To make a drip feeder to heat my shop I think I need about 100,000 btu/hour depending on the outside temp,wind and how long I leave the door open. I think #2 fueloil puts out about 120,000 btu's /gal but don't know what the average gallon of wvo puts out. With the right size bowl to contain the wvo enough surface should burn to give the amount of heat I would need. It wouldn't be a high efficiency setup but wouldn't cost alot. I'm trying to keep away from pumps,compressed air ,selenoids which are an added costs. As long as I can maintain enough wvo in a pot that's enclosed in a metal case(old water heater or propance tank)I think it will work. From the little experimenting I've done The wvo that's contained in the pot just burns the surface and does,t consume all the oil even when its a couple of inches deep. Possibly the right sized brake drum would be the ticket.
The numbers seem to vary but what I have read give veg oil a BTU of around 130K/140K BTU/ US gal.
1 gal an hour may be ok for you depending of course on how much of that heat you can transfer into your shop. The lower the efficiency, the more oil you have to burn. One way I like to get more heat from the fuel you burn is to use a long run of pipe for the Chimney and route it to the longest part of the building before it exits. This allows plenty of surface area for the heat to transfer into the area where you want it and is a cheap and easy way to gain efficiency.
1 gal an hour should be a walk in the park even for a drip feed heater. Even though I understand you want to keep it simple, I would look at some sort of flow regulation. Even just putting 5 PSI of air in the tank and using a needle valve would be OK, you just need enough pressure to overcome the differing viscosity and level of the oil in the tank. You would only need to put the pressure in the tank once per use ( or less if the tank is good and perfectly airtight) most likely because it will take a fair drop of the liquid level to effect the pressure much.
You may find otherwise that the burner takes frequent tweaking of the fuel flow.
I'm hoping to get hold of an old gas fired water heater I have my eye on and convert it to WVO. To get the full capacity out of it, I'll have to scale one of my Burner designs up to do 32L (8.5 Gal) hr!
8.5 gal/hr is alot. I've burned wvo in a pot in my woodstove , unfortunately the stove is far from being airtight and alot of smoke fills the shop. I hope to overcome that problem with a different setup. When I was experimenting, not much heat was produced at least at the floor level ,possobly like you mentioned it goes up the stack. If I run the chimmey pipe down the length of the shop it would make use of the heat . It would be nice if I could find about 25 ft. of 6" well pipe.
Do a search for Tim Cooks posts on the subject of wvo heaters, I don't think there is anybody on the planet with more experience.
I have read some of his work and still need to read more ,also contemplating Murphy's waste oil heater which I've only heard good about but money is tight right now.
-I read you are not interesred in an automated system, If you change your mind, I have some photos and plans for free. The burner I built will burn wvo or wmo I use it in a yard boiler and send the hot water to heat my house (2700 squ ft) and my shop 1600 squ ft shop and house are about 600ft apart and the boiler is mid way. have been using this setup for 12 years. These parts should be readily available at the dump or scrap yard! Tom
-edit forgot to plug in the numbers
-#2 =140000 btu/gal
-B100 = 130000 btu/gal
-B20 = 138000 btu/gal
-wvo + 130000 btu/gal
-I burn 2800 gal of assorted oil per winter BUT it's FREE
" I don't know what I don't know until I know"
1994 GMC 6.5 Tubo 2005 Dodge ram 3500, 3 VW's 2000, 2002, 2005.
If you believe you can't YOUR RIGHT;
But equally so.... if you believe you can, YOUR RIGHT as well.
Biotom I appreciate your interest and I thought at one time I would make a dual fuel boiler like yours (wood,wmo,wvo)that's mid-way from my house and shop and pumps hot water to both similiar to the wood burners you can buy . The plus side to one of those set-ups is you eliminate the fire hazards with burners that are inside the building and the insurance companies will be happy campers How do you keep wvo flowable when the unit is outside? Do you have any pics?
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