What clever ideas have you had?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat & Introductions' started by Luke Elliott, Apr 24, 2014.

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  1. Luke Elliott

    Luke Elliott Active Member
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    I started in this business right about the time that innovation has lead to a dramatic change in how we clean these days. The past ten years has seen the WFP, gutter vac and now indoor kits like the dragonfly. Each of those individual kits has seen massive development stages. It's all made our lives easier or at least allowed us to work quicker.

    I've been meaning to join a window cleaning forum for ages to share my ideas and see what other people are up to.

    So what ideas have you had that relate to work and in some way help you out? It doesn't have to be equipment. Could be book keeping, vehicle, whatever....

    I'm a bit of an enthusiastic home mechanic so my ideas have related to my truck which I use for work. The first one, can't lay claim to this idea as it's been done before, but it was to fit a conversion kit to my truck to allow me to run on 100% neat vegetable oil. As I drive 30/45 minutes for the majority of my regular routes, and anything up to an hour for one off larger jobs, it makes a lot of sense. It saves me a fortune. The vehicle, has a small 22 litre diesel tank in the bed. The vehicle starts on diesel and then as soon as the coolant gets up to 60 degrees it switches over to the veg tank. Which is now the main fuel tank. If you are going to leave the vehicle for long enough that the coolant will drop below 60degrees then you must purge the fuel pump by switching back to diesel for two minutes before you switch off the engine. A few more hoops to jump through but I've been ruining for two years like this now and love it. It typically costs me 75 - 80p/litre for veg.


    My second idea was to build a DIY heated system for the WFP. I can't use any off the shelve add on heater units (that I'm aware of) as for more important reasons I use a pick up truck for work, not a van. The off the shelve systems are too tall for my truck bed. So I have one of two ways to do it with some interesting perks.

    One was to dispense with my spare wheel under the truck. I don't use it as I have over size tyres so it's just dead weight. Fit an LPG donut tank and feed that to a heater in the bed. That would heat my water in the usual way. But, seeing as the donut tanks are bigger than anything you would use for just heating water, you could then fit an electrically controlled valve that would allow you to close the feed to the heater and open an LPG feed into the engine. Not so critical for me as I am already running on veg but if you have a diesel vehicle you can still run up to 30% LPG and get a saving from it.

    Second method was to use a Webasto diesel water heater to heat the water. Basically it's a diesel powered flame heater used on boats. I have a diesel tank already of the veg system so that can double for the water heater. But I would fit a few long flat plate heat exchangers to the walls of the bed. This would allow the hot water to circulate in a manor similar to a central heating system in a house. The heat exchangers acting as radiators. This this then gives me a great place to dry out wet scrims in the winter time as well as assisting in drying up any water spillages. I was then tempted to extend the coolant system of the truck into the second side of the heat exchangers. Again on a closed loop with valve so that the loop can be shut off and the truck revert to stock state. This way the webasto system can do what it was designed for which is keep the engine warmer for longer in winter. But also means you can heat the webasto system and thereby your water for free while driving along.

    Either of these hot water ideas is no further than 'drawing board' but I will get to one of them in time.
     
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  2. Tuffers

    Tuffers Hero
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    Can't get anywhere near what you've done, but I did fit an led light in my van that runs off an old motorbike battery :)
     
  3. Luke Elliott

    Luke Elliott Active Member
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    :)Haha, what's the led for?
     
  4. Tuffers

    Tuffers Hero
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    Well, it was supposed to floodlight the back of my van when filling my tank on winter nights. A reet load of rubbish it is, plus 4 bulbs in it have gone :thumbsdown:.

    I did my own DIY van mount though :thumbsdown:
     
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