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Black bear out of business?

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by mrfeener, Oct 25, 2007.

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  1. mrfeener

    mrfeener New Member

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    I had decided to buy a black bear wood boiler some time ago, and now that our project is ready for it, I have been told that the company went under. Is this true??

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Neither of their websites are working, so that's not a good sign.

    If they are gone, what's your Plan B? Adobe? Have you checked out Blue Forge. It's a nice-looking rig, similar to BB but maybe better field tested.

    EDIT: Thanks enord. Another one bites the big one. Sad to see them go. I thought they had the potential to revolutionize the OWB industry, but I thought their marketing and product offering wasn't up to the task. But I do like the Blue Forge a lot, and there are other, similar designs on the market as well.
  3. mrfeener

    mrfeener New Member

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    I am checking out Blue Forge. Also greenwood, but from what I can tell, the greenwood doesn't seem to perform the gassification process the way Blue Forge does. It appears to use a catalyst. I need to call them to find out the specifics on that though.
  4. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I know the Greenwood uses a lot of refractory mass for heat storage instead of water, but I've never heard about a catylyst. One of our Boiler Room posters installs them professionally, I believe. Why don't you start a thread in The Boiler Room soliciting comments and information?

    I bought my EKO from Cozyheat.net. They had the best price, by a pretty significant margin. They also sell the Blue Forge. Ask for Dave. He used to sell Greenwoods, so he understands the technology and might offer some insight into how they work. New Horizon makes an outdoor version of their BioMax gasifier. There are also a number of others using a very similar design to the Black Bear. If you believe their website, Seton (I think that's the mfg.) invented it. There are some threads talking about that around here somewhere, but I don't believe they've made it to the Boiler Room yet. Mainly because I couldn't find them when I looked.
  5. BrownianHeatingTech

    BrownianHeatingTech Minister of Fire

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    Indeed. However, I don't any longer. The boiler is a very nice piece of equipment. However, what they are calling "growing pains," I'm inclined to call "not delivering products when promised, and shipping defective items due to lack of QC." And that's probably enough on that topic.

    Joe
  6. Grover59

    Grover59 Member

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    I have a Black Bear boiler as a matter of fact it is running now, I know the people that made it. and the guy that came up with the design. As a matter of fact I grew up with them. This boiler does burn clean like other gasifacation boilers. Mine is in the basement and if I did not tell people that I had it they would never know because the thing gives off little or no smoke at full throttle. My neighbor next door came over the other day while I was outside to talk, he asked if I was runniing my boiler, I looked up at the chimney and said what do you think? He said it can't be running now, but it was, you could hardly see any smoke with the clouds in the sky. It is my opinion that gasification boilers are the only way to go, they don't waste as much wood and they smoke very little.
    I also agree that a heat storage tank is a good idea, I wll be building mine soon. I am new to this forum and this is my first post the information here has been a great help to me I will be viewing this forum often. Also the Black Bear boiler is not gone, I am sure someone else will be making it and they will have the money to do it.
  7. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Welcome to the Boiler Room, Maine. I'm glad to hear that about Black Bear. I know the owner was involved in setting new air quality standards for wood-fired boilers, and that's a really good thing--taking the lead like that on an important issue. Also, you're the first person I've "met" who owns a Black Bear. You'll be a great addition to this forum. I'd eventually like to get all the brands represented.

    I got a phone call this evening out of the blue from a guy from a nearby town who saw my name and town on this forum and looked me up in the phone book. He has an OWB but is seriously thinking about getting a gasifier and wanted to know how I liked mine. I told him about the no smoke thing, and I don't know if he really believed me. I didn't before I saw it happening on a regular basis. I mean no smoke and all that heat: pretty amazing.

    So how about some more details about the Black Bear, Maine? Is that a water or refractory mass boiler?--I forget. What's the rated output?
  8. Grover59

    Grover59 Member

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    To answer your question the boiler uses refractory in the bottom of the fire box and in the secondary burn chamber, this model is 90,000 BTU's this is the only size they made. This thing does burn clean when at full load, but so do others. Yes the owners did start something that other boiler companies did not like here in North America, but gasification is nothing new other countries have been doing it for years. In my opinion I would not own anything but a gasification boiler, I don't feel guilty when I run it, if I did not tell anyone that I had one they would not know, mine is in the basement. The other day my neighbor came over while I was outside and asked if I was going to start my boiler. I looked up at the chimney and said, well believe it or not it is running now. He was surprised; he was burning wood in his Ashley stove and sending way more smoke out.
    I will be building a storage tank with wood and an EPDM liner, 6X6X4 should be about 700 gallons of water. I have a flat plate heat exchanger to heat the tank; I will be pulling water from the bottom of the tank through the heat exchanger and dumping it back into the top of the tank, no coils of copper in tank. I can reverse this loop to pull the heat back out of the tank; however I don’t want to do it that way. I am going to set up a separate loop from the tank pulling form the top of the tank to a floor forced air heater in the hallway. My thinking is that I will be able to pull the tank temperature down lower and still get useable heat out of the heater. My house is not very big very little heat load, I think this may work well. I can still run the baseboard if I need to and it will kick in if needed.

    Any thoughts or ideas I am all ears.

    Steve
  9. ugenetoo

    ugenetoo New Member

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    steve
    i have a friend with a black bear and the last time i talked to him, he was about to take a sledge hammer to it (and to the guys that sold it to him if he could find them).

    i think he just wasnt used to running a gasifier stove.

    i will talk to him soon and see how hes doing with it now.

    are there any tricks that stand out in your mind about operating this boiler that i might pass on to him other than to join this forum?

    steve

    burning small grains in 2 harmon pc-45s
  10. Grover59

    Grover59 Member

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    I am sorroy to hear that, however I can understand I did have some problems last year but they seem to be resolved now. I have never run anything but this boiler so I have nothing to campar it too, I replaced a forced hot air wood furnace with this boiler. The man who came up with the Black Bear design is still working on any customer problems as best as he can. I have a friend in the next town that has one and at this time he says it seems to be running well. When you talk to him again ask let him know about this forum, I would like to campare notes with him.

    Steve
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