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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. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    Because all the big box stores are out
    we are taking a hit
    selling 3 times as many as usal
    booked up on pellet sales for 2 weeks
    Wood pellets prove hard to find
    Fresno bee story
    http://www.fresnobee.com/170/story/24558.html

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Homefire

    Homefire New Member

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    Weren't you the first to report the pellet plant fire last year ;)
  3. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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  4. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Alright I'm back... Had things to do.
    Anyway I ran some #s last night and for argument sake
    I put all of the below at 100% eff, and all 3 were $100
    So here's the rough stuff
    1 cord hardwood= $4 per million BTU's, This equals 25 million BTU's per cord..
    1 cord softwood= $6.20 per million BTU's, This equals a bit over 16 million BTU's per cord..
    1 ton of pellets= $6.20 per million BTU's, This equals a bit over 16 million BTU's per Ton..
    These are just comparisons here with BTU's disregard the price for now..


    Now why is The Hardwood on the max side of possible BTU's and Pellets on the min side?

    HARDwood is estimated 21-25 million BTU's per cord
    and soft hardwoods and hard softwoods (not my words) are 30% less BTU's per cord
    and softwood has half as many BTU's per cord..

    So those secret #s in the formula are still BIASED..

    As far as NG Does this calculate all the other charges per therm like temp compensated volume, delivery per therm, and all those others that add up to make your bill more than twice your therm rate...

    Now I know I compared them all at the same price but after all I wanted to know what the BTU's were for each.....
    Now as far as my post several pages ago.
    How fast are those BTU's released in a wood stove?
    What happens to those BTU's when you open the damper a bit? Where is that heat going?


    I remember someone saying here "Efficiency is in fact accounted for in the calculator, and you can even adjust the numbers if you don’t believe the defaults. Heck, you can even make the pellet stove 50% more efficient than a woodstove and you still can’t get the same heat into your house out of a $250 ton of pellets as you can out of a $150 cord of hardwood. "

    Maybe I should say this you will never get heat out of a house like you will with a guy burning wood who has his windows open. :coolgrin: Sorry couldn't help myself there...

    The same heat is there Just how quick is is used up? And how fast do you want to make your wife's plants wilt. :)

    Remember this debate did start off the fuel comparison Which is not just cost....... but also on BTU's
  5. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    I will refer you to a Missouri University extension website: http://muextension.missouri.edu/xplor/agguides/forestry/g05450.htm

    I often burn shagbark hickory (29.1 MBtus) and locust (28.1 MBtus) but I also burn a good bit of ash (23.6 MBtus). 25 MBtus is a pretty good average in my opinion. And before someone asks... these values also account for losses due the fact that wood is assumed to have 20% water in it that has to be boiled off.

    It also illustrates the reason why west coast burners may have a better cost tradeoff with pellets - the wood species are not so good for BTU content.

    This all just gets back to good stove design and installation. Any heating system can be poorly managed. Wood burning requires some extra education that pellet stoves don't. I won't argue with that. But I think one major goal of hearth.com is to develop an educated community of alternative fuel users, so I like to believe we are comparing one intelligent user to another intelligent user in these comparisons. Personally, I never open my windows... I don't think Roospike does... I don't think Todd, Sandor, and many of the other woodburners on here do so, because we know how to burn wood properly. We also regulate our burns for long even temperatures. I assume that wood AND pellet users know what they're doing when they operate their stoves.

    As far as dampers, etc... those all get back to efficiency ratings. Pellets also let a good bit of heat out the chimney too. I have no problem with a pellet user claiming their industry rating of 87% as long as the modern EPA wood stove assumes its inudstry rating of 78% when making the comparison. Both are likely overestimated.

    By the way, I still stand by my statement above... I can be really generous, and say a magic pellet stove has been invented that is 100% efficient and say a wood stove is operated by an uneducated user and is only 50% efficient. At $250/ton and $150/cord:

    Pellets: $15.50 per million BTUs
    Wood: $12.00 per million BTUs

    Even under the most ridiculous biased assumptions in favor of pellets, you just can't make a financial case on the east coast. As noted elsewhere, I can agree it is murkier on the west coast.

    -Colin
  6. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    [/quote]

    Well, let's be careful... not sure that I'd believe that number any more than the Wood Stove Manufacturers Association number for their stove, anymore than I'd believe the American Automobile Manufacturers Association's numbers for how reliable their cars :)

    EPA tests claim 78% for modern wood stoves, and I would question those numbers just as much in "real world" applications, and that was also cut to 70 in the calculator.

    My understanding is that Craig puts slightly pessimistic numbers into these defaults to reflect the fact that these are rarely observed in real applications over time.

    By the way, in the last post, I tried hard to manipulate the numbers to make pellets look better than wood on the east coast, even using an imaginary 100% efficient pellet stove that doesn't exist. But I still can't make it look better in this east coast market! Pretty compelling IMHO. We're not talking about 10% differences... we're talking huge 2X factors that have to be overcome in making favorable assumptions for pellets on efficiency, cost of wood has to be much higher, cost of pellets has to fall just to get these things close.

    -Colin
  7. jimkelt

    jimkelt New Member

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    Actually, to me, that is very easy to do and I don't even have to "guess"/adjust the efficiencies. Cordwood is still going for about $225 here, so using PFI AND their default efficiencies (even though I agree that it is ridiculous to think of a wood stove in a real world situation getting 75% efficiency!) and IMO the efficiency for pellet stoves is pretty accurate, at least for our brands, Harman and Dell Point...

    Wood Pellets
    Cost per ton in dollars
    $213 (least expensive I have in my area)
    Appliance Efficiency 87%
    Cost per million BTU=$14.93

    Hardwood (air dried)
    Cost per cord in dollars
    $225
    Appliance Efficiency 75%
    Cost per million BTU=$15.00

    I stand by my point. The calculators (anyone's) are essentially worthless for the my fuel is better than your fuel argument.
  8. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    Actually, I think you've made great use of it. You are looking at your market situation, and coming to a rational conclusion, guided by a set of efficiency assumptions that are a relatively minor role in the results.

    If you really have to pay $225/cord for wood, and you pay $213/ton for pellets, not a bad idea at all to burn pellets. But when I see people talking about $250/ton pellets, in areas where wood is readily available for $150-$200/cord, it just doesn't make financial sense anymore.

    Efficiency can be a swing factor, and clearly a generous assumption of 87% helps, but what really makes the difference is not bantering over 10% efficiency - it's local costs. You happen to have a much better lowest available price on pellets than some, and a very overpriced cordwood market compared to NY, and that is really the local pricing leverage that makes the difference.

    As an aside, does the EPA test pellet stoves for efficiency?

    -Colin
  9. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Do I need to put this up again?
    http://www.mywoodenergy.com/2.html
    Yes theres more around here that are cheaper, but run this through the calculator.
    I just think that the 25 MIL BTU for hardwood should better represent what most people get, as not many people get hickory or orange osage or other High BTU woods like those to be factored into the average...........

    And as far as the heat going out the flue of a pellet stove I can hold my hand in front of the direct vent discharge and not worry about burning it... So one would think that the input btu's were efficiently removed to become BTU's that went into the room and not up the flue... Right?

    It seems you won't stop until you can prove that wood has more BTU input than pellets..... But as I hinted at earlier If you took a cord of hardwood at 25 mil btu and turned it into sawdust and then dried it and made it into pellets are the BTU's Higher or lower?
    Let's assume that when it was cordwood it was 20% mc and as pellets it is alot less (i think 5% not sure though) BTU's are lost due to burning off the moisture content..... So efficiency of the stove is not even in this equation........
    Listen Colin The point here is If you never tried it don't knock it...... Are you saving more money than me by burning wood? YES
    Am I saving more money by burning pellets rather than NG or OIL? YES
    Is my house warmer by burning pellets over NG? YES
    Now if you want to move closer to the northeast, I can tell you you won't be paying $75 a cord and you may want to buy a pellet stove if you were in this area. :bug:

    Oh yeah and pellet prices are dropping....... and so is Oil but sorry to say there's alot of people who locked in at HIGH rates for oil because of the panic from last year. So they are the ones who are screwed, still paying $2.75 a gallon when you can get it for about $2.15 now.......

    Should we stop now or do you want to keep going?
  10. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    Sure, no problem - as you as you calculate based on the $8.90/bag that started the thread :) Both are ridiculous, and everyone knows it.
    Right - I agree - 25 mil BTU is a more typical average among hardwoods, and that is what is in the calculator per your note. Just like it doesn't use the highest or lowest pellet value, it doesn't use highest or lowest hardwood value.
    Again, you are only partially correct... If you read the university extension site carefully, you'll see that when they say 25 million BTUs per cord, that is at 20% moisture content which means they have accounted for that evaporation in the number. What is not accounted for in this discussion is the residual moisture in the pellets, so that kind of works against your argument here, but I agree it is relatively small.
    I agree, based on my local market conditions at the moment. (although I cut my own, I can buy for $150/cord...)
    Depends on your oil price relative to pellets.
    Depends on how much of each you burn, but sure, burn enough of either and you'll do fine.
    Maybe if you can only buy wood at $300+/cord, but that is highway robbery around here, and I live less than 100 miles from Manhattan - not exactly cheap country. Again, in your local market in the Northeast, at $250/ton for pellets, you can't make the case unless you have exorbitant wood prices. Remember - the $300+ you quote for wood is the highest example you can find. The $250/ton I quote for pellets is an average from a website designed to help people track the pellet market in MA. Not exactly apples-to-apples - you are trying to make a loaded comparison that is rather silly.
    My main concern is that you have tried to find flaws in the calculator repeatedly, and your analysis was wrong every time, so it needs to be pointed out. Otherwise, users read this and walk away with false information. In this post, you again said something very misleading - you implied that the cordwood BTU values have to be derated for water. That is not correct. It is net available heat after accounting for 20% moisture. Important point.

    The calculator will tell some users that pellets are a great deal depending on their local market, and a poor choice in others. And that is what it all comes down to - in some markets, pellet stoves are not very cost effective. And if cost is a major concern, hardwood holds compelling price advantages that rarely tilt to favor pellets. Too many people want to put their head in the sand and believe that is not the case and that pellets always save money. It's not that simple.

    If pellets get to $150/cord on the east coast, it'll be a whole new ballgame... and the calculator will confirm it for you.

    -Colin
  11. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Maybe putting this up can help you...
    http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/techline/fuel-value-calculator.pdf

    Oh yeah like it has been pointed out everyones calculator can be interpreted different....... And since it is a us fed site they must be lying to ya.....
    BTU-BTU-BTU-BTU

    Again 25 MIL is not an accurate average for hardwood that most people get..
    Regardless here you can say one # for BTU's per cord and I can say another # who's right?
    I AM.................................(just kidding)........
    let me end on this cause this is starting to border on stupidity....
    If I used to use 300 therms of NG a month which is = to 30 mil BTU........ And now I use about 40 bags of pellets in the same period of time,,,, rough # here 15 Mil BTU's per month Yeah your right I better go down and fire up that furnace again and have my house set at 68* instead of 78* and use Twice the BTU's......

    WOOHOO..........................................

    Again how much is a Therm of NG.....?
    Do you have NG?
    go to next post I ran out of room
  12. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    So My price per therm is $.3784..... Damn that's a good price I'll go back to NG...
    Oh wait there's more...
    $.4342 per day charge just for having the privelige of having gas enter your home...
    distribution adjustment.. $.05640 PER THERM......
    That is under gas delivery charge...
    NEXT
    Gas supply charge....... are ya ready....... $1.36 per therm................ Oh yeah....... woohoo
    let's figure it out here
    the per day charge for 30 days $13.026
    300 therms at .3784 =$113.52
    dist adjustment=$16.92
    gas supply charge=$408.00

    total=$551.466 per month

    avg $1.838 per therm again this is input BTU's since the gas co has no Idea what I have on the other side of the wall.......
    Thats about $22.88 per million BTU's.................................. And I'm sorry these are winter rates they change back to the normal rates in April..... Maybe the calculator is calibrated for the wrong season......

    Oh yeah and the minimum charge I left out.
    My HW and gas Dryer is all I have hooked up right now
    so this last month 21 therms my bill $52 bucks, wow the calculator rocks........................................... I'm going back to gas.........
  13. Michael6268

    Michael6268 Feeling the Heat

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    $8.90? Oh, our Agway is much cheaper. "Only" $6.99 a bag!!!....... COAL IS $8.99 a bag!!! WTF!!!! Maybe we can all catch a bargain at their "GOING OUT OF BUSINESS SALE"!
  14. buildingmaint

    buildingmaint Feeling the Heat

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    If pellets keep going up ,it may be cheaper or a wash for me to go back to natural gas.The reason I went with a pellet stove was because pellets were cheaper then gas. I think that the pellets manufacturers may price them selves out of business's f you think about it burning pellets or wood is more work then going over to the thermostat and turning it up. The only way pellets make sense is to stay way under what gas ,fuel oil ,propane or electric cost to heat a house.
  15. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Why isn't anyone using the calculator I made?
    You can enter the various prices and efficiencies and I did adjust it for relatively conservative figures - I can even re-adjust if needed:
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/articles/fuel_cost_comparison_calculator/

    According to this calculator, Pellets at $279 a ton (present price here)
    are about 23.00 per million BTU delivered to home.
    Oil at 2.25 is about $20.60 for the same
    Hardwood at 150 a cord is $8.57 for the same
    And NG is about $18.00 for the same - at $1.50 a therm -

    Sure, things will vary, but try the calculator out and let me know if you think the results are relatively accurate.
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/articles/fuel_cost_comparison_calculator/

    Checking the Maine Oil link at http://www.forfuel.com - oil can be had for less than $2.00 a gallon delivered right now.
  16. Hammerjoe

    Hammerjoe Member

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    Well, I dont know how accurate your calculator is, especially with the efficiencies, but here is the real situation in my area right now.

    Pellets are being sold at $5.29/bag (Canadian prices)

    Electricity is currently 9cents/kw.

    Dont forget to add tax (14%)
    I dont know what the oil and gas price is but for all purposes it is less expensive than electricity anyway.
    Very little savings to be made... it sucks
  17. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    PFI is a lobbying trade group made up of pellet makers.
    They are my friends and contacts, but I can assure you that there is NO WAY that in the field Pellet Stove efficiency averages 87%. Heck, my gas furnace with the PVC pipe is only 90%.

    Years ago they did field testing of Pellet Stoves and came up with 52-76% for various models. This was before the newest models. I would guess that newer models would run 68% to 82%, depending on a number of factors. I used 70% as the default, but if you want to change it, 75% would be the max you should put in.

    Remember, even if a pellet stove was tested for efficiency it is doubtful that it was tested for AFUE, which is efficiency over the entire season or burn. They may be tested in a "steady state", meaning exactly when they are burning well - but that is not what happens in your or my home.

    On the wood stove end, the number could also go higher or lower. 65% might be more accurate for most non-cats, especially in situations where there is no exposed stovepipe - then again, a good cat stove can do 70%+ maybe even 75%...again, real world.

    Older airtight stoves are probably 50% if you are lucky.
  18. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Craig I don't think it's efficiencies that are being put in question but rather the BTU values that are skewed.
  19. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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  20. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    Particulate emissions measured from woodstoves after extended use don't match the laboratory numbers reported for the same stove models when certified to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Phase II emissions standards, and in most cases are higher, according to an EPA-sponsored study released in December. "But, on average, after about 7 years they still have lower emissions than uncertified conventional stoves," the EPA report concluded.

    Close analysis of the small sample in this study also suggests that conscientious woodburning and regular service of the stove and chimney system by a professional chimney sweep enables a woodstove in active use to burn so cleanly as to nearly achieve the laboratory emissions values.

    Due to concerns about air pollution, a maximum level of particulate emissions is enforced for woodstoves. Before any stove model can be sold, manufacturers must submit a sample for testing under controlled conditions in an emissions laboratory.

    Air quality regulators are also concerned about the levels of polycyclic organic matter (POM) produced by woodburning appliances.

    Primarily due to the high operating temperatures characteristic of woodstoves, some components of woodstoves may become damaged with long-term use. These components include baffles, catalytic combustors, catalytic combustor bypasses, gaskets and seals.

    This study attempted to test the suspicion among air quality regulators that air emissions from woodstoves with damaged or worn out parts would be higher than values accepted during the certification process. EPA hired OMNI Environmental Services, Inc. of Beaverton, Oregon, a leading emissions testing laboratory, to examine sixteen EPA Phase 2 certified woodstoves that had been installed in residences prior to autumn 1992. They were monitored "in order to assess the level of long-term degradation and potential increase in PM (particulate matter) and POM (polycyclic organic matter) air emissions of older Phase 2 certified stoves under actual in-home usage."

    The testing took place in November and December of 1998.

    THE MECHANICS OF TESTING EMISSIONS OF CERTIFIED STOVES IN THE REAL WORLD
    A total of 43 test runs were performed during three one-week periods. The stoves were located in Klamath Falls and Portland, Oregon.

    Though in the same state, the two locations have dissimilar climates. Klamath Falls, situated in an intermountain basin at 4100' elevation, is relatively arid and cold in the winter with an average heating degree-day (HDD) value of 6600. Portland has a mild maritime climate with rainy winters. Portland's HDD value is 4109. The intent was to produce results more widely applicable to the nation as a whole than if homes in a single city were selected.

    Participants in the study burned locally available cordwood fuel and were reimbursed for its cost. Fuel moisture was measured with a Delmhorst moisture meter, or determined through drying/gravimetric analysis in the laboratory. Wood was div ided into pre-weighed bundles, and any leftover wood was also weighed.

    A variety of species was burned. Softwoods and hardwoods including Douglas fir, maple, alder, oak, cherry, birch, and lodgepole pine were burned in the Portland woodstoves. In the Klamath Falls appliances, conifers including lodgepole pine, ponderosa pine, juniper and Douglas fir were consumed.

    Wood moisture in this study ranged from 9% to nearly 53% on a wet basis. Wood moisture averaged considerably less in the Klamath Falls group.

    A sampling device known as the AWES (Automated Woodstove Emissions Sampler) was attached to the stovepipe of each stove. The AWES was developed by OMNI Laboratories to measure emissions of residential woodburning appliances during normal in-home use. It has previously been used in studies quantifying emissions from woodstoves, masonry heaters, pellet stoves and fireplaces.

    In appearance, the AWES was simply an aluminum box that sat near the stove. A stainless steel inlet probe was inserted into the stovepipe 30 centimeters above the flue collar of the stove.

    During this study, the AWES was programmed to sample for two minutes every fifteen minutes whenever the temperature of the flue gases exceeded 100°F, indicating that the appliance was in use.

    Samples of the flue gases flowed into the AWES through stainless steel tubing. Particulate samples were captured with a heated filter and the oxygen content of the flue gas was measured with an electrochemical cell. Flue gas temperature and room temperatu re were recorded and the flue gas was returned to the woodburning appliance chimney above the point where the sample was withdrawn.
  21. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    THE RESULTS
    The sixteen used certified woodstoves in this study emitted an average of 11 grams per hour (g/hr) of particu late matter. This is more than double the certification value for those stove models, but substantially lower than the emissions measured from uncertified woodstoves in similar tests.

    "Out of the 16 stoves inspected, all showed the effects of use," the report concluded. "Routine maintenance or minor repairs could have kept all units in good operating condition if they had been done," the authors (Lawrence H. Fisher, James E. Houck and Paul E. Tiegs of OMNI Environmental Services, Inc., Beaverton, OR and James McGaughey of the Eastern Research Group, Inc., Morrisville, NC) added.


    THE RESULTS OF MAINTENANCE
    Although this was not specifically tracked in the study, I have personal knowledge of five of these woodstove systems, having serviced them annually as Ash Bros. Chimney Sweep for a number of years.

    The maintenance history of the remaining three Klamath Falls stoves, and of the eight Portland stoves, is unknown.

    The average emissions rate for the five chimney sweep maintained woodstove systems was 4.8 grams per hour (g/hr). This is very close to the average certification value, 4.2 g/hr, derived in laboratory testing for those stove models. All of these stoves were non-catalytic models. The certification threshold for EPA Phase 2 certified non-catalytic stoves is 7.5 g/hr.


    The average emissions rate for the 11 stoves with unknown maintenance histories was 13.8 g/hr, while the average certification value for those stoves was 3.9 g/hr. These stoves included five catalytic models. The certification threshold for Phase 2 catalytic stoves is 4.1 g/hr.

    CONSCIENTIOUS WOODBURNING
    One objective of this study was to document changes in emissions performance of woodstoves over time. An attempt was made to return to woodstoves studied in real-world emissions monitoring conducted in 1989/1990 [see SNEWS July 1990, p. 20] and 1991/1992. This proved to be possible in only two cases. In only one case were the same homeowners (stove operators) involved.

    Firebox of a Pacific Energy certified woodstove after 11 years of use as a primary heat source. Emissions of particulates from this woodstove measured in 1999 were below the EPA certification threshold for new non-catalytic woodstove models.
    Photo by Harriet Gillam, SNEWS Magazine.


    In the only case where emissions from the same stove with the same operators were compared, emissions actually were lower in 1998 testing than they were when the stove was new. In this instance, the same woodstove with the same operators was tracked through three studies over a nine-year period.

    The authors of the EPA report said, "The higher emission factor [for this stove] in the 1989/1990 study cannot be readily explained. However, it is probably simply a reflection of the variability often seen in woodstove emissions when different fuels are burned and different burning patterns are used."

    "We've learned about the stove," said Karine Neubert, the owner of the Haughs 171E non-catalytic woodstove that emitted fewer particulates than did any other in this study.

    "It burns really well," Mrs. Neubert continued, "but we were concerned about how it would measure up in this study, because there is a crack in the baffle."

    MOISTURE
    Mrs. Neubert gave some of the credit for their stove's low emissions in the tests to their firewood. "We always burn good wood," she said. "We keep it dry and covered."

    The report documents that the Neuberts burned mostly lodgepole pine during the 1998 study, lodgepole and Douglas fir in the 1991/1992 tests, and juniper during emissions testing in 1989/1990. In each of the three tests, the Neuberts' wood moisture measured between 13-17%.

    The EPA report noted that particulate emissions for stoves in Portland were higher on the average than the stoves in Klamath Falls. "This result is consistent with the average higher fuel moisture content and burn rate characteristics of the Portland portion of the study as compared with the Klamath Falls portion of the study," the authors said.

    DRAWING CONCLUSIONS
    "The emission rates for phase 2 stove models reported as part of the NSPS (new source performance standards) certification process do not represent emission levels of the same stove models in homes after extended use," the authors concluded. "On the average, they still have lower emissions than uncertified conventional stoves."

    The authors were careful to note that "no direct statistical correlation between emissions and wood moisture, burn rate or stove condition could be made due to the number of variables associated with real-world in-home use of woodstoves."

    With this in mind, their conclusion that "the particulate emissions factors of the certified phase 2 stoves evaluated in this study appear to have become higher with use" would appear to be questionable. The disappointingly small subset of two stoves that participated in previous emissions tests and thus are available for comparison doesn't lend support to this view. One of the two stoves actually had lower emissions numbers in the later tests.

    However, observation and photographic evidence definitely confirm that the stoves 'showed the effects of use."

    With the authors' hint that "routine maintenance or minor repairs could have kept all units in good operating condition" we are led to the most important conclusion available from this small study, although they did not explicitly state it, or perhaps even realize it:

    With proper installation and conscientious operation including use of covered, seasoned wood and regular service by a competent professional chimney sweep, certified woodstoves after years of use burn nearly as cleanly in the real world as they did under laboratory conditions for certification.
  22. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Western Mass.
    OK, here are BTU assumptions on my calculator:
    name="fuelcalc" value="7.143">Oil
    name="fuelcalc2" value=".04">Hardwood
    name="fuelcalc3" value=".062"> Softwood
    name="fuelcalc4" value="2.93">Electric
    name="fuelcalc5" value=".062">Pellets
    name="fuelcalc6" value="10">Nat Gas
    name="fuelcalc7" value="11.1">LP Gas
    name="fuelcalc8" value=".036">Coal

    The "value" time the fuel unit should equal 1 million BTU INPUT. In other words, using oil, 7.143 x 140,000 BTU should equal a million BTU.
    For Hardwood, this assume 25 million BTU INPUT. So even 3000 lbs of seasoned wood at 8500 BTU would far surpass that.

    Please look at the figures and let me know if those assumptions are far off the real world.
  23. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    2,140
    Loc:
    Waxhaw, NC... Formerly North shore Mass
    Still not sure what I am supposed to do with those #s above and how I'm supposed to calculate these, but it looks like the lower the # the better you are I don't know if this is input or output BTU, But pellets are tied with softwood whatever the case....
    The #s for wood have quite a BTU range and it seems that the calculator is more towards the Higher end since most people don't get the 25-30mil BTU wood maybe those #s are misleading people a bit.
    and from the pellet BTU input it was like 5600 BTU input which is way off...
    Just an opinion here. :)



    And Spike what was that long post about I couldn't read the whole thing but it looks like an efficiency thing.
  24. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,100
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    Here is what you do with those multipliers....

    that figure x the number of BTUs in the UNIT on the compare page =1 million BTU of heat input.

    So the value for Gas, which is 10 is multiplied by THERM (the unit on the calc page) to equal 1 million BTU
    The value for Pellets, .062, must be multiplied against the BTU in a TON of Pellets (again the unit on the calc page) to equal one million BTU. So if a ton has 2000 (lb) times 8,000 BTU/LB that is 16,000,000 BTU x .062 which equals a million BTU.

    So, in this way, those figures can be checked for accuracy against what one thinks the fuel value should be.

    So those are my fuel BTU assumptions.....

    The chart allows for the user to adjust effic. and price, so those are variables, but the BTU values are hard-coded in.
  25. PutnamJct

    PutnamJct Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Messages:
    236
    Loc:
    Putnam County NY
    Don't you need to take into account where those BTU's are being pumped into the house?

    I still maintain that everyone's situation and house layout is different and there is no way to figure these variables into any calculator.

    All fuel prices have such radical swings from coast to coast. Pellets are way more expensive in the NY/NE area then out west, oil is much more expensive in NY then Maine. I think each person needs to decide based on their individual situation and fuel availability on what the right choice is.

    PS: Local Home Despot & Lowes both at $5.99 per bag.
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