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Best pellet price Ever, Even I was Amazed $8.90 / Bag

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by drizler, Jan 13, 2007.

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  1. mgambuzza

    mgambuzza Member

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    I saw this on a couple of web sites earlier this year. This is a great concept - if you have either the room for the storage tank, or a good dry method of transporting from the tank to the stove/furnace. Delivery is same concept as the old coal delivery - drive to customer's home, transfer pellets into the "pellet bin", and drive off. No stacking or carrying. I would think someone in the states would catch on to this concept soon enough as it eliminates the stacking and carrying of the material, making it more appealing to the masses.

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  2. Xena

    Xena Minister of Fire

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    woops. guess we can't delete our own posts?
  3. Xena

    Xena Minister of Fire

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    Someone has:


    Nichols Hardware in Lyme, N.H., receives a delivery
    of wood pellets to be used as fuel for its 150,000-Btu per-hour
    wood pellet boiler. The building has been heated entirely
    with biomass fuels for 30 years.


    taken from here:
    http://www.solartoday.org/2005/nov_dec05/wood_heating.htm

    Attached Files:

  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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  5. Kenny1

    Kenny1 Feeling the Heat

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    In some ways the Europeans are ahead of us in this regard, but they have tax credits to help with green technologies.

    But I think that in addition to improving the local infrastructure, we have to add greater local production capacity (e.g. more local pellet mills). This might help in stabilizing prices a bit.
  6. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    What we don't have is a "critical mass" of pellet burners in close proximity to make such a delivery system viable.
  7. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    By the truck load in Europe, neat. I have scouted around in Bavaria in whatever stores I happen into and can't even find pellets for sale. Thats up in the alps in Southern Bavaria. They must have em somewhere but I have yet to see where. I have located several sources of rather good beer but then I have been around that area for nearlly 26 years and lived there for 4 of em. I guess my priorities are in line.
  8. PutnamJct

    PutnamJct Member

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    Using DOI's latest numbers, http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/dnav/pet/pet_pri_wfr_a_EPD2F_PRS_cpgal_w.htm Oil is actually averaging $2.42 in the Northeast with a swing from $2.24 in Maine to $2.77 in Wash DC......

    Their are just too many variables in house size, age, layout, fuel availability, time, sweat equity, amount of beer consumed on any given day, etc to use the calculator comparisons as gospel truth. You can say the BTU cost doesn't lie, but it does sometimes.

    /runs back to his hole now.
  9. Xena

    Xena Minister of Fire

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    Kiddies, the picture and article I posted is
    in New Hampshire, not Europe. I doubt that truck
    you see in the picture only delivers to
    that one location.
    I'm sure this will be more widespread
    in this Country as pellet use progresses.
  10. jimkelt

    jimkelt New Member

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    We put the Harman Pellet Boiler in our house this fall. I plan to put a bulk feed system in over the summer. Our stove shop also put in a silo, so we can start selling bulk pellets to people soon. No delivery truck for us (yet?), but NEWP seems to keep theirs pretty busy, and we would love to see more. Right now, because of equipment cost (those trucks aren't cheap!) it is not less expensive, but in the long run I think it could be... Plus you don't have to deal with all those plastic bags!
    Europe is so far ahead of us when it comes to whole house heat, and bulk feed, it's not even funny! They have full government support (WE should be working on getting support- like funding the Renewable Energy Securities Act started by Charlie Bass (Prior R congressman-NH). Europe would also love to take our pellets! (sorry- there I go again...)
  11. coalkirk

    coalkirk New Member

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    How do you like your Harman pellet boiler? I'm in my fourth winter with the Harman VF3000 coal stoker boiler. It paid for itself mid-season last year. It provides all of my heating and domestic hot water for my home, saving me at least $2,000.00 in oil. It's the best home improvement I've ever made. I heated with a wood boiler for alot of years. Too much work for me now. This is so easy.
  12. jimkelt

    jimkelt New Member

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    I love the pellet boiler. I used to use a P68 and an oil boiler. The boiler is much quieter than oil boiler, is as easy to use and clean as the stoves (4+ ton so far this year and haven't had to empty ash pan yet), and has had no problem heating my house (~3200 sq. ft.). It easily keeps the water in the temp range I set. Accounts for the outdoor temp as well. We also use it to heat our hot water. Bye bye expensive propane! Looking to save about $1000- $1500 this year, but my house will be consistently warm this year, and looking at a payout of about 5-8 years. Had a power outage yesterday and it ran on generator with very little fuel consumption and no problem!
    Only thing is an addition (~400 sq. ft.) we put on this summer we did a radiant floor heat. Which works well- a little too well... Haven't found a good way to control temps in there. Pump is supposed to stay on all the time but boy it gets warm fast. The plumber wants to sell me a mixing system for about a grand (parts only). I am just lowering the boiler temp for now...
    Sounds like the stoker is treating you well. Harman makes some really solid units. :coolsmile:[
  13. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    I'm still working some #s here people....... Hey wood guy's check out these prices.......
    http://www.mywoodenergy.com/2.html

    Welcome to MASSACHUSETTS.............

    Do pellets seem a bit more viable yet? He He He..... :)
  14. coalkirk

    coalkirk New Member

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    Jim,

    There are lots of inexpensive mixing valves available for about $100.00. Check this site which has Taco tempering valves.

    http://www.aimradiantheating.com/store/components.html

    My wifes cousin uses radiant floor heat in an addition and he tempers the water to about 90 degrees. Works great. Too hot is not good for that type of heat. I use a tempering valve also because I heat with a water to air heat excahnger in my duct work. Most days, I'm sending 90 degree water through it also. When it gets colder, I adjust the water up to 100-120 degrees. I only keep my boiler at around 145 degrees.

    Wow, 4 tons and you haven't emptied the ash bin yet! I'm jealous. That's the draw back with coal, lots of ash. I get a ash tub full with every 250# of coal. The advantage is of course, coal is alot cheaper than pellets. If Harman had come out with that pellet boiler four years ago, I would have strongly considered it.
  15. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Oh damn I hate to do this but now that football is done and I have time............
    Colin....... The calculator is off...... I did a little crunching here and there tonight and research It turns out that the calculator is putting pellets in at about
    5600 BTU's per pound.. :eek:hh:
    Well since the average is anywhere between7800 and 8800 BTU per pound I'd say this is a bit misleading don't you?

    Don't know if Craig made the calculator or not........ I don't really care....... But it is flawed............
    So this throws out the comparison to oil or NG don't ya think?
    What kind of wood are ya burning? I can check on the BTU's for you if you like :blank:
  16. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    noooo, GVA! Dont "diss" the all-knowing, always-right fuel comparison calculator! So much basis is put on it to further folks arguments on how awful pellets are as a heat source, it couldnt possibly be wrong....right? Surely you must be doing SOMETHING wrong? I mean, you DO burn pellets in the first place, you techie, dontcha? ;-P
  17. cogger

    cogger Member

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    11 years ago my local Agway was charging $7 per bag when to going price was $3.25. The clerk even asked me if the price was correct!
  18. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    Hey, Sams Club is getting into the act too. Wife just was in Sams and they were only 5.99, Unbelievable. I just went and bought a ton of bagged cleaned corn for $160. They can keep their wood pellets. I hope they find a nice dark warm place to stick ( store) them where they will plug up the corparate plumbing.
    Thats just another reason why a multifuel stove is the way to go. The corn smells nice outside too.
  19. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Actually I have a secret...
    I buy a cord of seasoned split hickory, Grind it into sawdust and then compress and run it through an old meat grinder my Grandma used to use........
    I easily get 10,000 BTU's per pound. Because as someone said here you will never get the BTU's out of pellets that you get out of wood......... And here I thought wood pellets were wood.......:lol: :lol:
    No in all seriousness, I can find BTU's for wood based on a cord but still waiting for some one to tell me what a cord weighs of any kind of wood..... Then the BTU #s will be even closer if not equal, even if the cost difference between pellets and wood is only $50....... Sorry Depending on where you live.....
    Did you see In my other thread.......... 1 cord over 300 bucks. :zip:

    Edit.... here's a link to a LOCAL source.......

    http://www.mywoodenergy.com/2.html

    Those price gougers.... ;-P :cheese: ;-P
  20. restorer

    restorer New Member

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    Driz:
    Where you at??? That's our price as of last August. Would you share where you're from?


  21. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    Actually, you've made another mistake... but I can explain this one as well:)

    You are neglecting to account for the efficiency factor in the calculator. Craig has a default of 70% for pellets and wood stoves. This helps correct the results relative to electric or high efficiency gas/oil heaters - it is a user parameter you can adjust to whatever you believe is correct. You'll see that the results page has the key statement "delivered into the home." Not "loaded into the heater." That is an important point, and in fact, it goes to show why you can't just compare the cost of the fuel source - you have to consider how efficient the repsective heaters are. The difference is really most significant for electric heat, although even at 100% efficiency, it still loses to almost everything in any scenario.

    So to prove this, let's use an example...

    $200/ton pellets and 70% efficiency gives you a result of $17.71 per million BTUs. Some simple math will rearrange this result to 5646 BTUs per pound, just as you found when you didn't account for efficiency.

    Now if you want to decouple from the efficiency factor, and simply look at what number Craig has behind the scenes to feed the calculations, just set the efficiency to 100%. $200/ton pellets and 100% efficiency gives you a result of $12.40 per million BTUs. A little more simple math and you come out at 8065 BTUs/lb. This is the heat basis entering the calculator, consistent with your expectations above.

    Basic message is that any heat source, wood or pellets, has a certain BTUs per lb, but not all those BTUs will end up warming your house, and the calculator gives you the capability to take that into account when comparing your options.

    Ready to turn on that oil heat now? ;-)
  22. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    The numbers are pretty interesting... Missouri extension has a nice site on the topic.

    A cord of seasoned hardwood can run about 4000 lbs, and contain about 25 million BTUs. (varies a bit by species...) So 7000 BTUs per lb. in this case. Now I know what you're thinking - "wow, pellets have 1000 more BTUs per lb!" Sounds great... except that here on the east coast, we pay about $75/ton for wood, instead of $250/ton for pellets. :-S

    But for fun, we can run the numbers with $300/cord hardwood - as long as you use $8.90/bag pellets and see how that works out. Sure, neither is a real market value, but entertaining nonetheless... and I can assure you pellets aren't going to look too good in that comparison either :)
  23. jimkelt

    jimkelt New Member

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    How exactly did you determine 70% efficiency? Unless you have tested all pellet stoves in multiple settings, with multiple fuels I think it is impossible to "Guess". This is where fuel cost calculators become worthless. They can be manipulated to agree to just about any argument. On the same note efficiencies for wood and oil (and any) system can be manipulated in the same way...
    The calculator is for a homeowner to (as best he can) determine if a suggested source will be cost effective against his existing. When people use it in an argument of my fuel is better than your fuel it loses its value.

    The Pellet Fuels Institute has averaged an 87% efficiency for pellet stoves. I bet they know more than any one person knows, as they have access to actual info on stoves, and manufacturers...[/quote]
  24. jimkelt

    jimkelt New Member

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    Thanks for the link. I will look into it.
    For clarification, I would like to say that there is a (single) mixing valve in place. However, it does not temper the water enough. I think it is because I keep the boiler at 160-165 so I get the amount of hot water I need.
    Still love the boiler! Funny side note- Finally cold day here (0 F). When I opened the curtains the P68 popped on. Good to know it's there when I need it :)
  25. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    Yes you have to look at is as BTU Input and BTU Output.
    The Calculator factors in the Ef. and this is why you get the lower BTU

    Just like Gas stoves and fireplaces.
    You have BTU input and output.
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