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Old 01-02-2017, 02:18 PM   #11 (permalink)
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You're right, a triac would most likely fail short.

I think you're making it too complicated, though. Why not start with a 2000w/240v element. It will have 1/4 power at 120v. Now it's 500w. Throw a diode in, and it's only getting power half the time, so now it's 250w. If that's not low enough, then put two in series instead, and you have 125w.

If you're talking lower power like this, I'm not sure I see much need to bother with immersed elements. I'd slap some PTC heater elements on the outside, possibly insulate it, and call it done.

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Old 01-11-2017, 12:21 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Another reason for the oil immersion heater is about this time last year it was about 0F. I cranked up my 7.4L and it was knocking really bad. Before I fired it up I had ran the 5,500w coolant heater for the normal amount of time, then continued to run it for about 5 minutes. Because I thought it might be air in the lifters. After it didn't go away I figured it could be a rod bearing.
A few days later when it was 40F I went to fire it up to trouble shoot the knock and it was gone.
It was a collapsed lifter that was full of air.

Later when I tore the engine apart I found an air bleeding lifter oil galley plug had been clogged up with a chunk of oil sludge. So the air could only escape from the lifter oil galley when it was some what mild out.

So cold oil does you no favors.
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Old 01-16-2017, 02:40 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Running a heating element at a lower voltage is how I'd run it at lower than rated power. I once ran a 25v solar panel directly to a toaster oven element. It was giving off heat, maybe 110 degrees.
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Old 01-16-2017, 10:10 AM   #14 (permalink)
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That's the plan. 36 to 48 volts.

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