How often, on average, would a centrifuge have to be cleaned? How much would it cost to purchase it, and what does it require to clean it?
Check pa biodiesel for prices that's where I got mine. Clean every hour or so just wipe out rotor with paper towel or rag. Real simple
Depends on the type of CF, bowl size etc. The ones PA biodiesel sells are pressure-driven "spinner" types and do not preform as well as the larger bowl types (Absolute Centrifuge, USFiltermax, SimpleCentrifuge, WVODesigns). The larger bowls can process much more oil before cleaning is required. The bowl types clean oil much better, but are also quite a bit more expensive.
My oil passed hpt every time and never plugs the the 2 mic spinons. The bowls are just to expensive. And my cf works for the wmo im starting on.
In 2005, I made my open bowl CF system with the SimpleCentrifuge bowl ($550), the Baldor 1/3 hp AC motor ($217), purchased a 10 qt aluminum sauce pot ($12) and aluminum welding ($12) the two aluminum tubes to the bottom of the pot. Absolutecentrifuge also offers the bowl/motor ($550?). Check out other CF companies for what they offer. Absoultecentrifuge sent their CF'd oil to a reputable testing lab and published the results on their web site. The spec sheet has a long detailed list that includes the water content in ppm, and particle size, etc. Worth a close look. The bottom line should be the ppm of water - the lower the better. Prices have come down from when I purchased the bowl and motor, but the cost was well worth it. I handle the WVO only TWICE - pour the WVO from the cubbie into a 55 gal drum, pump into my '80 MB 300D from a 275 gal storage tote.
To me the advantages of an open bowl CF are:
(1) low water ppm - my RAW oil 750 ppm - CF'd 1/2 gal/min @140F resulted in 75 ppm - used the Sandy Brea testing system
(2) bowl clean out takes less than one minute - no unbolting - lift the lid and use a kitchen spatula to scoop out the junk
(3) gravity feed to CF - no high pressure hoses to worry about
(4) ease of operation - walk away and come back when 55 gal poly drum is empty - dregs drain off into a separate jug when CF is shut off for cleaning
(5) don't need to settle - strain through kitchen sieve - start cleaning
(6) process with heat (heated two tank system) or cold (for one tank systems - takes out the FATS - longer VO filter life)
I know this will create a vigorous debate, but there have been many posts about the effectiveness of the DC unit dealing with the "removal of water". Worth a look before a purchase is made.
No vigorous debate here. Im happy with my results the spinner met my budget and also handles wmo/watf. No idea if the bowls can handle anything beyond wvo. And i could never figure out how the bowl, motor and pot went together
Answers to your questions:
How often, on average, would a centrifuge have to be cleaned?
It depends on how dirty is the WVO. Some oil has more fine particles in it which will require the bowl to be cleaned more ofter. For example, I get one restaurant's WVO and it is very dark in color (fine flour particles(?) and will require two cycles to clean the oil to a "golden color". I clean out the bowl after each 15 gals of going through the CF. The flow rate will be a 1/2 gal. / minute @ 140F ( 1 hr and 20 min). I process a 40 gal. batch at a time. The first cycle removes the majority of junk. The bowl will have two cleaning each about one minute in length with less junk in the bowl with the second cleaning. The WVO that I collect from another restaurants has "normal WVO" and only one pass used to clean the oil. I have run many tests to see how much junk is taken out with each pass and have found the "dirtiest" oil will take two cycles to clean. A third pass resulted in almost nothing to clean out to be bothered with. The car's heated VO filter has not been replaced in over a year of driving my daily driver.
How much would it cost to purchase it
Cost is a factor no matter which system is chosen. After reading the CF posts on the WVO forums, reading how well or not the de-watering capabilities (my bottom line), I chose the OPEN BOWL centrifuge system. I also chose to purchase the bowl and motor ($750 in 2005). As I said in the above post, prices have come down ($400 or so for bowl and motor).
I am in the process of assembling an OPEN BOWL centrifuge system for a truly mobile system to be mounted in the bed of my '69 Chevy 3/4 ton PU. I installed a Perkins 6 cylinder/354 ci diesel coupled to a Fuller 10 speed manual tranny. The Baldor 1/3 AC electric motor will be powered by a 2000/4000 inverter; a 10 qt pressure cooker will house the Simplecentrifuge bowl; one Shureflo pump will circulate the WVO and CF'd oil to two 15 gal poly (one for WVO and one for CF'd oil. A large FPHE will use coolant water will heat the oil as it gravity feeds into the CF. It will be a duplicate, with some obvious component substitutions, as I have in my garage to process the WVO.
Thanks to all of you for your information. I have some homework!!
**I have nothing to do with WVO Designs at all. Just a very satisfied customer**
I picked mine up from WVO designs. Unparalelled customer service and the 'fuge works great. I clean mine out about every 50 gallons or so. Takes 4-5 minutes. I have a plastic paint scraper that I cut to the same with as the bowl so one pass and it's clean.
My 'fuge was about $1,000 with a water heater element in a purpose-build housing. Seriously, these folks are great.
Have you heard of this? The demonstration Chevy Volt designs have been authorized by Chevrolet to be sold if needs be, to get more consumers to the cars. Sales haven't been terrible, but far short of where Chevrolet wants them to be. One complaint among consumers has been that they couldn't get the Volt with the options they want. I think it woul be better if Chevy Volt demo cars to go on sale to meet demand. Many wonder if it will live up to the hype when it finally goes on sale at the end of this year.
I process 30 gallons of Veg oil a day. Mostly because I use two 30 gallon water heaters as my storage and heating tanks. I clean out the bowl (I have an Absolute Centrifudge) every 60 gallons.
My system works with simple timers. I heat the oil first in one of the old water heaters mounted above the Centrifuge. Usually about 6-8 hours. Then it drips into the bowl and empties into a 30 gallon bucket under it for 4 hours. From there a pump pumps the oil back into the second waterheater that is not heated. Then it drips into the 'fuge bowl again and goes into the bucket again then the timer turns the pump back on and it starts over again until I flip the lever and it goes into a ready to go bucket also 30 gallons. I usually run it in the machine 4 times one of those is heated before it goes in.
I can hang a 1 micron filter bag under the centrifuge and it drips right though it for 4 hours. I came up with the 4 passes because I cleaned the bowl inbetween each pass to see how much was in it. It went down every time and after the fourth pass there was nothing in the bowl. It costs me about $1 per day in electricity to filter 30 gallons. I used a Kill-a-watts meter to record the process. I round up and tell people it costs me 4 cents per gallon to filter.
I spent $1000 on the ready to go model a few years back. I am pretty sure buying filter bags and heating the oil would be more expensive then my fuge.
Two grease cars: First--2006 Jeep Liberty CRD it is nice and new and runs perfect on the grease with a custom spare tire tank 2nd frame mounted tank for a total grease volume of about 27 gallons, two greasecar valves, FPHE, and Injector Line heater mounted on the Common Rail. I have a spare tire cover that goes over the tank in the picture. Second Vehicle is a 2005 Mercedes E320 CDI with 3 greasecar valves, a 36 gallon custom tank in trunk, Comon Rail Heater and a Raw Power fuel pump. I use all PEX line and flare fittings with pushlocks.
How's that truely mobile system workin?
Community for Sustainable Energy
Finished the '69 Chevy 3/4 ton with the Perkins 6 cylinder 354 ci VO conversion and have 5500 miles on the VO clock . Mated a Fuller pnuematic 10 speed manual tranny. This tranny does take a little time learning how to downshift (choosing the right gear) especially going around city corners! RPMs aren't where I want them when truck is running empyt - 2200 @ 55 mph. I've purchased a highly modified Spicer over/underdrive unit with a 25% OD that should drop the RPMs in the sweet RPM range for the Perkins. I plan to put the unit into high range and use the gear splits (300 rpm each) to get the desired RPMs and road speed when empty or select DIRECT when pulling the trailer. This will be a late summer project. Pulling the 5th wheel at the 2200 RPMs is in the correct power curve and best mpg range. Freeway speed of 55 mph (CA speed limit for pulling a trailer) works for me right now. Measured D2 consumption - 22 mpg... The mobile CF system has been delayed as I'm getting the 5th wheel ready to be used. The mobile CF system is all planned out on paper, have all the components (hopefully) for the system. Will post when completed.
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