I finally broke down and bought the three DVD SVO Box Set that Charlie Anderson over at Golden Fuel Systems put together.
I’ve got the utmost respect for Charlie. His systems are based on good components at a good price. I do, however, believe that in general they don’t provide enough heat to adequately thin the oil, especially for Alaska.
You would do fine starting with a Golden Fuel System, then add a flat plate heat exchanger and one of PlantDrive’s electric Vegtherm heaters. I’m also a fan of the VegMax coolant-heated filter, instead of the electrically heated Racor that Golden uses. The Racor is a fine filter, but I’m already maxed out with my little VW alternators.
I also avoid pumping from other people’s grease bins, something Charlie encourages (with the restaurant owner’s permission of course). He’s diving into a legal grey area, and up here the collection companies are small, locally owned ones. We try to respect each other and not steal grease.
Okay, back to the point: Charlie’s DVDs are fairly long (2+ hours), low-budget lessons in how to SVO the Golden Fuel way. Interesting, informative, and not necessarily the way I do things – but it’s always good to compare notes.
First we watched “Diesel – The Man • The Engine • The Potential.”
Well, other than the picture of Dr. Diesel on the front, there’s not a whole lot about “The Man.” There is, however some good parts explaining the difference between diesel and gasoline engines, a great visit to a diesel injection shop, and interviews with diesel truck dealers. The end, however, was my favorite part: a whole bunch of three minute snippets covering an array diesel vehicles, with little tips and opinions on converting them. Pretty cool stuff if you’re an aspiring diesel geek, or just want to be able to talk diesel with your SVO buddies.
Next was “Liquid Gold 2.”
Lots and lots of time looking at dumpsters. Looking for good oil in dumpsters, looking for bad oil in dumpsters, looking for the settling line in dumpsters. Some pumping on the road with Golden’s “One-Shot” unit, some pumping into tanks to bring home. Stuff that’s not really applicable in Alaska, since grease dumpsters are frozen solid for half the year, and we don’t pump out of other people’s dumpsters anyway. The second half was more relevant, lots of experiments with filtering. Looking for water, filtering cold oil, filtering on the cheap, disposing of the gunk, etc. All straightforward settle then clean by water-block cartridge or filter bag methods. Charlie covers all the basics, but leaves out more advanced designs like the Frybrid still and cyclonic separators like the diesecraft centrifuges.
Finally we took a look at “SVO Seminar 2006.”
An aptly named DVD. Yep, you guessed it, 2+ hours of watching Charlie talk in front of a white board. Not as visually entertaining as the previous two, but all the information to do it the Golden Fuels way is in there. A decent bang for the buck. Hell, you’d pay $25 to see a SVO expert talk wouldn’t you?
Interested? They’re $25 a piece or $50 for the 3-DVD set from Golden Fuel Systems, and provide some good insight into veg-fueling diesels, grease collection and SVO theory.