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Chip Feed Jam - Looking for Ideas

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by FlowerBuck, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. FlowerBuck

    FlowerBuck New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Messages:
    2
    Loc:
    Stow, MA
    We run a couple of large wood chip boilers to heat our greenhouse. Our little boiler uses an 8' x 8' x 4' bin (H x W x D) with auger/screws across the bottom to pull the chips out one side and feed them into another auger that fills the burner feed bin.

    The problem we have is that rather often we will have a variety of small sticks and other material in our chips that cause the entire bin to pack solid. After a few hours of operation the screws pull all the material out of the bottom and the remaining chips in the big bin don't fall. They get wedged up in the air over the screws.

    I am looking for anyone who had dealt with this and has workable solution or ideas. I am thinking of adding some sort of circular stirrers just above the screws, but not sure of how they might actually operate, e.g. just rotate a small amount every X time period or also add a vertical up/down cycle in conjunction with the rotation, etc. The previous owner had installed a motor on the side of the bin with an off balance pulley on it. The idea was to vibrate/shake the bin to make the chips fall. I don't think it really worked (it's now disconnected) and the idea scares me in terms of providing long term metal fatigue to all the supports and welding...

    Here's a picture of the side where the chips come out. You can see how the screws clear out the material at the bottom then the rest of bin stays packed/suspended over top.

    binphoto.jpg

    Cheers.

    -Dave

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  2. thecontrolguy

    thecontrolguy Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Messages:
    78
    Loc:
    Northern British Columbia
    This is a common issue in the bio-mass industry. I have seen electric and / or pneumatic thumpers mounted on the side of the bin(s) to help encourage the material to fall onto the augers. You could also screen the hog fuel before it gets into the bins; this has been the most successful method of all. Uniform size is paramount.
  3. FlowerBuck

    FlowerBuck New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Messages:
    2
    Loc:
    Stow, MA
    We do screen, though I wonder if I need to inspect our work more closely. When we have clean feed it's not the problem it has been the last few nights...

  4. Woodsrover

    Woodsrover Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
    Messages:
    111
    Loc:
    Northwest Connecticut
    Grainger and other industrial supply places sell a vast selection of pneumatic and electric vibratory motors. Hook one up to a timer and shake the bin once every hour or so.
  5. BoilerBob

    BoilerBob Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    94
    Loc:
    SW Nova
    Woods,
    I would increase the space between the top plate and the augers, so the material don't jam and pack up. I assume you have an automatic stop on the bin augers, when the chips fill up the transfer conveyor.
    The speed of those augers must be very very very slow.
    Good Luck!!
  6. BoilerBob

    BoilerBob Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    94
    Loc:
    SW Nova
    Sorry Woods, I meant FlowerBuck

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