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Old 07-20-2008, 10:04 PM   #1
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WVO vs Diesel Mileage Question ...

Hey - We're just looking into getting a skoolie to convert, but with diesel prices the way they are, we're trying to find more ways to raise efficiency and cut costs.

I've got an e-mail in to enova about the parallel-hybrid refit (in terms of cost), but haven't heard back yet, and have been exploring the WVO option as well (we might do both if all goes well - the hybrid sounds wonderful on it's pown, and we're in Buffalo where WVO should be abundant). But, as much as I've been hearing (reading) the discussions on WVO stuff here, one thing I've not heard (seen) mentioned has been the mpg of WVO.

If you guys could give me a comparison in what you've got for mpg with your skoolie on diesel and what you've got for mpg on WVO, I'd love to do a comparison.

Also, for you people who do long-distance travels, how do you find new supplies of WVO on the road?

Thanks muchly!
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Old 07-21-2008, 12:33 AM   #2
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Re: WVO vs Diesel Mileage Question ...

A couple of friends that did conversions said that mileage was not as good, but does that really matter if you get your oil for free?
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Old 07-21-2008, 01:24 AM   #3
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Re: WVO vs Diesel Mileage Question ...

there is less energy in a gallon of wvo than a gallon of diesel.

according to this website http://www.backyardmetalcasting.com/oilburners.html

home heating oil has about 140K btu's/gallon

diesel has up to about 130K btu's per gallon

bio diesel has about 120K btu's per gallon which i would assume is similiar to veggie oil....can't seem to find any but date on waste or straight veggie.
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Old 07-21-2008, 10:31 PM   #4
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Re: WVO vs Diesel Mileage Question ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazycal
A couple of friends that did conversions said that mileage was not as good, but does that really matter if you get your oil for free?
Well, we're looking at space/ weight/ conversion cost issues in the 'is it worth it' sort of a vein. To be able to say, 'Well, our bus gets 10 mpg diesel and most folks say they get about 70% of their diesel mileage with WVO, so a 50 gallon tank should see us about 350 miles' would be awesome. So, yes ... If we only get 3 mpg with the WVO, it just might not be worth putting the time and effort in, especially with filtering and storing the WVO before we actually use it ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by lapeer20m
there is less energy in a gallon of wvo than a gallon of diesel.

according to this website http://www.backyardmetalcasting.com/oilburners.html

home heating oil has about 140K btu's/gallon

diesel has up to about 130K btu's per gallon

bio diesel has about 120K btu's per gallon which i would assume is similiar to veggie oil....can't seem to find any but date on waste or straight veggie.
That's great. Since it looks like (not a chem engineer here ) biodiesel is/ can be 'refined' from WVO, these numbers at least give some level of ballpark-ing for estimation. If diesel is the benchmark, then biodiesel is about 92.31% efficient, and WVO with about 110 btu's would be 84.62% or with 100 btu's it would be about 76.92%.

Thanks!


Still, I'd love to get some actual comparisons if anyone has any ... I love theory, but we really can't live there ...
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Old 07-21-2008, 11:59 PM   #5
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Re: WVO vs Diesel Mileage Question ...

i definitely got fewer mpg when i was burning veggie, but didn't have an accurate method of measuring how much veggie i was actually burning. The bus got about 8.5 mpg on diesel, and i think i prob got at least 6 mpg with veggie. Not all veggie oil is created equal. i would get different mileage numbers with oil from different restaurants. Hill climbing ability was affected negatively running wvo. Not a big deal in Michigan, but not something i'd want to try in Colorado or Wyoming.

I did find that if i mixed diesel/veggie 50/50 that there was a negligible difference in power and economy. I did that on a couple of long road trips.
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Old 07-22-2008, 12:17 AM   #6
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Re: WVO vs Diesel Mileage Question ...

If you only got 3 mph compared to 10, then I would agree with you. I think the worst would be a 20-30% loss of mileage. I don't know how much diesel is where you live, but it's over $5 a gallon here unless you go to a truck stop. It might be 4.94 a gallon. I put $125 in my Dodge today and it didn't fill the tank. It wasn't empty when I filled it either. I think wvo is the way to go.
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Old 07-22-2008, 11:11 PM   #7
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Re: WVO vs Diesel Mileage Question ...

Cool! A 8.5 mpg diesel to ~6 WVO mpg is about a 70% efficiency. And I've been looking at the electric selector valves and 'helper' priming pumps to stop tank mixing and aid in switchover so that if we hit a place we need power we can pop back to diesel if we need it (though the way enova's parallel hybrid systems -should- work, if we had it, that might take care of the lack of hill-climbing power ... If I ever hear back from them ... )

And yes, prices out here -just- dipped back below $5 for diesel (though we'd hit one of the reservations out here to fill up on the cheap(ish)). That's part of the reason we haven't actually bought a bus yet. If diesel prices are going to just be rising and rising and there's a limit to the mpg you can get with a skoolie, then we don't want to be in on an investment that we won't use because the cost is prohibitive ...

I'm planning on stopping at one of the little places nearby (we've a fast-food type place and a fish place within a couple of blocks from home) and seeing how exactly they dispose of their WVO and if I can get it if I want it ...

Thanks again for the responses!
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Old 07-27-2008, 04:41 PM   #8
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Re: WVO vs Diesel Mileage Question ...

Just got back from a colorado to oregon coast trip and near as I can tell I got about 8mpg on wvo and about 10mpg on diesel. This is based on flat fairly windless travel for an extended amount of time. Not too bad of a trade when I consider that I was not burning petroleum for thousands of miles. As for the investment/payoff On this trip alone my skoolie paid for the system(state-of-the-art)in full. Between the lodging costs and associated impacts, to the dine-in quality assurances all the way to passing station after station watching people with their impulse buy addictions and oh yeah I wasn't paying for diesel whose impacts are too big to go into.
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Old 07-28-2008, 12:15 AM   #9
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Re: WVO vs Diesel Mileage Question ...

Recycler,

Do you have pictures of your wvo setup?
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Old 08-04-2008, 05:40 PM   #10
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Re: WVO vs Diesel Mileage Question ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazycal
Recycler,

Do you have pictures of your wvo setup?
Or the name/ producer of the system if it's off-the-shelf?
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