Arctic Vegwerks - Alaska VegOil SystemsSupporting and encouraging the use of waste vegetable oil, fish oil
and local sustainably grown oil crops as fuel.
We offer straight vegetable oil (SVO) conversion services for Southcentral Alaska.The No-Frills Alaska Special conversion on a 1992 VW Golf, with an early 1981 1.6NA diesel engine.
The extra long hose-on-hose allows filling the 12 gallon Tempo PBW tank outside the vehicle, avoiding those inevitable spills. The custom hose-on-hose design plans can be purchased from Vegoil Conversions.
We use the Minnesota made Arctic-Fox brand HOTFOX heated pickup to heat the oil in the tank. We source our HOTFOX through PlantDrive.com. The special fittings are from Parker. The HOTFOX works like the flame on a candle. Just as a candle heats and melts wax which pools around the flame, the hotfox only heats the oil around the pickup, and lets the thicker stuff slowly slump to the middle. We believe this system is more efficient than trying to heat the whole tank.
The hose is routed partially inside the vehicle for extra protection from Alaska winters.
Here is one possibility for interior hose routing. We made as few modifications to the vehicle as possible.
The hose passes through the firewall, completely protected from the cold Alaska winter winds. We used 1/4" fuel line, sliced down the middle, and secured with zipties to protect the hose from the sharp metal. Hose for the vacuum gauge and the electrical wires are also run through this opening.
This vehicle had plenty of space on the front passenger side, so just the coolant hoses and battery wires are routed to the driver's side of the engine.
The coolant lines in the HOH tap into the heater core lines. Hot coolant comes from the head, and loops in 3 parallel circuits. One, through the heater core, Two, Through 5/8" line into the Flat Plate Heat Exchanger (FPHE), and Three, through the HOH lines. We use brass PEX 3/4" fittings to tap into the heater lines. The flow is limited through the FPHE by a 3/4" PEX ball valve to keep enough coolant flowing back to the tank.
First, the fuel line from the HOH enters the FPHE on the bottom, and exits the top, allowing air to purge from the slow moving fuel. The hot coolant enters the top and exits the bottom, giving a counter-current flow. 16 plate FPHEs (larger for trucks) can be obtained through Vegoil Conversions or OmarSales.com.
Next, the pre-heated vegoil then flows to the filter. The heated filter plans can be purchased from Vegoil Conversions Larger trucks would need a larger filter, such as the VORMAX from PlantDrive.com or the DAVCO filter from Frybrid.com.
From the heated filter the vegoil passes to a 6-port Pollak valve. This switches between the vegetable oil and diesel tanks and also switches the fuel return line so extra diesel fuel and any air bubbles in the system go back to the diesel tank, while the vegoil side is looped back into the vegoil feed, recycling the heat back into the system.
We source our valves, with a handy forgot-to-purge buzzer from PlantDrive.com These plastic bodied 6-port Pollak valve can be upgraded with two 3-port valves such as the Hydraforce valves from Frybrid.com or the new high-flow 1/2" valves from PlantDrive.com.
The fuel then passes through the 12V VEGTHERM (also from PlantDrive.com) self-regulating electric vegoil heater, which is controlled separately from the valve. The VEGTHERM is especially important to heat the first little bit of oil in the lines between the filter and the valve. Finally, the fuel passes through the sight glass. Here we can see if the right fuel is passing through and monitor for air bubbles in the system. Between the VEGTHERM and the sight glass is a brass T fitting to connect the vacuum gauge.
The VEGTHERM and the valves are on two separate toggle switches. The golf had plenty of space in the center console to tuck in all the wires and mount the switches. If the SVO switch is left on when the vehicle is off, an alarm will sound. The vacuum gauge tests for restrictions in the lines. If a line is blocked with cold, solid fuel, or if the filter is plugged, the gauge reading will increase.
Two lights are the only things that tells you there's something different about this dash. The amber light is controlled by a thermoswitch on the VEGTHERM that tells if there is power to the veghterm and if it's at temperature. The green light reminds you that you're running SVO.
Thanks to the Alaska Biodiesel and SVO network for free advice and for connecting straight veg and biodiesel folks in Southcentral Alaska. Alaska VegOil Services is available to convert your diesel today!
We appreciate the research and development that Vegoil Conversions, PlantDrive.com and Frybrid.com have done for SVO conversions. You may be able to save a few dollars (though not much more) buying similar valves, filters and fuel pickups at other places, but please, support these companies and appreciate all the time and effort they have contributed to the SVO community.