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Topics - rgroves

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General Discussion / They're not teaching kids to do anything these days
« on: September 06, 2006, 09:00:51 PM »
All, I noticed this discussion in another thread - and thought I'd brighten your day.

This morning I had email from a guy in rural Oklahoma, junior year in High School.  He wants to learn to crush oil and make biodiesel for his FFA project this year.  His main motivation is to help his Dad and Granddad cut their farming costs, but he'd also like to see if there's a business to be had doing custom oilseed crushing for his farmer neighbors.

Here's what really got me.  He wants to make a weekend run up here to see some crushing equipment - he, his Dad, Granddad, and HIS AG TEACHER!
And he wants to do that after his Saturday morning viewing of game films from his Friday night football game.

Maybe in some places kids aren't being taught any real skills.  But the kids with the blue jackets sure are getting a shot.
You all think I'll give this kid the best smokin deal on an oilseed press you're ever seen?
Oh yeah.

Other Fuels / Fischer-Tropsch back in the marketplace
« on: July 17, 2006, 02:28:14 PM »
This is from my daily update to the S & A Oil Report:

Dusting Off 1920’s Technology To Make Cheap Fuel
by Matt Badiali

In the waning moments of World War II, General Patton’s tanks began to run out of fuel as they dashed across France towards Berlin.

President Eisenhower diverted supplies from Patton’s 3rd Army to the British, driving on Belgium and Holland. Patton’s only ready source of fuel was what they could salvage from German vehicles until those key ports were in Allied hands.

During the war, Germans didn’t use fuel produced from crude oil, it was produced from something a little different…

In the 1920’s, German chemists successfully synthesized liquid fuel from coal. The process was named for them: Fischer-Tropsch. That process fueled the German war machine.

Currently, the price of oil is approaching $80 a barrel, and it’s been north of $60 for all of 2006. These high prices lure companies to research alternative fuels… like older techniques that weren’t profitable at $25 or $35 oil. This includes the fuel produced from the Fischer-Tropsch process.

In the U.S., coal was strictly for electrical generation. With the possible exception of Jay Leno, nobody drives Stanley Steamer cars anymore.

However, the stable (and high) oil price encouraged one U.S. company to take the financial risk into coal to liquid processing. The company is Rentech, Inc. (RTK, News). They are turning coal into diesel fuel to compete in the lucrative trucking fuel industry. Rentech is only just starting this project, but they’ve bought infrastructure. It’s a start.

It would take years to build the infrastructure necessary to replace diesel from crude with synthetics. However, fuel from coal could fill some critical needs in our society.

First, the domestic supply of coal is huge. Coal is a source of fuel to directly compete with foreign oil.

Second, it will help lower transportation costs. If synthetic fuel options are available, diesel prices will fall. Competition is healthy for a market, but there have never been alternative fuels to consider.

There is a hugely successful company in South Africa, Sasol who’s been doing this for years. Shell recently agreed to invest $5 billion into China’s budding coal to liquid industry.

I’m excited about this process. Oil prices are high enough, and technology is advanced enough, that we are going to see some real competition in this area.

I’m not worried about oil prices falling out from under these companies. I’m sure (sorry to say) that the days of sub-$50 oil are history. The good news is that high oil prices are fueling innovation and discovery… and this area will produce some big winners in the stock market.

Good Investing,

Matt Badiali

Other Fuels / Syntroleum
« on: May 13, 2006, 05:47:38 PM »
"Syntroleum can produce 42 gallons of synthetic fuel from 10,000 cubic feet of natural gas. The raw materials cost about $70.
If the military moves ahead with using the synthetic fuels, the Syntroleum technology could be used by factories elsewhere to produce the same 42 gallons of fuel from just $10 worth of coal"


Lister Based Generators / PM DC Servomotor
« on: May 10, 2006, 03:07:42 PM »
There's a motor in my garage, been lugging it around for years.  It's a Peerless-Winsmith PM servomotor, rated at 230 VDC and up to 150A.  The plate shows a continuous duty cycle.   I bought it with a notion of making a diesel powered DC generator to extend the range of my 144 volt electric pickup.  Then I got tired of the electric pickup, got rid of it, and the motor went into the archives.

Do any of you electric motor guys know anything about this type of motor?  Is a "servomotor" able to work as a drive motor, or as a generator?
Looking forward to hearing what you can tell me.


Russell Groves

General Discussion / How should I drive my next oilseed press?
« on: May 03, 2006, 08:17:02 PM »
I am revising the way i drive my oilseed press, and I'd like some suggestions from you guys.

You can see how I've been doing it at my website, www.flinthillsdiesel.com.

It was a very basic, down and dirty setup intended to get the press up and running in a hurry.  So I just direct coupled a Changfa 195 to the press by a commonback B belt. 
It worked, it made oil, and it was not at all ideal.  Obviously this sort of mechanical connection should have a slip clutch, an idler, or some other way to de-couple load from power. But I also don't like the noise and would prefer all those moving engine parts to be farther away when I'm working with the press.  Since i sell this stuff, I'd like to mount the press on a trailer and drive it with a remote power source  -- taking it to farm shows and the like, and talking to onlookers about what I'm doing.

So I'm considering two possibilities -- an electric motor, or a hydraulic one.
In either case, I'd prefer to drive the next press with a diesel engine. 

Running a press requires the ability to vary the speed of the motive power source to dial in optimum pressing conditions for the seed.  If I use an AC motor, I will have to add a motor controller to the setup.  In that case I would use a genset to make the power and this really becomes an electrical issue.  And if I was in a setting where grid power was available, I could run the press more or less silently.

But a hydraulic pump, driven by an engine and driving a hydraulic motor, would let me vary the speed with a control valve.  The engine and pump could be mounted on my pickup, and the press would be driven through hoses.  Those hoses could also connect to a tractor hydraulic system, making the press more of a farm implement.  As such, it might be better targeted to a farm audience and that's who buys oilseed presses.

I suspect the electrical option would be more efficient in terms of work done for fuel burned. But I really don't know how efficient a hydraulic system would be in moving  power around. How lossy would a pump to motor setup be relative to a genset?  (I know direct coupled would be the most efficient, but as described above I have compelling reasons not to do that)

That's all.  Looking forward to your ideas.

Thank you.

Russell Groves

Other Slow Speed Diesels / Lister HR
« on: March 14, 2006, 03:38:52 PM »
I have a line on Lister HR2 and HR3 diesel engines. They are ex-oilfield, aircooled, governed from 700 to 2200 rpm.  Thirstier than the CS, rated at .38 lbs/bhp/hr.
Anybody here know about these engines? Sounds like they have a lot of history in marine usage too.



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