This photograph speaks for itself...
I may not understand how or why it works, but I'm sold!
SNAKE OIL CHRONICLES
The units were installed the first week of August, 2001.
The following images are of the filters pulled (and replaced) today after the first extended (10 hour) run with the Algae-X units installed. Each image is annotated, and the original high-resolution picture is available by clicking on the image here (warning: the originals are l600x 1200 and are approximately three quarters of a mega bite in size each!)
Port side filter, left, Algae-X unit DISABLED. Note the particulate deposits on the top of the filter body. These were also found INSIDE the canister on the wall once the filter was withdrawn.
|Port side filter body itself. Note the warping of the element; this element is moderately fouled. (As an observation both vacuum gauges, checked while coming back in, showed moderate but not critical restriction levels.)||Starboard side filter, Algae-X unit ENABLED. Note the ABSENCE of particulate deposits on the top of the filter body.|
Starboard side filter element. It is also moderately fouled.
Conclusions thus far:
We consumed roughly one half of both tank's initial contents while fishing Wednesday; we intend to use the boat tomorrow (Saturday, 8118) but only for a cruise - perhaps two or three engine hours. This examination will be repeated either Sunday or Monday and another link posted.
ROUND TWO: 9/23/2001
We have now burned through the entire tanks of the original fuel and filled the tanks. During that burn through the filter loading was approximately equal to that of the previous period of time.
The following are images after one approximately four-hour run after the fuel tanks were filled and the filters changed.
|Port side||Starboard side|
These filters were not changed and will not be until we have loading figure s suggesting that they need to be.
The intent is to run in the present configuration until we have what appears to be conclusive evidence, then to tum the port unit on as well for the purpose of confirmation.
ROUND THREE - 10/2/2001
This was a 10- hour fishing trip with a lot of cruise time operation. Several observations:
|Port Filter||Starboard Filter|
The differences here are NOT lighting related; while they are small, the starboard (Algae-X unit enabled) filter is cleaner than the port (unit disabled.) The fuel system is running very cleanly, and the fuel itself is also very clean. The filters are acceptable (no clumping and no restriction of note) and will continue to be operated.
Currently I cannot discern a difference that is easily traceable to the Algae-X units, other than, perhaps, some difference in smoke production and fue l economy. The difference in fuel system clarity cannot be traced to the units conclusively at the present time. During our next fishing trip I intend to, after seeing the port engine smoke at idle, go below and switch the unit into the circuit in an attempt to verify whether or not the unit can be directly traced to lessening of that smoke.
Trips the second and third week of October - reported 10/2112001:
Wow! That's all I can use to describe this!
During the month of October we have now run several trips since the 10/2 installment of the Snake Oil Chronicles. All filters were changed before we began this set of trips. We have now made three separate trips out and have made configuration changes while underway. The port engine and unit turns out to be the one on which we wind up with conclusions.
The trips have been made as follows:
The fuel tanks began full; after the second trip we were unable to fill due to the time of our return. We filled after the third and fourth trips as well. Fuel bowls have remained clear and clean with no debris or water during the entire test period.
Most importantly, the third trip, on which the unit was disabled, was made without adding fuel to the existing supply in the tank - and on which, at that time, we had 13 operating hours on the filter inline with the Algae-X unit. With the exception of the third trip, at which time we filled just over a half tank, at no time did we run more than 318ths of a tank of fuel during a given trip.
From this you can see that the Algae-X unit has accumulated approximately twice as many operating hours as were accumulated with the unit offline.
Today, during routine maintenance, I pulled filters. The below picture speaks for itself; the forward unit (the one that I am holding up with my fingers) is the one that is connected to the Algae-X unit, while the aft filter is the RACOR that is NOT fed through the Algae-X device:
This photograph speaks for itself...
To those who claim that there were variables in this leg of the test other than the unit, I challenge you to find them. We had the same fuel in the tanks through one of the runs in each configuration with no additions. The aft filter is clearly far more fouled than the forward one - there is essentially no fouling on the forward filter at all, despite having 20 hours on it, while the aft unit has only 10 hours on it.
I may not understand how or why it works, but I'm sold.