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I finally finished building, installing and insulating my WVO heater. It is based on the JTF MEN heater but you can see it is radically different. It has an inner combustion chamber that is enclosed by an outer shell. I use a microprocessor controlled solenoid to meter the fuel. Basically you set how long the solenoid remains open and how much time it remains closed. I am using the cold air return of my home furnace to circulate the hot air throughout the house. By my estimation this heater should be capable of heating my home (two floors + basement) about 3000 sq ft on its own until the outside temp drops below 30F. Here are some pics:

Combustion chamber
http://x5.freeshare.us/view/?122fs4004783.jpg'>http:...ew/?122fs4004783.jpg

http://x5.freeshare.us/view/?122fs4005099.jpg'>http:...ew/?122fs4005099.jpg

Jacketed heater
http://x5.freeshare.us/view/?122fs4005243.jpg'>http:...ew/?122fs4005243.jpg

http://x5.freeshare.us/view/?122fs4005425.jpg'>http:...ew/?122fs4005425.jpg

Installed heater
http://x5.freeshare.us/view/?122fs4005580.jpg'>http:...ew/?122fs4005580.jpg

Insulated heater
http://x5.freeshare.us/view/?122fs4005650.jpg'>http:...ew/?122fs4005650.jpg

Hope the pictures come through. I estimate that I will burn around 7 gallons/day of WVO. It will also burn biodiesel or WMO and I think 50/50 WVO/glycerin.
 
Location: Chicagoland | Registered: December 07, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Location: Chicagoland | Registered: December 07, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hey it looks outa this world! How's it working?
What'a the white finish?
 
Registered: May 08, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I like it.

Let us know how it works.. I would like to know the following:
1. How well it heated your home (Temp outside, temp inside)
2. How much oil you burned per hour/day/week whatever.
3. How hot the exhaust is to both the home, and to flue temperatures. (the lower the ratio of flue temp to media, the more efficient it is)
4. How much maintenance you have to do per week, day, whatever.

Thanks,, It looks like you did a sweet job..


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Registered: March 09, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Verrry slick looking. Now if only you could scan it, replicate it and email me a working copy...

Instead could you tell me more about the fuel feed system? Control system? Ignition system? and why you have gone to such pains to weld all those litlle flaps on the burner?


mathematical elegance -- desired result achieved with minimal complication
 
Location: Manchester UK | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Ant:
Verrry slick looking. Now if only you could scan it, replicate it and email me a working copy...

Instead could you tell me more about the fuel feed system? Control system? Ignition system? and why you have gone to such pains to weld all those litlle flaps on the burner?


The flaps create more surface area for heat transfer.... The more flaps, the more surface area for heat transfer. Its an EXCELLENT idea and looks like a very professionally carried out plan..


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Registered: March 09, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Ant,

Murphy is exactly right. More surface area for the air to contact--just like a radiator has lots of little fins. The ignition system consists of taking 3 or 4 pieces of paper and a few scraps of cardboard and placing them in the burn pot (6" long piece of 6" diameter steel pipe with a plate welded to the bottom), dousing it with a couple of ounces of biodiesel and lighting. I usually use a 4" fan and set on top of the 4" tube coming out of the top of the heater to get it burning really hot initially. Once it is burning good, I remove the fan and just let the draft supply the air for combustion.

The feed systems consists of a 20 gallon drum that gravity feeds the oil via a rubber hose to the drip controller. The drip controller is a microprocessor controlled solenoid valve with two timers--one to control how long the valve stays open and the other to control how long the solenoid stays off.

I will try to remember to bring home my fluke and a thermocouple and I will post the exhaust temperatures.

Glad you guys like the heater--it was a blast to build. I spend a couple of hours driving each day so I had alot of time to think how I wanted to build it.

My next step is to add another solenoid that I will feed with glycerine or waste motor oil.

Hope this helps--if anyone would like a close up of any particular part of the heater, let me know and I will do my best.
 
Location: Chicagoland | Registered: December 07, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Canolafunola,

The white stuff is insulation. I guy I go to chuch with is an industrial insulator. He came over and used all preformed insulation. It is very dense fiberglass insulation that is preformed to fit almost any size pipe you can imagine. The piece that fits the main body was a 17" diameter piece. The elbows are semiflexible and can be trimmed and shaped to work on angles other than right angles. He did an excellent job and it makes a big difference having the heater insulated.

I looked at a temperature profile over the past 24 hours and have been keeping track of when the temp inside the house is still climbing and when it starts to slowly drop and by my best estimation the heater will keep the temp between 68-70F as long as the outside temp stays above 25F.
 
Location: Chicagoland | Registered: December 07, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Gee_Dubya:


I looked at a temperature profile over the past 24 hours and have been keeping track of when the temp inside the house is still climbing and when it starts to slowly drop and by my best estimation the heater will keep the temp between 68-70F as long as the outside temp stays above 25F.


Wow.. Nice.. That's going to save you a $hit load of money...

I'm working on a system to heat a 10,000 sqft facility. It's basically a large house. They have 3 boilers that are 400,000 btu's each.. They dont run all the time and the system I am building will.. I figure it should only put out around 250,000 btu's but it will do it continuosly. If I can knock of 1/2 the heating bill, I'll be happy.. The project is stuck right now as I am searching for an old boiler heat exchanger to use instead of making one.


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Registered: March 09, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Gee_Dubya -- Questions --

Burner pot -- I assume the 6 inch pipe burner pot can be removed through the lower side door, does it sit directly on the bottom floor of the burn chamber or is there a fire brick under the burner? Have you done anything special to this burner-pot to help combustion (holes, tubes, fins, extra air feed etc) ?

I assume your 7 gallon a day feed rate was calculated, From my experiance that is a lot of oil to run through a small 6 inch burner pot in one day. About the max I can burn is 3 gallon a day dripping directly onto a hot wood fire inside a hot 7 inch wide X 12 inch deep X 18 inch long fire box before I start dripping oil past the main wood fire and have an oil fire burning in the ashes. At 3 gallons a day the burner-box area gets filled with a LOT of wispy cobweb type strings of soot and a pretty thick layer of carbon on the intire surface of the burner box. With my stove I can easily burn all this away by stoking the burner box with small wood and opening up both the cool-air damper and the stack damper for a few minutes and producing a huge amount of heat from the wood fire alone.

Complete assembly -- It looks like you welded the outer air housing directly to the bottom floor of the burn chamber, how do you intend to clean the considerable amount of carbon produced by this style burner from the inner surface of the burn chamber ?

Hard-mounted air tubes -- This is also going to make it a lot of work to clean carbon/soot from the unit !! (hope I missed something here) - Better you than me..

Vertical 4 inch pipe -- I assume this runs down close to the top of the burner pot, it looks like this is the only input for combustion air to get to the burner. It would seem that having the air input tube directly above the burner would cause some of the warm exhaust gasses to flow up this tube, or does the cool external air flowing down the tube prevent this ? (I have seen this on the MAN design, wondered about it then also)

Pulsed solenoid -- I hope you have better luck with this than I had - I tried several different configurations of this and always had problems with the solenoid valve passageways plugging up even when using a valve with 1/4 inch internal openings feeding into a 1/4 inch pipe feed pipe. I only had about 6 inches of head pressure above the solenoid so if your gravity tank is higher above the solenoid it will produce more input pressure so it may work OK, I also still had the usual carboning problems on the firepot end of the feed tube. will be interesting to see if you have any similar problems.

I am now again using a needle valve feed on my oil drip into the top of a small wood/coal burning combination heating/cooking stove, no burner pot, just dripping oil directly on to the burning wood. The needle valve is located 8 inches above the top of the stove and a 1/2 gallon oil feed canister is directly above the valve, I still have erratic drip situations from veriations in the oil from WVO containing lots of animal fat, also feed problems inside the burner box due to carboning of the feed pipe outlet. I have to pull the unit daily (sometimes a few times a day) to clean carbon from the end of the feed pipe to keep an acceptable drip, hope you have better luck.

The current oil feed unit is mounted onto a 6 inch diameter steel plate that fits into one of the round removable cooking-pot openings in the top of this stove (directly over the burning wood) so the entire feed unit simply lifts out of the top of the stove for decarboning/maintenance.
 
Location: fisher,illinois,usa | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Tim c

Yes the burner pot can be removed for cleaning. It is sitting on the bottom of the heater. You can't see them but the heater has 3 angle iron feet welded to the bottom with leveling screws. The burner is nothing special--no fins/tubes. It has one 1/2" hole for lighting but I don't use it. I just make sure some paper is sticking out the top and light that.

7 gallons per day is based on an actual 24 hour period. I have a 20 gallon tank that is 27 inches high. That comes out to .74 gallon/inch. I measured the oil level at 5pm one day and then measured the oil level 24 hours later and it was about 7 gallons. I have some hard crunchy coal deposits that form in the burn pot after burning for a while but what I do is use a long piece of electrical conduit and slide it down the 4" air intake tube and bust it up periodically. It's been burning for two days since I took the pot out and cleaned it. I'm going to see how long I can get away with just breaking up the 'coal' before I have to empty it. I think it might eventually burn like coal since its in there so long--but I don't know for sure. You're right about the wispy cobweb stuff. I was watching my chimney one day and saw some of it coming out. I think it is so light that alot of it just floats out with the exhaust. I have looked in the heater and there doesn't appear to be any hard deposits anywhere but the burn pot.

Yes--both the internal and external shells are welded to the bottom plate. I didn't intend on having to clean any hard deposits from the internal surfaces of the combustion chamber. I don't think there will be any. I guess I (and you guys) will just have to wait. After I have a month or so of continual burning I'll shut it down and stick my hand up there. I'll even try to get some pictures.

The vertical 4 inch pipe--There is enough natural draft that no smoke comes out of it. Even when the heater is 'cold' there is enough draft from a slight breeze to keep the air moving in the right direction. The only time I had smoke come out that tube was during a test run which was before I had the chimney in place. Since I had no draw the smoke came up that tube at first. I just gave a quick puff of air into the tube to get it flowing the right direction. Other than that, the smoke always comes out the chimney.

When you were having problems with the solenoid plugging were you using filtered oil? So far I've been using oil that has only been settled and had no problems. I mounted the feed line about 5 inches off the bottom of the supply tank so any crud should settle to the bottom. Once it accumulates I can tap the crud off of the bottom using the bottom valve.

I have been heating my home with this heater for about a week and a half so far and I haven't noticed any feed problems. I think since my feed line is coming down the air intake tube that the air helps keep it cool. The only heat that should be effecting it would be the radiant heat--at least in my mind. I think that between the oil coming in at about 100F and the cool air coming down all around it in the tube it doesn't get very hot.

So far I am really happy with its performance. I adjusted the amount of combustion air and now I can't even keep my finger on the duct work going into my furnace for one second. I will bring my Fluke home this next week and get some temperatures.

If you ever want to drive up to the Chicagoland area and see it first hand, let me know.
 
Location: Chicagoland | Registered: December 07, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Glad to hear you are making enough heat.

Burner pot "coal" -- This is the crusty stuff all pot burners produce even with fueloil, don't know if it will eventually burn or not, From reading it is the absolutely heaviest oil fraction in the oil that just does not vaporize, the lighter oils vaporize out of the oil and burn but the heavy oil never vaporizes so gets baked into a dry crust as the lighter oils boil out, this crust will likely also contain any mineral content that was in the oil along with plain-old-dirt.

7 G/day -- thought about this a bit more, the 7 gallons/day equils about 40,000 BTU/hour, not realy all that much heat so I guess it can be done in only a 6 inch burner pot. looked at some military diesel fuel tent stove burner insert units in another discussion (here), they are rated at 45,000 BTU/hour but the burner pot is a bit bigger in diameter and has a bit of an improved design, with verious holes and baffles etc, so seems reasonable that a 6 inch burner could produce that much heat. Still suspect you are producing a good bit of soot using veg at that fuel rate, most of this soot will be hanging on the inner walls of the burner assembly, that is why I was asking about cleaning capability, hope I am wrong about this.

4 inch down-pipe -- OK, thought there might be enough downdraft to keep the air moving "in" rather than "out", good to know.

Solenoid -- The solenoid or the needle valve doesn't seem to actually plug with crud all that often, as all my oil is well filtered, but there is something about passing thick, sticky, low-pressure oil through a small diameter tube or opening that is just not all that repeatable when the head pressure changes with the amount of oil in the gravity feed supply or with temp changes.
With my current needle valve the oil will be dripping just fine at one time but have totally stopped when checked the next time, running the needle valve all the way in, then all the way out, then back to the preset position will get it back to OK again. Don,t know why, may be a vapor bubble or something else in the feed line ?
I even tried a small 12 volt electric fuel pump in the on/off pulse run mode, still had reliability problems with carboning the firebox end of the feed tube, also other problems with keeping the fuel suction line from the oil supply from losing prime during the "off" period (oil supply jerry-can was located on the floor below the burner rather than above the burner). Using time-based pulsed on/off of the pump the fuel slugs become erratic in volume if the fuel pickup hose won't stay completely full of oil, tried a check valve on the bottom end of the hose but still had problems, also the pump had a tendancy to sieze up once the oil cooled and congieled in the gears once the stove went cold, had to burn wood alone for a couple hours before the pump would again move oil. Just a bunch of unrelated pain in-the-a*s small problems..
 
Location: fisher,illinois,usa | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Just a stray thought but what if you applied a low air pressure to the fuel tank? Controlled to be finely constant.

Could that help better than a pump and perhaps be part of a simple reliable feed system?

If you had some way of knowing what was happening you could even vary the pressure when needed but that would probably be getting complicated.


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Location: Manchester UK | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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And isn't there something chemical you can throw in fires to clean soot out of chimmenies?

I remember some firy imp packets you threw into house fires and chimmeny cleaning logs for stoves.


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Location: Manchester UK | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Air pressure might help ? I have used high air pressure to push oil through filters, works fine until the oil supply is all gone then you pass a lot of air that makes a mess from all the expelled oil fog.

Another consideration is that you want an actual DRIP with this style burner not a squirt or fog. When testing the pump feed I initially smashed the end of the fuel-feed tube flat to make a crude squirt nozzle, this caused the oil to atomize into the firebox and burn almost instantly, it was unnerving hearing the highly audible "WHOOSH" of the flame and feeling the whole house pulse from the concussion of the flame burst, It was sort of like living inside a living beast and hearing/feeling it's heart beat.

Soot remover -- The active ingrediant in the soot reducing logs seems to be tri-sodium phosphate, this used to be redily available as "TSP", a cleaning agent for degreasing/cleaning driveways type stuff. Older folks I have spoken to about this said they would simply throw a handfull of TSP into the fire once a week or so.

I havent found cheap true TSP on the shelves for the last few years (it is available labled as a soot removing powder in the fireplace section of stores but only in tiny 8-16 ounce packages for $10-15 dollars) as it is a phosphate that is supposidly harmfull to the environment, something labled TSP is sold as a cleaning product but it is a poor substitute even for cleaning and apparently of no use to remove soot.

I think the actual TSP mechanism of soot removal has to do with somehow drying the oils out of the soot such that it would flake off the inside of the chimney and fall to the bottom ash collecting area, don't know how burning/vaporising TSP does this ?
 
Location: fisher,illinois,usa | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Tinknocker?
 
Location: Buffalo NY | Registered: August 22, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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What?


mathematical elegance -- desired result achieved with minimal complication
 
Location: Manchester UK | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ok, it looks like I will have to clean out the burn pot about once a week burning oil at the rate of 7 gallons per day. It is a dirty job but only took about 5 minutes with a screwdriver and a hammer. No sticky goo since I "poured the coals to it" after shut down the oil supply. I used a small 4" fan and gave it plenty of combustion air to burn any sludge that had formed.

Since I had to shut it down to clean the burn pot I decided to see how much buildup was on the inside walls of the combustion chamber. I used a 4" paint scraper on the areas that I could see and it came off with very little effort. It was light and fluffy, almost like if you compressed flour. On the areas that I couldn't see I took a piece of metal banding (thank you Signode) that is used to secure stuff to pallets about 1.5 feet long and used it to scrape the rest of the walls. It worked ok but since its flexible it was a little awkward. I think I'll take a piece of wood and fasten the banding to the wood like a squeegee next time. Maybe cut a slot in a broom handle and caulk it in. There wasn't a whole lot of crud on the side walls and all of it was light and flaky.

Last night after I cleaned everything up I decided to give my 'inverted cone' burner a try. Basically it uses the entire surface of the liquid oil as the vaporization area so as the oil gets deeper the surface area gets larger and burns hotter. I took temperature readings at two settings--solenoid on for 3 seconds off for 6 seconds (which is about 7 gallons per day) and solenoid on for 3 seconds off for 12 seconds (I would assume it would be roughly 3.5 gallons per day but I didn't actually measure it).

Outside temperature 48F
Inside temperature 69F

3s on/6s off
flue temp = 610F
heater temp = 280F

3s on/12s off
flue temp = 470F
heater temp = 210F

Flue temp was taken right as the exhaust is coming out of the heater. Heater temp was taken at the point where it enters the house which is about two feet from where it enters the cold air return on my furnace.
 
Location: Chicagoland | Registered: December 07, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Gee_Dubya,

Sounds like this thing is going to save you some money.. You'll know the real story when the temps drop below the 20's..

If you have any way of doing it, you want to get those flue temperatures into the 250 to 350 deg range.. This is what increases efficiency. Have you considered adding a flue "hot box" onto the exhaust stack? You may also want to consider adding a booster fan to push the air through the heater at a faster pace. This would increase the cold air flow and thus pull away more heat. You really want to study the temperature of the heat exchanger surface. .The colder you can get it, the more heat you'll pull away.

I'm building a heater myself.. I've been working on it for the last 2 or 3 days now.. I think its MUCH larger than what you have going on but not nearly as pretty.. Mine wont heat my home.. Its going to be heating my shop.. No fancy duct work required..

Anyhow, here is some math for you..
7 Gallons per day x 130,000 btu/gal = 910,000
910,000 btu's / 24hrs = 37,916 btu's/hr.

Wood stoves are typicaly only about 40% to 60% effecient with flue temperatures in the 500 to 700 degF range. Using this as your model, this would suggest you are only capturing 16,000 to 22,000 btu's.. Considering your putting in almost 38K btu's, you can push a bit farther and capture more heat. Dont try to capture to much however.. You dont want your carbon steel setup turning into a condensing heater.. This happens when flue gases get cold enough to allow the moisture to condense. You want to avoid this as the condensation is highly acidic.

1. Increase cold air flow through the heat exchanger. (Best)
2. Add hot box to the flue exhaust and put a fan on it.

Just a suggestion. If you remove the need to add even just 1 gallon per day, it will add up huge.. As a side note, it will also produce more heat for the same amount of maintenance requirements.

I like your unit allot.. Its one of the nicest looking heaters I've seen..


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Registered: March 09, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ok loaded questions, can you give me some perspective?? Some dimensions is really what i mean inner diameter outer diameter hieght, just trying to get a better idea... Do you really feel safe that no flame or smoke can exit the intake air tube, or am I missing something? Tigman


wvo is no longer waste when we harness it's power!!!
 
Location: simms montana | Registered: August 02, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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