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outdoor wood burner add-on for steam heat system

Does anyone here know of a wood fired boiler that I can add on to supplement my existing gas fired steam boiler? Can I just use a regular furnace and just keep the water temp near 200 deg. so the boiler just runs for a short time to make steam? Any help would be great.

Comments

  • Brad White_9
    Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
    I wood think

    :)

    that any wood fired boiler would do that. I mean, as far as making steam is concerned, you are only giving the proverbial "ten fingers" of support (130 BTU's per pound if water is taken from 70 degrees to 200 degrees). The steam boiler still has to add the last 12 degrees to get it to boiling, then the latent heat (970 BTU's per pound) for delivery.

    My larger concern is that of control, just making sure you have enough load or buffer to absorb any runaway. How big is the overall system you are serving with steam?

    In the end, the load you are seeking to maintain is a pretty small percentage in the scheme of things, may not be worth it. Noble intent just the same.

    Random Drive By Thinking,

    Brad
  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106
    I have not seen one

    even amound the hundreds at the ISH show. It would need a steam chest to build steam a different design altogether. I think?

    hot rod

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  • Brad White_9
    Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
    The way I read it

    he was just looking for a baseline pre-heater, not a boiler to make steam. That would get into the older but tried and tested vacuum-holding devices from the coal days.

    This seemed like a basic HW boiler setup to me. Thinking more about it, it would appear to be, in fuction, a large boiler feed tank, perhaps isolated once the boiler took to steaming.
  • ALH_4
    ALH_4 Member Posts: 1,790
    relative loads

    I cannot imagine that it would be worth the trouble, since the wood boiler would only heat the water in the boiler to something less than boiling. This is a very small portion of the load on a steam boiler. I don't think the wood boiler would ever pay for itself.
  • wood boiler add-on

    that's exactly what I was thinking. If I can find a unit that makes steam (w/domestic water coil) I would do it. I haven't found any units built for steam production just hydronic and forced air. So I'm thinking keep the water near boiling so the existing furnace only runs for a short period (isolating the wood furnace). I've seen coal fired steam boilers so I think this would be feasible. Could this be acomplished with a water coil (circulating pump) in my existing wood stove?
  • joe billow_3
    joe billow_3 Member Posts: 2


    > that's exactly what I was thinking. If I can

    > find a unit that makes steam (w/domestic water

    > coil) I would do it. I haven't found any units

    > built for steam production just hydronic and

    > forced air. So I'm thinking keep the water near

    > boiling so the existing furnace only runs for a

    > short period (isolating the wood furnace). I've

    > seen coal fired steam boilers so I think this

    > would be feasible. Could this be acomplished

    > with a water coil (circulating pump) in my

    > existing wood stove?



  • joe billow_3
    joe billow_3 Member Posts: 2


    > that's exactly what I was thinking. If I can

    > find a unit that makes steam (w/domestic water

    > coil) I would do it. I haven't found any units

    > built for steam production just hydronic and

    > forced air. So I'm thinking keep the water near

    > boiling so the existing furnace only runs for a

    > short period (isolating the wood furnace). I've

    > seen coal fired steam boilers so I think this

    > would be feasible. Could this be acomplished

    > with a water coil (circulating pump) in my

    > existing wood stove?



  • Ericjeeper
    Ericjeeper Member Posts: 179
    Why not convert from steam to hot water?

    And NO a coil in your indoor woodstove will NOT work.. You will be making what is referred to in laymans terms as a BOMB?> Unless you provide ample expansion and a few pressure relief safety devices.
    I would be researching converting your homes system to hot water and do away with the steam ideas from an outdoor woodboiler.
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    WHY convert it to hot-water

    with all the risks involved? Try Axeman-Anderson or Keystoker- these two companies and possibly others still make solid-fuel boilers in residential sizes. And you wouldn't have to put one of their boilers outdoors either.

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  • Joe_75
    Joe_75 Member Posts: 57


    I am with SteamHead. I would not convert to hot water when the steam system is functioning properly. I would also fix the steam system before converting, if it was economical to do so. Like Andrew I would question the gain you would receive with two systems over installing one Biomass/solid fuel steam boiler.
  • 2 systems

    If I can find someone who makes a solid-mass boiler(wood preferably)I will go with that. Just trying to reduce gas bill for next winter.(and this was a mild winter). Thanks for the advise.
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    Have you compared the cost per BTU

    of gas vs. oil in your area?

    There are boilers that can burn both oil and gas. To switch fuels on one of these, just have a pro change the burner and a couple of trim items, and tune it on the analyzer. Gas companies hate these since it loosens their stranglehold on consumers.

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  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,920
    It was sort of ambiguous as to what he expected it to do

    As You guys both stated, preheating for the steam could be done, but at what reasonable cost AND if he is looking to generate steam with it, it could get very complicated and costly. Like HR...What about a steam chest? Mad Dog

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This discussion has been closed.