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  1. Steamer

    Steamer Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Messages:
    76
    Loc:
    Southern Vt
    Been reading this forum for about 2 weeks and very impressed with all the valuable info. been burning wood since 1981. Sam Daniels Furnace I installed in the old farmhouse worked great but lots of creosote to contend with. Built new house in mid eighties with 12" insulation in the attic and 6" in the sidewalls. Installed a Nashua woodstove when house was built and burn just couple of cords a year as supplemental heat as fuel was reasonable. Burn about 500 gallons of oil in oil boiler which is in excellent condition to heat and make hot water for the year. Thinking of installing Biasi boiler either in basement along oil boiler or in corner of attached garage. House is 1950 sqaure feet. Any recommendations on Biasi Boilers? Can Wood boiler be installed in a garage?
    Not happy with dryness in house with wood stove even with a humidifier. Thanks in advance.

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  2. pybyr

    pybyr Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
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    Loc:
    Adamant, VT 05640
    I looked into the Biasi a bit before settling on a gasifier. All reports were that the Biasi is most likely very well made, and probably one of the most efficient things you could get ___short of___ a gasifier (it has a secondary burn chamber, but that's still no gasifier).

    If you want the highest efficiencies at extracting heat from the wood and lowest odds of any significant creosote, a gasifier + thermal storage, as discussed by many on here, seems like the best long-run investment, even if it is costly to jump into.

    (I have a Sam Daniels now, which'll be replaced by the gasifier- the Daniels is great, and I have not gotten creosote with carefully feeding it and running hot fires, but that also means it won't really carry a fire all night or while I'm off at work- that's where the gasifier + storage (especially the storage) will come in!)
  3. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
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    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    I see no "real" secondary burn chamber with the Biasi...unless I am missing something, it is a simple cast sectional boiler - with the typical cutaway drawing showing some sort of magic secondary chamber which has no basis for actually operating!

    It looks like a nice coal boiler - except they claim it does not burn hard coal.

    I would love to be proven wrong, but a solid fuel burner with water all around it will tend to quench the fire, and without a very specialized reburn design will not work.
  4. BrownianHeatingTech

    BrownianHeatingTech Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Northwood, NH
    Looking at the open door of the boiler, the chamber to the top-right is the secondary combustion chamber. The door is air-cooled, and the secondary air is pulled in from there - you can see the opening on the door, which connects to the injection manifold when the door is closed.

    http://www.qhtinc.com/pdf/3WOOD_infosheet.pdf
  5. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    12,379
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    Oh, I understand the claims.....just that if you look at any true updraft secondary air system (EPA, for example), the entire stove usually has to have a small firebox and heavy insulation on many walls in order to achieve the smokeless burn. Based on the construction of that boiler, I cannot imagine that burning of the smoke occurs on a regular basis at all outputs. If it does, perhaps they have discovered a secret that the rest of the industry has been unable to for the past couple of decades....

    Just about every one of the thousands of models stoves and boilers sold from 1975 to 1985 had clear secondary systems which will illustrated in much the same way - the problem was that 95% plus of them did not work!
  6. Steamer

    Steamer Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Southern Vt
    Does that translate into a boiler that will not be able to do overnight burns, idle and not create a creosote problem?
    I burn just while I am home in evenings with my woodstove and all my cord wood is dried two years before using.
    I plan to burn in boiler in evenings,days off and overnight run fire down but hot but not while at work.
    I clean my stove flue once a year and get about a coffee can of residue burning this way.
    Is it OK to run boiler intermittently like wood stove?
    Trying to decide if boiler is right for my applications.
    Does anyone know if you can install biler in attached garage in VT.
    Thanks for your help
  7. BrownianHeatingTech

    BrownianHeatingTech Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Northwood, NH
    Given that the Biasi 3Wood is an established technology, which is only "new" to the US, that's a rather pointless argument. Just because they don't do it the "EPA way," doesn't mean that it doesn't work. There are many ways to skin a cat, and these things most definitely do have secondary combustion, and a near-smokeless burn (no burn is actually smokeless, even in a gasifier).

    National fire code does not allow wood-fired appliances in garages.

    Joe
  8. pybyr

    pybyr Minister of Fire

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    Adamant, VT 05640
    regarding what you can do in VT (boiler in garage, etc) that depends on 3 things:

    (1) where you are in VT (in much of non-urban VT, depending on local ordinances, what you do inside an existing single family residential building may be nobody's jurisdiction but your own (that's my situation- but DO check your own local details))

    (2) whether your homeowners' insurance will be really picky about it if something happens and the boiler in the garage is the cause (I am lucky to have a locally-based, very sensible homeowner's insurance company that is a member-owned co-op); and

    (3) whether you are the type to be sufficiently meticulous in how it is installed and operated so that you are _highly_ confident that you won't need to worry about (2) (i.e. you do everything you reasonably can to avoid fire hazards), or are willing to take some rational, cautious risk without being restricted by it.

    As an example of some of these variables, I've heated in part for the last 11 years with a locally-made wood hot air furnace that has been made for 100+/- years (though I bought it new in '97), but is not UL-listed, because it is made by a little family owned company that doesn't have the overhead to go through the UL process. It has worked like a charm, within the limits of the 100 year old technology that it represents, and no code enforcer, insurance inspector, or anyone else, has even asked, and I have been careful to run it in a safe way. where I live, I probably could've done something dumb without code enforcement entering the picture, but had I done something really, really, dumb that led to loss, my fire insurance company might have denied the claim (which doesn't seem unreasonable when someone inflicts stupid harm upon themselves).
  9. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    I am ready to be proven wrong after we hear back from numerous owners who have used these over an entire winter.

    Having been involved in designing boilers over with the folks in Denmark - we definitely had a number of drawings as well as prototypes and even one production boiler that used updraft and no fan. I also consulted with combustion engineers here - about the proper design of a clean burning updraft (non-fan assisted) wood boiler......and was advised against any design where the burning chamber was low temperature (surrounded by water)...

    Maybe they found a magic formula, but they will be the first. I'll be keeping my ears tuned here for the user experience - it would be great to have a lower cost alternative for some folks (to regular downdraft, fan assisted models)
  10. Steamer

    Steamer Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
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    76
    Loc:
    Southern Vt
    The literature on the Biasi boiler states that you can burn bitumnous coal and the distributor told me today that they are making grates available to buy hard coal. Now I know from the wood stove side it has been said that due to how air has to flow that coal and wood can not be burned efficiently in a stove due to design differences. Ant thoughts if this is true with this boiler?
    Anyone have experience with this boiler?
    thanks
  11. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    If it just the grates they need to burn hard coal....well, then you can probably burn hard coal as it is. Coal will burn fine without shaker grates, you just have to learn how to knife the grates - I did this for years with my coal boiler at home...which, BTW, was very similar in design to a Biasi.

    The general reason why I have my doubts about the clean burning....is that, to my knowledge, there is no clean burning updraft wood boiler on the market. The engineering is pretty basic - to burn wood efficiently you have to keep the temperatures within the firebox very hot. A boiler with water surrounding the combustion chamber quenches the fire....instead of reflecting heat back into the fire. As it stand now, there are two distinct types of boiler that have solved this problem - one is the tarm/eko type which use a fan to force the smoke back through the ember bed and through a insulated refractory tunnel.....injecting preheated air in the proper places. This might be labeled an "afterburner". The other type is the Greenwood, Seton, etc...which use a mass of insulating refractory to burn the wood very hot (thus efficiently) and use a heat exchanger located AFTER the firebox to extract the BTU's. In some ways they are similar, in other different.

    Again, I can not speak for the Biasi and I doubt there are a lot of experienced users who have gone through a winter with them...but if you showed me that boiler without the literature and claims, I would guess that it would be difficult for it to burn wood efficiently over the range of outputs. I have been wrong before, and I will be wrong again...but that is my opinion based on my experience.
  12. Bartman

    Bartman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    182
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    The Biasi 3Wood isn't a gasifier, but Biasi does make one, it's called the Pirowood and it's not available here in the US.......it figures...
  13. BrownianHeatingTech

    BrownianHeatingTech Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Northwood, NH
    Fixed that :)

    Joe
  14. ManiacPD

    ManiacPD Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Messages:
    199
    Loc:
    Maine
    I looked at the Biasi before I put in my 25 year old MEMCO. It's a nice unit but I didn't want to sink that kind of money into the project.

    I did put mine in my garage, but the bay it's in is an addition onto the back of my 2-car garage. The insurance company approved it so long as I don't store anything in there with gas in it (or any other flammables for that matter-paint thinner, etc.). Depending on how you go about it you MAY be able to petition off an area of your garage where the boiler is and sheetrock it to meet the requirements. Talk to your insurance company first though.

    Paul
  15. Bartman

    Bartman Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    Just heard from QHT and have been told that the Pirowood is in testing and should be available to the public by April or May of 2009.
  16. Dredknot

    Dredknot New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Messages:
    16
    Loc:
    Southern Maine
    I installed the Biasi 3-wood boiler last month. I have had no trouble getting the fires going. The stack temepeture seems to run at or just under 300 deg f.. When started with a full load and the water tempeture at 75 the first load of wood only seems to last about 2 to 3 hrs. ounce the system is up to temp and maintaining I can get a 6 to 7 hour burn. After 7 hours of burn I barely have enough coals to get it re-lit.
    I have also run it with no power and have let it gravity feed my house. This isnt recomended but I wanted to see how the normaly open zone valve worked when the power was out. the boiler hit about 210 deg. f. but the return water coming back was about 80 deg. f. luckely I have cast Iron radiators through out my almost 100 year old house.

    so far I like it but winter isnt here yet.
  17. kshultz

    kshultz New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Messages:
    42
    Loc:
    Southern NH
    I have a 3-Wood getting hooked up next week. I thought that it was a good product for the money, although NOT a gasifier the price was right. With payback to me in about 1.5 yrs. I would have liked to buy a Tarm, but funds are low & needed to do something.--Kevin
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