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Wood Boilers

lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
Come on now roosterboy...That's only a weekend's work!! LOL.. You do have to love wood for one thing, you know all of your hard work will pay for itself with a nice warm stove running when it's -20 outside. I've got 15 cord put up and ready to go...Bring on that nasty cold, I'm ready!!


  • singh
    singh Member Posts: 866

    I just read a NY state doc about OWB's.
    I understand a statewide ban may take effect in a few years. Already, many local
    towns have banned or put restrictions on these boilers.
    Are there any other states? Do you think the feds will get involved, as right now they have no min requirements for wood boilers.
    Most on average get 50% eff, and spew large amounts of large particulate matter in the air.
    Manufacturers don't seem to be doing anything that I could find to make them better.
    I guess if you have a free source of wood , they're great, if you have to pay, may not be better than fuel oil or gas, electric, factoring the cost of the equipment.

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  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909

    I think that the OWB salesmen are their own worst enemy. The reason these things spew so much junk is because they are not being burned hot enough. The OWB salemen tell people to load it up and choke it down A huge waste of potential heat energy.

    Put a thermal storage tank in and burn the wood as hot as you can. Store the heat and and use it as needed. Burn hot every time, but only when you need it.

    Wood as a fuel is a labor intensive option. Cutting, splitting, stacking and feeding the beast. It's not an inexpensive option either as you will almost certainly need a back-up heat source. Now you have two heating systems with all of the gadgets to service.

    I've had quite a few customers change their minds about wood after they realized that heating their homes with wood would become a full time job. Can't say that I blame them.

    Mark H

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  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106
    I question your 50% figure

    I think under lab tests, fired with dry, block oak 40-45% is more realistic.

    Out in the field, pun intended, I'd guess 20- 30% as a lot of folks burn green wood, wet wood, too large of diameter wood, and household garbage. I can smell it in the air as I travel rural Missouri :)

    I believe wood burner emissions are covered under EPA emission standards, just like the panic over low sulpher diesel, wood burning manufactures should be busy look for ways to clean 'em up. I'm not sure who, or how those rules will be enforced.

    Plenty of gasification wood burners on the market and a lot more on their way from Europe. Tarm has been selling clean(er) burning gasification wood burners for many years here.

    Greenwood is walking that path and many other OWF companies are importing or tuning up.

    I'm anxious to get my hands on one of these pellet corn burners that AquaTherm is importing.

    Check out their top line models that monitor and adjust the burn based on temperature, flue gas temperature and O2 readings. Also dial up ability to start them from a phone call. Some pretty advanced controls on these Euro wood burners.

    As Mark mentioned the key is a hot, hot burn with well thought out insulated storage. Check out the piping drawings at that website to see how they leverage insulated storage tanks.

    hot rod

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  • singh
    singh Member Posts: 866

    You are most likely right.
    The document I'm referring to says eff from 28% to 55%
    with an average of 43%.
    Of course if someone burns green wood or junk I can see that number change. 2005.pdf

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  • Rodney Summers
    Rodney Summers Member Posts: 748

    gasification wood boilers are the way to go if you only want to heat with wood i have a buderus boiler but use wood as a backup heat source. and to save on oil this year i am upgrading my wood stove i have a 1977 Vermont casting that i am taken out because it smokes to much outside because it dose not burn clean. and i am getting a new avalon clean burning wood stove

    i have been cutting and splitting wood all my life here is a picture of what i have been doing this year my friend has a tree company and drops off tree length wood i cut it with my nice chain saw's and use my splitter to split the wood i have done 9 cords this year. more then i have ever done in one year :-) here is a picture of my work

  • Rodney Summers
    Rodney Summers Member Posts: 748

    i do love wood and i don't care one bit about how much oil is or how much it will be.

    when oil is cheep i burn oil when the price go's up i use wood. when the power is out i can cook and keep warm with my stove.

    but yes it is a lot of work. but i don't look at it as work i look at it as a work out. they say wood warms you twice and it's true ;-) but i went all out on 2 chain saws they are big and powerful and allot of fun to use ;-)

    even though i have a nice wood splitter i sometimes use the maul to get my frustrations out and get a good work out it gives you nice strong arms :-)

    but what i like most is the nice worm heat it's not the type of heat that makes you sweat it's hard to explain but sure is a nice feeling.

    and i cant Waite to buy my new clean burning wood stove this year and use it. i am taking out the 8 inch type ht and putting in bran new hart and Cooley type ht and a new cap. it's bran new Ive had in my basement for 3 years now and never used it.

    what kind of wood stove do you have lchmb?


  • Mark Wolff
    Mark Wolff Member Posts: 256
    wood boilers

    That pile should last you at least two weeks, maybe three if you don't have domestic water hooked to it! I know a man here in North Pole, AK that installed one of the wood fired boilers for around $$,$$$.$$. That included undersized piping to the house, but not the inside manifold, they charged extra for that. He wants me to take it out and replace it with a real system. The house is about 4000 sq ft. and sucked his 500 gallon tank dry in less that 2 months in the spring! Can't wait for a -50* winter like last year.
  • Rodney Summers
    Rodney Summers Member Posts: 748

    wolf that pile if i was just to heat my house with wood. with my new clean burning wood stove is 4 years of heating
    without using oil. using oil just for hotwater.

    now i agree that the old wood boilers use a lot of wood. so did the wood stoves but the new stuff has really improved on how clean they burn.

    i was at a wood store where they sell stoves they had 5 wood stoves burning and you could walk out side and never even know it. the stacks had no smoke coming from them and they did not smell.

    my old stove from 1977 always smoked like heck and i thought nothing about it till i looked into it last year.

    my new stove is going to burn much cleaner and safe me a ton on wood this year.


  • Phil_15
    Phil_15 Member Posts: 13
    New wood stoves

    What worried me when I went into the fancy wood stove store was that none of the stoves had a connection to supply outside combustion air. They all drew air from the conditioned space in the house.

    I agree that the best way to extract the maximun BTUs from wood is to burn it hard and fast. If you are using the conditioned air in your home for combustion it sort of defeats the purpose. Does anyone know of a wood stove or a wood boiler that has a connection to supply combustion air from outside? Is there a reason for not providing such a connection? I admit to being a wood stove dummy.

    What also worried me was that that they all had controls to limit the air entering the combustion chamber. If sufficiently damped or starved for combustion air wouldn't carbon monoxide be a problem?

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