I am new to the forum. I've been scouring the internet trying to learn about using vegetable oil as fuel.
I live in south Florida and I would love to be able to have a generator in case of power outage due to a hurricane that I can power with either SVO or WVO. I have found a few diesel generators in my price range but I'm not sure they will run on WVO nor what type of modifications I would have to make if any.
I hope to learn a lot from everyone.
This forum hasn't been very active for the past few years but maybe others will be willing to help too. A search should turn up several discussions on this but my experience has been that if you intend to run a generator long term on VO the "listeroids" are probably your best bet. Before you decide to buy one of them however I suggest doing a very thorough search on them. Some versions have their own problems. If you are planning on just using one for power in emergencies VO fuel is not the best option as it does not store very well. If that is the case I suggest using a gasoline, propane or natural gas generator.
Thank you Dana!
Honestly this is the only forum I could find, I'm sorry to hear it's not very active.
I'm not sure what a "listeroid" is but I will try and find out.
I am only looking for a generator for power emergencies and I thought VO would be great because I don't really like the idea of storing gasoline or propane. And I can store VO in the house if/when a hurricane is approaching.
Are there any generators that run on VO available for sale? I've found a few diesel generators but haven't been able to find a concrete answer as to if they will run on VO.
Thanks for chiming in, I really appreciate it.
Hi greenarrow, Dana meant generators with a lister engine (or derivatives)
Basically you need to stay away from modern stuff that is direct injection. The old listers are indirect injection and most will run fine on veg.
There are several on the UK VOD forum that run listers.
Welcome to the forum!
"Lister" was a UK manufacturer of stationary petrol and diesel engines, usually slow speed and water cooled.
Lister engines are know for being long lived and reliable. Working Listers are keenly sought after by people who want a stationary diesel engine such as you are talking about.
"Listeroids" are unauthorized copies of a Lister engine and are often manufactured in India and China. They are of variable quality depending on which company actually made the engine.
New Listeroids are still available.
This site has a good explanation-
Listeroid Powered Standalone Generator
Thanks for the explanation everyone! I had no idea VO wouldn't work on any of the modern diesel generators. What a bummer.
Those links were super helpful Tilly thank you! I'm not very mechanically inclined so it seems like this will be more of a challenge then I originally hoped. I just assumed that since diesel cars can run on VO that a generator would to. To be honest I'm not even sure if all diesel cars can run on VO. So much to learn.
I found this one generator in Germany that I believe runs on VO but I don't think they ship to the states
The main problem with using used VO as fuel in a standby generator is that the longer you store it the more likely it is to cause problems in the diesel generator you run with it. Fresh VO has antioxidants that slow polymerization but used VO cannot be depended on to remain unpolymerized for long. And polymerized VO makes horrible fuel tending to rapidly clog fuel filters and cause injector problems. For the cost of a half decent diesel generator converted to VO fuel you can buy a very nice gas generator converted to propane and a good sized underground propane tank capable of providing electricity to a household for weeks. Propane can be stored for years without any degradation. You will also want to make sure that your generator is above any storm surge or it will probably not be operable when you need it most.
Thank you for the propane suggestion, I was initially a little wary of using propane but I didn't know underground propane tanks were an option here in south Florida but I've started to look into it.
Interesting! I didn't know that about WVO. Would a diesel generator run on just regular vegetable oil bought from the grocery store?
It does not really matter whether the oil used in a Straight Vegetable Oil (SVO) system is new or used.
The problem with using Straight Vegetable Oil (new or used) as a motor fuel is that it has a much higher viscosity than regular diesel fuel or biodiesel.
Many diesel fueling systems are not happy using a fuel with such a high viscosity. In fact some fueling systems have a very limited life expectancy if they are required to run SVO without the viscosity being reduced first.
To reduce the viscosity of the SVO (New or used), most people will either heat the SVO to reduce it's viscosity or mix it with a thinning agent such as petrol to reduce it's viscosity.
Even then, after reducing it's viscosity, there are some fuel Injector pumps that have a poor history with SVO and often fail regardless whether the oil has been thinned or is new or Used.
In your situation, I agree with Dana
I would caution you from an underground tank in a possible flood zone. Even 100% filled, the tank might pop up and possibly float causing another problem. Case in point, when the LA floods hit New Orleans, the cemeteries became a problem with floating caskets.
Because the water table is so shallow, 90% of "burials" in New Orleans are above ground.
Above ground cemetery flooded after Katrina
I have 2-71 Deuce that I ran off 50% SVO and 50% Diesel during Wilma. They advertise that the 2-71 will run on SVO.