DIY Airlift Oil Pump - Constant Fuel Level System
One question I am often asked is what is the best way to set up a Babington Burner system. There are many way in which to set up a system, some good and some bad so I thought I would share with you my way of setting up the fuel delivery system on a typical Babington Burner system.
The basic components you will require to make a standalone Babington Burner setup are as follows.
The main component in a Babington waste oil burner (The atomising nozzle).
The air compressor should supply air into the nozzle at anywhere from 10 PSI to 80 PSI depending on the type of fuel and desired heat.
Aquarium Air Pump.
Used to supply air to the oil delivery tube in the oil sump (This creates lift for the oil)
The needle valve is used to accurately meter the oil flowing to the Babington Nozzle face.
This can be an oil barrel, steel drum or a fabricated steel container to hold the fuel oil. Do not in any circumstances use anything plastic or combustible, the oil in the following system will heat up whilst operating the Babington Burner as a portion of the oil that is passed over the Babington Nozzle returns to the sump to be recycled.
Below is my diagram of a constant level, airlift oil delivery system with complete recycling of excess oils. Note the once the oil exits the airlift it drops into a cup that feeds the needle valve, this cup is always completely filled leaving the excess oils to spill over back into the oil sump, this allows complete regulation of the oil delivered to the Babington Nozzle via the Needle Valve without any pressure build up. Excess oil delivered to the Babington Nozzle that it not atomised is caught below the Nozzle and returned to the oil sump.
The air compressor that supplies the Babington Burner Nozzle does not have to be huge, the pressure may be relatively high (80PSI Max) but the displacement of air is only small as the atomising hole in the Babington Nozzle face is only 0.020" or 1/4mm.
All the pipe work can be carried out in standard copper tubing, either standard tube and compression joints or microbore flexible copper tubing will suffice. Compression joints are more favourable to soldered joints as the joints may well be subjected to heat in excess of the melting point of the copper soldered joints.
This is the basic setup for a Babington Burner System, there are many more components to consider, an electronic igniter, a shutdown system to cut the oil supply in the event of overheat and an air control valve on the aquarium pump to regulate the air entering the airlift tube.