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Small Chinese Diesel Heaters

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beech1948

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I have been following the rise in popularity of these for a while and am thinking of using one to heat my workshop. They claim to run at 5Kw output. Workshop is 14ftx43ft.

Has anyone had any experience of these and was it +ve or -ve. Regards

Al
 

sunnybob

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You need to be very aware that burning diesel gives off carnigen loaded fumes. Thats why the world is getting rid of deisel engined cars.
Also if you have blocked up all the vents in your workshop you could die of suffocation before the cancer gets you.

Can you tell I'm not a fan of them? #-o
 

Just4Fun

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I know nothing about diesel heaters but I wonder how they compare to the old paraffin heaters we had when I was a kid. With those there always seemed to be a lot of condensation problems in the room, which is not what you want in a workshop full of tools that can rust. Is that likely to be a problem with the diesel heaters?
 

novocaine

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We had a real one in the van (before you could get them for cheap) made by webesto (same one's you will find in ambulances). The diesel is burned in a combustion chamber separate to the air chamber, so you aren't blowing diesel in to the space you are breathing from (exhausts outside), it's also a tiny tenny little bit of diesel they burn.

not sure about the Chinese one's as I'm yet to play with one, but assuming they meet the required safety standards and have good separation and isolation between the combustion chamber and the air path then go for it.

Heated the van up rather nicely and I think it was something like 2kw we had. Oh and they've been used for years in campers and as I said, ambulances.
 

AndyT

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Lorries, camper vans and boats have used diesel heaters from Webasto or Eberspacher for many years.
Cheap Chinese copies are now getting attention from people whose eyes light up at the big difference in price.
Discussion often focuses on the risks associated with diy installation of a bare unit, where the user has to successfully find a way to fit the heater so it's safe. That means fixing it to something permanent where it can't be dislodged accidentally, providing safe storage and delivery of fuel and routing a dangerously hot exhaust away from dust and combustible material.

Here's one such discussion with a video as well.

https://www.canalworld.net/forums/index ... amps-used/
 

Phil Pascoe

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The problem I found with heating (a pot belly) was that it caused condensation because it was intermittent. Unless you were thinking to keep your heating going full time I suspect you might find the same, although the temperature variation would be quicker and greater with a stove.
 

Rorschach

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I use an inverter Paraffin heater in my workshop. It's nice but still not cheap to run compared to other methods, though cheaper than electric I would say. I wouldn't buy another if it broke however.
 

Ring

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When I was an ambulance driver we had the Ebersparcher heaters and they where great and indecently the new Euro 6 engines are 0% emissions so go figure why they are banning them.
 

Tasky

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Friend of mine uses a large diesel heater in his garage (professional mechanic) and they have no problems with rust, despite there being tools and bare metal all over the place.
His is big enough that you'd think it came off a jet fighter, though...
 

beech1948

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sunnybob":yn8ytcv4 said:
You need to be very aware that burning diesel gives off carnigen loaded fumes. Thats why the world is getting rid of deisel engined cars.
Also if you have blocked up all the vents in your workshop you could die of suffocation before the cancer gets you.

Can you tell I'm not a fan of them? #-o
sunnybob,

Not helpful as you are making a number of erroneous assumptions.
1) Heater is a sealed unit
2) Heater has an external exhaust
3) Intake air and outtake air are separate from the exhaust
4) Can be arranged to have air in/out from shop and exhaust and diesel feed to be from outside

Doubt that this would suffocate me.
 

beech1948

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AndyT":1okh3cc4 said:
Lorries, camper vans and boats have used diesel heaters from Webasto or Eberspacher for many years.
Cheap Chinese copies are now getting attention from people whose eyes light up at the big difference in price.
Discussion often focuses on the risks associated with diy installation of a bare unit, where the user has to successfully find a way to fit the heater so it's safe. That means fixing it to something permanent where it can't be dislodged accidentally, providing safe storage and delivery of fuel and routing a dangerously hot exhaust away from dust and combustible material.

Here's one such discussion with a video as well.

https://www.canalworld.net/forums/index ... amps-used/
The evidence I've seem suggests they work and work well.

I am looking at Webasto, Erb......(spelling) as well as the Chinese versions. For me its not about price of the unit but trying to avoid the crippling cost of heating my workshop this past year based on using a large gas tank next to the w/shop.

Most of my work does not slow down much for winter so being able to use glue, stains etc is essential.

I have seen a video of one of these diesel heaters arranged outside the workshop high up on a wooden wall....mine is brick. Input air from workshop/output heat into workshop/ diesel from an external tank close to heater/external exhaust.

Seems to be quite logical.

Comparison with the old paraffin burners which produced water and rusted tools is non-existent.

I have seen a few bits of video which measured the output of particles from diesel exhaust at 12"/300 mm from the end of the exhaust which indicate a very clean burn. That clean burn can be further improved by a high burn rate for 15 minutes and then putting the device into shut down mode.

Negatives which I have gathered seem to be:-
1) Noisy fuel pumps
2) Noise from hot air input to heated space
3) Need to refill the 10 gal diesel container
4) Device can become full of carbon deposits if high burn rate then shutdown is not followed

Costs on a medium setting seem to be about 3 days per litre of diesel.

Positives
1) Its old technology and has been used on lorries, ambulances, RV, etc for many years
2) Lower costs compared to my propane tank and electricity
3) Can be mounted outside
4) Basic items to mount it and route air is provided in the kits.

So any actual experiences of using in a workshop.

Al
 

TFrench

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There was a recent thread on here where someone had fitted one. Can't remember who though! I'd be tempted as I dont really have space for a stove. Wouldn't really want it to get warm in there, just maintain a constant temperature to prevent rust.
 

siggy_7

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I installed one of these and wrote about it here: oil fired heater thread. Overall I'm happy with it so far. Your workshop is a fair bit bigger than mine - I wouldn't expect it to work miracles - but it would certainly be capable of keeping a well-insulated workshop at an acceptable working temperature if you were to leave it running for long periods. For a quick blast to warm up a large heavy concrete building though you're much better off with a space heater. Depends what you are looking for.
 

worn thumbs

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I would expect using red diesel or heating oil would be a fair bit cheaper than running your workshop heater on white diesel.Given the earlier reference to three days on a litre,even white diesel wouldn't be ruinous.This thread has certainly got me thinking as the workshop is unpleasantly cold and damp for three or four months every year.I currently have 89% humidity showing on my weather station with an air temperature of seven deg C and its probably not helping having a river just over a hundred yards away.The modest running cost of one of these heaters would speed up my paint drying times and might well be useful with reducing the rust I inevitably find on tools left out.I just need to find the space and do some homework on what type of hardware is needed.
 

beech1948

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Rorschach":1ki4x2ww said:
If you had gas before, how will diesel be cheaper?
Good question. I'm still doing the math re my gas heating but diesel at £1.30 l will be cheaper than my gas set up. One issue is that at 14ftx43ft my workshop might need 2 diesel heaters as its equivalent to a big 3 car garage in space at 582 sq ft.

My costs for gas (propane) last year ( xmass to xmass) was around £1450 to £1550. A little high maybe but due to the vagaries of buying as it got cold again and missing the cheaper summer prices in 2017.

In terms of costs then the order of merit for heating is:-

electricity
Propane
Oil - kerosene
Natural gas
Wood - if you have a source from woodlands

There is also the thermal efficiency of the heaters to be considered as well. My propane is consumed by a 24,000 btu unit.

Webasto and Erspacher (sp) seem really expensive at prices from £700 to £1100 compared to the Chinese equivalent. If however they are better then I will use them.

Going to see a mate who has his Webasto apart for a look see on Saturday.
 

beech1948

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Rorschach":6josgn4i said:
If you had gas before, how will diesel be cheaper?
I forgot to add:-

Case 1.
Medium heat uses 1 litre every 3 days so 2 litres a week for 50 weeks at £1.30 per litre would cost around £135 per annum.

If I used 2 heaters because of size then cost becomes £270 per annum.

Case 2.

Higher heat uses 2 litres every 3 days. So 4 litres a week. Cost £270.
For 2 heaters cost would be £540.

I still need to work out my propane costs but can work on the real costs I saw Xmas to Xmas.
 

siggy_7

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Not sure where you are getting your fuel consumption figures from? My unit uses around 0.7 litres an hour on high heat and around a quarter of that on low. Given the compact size of the heat exchanger and relatively high exhaust temperature (mine is about 250C, but obviously exhaust flow rate is way way lower than the hot air outlet) I would estimate thermal efficiency to be comparable to a non-condensing boiler, maybe 70-80%. For a workshop application, making the heat exchanger bigger per kW would help efficiency but as they are designed for installs in vehicles where space is at a premium they are a bit undersized for optimal efficiency.

I think they're a good choice if you have access to cheap fuel (red diesel or heating oil) but make less sense otherwise.

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Rorschach

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I am very dubious this is going to work out cheaper than other methods.

Also is there is any insulation in your shop at all?
 

siggy_7

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My garage is double skin concrete block with an insulated cavity, bare concrete floor and no roof insulation. The heater on full blast raises the temperature at about 2C/hr (it's a lot of thermal mass!). Once up to temperature, the heater sits on low for I would guess 80% of the time.

The best way of thinking about it is in terms of cost per kWh of heat. At a guess of 5kW of useful heat output and 0.7l/h of fuel, at 50p/l (I have oil fired heating so ready supply of heating oil) it's costing me about 7p/kWh of heat. Using electricity would be about double that, so for me it's cost effective. If you had to run it on fuel with road duty I reckon it's comparable or maybe more expensive than electric, so not worth it. In that situation, I would look at air source heat pumps.

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