We previously wrote about PC911′s plans to expand to Arizona here and now that they are here we decided to pay them a visit. In many ways PC911 is a typical mobile computer repair company, they provide in home residential computer repair services, business services such as network installs, phone systems, maintenance plans, and surveillance systems. What sets them apart is their commitment to reducing their environmental impact. I’ve worked for a mobile computer repair company before and it involves A LOT of driving. In sprawling cities like Phoenix it is easy to drive 100 miles or more a day criss crossing around to different homes and businesses. This is the biggest environmental impact businesses like this have and is where PC911 works the hardest to reduce. They do this by buying used diesel ambulances and converting them to run on waste vegetable oil. Running a vehicle on veggie oil is cleaner than running running petroleum diesel, provides a local use for a waste product, and reduces demand for foreign oil. This also saves the business a lot of money in fuel costs. The $1200 install for the conversion is paid off after only 10 tanks of fuel. Another way PC911 works to reduce their impact is by recycling as much of their waste as possible. They have opted to pay for a recycling dumpster behind their office to accommodate this. The owner of PC911, Chad Stone, also runs his personal vehicles on waste veggie oil, he has a VW TDI and 1984 Mercedes.
We contacted Chad about taking a tour of their office here in Phoenix and met up with him on a Monday morning. They have a very typical office except for the fact that their garage has 4 ambulances stuffed in it. Chad popped the hood of one of them and started telling us about the WVO systems they have. They use Lovecraft conversions which are single tank systems. Typically with these systems you have two tanks, one with diesel or biodiesel to start the vehicle and than another tank with the WVO to switch over to once the vehicle is warmed up. WVO needs to be warmed up to thin it out to a viscosity closer to diesel fuel so that it can be more easily injected into the engine. Lovecraft systems preheat the oil in the fuel filter and use a booster pump to get rid of the need for two tanks. Most of the people I’ve talked to recommend the two tank system, but Chad says they’ve never had any problems. Here’s a video of Chad cold starting one of their ambulances after it has sat unused over the weekend.
PC911 collects and filters the oil themselves. They first pre-screen the oil into a drum and then it is forced through a sock filter which I believe filters it down to 10 microns. Here’s a video of Chad filtering some used oil and then filling up a ambulance with it. At the time of our visit they hadn’t secured any sources of waste oil in Phoenix, but are working on that.
Basically that is it, these systems are pretty simple overall and easy to operate. Thinking of running waste veggie oil in your car? Sure it is a free source of fuel, but you should also know there can be downsides. Systems improperly installed, or bad oil, especially oil with water in it can cause catastrophic damage to your engine. Check out this horror story of one man’s journey with running his VW TDI on waste oil. Not to end with a downer, but be sure you know what you could be running into if you decided to go down this path.
If you need any computer services we’d highly recommend PC911 for their high quality computer work and their commitment to the environment. They are currently located in Las Vegas Nevada and Phoenix Arizona, perhaps one day in a city near you.