Everyone agrees the MEN waste oil heater is effective -- typical feedback:
Last week I finished building a Mother Earth waste oil heater. This thing puts out a serious amount of heat. It will warm up my 20 x 20 ft uninsulated garage with no problem.
But some people have some problems, most often with controlling the oil flow:
I like the simplicity of the Mother Earth burner, and especially the fact that it uses no electricity. The weak link is the drip system. When the oil heats, it gets thinner and drips faster, which makes a hotter fire, which makes it drip faster, and so on. Is this something to be worried about? Has anyone made any improvements on this design?
I found that the MEN stove would work well if you get the stove "balanced" between air flow and oil flow. Only then would it burn clean and odor-free.
I started out first with a sort of "drip feed"... I quickly found that the oil flow was too slow, not enough heat was being generated and air flow through the unit (which is a function of temperature) was too low.
Increasing the oil flow helped -- at first. I finally got it to the point where it would burn clean, and then feeling confident, I marked the settings on the valve (flow through the sight indicator was now a small "stream") and anticipated LOTS of heat from the waste oil henceforth.
Meanwhile, oil temperature in my reservoir continued to rise in the now warm room until the small stream became a minor torrent and suddenly I had too much oil for air flow. But combustion "heat release" was limited due to lack of air, and possibly air flow was by this time limited by "aero/hydrodynamics" of the stove piping anyway. It again started to smoke. More adjustments and with more titrivating, got it settled out smoke free once again. (Neighbors must have loved the odor during this period.)
Then, I replenished my oil reservoir and as you might expect, the new cold oil was now "flow slow" and again too little oil for air flow with resultant -- smoke.
... The stove did throw a LOT of heat...
And the solution:
A quick fix to one of your problems: Don't heat the oil reservoir, you will get a consistent flow of oil from start to finish. Running the oil delivery tube around the stove pipe on the way to the burner is all the preheating the oil needs.
Hotter burning -- from Charles:
A small note on the waste oil burner that most people seem to have forgotten is that there is no need for any blower -- if you need more air in the system just make the exhaust pipe taller. If you can add 6ft of pipe the airflow will double. I started with two 10ft sections of 4" on the test outside my shed and the pipe started turning almost white hot. On a 10ft section it worked perfectly.
MOTHER's Waste Oil Heater -- original version
To Mother Earth Alcohol Fuel, Table of Contents
En español -- Biocombustibles, biodiesel
Biofuels supplies and suppliers
Make your own biodiesel
Mike Pelly's recipe
Two-stage biodiesel process
FOOLPROOF biodiesel process
Biodiesel in Hong Kong
Nitrogen Oxide emissions
Biodiesel resources on the Web
Do diesels have a future?
Vegetable oil yields and characteristics
Biodiesel and your vehicle
Food or fuel?
Straight vegetable oil as diesel fuel
Ethanol resources on the Web
Is ethanol energy-efficient?
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