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EKO Install Complete - UPS Selection

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

  1. hartkem

    hartkem Member

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    My Eko 40 and 500 gallons of pressuirized storage is completed and works as intended. I have been waiting for some lower temps to do a test run and last night it got into the 40s so I decided to go ahead and see if all my work for the last 6 months paid off. The Eko fired up and entered gasification mode without problems. Storage got up to 160 from 65 degrees. Im happy with the results. Now I need to change gears and think about how I am going to protect the boiler in a power failure. My boiler is in an outbuilding. I would need to power the EKO controller and Taco 011 pump long enough to prevent the boiler from overheating. I want to use a pure sine wave UPS to do this. Can I buy one off the shelf to provide enough battery life or will I need to add external batteries? Can you add extra batteries to any UPS easily? I don't know much about UPSs so I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction.

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  2. Congrats. Nothing like the first fire!

    I don't know much about ups's either. But I figured that they can fail too so I went with a NO zone valve and 64' of dedicated finned copper overhead. Figured it was the simplest fail safe system available. I can have the boiler at 195 shut the power off and the temp starts dropping within two minutes.
  3. hartkem

    hartkem Member

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    This is in an outbuilding so I do have room overhead but I don't know how to hook that up. Do you just tee in the boiler output and tee back in before the danfoos? I would have to rework my plumbing which doesn't excite me. A diagram would greatly help
  4. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Have any unused boiler tappings?
  5. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I have a cast iron radiator in the unheated attic above my boiler, which I can either fill by opening a valve or automatically with a zone valve that opens when the power is cut. The only problem is that I don't have antifreeze in my system, so I have to drain off the water once the boiler has cooled, but before the water freezes. It's a bit of a cob job. I think a UPS is a much better approach.

  6. I put tees in as close to the boiler tappings as I could. If you have unused tappings that would be ideal. I used 1" copper which tees into two banks of 3/4" finned copper and then back to 1". I pitched everything but probably didn't need to.
  7. hartkem

    hartkem Member

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    Only after the thermostatic valve.

    I have room to cut the 1 1/2 copper coming out of boiler and put a tee in it. I do have a return tapping that I was going to use for a drain before I realized there was one coming directly out the bottom of the eko. It is after the circ pump but I think it would still work. So really it wouldn't be too bad to just cut and solder new tee in.
  8. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    I'm using a APC UPS and I believe the model is a 1500 "Smart UPS". It has (2) 12V batteries in it. I've never run the batteries down to see how long I can really get out of it but I'm 100% confident I could get 3 hours min. This would be more than enough time to finish off a load or at least shut things down safely.

    These units can be had on eBay for a fraction of the cost of a new one. Spend $70 on new batteries and sleep soundly.
  9. dogwood

    dogwood Minister of Fire

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    Stee6043, what do you operate off the UPS?
  10. kopeck

    kopeck Minister of Fire

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    Here's what I want to know, what do those of us with boilers that require 220 volts do?

    I can find 220v UPSes but they all use a single leg, not the the two 110 legs like we use here in the states.

    Thanks,

    K
  11. jwad

    jwad New Member

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    I just finished my install this week and I used an APC backup. An aquastat in the wood boiler is connected to an extra pump plumbed in parallel and the aquastat is plugged into the backup outlet. Temps get to 200 and the pump turns on to pump it down to 195 and turns off. It cycles long enough till the fire is out.
  12. hartkem

    hartkem Member

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    I explored the idea of purchasing some copper finned tubing. This stuff is difficult to find in my area. Found some 3/4 8' long pieces on the internet. For 32' it was 200 bucks. Shipping was another 150 bucks. I called three supply houses in my area and none of them carried it. Still open to the UPS way. I may explore ebay tonight.
  13. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    I run the boiler and the primary circ. That's it.
  14. kopeck

    kopeck Minister of Fire

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    Really? It should be common, I mean it's used a a repair item all the time.

    The local supply house had all I needed in stock, don't look for it at the big box stores, they don't carry that kind of thing. I do remember thinking it wasn't all that expensive either and that was with the current copper prices. I wouldn't try getting it shipped, just touching the fins bend them. I would look around some more, someone has to have it local to you.

    K
  15. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    I've seen it on Kijiji here once in a while - there's always someone replacing it with something else like in floor or heat pump stuff. So try that or Craigslist.
  16. hartkem

    hartkem Member

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    Maybe its the area of the country. Most homes around here have forced air. Two of the major supply houses said they have never carried it or seen it without the housing. Ill keep looking. I have my primary circulator pump located very close to the inlet of my boiler. It has the integrated check valve. I want to hook the overheat loop return line on the other side of the pump. The overheat loop water would have to flow through this pump. Will this work? It would require major plumbing changes to prevent this. I can just tee the copper line on the output of the boiler.
  17. kopeck

    kopeck Minister of Fire

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    Wow, that seems really odd to me but it is what it is I suppose.

    I would have to look but I think I paid $25.00 or so dollars per 8' length, 3/4".

    Maybe I need to go back and buy some and sell it online. :p

    K
  18. hartkem

    hartkem Member

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    I found a place that can order it for 180 bucks per 8' length. Thats expensive!!
  19. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    There HAS to be some used stuff around there somewhere. Metal recycling place? Second hand building supply place?
  20. hartkem

    hartkem Member

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    ill keep checking craigs list and try to find scrap metal place. Seriously considering the battery backup and then wiring a relay into the blower to kill it when power goes out and only using battery backup to run the circ pump. Wonder how long a 1000 watt 1500kv ups would run a taco 011 pump.
  21. rkusek

    rkusek Minister of Fire

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    Harkem and I live in the land of gas forced air heating. If you are outside the reach of the nat gas lines then you burn propane. A few oddballs like myself opted against propane and have the air source heat pumps since they both heat and cool. A handful of new homes install the ground source HPs but you are talking 25 grand here for the closed loop type with the wells. Residential boilers or any hydronic heating is almost unheard of. You would think with renovation of old commercial buildings you would see some of copper finned tubing around though.

    I checked the Omaha craiglist and copper finned tubing returned nothing. I have looked for cast iron radiators in the past and the scrapyards were asking a lot for them I thought. I was hoping to find some of the radiators i remember seeing in old buildings as a kid, they were shorter (maybe 18" tall) and would work better across the ceiling for me than a full size rad. Menards has new copper finned tubing and it is $31 for 4ft without the ends and $66 for a 8 footer Still about $200 for a EKO40 like mine but might be the best choice. I've been running without any overheat protection in the past but not this winter.

    My shop heater is just an old outdoor HP condensor unit from a junkyard. I been looking for a way to use this for overheat protection. Currently, I don't even have to run the fan (replaced with 120V motor) but if I do it must have a delta T of more than 100 degrees. It can handle the full load of the EKO 40 without ever going into idle. My thought is to use a pure sine wave inverter (or UPS) with a deep cycle battery to cover power outages but this won't cover cases where the boiler circ or primary loop circ would fail. My primary loop circ was making noise last winter so anything could happen. If this happens your boiler will still overheat. I thought about adding another circ triggered by an overheat aquastat that would tee right into my shop heater line. The check valve on the circ that normally feeds the shop heater should force the hot water through the coils but I would have to run some type of return line back to the bottom of the boiler and this would need some type of zone valve. This all begins to get more complicated with more things to fail so using the overhead finned tube is still probably the best option. Looks like Menards is not in KC??, but Topeka and St Joe have them. Here is some links to their site and the specs. About 630 btu per foot (at 190 degrees) which in line with what others on Hearth have quoted in the past.
    http://www.menards.com/main/heating-cooling/hydronic-radiant-heat/emitters/c-8518.htm
    http://www.menards.com/main/store/2...onMorris/Prod_Tech_Spec/Baseboardemitters.pdf
  22. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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  23. hartkem

    hartkem Member

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    Thanks Rkusek,

    Im actually in omaha right now and will be going by St. Joe on my way home. Looks like the hydronic emitters are special order. At least I have options for buying some at a decent price. Now to decide which way to go. UPS or overheat loop. Overheat loop seems to be a better option so long as its ok for the water to flow through the pump as I described above in an earlier post. Also, do I have to tee in right at the boiler output or can it be a foot or so away? Its not the highest point but only about 6 inches lower than the output of the boiler. Also concerned about heat loss through conduction. Even without water flow seems like heat would conduct through the metal. Maybe a effieciency concern since my boiler is in an outbuilding.
  24. rkusek

    rkusek Minister of Fire

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    Look at page 13 in the manual. http://smokelessheat.com/Media/FurnaceDocuments/EKOLine/ekoline.pdf
    You can see they show the Automag valve that opens when the electricity goes out and water will thermosiphon through the copper finned tubing shedding heat. They show the return plumbed back in after the Danfoss/Termovar but ahead of the boiler circ. Personally, I would think it would be better after the circ right at the bottom port of the boiler. I think you would want the Automag located at the same level as the output of the boiler like the picture shows. MikefromMaine, do you have the swing or spring check on your return like this shows? One would think the closed automag would stop any flow back through the return under normal operation. I suppose you could get "ghost flows" where it flows both directions on that return line. Looks like we need and Automag valve, swing check valve, some copper or black iron for the supply side and should be able to get by with pex for return side.

    That steam radiator maple1 found on the Lincoln craiglist would probably do the job too if you could get it mounted somehow securely near the ceiling. Might be easier to just shell out the $200 for the new finned tube which can be screwed right to the wall.
  25. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    I'm not sure why a check valve would be needed? Seems the automag valve tied to power would be all that would be required. Also I might be leery of the gravity flow overcoming the built in circ check valve.

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