Sunday, November 19, 2006
Free Energy For A Vegetable Oil Powered Business by Walter H. Barrett
Yesterday I had the great pleasure of visiting a business in Connecticut that is basically vegetable oil powered. It was a very heartening experience for both my wife Nancy, who came along for the visit, and myself. Nancy and I have both been major proponents of alternate energy for over forty years, and it isn’t every day that we get to actually see a brilliantly designed working system. We were also very impressed with the fact that the place was very neat and clean, especially for a very successful automotive repair shop.
It seems that the owner of the business got very tired of the high energy costs eating up a large chunk of his profits. So he decided to take matters into his own hands, and he has done a remarkable job in three separate areas to save energy. These are the heating of the facility, the electrical power for the facility, and the fuel for the company vehicles. In my judgment, the cost of these modifications is far outweighed by the huge savings he is realizing. Some of the technology used is simple and some is moderately complicated. None of it is overly expensive.
The first, and most obvious, and easiest area is the heating of the building. Being a very successful automotive maintenance, and repair shop there has always been an abundance of waste drain oil from engine oil changes etc. Most garage owners have to pay money to have this oil hauled away. The owner has installed a modified type of oil burner that does a very clean job of burning this waste oil to heat the building for virtually free.
The second item, and the real reason why I was there, was the Straight Vegetable Oil powered 20 KW modified diesel generator. Nancy and I had driven up to deliver one of our custom built heat exchangers used to aid the combustion of SVO (Straight Vegetable Oil) and a couple dozen each of oil and fuel filters. When we arrived we could hear the low steady hum of the generator. Our gracious host immediately invited us for a tour of the facility.
The installation was a thing of beauty with a good solid fence to aid in blocking the noise, and an extra muffler bought from a local automotive parts house. Everything was first class.
The silent 20 kW generator happened to be one that was originally sold from our warehouse in RI. I had a lot of questions because it isn’t every day you get to spend time with someone who is actually burning SVO around the clock. Happily, our Host keeps meticulous records on both fuel consumption, and emissions. I was really impressed by the fuel consumption of only one gallon per hour. I expected it to be more due to the size of the generator. It has a very large four cylinder EPA approved Chinese made diesel engine in it. We have actually sold a great many of these units in the 15 KW, and 20 KW size. The thought of burning only twenty-four gallons of free vegetable oil in twenty-four hours is very exciting to me. The engine runs very smooth, and quiet for its size. There are neighbors next door and there have been no complaints. The unit is currently running on used filtered vegetable oil that is normally hauled off from restaurants by disposal companies. It is free for the taking. These savings more than offset the cost of the generator and the modifications to it. A kit to modify this sized unit is less than $600.00.
Now as if we hadn’t seen enough already, we were escorted next into another room where I immediately recognized a Bio Diesel Fuel Processor that is manufactured in Massachusetts by a person that we have also dealt with in the past. Our host explained to us that besides heating the building with a waste oil burner and making all of his electricity with used straight vegetable oil he also runs his diesel trucks, and cars on the bio diesel that he makes right there in the shop! It isn’t every day you see a company solving the high energy cost problem on three major fronts. I have to tell you that Nancy and I were both very excited to see that operation, and everything was working while we were there. Needles to say, we will be going back often to visit that remarkable facility to follow the results.
The owner that he is currently expanding the buildings on the property and will be using the added space to get more involved in the SVO and Bio Diesel Fuel areas. While we were there we looked at a very clean 1977 Mercedes four door sedan that will soon be converted to SVO by installing a dual fuel processor unit. I expect that with his quality of work he will be doing a lot more in that area in the near future as the ever-increasing fuel costs are driving the market in this relatively new business area of opportunity. I would strongly encourage you to investigate this area of the alternate energy business, and if you have any questions please feel free to write to me. You will get an answer. Please send this blog along to your friends. We need to spread the word, and don’t be fooled by low fuel prices as they are only temporary. Don’t wait for the six-dollar a gallon fuel!