If Imake is using a dose pump I imagine he uses the orginal carb just to start on BD.
Yeah I believe that he uses the original carb and once everything gets up to temp on goes the dosing pump.
I am not sure if at that point he turns down the carb to a lower setting and just lets it self regulate between his dosing pump and the carb.
I use the original carb to start the burner using biodiesel. If you are not a biodiesel brewer you could use kerosene or diesel heating oil. After an hour the boiler is up to full temp with the circulation pump on and the radiators getting hot. I then switch the carb off and turn the dosing pump on. For the next 15 hours each day its burning yellow grease only.
If you turn the carb down it will self regulate but I found there was no need.
I am a bio brewer so would be looking to start it on bio. I just thought it may have been easier to have a primary fuel tank with just enough fuel to get the burner going with a set drip system, like some sort of tap. Then fuel from the seconadary tank would be fed in from the pump which could be turned on from a float switch on the primary tank.
My only concern with your idea is that a more volatile fuel might vapourise and ignite much quicker than veg oil. The preheat coil has to be optimised for veg oil since that is what it will run on for most of the time. Biodiesel might be just about ok but kerosene or diesel would tend to flame up as it comes out of the pipe. The carb is there so why not use it?
The next and very important stage of construction, the boiler or heat exchanger. As you can see from the picture I have made it from a gas bottle. If you are going to attempt this take every possible precaution. First use all of the gas in the bottle. Take the bottle outside away from any source of ignition and unscrew the valve. It is a normal right hand thread but may be difficult to loosen because the gas companies use a strong thread sealant. A large Stilson type wrench usually works. Once the valve is removed fill the bottle with water right to the top. Leave to stand for a week changing the water at least 3 times. Now and only now can you safely weld the bottle.Dont empty the bottle until you are finished welding.
In order to space the legs 14 inches apart I welded on spacers made from short pieces of inch and half box section, the legs which are 9" long are made from 1" steel pipe.
Drill a 1" hole in the top of the tank about 3 inches off centre, insert a steel 1" pipe ( threaded at the top) almost to the bottom and weld in place. This will be the return pipe.
Screw a 6" length of 1" steel pipe ( threaded at both ends)into the valve opening which has a three quarter BSP thread. Seal with boss white or similar sealant.
Make up three small feet for the legs from pieces of flat steel with holes bore in them so that the whole thing can be bolted to the top of the base.
Arrange the bottle centrally on the base.
The welding is pretty simple but the top weld must be water tight. Fill the finished bottle with water to test it
A little detail I forgot to mention, if you are cutting the handles off the bottle as I did, leave a 1" stub. These stubs are very handy for attaching thermostats to later on.
Here is an alternative boiler design, this time using a beer barrel. These are made from high quality stainless steel and will outlast the gas bottle boiler. They contain 50 litres so will take longer to heat up from cold. The tripod is made from mild steel and the barrel sits on it. the connections to the top of the barrel can be standard plumbing fittings. Before drilling a beer barrel take it outside and carefully press down the centre of the fitting. Make sure you are not in line with the top fitting because you will get a powerful jet of beer in the face. Nasty and dangerous. Release all of the pressure before starting work.
You can see no fittings on top of the one in the picture because I want to use it to build a still which in fact is almost identical to a boiler.
The next step is to make the top half of the outer casing. Cut a round central hole in the end of a steel oildrum which will be a close fit for your boiler, gas bottle or beer barrel. Then cut the drum to a suitable length. Only the rounded top of the gas bottle should protrude out the top of the casing, same for the beer barrel. I dont want to give exact dimensions here because gas bottles etc vary in size.
You will find that the top half of the casing will not fit on to the top of the base, its diameter is slightly too large. Using tin snips make cuts about 2" long and 2" apart right round the back of the drum. Tap them inwards with a hammer to make the diameter of the drum smaller. Later we will seal these slits with high temperature silicone mastic.
Drill a 1" viewing hole in the front of the casing about 3" from the bottom.
The inner liner shown 2 posts earlier is made from 24 guage galvanized sheet steel or better still stainless steel. Obviously stainless steel will last longer but will cost a lot more.
Cut and make a cylinder 18 inches in diameter. It can be fastened together with pop rivets or small nuts and bolts. Cut away an opening at the bottom for the viewing hole and at the top for the flue. By bending some of the sheet back at the edges of the opening you can prevent the insulation from blocking the openings. Using the 4 brackets on the top bolt the inner liner into the top casing. Now pack the space between the liner and casing with rock wool insulation ( not fibre glass). Use a stick to push the insulation all the way in and try to leave no voids. Finally seal the joint between the liner and the top of the casing with a bead of high temperature silicone mastic.
Note that not all silicone mastics are high temperature. I use Evode LT30 which I have found to be very good.
If you have a brazing outfit or a low current mig welder you can weld the flue pipe to the casing but if you dont have that equipment the method works pretty well. Mark a circle on the casind where the flue is to enter. and using a hand grinder with the thin cutting dics often used for stainless steel make at least 6 cuts diametrically across the circle. use a pair of pliers to bend the pointed segments up and then cut the tops off leaving an inch and a half as shown in the picture.
Make a clamping band from thin sheet metal and a nut and bolt. Smear the flue pipe and the band with heat proof mastic and fit the flue pipe. Clamp around the joint tightly. Fill any gaps with mastic.
Here is the finished joint. As you can see I have used high temp silicone mastic which is good up to 400 degrees C. That is good enough for our purposes. You could use fireclay mastic which will with stand temps up to 2000 degrees C but I find it very brittle and cracks easily on thin sheet metal.
Whatever method you use to seal the casing of the boiler, welding, silicone or fireclay, you must inspect it regularly for leaks and both a smoke alarm and a CO detector should be installed in the boiler house.
This message has been edited. Last edited by: imakebiodiesel,
Just wondering why you use a drip pipe instead of just feeding the fuel in through the connection where the carb would fit? I'm thinking of heating the oil and then it goes through the pump which is then connected straight to the threaded inlet on the Alaska. Any reason why this wouldn't work?
Also, are there any smells out of your flue? Someone mentioned that burning WVO would surely cause a smell of burning oil?
[quote]where the carb would fit? I'm thinking of heating the oil and then it goes through the pump which is then connected straight to the threaded inlet on the Alaska. Any reason why this wouldn't work?
Provided the oil is heated to around 100 degrees C you can pump it in through the bottom port or by the drip pipe. If you use the bottom port you must fit a tee piece to be able to use both the carb and the pump. You will also need a valve to isolate the carb to prevent the carb filling up with oil.
I dont use the bottom port because I burn semi solid grease in my burner and if I cool completely the grease blocks the port and the biodiesel wont flow in to start the burner. If you used liquid oil it should be ok.
The preheat coil and drip system works very well once you have the coil set up correctly. About 24 inches of 10mm copper pipe falling steadily as it circles around the burner works well. The end should be about 4-6 inches above the burner.
I have a very nosey neighbour who would like nothing better to complain of smoke or smells from my heating system. The flue pipe is in full view of his house. He noticed me working on the system at Christmas when I was installing the burner. He asked me the other day did I ever get my boiler fixed. He had assumed it had not been on since Christmas. There is absolutely no smoke from the system and if you climb up and sniff the end of the flue pipe there is the same popcorn smell you get from a car exhaust running on biodiesel.
Several other members of this forum including Crazyhorse and Copper 12 have been to see the system running and can verify this.
I have been very busy recently and have not had time to finish off the boiler I was building. I shall get back to it next week.
A number of people have asked me for details of my heating system so I have renewed this discussion so that it will be easier to fund. I will add some more posts about finishing off the boiler soon.
( no I am not one of those shady guys who is seeking investors, the last sentence should have read FIND not FUND.)This message has been edited. Last edited by: imakebiodiesel,
Hi, have you finished making the boiler stove that you started above, and is it in operation?
I am wondering why you are building the boiler with the top of the gas bottle sticking out? Can't it be encased inside like the rest of the gas bottle with just 2 holes on top of the barrel for the 2 pipes (flow and return), that way you could also get heat from the burner at the top of the stove for a pan or whatever else someone might want to heat up (oil). it could be done, i think, with insulation on the sides of the barrel (like what you're doing) and no insulation on top.
Sorry Thierry, I havent looked at this post for a while.
I did finish the boiler and tested it, but I havent installed it. It was planned to be a replacement for my first boiler which had some design flaws but the original one is still running 3 years later.
The reason I left the top of the boiler exposed was so that I would have easy access to the connections in case of a leak. Mind you in three years Ive never had a leak so perhaps I was being a bit too cautious.
Hi, I have collected a lot of WMO and I am wondering if it is OK to store this oil in an IBC, Would the WMO be too acidic for the tank and/or the valve?
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