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A little guidance needed on how to best use my buffer tank. Please and thank you.

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Gasifier, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
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    3,137
    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    I am looking for advice on how to best use my buffer tank to get the most out of it while using the least amount of wood. It is in my basement with my Wood Gun. Any heat that radiates off of it goes into the basement, and eventually up the stairs into the house.

    Now that the temperatures are getting colder I am loading the boiler twice a day and letting it cycle on and off. The Wood Gun is running smooth. I am very happy with how the system is working. When loading twice a day I know that the water in the tank is not being drawn out of it to heat the zones with, or at least not much of it. I guess the only time it is is when the boiler runs out of wood, which has happened a few times, and is not hot enough. Then the tank does take over. Works great.

    Do you know what I mean? A lot of the time I am sending that heat from the boiler to the tank and then not using it. Am I therefor using more wood?
    The tank will only put out so much heat due to it's size, so I can not do just one or two burns a day unless I changed a few things.

    Just thinking out loud here:

    I suppose if I added a low temp shut down for the fan I could put less wood in (say, enough for 6-7 hours of burning), let it burn until it ran out, and then the tank would take over to get the other 2-3 hours of heating I need. But, then it would seem like I would use just as much wood to heat the boiler and tank all the way back up to 175. ? I guess I am not loosing any of the heat since it is going into my house.

    With these temps the last few days I am loading the boiler at 07:30 am and 07:30 PM. Boiler is out of wood on both occasions, but still 150 degrees. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

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  2. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
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    3,137
    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    Pretty close to goosegunner's post not long ago I guess.
  3. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

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    I guess some would say that you are using more wood because the boiler is idling on and off. I think it would be hard to measure since your boiler is in your house so you are probably getting a fair amount of your heat load off your boiler radiation.

    I have a 1000 gallon storage but I might try something similar to you. On real cold days when I work 24 hour shifts I might try letting the boiler cycle with a charged storage. I think I would have to run the storage to 185 and lower the set point on the boiler. Pushing the tank to upper limits and keeping it there would most likely run the fan continuous. I currently use 195 as a set point.

    The issue that will be hard to overcome is fan control. I currently use a timer which works pretty well and is simple. I have a flue temp sensor from Econoburn that can be connected to the controller. I have not installed it yet but plan to in the near future. I ordered a compression fitting that I can install in the flue collar. The trick will be when the boiler idles will it kill the fan or be hot enough to restart. Just from watching my magnetic flue gauge I am guessing that at idle the flue will not be hot enough to allow the fan to come back on. I can adjust the temp at the controller but too low and the fan runs too long, too hot and if the boiler idles it might not restart the fan.

    gg
  4. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    Yes Goosegunner, makes me think I should just leave well enough alone. Everything is working great. The boiler radiates a lot of heat off. That is great with it being in the basement. Especially when it starts to get really cold, we will be glad of the extra heat radiating into the basement. I do need to insulate my copper pipes go.
  5. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

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    1,282
    Loc:
    WI
    Yeah copper can radiate some heat. Between the boiler itself and all the big copper I have in my boiler house it will get over 90 degrees in there. It would be nice to have that heat in the house but not in the summer when I heat my pool or DHW. Not with the AC running anyway. In the summer it was 104 in there on occasion when pool heating.

    It does really help dry my wood in the boiler room too.

    gg

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