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Record pellet demand

DanHolohanDanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,056
Story is here.
Retired and loving it.

Comments

  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 4,424
    My Aunt has a pellet stove and for years she has been getting all her neighbors together and they buy a tractor trailer load of pellets. I wonder how she will make out this year?!
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • j a_2j a_2 Member Posts: 1,796
    Trying to remember if there was an article about pellets and …….C O...
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,056
    There have been many. Here's one.
    Retired and loving it.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265

    There have been many. Here's one.

    This is the kind of stuff that makes me an @$$hat.

    Wood pellets are just another name for stall pellets. Used for animal bedding. Like in Horse stalls. They also make excellent and cheap cat litter for cat poopie boxes. You can buy it in a 40# sealed plastic bag. I just bought two bags today for the cat.

    I read the article and just had to check. So, I grabbed my UEI CO71A personal CO detector/meter, zeroed it out, and stuck it into a bag that I opened just for this purpose. within 3 minutes, the red light was flashing, the buzz warning was buzzing, and it was registering 140 PP of CO. If you're going to burn wood or wood pellets, you better have a CO instrument to monitor CO levels. Remember, this wasn't burning. Just sitting in a plastic sack.
    DanHolohan
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,056
    Yep. Very good advice.
    Retired and loving it.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Who'd thunk it?

    I'll bet a lot of pellet sellers poo-pooed that article as pure Liberal clap trap.

    Next time I go into the grain store, to the small room where they keep the stall pellets, I'll have to bring my instrument.

    No one will believe me. Just like the Motel in Rocky Mount NC that I could smell exhaust and had 12 PPM on my instrument.

    I'm sure that the fire department wrote it down as just another Yankee Snowbird, looking to create trouble. The boy's couldn't smell nothin'. Its OK then.

    It was still that way 5 months later when I stopped there again.
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,056
    I once shared a story in my Thursday newsletter about a dock worker who went into a ship's hold filled with pellets and came out. Here, read this.
    Retired and loving it.
  • jm0711jm0711 Member Posts: 6
    The folks at Clarkson University are actively studying how and why this happens. Back in June I had the opportunity to hear about their preliminary findings. They have shown that bulk wood pellets stored in a confined space off-gas carbon monoxide, especially if the pellets are "fresh". They are trying to figure out exactly why and how this happens and have some theories, but they are not sure yet.

    They received some funding for this research from NYSERDA see: http://www.clarkson.edu/news/2014/news-release_2014-02-14-1.html

    In short: if you have bulk pellets stored in a container like an enclosed bin, a silo, or something similar it should be treated as a confined space and CO detectors should be installed.
    -Jared
  • BobCBobC Member Posts: 5,131
    About 15 years ago a buddy had stopped by my house on the way home from work, he owned a store and usually left around 4PM and let the college kids run it till closing. We were having a drink when he got a call that the smoke alarm was blaring in the store and the fire department was on the way.

    When we got there the fire department was venting the store with a large fan in the door but couldn't figure out where the smoke was coming from. I walked in and told them it was a ballast, after looking around I found one fixture that was discollored. We put up a step ladder and I pulled off the plasic cover, the unit was blazing hot and you could see smoke seeping out of it. I cut the power wire and taped it off.

    The problem is firemen lose their sense of smell after a few years of snorting smoke. They could not smell the burning pitch from the ballast, as soon as I walked in the store I knew exactly what it was.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • hot_rodhot_rod Member Posts: 13,907
    And now you can burn the by-product from the rear end of the horse.

    http://www.brickenmore.com

    It's possible to grow a high oil content "grass' and turn it into pellet fuel. No need to wait until trees mature, for cordwood.

    There must be 10's of thousands of large round bales rotting here in the fields of Missouri, turn them into pellets.

    I saw a Swiss or German gasification boiler, in SWE magazine that would burn the entire round bale!

    If the solid fuels can be combusted cleanly, and in a user friendly technology, then is a viable energy source.

    One of the SUNT campuses has a wood chip boiler connected to a district hydronic system. the fuel from the forests that the students maintain.

    I believe NY State is offering 4 grand to install a high efficiency gasification boiler, and another 4 grand if you destroy the old OWF.

    Cash for clunkers, or clinkers :)
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • Solid_Fuel_ManSolid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,062
    I'll take 4G's please...........
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • NYplumberNYplumber Member Posts: 503
    Its worth stocking up. A couple years back when I heated with a pellet stove, we ran out mid winter. The big box stores had put away their stock and taken out the lawn chairs. The stove shops sold out and weren't buying more. I ended up getting the manager at a big box store to let me into the back. I loaded up a couple thousand lbs onto a pallet, paid and was off. Last winter the dealers that had pellets were selling at double the price when winter was just half way through.

    Just a tip for anyone out there, you can buy a small silo and have it outdoors. Farm suppliers usually sell them.

    Someone post the link for the NYS rebate.
    :NYplumber:
  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    icesailor said:

    Wood pellets are just another name for stall pellets. Used for animal bedding. Like in Horse stalls. They also make excellent and cheap cat litter for cat poopie boxes. You can buy it in a 40# sealed plastic bag. I just bought two bags today for the cat.

    Been using them for over a decade now with no complaints -- and they cost at least 75% less than the branded litters of that ilk.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Years ago, I read an article on CO in a trade magazine like P&M. They stated that if you had a room that would hold 10,000 ping pong balls, and the PP balls represented PPM of available, and that if 4 of the PP balls were CO balls, it would kill you.

    That got my immediate attention.

    If "air" is 20% oxygen and 80% nitrogen, carbon in the wood product only has to outgas enough carbon the equal the extra atom of Oxygen to create CO. Excessive Nitrogen levels aren't too good for you either.

    Carbon based products break down and outgas don't they? At a set rate? Isn't that how they do Carbon 14 dating?
  • hot_rodhot_rod Member Posts: 13,907
    http://www.nyserda.ny.gov/Energy-Efficiency-and-Renewable-Programs/Renewables/Renewable-Heat-NY.aspx

    Search www.dsireusa.org for additional rebates state by state and from utilities, etc.

    Database of State Incentives for Renewable & Efficiency

    Spell it correctly or you might get linked to a surprise site:)
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • AbracadabraAbracadabra Member Posts: 1,948
    icesailor said:


    ...
    Carbon based products break down and outgas don't they? At a set rate? Isn't that how they do Carbon 14 dating?

    No. completely different. carbon dating works because when lving things die and decay, the C14 they had in them lose a proton via beta decay and become nitrogen. Outgassing is due to a solid/liquid releasing a gas (CO in this instance) dissolved or trapping in the solid/liquid.

  • SlamDunkSlamDunk Member Posts: 875
    I may be wrong, if it was in the posted links, I missed it. But I suspect that whatever is used as a binder in the pellets contributes to the cause of High CO readings. It could also be from a poorly tuned burner used to dry the pellets.

    I installed a drier for a startup wood pellet company in WV in the mid 90's. Wet saw dust is mixed with a secret formula binder (glue) then pushed into a pelletizer or an extruder into a drier that has a burner used to heat both fresh and recirculated air (flue gases) in the drier. You have the chemicals in the glue to consider as well as the combustion efficiency of the burner which is fired through the drier.

    This outfit used a burner as a heat source to dry. I believe wood is used as a heat source too. There could be a chemical reaction (absorption?) between the flue gases and the binder that out gases over time.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    edited October 2014
    In the technical accident report, they stated that there was no binder used, just compression. I doubt that. When I look at my stall pellets closely, they are shiny on the outside from going through the extrusion machine. The same with any pelletized horse grain or hay I have ever bought.

    If you read the long article about the causes of the deaths, this problem must be as common as dog fleas on a dog. There is a prescribed procedure for opening the hatches and entering. The procedures were not followed. Procedures that are prescribed for ALL bulk container ships. It appears to me that there was a lot of distraction and the Stevadore crew was in a big hurry to get the job done. They were experienced but they didn't wait for the hold to be checked for safe O2 levels.

    My interest was because I had just bought two bags of stall pellets and they are in sealed 40# plastic bags. I tested it immediately after opening. I got high levels immediately. It started to drop immediately. The ship board instructions only required that the hatch be removed for a period of 10 minutes and it would be safe. After checking with an instrument for safe O2 levels. According to the accident report, safety procedures are well established with ships. Its a long report well worth reading.
    As far as C-14, I understand how it works. Less than 1,000 years and it is inaccurate Over a certain date out, it isn't either. My point was that it is carbon that is the part of CO that is the problem. When they measure Excess Air on a combustion analyzer, what are they calling the Nitrogen? Excessive levels of CO2 will kill your @$$ just as dead as high levels of CO. It is the lack of O2 and Nitrogen that kills. Not everyone knows that, I didn't until someone gave me the information. If you knew it, why didn't you tell us? Some of us are all eyes and ears.
  • SlamDunkSlamDunk Member Posts: 875
    They could be madea without a binder but they have to be dried to bone dry which costs money. I imagine without a binder, humidity would cause them to become fragile
  • psb75psb75 Member Posts: 238
    I don't believe most pellet-makers use a binder. That would add significantly to mfg. cost. Its basically just sawdust, forced through a die in a very high-pressure extrusion process. Not unlike flour and water to make spaghetti noodles. The very high pressure heats up the wood lignins and THAT becomes the "binder." The shiny exterior is also an effect of that process. Good, viable pellets should be shiny. If they are not, they have taken up moisture. They are VERY hygroscopic--hence their use as animal bedding.
    Canucker
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Thanks for the information.

    I've been wondering about the stored pellets. No wonder that inside the bag was high when I opened it.
  • hot_rodhot_rod Member Posts: 13,907
    The RPA arranged a tour of a pellet factory near Utica, NY years back. No binders were used in the process there, they did have a large "barrel" dryer for the saw dust they used from local mills.

    Interesting hydraulic platform that lifted the end dump trailers to empty them, same type used in Montana to empty the planner shavings into the large wood boilers in Missoula.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • Solid_Fuel_ManSolid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,062
    I've installed cameras up on poles so the driver can operate the "truck dumper". He gets out of the 18 wheeler, chains the truck to the platform, opens the back hatch, gets into the little 8x8 cabin by the platform and commands the platform to dump. We had two LCD monitors for him to watch confirming all of the wood-chips came out of the truck. Often they freeze in and they need to scoop them out with a special-built excavator. The cameras saved the driver from having to get out and walk around to check the truck as it was in a 45degree position (tractor at highest point) to see if the entire 53' box was clear.

    It was a neat few days working there.

    Taylor
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    I'm surprised that they don't use something like a Mulch Truck with the moving floor. The heat from the mulch won't let it freeze, and they just open the back and push out the load by a big hydraulic gate that moves from the headboard of the trailer and out the open back.

    Maybe winters in Montana get too cold to use them.
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