Solar Preheat Oil
by Rick da Tech of B100 Supply
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Use Solar Preheating to liquify oils before filtering and processing. There three methods that are in use by homebrewers.
1. Paint a 55-gallon drum black and sit it in the sun. This works really well in the summer. This calls for moving drums full of oil, which can be a problem for some. Methods of moving full drums of vegetable oil include tilt and roll, using a drum truck ($150 and up) or a drum dolly ($30 and up). A drum dolly is inexpensive but requires an even surface and is difficult to move from drum to drum. A drum truck is expensive, but does not need an even surface and can quickly be moved from drum to drum.
2. Build a solar bucket or drum box. This works year round.
5 gallon solar box.
110 gal cone bottom solar box.
Both can be found at http://www.localaction.biz
3) Use a solar water heating panels. This method seems to be used mostly to heat clean oil for processing and can be used to get oils up to reaction temp.
discussion using solar panel to heat WVO.
another thread on using solar panels
$25 Solar Box that holds 2 55-gallon drums:
2 sheets 4x 8 x ½ Styrofoam insulation
1 clear plastic sheet 60 x 48
1 roll duct tape
1 can black paint
1) Cut one Styrofoam sheet in half one half will be the bottom and the other half the back
2) Cut the second sheet in quarters 2 x 4
3) Cut one of the 2 x 4 panels from corner to corner making 2 equal sized triangle shaped pieces.
4) Tape the pieces together using duct tape. Leaving the back piece taped only on the top to act as a door for the box. see attachment
5) Paint the inside black
6) Cover the opening with clear plastic.