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Thread: Pressurized oil tank & Burner build - Zapins

  1. #1
    Senior Member Zapins's Avatar
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    Pressurized oil tank & Burner build - Zapins

    I just finished the bare bones build of my new pressurized oil tank which I made with inspiration from a forum member's build (who's name escapes me at the moment). I will pressurize it to anything under 30 psi and use it to feed my furnace. I added a pressure release valve that goes off at 30 PSI because I don't feel comfortable pressurizing diesel or waste oil to more than that.

    I used an old CO2 tank that failed hydro testing and brazed the brass fittings onto the tank. Then tested all the seams with window cleaner fluid.

    I plan to weld a single wheel on the back of it so I can roll it around easily, give it a handle to maneuver it while moving and then paint it.

    I have not cleaned/washed the inside out. I wonder If I should? There might be rust inside.

    I'll add a video of it later.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Zapins's Avatar
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    I finally finished it up. The fittings were pretty expensive, but oh well at least I have a nice quality made pressurized tank now. I might paint it later on if I feel like it. Although I might just leave it as is. I'll be testing it out tomorrow. I really hope it works as I envision it working. I'll see about posting a video of it if it works out.

    I added a wheel to help maneuver it around (works very well!) and a handle. Maybe at some point I'll get around to getting another brass elbow joint to make the fill gauge look neat and tidy.


    Here is another shot of it.


    And a quick shot of the gauge and pressure release valve with all the fittings for anyone who is interested in checking the fittings.

  3. #3
    Zap, your setup looks good... HOWEVER.. Before you actually try to run a burnout cycle, do yourself a favor, fill that dude with diesel, oil, cat piss, or what ever you plan to burn and run it until it's empty. TIME HOW LONG YOU CAN RUN IT! I'm a little concerned once you put it under 30psi and squirt it through your nozzle, it might not run long enough..... I hope I'm wrong, but I know I my setup (non pressurized) can suck down the jet fuel and used motor oil like a 5dollar hooker at a truck stop!
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    Senior Member Zapins's Avatar
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    Good point I'll see how it behaves tomorrow. The siphon nozzle is a 1.1 gal per hr if I remember right (not that I think that will stop it from shooting out more oil given enough pressure).

    I plan on running it at maybe 5 to 10 psi. 30 is just the max pressure allowed for safety.

    I've got about 10g of diesel at hand. I'm hoping that will last me the full casting session to burn out and pour 10 shells.

    How much oil does your setup use per hour? I have no idea what to expect with my build, but filling it up shouldn't take more than 30 seconds or so due to the valve and funnel attachment.

    I wonder if I should flush the tank out first to clear any dust. I have no idea what is inside the cylinder. Might be rusted to hell or have metal shavings from where I drilled it?

  5. #5
    Zap I can burn a gallon an hour without giving it much thought. My setup is not pressurized and my tanks must be uncapped during the run or the siphon stops. I can however refill while running and have had to a few times when i wasnt paying attention to it. WHoops!
    See the two galvanized caps? Those are my fills. The top tank holds my waste oil and the bottom is fuel. Gravity keeps with the top tank avoids any running issues.
    Freon tanks hold a surprising amount. Around 3.5gallons if memory serves me. And fwiw, you CAN pressurize these little tanks if your welding is up to par.
    20141220_190154.jpg
    Visit me: WWW.HandcraftedLanterns.com
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  6. #6
    Senior Member r4z0r7o3's Avatar
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    Nice build!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zapins View Post
    ...I have not cleaned/washed the inside out. I wonder If I should? There might be rust inside.
    Having cut open a Co2 bottle myself, I can tell you for sure it's full of rust and likely quite pitted on the inside. The degree of corrosion depends on the tank's age. The guarantee of rust comes by way of chemistry: Co2 is an acid. However, to put your mind at ease, these tanks (even really really really old ones) are built to withstand thousands of PSI, and have very thick walls, 1/4-in or thicker. They're quite beefy, even having failed a hydro test and having been welded on, 30psi is a very reasonable safe pressure.

    It will also slowly accumulate "junk" at the bottom, so just make sure the output tube (inside) is above the bottom by an inch or three, and just ignore the presence of the extra fuel in that space (don't try and get it out) for measurement purposes.

    To clean (if you want to): Remove the main valves & accessories, seal the openings with pipe-caps. Rinse the inside out best you can with diesel (save the rinse). Now put boatloads of old nuts / bolts inside (as many as you can get), add a few cups of diesel, and shake, rattle, roll the living crap out of the thing for as long as possible (hours if you can manage it). Finally dump it out, and do a final rinse with diesel. Strain all the waste diesel through two layers of an old cotton tee-shirt, then you can safely re-use it (for burning). Anything that goes through a teeshirt won't clog your siphon nozzle (no need for finer straining than that).

    Quote Originally Posted by Zapins View Post
    The siphon nozzle is a 1.1 gal per hr if I remember right (not that I think that will stop it from shooting out more oil given enough pressure).
    You're correct, if the fuel is pressurized it will squirt right out even w/o the compressed air going to the siphon. You'll want a needle-valve on the fuel-side to control the flow rate (ball valves are too course of an adjustment). You'll likely find 30 PSI on the fuel and 3-6 PSI on the siphon is way excessive (flame-thrower levels). Try 5 or 10 PSI on the fuel tank and increase from there if needed The siphon-air is just being used to atomize the fuel now, instead of also pump it, so you shouldn't need more than about 5/6 PSI (my guestimate).

    Quote Originally Posted by Zapins View Post
    How much oil does your setup use per hour?
    My 0.75 nozel @ 10psi air, gravity fed fuel @ 2ft head easily blew through a gallon in 30-45 minutes (I didn't time it). All the specs for the nozzle go completely out the window when you pressurize the fuel or run the nozzle higher/lower than it's specified pressure. It's also really hard to calculate (lots and lots of advanced physics involved).

    The best gauge is as others have suggested: Start with an "empty" tank- no fuel coming out, only compressed air (though there may be some fuel/sludge at the bottom). Add in a measured quantity of fuel (like a quart), and run your (pre-heated) furnace with fixed pressures and settings all around - don't change anything once you get it running nicely and start the timer.

    Run until the thing starts sputtering. Multiply the time by the inverse of the gallon-fraction you used to get the per-gallon rate (1 quart means, multiply time by 4). Understand that changing any setting later (from the measurement standard) will alter the consumption rate in a non-linear fashion. i.e. half or double of any setting will NOT result in half or double the burn rate - again, complicated physics.

    Finally, it can't be overstated enough: Don't burn up your siphon's o-ring! Keep the compressed air running to it at all times, even if the fuel is cut off or you've pulled it from the furnace. The o-ring needs that cooling air until the nozzle temps are down below the 200*F range.

    Good luck! I'm envious of your fuel rig, it's really nicely built!
    "Things that are complex are not useful, things that are useful are simple."
    - Mikhail Kalashnikov

  7. #7
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    It's been mentioned already but I always scratch my head at the fuel tank top up limitations of a pressurized system. A video posted last year some time of someone's fuel line rupturing and pissing fuel everywhere also springs to my mind.

    I totally understand why people opt for pressurized tanks. I mean if you're already running a compressor anyway, then why not right. I probably would have done the same if I used a nozzle from the get go.

    I've gotta think that out of all the possible fuel delivery systems, the pressurized tank has to be the most hazardous.

    Regardless the build looks great...
    FLAME ON...!!!!

  8. #8
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    Nice work on the tank. I've only put mine to use a couple of times and I can tell you it sure is nice being able to increase oil volume independently of the atomization air. I put a 30psi relief on mine as well but as Scavenger mentioned in my build thread, I think I'll put the higher rated one back on. I tried running about 25psi in my tank with waste oil at around 60F and was unable to go any higher because of the 30psi limitation. Thinner warmer oil would deliver more volume, but so would just increasing the pressure! Time will tell.
    I applaud your courage in drilling into the tank and brazing. I don't have that much faith in my abilities yet. But since your unafraid perhaps you'd consider putting a vent in the top of the tank to aid in filling. I don't see anywhere for the air to get out.

    Pete

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Zapins View Post
    I just finished the bare bones build of my new pressurized oil tank which I made with inspiration from a forum member's build (who's name escapes me at the moment). I will pressurize it to anything under 30 psi and use it to feed my furnace. I added a pressure release valve that goes off at 30 PSI because I don't feel comfortable pressurizing diesel or waste oil to more than that.

    I have not cleaned/washed the inside out. I wonder If I should? There might be rust inside.
    Zapins.

    Great job on the build, it looks really nice. With regards to the question of debris possibly left in the tank have you considered a filter? I also run a pressurized fuel system for all but one of my furnaces, and a spin off oil filter really helps a lot. You can purchase a remote mount oil filter assembly online for cheap from most automotive suppliers. Just check the thread sizes for the in and out to make sure you get what you want. Once installed you can supply your own oil filter. For what its worth, what I do hear at the shop is use my old oil filters from my vehicle oil changes, on my waste oil system. I am sure I am not the only one who has gotten "free waste oil" that had large amounts of dirt/debris or water mixed in. My burner assemblies are pretty low tech, so I am not sure how sensitive your burner is to debris in the fuel stream, but its always irritating to have your burner act up when your trying to get things done. Another option if you have one in your area is tractor supply. They carry spin on filter assemblies in store with the diesel/gas fuel pumps and fuel cell equipment. They also carry large spin on filters that remove both particulates and water.

    One other suggestion. I am not sure what you will be using to carry the waste oil from your pressurize tank assembly to your burner, but if you haven't purchased anything already, you might consider the flexible gas lines used for appliances. These are rated well above the pressure you need and take a lot of abuse. They stand up well to any heat from the furnace, crucible, etc and give you a little bit more safety than braided hoses or similar materials. They can be purchased in short lengths from the depot, lowes or similar store, along with the appropriate fittings to match. I have attached a photo of my setup in case my description was a little unclear.

    IMG_2323.jpgIMG_2322.jpg

    I have some quick disconnects, and a shut off valve on the burner side as shown in the second photo. Also you can't see it in the first photo but affixed to the tank is an electric heating pad used for large trucks and equipment in colder climates. The brand is wolverine. When it gets really cold in the winter I turn this on an hour or so before I start up the furnace. It brings the oil up just a bit in temperature and helps it flow thru the filter with less pressure. After I get the furnace going and the shop warmed up, I turn the heater off. It is not necessary, but can really be helpful when casting on cold days. They run about $60 from wolverine, but there may be cheaper brands that work just as well. Great job on the build, let us know how it performs.
    ...Dave...

  10. #10
    Senior Member Zapins's Avatar
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    Hmmm... I like those mods JunkYard. Heating pad and spinner. I think I'll add them to the tank in the future, maybe next time I'm back home (march/april). For now I'm just using diesel so it won't clog. Can you post pics of your spinner and heating pads? Maybe the brand/specific name of it? I'd love to price everything out ahead of time if possible.

    Did you add a vent for when you fill the tank? I noticed my tank bubbling up with air as I was filling it. Not a deal breaker but it slowed down the filling process a bit. Petee I'll have to have a think about how to do the vent.

    I think my tank can probably fit about 5-6 gallons of fuel which might last me 2-3 hours under realistic conditions. Maybe longer if I really figure out the fuel/air ratio thing.

    The tank seems to work well but the oil burner isn't working well. I'll post a new thread about it and see what you guys think. Really driving me nuts that I can't just use it to melt and instead there are problems after problems. When I'm done with it I'll make a proper build thread with lots of photos and details to hopefully save someone else the troubles I've had over the last 3 years.

    ***Edit***

    Well here is the oil burner video, figure I'll just post it here and see what you guys think instead of making a new thread.

    I think I might not have a powerful enough blower. It puts out 105 cfm which is fine for propane but I don't think its working enough for oil. Or maybe the oil needs to be atomized more than it currently is. I have it so it just streams out in a jet/stream. As if it was coming out of a syringe under pressure.

    I tried it at 2.5 psi, and 17 psi. Both kept a stable flame but the walls of the furnace didn't start glowing like it does with propane. I don't know if this is just how oil burners work or if it isn't getting hot enough? What do you guys think? I get the feeling that the fuel is burning too high up in the furnace instead of near the bottom. Not sure. Let me know.


    ++++Fixed video link, 3D

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