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Central Boiler 1400 vs 2400

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Mass Heat, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. Mass Heat

    Mass Heat New Member

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    Looking at Central Boiler and my worst case heat demand is about 94k btu. My current oil boiler is 100k. I'm looking to get a 12 hour burn time at the minimum. Should I go with the 1400 with 72k over 12 hours or the 2400 with 125k btu capability. If I go with the 2400 I can also heat a 25x25 garage later on. EPA also lists the 2400 as a cleaner burning boiler. In addition it holds more water, 340 vs 200 gallons. I rather go larger, but I hear that over sizing is not efficient. I could also hold out for the 1450, which supposedly will put out a little more btu. But it's not EPA approved yet. Also has anyone seen stack temperatures on these units? Called CB and the sales guy didn't know. Considering this brand because I got two dealers within 30 minutes. Looking at some other options as well, but living in Mass it limits my option to EPA phase 2 outdoor units and ASME indoor units. Any advice?

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  2. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

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    I would be surprised if you could get that output over 12 hours.

    94,000 btus per hour is about 225 lbs of wood for 12 hours, not factoring in loss to the outdoors. I know you said worst case but dang that is some wood to be loading.

    gg
  3. martyinmi

    martyinmi Member

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    How old is your boiler, how efficient is it, and how many gallons/ year do you go through? Lotsa CB nuts out here that will be glad to help you out.
  4. Mass Heat

    Mass Heat New Member

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    Oil boiler was installed in 1994 and was estimated at 82% efficient. Last year I burned 1200 gallons. A lot less this year.
  5. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    A buddy of mine is a CB dealer up here. He said to figure for every 100 gals of oil, you will be burning 1 cord of seasoned wood to replace that. Just food for thought. get 12 cord stacked and drying for the future.
  6. Mass Heat

    Mass Heat New Member

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    12 cords a year scares me, at that point I'll need to buy some wood. Not enough time to haul, cut and spilt that much. Have about 6 cords and it was pretty time consuming. Hope that figure is wrong. I was told the Optimizer would burn less would because of the lower stack temp and heat exchanger design. P&M has less bells and whistles and costs more. Definitely want a unit that will burn less wood.
  7. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

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    The empyre elite looks like a nice outdoor gassifier with a good HX design. Heard it's a hard job to change the nozzle in
    Portage and main. It's cemented in place. Also some other modifacations that need to be done to it. May want to read
    some about it at http://www.outdoorwoodfurnaceinfo.com/forum/
  8. martyinmi

    martyinmi Member

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    You go through roughly the same amount of heating oil that I used to. My P&M 250 is overkill for my situation, and I'd bet the CB 1400 or 1450 would suit you fine. In the coldest weather I can easily get a 24 hour burn. I think the CB 1400 primary burn chamber is a bit larger than mine, so 12 hour burns should easy. 12 cords of wood consumed would not be realistic. 6-7 would be. I can't see you going through over 200 lbs./day

    Most of the gassers are pretty close to each other as far as efficiencies go. If the P&M were more efficient, it would be negligible.

    It's encouraging to see you are not considering a conventional OWB. That's a wise move. You'll love the free heat and domestic hot water. Your neighbors will love you.

    Have fun, and keep us all informed!
  9. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    I do not mean to start a peeing match, but 12 cord won't be far off, if you used 1200 gals. Maybe 10 cord, but that would be about it.
  10. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

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    Granted it is not average load and probably only happens a few days a year but,

    On his max load days of 94,000 btus/hr it would be 2,256,000 btus in a 24 hour period. A very efficient system would need 451 lbs

    Some thing sitting outside with 2-4" of insulation on it at those temps is not going to get 5000 btus per lb of wood delivered to the load.

    If his average is half of his design load it would be over 200lbs. Can't get more energy out than you put in.

    gg
  11. Mass Heat

    Mass Heat New Member

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't 200 pounds per day equate to roughly 3 full cords per month? Do you think that putting a unit in a insulated shed would be more efficient? If so, how much? The more I look into this the more my head spins. Right now I'm thinking a pressurized system with storage is the way to go. Only problem is mass requiring ASME stamp and limiting my choice to Econoburn or Woodgun. If I can get the town to overlook the ASME, I'm probably going to go with a Vigas!
  12. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    Whats the price on a Classic? i looked onto a E-Classic 4 or 5 yrs ago. They wanted $12000 plus change. So i went with what i have, an indoor gasser with storage, for about the same money. Storage is nice to have, but not a must. Just put a indoor gasser in, plumb for storage to be put in later? I was told to figure for every 150 gals of oil, a cord of seasoned wood will replace it. Possibly closer to 175 gals of oil. i am closer to 175 now I have experience.

    Too bad you don't have a little more options than what Mass law tells you.
  13. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

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    Depends on the wood.

    Oak at 20% weighs about 3800/cord so 200 lbs/day would be 19 days per cord or 1.57 cord per month.

    First thing is to get a better estimate of your actual heat load. I was not trying to scare you off. I was more making the point that every situation is different. Some people will throw out their numbers but it really means nothing to you and your heat load.

    My storage is in a insulated building. The box is insulated to R75. I was amazed how warm it was just inside the last cover layer. I just can't imagine how many btus would be lost from a unit outside with 2-4" of insulation. If the tank is in one of the loads it is not lost completely as it contributes to heating that load.

    There is one other factor to consider and that is heat is not lost from unburnt fuel itself. The difficulty with that is smoldering fires are messy and difficult to manage in the shoulder seasons. That is when storage really shines. After running my Econoburn without storage for the first year and now with storage. I would never want to go back. Especially as the weather warms.

    I wish I would have taken pictures of boiler firebox with and without storage the difference is remarkable.


    gg
  14. Noggah

    Noggah New Member

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    Hey Mass,

    I would go with 2400 and heat the garage. My garage has been 55 degrees all winter, nice. You will certainly get 12+ hours on a burn. The stove monitors and displays temps in the reaction chamber. I don't know what the stack temp would matter with this set up. I hope that does not sound ignorant. I have never known the stack temp on mine and it burns fine. The computer monitors air inputs. You can adjust this and it works fine once you get the proper setting.

    Pipe it to be able to add storage when you can, but it will work fine without it for now. At least you can avoid the oil man. I will be adding 550 gallons of pressurized storage coming up, but I have gotten through this winter so far with no issues.

    Just my thougths. Good Luck and happy burning.
  15. martyinmi

    martyinmi Member

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    Ok, I'll bite-
    I had a very efficient conventional OWB that I ran for a number of years, and I usually went through 9-12 cords/year. Mid way through last season I made the switch to an Empyre Pro Series 100. My consumption went down to roughly 7.5 or 8 cords for the year(5-6 cords for the first half, 2.5-3 for the second half using the gasifier). Before this burn season, I switched again to the P&M 250. I will not go through 5 cords this year, but it's been very mild. I will go through 6-7 cords/year in an average winter with my gasifier. These are not fictitious numbers pulled out of a hat, they are fact. You need to understand that the technology employed in today's gasifying OWB meets or exceeds what you have. We will lose some heat to the atmosphere, but it is very little. It is a small price to pay to keep the mess,smoke, and insects outdoors where they belong.
    Keep in mind that it is not my intention to start a "peeing match" here.

    Marty

    goose,
    What manufacturer of gasifying OWB's that you know of personally puts only 2-4 inches of insulation in their boilers? It sounds as if you are implying that they all do?
  16. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    You say if you went with an indoor model you need either an Econoburn or a Wood Gun. Both are nice boilers. I think you could get into one of those, with a 400 gallon storage tank and installation of system for 12-13,000. Depends on if you can do some of the work, or have friend(s) who can help you out. Getting the boiler and tank into a shed that you are adding onto should not be too difficult. The part that will cost you some extra cash, on top of installation will be getting the underground lines in.

    As far as wood consumption goes, here is a comparison for you. I am heating a 4,000 sq.ft. house, 900 sq.ft. garage, and all our domestic hot water for two adults and four children. I have been through about 16 face cord so far this year. This is a mild winter. I think I will probably finish with 22 face cord. If it were a cold winter, probably 26-27. So, 9 full cord on a cold one would be close. Now, how big is your house, garage, and what do you think your wood usage would be?
  17. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

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    Ok, Marty I can't name boilers and their insulation thickness off the top of my head. Seems to me the centrals have 4" max.

    How thick is yours? What type?

    I am sure it is some type that defies the laws of heat loss and temperature differential with the surrounding environment.


    Done wasting my time.

    gg
  18. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

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    From the portage and main website,

    Unit is very well insulated with breathable R20 fiberglass insulation that will not cause; condensation on the water jacket exterior, crack or gas off. The bottom of the unit is insulated with top quality Roux insulation.


    Breathable fiberglass under steel siding usually = air infiltration= heat loss.

    Marty I do believe you have a very nice boiler, is it head and shoulders above all others probably not. Does it work for you, yes it sounds like it does very well.

    gg
  19. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    Marty, I was comparing 1200 gals of oil to cords of wood. What you threw out there isn't the same comparison. And my figures aren't pulled out of a hat. And you seriously think an OWB gasser will out perform an indoor model? Seems like a stretch.
  20. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    I'm with goose on this...I'm done with this. usually don't get down like this on Hearth.
  21. martyinmi

    martyinmi Member

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    goose and cow,
    I understand what you guys are trying to achieve. You good folks are obviously very proud of your systems, and you have the desire to share the knowledge you've gathered over the years, and I applaud you for that. I wouldn't expect any less, but I would expect the content of your delivery methods to be more in line with the intent of the thread title. Your set-ups work well for you, and you have achieved your desired goals.
    Please keep in mind that not everyone will employ the the same means as you folks to achieve the same goal(s). In this case, those goals are at bare minimum threefold:
    1) Providing heat for family homes.
    2) Providing said heat from a machine that burns smoke.
    3) Doing the above in a cost effective manner that coincides within space confinements available.
    The individual that started this thread simply wanted to know which gasifying Central Boiler model(1400 or 2400) would work best for his situation. The simple answer is either of them based on his present fuel oil usage.
    This forum is a great place for all interested to get together and share their experiences, as well as taking in a bunch of knowledge. The site moderator does a brilliant job of helping sift out some information that may not be factual by allowing this site to be self policing. It's working well.
    If you have opinions, state them as such. I will not apologize for expecting you back up your opinions with with fact.

    Marty
  22. EffectaBoilerUser (USA)

    EffectaBoilerUser (USA) Member

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    I'm making this post knowing that I have to be very careful with what my comments since I am the effecta sales guy for North America.

    However, I was taught early on in my Mechanical Engineering school days that everyone has opinions and to listen to non of them when performing an engineering function. I am making an assumption that the original post on this topic constituted an "engineering function".

    Thus, I could no longer sit and watch the opinions and partial truths being posted about this topic so hear goes:

    Last fall I went to a local CB open house to check out the E-classic in detail and found that the dealer was using/saying/passing around some very confusing and disturbing information (if it is confusing to a Mechanical Engineer I can only imaging how a non-mechanical customer would be confused and probably be "won over" by whatever figure the dealer would tell him). As you will see from the attached photos, its very hard to get an accurate, real idea of the efficiency of these units.

    The 1400 E classic is rated for a maximum output of 209,316 BTU/hr., an "8 hour" output of 107,459 BTU/hr, an avg. efficiency (using lower heating values) of 84.2% and an avg. efficiency (using high heating values) of 73.7%

    The 2400 E classic is rated for a maximum output of 260,486 BTU/hr and an "8 hour" output of 186,453 BTU/hr., an avg. efficiency (using lower heating values) of 92.6% and an avg. efficiency (using high heating values) of 85.3%

    To make matters worse, on the front cover of the CB brochure for these units (in large letters) it reads "97% EPA phase 2 program qualified" and just above this text it reads "E Classic 3200" (I will include this photo in my next post as I am out of file space on this posting).

    So, can someone on hearth.com please educate me (and the many others) as to which efficiency is "true".

    I find it very disturbing that these large,"corporate world" companies are allowed to even print this type of documentation.

    To make matters worse, when I "played dumb" and asked the CB dealer why there were (3) different efficiencies listed and which one represented the "truth", he responded by saying "I'm not really sure ". Upon further conversation he kept saying "that is what the factory tells me". I am in no way putting the CB dealer down rather I would say that the large company who's products he is representing and selling is playing nothing more than a typical US based "marketing game".

    In further conversations with the dealer I continued to "play dumb" and asked the dealer which unit he would recommend for my current situation (heating requirements based on the details found in my hearth.com "signature line") and was told that the 1400 would "probably heat my house/garage, DHW and hot tub but to be certain I may want to purchase the E Classic 2400 model".

    On another note, upon doing some more detailed investigation/comparison I discovered a "HUGE" concern/difference when comparing the E Classic boilers to my effecta lambda 35 boiler that is actually heating my house (as of today it has over 2,000 hours of trouble free operation and with one (5) hour burn per day I am able to keep the house at 73F, the DHW at 130F and the hot tub at 104F - GOTTA LOVE THAT!!!!).

    The firebox size on the E Classic 1400 is 24,960 cu. in. in volume (24" W x 32.5" H x 32" L) and on the E Classic 2400 it is 40,716 cu. in. in volume (26" W x 43.5" H x 36" L).

    The firebox size on my effecta lambda 35kw is 8,084 cu. in (16" W x 23.5" H x 21.5" L) and on the effecta lambda 60kw it is 11,030 cu. in. (19" W x 27" H x 21.5" L).

    Thus, the firebox on my effecta lambda 35 is 3 TIMES SMALLER than that of the E Classic 1400 and the effecta lambda 60 fire box is almost 4 TIMES SMALLER than that of the E Classic 2400.

    Obviously I have established/formed an engineering conclusion based on this whole boiler comparison situation but I will let everyone come up with their own conclusion based on the FACTS I have presented in this post.

    I hope the statement of the above FACTS has helped everyone understand better the difficulties one faces when trying to purchase the "biggest bang for the buck" with regards to biomass burning boilers.

    Brian

    Attached Files:

  23. EffectaBoilerUser (USA)

    EffectaBoilerUser (USA) Member

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    As promised, here is a photo of the front cover of the CB E Classic boiler brochure showing the 97% efficient statement.

    Once again, I hope this helps to clarify this situation.

    Brian

    Attached Files:

  24. EffectaBoilerUser (USA)

    EffectaBoilerUser (USA) Member

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    I almost forgot- here is the page in the CB E Classic brochure which shows the fire box size along with the size of the fire box on the effecta lambda 35 and 60 kw boilers.

    Brian

    Attached Files:

  25. EffectaBoilerUser (USA)

    EffectaBoilerUser (USA) Member

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    Attached please see the dimensions of the effecta lambda 35 and 60 kw fireboxes.

    I believe with this document that 100% of everything I have presented and discussed on this topic has been backed up with the extremely accurate FACTS and supporting documentation.

    Brian

    Attached Files:

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