Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.

Econoburn Biomass System completed.

Harvey Ramer
Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,217
The thread began here.

Everything is working in perfect sync. Very impressed with the Econoburn wood boiler. The home owner doesn't even have to leave the living room to find out whether or not he needs to put wood on the fire. Put a control in the living room that shows tank temp, system target temp, outdoor temp, and whether or not the backup gas boiler is firing.


















SWEISteve Minnich4JohnpipeZman

Comments

  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Nice!

    I'm curious about the interesting symmetric piping detail you chose for the tank connections?
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,023
    Real nice, glad to see insulated piping.

    Quite the control box!

    I've often wondered if galv flue pipe is approved for solid fuel burning devices? What gauge do you use?
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Harvey Ramer
  • Harvey Ramer
    Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,217
    It is approved to my knowledge. I wouldn't use it on a non gasifier. Creosote buildup and potential chimney burnout exceeding 1000 degrees vaporizing the zinc. This boiler doesn't smoke. It burns at over 2000 deg and the stack temps are around 500 to 550.
  • Steve Minnich
    Steve Minnich Member Posts: 2,674
    Incredible work, Harvey! Was the HTP and its piping installed by others?
    Steve Minnich
    Minnich Hydronic Consulting & Design, LLC
    [email protected]
    Harvey Ramer
  • Harvey Ramer
    Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,217
    Stephen,
    Yes it was. I did have to make a lot of changes though. The boiler piping was reversed and the boiler pump was much to large. The radiant was staple up with 180 deg water running through it, mainly because the installer didn't know how to run DHW and an ODR curve from the boiler.

    Got extruded plates put in the floors and added flat panel radiators to supplement were needed and bring all the zones to a common temperature. That also helped lower the required system temp and maximize the thermal storage tanks.

    It has been and interesting project. Split up in 3 phases over the course of a year.
  • Steve Minnich
    Steve Minnich Member Posts: 2,674
    Nice. I bet it was fun getting those tanks in place?
    Steve Minnich
    Minnich Hydronic Consulting & Design, LLC
    [email protected]
    Harvey Ramer
  • Harvey Ramer
    Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,217
    edited November 2015
    Kurt,
    The tanks are piped with 2" and tied together with 2" headers. This provides hydraulic separation between the boiler pump and the variable speed transfer pump to the house. It is configured in reverse return to promote equal flow through the tanks. The boiler and system are piped off the ends of the header with 1-1/4". The configuration also allows the system and DHW, more importantly, to pull directly off the boiler before the tanks start loading. This holds true as long as the system flow is the same or less than the boiler flow. If the system flow is higher than the boiler flow, mixing from the tank will occur in the header.
    Mark Eatherton
  • Harvey Ramer
    Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,217
    The HO took care of getting the tanks in place. So I didn't have to worry about that. He is a retired engineer, and a very sharp fellow I might add. It is interesting to see his inventions and methods to do things.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 4,820
    If that was my house, I wouldn't need anything in the living room, that would be my living room. Beautiful work you should be very proud of that.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    vaporvacHarvey Ramer
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    An elegant way of piping that two tank setup.
    Harvey Ramer
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,242
    Tell him to read the installation instructions on that fiberglass batt in the walls. I am not sure why almost everyone seems to think the paper tab is supposed to be stapled to the inside of the stud instead of the face, but a lot do. That is a lot of hard work to do it wrong.
    Your stuff looks great though!
    Rick
    Harvey Ramer
  • Abracadabra
    Abracadabra Member Posts: 1,948

    Tell him to read the installation instructions on that fiberglass batt in the walls. I am not sure why almost everyone seems to think the paper tab is supposed to be stapled to the inside of the stud instead of the face, but a lot do. That is a lot of hard work to do it wrong.
    Your stuff looks great though!
    Rick

    Yeah, but then when you apply drywall glue and screw the sheet onto the studs, your glue does nothing since it's adhering to stapled paper.
  • NYplumber
    NYplumber Member Posts: 503
    Very nice work @Harvey Ramer .
    :NYplumber:
    Harvey Ramer
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514

    Tell him to read the installation instructions on that fiberglass batt in the walls. I am not sure why almost everyone seems to think the paper tab is supposed to be stapled to the inside of the stud instead of the face, but a lot do. That is a lot of hard work to do it wrong.
    Your stuff looks great though!
    Rick

    It does compress the insulation 1 1/2" at the edge of the batt which decreases r value some. Plus it does not do its job as well as a vapor barrier........technically. I prefer unfaced with visquine. Really there is better choices than fiberglass.

    On the other hand as been said if you glue your drywall then that would make for a worthless bond, all though gluing drywall is some what redundant being the paper to wood bond is quite more than the paper to gypsum bond. More screws is the better choice.
    Harvey Ramer
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    Beautiful work! I hope the job was close to home as I'm sure it took allot of your time! The only thing that I am a little skeptical of is the owners choice of using a plastic bin to use for an ash collector. ;)
    Harvey Ramer
  • hvacfreak2
    hvacfreak2 Member Posts: 500
    That is some phenomenal work ( thank you spell check ). Those " heavy residential " projects are more difficult than alot of commercial work.
    hvacfreak

    Mechanical Enthusiast

    Burnham MST 396 , 60 oz gauge , Tigerloop , Firomatic Check Valve , Mcdonnell Miller 67 lwco , Danfoss RA2k TRV's

    Easyio FG20 Controller

    Harvey Ramer
  • 4Johnpipe
    4Johnpipe Member Posts: 479
    Pretty work...That's nice!!!
    LANGAN'S PLUMBING & HEATING LLC
    Considerate People, Considerate Service, Consider It Done!
    732-751-1560
    email: [email protected]
    www.langansplumbing.com
    Harvey Ramer
  • Tom_133
    Tom_133 Member Posts: 773
    Harvey, who makes those tanks?
    Tom
    Montpelier Vt
  • Harvey Ramer
    Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,217
    The tanks are repurposed propane tanks. They can be had for a very reasonable cost. They are also built heavy enough to act as a low pressure vessel. Only thing, no ASME rating, so they can't be used everywhere. There are a number of companies offering these types of thermal storage tanks now. http://www.smokelessheat.com/categories/thermal-storage-tanks
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    That is reasonable. How is the end user insulating the tanks? Or is the user building a super insulated room around the tanks?
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,023
    Those re-purposed LP tanks are very common for wood burners. A handful of wood boiler suppliers offer them.

    I have seen them wrapped with bubble foil, fiberglass batts, rigid foam boxes and even spray foam.

    Here is an example from AHONA.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Harvey Ramer
    Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,217
    Gordy said:

    That is reasonable. How is the end user insulating the tanks? Or is the user building a super insulated room around the tanks?

    In this case, we built a box around the tanks and stuffed it full of fiberglass, The tanks loose less than 1/2 deg per hour at nominal temperature.

    Spray foaming the tanks is also popular but it's expensive and looks like a hat full of butts.
    GordySWEIZman
  • Tom_133
    Tom_133 Member Posts: 773
    Thanks Harvey, very nice job as well!!!
    Tom
    Montpelier Vt
  • VelvetFoot
    VelvetFoot Member Posts: 48
    Looks great. I wonder what kind of insulation you will use on the piping? I used 1" thick neoprene with the sticky edges, but they don't stick forever, for sure. I've had to restick some with glue made for the purpose. I saw a picture of a white pipe insulation-probably jacketed fiberglass-maybe not as insulating as the neoprene, but it looked gorgeous.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,023

    Looks great. I wonder what kind of insulation you will use on the piping? I used 1" thick neoprene with the sticky edges, but they don't stick forever, for sure. I've had to restick some with glue made for the purpose. I saw a picture of a white pipe insulation-probably jacketed fiberglass-maybe not as insulating as the neoprene, but it looked gorgeous.


    Have you tried this double seal insulation. It has a nice sticky flap over the seam seal. Most of the insulation manufacturers off this type now.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • njtommy
    njtommy Member Posts: 1,105
    edited November 2015
    That insulation is great that Hot Rod posted we use it all the time for low temp refrigeration.
  • Grattan
    Grattan Member Posts: 1
    Looks like you only have one circulation pump, there should have one for the boiler and one for the tank. How are you keeping the boiler temperature up to avoid thermo shock and creasote build up?
  • Harvey Ramer
    Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,217
    Grattan said:

    Looks like you only have one circulation pump, there should have one for the boiler and one for the tank. How are you keeping the boiler temperature up to avoid thermo shock and creasote build up?

    The boiler is protected from cold return water with a bypass controlled by a Caleffi Thermomix protection valve. In that configuration, only one circulator is needed.

    I am experimenting with different temp elements for the valve. I just put in a 160° element which should allow the tanks to stack at setpoint on the first complete water change.

    I saw as much as a 100° difference in stacked temp when first loading the tanks. Easily 50° at various points in operation.