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Torpedo shop heater adjustments
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I have also had good luck with injecting propane into the chamber until the heater is hot. I injected it on the right side because the propane flame slightly charred the flame igniter when injecting from the opposite side. Be very careful not to let the fan hit your propane torch. The fan was really turning when I took the picture.



I am at a disadvantage here in TX because it just doesn’t get cold that often. I also have been making bio from Hydrogenated oil. When it does get cold enough to really test my ideas the fuel gels up in the orifice and delivery line. Even this cheap torch has allowed me to start the heater after it failed to start on it’s own. A high flame or high velocity torch should work even better.

I was in a local auto parts store and saw a 90-watt oil dipstick warmer for about $14. One idea would be to fill the tank and place the dip tube into the biodiesel. This dipstick would have to be removed after starting the heater since it must always be immersed in liquid.

Here is a pic of a piece of cardboard covering most the air intake. As has been stated in earlier posts this also seems to help keep the flame going.




One last idea. (and perhaps the best idea)


The two blue wires are from the photocell. According to a Tech at DESA (manufacturers of the Reddy Heater) the board is looking for an impedance of 20,000 ohms or less to stay lit. Mine tested at 15,500 Ohms. It was explained to me that if you put a flashlight directly into the photocell you could then test the impedance. If it is less than 20,000 ohms the cell is good. If you test it in complete darkness it should read above 50,000 ohms.



A double throw double pole switch should work. A 15000-ohm resister could be placed on the one set of the terminals. Once the heater is warm enough to keep the flame nice and bright the switch could be changed back to the photocell. If this idea works I would like to find a momentary switch. Once you let go of the switch it would go right back to the photocell.


For those of you up north and who are using a lower gelling point biodiesel. Is my assumption correct in that igniting the fuel is not the problem, keeping it lit is?
 
Location: Central Texas | Registered: May 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Reggie, yes and no. Though my salamander will often light sometimes it won't. What normally happens is that it will fire but barely. After about a minute it'll click off because the flame hasn't gotten hot or bright enough.

This isn't always the case though. When it's cold enough, the heater won't light at all. The fuel appears to be liquid but just won't light.

Wayne


Very funny Scottie, now beam down my clothes.
 
Location: Dansville Michigan Near Lansing | Registered: September 17, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Reggie:
I was in a local auto parts store and saw a 90-watt oil dipstick warmer for about $14. One idea would be to fill the tank and place the dip tube into the biodiesel. This dipstick would have to be removed after starting the heater since it must always be immersed in liquid.


I LOVE that idea!!!!!

It could stay in there after the heater is up and running, you would just have to unplug it to make sure that it does not come on. But it is probably just as easy to pull it out and wipe it off when you use the heater. Making a modification to the tank or to the fuel cap so that it can stay in all of the time might be a pain.

quote:

For those of you up north and who are using a lower gelling point biodiesel. Is my assumption correct in that igniting the fuel is not the problem, keeping it lit is?


My problem is getting it to light off in the first place. It just sits there and makes a cloud of atomized biodiesel. I have the spark plug type ignition system. Which type does your heater have?

-Jim


www dot FryerPower dot com
1987 300DT (The sedan, not the wagon.) Some modifications to the fuel system.
1995 S350D Unmodified fuel system.
I plead the 5th.
 
Location: Middle Tennessee, Jack Daniel's country | Registered: August 10, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a multi fuel Reddy Heater like those found at Loews. It has an igniter.

Propane sounds like a must in really cold weather. I have a really good one at work that I will bring home in the next couple if days. Even the cheap one will sometimes stay lit while it is being injected into the chamber. The one from work should do even better.One obvious solution is to keep the heater indoors and always warm.

The resister idea is not going to be as easy as I thought. I purchased a package of 10K Ohm resisters and tried crossing the terminals with both a 10,000 and 20,000 ohms resistance. I am not an electrical engineer nor have I had any training beyond what I have learned on my own. I know just enough to get into trouble.

Is there anyone out there with a solid understanding of how to use a multi function voltmeter (I’m not talking about a 10 dollar voltmeter)? Please email me and maybe we can figure it out together.

I suspect there is no single solution to get these heaters to work on B100. It may require several ideas to be successful in very cold climates.
 
Location: Central Texas | Registered: May 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think I would run it with kerosene and measure the voltage drop across the sensor then replace the sensor with a potentiometer (variable resistor) and turn the pot until you get the same voltage drop using biodiesel. Feel free to PM me I have about 25 years as a electronics tech.


4000 + mi (so far) on homebrew B100 in 98 jetta TDI
|"Peach pit processor"|
 
Location: Bunker Hill, IL | Registered: September 30, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Reggie:
I have a multi fuel Reddy Heater like those found at Loews. It has an igniter.

Which kind of igniter? A spark plug or a glow bar?

quote:
The resister idea is not going to be as easy as I thought. I purchased a package of 10K Ohm resisters and tried crossing the terminals with both a 10,000 and 20,000 ohms resistance.

Earlier you said that when there is no flame (dark) the resistance is 50,000 ohms. When it sees flames the resistance drops to 20,000 ohms or lower. By placing the resistors in parallel with the dark photo cell you get 1/((1/50,000)+(1/10,000))= 8,333 ohms

Maybe that is too low. Maybe put a switch in line with the photo cell and a switch in line with the resistor. That way you can turn off the switch for the cell to remove it from the circuit and turn on the switch for the resistor to substitute it in as a dummy sensor.

-Jim


www dot FryerPower dot com
1987 300DT (The sedan, not the wagon.) Some modifications to the fuel system.
1995 S350D Unmodified fuel system.
I plead the 5th.
 
Location: Middle Tennessee, Jack Daniel's country | Registered: August 10, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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I have had success with these heaters and B100. The key is to increase the pressure a little. Also make sure that the B100 is warm. I keep a 5 gallon jug in the basement and pour in one gallon at a time when I use it.

Good Luck
 
Location: Connecticut | Registered: March 05, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a glow bar igniter.

Each day I try different environments to determine different results.

1.Warm fuel will solve a lot of our problems (perhaps all of them). The warmer the better.
2. Covering the air intake (¾ is better than ½) will allow the heater to continue to run with a lower temperature fuel.
3. Cold fuel may never work without adding diesel or kerosene.
4. I have been able to run the heater in the high forties-low fifties with ¾ of the air intake covered (witout warming the fuel). It may work at a colder temp but not without tricking the photocell.


Indoor /Outdoor test

Indoor Test with cold fuel

I brought the heater from out side (45 degrees F) into the house (62 degrees F). I covered the air intake about ¾ with cardboard as show above in one of my pics. It fired up fine and worked flawlessly until the upper square piece of cardboard was removed. Even after three hours of operation and a 70-degree room. The heater would not stay lit without the extra piece of cardboard covering the air intake.

Outdoor Test with warm fuel.

I refueled the heater with biodiesel warmed in the microwave (100 to 130 degrees f). The heater easily started (outside temps 34 degrees f) with only half the air intake covered.
It has been running for about 40 minutes without disruption. The outside temp is now at 36 degrees. The biodiesel fuel temp is 83 degrees and the heater is still running.



Here is another idea for warming the fuel. Unfortunately they are difficult if not impossible to find locally. At 300 watts it doesn’t take long to heat 5 gallons of fuel.

http://housewares.hardwarestore.com/38-200-misc-applian...n-heater-105162.aspx

I used to dry my biodiesel in a 5-gallon carboy and 55 gallon dry tank with one of these. It worked very nicely and fairly quickly. At least until I forgot to unplug it while draining my dry tank.

We need to think of a way to warm the fuel using the existing heat generated by the heater. Something that would not be destroyed even after the tank is empty.

What about a cheap aquarium bubblier returning warm air through the fuel? It may not be effective in warming the fuel. But it might keep the fuel from cooling to a point where the heater would not function.

I still haven’t given up on tricking the photocell. Give me a few more days.
 
Location: Central Texas | Registered: May 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Johno in Washington State was modifying his Turk (Truk?) heater to help it heat the fuel. Think of it like a cup of fuel with the vapor being pulled away at the top and all of the flames above the cup. He put pieces of steel up into the flames. The tips got how and conducted the heat back down their length into the pool of fuel. Maybe something like that would work for us. Maybe a plate of steel that the heater sits on with a couple of extensions that stick up into the flames/hot exhaust from the heater. The heat would conduct down the length of metal and heat the fuel from the outside of the tank. From the bottom up.

-Jim

Oh, by the way, thanks for the tip using the propane torch. I did it yesterday and it worked great. Today I warmed the nozzle and area while trying to figure out how to reset the trip with the bottle in the wrong hand. I set down the bottle and pressed the reset and it lit right up. Maybe it just needed to be threatened!


www dot FryerPower dot com
1987 300DT (The sedan, not the wagon.) Some modifications to the fuel system.
1995 S350D Unmodified fuel system.
I plead the 5th.
 
Location: Middle Tennessee, Jack Daniel's country | Registered: August 10, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Another option would be to insulate the tank after the fuel is heated. This may not work well in really frigid weather but should be fine in Texas. I also have a cheap heating pad from Wal-Mart. Even the lowest setting should keep maintain the fuel Temp.
 
Location: Central Texas | Registered: May 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This came directly off the Desa web page. This should be very helpful to those that have a spark plug igniter.

http://www.desatech.com/commonquestions.cgi

Question 7: If you are experiencing outages within a few seconds

Answer: If your heater is a HSI (Hot Surface Ignition) unit, check the photocell to see that it is clean and pushed all the way into the photocell bracket. If these were correct, check the safety control. On models using spark plugs, you can temporarily bypass the photocell by tying the blue wire from the safety control with all the white wires. On models using spark plugs, you can temporarily bypass the photocell by tying the blue wire from the safety control with all the white wires. With the photocell bupassed and the unit still shuts off, the control will need to be replaced. If your heater has a hot surface igniter, you will need an HA1170 flame simulator device to diagnose the safety control. Once you have this device, follow the instructions included with the package to test the igniter.
 
Location: Central Texas | Registered: May 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My trouble is not with it not seeing the flames. My trouble is getting it to flame in the first place. (Spark plug type.)

-Jim


www dot FryerPower dot com
1987 300DT (The sedan, not the wagon.) Some modifications to the fuel system.
1995 S350D Unmodified fuel system.
I plead the 5th.
 
Location: Middle Tennessee, Jack Daniel's country | Registered: August 10, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Is this true even with fuel that has been warmed to at least 80 degrees F?

The newer units (glow bar Igniter multi fuel type) will ignite the fuel at reasonable fuel temps, say 45 degrees or so. Unfortunately, the photocell won't always recognize it.
 
Location: Central Texas | Registered: May 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Reggie:
Is this true even with fuel that has been warmed to at least 80 degrees F?

I have not tried it yet.

While I was searching Yahoo! for info on dipstick heaters I came across some posts about heating motorcycle engines in the winter. Most found that placing an insulated box around the oil pan with a 60-100 watt lighbulb inside did at least as good of a job, was easier to use, and was cheaper than the dipstick heater. My heater is up on a couple of block anyway so I will try this first.

-Jim


www dot FryerPower dot com
1987 300DT (The sedan, not the wagon.) Some modifications to the fuel system.
1995 S350D Unmodified fuel system.
I plead the 5th.
 
Location: Middle Tennessee, Jack Daniel's country | Registered: August 10, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I too bought one of these torpedo heaters. I found that when it started shutting off I took the top off and fired it up and it never shut off. Mine almost seemed like it needed more airflow and not less.
 
Location: SF bay area | Registered: December 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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by taking the top off you take away the channeled tube and so change the way the air flows. You may be reducing air flow even though you are exposing it to the air more.


mathematical elegance -- desired result achieved with minimal complication
 
Location: Manchester UK | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Just wanted to bring this thread to the top being winter and all. Fired mine up tonight shut down after a few minutes then I remembered the trick of reducing the airflow and added a little more K1 to the mix and it works great now.
 
Location: SF bay area | Registered: December 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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i have had luck with an old reddy heater that i was given. i found this thread last night, and played with the adjustment screw, and blocking off the air flow on the rear. really helps alot. i had flames shooting out the front of the thjing when i turned the air pressure all the way up.

so far, today was the coldest day i have used it. i run wvo w/ kerosene blended in. the most wvo % ratio i have run is around 50%
this is also using a 150 watt silicon pad heater(oil pan heater) that i picked up for under $20.

I am leaving the pad heater on overnite tonight, as it will only cost about $.50 a day to run. i will check it out in the morning- overnite lows around 5*F tonight.
it will be interesting how a cold start goes.


Be the change you hope to find in this world.-Gandhi

 
Location: location, location... | Registered: November 04, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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well, she fired right up at 4* this morning. 50-50 mix, no problem. unlike my benz...starihgt diesel and still no go... so i put the torpedo in front of her and 2 hrs later, vroom.


Be the change you hope to find in this world.-Gandhi

 
Location: location, location... | Registered: November 04, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Just bought an All-Pro 60k btu unit, started tweaking the pressure screw after several shutdowns and after approx 3/4-1 turn in it has stayed running for 2 hrs and very little if any smoke on startupSmile


99.5 Jetta tdi/B100
2000 Excursion 7.3L
2000 NB Tdi
96 MB E300
Running on Homebrew B100
 
Location: New Hampshire | Registered: March 05, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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