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Old 11-10-21, 07:44 PM   #1
Xringer
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Default Diesel Heater for Back-up heat during long grid failures?

I've been watching a bunch of YouTube videos about RV, Truck and Car heaters
https://www.amazon.com/Wayska-Muffle...dp/B08LDV7L1B/
Video: https://youtu.be/BRLgBq8njuY
If it was really an 8KWh, that's 27,297 BTUh
My question is to those people who have also been studying these heaters.
I think this kind of heater might be useful for emergency home heating,
in the event of a prolonged grid failure.


My oil burner uses a lot of electrical power, too much. I have enough back-power to burn oil for about a week, if it's not too cold. (Back-up is a 6 Kwh battery & a gasoline generator). If it was really cold, I would be out of power within a few days.

The 'Chinese Diesel Heater' only uses a small amount of fuel and 12VDC power. My large 12V LA battery bank could run the heater for at least a week, and the 12Vdc battery bank is fed by a 200W PV. (in case of sunny days).
(Main 48 volt 144 AH pack is wired to sump pumps and other critical stuff)

My crazy idea is to feed the Diesel exhaust into the burner's air-input vent. Which is located at the bottom right side of the HS Tarm wood-coal firebox.
Why? Because I suspect the diesel exhaust contains 30% to 50% of the Real heat output of the heater. (Am I wrong?)

If the exhaust contained 8,000 to 13,000 BTUh, it would be able to provide warm water for washing & some space heating using the baseboards in the house. (Hot water heat in free-flow mode uses no circulating pumps).
What we need to avoid at all costs, is deep cold inside the house, that freezes and bursts the baseboard heating pipes.

The normal hot air output of the Diesel heater would be ducted up to the living room, using a (new) floor vent. (I have CO & smoke detectors galore).

My question, is using this heater a bad idea?
Plus, I wonder if it can burn #2 heating oil?

I can also burn wood to get by, but wood is also a limited supply.
Now that I'm about to turn 76, I'm thinking of not using wood for heat, unless things get really grim.

Thanks,
Rich

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Old 11-10-21, 09:15 PM   #2
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Consider getting a small diesel generator and replacing the oil burner with the engine exhaust.
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Old 11-10-21, 11:54 PM   #3
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That looks like a monster!

My backup oil boiler is considerably smaller and uses 180W when running.

The only thing that consumes power should be the blower fan when the boiler is actually running. Normally that also runs the mechanical fuel pump so is the only consumer of power. A little bit for the electronic control system but this should be negligible.

It's worth checking out your circulating pump (or pumps) and what that is consuming, especially as it's possibly running 24/7. I recently realized that my pump was a big consumer (4.8kWh/day!) so I changed it for a more modern low energy pump (0.8kWh/day), that made a huge difference.
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Old 11-11-21, 08:22 AM   #4
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My hot water circulating pumps don't need to be running, to get heat.
When I set the system for free-flow, there is enough natural circulation to heat the baseboards, so they won't freeze up.
The heat comes up very slow, but it also doesn't cool down the boiler(76 gallons) as fast.

It's the large AC motor on the burner that uses too much power. It runs the oil pump and blower. The nozzle uses 1 gal per hour. That little Chinese heater can make a gallon last a LOT longer than one hour.
My goal would be to use less electrical power to keep the warm water flowing in the baseboards using the exhaust.
The main heater hot-air output would provide some space heating. It should be enough to keep us warm.
This back-heating mode would not used, until there was an emergency.
A long grid failure, rolling blackouts or when #2 oil prices hits $8 a gallon.
All of these things seem likely to happen before 2024.
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Old 11-11-21, 01:49 PM   #5
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Xringer

Boy that Tarm takes me back!!! Growing up my dad installed one of those dual fuel boilers as heating oil was expensive but that was about all that was available to us. Dad with us 3 boys would spend about 1 to 2 weeks cutting and splitting wood for the combination furnace to heat our home. Fond memories LOL chainsaws that wouldn't start, all the sharpening "by hand" ,truck loaded with wood breaking through the frozen ground!!! stuck in the middle of the bush in the dark. Man good times!!!

As you are very aware the Tarm is rocking some Mesozoic tech. It was new tech after coal.!!
All kidding aside it kept you and your family warm for years!!! They don't make things like that anymore. Todays furnaces become almost obsolete after 10 yrs.

Your query on the Chinese diesel heaters does have merit however its longevity and noise would cause me pause.

My friend and I had a conversation on his failing boiler and he changed it out to a tankless water heater with fantastic results. These units hang on the wall and are nearly silent. This with a small circle. pump was his primary heat source for years afterward.

For you to change to one of these however in propane maybe. There are a plethora made now from about $150 and up.(although I would maybe choose a more of a name brand) The neat thing is they are very efficient and operate on batteries so completely autonomous. One of these with a efficient circulation pump you can heat the whole house completely for a month on your LA battery set up. Depending on how prepper you want to go will depend on your propane storage. A system only for back-up a couple BBQ tanks. For a dual fuel system to pair with your heat-pumps maybe a 200lb tank serviced by a supplier.

to sum up:

A quiet safe system to heat the whole home
Capable to operate on a tiny fraction of electrical energy off grid.
Extremely budget friendly for equipment costs.
DIY install approved for mature eco-renovators

Randen
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Old 11-14-21, 07:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xringer View Post
My crazy idea is to feed the Diesel exhaust into the burner's air-input vent. Which is located at the bottom right side of the HS Tarm wood-coal firebox.
Why? Because I suspect the diesel exhaust contains 30% to 50% of the Real heat output of the heater. (Am I wrong?)

If the exhaust contained 8,000 to 13,000 BTUh, it would be able to provide warm water for washing & some space heating using the baseboards in the house. (Hot water heat in free-flow mode uses no circulating pumps).
What we need to avoid at all costs, is deep cold inside the house, that freezes and bursts the baseboard heating pipes.

The normal hot air output of the Diesel heater would be ducted up to the living room, using a (new) floor vent. (I have CO & smoke detectors galore).

My question, is using this heater a bad idea?
Plus, I wonder if it can burn #2 heating oil?
I see two problems.
1: the exhaust will foul up your burner and whatever else is in the inlet housing. if it's like the riello burners there's other things in there that won't be happy.
2: I don't think you'll have enough heat for a decent draft. CO detectors wait far too long to go off to avoid false alarms. they go off when you NEED TO LEAVE, not at the first sign of stupid.


#2 and diesel are very similar weights, I don't anticipate a problem for the burner.


why not try some kind of DIY co-gen setup? the smallest water cooled diesel/gas genny you can find, and put an HX in the water loop for you to steal heat from.

assuming you use the heat and power, you're now up to 60%+ efficiency, even if you use none of the exhaust heat.
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Old 12-06-21, 07:55 PM   #7
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Default The diesel heater works!

Installed it temporally, since it's only to be used during long power failures.
On Low Heat, it heats up my workshop pretty well.
On medium high heat it's heats the shop faster. No CO detected. No smell.
So far I like it. Maybe I can rig one of these up for the fire-place!

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