Home Heating with a Veggie Oil Burner


The note below as posted on the Fieldlines.com forum.



Posted by Russell on Fieldlines.com:

I basically run my central heating for free and have been doing so since December; the burner itself is a commercial burner that will burn any type of oil you can lay your hands on. But the burner is bit expensive at just over 1000 GBP or about $2000 USD

The decision to buy the burner was arrived at after about 2 years of trying to make one or modify an existing oil fired burner... with some successes. The big snag with a lot of the homebrew designs is 1. Reliability and 2. Safety. I think I have tried them all from Babington burners to Mother earths design and few of my own as well but I wouldn't trust them to run unattended or on a timer. This system however works very well and has seen us through this winter at zero cost for fuel !

I live in a 400 year old farm house on an exposed hilltop, the house is built from granite field stone with walls over 2ft thick... so basically I live in a heatsink, you couldn't heat this house if it was on fire!. The house has oil fired central heating but to keep us at a comfortable 23C was costing a fortune in oil. A 1000 litre fill was costing 350 GBP and was only lasting about a month........ So something had to be done

The burner is made in Germany but I have seen similar units from the States for a lot less but import duty and shipping to UK was to expensive
 This link is where I got it
http://lechma.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p36_Universal-oil-burner.html/XTCsid/e13ff2eab86f50ee7ef acb6ce37e0c0a

At the moment would you believe my heating is running on beef lard from my local fish and chip shop (fries) I also get veggie from a few places but I prefer to use it in my car but also plan to use it in a generator very soon as well. I have tested it with the following fuels
Lard Fat, waste engine oil, waste veg oil, diesel, kerosene, hydraulic oil, gear oil and axle grease I have even used the fat from the turkey at Xmas.

The burner has a small pre heating tank with level and temp control , it comes with a 600w heater element but I changed mine to 150w heat rod as it is running from wind power most of the time. The burner also requires a supply of compressed air; this might cause a problem for some folks! I run a 150 lt compressor for the workshop anyway so it doesn't matter

The biggest challenge was with Lard fat and to some extent veggie oil, lard goes rock hard when cold and veggie goes gluppy, so they need to be stored in a heated insulated tank to keep them liquid. I only store about 15 gallons of heated fuel at a time; it only needs to be warm and liquid not hot. All used oils need filtering before use I have made up a processing tank to heat and filter the fuel from an old fridge on its back so that the door becomes the lid if you get my drift. I then fitted a small 18 inch household radiator panel inside and plumbed it into the heating circuit. With the addition of two 22mm tank fittings and two gate valves, one at the bottom as a drain and one about 6 inches up as an outlet for filtering.

That's the short version on how to do it, there are a few minor details not covered but it is all just common sense really. So far this setup has already saved me well over 700 in fuel and will have paid for itself by the end of April! Cant be bad!

Our oil supplier called last week to see why we had not ordered oil!

Regards Russell





Gary 5/1/07