Office of Campus Sustainability
Alternative Fuel: Specialized Equipment
|Tanks: The additional tanks were fabricated by our team. Each tank is made from two stainless steel tanks, one inside another, with a 1-inch layer of fiberglass board between the tanks to serve as an insulator. As well, we added a dial thermometer and one fuel level indicator to each tank. Inside the tank is a 20 foot long, ½-inch wide copper tube connected to the radiator to maintain the oil at a usable temperature.|
|3-way valve: Our team found the NAPA Echlin 3/8-inch Y valve to meet our needs.|
|Temperature float switch: This switch is different from the temperature gauge, dial thermometer, used on the tank. It is connected to the relay to recognize when the vegetable oil is ready to be used.|
|Relay: The NAPA lighting 12V-192 D relay is connected to a tank temperature sensor and the 3-way valve to switch from diesel to vegetable oil when its temperature reaches (140oF; 60oC).|
|Cube relay timer: This timer is used to allow the engine to continue running after the vegetable oil tank is shut off and diesel fuel is powering the motor. The purpose of this is to purge the vegetable oil from the engine with diesel fuel before ceasing operation for the day, since vegetable oil may “gel” otherwise. The diesel fuel should purge the oil from its system. The timer can be timed between 1 to 600 Seconds (10 minutes). From numerous test runs, we have determined that 10 minutes is long enough to flush the engine.|
These findings were determined by our team after trying several prototypes. Our Technical Team consists of experienced mechanics and electricians. It is headed by Scott Euler and includes Jeremy Bechstein, William Conine, Steve Lashaway and Jeff Webb.