Fuel is critical, and crappy fuel that contains lots of suspended solids, like used sump oil or cooking oil is going to play hell with injector pumps and injectors.
What is your relevant experience George ?
Yeah, I thought you had been stuck with some job you didn't want to do and got a resentment of Diesel Generators.
Obviously you wanted to stick to your Radios and not go out in the cold getting your hands Dirty filling in for the engine Guy. Understandable enough.
You would have had fuel in drums and I expect those gennys would empty a drum a day or they were running day tanks which may have been heated or in the gen shed to be kept warm although arctic Diesel is a lot different to normal Diesel mainly being kerosene with anti gelling additives like Jet-A1. Did you have a hand crank pump in the drums to refill the genny? That would not have been fun winding them over either so I can well see where mention of diesels would bring up less than warm thoughts given what you had to do with them.
A big old Ruston driving a 40KVA alt would surely put out a lot more noise than the engines I am refering to but I don't think there would be a lot of people putting in that size Genny for their regular off grid home let alone multiple of them. Even if they did, I surmise the engines you worked on were in containers and were near deafening inside but far quieter outside and you couldn't hear them in the buildings you inhabited anyway.
My relevant experience is running waste oils for over 14.5 years in my everyday vehicle(s) and never having to replace a worn injector pump yet and only a set of injectors that I was told needed doing when I bought the Vehicle and eventually I got a stuck injector. Put new injectors in the thing and it ran like a stung cat. I turned the IP down quite a bit and it still went the same as before.
Obviously one does not run filthy fuel through their engine unless they are terminally stupid. I guess that's a misconception of people whom have never used waste oil but have made up their minds to rubbish the idea anyway.
I filter my oil CLEANER than the standard for Pump Diesel.
I also make sure the oil is dried as Veg oil unlike Diesel can hold suspended water and nearly every of the hundreds of lots I have picked up Has had suspended water in it. I dry it as a matter of course. The fuel I produce is so dry that you can add 1 or 2 drops of water to a cupful and test it and it still passes.
I don't run garbage through my engine, not that stupid no matter what some people who don't like the idea want to make up.
Clean fuel is one of the proclivities of people that run waste oil. The mind set is not to tip rubbish in their tanks but rather to go to over the top lengths to make the fuel more clean than standards require. Many also heat the oil to thin it which in a lot of cases is unnecessary if one looks at the viscosity standards issued by the pump manufacturers. They also start on Diesel and shut off on it to avoid problems that are more imagined than real in most cases. Myself I run straight Veg oil with the addition of 5-10% ULP on occasion. 5% ulp brings the ignition timing of the oil back closer to that of diesel which is helpful as most people don't re time the engine for oil. In winter if it gets real cold I may add up to 10% ULP to help mainly with starting.
Most of the time I don't worry. If the engine takes a few more cranks to light off it gives the thicker sump oil bit more of a chance to prime and come up to pressure when the engine does light off. Seems many people want the thing to light soon as they look at the key but having been involved in racing where you wound the engine over to get oil pressure before you switched in the ignition, I tend to think slow starts are a plus not a problem.
Thing always starts in a predictable manner so that's all that counts to me.
I have built a small, compact and cheap to construct processor that I merely tip the fuel in, set it going and come back 30-90min later and it is done. I then pump the fuel into 25L drums or an IBC and it's ready for use. I change the on board fuel filter on my car every 6 Months as a preventative as I get the filters for nothing anyway. They are a little underrated for the full power of my vehicle so I keep them clean to prevent loss of top end power.
As I have the engine on my vehicle Dialed up for extra grunt, I also have been running a DIY water injection system to remove any deposits from my engine. I have only taken down one small China Diesel due to a Cracked Cylinder ( that of course all the Naysayers will blame the fuel for in an attempt to prove their point) which I also ran WI on. The Piston, Head and ring lands were so clean they looked like they had been buffed with a clean rag.
Lots of people whom don't know anything about WI rubbish that will all sorts of fear mongering but reamin ignorant to the fact it's been used for decades on everything from Cars to Aircraft to ship engines. It's still Currently used on a LOT of ship engines and BMW just put it on one of their performance Vehicles.
In doing WVO for so long I have seen all types of excuses and BS about waste oil wrecking pumps and engines and all the rest of it. The people whom do run it, and I have several personal friends I see all the time running it, have never had any such experience. It's the old thing of sledge what you don't know and believe every negative thing your read to defend your position. That's more than fine with me, if everyone was on this then oil would be hard to find and I wouldn't be able to enjoy it the way I do. I have no reason to want everyone doing this and apart from the misinformation people like yourself spread, really don't care who uses it or who does not.
I did work out many years ago the economics of running oil. I took a 2 year prediction of engine life as someone said would be all it would last running on oil. I worked out the miles I did, the fuel I used ( which I have always kept a log of) and the cost of a new/ rebuilt engine. Forgetting the fact the truck had almost 550K Km on it when I got it, I worked out that if it lasted 2 years and fell over, I would still be marginally in front. I had that truck 3.5 years before I sold it to get a better equipped unit of the exact same make and model. That one I have now had 5 years. The last one I did a starter motor on and a clutch in the time I had it. Must have been that oil destroying the engine again. This one I changed the injectors, have put a clutch in I was also told it needed when I got it, put tyres on the thing and took off the failing clutch fan and put electrics on it. Put an improved water injection system on it.
I am up to 60K Km on this one now and it's at 440K km.
I have heard a lot about oil killing engines and shortening their life but the thing that never fails to make me laugh at such attitudes is no one can ever tell me how long an engine should last. How can they say it shortens their life if they can't say how long they should last in the first place? The ones that have thrown numbers out there I have always beaten substantially.
I am hoping to buy a used engine for my truck this weekend. I am going to swap it for the one in it now and then do my engine up and re fit it. Yes, an arse about way of doing it and certainly not the cheapest, but the thing is sentimental as well as practical and comfortable and I couldn't give a damn about the cost, I want the old girl with it's original major parts just as when I got it. I'll upgrade it with the heavier duty aftermarket forged rods and pistons which are much stronger which replace a known weak point in this engine, have the head re done as the valves are starting to get a bit leaky ( damned Oil again!) and I will have it ported and rebuild it with a different turbo which mine is also getting a bit tired having been fitted from new 20 odd years ago that does more low end grunt which is where I drive the thing.
I'll fit a heavier duty clutch, replace the worn engine mounts, install new alternator, PS pump, uprated and compensated Injector pump, Radiator from a much bigger V8 I already have so it will never get hot and I'll have it all balanced so it's smooth and will rev if I want it to. I specificaly do not want a a horsepower monster but I'll make the easy and sensible improvements so the thing will be as good as it can be drive-ability and reliability wise. When the engine is ready I'll send the gearbox out to be freshened up and the bigger input shaft and bearing now available installed. I'll also look at fitting bigger 4 spot brake calipers.
It will cost around $10K all up but I will have an as new engine and box that will probably last me the rest of my days and have at least 50% extra power over stock which will make it a lot of fun to drive. The cost will still be cheaper than buying something newer and less reliable or strong and saving upwards of $4000 a year on fuel costs that I have averaged in mileage every year for years, I'll get a pretty quick return on my investment. Add to that the Mrs and I are thinking of going away on more trips together which will probably see more miles, not a hard decision to make. If we turn into grey Nomads and want to pull a van around, we'll be able to do it easily and very economically.
I have also been running waste oil in my Lister, Hatz, Lombardini, Ruggerini and 4 Chinese Vertical and horizontal stationary engines for well over 10 years. More recently I have been Blending it with Diesel in my Fathers Iseki Tractor. Only comment from him who doesn't know I have been putting it in the thing is it has been running a lot more quietly and smoothly lately.
I wouldn't recommend waste oil in electronically injected engines but for mechanically pumped units there is zero problems. All the IP's I have come across on stationary engines, (and I have a few of them now!) are all basically the same simple plunger types. They are tough as nails and almost impossible to break. That said, I am also aware of a company in Germany that are making conversion kits for modern electronic engines to run Veg oil. From what I can see, there is no change to the fuel system at all and they just run some different fuel mapping and bigger fuel pumps or boosters probably to handle the extra Viscosity. I might look into this some more with a view of buying a cheap electronic injected Vehicle for the Mrs to run round in and see how it goes. Even if I blend with 50% Diesel, still halves the cost of fuel. Better alternative would be just go buy drums of Jet fuel as it's cheaper and thinner than diesel anyway therefore reducing the viscosity further for a given amount than Diesel.
One thing where oil kicks diesel out of the park is Lubricity.
Modern Diesel is dry as hell now and the reports of problems from it's wear inducing properties are more than common knowledge. Studies have been done that show as little as 2% Veg oil in diesel improves it's lubrication to the IP and injectors I think it was 32x. Using straight or even 50% Blended WVO or WMO puts the numbers off the chart and could not help but to increase component life. As mentioned, No one puts as collected oil through their tank, You process it first to remove contaminants and in my case and others I know, our fuel well and truly exceeds the standards for particulate matter, moisture and overall cleanliness as required for pump fuel. Those that centrifuge their fuel would have an even cleaner product but it becomes a moot point when you are already exceeding the requirements by at least 100%.
Rather than the fable of destroying IP"s and Injectors, the reality is they are so much better off from a wear POV running oil over pump diesel, there is no comparison. Add to that the increased Viscosity of oil over diesel and its also known that you can push a pump further than what you could on diesel because the oil will help keep the pressures up in worn IP's.
As for oil being dirty or contaminating fuel systems, the complete opposite it true. In veg circles it's well know you either have to clean your tank and lines or you are going to be changing filters regularly when you put a car from Diesel to Oil.
Diesel leaves Black, tar like residues that the oil shifts. Takes a week or too but eventually loosens it up and you have problems with constantly blocked filters till it all passes..... and there is LOADS of it. People call waste oil dirty and rubbish but the reality is that ( fuel quality) processed oil leaves tanks clean and shiny. Diesel leaves a load of filthy black crap.
On my first converted merc I had this problem. Persevered with changing filters DAILY for 2 weeks then when that wasn't enough I pulled the tank and blew out the lines. The amount of garbage I got was incredible. Since then all my veg cars get the tank cleaned and the lines blown out and Caustic run through them to get the gunk out. I can get 10L of yecch no problem. Nothing in comparison to my brother in laws boat. He has 2x2000L tanks in the thing and a 1000 up the front. He pulled out a 44 gallon drum of crap from that when he got diesel bug and had to do them. He crawled into the tanks with paint scrapers and a shovel to get it all out. I used to inspect the tank on my vehicles every year between Christmas and new year when I do the annual service like changing diff and gearbox fluids etc but I don't bother now. They have never been anything but shiny clean once the diesel gunk has been removed and they have run oil, even with the occasional run on engine oil when I have too much given to me just for my burners and want to get rid of it or am short on veg.
There is no doubt that waste oils given proper pre filtering are a perfectly viable fuel and cause None of the problems people accuse them of. I have yet to see or hear of a single engine failure caused by veg use. Yeah, there are loads of accusations but when you look at the cases, you always find they are nothing to do with the oil at all and a little further digging turns up loads of cases of the same engine that has never been near oil having the exact same problem.
I also worked out years ago how well oil pays me. People go on as if you have to spend every waking moment finding and processing oil. It's ridiculous.
Collecting I do about once a month. Might spend an hour cruising around, might spend 2 depending on how much I want and how far I go to get it. Sometimes I can be home in 30 Min with the months supply on board. Most times take me a couple of trips and an hour. Again, depends wether I want 400L or 1000 to top up. I generally try to have full reserves of about 4000L going into winter then I don't have to collect again till spring.
The longer the oil settles, the cleaner it becomes. I normally put though about 2500L of oil through a 1Um filter that costs me 8 bux.
I Fill my 200L drum manually from the settling tanks because I want the exercise. Takes about 10 min walking back and forth and filling and emptying. I can pump it, I just prefer to not to be too lazy and it gives me some resistance and cardio exercise I can well use.
From there I set the pump going which circulates the oil and filters it and dries it as it goes. In ideal conditions it can be done in 15 Min while I'm doing other things. Mainly depends on the humidity and how wet the oil is. Filtering doesn't take much and the turnover of oil through the filter is high. Mostly I give it a min of 90 minutes. Once the processor is loaded I can do whatever I want. Don't have to be there, I can go out and let it do its thing. If I have to process when it's wet and cold and shitty, I might let it run all night. haven't had to do that in a while. When the oil is done I change a valve on the processor and pump the oil into the drums through the filter so there is no possible way any molecule hasn't been through at least once.
I used to do a water test on every batch before decanting it but I haven't bothered for a long time now. I know the processor, been doing it so long, I can read the weather and the oil and on the odd occasion I do a test for shits and giggles, it always passes with flying colors. Of course many people don't dry their oil and still have no problem. I like to be careful and as I have the processor set up to filter and dry and it takes no extra effort, why not.
The only time I don't dry my oil is when I'm interstate and running short and have to do a pickup on the road. I can look at what is there and know whether it's OK or to look for another source. Being that this oil goes in with the other I am certain of the quality of, any moisture content is going to be reduced a lot anyway. Being I am on the road, the oil will be burnt quickly and not have a chance to sit round long enough to cause corrosion or growth problems in any event. Fats hold a lot more water than straight clear oil so as long as I don't pump slop, I'm safe as houses.
If I look at the cost of Diesel here, been around $1.20 a liter and my hands on time, call it say an hour all up to process 180L, ( which is way over estimating,) it's not hard to work out that I'm pretty much on doctors wages if I considered my time as so many harp on about. I don't consider it because obviously this is my hobby not my living and if I did it full time I'd make a better than average wage with it. Of course the other thing to consider is if I was working that hour in a regular job, I'd also be paying tax at better than 33%. I do an interstate trip of 2500km all up every year and it usualy costs me about $20 in fuel because I will add some petrol to the oil when I get there because I always go in winter and want to stop any fat dropout in the cooler temps and the thing is loaded so I want the better performance.
One thing that hit home to my Son years ago was when he was doing his practice driving hours. Here learners are required to do 120 Hours practical driving experience under supervision before they can get their provisional license to drive on their own. My son had his way before any of his friends.
We would go driving any time we felt like it, wherever we wanted. Frequently I would pick him up from his burger flipping job and we'd go driving for an hour or 2 depending on how he felt. Often we would go on oil runs to make the trips more worthwhile. I had more oil than I could use from this and passed on the proceeds to a couple of mates whom never had so much in reserve ever before.
When my son got his licence before most of his friends including those that were up to a year older, he started asking why they hadn't got their hours up yet? The reply was that unlike him, they couldn't rack up 6 or 12 hours a week driving around just to get hours up, they could only get their hours in at an opportune time when the family had to go somewhere because their parents could not afford the fuel just for them to drive around. We never thought of this but when we worked it out, we could see the significant expense involved if we were buying fuel. If we had to buy it, we would never been able to afford it either! My son always was a bit dismissive of my oily proclivities until that time and realization of the cost of fuel set in.
Of course once he had his license and was going out, I hardly ever saw my truck. He always took that and left his car because it saved him the expense of fuel. Of course all his mates wanted him to run them around as well. At first I was annoyed he made a welter of it but then I realised while he was driving, he wasn't boozing up like a lot of them so I was happy.
Being a smarter kid he also took advantage of the free fuel situation. A group of them wanted to go away for an end of school celebration. My son said he would provide the transport and everyone else could cover his share of accommodation, food and drink. As part of the trip was camping, he also threw in the sweetner of my covered trailer so they could take all the crap they wanted. Being the truck is a 7 seater, it was an offer too good to refuse for the other 6 so my boy got the trip for free basically. I filled the tank on the truck and put another 200L in the trailer and they went everywhere they wanted and beyond.
At home, oil allows me to reduce my power bill from what would be a certainty to be over $1000 a quarter to $150. I watch the meter to make sure I'm not in credit and have questions asked. In winter the house is warm and cosy and we often have windows open. I have a small Pool heater with a converted burner I made which I circulate the water through and into a very admittedly bogan looking car radiator at the back of the house with a couple of fans on it turned around. This is because the outlets of the radiator face the wrong way and it's easier and neater to run the hoses straight out than put bends in them. Having a straight shot with the fans into the room makes for better heat dispersal in the house. I was in the process of making a cover for it so it looked better but it's become a talking point with friends and visitors now so I'm not worried.
I can push as low as about 7Kw of heat which can be a bit much but as low as the burner is capable of some completely impractical output like around 80KW. Could do significantly more if I increased the size of the Hoses from the heat exchanger. The electrical consumption of this setup is under 300W
The next thing I want to look into is an absorption cooling system so I can cool the house as well as heat it by burning oil.
For fuel for my burners and heaters, the only processing I do with that is strain it through some felt. All I have to do is get the larger particles out and it's good to go. The Burners I build have no fine jets or orifices to clog so the once through the material is enough and a settle reduces any water content also to be of no issue. I tend to burn the waste engine oil people give me and I get from my own vehicles and my fathers business.
Sometimes I use it in the stationary engines and the China diesels particularly don't care one bit what they are fed.
I guess if you have a bad experience with something you'll always be adverse to it but if you like something and embrace it to work out the problems and solutions for them, then not only do the problems go away but you can have a lot of fun and enjoy the benefits they offer. To me and a lot of other people that is a feeling of security and independence and really getting something valuable for nothing.
I love my diesels, all of them and the bottom line is they along with the waste fuel I run them on has given my family and I a better quality of life and indulgences we would not have been able to afford otherwise. It's given me a hobby and interest for a lot of years that has in fact paid hugely rather than been an expense. The exercise I get carting fuel drums around and doing things with this seems like fun rather than the chore of deliberate exercise.
Filling a diesel tank everyday for me would be something I'd be grateful for and feel a smugness that I am getting a whole load of benefits from that most other people don't get to enjoy or take advantage of.
And you thought the first post was long Bruce! :0)