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converting a carrier fuel oil furnace to run biodiesel
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After several years of producing and burning biodiesel in my vehicles, time to move to the next project - converting my shop heating system to biodiesel. Found a very nice used Carrier fuel oil furnace that I will be picking up this week.

Assuming that I will have to change the fuel nozzle/jet (not sure which direction to go - larger vs smaller?) what other type of modifications should I be expecting to have to do?



Thanks
 
Location: West Michigan | Registered: March 04, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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80 degree nozzles seem make for more consistent starts on bio.
What type of burner does it have on it? If the existing pump pressure is around 100PSI you should be fine with using the same size nozzle that's in it now, if the pump pressure is less than that then you will likely need to increase the pressure to min 100PSI which means you may need to drop a nozzle size due to the increased pressure.
Other than that you will need to cut the air way down.
Thats about it...
Good luck!
Jon
 
Location: Wellington County, Ontario Canada | Registered: February 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Just like Jon says will be fine.
I also mix about 85 % bio with 15% gasoline or ethanol to get it to ignite better.
You might have to go to a bigger nozzle also.

Sunny
 
Location: Central WI | Registered: October 31, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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DO NOT mix gasoline or other volatile solvents into fuel to be used in a burner, ever !!!
The explosive volatiles will vaporize out at room temperatures and an explosion can likely result.
Always use non-volatile solvents such as kerosene for a burner.



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Its a Becket burner, unit is 85k btu, which is a bit large for my shop, but furnace is in near perfect condition, so I couldn't pass it up. Can I drop the nozzle size further to reduce the btu output? (don't want it to cycle on and off constantly)

another question: I have 100 gallons of unwashed fuel (I don't wash fuel in the winter here)
if I mix it with #2 diesel am I asking for trouble? read that burning unwashed bio can cause problems (TDI sure don't like unwashed bio)

Appreciate the feedback!
 
Location: West Michigan | Registered: March 04, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by hutch56:
Its a Becket burner, unit is 85k btu, which is a bit large for my shop, but furnace is in near perfect condition, so I couldn't pass it up. Can I drop the nozzle size further to reduce the btu output? (don't want it to cycle on and off constantly)
Yes you can drop it a size. Bio already has a lower BTU than petrol diesel though, I would try just dropping it one size to start. Because this is forced air and not a boiler you can reduce the nozzle size without worry.
another question: I have 100 gallons of unwashed fuel (I don't wash fuel in the winter here)
if I mix it with #2 diesel am I asking for trouble? read that burning unwashed bio can cause problems (TDI sure don't like unwashed bio)
I would not put unwashed bio in my fuel tank. As the methanol evaporates out all the soap and glycerin will settle out in your tank. The soap and glycerin may also coke up your furnace and burner though I am not sure as I have never used unsettled bio.
Appreciate the feedback!

IIRC the Becket burners are stock around 50PSI so you will want to crank it up to about 100PSI to start. The CAD cell placement on the beckets is not the best either so you may want to paint the inside of the burner tube with white or silver paint to better reflect the light of the flame to the CAD cell. I painted the burner tube on the Becket for my processor boiler with Rustolium high temp silver paint several years ago when I built the boiler and it has at least 100 hours or more without issue.
Good luck!
Jon
 
Location: Wellington County, Ontario Canada | Registered: February 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Got the furnace home. Becket burner is set at 100 psi
Nozzle is .75 -70B
Downloading the manuals and will clean and inspect everything plus paint the burner tube and install new nozzle prior to hooking it up

Have lots to learn obviously !
 
Location: West Michigan | Registered: March 04, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It will probably run as is, just cut way back on the air adjustment and see if it starts, if its trying but not firing close the air intake right off and try again, if it fires slowly open the air till it stops smoking.
Cheers,
jon
 
Location: Wellington County, Ontario Canada | Registered: February 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Jon,

Your referring to painting the actual "air tube" (as it's referred to in the Beckett burner manual) correct? pic is with nozzle assy and the end heat shield removed.

Thanks for your help!

Imagebecket_air_tube.jpg (32 Kb, 6 downloads) beckett burner
 
Location: West Michigan | Registered: March 04, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yep, if you paint the inside of that with reflective paint the CAD cell will have an easier time time detecting the lower intensity biodiesel flame. I am not sure if it is necessary or not but I did read that it was an issue with beckets and aero burners so I just painted mine to be safe.
My 2 riello burners did not get any paint and they work great on bio.
Cheers,
Jon
 
Location: Wellington County, Ontario Canada | Registered: February 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Furnace is all hooked up and running. Cold startup is pretty Smokey (with lots of puffing) Runs good after it gets warmed up
Won't fire cold with air turned below #3 setting. But once it's warmed up burns cleaner with air turned down to lowest setting #1

Not sure but seems like there is too much fuel to ignite cleanly - smaller nozzle maybe?

Thanks in advance
 
Location: West Michigan | Registered: March 04, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Glad to hear you got it fired up!
I have the same thing happen in my shop if it drops below 0C. I have a piece of thin cardboard I put over the air intake on the side of the burner when I start it below zero, it runs a bit smoky but clears up in no time once it heats up and I pull the paper off.
I bought a nozzle preheater to install in it to eliminate this but I have not had to service it since I started it years ago, so the paper trick is still being used...
Cheers,
Jon
 
Location: Wellington County, Ontario Canada | Registered: February 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Hi Jon,

What are your thoughts on reducing nozzle size and possibly increasing pump pressure to improve cold starts?

I also have 100 gallons of unwashed fuel that I am trying to demeth with an air bubbler, in hopes of avoiding water washing this winter (want to save my washed fuel for the TDI)
How long does the fuel need to settle afterwards? - and how much would you recommend pulling off the bottom? (in gallons)

Thanks again!
 
Location: West Michigan | Registered: March 04, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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What we did was to install a 80W nozzle and push the PSI to 130 for optimum atomization (you may have to play to get the right adjustment for your system). Advance the nozzle inside the gun as far forward as you can to the igniter without damaging it and if you have access to silver/chrome engine paint then paint the inside of the gun's tube so that the CAD will better "see" the flame and cycle properly.

We ran a boiler on B100 straight out of the box from the factory on B100 for over 5 years without a fail; only thing is that you will have to open it up and clean out the soot before each season ans perhaps in the middle as well depending on amount of use.

If you run a B50 mix you can lower the PSI settling considerably, but keep the 80W nozzle.

HTH



** Biodiesel Glycerine Soap - The Guide
- on 5 continents helping people make & sell soap from the Biodiesel Glycerine.


 
Location: :-) Great White North eh ? | Registered: December 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I did paint the burner tube with high temp. silver paint per Jon's recommendation. With the air turned down (#2 setting out of 10) the furnace is firing and running good with the current .75-70B nozzle. I am going to let it run all winter on this setting if there are no issues. I will probably install a .65-80B nozzle, in the spring - or earlier if I have issues.

Not exactly sure what PSI the pump is set at - documentation on the tag states it's set at 100. Would like to plumb in a gauge in the future.

Thanks
 
Location: West Michigan | Registered: March 04, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by hutch56:
Hi Jon,

What are your thoughts on reducing nozzle size and possibly increasing pump pressure to improve cold starts?
You could try that though I think a nozzle preheater is the best solution for a burner in a cold environment. You can temporarily plumb in a pressure gauge into the bleeder port of the pump if you want to too.
I also have 100 gallons of unwashed fuel that I am trying to demeth with an air bubbler, in hopes of avoiding water washing this winter (want to save my washed fuel for the TDI)
How long does the fuel need to settle afterwards? - and how much would you recommend pulling off the bottom? (in gallons)
Once its demethed it only takes a couple weeks to settle out. You can test its progress with the shakem up test. The soap will form a semi solid cake in the bottom of your settling container and you will be able to pump the fuel off the top with out any troubles.
Thanks again!

No problem!
Cheers,
Jon
 
Location: Wellington County, Ontario Canada | Registered: February 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Jon,
What are your thoughts on using a Reillo or a Beckett to heat a house? I lost my vw and quit making BD a while ago but am still making soap off the glycerine you gave me a few years ago. Thought I might want to make the BD for heating purposes, though.
Cheers,
Joe
 
Location: Peterborough | Registered: May 29, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Jon,
Just read further and see that is what you have done this year. Sounds good.
 
Location: Peterborough | Registered: May 29, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Hi Joe,
Long time no see, nice to see your still hanging around!
Yep it works great for heating! I prefer the Riello but really any oil gun will work with the proper adjustments.
Cheers,
Jon
 
Location: Wellington County, Ontario Canada | Registered: February 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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