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Thread: Old engine oil running a fridge/ freezer?

  1. #25
    Me gone,bye bye.. NomadicRT's Avatar
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    Personally.i think.keep it as simple as electrolux designed it...put the flame where it is already then you know its going to work.You just need a decent burner design,a way of getting the oil to the burner and a way for regulating the burner flame.Youd only need a tank with a couple of litres.of oil as the pilot size flame wouldnt consume vast amounts of oil.The main issue i think would be sooting up of the burner box and flue.
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  2. #26
    Love's the shire Offgrid hero's Avatar
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    Maybe the engine oil might need mixing with something diesel/heating oil/paraffin to thin it so it burns hotter cleaner? Hope not it will start costing money
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    just a simple guy

  3. #27
    Shed Junkie alices wonderland's Avatar
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    You could design and build a bio gas feed for it out of your own poo! Now that would be forward thinking. Keep the gas jet in place. Just harness shit gas. If you can't poo enough, go collect dog shit from your local park or dogshit bin or kennels. I'm sure if you placed a add on freecycle dog owners would save it for you.

  4. #28
    Love's the shire Offgrid hero's Avatar
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    Luckily I'm a massive carnivore I'm told that helps for shit gas quality
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  5. #29
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    What about white spirit to thin it down?
    just a simple guy

  6. #30
    Comfortably Numb Rick69's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by alices wonderland
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    Are you implying that copper rod or copper wire has the similar properties to fibre optics? In that if you put light in at one end of fibre optic you get a equal light out the other end? Or are you saying the heat will travel along the rod, no matter how long a length and it will be the same temperature or very very very much lower temperature at the other end of the rod/wire? Heat loss in copper is high. Just need to get my head aroundyourthinkig.
    That the heat travels along the rod. As the heat output of an oil burner will in all probability be more than required to operate the fridge, losses wont really matter over a few inches, obviously over a distance the heat loss would be considerable. However, If heat loss did become an issue then you could reduce this by insulating the metal.

    Thinking more, if you were to site the burner below and away from the fridge, you could use a small diameter flue and divert some or all of the flue gases over the absorbtion module where the gas flame would originally have been. This would then be exhausted via the original fridge flue.
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  7. #31
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    Originally Posted by Rick69
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    Thinking more, if you were to site the burner below and away from the fridge, you could use a small diameter flue and divert some or all of the flue gases over the absorbtion module where the gas flame would originally have been. This would then be exhausted via the original fridge flue.
    thats the same set up in the YouTube link earlier in the thread. Although it's all the gas and heat direct from the rocket stove.

    Im wondering why most of these fridges fail to function on gas when they still function on 12 volt or mains 240v. Any ideas?
    even a gypsy caravan is too much settling down.

  8. #32
    Love's the shire Offgrid hero's Avatar
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    Maybe a over zealous safety feature in gas mode?
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  9. #33
    Comfortably Numb Rick69's Avatar
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    Maybe the electric element provides more heat?
    An element contained in the housing will transfer, lets say for arguments sake 85% of its heat to the refrigerant mainly by conduction.
    The gas flame if poorly adjusted, in a draught, any corrosion or soot on the transfer surface, etc will lose efficiency pretty quickly maybe transferring 30% of its heat, the rest going up the flue?

    Ill be honest i didnt watch the video as when i read the original post i thought it was referring to running a domestic compressor fridge using a flame which wont work. I will however revisit the earlier posts..
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  10. #34
    Me gone,bye bye.. NomadicRT's Avatar
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    All i can say of my 3 way fridge is the 12 volt option never worked correctly.The 240v packed up after 22 months continuous use and its a sod of a job changing the element without completely removing the fridge...shit job basically.The gas works my fridge and has for 12 years, stsys st 1c in cooler months snd 5 in summer.Once its lit i turn off the electronic reigniter as it drsins the battery over time just being on.
    Years ago i had an old gas fridge made by Gascold which later became Canon.The fridge ran on town gas and was in my parents house when i was a.kiddy...which i converted to run on.natural gas then butane with a flame failure system and rsn for months at a time on a single 32lb / 15kg cylinder in my static when i lived in Wales. The burner principle was the same as the electrolux caravan fridge and uber efficient,even had a freezing compartment....I dont think.theres much wrong with the design...
    Having ssid that a normal domestic compressor fridge are normally quite efficient in terms of heat exchange internally and externally -more so than caravan fridges - and has plenty.of room for being redesigned into a flame heated system and cutting out the compressor module.Theres even a big chunk of space st the bottom rear where the compressor lives to build in the heater it just requires someone to design the heater and pipework and a flue up the back and some refigerant......no ?
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  11. #35
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    I only use my fridge in my trailer in the summer when I've done a big shop for BBQ's or something because it's not really worth the cost of the gas to me , I've lived in this trailer full time for 16 years considering the whole van was 500 I'm always amazed that the fridge always fires up easily on gas and runs perfectly every year, just a shame it's so small two bottles of quite frightening fills it up.but with this potential free ride I might be able to keep a few more things in stock during hot weather.
    just a simple guy
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  12. #36
    Me gone,bye bye.. NomadicRT's Avatar
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    A domestic fridege is bigger and probably easier to work out a way of burning waste oil or some other freebie fuel....My trailer fridge is adequate for me.Id actually be more interested in a wsste oil freezer.Ive even looked st the possibility of using heat pump technology as it can be used for heating and air conditioning/ cooling.Im definitelygoing to build me a solar chest fridge.

    One thing i thought when you said you have access to free waste engine oil ..have you considered getting a wsste oil greenhouse heater and growing more veg in cooler months.You can pick.up the french multifuel oil heaters reasonably cheap.....or have you already got one,?I cant remember now
    Hebridean at heart..everywhere else is just somewhere on the way back there...

  13. #37
    Comfortably Numb Rick69's Avatar
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    Unfortunately the two systems are completely different. You may have some success putting the evaporator from an absorbtion fridge into the cabinet of a compressor fridge and mounting the rest on the back, but converting a compressor one to run on the absorbtion cycle would be at best extremely difficult, and probably nearer impossible.

    Hacking apart the three way and swapping the guts would probably be the way to go, but as nomadicrt has already stated in another thread if you were doing this you would be far better converting a chest freezer cabinet as you want to minimise heat gain which will occur when you open the door. Also the freezer forces you to stack stuff which will reduce air gaps and increase efficiency.
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  14. #38
    Love's the shire Offgrid hero's Avatar
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    I have thought of trying to heat my polytunnel using a small oil burning stove I've got, but the tunnel is nearly dead and when I bother to re-cover it I will be moving it so that's a project for the future,I would also like a freezer but if this works and it's powerful enough it might be a little freezer? When I put my fridge on full tilt on gas the fridge turns into a freezer.
    just a simple guy

  15. #39
    Me gone,bye bye.. NomadicRT's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Rick69
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    Unfortunately the two systems are completely different. You may have some success putting the evaporator from an absorbtion fridge into the cabinet of a compressor fridge and mounting the rest on the back, but converting a compressor one to run on the absorbtion cycle would be at best extremely difficult, and probably nearer impossible.

    Hacking apart the three way and swapping the guts would probably be the way to go, but as nomadicrt has already stated in another thread if you were doing this you would be far better converting a chest freezer cabinet as you want to minimise heat gain which will occur when you open the door. Also the freezer forces you to stack stuff which will reduce air gaps and increase efficiency.
    Ah.ok fair enough.
    Hebridean at heart..everywhere else is just somewhere on the way back there...

  16. #40
    Comfortably Numb Rick69's Avatar
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    Another possible option. Run a diesel engine on the oil, use that to drive either a 240v motor wired as a generator and run a standard fridge, or replace the compressor with a car air con one, regas and drive the compressor from the engine.


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  17. #41
    Me gone,bye bye.. NomadicRT's Avatar
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    I considered that a while ago using an old army diesel that ran on multifuels but got beaten.to the beastie on fleabay
    Hebridean at heart..everywhere else is just somewhere on the way back there...

  18. #42
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    Originally Posted by Rick69
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    Another possible option. Run a diesel engine on the oil, use that to drive either a 240v motor wired as a generator and run a standard fridge, or replace the compressor with a car air con one, regas and drive the compressor from the engine.


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    I like the idea of a engine running off old oil I've watched that video before and the little diesel engine I've got on a vibrating roller is earmarked for a go at it, but i wouldn't want to listen to it running for ages something like a fridge especially if the fridge will run on a simple wick like flame with no moving parts to think about its got to be a winner.
    just a simple guy

  19. #43
    Love's the shire Offgrid hero's Avatar
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    I'm going to see if this old fridge works on gas in a minute but I've got no gas pipe so I'll have to bodge something up with hosepipe for a test
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    just a simple guy

  20. #44
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    It's up and running on gas I'll wait and see if the refrigeration side of things work, the flame is tiny and goes directly up a round insulated exhaust chamber thing with a handy little twisted bit of copper strip on a length stainless bar inside the chamber for moving up and down to clean the chamber I guess which will come in very handy for soot removal,it looks easier than I expected to marry something up at the burner point I will try and post a photo or two if I can work it out.
    just a simple guy
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  21. #45
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    It works on gas, now comes the tricky bit..
    just a simple guy
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  22. #46
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    I'm almost certain it will work if I can get the fuel to burn like paraffin maybe used cooking oil is thinner or a mix of cooking oil and engine oil?, also I'm getting ahead of myself I know but I've dreamt up another use for the heat produced I'm thinking build a cupboard on top with the exhaust/chimney running through it and I've got myself an airing cupboard
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    just a simple guy

  23. #47
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    just a simple guy

  24. #48
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