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Posted By mikeb83,
Oct 4, 2012 at 1:57 PM
There are a few reliable stoves out there with large hopper capacity. Rika, Avalon and Lopi, Enerzone all make stoves that have 120 pound hoppers. The Rika and Travis stoves are around 40,000 to 45,000 BTUs. The Enerzone stove is 70,000 BTUs. There may be other stoves that meet the criteria you are looking for, the stoves I listed are the ones that I am familiar with.
I think that mine was around 4200 installed with oak, Harman wall pass through, 3" venting, no extra trim, or moldings. That was 3 and a half years ago and during a 15% discount sale on the entire package mid summer. That would have put me at about 4800 without the sale. But, I also got around 1250 in tax credits at the time. That was huge for me in being able to afford the unit.
As bioburner mentioned, this is the point where the dealers are less likely to drop pricing. Its better than the last quote you had by about 500. Comes a time where you have to bite the bullet or wait for next season's specials.
I do admit that a larger 3 bag / 120lb hopper would be nice, but the Haman P68 just plain runs like a champ and is super easy to clean and service.
I don't have an oak. But that explanation is sketchy. The air fed into the stove provides oxygen to the fire, and then gets exhausted outside, not into the house. The colder, denser air from outside has more oxygen per volume. So do you get a hotter flame because of more oxygen, or a colder flame because of cooler air fed to it? Not sure. But they'll somewhat balance out.
It's said condensation in the stove can happen with an oak. That was the excuse my Quad dealer used for not selling me one. But the temperature of the outside air, in itself, shouldn't be a problem.
OAKS, Plus,not using warm inside air and causing some increased draft issue as fan can be 100 or so cubic foot per minute. But stove can be easier to keep the flame adjusted as the temperature-air density stays more uniform if using inside air. My outside temps can be 40 degrees to close to 30 below making some of the more advanced stoves a little stubborn to stay adjusted unless oak can be tempered by scavaging heat from the exaust. Starting may take a bit longer using a oak as incoming air can be colder. I'm sure this will get things stirred up or muddied up depending on level or experience with fire. Colder the air the less moisture it can hold. Summer air is very moist and is the usual problem for stoves and can be managed by capping or plugging in spring.
I would think the cold denser air giving better combustion applies more to internal combustion engines than the pellet stove. I think there is plenty of oxygen for the fire in a pellet stove and so pre-heating the OAK air would probably give slightly higher heat output since the incoming air is what gets heated and flows around the heat exchanger. So, cold air coming in has to be heated more than warm air. I've been thinking about changing over to the Selkirk exhaust piping and trying this out. It incorporates the OAK into the exhaust and pre-heats the OAK air.
You can check out the history of outside air and it's use in bixby pipe system. Seemed like a good idea but may have only been bad with use of corn because of the higher acid in its combustion.