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Author Topic: Listeroid WVO Co-Generator - Can the Listeroid take the heat?  (Read 4109 times)
Stevels
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« on: November 17, 2007, 03:09:37 am »

Thanks for the advice on disassembling my 12/2 from my previous thread.  I will heed it.  Here is another question.  What is the ideal operating temperature of a 12/2? 

The real reason I am moving the ‘roid into the basement of the garage is to plumb the engine into the central hydronic heating system on my property.  I plan on both using the heating system, powered by free, waste dead wood, to constantly heat the Listeroid, as well as to use the waste heat from the engine when it is running, to heat the house, apartment, hot tub and pool.  I do not know yet what the duty cycle will be of the engine and generator, but I assume it will be no more than 8 hours running and 16 hours at rest a day.

I had always intended to do some type of  ”co-gen” system with the Listeroid, that is, use the waste heat as well as the electricity from the gen set, but now that I moved to a large property with a few buildings, now all connected with highly insulated, underground thermal PEX, all the pieces are coming together for my dastardly plan.

My question is this:  What is the ideal temperature to run a 12/2?  Can anyone give me a good reason why I should not run hot water through the engine at all times regardless of the engine running or not?  The water will be between 174 and 186 degrees and the flow will probably be about 6 or 8 gallons a minute.  The fluid I am using is essentially 400 gallons of tap water, with a small amount of corrosion inhibitor, and is corrected for a neutral Ph level.  There is no antifreeze in it at all, but provisions are made to prevent it from freezing as well as overheating (boiling)

My little scheme seems to be like a win-win.  Use the waste wood (and waste vegetable oil) furnace to heat the engine (and waste vegetable oil fuel for running the Lister) to operating temperature 24/7, while at the same time, when the engine is running, harness that waste heat to reduce the burden on the furnace, offering perhaps 40K btu of free heat – all without having to build a radiator for the ‘roid or expose the engine to cold motor oil or warm up times.

Does anyone know if I am missing a real showstopper of a blunder?    I would love your comments!
Thanks again!

Steve
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spike
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« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2007, 06:12:44 am »

Steve

I would agree with Jens, use a heat exchanger so that the engine can get up to temp. I did some figuring and at full load and at 8gpm you will only raise the water about 2 degrees F. Not an impressive temperature rise, but you only have a maximum of about 10kbtu from your cooling system. I know you thought you would have about 40kbtu but thats way too high (remember 1/3 of energy goes to the coolant).

Tim
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rcavictim
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« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2007, 10:04:23 am »

I am also in agreement with Jens on the matter of adding a heat exchanger and separate thermostst link for engine coolant (which should be using antifreeze with rust inhibitors).
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« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2007, 02:38:28 pm »

There was a guy on here that captured exhaust heat and used it in his radiant baseboard heaters.  Hopefully he will chime in.  He claimed (if memory serves me) he kept his house at 60 degrees.  I don't rememebr his configuration.  This was a few years ago I read the post.  I was impressed.  I'll keep searching for it.  I wonder how long post's a maintained here?   I would really like to see how it has progressed for him.  The drawback of doing this (once again, if memory serves me) is the coking of the exhaust from temerature differences.

If I ever get my hands on 3 old propane water heaters tanks, I intend to run these in series. The exaust was plumbed through the exhaust flue on the water tanks, heating the water in the tanks and plumbing it to a hydronic system of some sort.  I think maybe this was on Georges CD or an Indian website.
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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2007, 03:07:00 pm »

FWIW:
I've tried a few experiment with recovering exhaust heat.  Every time the same problem pops up (especially when using alternate fuels), the exhaust gases get so cool before exiting the pipe that excessive deposits of soot occur in the exhaust system.  While the heat recovery was successful (I got quite a bit of hot water), the downside of having to clean out the pipes on a regular basis made it untenable for me so I abandoned the project.  Even a 1/4" of soot on the inner pipe made a dramatic difference to the amount of heat recovered and the increased probability of an exhaust stack fire was the final nail in the coffin for me.



 
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John F
2 x 6/1 JKSON.  1 x 10/1 JKSON, 1 x 27hp Changfa, 1 x 28hp AG295, 1 genuine 1939 SOM, a couple of others in test mode and a Hercules Multu-fuel still in the box.
mkdutchman
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« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2007, 03:39:38 pm »

Stevels,

Was thinking about this a little bit, seems to me it should work, in theory, provided.........

1. the engine can get up to operating temperature and stay there while in operation

2. the coolant would be in a closed loop more or less

We keep our 6/1 at 195-200 degrees, I assume you'd do the same for a 12/2...........

You could probably get away with one heat exchanger if you plumbed the Listeroid inline with your wood heater, and then ran the ouput of both through the heat exchanger, I dunno if the constant hot water would matter to the listeroid, seems to me it shouldn't........would probably make starting a lot easier..... Smiley

I have no idea if it would factor in or not, but if you're not in a closed loop system, you'd probably be getting mineral deposits in the engine, don't think that would be good, so closed loop would probably be mandatory..........

I'd be highly interested in seeing what you come up with
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ronmar
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« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2007, 10:54:12 pm »

What pressure does the radiant cooling system run at?  The lister/listeroid cooling system was designed to be open/unpressurized.  I believe some have used automotive radiators up to a pressure of about 15 PSI, but most don't reccomend it and certainly wouldn't reccomend any higher pressure.

I too would reccomend a heat exchanger so you could use automotive coolant with it's corrosion inhibitors to prevent corrosion and mineral buildups in the cylinder block and head.  This would also keep corrosion generated by your cast iron engine from possibly contaminating your hydronic system.

A heatexchanger can be run thermosiphon, I am doing it just like Lens described.  I just uploaded 2 new pics of my current installation to my coppermine gallery at http://listerengine.com/coppermine/index.php?cat=10113  There is an older pic there also when I was first experimenting with it this summer, that shows the back side.  It is small! Mine is a 5" X 12" 10 plate brazed stainless flat plate heat exchanger with 1" male NPT ports.  I paid about $98 for it on E-bay from a outdoor wood boiler supplier.  The stainless plates are bazed together with copper and they are rated for several hundred PSI.  The herringbone plate pattern gives a very high surface area for it's size and also has high turbulence with low flow restriction at low flow rates so it is very efficient with slow thermosiphon flow.

Unfortunatly your problem with using a heatex is the available delta or difference in temperature.  I designed my system for a 75F difference to give me 120F water to my domestic hot water tank with a 195F engine coolant temp.  At a 3KW electrical load, mine does this at 3/4 GPM with 75F water feeding the heatex secondary loop.  75F to 120F is 45 degrees.  3/4GPM is 6 pounds of water for a heat output of 270 BTU/MIN or 16,200 BTU/HR.  Your 12/2 should sustain double the electrical load and output twice the heat at that full load.  But your best case with 174F hydronic temp is only a 21F temp difference from the 195F engine coolant temp.  The lower the heat difference, the lower the transfer rate.  You would need to make up for this with a larger heatex surface area.  With a heat output from the engine that is twice mine and a temp difference of around 1/4 mine, I would estimate that you would need a heatex approx 8 times the size of mine(80 plates?)... 

Another issue, particularly with thermosiphon is overall heat difference.  This heat difference and the changes in water density that it creates is what powers the thermosiphon flow.  The water comming out of the primary loop of the heatexchanger will always be higher than the secondary loop input.  What is the water temp comming back from your hydronic radiators with the 170-180F input?  Unless it is down in the 80F range or less, I don't think you will be able to maintain enough cooling across the primary loop to maintain thermosiphon.  You really need the water returning to the engine to be under 100F.  My thermosiphon flow starts to slow and falter above this point.  I wound up raising my heatex approx 12" higher than my original plan for this reason.  I just didn't have enough cool water on the down side comming out of the heatex to power the thermosiphon process properly and it would falter at high loads.   If the water comming back from the hydronic loop to the engine heatex is too warm, you may need a pump on the primary loop to maintain adequate flow thru the system. 

You also might run into transfer issues trying to mix these different heat sources.  The engine coolant is a viable heat source, but it is also a device that must transfer a certain ammount of heat to function.  Any hickup in this sceme can damage/cook the engine... Your description also leads me to ask what your alternate plan is for heat dissipation from the engine?  I don't always need house heat, but I do always need hot water, so mine feeding the hot water tank works all year round.  Now the excess heat once the domestic hot water tank starts to output greater than say 80F water from the bottom once it is at 120F/full, I can either run thru a small fan/coil radiator into the house, or one outside depending on if I need the house heat or not.  The temps involved with the domestic hot water loop lend themselvs well to harvesting listeroid heat to maintain them via heatexchanger.

Good Luck with your project, it sounds like fun.

Ron
« Last Edit: November 17, 2007, 11:27:34 pm by ronmar » Logged

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Stevels
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« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2007, 05:48:27 am »

Sure, we are all more comfortable with a closed loop system running antifreeze and a heat exchanger.  Yes, this would give me a nice buffer between the heating system and the engine, and also allow the use of typical automotive cooling system chemicals.  My concern is that it seems to defeat the purpose of the design.

I am a waste vegetable oil (WVO) enthusiast.  I have converted my car, bus, generator and lawnmower to run on veggie.  Unlike my previous work, my hope is to run the Listeroid completely on WVO without the need to start it on diesel.  What I mean to say is that I do not want to convert the Listeroid engine to a two tank, diesel/ WVO hybrid, like I have done with my other engines.  The whole idea of this design is to have the Listeroid and the WVO constantly heated to full operating temperature at all times. 

Remember, I am using free, waste materials to fuel my hydronic heating system in the first place.  I essentially already have free, unlimited heat.  Heating the 1,500 pound engine 24/7 is no problem.  What’s more, I just assume get some heat going in the basement of the garage anyhow, since I have other plumbing there I want to prevent from freezing.

We have all tried to start our CS engines in the dead of winter.  Image how easy it would be to start a “Cold Start” engine if it were always completely warmed up?  "Hot Start" or HS!

The furnace is cast iron, like the Listeroid, and the water used in it is conditioned already to be non-corrosive and neutral to cast iron and all the components typically found in a hydronic saystem.  The system is not pressurized at all – except for the negligible pressure created from the Taco 009 circulator pump pushing the water.

What would suck is if I did any damage to the engine by virtue of having it heated 24/7 for months at a time.  It would be rain on my parade if Indian tolerances allowed engine oil to seep in to the hydronic loop or vice versa.  It would depress me if a 185 degree engine was still not hot enough to burn WVO without long term engine damage – you guys seem to all like to run at 195 even with diesel! 

Most of all, I am hoping you can tell me more stuff I may not be thinking about before I go off on another one of my silly adventures.

Once again, you guys are all great and very helpful.

Please feel free to pound upon my reasoning.

SA
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ronmar
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« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2007, 07:17:29 am »

I don't think there is anything wrong with keeping the engine at or near operating temp, other than the oils will be very fluid so a lilltle extra attention to pre-oiling things might be in order before each start.  As long as your cool water returning from your hydronic system is cool enough to allow some heat transfer from the engine, it should work.  And of course if you can have some place for the heat to go when you don't need heat in the house...

A leaking headgasket, as I am sure you are aware, a fairly common mode of failure, can and will inject crap into the cooling system.  One reason I am still a fan of the heatex:)

Ron 
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JohnF13
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« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2007, 11:36:57 am »

SA;

From the sound of the system you are proposing it is very much like mine.  Everything that I have that is water cooled/heated is connected to an outdoor wood furnace, which has a 360 gallon tank built in and is set at 180F.  Even with the furnace running, the difference in temperature (180 vs 195) is enough to striip heat from the engines when everything is running, in fact I have no worries at all about overheating, the reservoir tank is so big it effectively prevents that from happening.  I have 2 Taco 011 pumps circulating the water at all times.  I use 2 because of two things -   I am wary of electrical pumps and if one fails when I'm out there is a backup (never happened yet with a Taco) and I have a long and complicated run, so the extra push from the second pump boosts flow rates.  I do not use a heat exchanger, but merely circulate the hot water through the engines.  The water does have anti oxidant additives.  I also have 195 thermostats in the heads of the engines and a by-pass loop system on each engine that allows the water to circulate when the engine is cold.  The heat from the copper pipes in the genshed keeps the room warm enough, and also warms the vegoil to a certain extent.  In winter I run engines 24/7 (I alternate 2 x 6/1's most of the time, 12 hours each) and the engines stay plenty warm.  One of my buddies has his water circulation system passing through the bottom of his vegoil tank, it keeps the oil quite hot and that might be the key to your wish to run full time on veggie.

Obviously, my engines put on lots of hours, I have over 15,000 on one of the 6/1's and during regular de-coking I have examined the water passageways and found no problems with rusting or anything else.  As for getting oil contamination into the water, I don't think it can happen - if the water seal rings around the cylinder give way, the sump fills up with water and the engine stops (another one of the famous "don't ask me how I know" scenarios!), I don't think there is a way for the water to seep back into the circulation system.

In a nutshell, it has worked for me, YMMV but I don't think you will have a problem.  PM me if you want further info on my system.
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John F
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« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2007, 05:25:07 pm »

I'm looking in to this myself.  The corrosion inhibitor seems to be good stuff with the steel boiler and a cast iron radiator and I don't see any rust in the water. One thing I have found is we burn a lot less wood if I set the boiler to come on at 150F and off at 160F.  And that would give you a bigger temperature difference.  Even with free wood you might get tired of cutting, splitting, and loading it into the boiler.  I am.  Having a warm engine all the time would be nice, except for needing gloves to check the oil or valves.
I'm thinking I should use a heat exchanger because in the summer when the boiler is cool the engine won't be able to get up to temp without it, but the boiler should absorb a lot of heat and eliminate needing a outdoor radiator.  But I haven't come up with a good way to keep the engine warm that way yet. 
PS: Get a spare pump, they do fail.  Use valves so you can bypass and isolate the engine in case of trouble. Same with your pumps.  Imagine: 5F outside, pump fails, drain boiler, get pump, change pump, refill boiler. Been there, nothing like being burned and frost bitten at the same time.  So use lots of valves and have a spare pump.

Cory
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dieseldave
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« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2007, 07:05:24 pm »


   About 4 years ago,I installed an outside coal stoker furnace. Glycol and water mix is pumped into the shop and house.

   The man that builds these coal stokers advised me to put in a 'corrosion inhibiter',so I did. I needed about 1 gallon to do the job.$60.00.

   The Brand was called 'FURNOX' and was made in England.    The directions on the bottle have an experiment that you can perform,to see how good this stuff works!     You pour off a sample of untreated mix into a jar and drop 3 copper pennies and an uncoated steel nail into the mixture and put the lid on.   After pouring the furnox additive into the 'boiler'and letting it circulate and mix,you do the same thing with the pennies and steel nail.

    After sitting on the shelf for 3 or 4 months, the untreated glycol had rusted the to the point where the glycol mix was murky with rust.  The treated glycol solution was unaffected,the steel nail was still bright and shiny! I WAS AMAZED!

    The man also advised me to use distilled water or rainwater.  With rainwater,you just filter out the dibris like leaves and insects with an old pillowcase or towel.

    1 gallon of furnox will treat 25 gallons of glycol/water solution. Most heating and plumbing shops will have it in stock. With many dissimilar metals in a system it is a must.   Introducing a Listeroid into the system is another dissimilar metal to deal with.

                                                       GOOD STUFF!
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spike
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« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2007, 08:16:28 pm »


...  3/4GPM is 6 pounds of water for a heat output of 270 BTU/MIN or 16,200 BTU/HR. ...

Ron

Since 1hp=2545btu/hr your egine's cooling system is producing 6.4hp. What size engine are you running? From the picture its looks like a 6/1. I think maybe your flow rate is slower than you think.

Tim
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Geno
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« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2007, 11:24:59 pm »

Ron
Since 1hp=2545btu/hr your egine's cooling system is producing 6.4hp. What size engine are you running? From the picture its looks like a 6/1. I think maybe your flow rate is slower than you think.
Tim

I think there is a bit more to it.

Fuel weight per gallon varies with temperature and this assumes 7 lbs. per gallon.

1 Gal. #2 Fuel has 138,500 btus, 3175.14 grams per gallon @ 7 lbs is 43.620 btus per gram
Using the rule of 3rds and a pint per kwh 3175÷8x3x43.6÷3=17303 BTUs available in the coolant loop.

3175, grams per gallon
÷8, 1 pint per kwh
x3, 3 kwh load
x43.6,  btus per gram
÷3, rule of thirds.

Thanks, Geno
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ronmar
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« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2007, 02:20:25 am »


...  3/4GPM is 6 pounds of water for a heat output of 270 BTU/MIN or 16,200 BTU/HR. ...

Ron

Since 1hp=2545btu/hr your egine's cooling system is producing 6.4hp. What size engine are you running? From the picture its looks like a 6/1. I think maybe your flow rate is slower than you think.

Tim

Well I think a stopwatch on the flow into a measured container repeatedly is pretty absolute...  I have done this test several times over the past few months and the numbers have remained pretty constant with a given electrical load.   I don't know that that 1 HP-2544BTU is an appropriate conversion to apply to this scenario.  I don't know that I have ever had call to use that one before so I am not sure in what context it should be applied.

As Geno pointed out, I am only recovering about 1/3 of the heat energy that I am putting into the process.  I haven't measured my actual fuel consumption, but using others numbers for this same type engine/generator configuration(6/1 with ST-5 and serpentine belt drive), I should be in the area of .125 Gallon per KW/HR of electreical load on the generator.  .125 gallon of diesel should contain around 17,500 BTU depending on what value you use for diesel fuel(around 140KBTU/Gallon).  That 17,500 BTU/.125 gallon Multiplied by the .375 Gallons consumed over an hour at a 3KW electrical load on the generator is 52,500 BTU consumed.  Using that conversion factor of 1HP-2544BTU, that means I should be making around 20.6 HP?  I don't think that conversion was derived for this particular internal combustion-electrical generation scenario. 

At a 30% efficiency, the listeroid engine is a pretty dismal waterheater.  However, being able to recover an additional 30% of the energy in the fuel I am burning keeping the lights on, and putting that energy into my hot water tank is pretty efficient I think.  It also keeps hot running water on the menu with only a 3KW generator plant:)  My latest addition is a 120F thermostat out of a mercury mariner outboard motor.  It is placed right on the heatexchanger secondary output.  The output flow now maintains a steady temperature reguardless of the input temp and the volume varies with engine load.

Ron
« Last Edit: November 19, 2007, 02:22:57 am by ronmar » Logged

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