I just installed a used fuel oil furnance and would like to burn WVO in it. What things do I need to modify on my system to make this work. I got it running on fuel oil OK now, so I know everything is functioning correctly. It will not start with WVO. I have an early 80's Williamson furnace, ?Temp-o-matic? with a Becket Burner, suntec pump, & .75 nozzle in it.
I saw a becket start helper, might be needed. Anything else I would need to try?
Higher Pump pressure? How do I do this?
More pre-heating besides the start helper?
Make Bio diesel instead?
Thanks to all with ideas!
Unfortunatly, WVO in a standard oil fired furnace burner is not likely to ever prove reliable even if you make extensive mods to the burner, some on the altfuelfurnace site say they have done it but there burners look like frankenburners.
Read through the verious vegoil posts in the "biodiesel for heating" section in the biodiesel forum (HERE).
I just posted a general description of mods you will need to do in another similar discussion HERE.
Making biodiesel is likely your most workable method but even then you will have to keep your oil supply tank warm enough that the bio does not gell. Some folks say they get by burning bio by just turning up the pump pressure. See your pump manufacturers website for the technical info to deturmine how to do this, it is usually a simple screwdriver adjust.
I just talked to someone who is experimenting with blends. He has gotten a 4 gallon gasoline/ 10 gallon WVO to work without modifications. This is around $1.10 per gallon. Bio-diesel is around $.90 per gallon. Blending would be easier than making BioD. No glycerin to get rid of.
Any thoughts on this?
Is he burning this blend in an oil burner or in a vehicle, lots of us run cold gasoline/diesel/WVO blends in vehicles but everything I have read about burners cautions against burning any amount of gasoline in them due to it's much higher volitility, also has to be a bit of a gasoline smell. I have not read of anyone else running gasoline/WVO blends in a standard home oil furnace burner, don't know, gasoline is used as fuel in many vaporizing pressure burners used in camp stoves, etc but these are a completely different type of burner. If you test this concept please keep us informed.
90 cents/gallon for biodiesel?? - maybe 5 years ago, if you figure in all the actual costs it is likely considerably more costly than that with the current high cost of electricity methanol and lye.
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).
I beg to differ with your statement 30 September 08, that "Unfortunatly, WVO in a standard oil fired furnace burner is not likely to ever prove reliable even if you make extensive mods to the burner, some on the altfuelfurnace site say they have done it but there burners look like frankenburners."
For the record, I've successfully run my furnace on wvo for the last 8 years. There are literally hundreds of members running their burners on wvo successfully now. Eric Klatt and I have come a long way from that first year of our experimental setups. All the newer technology has been proven and tried by me personally and I can say without hesitation that other than throwing in a new nozzle/filter this season and using well settled wvo, I have no maintenance.
The problem I have with your casual suggestion to move everyone over to making their own biodiesel is that not only is it extremely dangerous but it's more time consuming and costly versus the one time cost outlay of modifying a gun-style residential oil burner regardless of it being in a forced hot air unit or boiler.
I hope that you will visit the Yahoo forum altfuefurnace in the near future to update your information and talk to many of the successful members who are very, very glad to be off diesel fuel. No, all of them haven't solved each of their unique problems completely, but their emails, phone calls and posts tell me that they are much happier being 75% on the way to burning wvo than relying 100% on diesel fuel.
As far as my oil burner looking like a "frankenburner," I'll take that as a compliment. It took me evolution to get where I am today: technology moves forward and you either roll with it or get rolled over.
FAirfield County, CT
jessejames -- Yep, I have read through the altfuelfurnace site, the info is there if one wants to spend the time, I even bought a syphon nozzle from you a while back to do a conversion but my small house just does not need nearly the amount of heat that is available from a standard pressure burner conversion.
Actually, I don't make biodiesel either, I run cold veg blends in my vehicle, and heat the house with veg in an improved drip heater (HERE) that has run reliably unattended for the last two winters using a few amps of 12 volt power.
I tinkered with converting a fueloil pressure burner into a syphon burner to burn veg but gave up, I didn't need that much heat and it just got too time consuming doing all the conversions and additions that are required.
It does look like the Airtronics type Babington conversion is working pretty well (HERE), and it looks like the Babington conversion can put out either a lot of heat or an adequately small amount of heat, that will likely be the next conversion I tinker with (after playing with one of the small 12 volt DC powered Stewart Warner Southwind gasoline burning heaters converted to burn either gasoline, alcohol, paint thinner, turps, or any other thin volatile fuel), but for now, the drip heater works well enough, and almost silently.
I would highly reccomend to NOT blend gasoline with other fuels for a conventional HHO burner.
While it may run OK, when you have a flame out or a delayed start, the gasoline will evaporate and create an explosive mixture in the combustion chamber. The next restart can be very dangerous. It has killed a few people and leveled a few houses.
It's not like blending gasoline with WVO for a diesel engine.
Since '80 former WVO conversions:
'80 Audi 4000D
'83 Isuzu Pup
'76 Honda Civic with Kubota engine
I agree with this completely. RUG is the last thing you want anywhere near your home. The danger comes from the vapors it will give off and although I have no experience with these burners, it isn't had to imagine a plethora of scenarios where a slight mishap could cause a very dangerous situation.
I do not believe it is in anyway a good idea to mix an oil fuel ( Diesel, Kero, Wvo, turps) with a vaporizing fuel ( rug, acetone) in any type of burner. They work on different principals and the possibility for the fumes or even a small leak to cause trouble is very high.
I agree, a vaporizing fuel should never be used in any kind of interior heater.
I have burned about 500 gallons of strained WVO blended with 25-33% kero for the last two heating seasons in a 13,000+ heating degree day environment. My furnace kept up to outside temps down to -35F. Needed things are a nozzle heater from Carlin and Honeywell sequencer primary control, a fuel solenoid, and a bit of patience to deal with getting the burner dialed in to the new fuel blend.
You need to allow the WVO to settle. I strained settled WVO using a non-woven blanket poly cloth bungied to a five gallon plastic bucket. The bucket had a 2" black iron floor flange sealed to the bottom with a nipple screwed into a 55 gallon drum. Sort of a giant funnel. This set up has no parts other than the usual oil burner controls. My fuel cost is CHEAP!!! I love deep fried foods!!!! This allows me to not worry about the full cost of heating oil. - diesels
So how do you actually physically do the blending? I have a bock oil fired water heater with a very short combustion chamber. I'd love to lighten my #2 oil bills by using some in my furnace. I'm still collecting, but drive nearly as much as I used to.
03 Jetta TDI 12 gal marine tank in trunk w/copper heat exchanger no intank connections, coolant heated copper coiled fuel filter, HIH, 10 plate FPHE & two 3 port wvodesign fuel valves. Timer/relay purge.
I settle my WVO hen I decant it into a 5 gal bucket which has a cut square of non-woven poly bed spread suspended down the inside secured by a bungee cord around the top on the outside edge. I separate the WVO settled from the opaque brown "creamy stuff" by pouring into the 5 gal bucket(thing of a drip coffee thing). I collect the strain filtered WVO directly into 55 gal drums. The resultant oil is dark, clear, and free of junk which may clog the nozzle.
I blend the fuel at a ratio of 3 gal WVO to 2 gal kero. I have pushed the ratio to as low as 4 gal WVO to 1 gal kero (this ratio will some times not light causing a primary control lock-out) I crank the pump regulator to max, about 165psi.
I adjust the air band settings on the burner to insure a good light off of the flame. I adjust the burner drawer assembly to insure no dripping and run back of the fuel into the motor section of the burner.
Take the burner, or another burner outside and "play with fire"! This portion of the dial in is fun and allows you to see how various blends preform. It also allows you in real time, to "play" with the various burner adjustments.
Have a metal drip tray beneath the burner. My burner would drip an ounce or so per week the first season. Further "playing" as mentioned above stopped the drip and led to a worry-free second season of savings with WVO.
I feel that firing the burner out doors until you have it dialed in, saves you the trouble of mistakes, which can burn your house down. I use smaller nozzles which mists the fuel into smaller droplets which allows a more consistent light off. Use a fuel filter. I filter down to 5 microns using a hydraulic spin-on element.
I have a carlin burner which has the ceramic nozzle heater installed. This seems to keep the fuel in a warm temp which allows more consistent light off.
I use a Honeywell digital primary control which has adjustable timing segments for the various burner functions. I use a Honeywell fuel solenoid on the high pressure outlet port of the fuel pump. I use a solid state ignition transformer. All of this control stuff is cheap and available on eBay.
Happy Burns - sd22