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Another town putting a hold on OWB's

Post in 'The Green Room' started by Harley, Feb 16, 2007.

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  1. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    If this trend continues, which I suspect it will, there will be a great deal of pressure on the states to enact state-wide regulations. Ironically, this pressure will come from the manufacturers and dealers, who will consider that preferable to a "patchwork quilt" of local ordinances that they don't have the resources to keep track of.

    On a related note, has anyone noticed how much cleaner diesel engines are running these days? They're all running "ultra-low-sulfur diesel" which contains 15 ppm of sulfur--vs 500 and 1,500 ppm used in recent years. They say the new generation of diesel engines (Tier III), emit exhaust that is cleaner than regular air. The standard for off-road diesel engines is still 500 ppm (for the time being), but I'm not sure you can buy anything but Ultra Low Sulfur diesel anywhere anymore.
  3. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Local board of health just about banned them here they have to be 1000 ft from a lot line or street that leaves only two potential
    properties that can meet the set back requirements and chances are those parcels will be sub divided into house lots.

    the Epa has established g regs but the will not go into effect till some time in 2008 all but central boilers will be applowed Right now they have one that weill pass the new guidlines
    that one is still not market ready. By the time they finally clean up their act there will be a very limited market.

    In order to meet clean emmissions dry seasoned wood was used. They could not do it with green wood. To feed these boilers would require quite an addtional effort the cut split and season 12 cords plus a year in advance further reducing their appeal. And if paying for wood we complain about the cost on one cord mever mind 12 seasoned
  4. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

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    The EPA really blew it with regards to OWBs , too bad they will never be held accountable.

    Imagine trying to get permitted to put a stove with the emissions of an OWB in your home!
    I know we looked into them pretty intensely but when I found out they pissed through 10+ cord a year I ran like a nuclear bomb went off. The only reason I have a wood stove is because if I manage my property correctly we will have firewood for as long as I am willing to cut/split and stack it ;)
  5. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Good points babs and elk. The OWB was originally designed and sold for rural applications where wood was plentiful and free or cheap. My folks live on a 400-acre tree farm where they have as much dry firewood as they need within a few hundred yards of their house. For them, the OWB is perfect. But I think the benefits for the average person are being oversold, and they're being installed in inappropriate places. There's a new Central Boiler installation on my way to work that's just beautiful, however. One of these days I'll take a pic and post it. It should be on the cover of the CB promotional literature.

    Another guy I know has a sawmill in Wisconsin. He has a Garn gassifier to heat the mill, his house and dry kilns, but he's also got a Central boiler. They use it to dispose of waste wood and other green/wet residue from around the millyard. For him, it's an incinerator--a good way of disposing of green waste. "So what if it's only 50% efficient?" he asks.

    I still maintain that far more pollution is caused by pre-EPA stoves, boilers and furnaces in people's homes and basements, but they don't stick out like OWBs do. So OWBs are the ones that are going to be banned. They've been around, in one form or another for more than a decade. But it wasn't until a couple of years ago that they began to proliferate that pollution became an issue. On balance, that's probably not a bad thing, especially if it leads to emissions standards on all new wood-burning appliances.
  6. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    As someone who has been driving a VW Diesel Beetle for the past 194k miles I've been following the fuel thing some. The apparent "cleanliness" of modern diesels is more a function of the opacitiy (particulates) of the exhaust gasses. Modern computer controlled injection sytems have reduced a lot of the smoke. The new fuel, which in my experience is still not universally available, is mandated more for the advanced catalytic systems being introduced to reduce the invisible NOx gasses. The new VW engine coming out in the States in 2008 that will go into the Jetta, Beetle, and Rabbit will include "Bluetec" technology which, as far as I can tell, generates a urea-equivalent gas from crystals that are periodically rejuvenated with a special engine cycle (?). The Bluetec system for the larger Passat and Mercedes engines apparently uses a urea tank that periodically needs refilling. Rumors are that the new common rail injectored (vs the current unit injectors) engine is pretty efficient. Only time will tell, but I'm keeping the Beetle until the new diesel model comes out. Hopefully it will last (no problems yet, knock on wood).

    What I haven't read about is the use of ultra low sulfur fuel in heating sytems. Will it allow more efficient condensing type systems? I am thinking that all heating and diesel fuel will be ultra low sulfur after a bit.
  7. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    As I understand it, heating oil is still at 1,500 ppm while offroad diesel is (theoretically) at 500 ppm. I think the jury is still out on how well older diesel engines (the old Detroit two-cycles, for example) will run on the new ultra-low-sulfur diesel. There may be lubricity problems.

    Do you notice any difference in how your VW runs since the first of the year, velvetfoot? Do you cut your fuel with kero when it's really cold? Apparently low-sulfur kerosene was hard to come by right after the new standards went into effect, putting some truckers in violation of the law and in danger of fouling their brand new engines.
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Ah er, is that homeowner refilled or mechanic refilled? I can just see the scene at the garage now. Boss: "Hey Joe, better coffee up, we've got a fleet of those new VW's coming in." Joe: "Coffee hell, we need good German beer to refill those models. I'll be back with a case in a jiff. We should be ready in about an hour." Joe saunters off smiling and is overheard, "Boy I love this new technology :)"
  9. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Probably something that lady astronaut should have had. Direct piping, of course.
  10. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    My wife starts nagging me when it gets into the single digits because of that one measly gelling incident several years ago when there was a period of inclement weather. :) I put in some Power Service white bottle if she's particularly vociferous and we're going far, lonely, ungaraged, etc.

    I have a key for the local fuel oil dealer with a diesel pump and it's still at 500 ppm and there's a sticker on the pump that says it's no good for the new engines. I have filled up with the ultra low stuff a couple of times now. The first time I thought my engine ran louder, the second, I didn't notice anything.

    There have been anectodal reports of more gelling this year on http://forums.tdiclub.com .

    I didn't now there were any engines available in the US that absolutely required ultra low sulfur fuel, except maybe the Mercedes. I've heard Cummins has something on the way.
  11. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I think all new diesel engines manufactured (not necessarily those sold) after January 1 have to be Tier IIIs, which require ultra-low sulfur diesel. They can run on the higher-sulfur grades in a pinch, but it'll gum things up over time. Not to mention that it would illegal. The Cummins rep I talked to said the new regs add about $10,000 to the cost of a truck engine. She claimed no loss of power or mileage, which is apparently a problem with some brands of Tier III engines.
  12. smirnov3

    smirnov3 Feeling the Heat

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    The only problem with the reformulated Diesel is the price. Still cheaper than gasoline per BTU, though.
  13. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Exhaust gas recirculation has been a problem with the current crop of VW diesels. The exhaust gas combines with the intake air and soot (creosote :) ? ) condenses at the egr valve and intake. I don't know how much egr is going to be used with the new engine. It incorporates some kind of soot trap too.
  14. Hokerer

    Hokerer Member

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    How does Biodiesel fit in here? Seems I remember some issue with the newer engines vs. Bio
  15. jjbaer

    jjbaer New Member

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    I think the new diesel fuel is something like 15 ppm sulphur
  16. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Yes, it's 15 ppm for on-road use, 500 ppm for offroad and still 1,500 (I believe) for home heating oil. Those standards will shift over time until eventually all diesel will be 15 ppm or less. My understanding is that as a practical matter, however, refiners may choose not to produce the offroad blend, which would essentially put all vehicles at the new level.

    In following diesels around the countryside over the past couple of months, I've noticed a pronounced decline in the amount of diesel smell and smoke.
  17. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    I'm not going to speculate on other states...but here in MA i'd bet within 2-3 years they will be banned out-right. Most of the legislators working on it at the state level are from that part of the state where the mood is just to ban them. Legislation will send OWB's into the history books...but is going to be started at the bottom and work it's way to the top. (City/town to county to state to fed) And I can already hear the powers that be now "We aren't doing anything that hasn't already been done at a lower level..."

    Damn shame the manufacturers are siding with profit rather than product developement...but welcome to the 21st century way of life!

    Damn shame the media twists and contorts everything just to sell their product too...(I speak as a first hand witness to this)
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