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Beware of claims that Italian or Euro pellet stoves are superior?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by MCPO, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. Phil Do's fire.

    Phil Do's fire. Minister of Fire

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    Well.. I have a Palazzetti and compared to my QuadraFire and Whitfield, yes my pellet consumption YTD is down 40%. I suggest you check out there design before casting doubts..and quite honestly, I still can't believe how efficient the stove is:cool:

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  2. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    Unfortunately, with one small exception, our Castiles only have cast iron 'look pretty' panels that contribute almost nothing to the heat going into the room. In fact, the front actually detracts from the smooth flow of air into the room. I run mine with the front cast 'door' open. The combustion area is all Chinese sheet steel with two small access panels that ARE cast iron.
  3. PoolGuyinCT

    PoolGuyinCT Feeling the Heat

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    You are correct, quad has referred to it as a cast stove, and so did the genius I bought it from.. After scrutinizing, as I noted originally , "cast veneer" in my early post,

    Veneer was my attempt at sarcasm...
  4. Phil Do's fire.

    Phil Do's fire. Minister of Fire

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    The Palazzetti has dual very large cast iron heat exchanger's, anyone that is skeptical of it's performance is invited to stop by for the day...you bring the beer and I will supply the TV and food:)
  5. Chain

    Chain Feeling the Heat

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    It sounds like it's a "gasification" pellet stove similar to what is now available in outdoor wood boilers. If so, I can believe that it's much more efficient as the concept substantially improves efficiency in wood boilers.
  6. Pelleting In NJ

    Pelleting In NJ Feeling the Heat

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    The CSA 415B Efficiency measurement is based on determinining the BTU content of the flue gases, so it is accurate independent of the amount of heat the stove radiates into the room.
  7. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    Bingo! It was in one of YOUR previous posts where I saw your claim. OK now, your claim was that you used "40% less pellets" YTD than your previous stove. I`m not going to dispute your figures but maybe how you arrived at them.
    This year to date I`m using 30% more with my stove but that can be attributed at least partially to the weather or the pellets .
    A cast iron heat exchanger isn`t likely to transfer heat significantly better than steel . It`s more about the design than the material used.
    As I said before I can see big differences in overall efficiencies with a cheapie Joe stove vs a high end stove but 40% less fuel used in one stove vs another competitive brand would seem highly unusual and unlikely to me. Even the Pallizetti ads I saw didn`t claim 40%. If this was possible I don`t think any other high end brand would have a chance and Palizetti would be touting those claimed figures in their ads .
    I mean 40% is very significant and would represent a major breakthrough in heating technology and from what I see so far the only difference is a cast iron heat exchanger which is more or less meaningless from what I understand.
  8. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    What the banded about figures seen for most pellet stoves are is a joke and the joke is on a lot of people.

    A stove rated under the three factors method that says 76% efficient has a heat exchanger that is only 31% efficient that leaves a lot of room for improvement (talk to turbulator folks that did a few experiments with some quadrafire stoves)..

    One rated at 86% has a heat exchanger that is 62% efficient not enough room for a doubling of output but still a lot of room for improvement (talk to the condensing boiler folks).

    Now add in how most people seem to operate their stoves, namely ash filled or with crud in their convection systems, that leaves all kinds of room (do some searches or talk to anyone who has purchased a used unit).

    As always with any labeled EPA mileage ratings, YMWV (the W is for Will which is a stronger statement than May).


    Chain,

    You got one part of it some of those pellet stoves are indeed gasification units, but nothing beats a really good heat exchanger system.
  9. Lake Girl

    Lake Girl Moderator Staff Member

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    Phil, do you have good schematics/work manual for the stove? Since it is a rare beast, repairs may be interesting. My resident fire science guru figures it may be "fussy" on internal set-up to get that gasification ratio just right. He's also leery of the cast combustion chamber - cast is not easily repaired... While efficiency is great, the big test will be years down the road.

    Wishing many years of efficient heat:)

    Edit: Not all over Canada - mostly eastern - significantly less in central and western. Will have to get first hand look next time I visit my boy in Thunder Bay as there is a dealer there! ​
  10. Chain

    Chain Feeling the Heat

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    I'm intrigued about the gasification process as well. Given the heat requirements to make the process work, and that pellet stoves are usually not as hot as wood stoves/boilers, it must not leave too much room for error in a pellet stove. But given the advancements over the years in constant monitoring via computerized control boards, sensors, etc., it certainly makes sense that gasification would find its way into pellet stoves.
  11. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    If you look at the Ecofire brochure you'll see that it actually does have some MODERN heat exchange technology using extruded pieces with large surface areas compared to the Middle Age technology of smooth tubing. Many of our stoves including mine could have been much better served by using extruded finned tubing which presents much more surface area. Sure it would be harder to remove the ash build up but I'm certain that it would be a minor modification perhaps using steel or copper bristles instead of the antique scrapper system.
    As far as efficiency measuring the exhaust gases, don't forget that if you have incomplete combustion, which we do, some of the ash and gases going up the flue are caring wasted btu's out of the house and are not being captured by the testing. The truth is that we don't have a clue what the real efficiency is. Face it! Two years ago, some may recall an attempt by a college student on here trying to work out a way to measure efficiency and we all got a chuckle out of some of his ASSumptions......
  12. Lake Girl

    Lake Girl Moderator Staff Member

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  13. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Thanks Lake Girl, but I'm having way too much fun playing with my bucket of parts stove and not sure the boss will go for new bucket of parts at the moment. Besides I have to get my exercise some how, might as well be in lugging pellets around :) .
  14. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    As I said earlier I wouldn`t want to dispute your figures but there could be many reasons contributing to a 40% drop in fuel. We have to assume some of that 40% was due to your old stove inefficiency , venting , and pellet brand. Are you using the same pellet brand ? Was your old stove connected the same way or could it have been a faulty install?
    I`m always skeptical of what usually amounts to what I think of as exaggerated claims of heating appliances , especially pellet stoves since the variables are many and always subject to inconsistancies. No where in Palizetti literature do I see any reference to gasification.
    I recall when I first purchased a supposedly highly advanced (catalytic burner ) European oil stove made by Franco Belge (Belgium). This was back when oil was much less than it currently is and I bought it ,at least partially under the premises that the Europeans held the technological edge in heating appliances due to their higher fuel costs. It was an excellent stove in actual use for 7 yrs but the truth was I found absolutely no savings whatsoever when compared against heating that space with the zone off my oil furnace.
    I used it for the sake of having a stove burning in the winter and for power outages since it required no electric.
    Obviously some stoves will indeed save pellets over others but 40% seems a stretch to me. I know it`s human nature to exaggerate a bit especially when one feels he has purchased a particular product and wants to feel justified . Believe me if I knew for sure that I would save 40% on the amount of pellets I use I`d be jumping at the opportunity.
    Unfortunately for me there`s only one way to separate the wheat from the chaffe.
  15. bbone

    bbone Member

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    Phil, where did you get stove from, and I might just take you up on your offer about seeing it in action, will be in Hyde Park Sunday
  16. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    I just ran across a thread http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/palazzetti-prima-pellet-stove-is-awesome.101210/ where the same OP claimed "Damn stove uses almost 50% less pellets than my previous stoves" . While not a great difference it is not the same as 40%. On another page in that same thread you write it`s saving you 30% compared to the Quad.
    This is what I mean about exaggerations. I think most of us tend to have a propensity to embellish something we really like and that`s probably normal..
    If in fact this is truly a standout pellet stove and will indeed cut pellet useage 40% over competing models , then we can be assured it or similar technology will find it`s way into more stoves and showrooms and will be "the" pellet stove to buy.

    I apologize if I come across as insulting or offensive , that wasn`t my intent.

    There`s nothing I`d like more than finding out that I`m dead wrong in all my assumptions.
  17. Lake Girl

    Lake Girl Moderator Staff Member

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  18. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    Great find ! The first link indeed shows us the stove was designed for a secondary burn capability as in some later designed cordwood stoves. This works effectively in cordwood stoves that are known to emit copius amounts of moisture and the multitude of other combustable chemical elements found in cordwood fuel venting up into the chimney that would normally turn into creosote when it isn`t burned at a high and wasteful rate.
    I know from experience my Pacific Energy wood stove with a heated air injection manifold system (secondary burn) did reduce my cordwood use by approx 25%. However, I do wonder how much of these burnable by products remain in clean,dry, high quality compressed pellets and if the same rate of savings from a secondary burn would apply in a pellet stove..
    To begin with , the air/oxygen being blown into a pellet fire has to be lot more efficient than the free flow of oxygen through a typical cordwood stove . Pellets are also a much better fuel . This to me would somewhat mitigate the same benefit of this secondary burn technology in a pellet stove. I`m not saying it isn`t possible to see a savings but I don`t see it as being easily measureable , or as much as they would like us to believe. There probably is enough by product left from a pellet fire to produce a secondary burn but after introducing the much needed super heated air is there still a significant savings?
    Forgive me for attempting to punch holes in the theory behind all this but I think we can learn more by doing just that.
  19. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    This secondary burn technology isn`t new to pellet burning stoves. We used to have a dealer (good forum contributor) in upper NY who favored the Paromax stove.(made in Canada) He often boasted of it`s heat output per lb of fuel compared to others. The Paromax too has been produced for years and uses the same technology, probably with recently improved features .
    I think what held back popularity and sales was the cost of it and not having an auto start feature.
    Lets not forget the service and parts availability of foreign products.
  20. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    The Paromax unit is a gasifier and has a very large heat exchanger, very low particulate emissions, and a very low air to fuel ratio it is known by several names under several different makers, the stove is now back with its inventor.

    People know it as the Europa or Europa 75 (under Dell Point, and at least one other maker, prior to going to Paromax).
  21. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    It was also the regency greenfire 75
    SmokeyTheBear likes this.
  22. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Yup, that it was. Now Claude has it back.
  23. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    Perhaps ahead of its time and no igniter....
  24. John Ackerly

    John Ackerly Member

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    I suspect lots of European pellet stoves are 50% more efficient, meaning up to 90% LHV instead of around 60%. The reason many US manufacturers make low efficiency pellet stoves is because there is no requirement that manufacturers test or report efficiency in any standardized way, so the consumer and even those of us who consider ourselves knowledgeable insiders - are completely in the dark about pellet stove efficiencies. We have a list of real, verified pellet stove efficiencies that shows a range of between 36 and 86% efficiency, LHV, with an average of 75% efficiency, LHV. Brand names and models were redacted, so we don't know which stoves are which but its a reliable list provided by HPBA consultants to the EPA. How would you like to be the sucker that bought the 36% efficient stove, or another one that is tested at 53%, LHV?
    SmokeyTheBear, DexterDay and moey like this.
  25. Phil Do's fire.

    Phil Do's fire. Minister of Fire

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    Hi Lake Girl,

    I do have the schematics and manual. The stove is real easy to clean and the auger, blowers and sensors can easily be removed in about 10 minutes. Good cast iron holds up for years, I had coal stoves for several years and they really run hot!. Thanks, I hope to have the stove for years to come :)

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