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Dickinson Diesel Furnaces - has any tried bio-fuel alternates ?

Old 12-13-2018, 08:19 AM
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Default Dickinson Diesel Furnaces - has any tried bio-fuel alternates ?

We run our Dickinson Alaska all winter long, it gives great heat , and it's great to have an alternate if/when the electricity goes and the
heat generated from it is hard to beat.
I'm curious if anyone using one of the many fine diesel fuel heating devices available with bio-diesel fuels ? are modifications required to the unit itself
or is it a matter of simply introducing the new fuel gradually ?
curious about making the transition and wondering what all is involved - thoughts, comments and redirects all appreciated

thanks
Marc
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Old 12-13-2018, 09:14 AM
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not sure if this applies but my dad ran bio-diesel in one of his tractors. worked great when he used the tractor every day. he made the mistake of letting it sit unused for a few weeks. turned in to a nightmare. we replaced the fuel tank, all fuel lines, rebuilt injector pump and injectors to run true diesel. in talking to the injector rebuild tech he told me that our story was very common. the gunk from the bio diesel builds up when the machine is unused.
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Old 12-13-2018, 09:36 AM
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Very pertinent I think HuntersDad, In our case we turn the furnace on mid november and run it till April though so
perhaps the thing to do at the end of season is to run some pure diesel through it before shut down . Good to know.
and it makes sense too, all that bio-matter left to sit will do the same thing in your fuel system as it does in your fridge
when you leave it too long !
good point
marc
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Old 12-14-2018, 09:20 AM
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According to the manual, "Use only #2 diesel, #1 stove oil or kerosene. The valves are factory calibrated to #2 diesel; if #1stove oil or kerosene is preferred, the valves can be re-calibrated to suit those viscosities."

I'm not sure how biodiesel compares to those. It seems like it would be ok, but I'd contact them before I'd use it.
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Old 12-14-2018, 04:51 PM
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I may be wrong, but I thought that biodiesel has less energy density than proper petro-diesel. This implies some reduction in power output. Why do you want to do this (just curious)?

Tony.
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Old 12-14-2018, 05:55 PM
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as little fuel as a dickinson burns . . . why even chance it?

everybody I know runs stove oil
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Old 12-17-2018, 11:29 AM
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i'm mainly motivated by an interest in reducing the amount of fossil fuels i'm burning .
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Old 12-17-2018, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by marcrbeaudry View Post
i'm mainly motivated by an interest in reducing the amount of fossil fuels i'm burning .
A blanket, perhaps?
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Old 12-17-2018, 11:53 AM
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consumption is about 50 gallons every 30 days at the moment - typically at it's coldest the stove will use closer to 80ish gallons a month .
it's mainly as a fuel source alternate - recognizing that vege oil gives off less heat than actual diesel
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Old 12-17-2018, 12:25 PM
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Those things can be finicky when the viscosity of fuel changes. I would guess that the viscosity of a bio-fuel would change more than diesel with thermal fluctuations.
Maybe a second fuel system with a bio-fuel tank inside ( but not near the heater ) so that its viscosity remains more constant and you can light and shut down your stove with diesel utilizing the pre-existing fuel system.
You're making use of a lot of BTUs, what are you heating a cabin or a live aboard?
Gerald
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Old 12-17-2018, 12:33 PM
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a live-aboard yes, maintaining the exisitng diesel system is essential as well - agreed, now the next trick - where do people actually purchase bio-fuel ??!
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Old 12-17-2018, 01:43 PM
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McDonald's?
Gerald
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Old 12-17-2018, 04:17 PM
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If it was me and my family, stick with diesel. Bio fuel has a lot of variables and when it goes wrong, you are plain cold. The only way I would go that route is if I had no money and the crap was free.
You need to keep bio fuel heated, filtered and replace your fuel filters often, too.

I hope this board has talked you out of this folly.
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Old 12-18-2018, 09:15 AM
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Hello Sharkwaters, no i have to admit it hasn't , you seem to think that filtration and viscosity are offenses to you and your family , why is that ? Being also a person who is concerned for my family and burning fossil fuels when alternates do exist I feel the folly is staying on the couch and judging others rather than actively getting out there and finding solutions - it's a pretty easy little project on top of that . I'll let you know how it goes you might need to try it some day .
cheers
marc
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