on available heat.

The oil going into my small electric dewatering unit has already been filtered to 5 micron so once it is dewatered it is ready to use, once blended it goes directly into the vehicle tank.


---------------------------------------------------------------------
92 dodge cummins with over 260,000 miles. Running an unheated 50% diesel/50% WVO blend for about the last 75,000 miles when temps above 50 deg f, no modifications or heating except the addition of a throw-away in-line fuel filter (removed during cold weather).
As of 8-01-05 I have been testing a 75% WVO/15% gasahol (90% RUG/10% ethanol)/10% diesel blend. Works fine down to about 65 f then starts rough. Runs ok once engine warms up. Back to a 50/50 diesel blend sence 9-15-05, just to cool now. -- 11-01-05 Modified stock fuel tank internal fuel pickup to have I.D. of 3/8 inch, this eliminated cold start slow idle and bogg on acceleration. Now adding 1 ounce each of acetone and pure gum spirits of turpentine to each 5 gallons of any blend, seems to help keep the fats in solution to a lower temperature --Heated 2nd tank fuel system installed january 2010, now running on a heated blend of 90% veg/5% diesel/5% RUG (no acetone or turpentine, heat replaced these).
 
Location: fisher,illinois,usa | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Check this out.

It is a 2.5Kw spiral electric element wound around a stainless steel tube an inch or two in diameter.

it comes from an electric washer drier and is normally used to heat the hot drying air.

With a bit of ceramic heat insulation and a case to keep the live termnals covered, it could make a fine basis for an electric deaterer. You could gang them up in series (wired in parallel) up to the 30A limit of around 7KW you get from a cooker or shower electric feed.

Just looks so cool to me. Lots of potential.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Shaun,


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Location: Manchester UK | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Would an electric shower be ok as the heater
so that a pump would force the fuel through the shower heater the outlet pipe of which would be reduced to fit a suitable jet?
 
Registered: November 14, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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No the boiler is held together by low temprature solder. If you change the thermal trip to get the temps you need it falls apart. You would have to redo the joints with braze or silver solder first. Then maybe it would do good. You would need one with an all metal boiler. Believe ir or not some are half plastic.


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Location: Manchester UK | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Thanks Ant anyone built one of these in the uk who can help with sourcing the parts?
 
Registered: November 14, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Finally got around to doing a bit more testing of flowrates using the 2 orifice pipe plugs from mcmaster-carr.

All of the original testing was done with a pilot light orifice from an L P water heater, it was marked to be .013 inches in diameter. The hot oil flow rate with this orifice size was about 4.5 G/H at 300 degrees f. and 150 pounds pressure. Based on the flowrate of the new orifices I think this original orifice must be a bit larger than it is marked.

Testing the first new .018 inch orifice I get a hot oil flow rate of 4.8 G/H using the same pressure and temperature. The other new orifice is .032 inches and flows 15.8 G/h.

The .032 orifice is almost exactly 1.75 times the diameter of the .018 orifice, sence we know that doubleing the diameter of an orifice will increase flow by 4 times - 1.75 times the diameter should increase the flow by 3 times. This is pretty close to what I measured.

.018 orifice = 4.8 G/H, .032 orifice = 14.8 G/H. -- 4.8 X 3 = 14.4 -- since the .032 orifice is actualy 1/2 thousenths bigger than 3 times the .018 orifice I would say that the measured flowrates match the calculated flow rates as close as I am likely to be able to measure. Based on this I would say the new orifice diameters are correct and the old LP orifice was actualy closer to .016-.017 than to its markings of .013.

Pressure and flow rate -- To double the flow rate through the same orifice you must increase the pressure by 4. This explains why I was not able to measure any difference in flow rate when I increased or decreased the preassure by 10 pounds. Based on this I think that pressure is not terribly critical as long as it is high enough to keep the water from boiling while in the heater pipe. any pressure from probably 125 pounds up to 175 pounds works fine and will not change the flow rate enough to matter. Because of this it probably is not nescicary to actualy control the pressure with an automatic electronic control. Since the flow rate is always the same once the pressure is set it will not change enough to make a differance. The only safty control nescicary will be an overpressure cutoff switch to shut down the pump if the orifice became plugged and reduces or cuts off the flow of oil. With a 12 volt DC shurflo pump this switch is built in, just adjust it to cut off someplace around 175 pounds. I use a veriac AC voltage control to adjust the 110 volt AC into a cheap 10 amp, 12 volt DC battery charger that actualy poweres the pump

Shurflo pump -- I am testing using a 12 volt shurflo pump rated at 1.8 G/M based on pumping water. Pumping oil it will circulate ( full flow, no pressure) only a bit more than 1/2 G/M . Dewatering 4.8 G/H through the .018 orifice I only have to power the pump with about 6-7 volts but moving 15.8 G/H requires about 10.5 to 11 volts, so I am about at the maximum flow rate available from this pump and will have to pick up a 3 G/H pump for higher flow rate testing.

Heater power -- I have not yet powered the heater with 220 volts. The flow rate testing of the .032 orifice was done using 110 volts on the heater. This orifice flows too much oil to get it up to the required 300 degrees f using 110 volts. Using 110 volts I was able to get the oil up to about 130 degrees. Based on the fact that this is just a bit less than twice the needed heat for this flow rate and the fact that 220 volts on the heater will produce 4 times the heat used for this test I suspect that the heat available from 220 volts will allow a flow rate of about 3 times the 15.8 G/H tested, especialy once I install the preheater tubing in the flash tank. Looks like it may be possible to actualy dewater around 45-50 G/H with this same design using 220 volts on this same 4500 watt water heater heating elemant, -but- I will have to find a pump that will flow enough oil. Based on these preliminary figures I may have to run two 3 G/M shurflo pumps in paralell to move enough oil or use a hydraulic pump with an external pressure bypass type pressure regulator.

Flash tank -- I finaly got the prototype flash tank to a point to do some testing. The picture below is not of the functioning unit but demonstrates how I intend to build it. The red tank in the center is the actual flash tank, The dry oil comes out the fitting in the front center of this tank, there is a tube inside the tank that drops down to a couple inches above the bottom of the tank to insure only oil is expelled through this fitting.

the vertical pipe on the left side of the picture is the heater pipe, the heating element will be installed from the lower end of the pipe. The lower end is also where the cold oil will be injected. The "T" at the top end of the heater pipe allows a heat sensor probe to be inserted into the hot oil from the top opening of this "T". The hot oil comes out the side of the top "T" and flows through a shut-off ball valve, then through a 1/4 inch pipe union, this union allows the complete orifice assembly to easily be removed from the top of the flash tank if the orifice or filter need cleaning due to clogging. The oil then flows through a small high-temp hydraulic oil filter just prior to turning down into the flash tank and is expelled out through the orifice just below the plate of the orifice assembly.
The steam output is through the 1 inch silver pipe on the right side of the tank. This pipe will eventualy be welded inside of a second similar "condensing" tank made from the fire extinguisher that is seen just behind the pipe.

Imageoverview-front.jpg (147 Kb, 246 downloads) eventual unit
 
Location: fisher,illinois,usa | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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