Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO)
Brent has this crazy dream to run everything off WVO and save the world one combustion engine at a time. Right this moment he’s insulating three colour labled Gates Plantmaster hose. He’s using R4 closed pipe insulation then a layer of R4 reflective HVAC insulation creating a lovely warm home for the three hoses. Next he pushes it into a four inch piece of PVC pipe that will run under the truck connecting the WVO fuel tank to the engine.
He tells me this is super good insulation for the pipe and it should keep things warm helping to run the system longer in the cold winter months.
The basic principle of WVO is that at a certain temperature oil will behave similarly to diesel fuel in powering our 7.3 L Ford F350. We need an auxillary tank to hold the WVO which needs to be heated using something we already have – engine coolant.
The hose that he’s insulating on the kitchen floor takes coolant from the engine compartment and runs it to the auxillary heated WVO fuel tank and an alternative fuel filter located in the insulated box that holds the WVO fuel tank (and filter).
The insulated wooden box is located in the truck bed and has: alternative fuel source, heat from the engine via coolant, a pump to pump the WVO to the engine and a fuel filter. It’s just like a car fuel system: tank, filter and pump.
The coolant heats the WVO and turns it to liquid and the WVO is then pumped via the hose under the truck and into the engine.
Basic concept: heat the WVO to 90 degrees celcius and then pump it into the engine. Voila! Fuel.
This whole system is controlled by an electronic VO control. It measures the heat of the system so it knows when it’s safe to start using WVO. The the VO control says: “hey Ford! Stop using your Dino diesel and start using WVO – it’s hot!”
The VO control is a computer that measures the temperature of your coolant and VWO. It turns on your WVO fuel pump and automatically engages a fuel valve that switches your fuels. It turns on an auxillaury twelve volt heater if your engine hasn’t warmed up your fuel enough. It measures the pressure of the fuel, so you know how your fuel is doing as well as the engine. Finally, it has a handy fuel gauge.
Since the truck is so big and we have to run the hose so far Brent is doing this super insulation. On smaller cars, like the VW or the mercedes, insulated pipe is not even used because you can run the hose above the heat shield or sometimes in the passanger compartment.
We’re hoping to use this system sooner. On average we get 10 miles/gallon, so the sooner we can turn this system on the better our fuel savings.
The big time constraint is that we’re leaving on January 28, 2011! A little over a week from today. Will it be done? Will we be saving the world and driving on WVO?
I think it’s a great dream and I hope it becomes our reality. Fingers crossed! Brent’s going to save the environment and I’m going to save the animals. What a pair!
Next time we’ll discuss his WVO plant.