2009 - Volume #33, Issue #1, Page #11[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
"Pre-Heater" Makes Waste Oil Burn Better
"I decided to make a preheater block and heating cartridge for the waste oil and an air atomizing nozzle," says Kepner. "The aluminum preheater block heats the oil and air as they're siphoned to the nozzle. Once the oil reaches the nozzle, it works like a conventional burner."
Kepner experimented with burner nozzles for a number of years. He uses a Bridgeport milling machine for computerized machining. This allows him to make most of his own parts.
He made a digital temperature controller that reads the pre-heater block and displays actual temperature. A digital relay connected to the controller turns the heater block on or off as needed.
To get maximum energy out of the oil, Kepner designed a "retention head" that resembles a turbine. The heated oil/air mixture is sprayed through the retention head before being ignited inside the furnace or boiler by a standard electrode.
Once Kepner had his system in place, and he realized how well it works, he decided to start selling kits.
"I had the parts, so I put some together and sold a few. Then I sold another 20 and then 50, and sales just kept building," he says.
Initially he just sold the preheater block with its cartridge. Today he sells a variety of kits to meet customer's needs. Some customers have dabbled in waste oil and already have some of the components.
"A full kit sells for $600 and comes with a regulator, pressure gauge fittings, controller, thermocouple, preheater, nozzle and retention head," says Kepner. "The heater block and nozzle go for $170. Most go for the in-between kit that is $320 and includes the preheater block, nozzle, thermocouple, digital controller and retention head."
For those who prefer a pressurized system instead of a siphon system, Kepner supplies a pump. "People can get their output to more than 500,000 btu's by adding a pump," he says. "If you want to burn waste oil, there are a lot of options. With a burner system like this, any kind of waste oil, from vegetable to transmission fluid, is fair game."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Craig Kepner, 118 Brightside Ave., Pikesville, Md. 21208 (ph 410 746-1631; firstname.lastname@example.org).
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