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Burning with no storage

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by chuck172, Dec 5, 2009.

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  1. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    Hi chuck172. There is no storage with my system w/air water exchanger and I burn through the summer for dhw so my wood consumption, in comparrison, would skew the usage of our systems, but I was wondering what kind of wood you are basically using and how much you are using. If you only use your boiler for the heart of the winter heating season or shoulder to shoulder and do you use your system to supply dhw? My home is one of the "older" ones where insulation was yet to be discovered even though some improvements have been made since the original construction. Anyway...I was curious about your wood consumption compared to mine as our homes are very close to the same size. Thanks for your time..

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  2. Birdman

    Birdman New Member

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    It looks like everyone is on board with " more is better " when it comes to storage. 1000 gallons is the way to go? I have another question. I have Tarm Solo 40. I am not great at the math thing...and sorry.. I guess I could give more effort to figure it out.. but I know most of the guys here are quicker at it then me. In my situation... If I load my Tarm full of wood...will 500 gallons( pressurized) be big enough to take all the heat? Or will I need 1000 for this. Also.. I am hoping to install storage thing this summer. I am keeping my eyes open and exploring how to get the tank. I can buy it in spring time. SOunds like I should try to buy 2. Can someone give me rough estimate on paying to have these tanks set up? I don't weld... but have a guy who is great at it... I trade him wood for favors. What will the install cost if i get the tanks all set up in place and have to pay plumber? Also... my tarm is in basement.. .with the wood. How far away can I place these tanks from the Tarm? If i put them closer to Tarm... it means I will have to lug my wood more. Can I put them 20 ft away from tarm? I know.. .lots of question..... Thanks to whoever can answer them!
  3. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    FWIW, I don't have pressurized but my boiler is 100ft away from tank. I see no problem with what you want to do.
  4. chuck172

    chuck172 Minister of Fire

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    cave2k, I burn shoulder to shoulder, and yes I do heat dhw. I burn mainly oak. Well seasoned, gypsy moth killed oaks.
    Birdman, 500 gallons will take the heat of a full tarmsolo 40 without hardly any idling. I'm talking pressurized storage upwards to 195*
    I have to say, I believe that doubling storage from 500 to 1000 gallons would double the amount of wood, and firing time. Yes, it may be more convenient to burn for 8 hrs. straight, and have 16hrs. of heat vs. burning for 4 hrs. and having 8 hrs. of heat but its all proportional. More storage doesn't give more efficiency. Actually doubling tank size can double stand-by loss if that matters.
    I still say low temp heat emitters are the way to go.
  5. Birdman

    Birdman New Member

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    chuck 172. Can you tell me more about the performance of your 500 gallons of pressurized storage? Does it work well during shoulder seasons? Do you fill up your tarm during summer and use storage for hot water? I am thinking of going either wih 1000 gallons and trying to heat from storage... or maybe just go 500 gallons and heat mainly with tarm on coldest days ( filling to meet house needs) and using the 500 gallons for a little leeway..... and maybe have storage used more for shoulder seasons? Am i right in how this would work?
  6. chuck172

    chuck172 Minister of Fire

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    Why don't you go for 1- 500 gallon tank right now, live with it awhile, then if need be, get another. That's always been my plan.
    Much of the recommendations would have to do with your lifestyle. Your schedule. I'm retired now so I have all the time in the world to play with the boiler.
  7. lawandorder

    lawandorder Member

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    My two cents: I also have 500 gals of storage via twin 250 tanks upright. I heat 3300 sq ft newer construction but with a living room having 26 ft high ceilings with west exposure front wall mostly of glass. I imagine a ton of loss there. I have just finished my first year of use and learned that I generally burn twice a day until the full swing low temps kick in then I end up probably 3 times a day. Last year I used 20 face cords from December 1 until May but I will add that my wood was not ideal with moisture content etc..... and I burned a lot without lettting my storage work. With concerns on the 500 gals of storage my installer used a plumbing design from Europe which to this point seems to be working. I generally load up at 11PM keeping house set at 70. Fire is out by AM and storage temps back down to the 160 range. So far this year the changes in storage temps have increased with the dry wood and my learning curve shortening for the moment. I have noticed that the more I close the ball valve near the Thermovar Valve the higher my output/storage temps get. I have added Turbulators which have helped and plan on adding the loading unit hopefully this month. I anticipate that will help as well. I would say that for my set up the 500 gals works well. The only time I have had problems getting heat in the AM is usually caused by a bridge incident (still cant fix that one) I have little idling which I understand is a good thing. I am looking to probably switching my baseboard heat with panels or lower temp baseboard hopefully this year. I anticipate that will expand my usuable temps and reduce my usage as well. I now have probably 17 face cords of good dry wood covered and ready to roll for the winter so we will see how it works out. I dont know that having more storage would help all that much in my set up. I think the biggest thing i can do is switch to low temp baseboard which should give more bang for the buck......
  8. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    More or less - there isn't anything "magic" about that 1,000g number - it's just what we end up with because of the size of LP tanks. If you go non-pressurized, there are options around 800 gallons that are OK, and so on... You probably want to end up around 1kgal, but plus or minus a bit won't make a lot of difference...
    Depends... How full are you loading? What temp are you starting from? What other loads are you feeding off the same fire? Essentially you figure the BTU capacity of the tank, and the BTU/hr output of the boiler (about 75% of the rated value) x the burn time - probably 4-6hrs per load...
    Varies, depends on the logistics of getting the tanks into place, how much you do yourself rather than pay someone, and so on - however it is not an easy job, as the tanks (even empty) are pretty hefty, so it will take some skill and rigging ability...
    Talk to your welder before doing anything with the tanks, as how he wants to do any welding may impact how and in what sequence you set the tanks up... As to the plumber, again depends on what he has to do, but I would GUESS not more than a half day's work...
    Closer to the boiler is better, but having them a distance away doesn't pose any major issues - we have folks with outdoor installs and tanks in the basement, so 20 feet would be no big deal beyond the added plumbing needed...

    Gooserider
  9. chuck172

    chuck172 Minister of Fire

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    "I think the biggest thing i can do is switch to low temp baseboard which should give more bang for the buck "
    Now you're cooking

    p.s Can someone tell me how to use the quote feature?
  10. Hydronics

    Hydronics Feeling the Heat

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    Chuck,
    cick on the "QUOTE" button below the reply you want to quote, when it opens start typing a line or two below
  11. DaveBP

    DaveBP Minister of Fire

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    Chuck, it works a number of different ways. And it doesn't work a number of other ways. I've tried 'em all.

    I usually copy and paste the snippet I want into my message from the expanded thread review at the bottom of the Post a New Reply window. Then highlight it by dragging the mouse over it and then click the box at the top of the window that says "quote". That puts 'quote' in brackets around the part that will be blue-boxed in the post. Don't hit the "code" box next to the "quote" box or you'll mess up the whole thread. Ask me how I know.

    You can also just highlight the part you want to quote in the thread review and hit the "quote" box and it will appear in your message but you don't get to choose where it goes, it just goes in.
  12. Piker

    Piker Minister of Fire

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    I don't think that one size of thermal storage system is necessarily any better than another size. Nor do I feel there is a one-size-fits-all approach. It all boils down to heatloss and desired cycle times. Personally, I plan thermal storage systems around a 12 hour refueling cycle at design temps, with no more than an 8 hour burn to recover the delta T in your tanks. More than an 8 hour burn and you could be struggling to get your tanks to maximum temperature inside of your work/sleep schedule during those design temp heating days. Design temps only account for a small percentage of the total degree days in any region, so most of the season the refueling cycle will be much longer.

    For example, I designed my own system around an approximate 12 hour cycle at design temps. Right now, with weather in the mid 20's, I can easily get a 24 hour cycle out of my system with a puny 50 degree delta T... I am certain I can go an additional 12 hours if I maxed out the tanks to 200*, but generally it's better to keep the storage as low as possible... the hotter the storage is, the hotter your stack temps will be, thus reducing the thermal efficiency of your boiler. In late fall I was experiencing around 2 days (plus or minus) on a charge, and in the summer, domestic hot water was a solid 4, sometimes even 5 day cycle.

    The bottom line is, if I had a choice between 500 gallons of storage an no storage... I would choose the 500 gallons. It will surely help in the summer with DHW, and also in the shoulder seasons for regular heating. Don't forget that the worst case scenario is that you use your thermal storage more like a buffer tank during the coldest part of the season... no, it's not thermal storage, but a buffer tank is great for smoothing out the burn by allowing for hotter burns when burning, and deeper idles when idling. That is, as long as you don't have terrible transmission losses to and from the tanks.

    I agree wholeheartedly with the statement that these thermal storage sytems work best with low temp emitters like radiant floor heat or panel radiators. The lower the usable water temps, the broader the delta T, the longer the cycle times can be when you max your storage temps out... or the lower the water temps that you can use, the cooler you can keep your tanks, and the more efficiently you can run your boiler by keeping the stack temps down, even if just a little bit.

    It's all about balance and expectations, and building a system to fit your lifestyle.

    Cheers
  13. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    There are all sorts of subtle approaches and methods...

    1. When replying to a message, hit the "Quote" button at the bottom of the message, instead of the "Reply" button - that will paste the entire message in. You can then split it up further by sticking in the appropriate "BB codes"

    2. Cut and paste the chunk of message you want to quote into a reply box, highlight it and hit the "quote" button on the top of the reply box - it will put the right BB codes around the highlighted bit...

    3. Hit the quote button first, and you will get the start and end BB codes in the reply box, then stick the part you want to quote in between them.

    4. Manually enter (or copy and paste) the codes in by hand (I do this a lot) - If you use the buttons you will see what the codes are, just type them in by hand... Most of the codes are a letter or word surrounded by square brackets then the stuff the code applies to, followed by a forward slash and the same code, again in square brackets.

    5. You can "nest" several codes, and they will be applied from the inside out...

    What you end up with using ANY of the methods is what you get in #4 -

    The "Code" button is supposed to say "don't do anything with whatever is in this space, just display it as-is..." It is intended for stuff like computer code where you don't want to have the software changing what you enter... It SHOULD work for showing what these things do - but it doesn't! :mad: When I previewed the message, it was still interpreting the stuff in the code blocks - so I'm going to do a substitution instead... In the samples, I'm replacing each left square bracket "[" with a left paren "(" and the same thing with the right square bracket...

    so here is a block with some fun samples, followed by the same block without the code markers to show what it looks like...


    Code:
    This block was surrounded by "code" tags with a [b]bold[/b] tag inside to show what it should do but didn't? 
    (code)This block was surrounded by "code" tags with a (b)bold(/b) tag inside to show what it should do but didn't? (/code)
    (b)this is bold text(/b)
    (i)this is Italic text(/i)
    (i)(b)This is text that has been bolded, italicized, and made different (size=5)sizes (/size)and (color=red)colors(/color)(/b)(/i)
    (quote)This is a quote(/quote)
    (quote)This is a quote with a (quote)nested quote(/quote) inside it(/quote)
    (quote)This is a quote with part of it (b)bolded(/b) for emphasis(/quote)(/code)


    Now for the SAME text with the proper square brackets around the codes
    Code:
    This block was surrounded by "code" tags with a [b]bold[/b] tag inside to show what it should do but didn't? 
    this is bold text
    this is Italic text
    This is text that has been bolded, italicized, and made different sizes and colors
    Gooserider
  14. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Strange... I post initially and it breaks, go in and edit it, and now it works...
    Code:
    This is a code block with [b]bold[/b]
    and [i]Italic[/i] text
    plus a [quote]quote.[/quote]  Lets see what it does with this...  :-S  
    :-S

    Gooserider
  15. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Now for another try, same text blocks - first with the code protection (except parens on the code block, see note at end...)

    Code:
    (code)This block was surrounded by "code" tags with a [b]bold[/b] tag inside to show what it should do but didn't? (/code)
    [b]this is bold text[/b]
    [i]this is Italic text[/i]
    [i][b]This is text that has been bolded, italicized, and made different [size=5]sizes [/size]and [color=red]colors[/color][/b][/i]
    [quote]This is a quote[/quote]
    [quote]This is a quote with a [quote]nested quote[/quote] inside it[/quote]
    [quote]This is a quote with part of it [b]bolded[/b] for emphasis[/quote]
    
    Now for the SAME text without the code protection

    Code:
    This block was surrounded by "code" tags with a [b]bold[/b] tag inside to show what it should do but didn't? 
    this is bold text
    this is Italic text
    This is text that has been bolded, italicized, and made different sizes and colors
    Aarghh.... figured out what the problem is... Most of the BB codes you can nest - but you CAN'T nest the code tags, which actually makes a certain amount of convoluted sense... It stops interpreting at the opening code tag, so it doesn't see the nested opening code tag, but sees the nested close code tag as the mate to the opening tag and starts interpreting again, leaving an "orphaned" close code tag at the end...

    Like this... with parens -
    (code) first tag, stop interpreting (code) <- that tag doesn't get interpreted and prints same with this (b)bold(/b) tag, but then this (/code) is seen as a mate to the first, so interpreting starts again, and this (b)bold(/b) gets interpreted, and this (/code) is left hanging at the end...

    with proper codes -
    Code:
     first tag, stop interpreting [code] <- that tag doesn't get interpreted and prints same with this [b]bold[/b] tag, but then this 
    is seen as a mate to the first, so interpreting starts again, and this bold gets interpreted, and this [/code] is left hanging at the end...

    Hmmm... didn't quite do what I expected in the preview, but close enough...
    Gooserider
  16. chuck172

    chuck172 Minister of Fire

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    " " these still work!
  17. lawandorder

    lawandorder Member

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    So every one agrees low temp baseboard / panel rads is the way to go now the question is what company is more deisrable if any? How difficult is it to convert to low temp. Is it just switching out baseboard or is there other things needed to be done...
  18. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Not sure on the companies, but if you do a search on "panel radiator" I'm sure you can find some discussion on good brands... Low temp baseboard seems a little more iffy in terms of how well it actually works...

    As to the change, like a lot of these things, the answer is "it depends"... Without knowing the details of your setup, and how it's currently plumbed, it is impossible to say just how to change things...

    One thing that will almost always work is to simply add more feet of baseboard to what you have, assuming that you have room... The way baseboard works (or any emitter for that matter) is it puts out so many BTUs/foot depending on the water temp, so if you add more feet, you can get away with lower water temps because you don't need as many BTU's / foot...

    Similarly, replacing the existing baseboard with lower temp stuff will also be a fairly low impact change... The only real "gotcha" to worry about with either approach is that if you have a long loop with several rooms on it, is that if you emit to much heat from the first rooms on the loop, the later rooms will not get enough heat - with the cure being to break up the loops...

    IMHO the best approach is to convert to parallel runs with panel rads that each have their own TRV controls in each room, and a pressure controlled ECM pump - this will let you tailor the temp in each room to just what it needs to be, and will constantly adjust your BTU draw to exactly what it takes to maintain the target temperature, and no more... It allows very wide swings in storage temps because the rads just flow more water as the temperature drops, and less as it goes up... This approach is supposed to give great comfort levels, and very high energy efficiency at the same time... It probably would require a lot more extensive plumbing changes but IMHO it could probably be done without terrible problems, however I'd want one of our experts (i.e. the guys that get paid to do this stuff) to be the one to go into the exact details of what you'd need to do....

    Gooserider
  19. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    "yes they do!"
  20. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    So does the quote button
  21. karri0n

    karri0n New Member

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    What is the usable water temp for old-fashioned cast iron radiators?
  22. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Gets back to the same question as with other emitters - how much radiator do you have??? CI rads have a big advantage over baseboard because they are mostly radiant type heaters as opposed to convection heaters like BB, so they will put out perceptible heat down to very low temps, but whether it will be enough to warm a given room will depend on the size of the rad.

    However I've heard that properly sized CI rads will work quite nicely with down to 110-120°F input temps... Possibly even less during shoulder season.

    Gooserider
  23. chuck172

    chuck172 Minister of Fire

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  24. semlin

    semlin New Member

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    so if i read that right, at 120 F a square foot of cast iron rad will put out 50 btu/hour, or about 1/3 the output at normal operating temp. if that means you literally get one third of peak boiler output at that temp, it would be great, but i think the effectiveness of the rad output is also affected by a lower rate of convection at lower temps.
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