Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Winterizing Fuel for 2007-2008

The last two days have seen cold temperatures around the cloud point of biodiesel fuel.
Unfortunately several coop members have experienced problems starting their cars. Check the message board of the Yahoo! group to follow the complete thread. Other members have experienced poor engine performance in several makes and models of car, as well, pointing to the fuel as the culprit.

A common concern raised is water in the fuel or fuel storage tank.

We need volunteers to remove the sludge discovered by John Shepley and McComas Fuel's delivery man/tester recently.

Can we do this 'cleaning' before delivery of kerosene to winterize the current batch of B99?

Saturday 130pm Mark Eckley will arrive at Mill Valley to commence sludge removal.
Any other volunteers?

Here is correspondence about the tank (digested by your faithful secretary)
Shepley wrote>>
Here is Info from Ted Rouse, where he asked Doug (the guy who provided our tank) about it's history.

Can we organize some volunteers to look into opening the drain cock on the tank and removing some sludge? Other near-term solutions would be to rais the intake to about 3-6 inches off the bottom and to transfer the contents (The upper, presumably clean fuel) to another tank or drums to separate it from the sludge.

Ted Rouse wrote>>[mailto:wr@...]

Here is Doug’s response….
tank was cleaned and visually inspected prior to delivery. sludge in the bottom is inevitable in a new tank. That is why there is a drain cock in the bottom to drain water relatedstuff out. doug

Monday, October 22, 2007

Biodiesel Mechanic Suggestion

I thought I might pass around my very happy last trip to the mechanic. I needed a lot of work on my '95 E300D, it just kept running so I kept deferring my trip to the mechanic. I got several estimates and my trusty mechanic had given me the lowest bid. He did much more work than originally planned (all well needed) and still came in $150 under his original already low bid on the work. When I picked up the car friday evening it ran like a top.

So if anyone is looking for a mechanic I highly recommend Brian and his crew at Mt. Washington Autohaus. I have had 5 different vehicles worked on at Autohaus over the last 10+ years but this last trip takes the case. And this trip was for my diesel Mercedes and I knew I was going to spend some cash for this trip.

He seems to really know his cars and he has quite a few diesels through his shop.

When I picked up the car friday there was an early 90's Mercedes TurboDiesel for sale parked on his lot. It looks nice and is owned by another customer of the shop. If anyone knows anyone looking for one drive by see if if you like it.

If you are looking for a mechanic who knows his diesels go to Autohaus. They are on Falls Rd. by the Kelly Ave bridge.



Thursday, October 18, 2007

October 13, 2007. Topic 4

4-Fueling Kiosk setup
Please visit
for all the details.

$2500 budget was proposed by Ilya Goldberg and Andrew Gellene for a credit card/PIN system that will operate on battery power. A card swipe, keypad and LCD screen will all be accessible on the fueling cage. We will use the current pump and tank.
The kiosk will allow members to purchase fuel anytime they wish.
Measure to provide Ilya Goldberg $2500 to purchase components and build kiosk was passed, 6-0.
John Shepley has permission to provide funds to Ilya Goldberg upon request.

Important note to membership:
The cooperative anniversary date is coming soon. Prepare to pay your annual dues for 2007-2008 on your next visit to Mill Valley.

When the kiosk becomes operable, members will be able to register a PIN with their name. Once registered members can purchase fuel with any valid credit card bearing their name. Entering the PIN will activate the pump. Swiping the card will allow the cage to be opened and then member can dispense fuel. A flow sensor will calculate the total purchase price and charge the credit card swiped.

'One Day Wonders' can try our biofuel by paying $10 online and register for a 24 hour PIN. The $10 would be credited to their first purchase. The board assumes the first purchase will convince the Wonder to return and join the Coop as a regular member, for the $30 annual fee.

October 13, 2007. Topic 3

3-McComas heating oil 'partnership' research, signage and referrals
Kickback of 1 cent per gallon has been offered by McComas Fuel Co. for referring biofuel customers for home heating oil.
Coop would display a sign at the kiosk. Board agreed the sign must be made by McComas themselves.
Currently McComas includes a Baltimore Biodiesel logo on their ads run in City Paper.
Discussion of level of kickback revealed lack of knowledge of the current home oil heating fuel market that might be interested in biofuel blends.

Measure to research the market over the coming winter and display a sign rendered by McComas at our booth in Mill Valley was passed, 5-1.

October 13, 2007. Topic 2

2-Volunteer perks
4 incentives were discussed
a.volunteer 2x per year and receive fuel at cost. Cost was not specified. fill up for whoever is volunteering that day.
c.point system based on hours worked, with a 'wage' value kept track of.
d.percentage of weekly profit credited to volunteer.

Measure D level was suggested, after consideration of $200 weekly profit.
20% of profit should be credited to volunteer(s). 2 volunteer slots per week.

$20 merchandise will be offered to volunteer on the day of work.
'Merchandise':Fuel, membership fee offset, bumper stickers, etcetera.
Measure D passed, 5-0

October 13, 2007. Topic 1

1-Winterization of fuel
B50 blend suggested 50%kerosene/50%biofuel.

Date of blend introduction between this week (October 20) and week of November 10.
No point person was named.
No vote was taken.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007

Meeting Notes October 13, 2007

October 13, 2007
Mill Valley Center, 11am
6 members in attendance.
4 issues discussed and 3 resulting measures were voted on.
1-Winterization of fuel

2-Volunteer perks

3-McComas heating oil 'partnership' research

4-Fueling Kiosk setup

Details are in separate entries to the blog, above.
Thanks to members for any and all comments!

Next meeting, November 10, 2007.
1030am, Mill Valley Center.