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Electronic ignition and the Napoleon Bayview gds25 question

Post in 'It's a Gas!' started by tubbster, Oct 25, 2008.

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  1. tubbster

    tubbster Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Central NY
    I just ordered a gds25, and even after reading the pdf manual, I can not figure out how this thing works.
    It has an ignition box/brain and a pilot light.
    Does the pilot light remain on all the time? It has a flame sense rod (like a furnace) that runs back to the brain.
    It needs either the a/c adapter plugged in, or 2 d cells as a backup to operate. Yet it does have millivolt control.

    Anyone have experience with this setup?

    I bought it because it is the ONLY (that I could find) stove that puts out over 20K btu that direct vents out a straight 24" pipe with no vertical rise needed.I needed that feature to exhaust out below a window on which the stove is centered.

    It seems like a fairly high quality unit. I can not find much about the napoleon name around here.

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  2. R&D Guy

    R&D Guy New Member

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    The gds25 uses a Intermittent Pilot Ignition (IPI) system. Not to be confused with a milli-volt system since no voltage is produced at the pilot. Looks kind of like one since it has a sensor, but it requires external power to operate (batteries and, or AC adapter.

    Believe it or not fire is a conductor of electricity and when the pilot ignites you get continuity between the pilot hood, igniter, and the flame sensor. The "brain" sends a small amount of power over the flame which returns to the brain through the sensor. So the brain then recognizes that flame is present and allows gas to flow to the burner. It's not a new technology, but one that helps save you money since your pilot isn't running 24-7 and it's considered more "Green".

    The hearth industry stayed away from them for a long time - I think because it's a little more complicated (has electronics) and the unit then "requires" power, but since most people get a blower these days, the pressure to be "Green" is Hip right now and the price of gas is high for LP users, IPI will quickly be the norm.

    Your stove is advanced, I think you'll be glad you have it. Keep an extra set of batteries handy in case a power outage occurs and the batteries in your stove goes dead.

    The mfg I work for started using IPI in one of their lines back in 2004. It's proved to be harder to troubleshoot out in the field, but works so well their entire gas line will be IPI in the next year.

    A plus for us designers is that it gives you a few percentages in efficiency since you don't have to add the 1,200 to 1,500 BTU's the pilot burns while the stove is off as an energy loss.
  3. tubbster

    tubbster Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
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    Loc:
    Central NY
    Wow, thanks for the educated reply!

    So, with the exception of the addition of a fast acting thermocouple, it is maybe a similar system in my high e furnace. The flame sense rod and I do not get along. The furnace is in the laundry area, and I have to clean the rod maybe twice a year, as the furnace does not breath outside air. I hope that since the DV set up does, the rod will stay cleaner longer.

    RD, a couple questions, if I may. How much current does the ignition module consume in cruise? I.E., how long do you suppose a set of D batteries will live if they were paying for the ride?
    Why does the system still use a thermocouple? As far as I can tell, the sole flame sense on the furnace is the flame sense rod.

    Personally, I would have preferred the simpler system. I figure I will only be running the stove when it was in season - and therefore the pilot heat would not be such a bad thing. I have been running a (crappy!) un-vented setup for a while that has the simple system. Worked every time. Hopefully this will, but as an engineer myself, I always liked KISS.

    Will the ignition module be a common piece in the future? It is not even listed in the parts breakdown. If it is a common part, cool. If each one is type specific to a manufacture, bummer.

    Lastly, while the Napoleon seems like a great, or at least decent unit, the instructions for actual operation seem lacking. Must be the pilot in me, but I like a systems description!
  4. R&D Guy

    R&D Guy New Member

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    Let me start by saying I'm not totally familiar with the valve mfg Napoleon uses and I did not sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night :cheese: , but I did look at the manual for your stove and am quite familiar with the technology. It doesn't have a thermopile or thermocouple on the pilot. It's just a sensor which allows electricity to be conducted back to the brain.

    If your furnace is like mine, then yes it's very similar. Mine uses the same technology to insure there is flame, but to the burner not the pilot. There's no pilot in my furnace (doubt there is one in yours either) and the burner is ignited using a "Hot Plate" which is just what it sounds like - a probe that gets yellow/white just before the valve sends gas to the burner.

    Again, I don't know the exact valve system, but I'm sure it's quite similar to the 2 different IPI mfg's we use. When the system is off it uses no power. The biggest power draw is when the pilot is being ignited. The second is turning the flames up and down if your unit does that remotely. It should work 100% off of the AC adapter when you have power. You likely have a standing pilot mode where you can keep the pilot running 24-7 regardless of whether the burner is running and in that case you are using a very small amount of power so the system can confirm the pilot still has flame.

    Every valve mfg who has showed their system to us except SIT has claimed their system can run off of batteries for a entire season (8 months). Check with Napoleon and see what they say. I have tested a IPI system which "Borrows" power from the batteries during the pilot ignition process, and when the power goes out all the sudden the appliance doesn't work at all. We passed over those systems, but that's whay I suggest keeping a extra set just for the fireplace.

    I think IPI is the future especially since the cost of electronics gets cheaper and cheap - Opps, I mean less expensive, while the cost of gas always goes up.

    Napoleon is a good mfg and competitor, you bought a great system and I'm sure you'll be happy with it.
  5. tubbster

    tubbster Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
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    Thanks. I'm sure I will like it. I just like to know how it rolls. Page 25 mentions the fast acting thermocouple. Maybe it's a holdover from an earlier pub?

    Best I can figure is it uses the sense rod to maintain the pilot valve and the thermocouple (if there is one!) to maintain the main valve. The thermostat hook up is quite conventional, and it does not adjust gas output, only on or off.

    I'll give a full report when I get it installed!
  6. R&D Guy

    R&D Guy New Member

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    Yeah could be that's left over from the previous version of this unit. The pilot assembly they show on page 21 as well as the supporting components are for a non-thermocouple pilot. Note the "Through Gas Line Conduit" text on the yellow sensor lead. They also talk about a milli-volt thermostat on that page, but I think all they are talking about there is using a thermostat with dry contacts which is what you use with a milli-volt or IPI system. Basically the thermostat is just another on/off switch which completes a connection.
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