Plantoil/diesel conversion basics
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A coolant/fuel heat exchanger is specifically designed to transfer lots of heat from the available hot coolant to the VO fuel passing through it. Heated fuel lines are designed mainly to simply liquefy any VO in them that may have solidified while the engine was not running.

Nearly all heated fuel lines use coolant to warm them. A few have experimented with 12v heated fuel lines but most gave up after less than a year. There have been a few exceptions and I expect to see electrically heated fuel lines available in the next few months. The main problem appears to be the safety hazard concerns associated with heating fuel electrically in "rubber" fuel lines.

Heated fuel pickups and coolant/fuel heat exchangers serve different purposes. Heated fuel pickups are intended to liquefy but not overheat the fuel in VO fuel tanks enough to easily flow out of the tank. Coolant/fuel heat exchangers are intended to bring the VO passing through them to as high a temp as possible using coolant.  FPHEs are among the most basic of components in a modern conversion. I do not consider them an optional component. If however you always expect to have VO that is fully liquid in the lowest temps you drive in a heated fuel pickup may be might heated fuel lines.

Injector line heaters are the only practical component I know of that can heat VO to over coolant temps prior to injection. Formal AND informal research have both indicated that the higher the VO temp prior to injection the more complete combustion occurs. This not only leads to less pollution from VO fuel but also higher fuel efficiency AND most likely longer engine life.

Both direct AND indirect injection engines appear to benefit from injector line heaters. They of course cannot be used on common rail diesels since they do not have injector lines.

Originally Posted by gjain89
I wanted to know the difference between the heated fuel line and the coolant fuel heat exchanger.  I'm guessing the heated fuel line is connected to a 12V supply, right?

Also, can't you just use a coolant fuel heat exchanger instead of the heated fuel pickup?

And if you are residing in place where lowest temperatures will never fall below 55F, what are all of the necessary heating components I should include in my configuration?  Is the FPHE required?

Lastly, do you need injection line heaters for direct injection engines?  Won't the ILHs heat the diesel when its being used as well?

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