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Old 10-26-2017, 04:57 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Centrifuge for Veggie Oil System

Hey Skoolies,

I have a 2002 International 30 Seat Schoolbus that's been converted into a motor home. I'm running it off of veggie oil now. Right now I've got two oil drums in the back (which also takes up a lot of space). One is a reservoir tank - dirty oil goes in there. Then I filter it through bags, which filter to 60 microns. Before it hits the injectors, it goes through a Racor (with a 30 micron filter in it) and then a Veggie Max filter, which takes it down to 10. My friend built the system, and it works well when you know what you're doing. I'm getting real sick of filtering with bags and buckets, though, and I'm thinking it might be about time to upgrade to a centrifuge system. Is there anyone who can give me some advice about this? I heard that the Spinner II would be a good choice...

Thanks!
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Old 10-26-2017, 05:00 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Mooncalf View Post
Hey Skoolies,

Is there anyone who can give me some advice about this? I heard that the Spinner II would be a good choice...

Thanks!
Gotta ask- that filter routine sounds like serious work- does it smell funky in there?

I say get some big totes and fill ''em up w. your black gold and let them settle-out. Decant them into a snifter mostly filtered already.
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Old 11-23-2017, 11:07 PM   #3
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I use a centrifuge from PA Biodiesel. Its a pressure driven 55gph unit that requires an external pump. We use an old power steering pump belt driven from a 110v 1/3hp motor to supply the 'fuge with 90psi. 48hrs per 55g batch of used motor oil.

Now... I know nothing of veggie oil... but the centrifuge is a good one.
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:03 AM   #4
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Veggie oil WILL eventually take out your fuel injection distributor pump. It's not the contaminants that will do it, but the residual water. You can filter that oil until the cows come home. It will not make any difference on the molecular level. Once water is introduced to the oil the only way to get rid of it is to boil the oil. Filtration will never get the job done. A centrifuge will help the process somewhat, but not completely. Some water will remain trapped within the oil molecules.

There's a build on Steel Soldiers that went through the same thing with the above results. Left the guy stranded out in the middle of nowhere, in need of help. He had to replace a VERY expensive fuel injection distributor pump. He immediately stopped using veggie oil and went back to dinosaur guts. After watching that endeavor unfold, I was convinced to never use veggie oil for any of my vehicles ever.

Good luck with the bus. And, as you have stated yourself, that system sucks up ALOT of space that may be better used for other things.

For what it's worth.

M
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:29 AM   #5
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Well, I can agree on problems with wvo. We have made several around country trips and pick fuel up from restaurant along the road. We skim, settle and filter on the road but manage to wear out the 7.3 idi distribution pump twice in 15000 miles. They are $50 to $150 at the junkyard and after you replace them a first time it will go real easy. We have Vans and it is little bugger but like I said the second / third time it is a couple of hours. Be sure you have your spares tested before you replace them.

Nevertheless it is clear that the distribution style pumps are not very rugged for this use. Our 7.3 power stroke and inline mercedes pumps are much hardier and have yet to show problems.

We bought the IDI as a follow up to the powerstroke in the hope that all mechanical would be better but that has proven to be a faulty argument for WVO use with our on the road filter technology.

IMO the essence lays in that the distribution pump has two ( really1) pumping element for 8 cylinders and the powertroke 8 so the wear on the distribution pump will be 4 to 8 times as fast.

At home we use settling, heat ,settling, electric driven centrifuge and then a filter but on the road that is all a little complicated.

Just travel with a couple of spare pumps will keep you in business.
be aware of the first slug of cold thick veggy that can shear your main pump shaft. Do change fuel at low or idle rpm to reduce the viscosity and thermal shock on the pump.
First indication will be the infamous failed hot soak start.


Later J
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Old 10-22-2018, 12:45 PM   #6
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PA Biodiesel Oil Filtration Unit + Deep Cycle Batteries + Inverter

Hey everyone, thanks for your replies.


So, I use a Racor combination water separator and filter to deal with the problem of water. The veggie fuel pump doesn't suck from the bottom of my barrel, and I periodically clean out the water that has accumulated there, so basically water hitting the injectors hasn't been a problem for me.


The issue is that right now is that the filtering process takes too long. First, I need to fill my reservoir barrel, then I need to filter the oil using bags (which can take hours, and which I can't currently do while the vehicle is moving.


I am considering investing in the PA Biodiesel Oil Filtration Unit, which would also allow me to burn waste motor oil and used brake fluid. I haven't decided how I feel about burning these things as the main thing that led me to veggie oil was a desire not to contribute to the fossil fuel economy. Check out this link if you interested:



https://www.pabiodieselsupply.com/sh...5cc1f4b174aca5


So, in order to do this, I need to install a battery bank with an inverter (which I want to do anyway, so that I have a 110-V power source in the bus for lights, electronics, etc.



I have two barrels in the back of my bus - one is the burn barrel and only oil filtered to 60 microns goes in there. The other barrel is the reservoir barrel and unfiltered oil goes in there. The idea is to charge these batteries from the alternator and run 1500 Watt heat pad to heat the unfiltered veggie oil before transferring it to the burn barrel. Check the link if you want to know more.


What I'm leaning towards right now is starting with putting in two deep-cycle batteries with an inverter... Seeing as this alone will cost me probably upwards of $600 (CAD)... I think it's probably a good idea to start there.


Does anyone have advice for me, either about the centrifuge, batteries, or improving my system?


Thanks!
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Old 10-22-2018, 02:08 PM   #7
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In our settling tanks at home (old used 50 gallon domestic water heaters) we use the heating element. We invert the tanks, so top becomes bottom and cut a hole in the bottom of the tank. After heating we let the oil settle and stratify.. It helps that the tanks are insulated .


I build a centrifuge bowl from a motorcycle drum brake , a dc motor from an exercise machine and an old pressure cooker to contain the bowl.
Since water is heavier then oil it will get pushed to the outside in the centrifuge.

Heating the oil has as only benefit that it goes faster because of the lower viscosity. I think it is easier to feed the centrifuge slower so that the oil spends more time in there.

An oil pump driven centrifuge would be very energy wasteful on the road.
May be KO for motor oil, ( that is where the design came from) but WVO is a different animal



On the road we first used bag filters and 4 12V 20Watt light bulb suspended in the oil , inside the bag, to heat and help the oil go thru the filter. The cleaned oil dripped directly in our second fuel tank.


At this moment I have not enough time to drive on WVO so Dino it is but it sure good to have experience so that you can if you want to.
I have the design and stuff to make an electric centrifuge that can work inside a vehicle but no time to put it together


I do not now what engine you have but stay away from rotary pumps, they were designed to be cheap and fail at unexpected moments.
Inline or better unit injectors are more reliable.


Good luck keep it up.


Later Johan
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Old 10-28-2018, 11:38 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Dang. Thank you, that's very informative. You're definitely way more of a MacGyver than I am.



Okay, so I don't actually have the option to settle the VO at home, as I live in my bus. (I'm getting a place soon because there's snow on the ground, but I don't have one yet). So I have two barrels, the reservoir barrel and the burn barrel. Dirty oil goes in the reservoir, then I filter with buckets and bags (while the vehicle is parked) and pour the filtered oil into the burn barrel.


I would be really curious to get your opinion on this oil filtration unit:


https://www.pabiodieselsupply.com/sh...5cc1f4b174aca5


You say that an oil pump would be energy wasteful. Could you elaborate on this please? I just bought a 3000 watt inverter and two 6V, 205A batteries to wire together. I'm planning to charge these from the alternator, and might eventually add solar panels. Then someone told me that the heat pad from the oil filtration unit would use more power than I'd get from the alternator. It's too much guesswork for me right now. Help figuring this out would be appreciated!



I am intrigued by your Light Bulb in the filter bag idea.... How significantly does that speed up the filtering process? What do you put on the lightbulbs to keep the ends (or sockets or whatever) dry? And what do you plug them into?



Also, do you have pictures of your set-up that drips clean oil into your second tank? I had something like that going for awhile but it was just jimmy-rigged and leaked. I'd like to get an idea of how you did it. Were you able to filter while the vehicle was moving?


Anyway, thanks for your help!
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Old 10-30-2018, 12:28 AM   #9
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I modified a small block chevy oil pump driven by a 120V 7amp drill on my inverter. It draws 700ish watts full bore. That pushes through an FSI bag filter and into my bulk dirty tank, where I can recycle it through the filter before sending it to the clean tank. I have pushed 80psi with it, so maybe you could run a centrifuge with one of those. I've heard of people using power steering pumps, too. Do the math for power consumption on whatever motor you use to power your pump to make sure you have enough juice to run for however long you need, depending on the flow rate of the centrifuge.
Also, check out this video, sounds like what you are trying. https://youtu.be/Ei7iL6jNwSY
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Old 10-30-2018, 07:50 AM   #10
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The electric centrifuge can be very efficient. The light bulbs were soldered to the wires. They are cooler in oil and never burned out. This was setup in a e350 van with a second tank between the rear axle and spare tire. The filter housing was made of a small beer keg . cut a hole in the top that was the size of the plastic ring of the filter bag. So open on top. We had cubies of oil in the rear of the van with a small fuel pump pumping it in the filter bag. Somehow it was in good balance . A float switch on top turned the pump off/ on .

We had a great time with it. Wvo is not for the faint hearted. Thing go wrong. Float switch fails . filterbag overflows... Drive thru a pothole and some of the deposits in the cubie get in the small pump and clogs it up. Rotary pumps wear out faster on Wvo.
It is fun if you have time and can handle the complications on the road.

I really like Wvo because you are driving on solar energy that has a renewal time of a year instead of a couple of million years as for dino. We used to have several restaurants in town an picked up 55 gallon a week. Touch for us so we converted our house oil heating to Wvo. Same story...it works.. But needs constant attention and always little hickups.

We are driving electric cars now and that is so efficient and easy compared to Wvo that we started slacking a little with the Wvo.

Good luck j
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