connect on:
tumblr

BIG TREE & The Green Dream

Introduction:

For any modern band it’s clear that touring is the only way to afford staying in business. Album sales, even for the unsigned or independent artist, no longer produce as much income as they did say, ten years ago. Touring is costly, however. Hotels, gas, food, and equipment add up. But while gas prices have risen two dollars over the past decade, musicians are still making the same amount per gig.

With more musicians on tour than ever before, due to this new do-it-yourself music drive, the carbon footprint of tour vehicles deepens. Some have taken initiative. Huge acts like Dave Mathews Band, Jimmy Buffet, and Neil Young have switched over to eco- friendly busses, nicknamed “grease cars”. Smaller acts have also hopped on the bandwagon, namely California’s Big Tree.

During a fall concert at the Third Annual Harvest Festival at Green Oaks Creek Organic Farm and Retreat in Pescadero, CA, I had a chat with Big Tree’s singer/keyboardist Kaila McKintrye-Bader regarding touring with a veggie van. She said that while the van has overall saved them money and helped them green up their tours, finding clean oil is difficult. Knowing little about what an engine running on vegetable oil meant, I asked to learn more, and was blown away with the complexity of such a simple operation.

I also learned that the main issue with touring in a veggie oil van is that there’s no system for getting grease. “We’ve had to dumpster dive for oil,” Kaila said. “And we often get oil from restaurants, but they have chunks of meat or something in them, and those take forever to filter out.”

As we discussed the situation further, I learned that if a network of businesses that produce oil waste and touring artists with veggie oil engines were to be created, then their carbon footprint would be lightened by nearly 90 percent, and that artists and the businesses would both be saving money.

We had to learn how to filter grease on the fly, between gigs

An Engine Breakdown:

See, as Big Tree taught me, veggie engines aren’t actually engines designed to run on vegetable oil, but are, rather, duel fuel system, or parallel fuel system engines. This means that the engine runs on both diesel and veggie oil. Big Tree's van has a Powerstroke diesel engine and a veggie tank they switch between; it's two separate entities.

“Rudolf Diesel, the inventor of the diesel engine, actually ran his prototype on peanut oil,” Big Tree told me. “So these engines were intended to run on veg from day one.”

The type of oil doesn’t matter. Organic, canola, or olive oil, along with diesel, will power a duel fuel system engine.

Hooking up the engine requires two fuel loops under the car and two solenoid valves that change which fuel source the engine is using. “We start the car up on diesel to let it get hot,” Big Tree explains, “because veg needs to be about 160 degrees to be safe to inject into the engine. Once the van is warmed up, we flip a switch that triggers our solenoid valve to stop drawing fuel from the diesel tank and start drawing it from the veg tank.”

“Nothing crazy happens,” bassist Luke Bace adds. “We’re just suddenly driving on veggie. It actually runs a bit quieter too!”

Grease produces only fifteen percent of the emissions regular gas engines do, and veggie oil has zero sulfur, which, I was told, is the worst emission from diesel engines.

But do grease vans really save money, and are they worth the hassle?

Do The Math:

Big Tree spent $2,200 on converting their engine and $300 on extra gear such as filtration set up. “We were going to go with GreaseCar, but they were an extra thousand, and we couldn’t afford it at the time.” Instead, they went with Patrick Keeney, out of Boston, MA. “He calls himself Green Grease Monkey.”

“We had to learn how to filter grease on the fly, between gigs,” Big Tree recalls. “[Keeney] helped us rig a pretty crude filtration process that included a sock filter, rope, two buckets, and an electric fuel pump.”

“It took a while to learn how to filter without making a huge mess,” they add.

The new fuel lines had to be regularly inspected for air tightness, “and not in the way or vulnerable.”

But, while a year later the engine hasn’t needed any repairs, fuel lines and a solenoid valve have needed replacements, leading up to about a $1,000 dollars in repairs, so not going with GreaseCar, “was a big mistake at the time.”

With their converted engine, Big Tree has clocked in 7,000 miles, getting anywhere from fifteen to twenty-eight miles per gallon on the highway. “The cool thing is, there’s no difference in mileage between diesel and veggie,” and because of that, Big Tree has already saved $2,000 in gas, not to mention that they’ve cut back heavily on emissions.

Totaling about $3,500 to date on converting and maintaining their engine, and subtracting the $2,000 they’ve saved, the remaining $1,500 balance will likely be made back during their spring tour, as an engine needs to be converted only once and they will experience only mild repairs.

The engine has also given the van some quirks. “Some of the biggest problems running on grease have been loss of power during acceleration and the lack of fuel being drawn,” I was told. “We recently solved both problems by installing a new fuel draw that heats the tank as well as pulls fuel.”

The issues likely came from clogs in the old fuel draw, causing less fuel able to be drawn at higher speeds, but “So far so good with the new addition.”

Still, even though Big Tree will be saving money from their converted van, many musicians don’t have $3,000 to drop in one swoop.



Comments  

 
0 # Kerry 2014-03-15 14:16
Could I inquire if you could be ok with payed posts?
All I would need is for you to come up with content and articles on behalf of me and also a back link or mention of my site.

I'm able to compensate you.
 
 
0 # Http://Www. 2014-03-16 08:16
Your write-up demonstrates you really are really literate and able to
write attention-catching posts. Might you write
for others? I could compensate you for the work (per hour, per posting, .etc).
 
 
0 # Ejaculation Guru 2014-03-17 07:19
What's up there.... We've produced a extraordinary SEO solution that might rank
any website in virtually any industry (regardless of whether
a competitive market for instance acai berry) to rank easily.
Bing cannot establish since we utilise distinctive ways to avoid traces.
Are you gonna be looking to experience it without spending a dime?
 
 
0 # Total Wellness 2014-03-17 15:47
Say yes to this review and we'll spare an imaginary critter!
 
 
0 # Fredrick 2014-03-19 11:59
It's wonderful that you are getting thoughts from this piece
of writing as well as from our dialogue made here.
 
 
0 # imgur.com 2014-03-21 19:19
Hi, Neat post. There's a problem together with your website in
web explorer, might test this? IE nonetheless is the market chief and a big component to other people will leave
out your great writing because of this problem.
 
 
0 # thepullyourexbackrev 2014-03-22 08:24
You are so awesome! I don't think I've truly read through anything like this before.
So wonderful to find another person with unique thoughts on this issue.
Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This site is something
that is required on the internet, someone with a bit of originality!
 
 
0 # The Woman Men Adore 2014-03-23 08:21
Help support our cause. Our great friend was just informed they have this.
We desire to show our assistance!
 
 
0 # www.rebelmouse.com 2014-03-23 09:23
I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep it up!

I'll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back later.
All the best
 
 
0 # Grow-Taller-4- 2014-03-23 13:17
Somebody essentially help to make significantly posts I'd state.
That is the very first time I frequented your website page and thus far?
I surprised with the research you made to make this particular put up
amazing. Excellent job!
 
 
0 # Download minecraft 2014-03-23 19:54
It really is crucial for the host to be totally connectable,
so other gamers can join in seamlessly. -Creepers- Creepers are the most annoying of th??? mobs.
You can buy minecraft accounts on the internet however, this will obviously need
which you spend some money.
 
 
0 # Download Magnetic 2014-03-24 10:57
You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to
be actually something that I think I would never understand.
It seems too complex and very broad for me. I am looking forward for
your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!
 
 
0 # Carla 2014-03-25 21:24
Hi, I do believe this is a great web site. I stumbledupon it ;) I am going to revisit yet again since
I book marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.
 
 
0 # Ethan 2014-03-26 00:53
I always spent my half an hour to read this weblog's content daily along with a mug of coffee.
 
 
0 # Casimira 2014-03-27 13:46
I'm a developer and I've just thought of a revolutionary social networking web page.

I'm in the market for 'beta' test candidates to surf and give it a try.
Do you want to sign up? We're going to compensate you.
 
 
0 # TheFatBurningChefRev 2014-03-28 02:44
For the site operator, can I question how do you manage junk posts?

I was wanting to spend mainly for information regarding how
to address it!
 
 
0 # Get The Girl Code 2014-03-28 08:21
Good day, I am a fresh web page designer in the beginning stages and I am
in need of a portfolio. Do you need a web-site design at no cost?
 
 
0 # Oma 2014-03-29 15:51
Hello, I am a fresh, new web developer just starting out
and I require a portfolio. Might you like a website design free
of charge?
 
 
0 # Samantha 2014-03-31 02:18
Hello there! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you
using for this site? I'm getting sick and tired of Wordpress because I've had issues with hackers and
I'm looking at options for another platform. I would be great
if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.
 
 
0 # do eat stop eat Diet 2014-04-01 06:08
Hello, I'm a fresh new web developer only starting and I have to have a portfolio.
How would you like a website design for free?
 
 
0 # http:// 2014-04-04 21:09
Help and support our cause. Our own great friend was just diagnosed with this.
We should display our help and support!
 
 
0 # Does Natural Clear 2014-04-06 12:37
Your piece of writing shows that you're very literate and
able to write attention-catching posts. Do you ever prepare articles for others?
I can also pay you for the work (hourly, per piece, .etc).
 
 
0 # Does Feast Your Fat 2014-04-13 22:43
Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just your articles?
I mean, what you say is important and all. However imagine if you
added some great images or video clips to give your posts more, "pop"!
Your content is excellent but with pics and clips, this
website could certainly be one of the best in its niche.

Fantastic blog!
 
 
0 # Garnet 2014-04-17 03:57
We've been offering Almost a dozen dogecoins to our fortunate
bastard of a webpage operator with the particular prize coupon code.

The final results is usually available in 4 weeks time. The prize code is:
AKCLL2
 
 
0 # Abel 2014-04-20 05:33
Howdy very cool site!! Man .. Beautiful .. Wonderful ..

I will bookmark your website and take the feeds also?
I'm glad to find numerous helpful info here within the put up, we need develop extra techniques on this regard,
thanks for sharing. . . . . .
 
 
0 # mythefatlossfactorre 2014-04-20 12:45
What's up to every one, it's genuinely a nice for me to go to see this
site, it consists of priceless Information.
 

 

all content © 2010-2018
by angelica-music
website by 838
terms of use