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Anyone else feel wood consumption increased with storage?

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by goosegunner, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

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    I hate to say it but I might have to weigh a few of my wood loads before I burn. It is just a gut feeling, but to me it seems as though my wood consumption with my Econoburn 200 and 1000 gallons of storage has actually increased after adding storage.

    Last year I would idle on and off. When I was home I would just throw in a small amount of splits when needed. This year I burn a shopping cart of wood at a time. One row of splits in the cart, heaped up will do it so far, maybe a little more if it is below 20 degrees or if I want to push tank to 188 top 185 bottom.


    I have tried using 1/2 amounts morning and night instead of once a day but I think results are the same.

    Some of my pieces are 16-18" long so they are short for my 21" firebox. Need to get a scale to see what is actually going on.

    gg

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  2. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    Seems impossible, all things being equal.
  3. hobbyheater

    hobbyheater Minister of Fire

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    :) AS we get older maybe we just don't want to admit that we are keeping the pool hotter :cheese:
  4. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    I have often wondered if I am burning more wood than necessary. Hard to tell though because I started out with the system I have as far the boiler goes. The old system was a Wood Stove. I have some experience to get to figure out the correct way with my system during all the different outdoor temperatures. I felt I was doing well in the beginning of the shoulder season. October-November. Most of November actually, been mild. Unusually mild. It was much easier then. Light one fire big enough to heat tank up. Turn boiler off. Do that again the next day. Repeat. :lol: It is still easy now. Load boiler every twelve hours. Close door. But wonder if I am burning more than nec.
  5. Frozen Canuck

    Frozen Canuck Minister of Fire

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    Have to agree with stee on this. Unless you have large transmission or storage losses. In the absense of those it would seem to defy the laws of physics.
  6. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

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    So I had to take some pictures and measure the cart. Most of my pieces average 18" the cart is 17.5" wide and I heap it to less than 24" so I will round it to 4.5 cubic feet of wood per cart.

    I also included some pictures of my 2 wood storage racks in boiler room. when a bunk is empty it gets refilled so the wood dries nice after 5 days in the room.

    I have found the shopping cart works great. I put kindling and a few small splits in the child seat. The splits go in the basket, I use a torch to light the charcoal in the boiler and load.


    gg

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  7. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

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    Here are pics of the storage racks, 60" wide the blue one is 48 inches tall, the wood one is 32" tall. Last about 8 days, been around 20 degrees here, colder at night. The next week is suppose to be 40.

    gg

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  8. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

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    Logstor was used for underground and tank is insulated to about R75. I do need to wrap up my run in garage to furnace a little better. Now that I am running storage I need to only release heat where I want it.

    gg
  9. willworkforwood

    willworkforwood Feeling the Heat

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    Would you bypass storage for some period of time, in order to do a with/without storage compare?
  10. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

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    That is a thought to consider. At this point I will wait to see how it works as it gets colder. I have a pretty good idea of how it worked last year without storage.

    Honestly it is so much more convenient even if there is a big difference It would be well worth it to me.

    Another factor with using storagei just thought of is is my back up will hardly ever run. Last year it was harder to time it so I burned lp more frequently when the boiler ran out of wood. It also got to the point in the spring when I could hardly use the boiler due to excessive idling even with small pieces.

    gg
  11. henfruit

    henfruit Minister of Fire

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    The supermarket police are looking for there carriage.
  12. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    An educational outcome of weighing wood for a period of time is that you should be able to get a more realistic estimate of your heat loss than with any heat loss calculator. Note outside temperature range, use 5000 btu/lb (83% efficiency) or adjust as you want, weigh and burn a few days. and then calculate btu/hr average heat loss. For my shop in November I burned 1700 lbs of wood x 5000 / 30 / 24 = 11800 btu/hr average heat loss. November had 890 heating degree days (hdd); average temperature was pretty close to 35F. November was warmer than normal, as normal hdd for November is 1043.
  13. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

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    I was wondering when someone would say that....

    Actually bought that thing for $9 from a local surplus/scrap place. I was going to build a cart to place next to the boiler to make for easy loading. I couldn't even buy wheels for that. This thing works great! Now to just rig it up with a scale.

    gg
  14. hobbyheater

    hobbyheater Minister of Fire

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    If your storage is not well insulated, your standby loss could easily exceed the loss of a well insulated boiler working in standby mode.
    When I put our system together 30 years ago, other than fiberglass pink, there was not much else around. So I approached heat loss from the other direction. What were they using to keep something that was very cold, cold? I found a compressed fiber glass board 2'x4'x2" that was used on Liquid Nitrogen tanks.
    The storage tank was first wrapped in an insulated reflective blanket, with the reflective side in. Next, three layers of the insulating fiberglass board were placed around the tank with the joints staggered, each layer being compressed to the tank using aluminum banding and a banding machine. With the tank insulated in this way, the supplier said that the heat loss should be less than 1%.
    The tank's volume is 1040 imperial gallons. In the summer months, the tank is primarily used for DHW and only taken to 170 F, allowing it to drop to 110 F. This gives me a span of 10 -14 days between firings.

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  15. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

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    The top of my tank has over 20" of overlapping fiberglass that is framed in a box and covered with 1.25 inch of foam and OSB. The floor under the tank has 8" of foam and then fiberglass. The walls have over 20" with + 2 layers of foam board.

    Two things I need to do:

    1.Weigh a cart of wood

    2 Put a sensor on the middle of the tank. It will help tell me what is left vs just top and bottom.

    Overall I am very happy, it just seems at times like dang that is a lot of wood.



    gg

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  16. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

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    I also counted the splits in the cart and there was 36. Most were 16-18" long and were 2-4" across the face.


    gg
  17. DaveBP

    DaveBP Minister of Fire

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    And a moisture meter and Heating Degree Day records.

    And there is the psychological angle. Many of the times that I've made a modification on some system or other I have high hopes for a miraculous improvement that rarely occurs. Even a very nice improvement can seem a disappointment compared to my fantasy Nobel Prize winning expectations.
  18. Countryboy1966

    Countryboy1966 Member

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    Goosegunner,

    Pre-storage, how cyclical was your heating?

    For instance, did the house sometimes get down to 60° as opposed to a constant 68° because you spaned a long time between burn times?

    I have a constant heating system. I have what I call the eternal winter flame going on. Depending on heat demand I have various means to idle or increase heat supply, but sometimes the house will get down to 60° for extended periods of time, that otherwise if storage and automated heat controls were available would be at 68°

    Perhaps you went from a similar system to an automated system and some of the wood conservation is no longer there? And when I say wood conservation I mean opportunity cost of a 68° climate vs. 60°
  19. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

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    I agree, the miraculous improvement is the added convenience. Simply incredible so far, it will be even better when I get it set up to check the temps from the ipad, computer, or phone. The I can check from work and just tell the wife yes or no or half Load, full load.

    I have a moisture meter and after 5 days in the boiler room the small splits are 15% or less.

    gg
  20. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

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    House stays constant because if my water is not 130 after 3 minutes at coil the pump stops and lp furnace kicks on.

    gg
  21. hobbyheater

    hobbyheater Minister of Fire

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    The tank pictured by your wood rack is that your expansion tank ?
    Your tanks insulation looks good!
  22. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

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    Yes inverted 120 gallon lp tank. Wirsbo hepex sight glass with thill ice fishing float for level.

    gg

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  23. hobbyheater

    hobbyheater Minister of Fire

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    Any significant heat loss from this tank?
  24. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

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    I doubt it the tank pressure/ temp gauge is usually not that different from room temp. Room temps are similar to what it was last year with out storage and the new pressure tank.

    I don't think I have ever seen a insulated expansion tank?

    gg
  25. hobbyheater

    hobbyheater Minister of Fire

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    Different systems . The tank in my system is open ended higher in the building and outside and gets warm so needed to be insulated. Just looking for something simple.I will keep watching this thread its interesting.

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