Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Engine Conversion: Can Use Straight Vegetable Oil?

A friend of mine recently moved to Vancouver, and she and I have decided that we are going to invest in an old Volkswagen van, convert it to run on vegetable oil, and take it on tours through the mountains with a scooter in tow.
How hard is it to convert an engine to straight vegetable oil (SVO)? Friends of ours switched over the diesel engine (of, coincidentally, a Volkswagen van) in a day or two. You just need a heater—the viscosity won’t be right otherwise—and of course a simple filter for the vegetable oil.

Golden Fuel Systems is an American company that specializes in just such engine conversions, and in this video they exchange a minivan’s gasoline engine for a diesel one, and then convert the diesel engine to run on either vegetable oil or, in a pinch, diesel. Oddly enough, although diesel minivans are manufactured overseas, you can’t get them in Canada or America.... but you can buy them from Japan and have them shipped very inexpensively to Vancouver or Vancouver Island. 
The conversion drastically improves the fuel efficiency of a minivan—if you keep your speed under 75mph, this particular model (the Toyota Previa, 1993) it can get 40 miles per gallon! or 10 miles per Litre or in other words Amazing bio-fuel economy!

and Now for an electric scooter charged with Solar PV.... 

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