Sunday, 11 September 2011

Diesel Heating Fuel

Before I get onto the title subject I must mention an interesting lock encounter during our morning walk.  A fibreglass cruiser was entering the lock when Jan recognised the name – Rangitoto!  Now for those who haven’t been to NZ Rangitoto is a large circular dormant volcanic island easily visible from Auckland.  The couple (Jan thinks the couple were Beryl & Alan) had emigrated to Auckland in the early 60’s before returning to the UK after 14 months.  I can well understand why.  The UK was entering the “swinging 60’s” and a boom period. Whilst NZ was frankly…….. rather dead!

So to our heating considerations.

We’ve already decided on a Hurricane heater for our central heating system and a Lockgate Refleks stove in the saloon.  Both use diesel and Waiouru has been built with dual fuel tanks on the stern for the Beta engine and the Hurricane.  The fuel for the Refleks is going to be located in a fuel tank built into the port cratch locker.  This tank was removed by Ben Harp when he attempted to steal the boat and we now have to reinstate it.

The cratch fuel tank dimensions will be 3’x18”x18” giving a capacity of 190 litres. I’ve specified the stainless steel Refleks model with a window.  The idea is this will enable me to see what’s happening inside the stove and also minimise the amount of polishing (the exterior of the other model is copper).  We’re hoping the heater ring on top can be use to boil the kettle.

The Refleks specifications state fuel consumption is between 0.12 and 0.36 l/hr.  If we plan on running the stove 16 hours daily during winter then a full tank of fuel should last between 33 and 99 days.  For the remainder of the time we will use the Hurricane. 

After reading the installation manual for the Hurricane I believe it can be configured for four separate heating ‘zones’.  It also has a thermostat control and timer.  My idea is to divide Waiouru into four zones.

  1. Calorifier
  2. Back cabin and Galley
  3. Saloon and Bathroom
  4. Bedroom

Actually it might be better to combine the bedroom and bathroom.  The Hurricane will heat the bedroom in the evening (just before going to bed) and during the night.  This would give us a warm bathroom in the morning, along with nice warm towels from the heated towel rail.  I’ve also thought of having a finrad under the bed to both air the stored clothing and provide some warmth during the night.

The Hurricane consumes approximately 0.84 l/hr and obviously produces more heat than the Refleks. 

So unless it was exceptionally cold, the Hurricane would be used to heat the calorifier at preset times during the day and heat the bedroom and bathroom during the night.  During the day the Refleks would heat the saloon, galley and back cabin.

Great theory…. but is it practical!

As for the capacity of the two fuel tanks in the counter at the stern……… Well to be honest; I simply have no idea!  I specified the area be divided  on a 2/3 & 1/3 split for propulsion and heating.


Peter and Margaret said...

The only practical issue I can come up with is cost. At an average of 0.2 l/hr for 16hrs a day on the heater, the cost/day for diesel @85p/ltr=£2.72/day or £19/week. The hurricane, used for the remainder of the time, 8hrs/day@ 0.8 l/hr=£5.44 /day, or £38 /week. The total average heating cost for the week being £57 / week. This is quite expensive in comparison to heating an average house, but I don't know if any other way would be cheaper. I got a similar shock when I worked out the cost of running the diesel Webasto, but it is still cheaper than the gas fired Aldi, which gobbled a full 13kg gas cylinder over a couple of days in constant use. I estimate from memory the coal fired heater uses 1 sack of fuel per week, which again from memory is around £10. The cheapest full time use of our heating in the coldest weather would then be 30 mins morning and evening on the Webasto, to boost the daily hot water, and cabin heat generally, backed up by full time use of the Squirrel stove.

Tom and Jan said...

I suspect the hurricane would be going at maximum capacity for the 8 hours during the night. The idea would be to set it on a low temperature and only heat the bedroom.
My assumption is you are correct about the consumption of the stove although it is rated at 4kW which is probably too much heat for the galley and saloon.
Worst case scenario is to only use the stove at £19 max per week (I hope).
Oh, there will be some days when we cruise so the heating will be in the coast of propulsion.

Robbo said...

Even though the Hurricane does drink quite a bit, it also put's out more than enough heat than you'll need, so will be cycling off/on once everything's upto temperature. The running costs of the Hurricane and the Refleks will be very similar, and the Hurricane may be even cheaper if your planning to zone it.

Tom and Jan said...

Well that's very positive news. Seems as if we might be on the right track!

Tim Sinclair said...

> This would give us a warm bathroom in the morning, along with nice warm towels from the heated towel rail...


I have just replaced my towel rail with a radiator (and fitted ordinary rail above). The towel rail warmed the towel slightly but left the bathroom stone cold.

Like Peter and Margaret, I have a Webasto fed from the engine fuel tank. I was wondering whether others ignore the Webasto warning not to use diesel with any additives, which we are now being urged to use to combat the bug-thriving, pipe-rotting, filter-blocking FAME that's meant to be a substitute for sulphur.


Tom and Jan said...

Yes, I can see the heater (whatever type) in the bathroom needs to have sufficient capacity (kW) to heat the room.

Peter and Margaret said...

So far I have managed to avoid using diesel with FAME in the tank - it is still available if you look out. I am a member of RCR, and they recommend a product I think is called diesel 16 as being the best additive to combat the effects of the new fuel, if there is no alternative, without adverse effect on other systems.