1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Fine Tuning BioMass

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Tennman, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. Fred61

    Fred61 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Messages:
    1,698
    Loc:
    Southeastern Vt.
    I could have missed this but I'll ask: Is your oil boiler "cold start"?

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Chesuncook1

    Chesuncook1 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2013
    Messages:
    1
    Loc:
    Maine
    Hi Dara,
    from what I understand, if you go from the Ar 0 on the Rk-2001 controller to the TT jumper you cut on the burner, the oil burner will only fire when the controller says "Fuel". Maybe check those connections again.

    I have 500 gal. of storage so that would not work for me. If you can not get that to work, you could use the following which is what I used.
    Johnson Controls A419 Electronic Temperature Control. It comes in 24 and 120 volt. I used the 24 volt model. You can pick up 24 volts from any relay you have to operate the digital display. These controls are very versatile, have both normally open and closed terminals. This control can be set for cut in or out at set temperature. The control comes with a temperature sensor bulb with 6' of wire (can be extended) and you can place it on the 2" outlet on top of the furnace. You need to put some insulation around the bulb for proper operation. Set the control to heating mode and cut-in at set point. If you set the control at say 120 degrees, the oil burn will not come on until the outlet on the wood boiler is down to that temperature. I used 2 of these in my installation. You can purchase at any burner supply or from Pex Supply online for about $60.

    I am a newby but have learned a lot in the past few weeks as I just installed my Biomass 40 and have been using it since 12/20/12 I never dreamed that so much was involved. I would like to thank everyone for this wonderful forum as it has been so helpful for me during the install process. This is my first post and there will be many more as I would like to help anyone I can because all of you have helped me so much without even knowing it.

    Scott
  3. Tennman

    Tennman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Messages:
    616
    Loc:
    Southern Tenn
    Very glad to have you here Scott. Welcome and thanks for your inputs.
  4. Trex83

    Trex83 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    Messages:
    45
    Loc:
    Far Eastern Ontario, Canada
    Just to add to the unseasoned wood topic, we have hardwood from last fall. Still measures 25-30%. Doesn't work well. The softwood (red pine) from last fall works great and its 20%, so my dad mixes both types of wood after the hardwood has dried a little bit inside the boiler room.
    Looking into buying an oxygen sensor to install in the flue so that my father can tune the primary-secondary air because he's always trying with different types of wood. Will let you know what we will do.
    Cheers,
    Trex83
  5. Tennman

    Tennman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Messages:
    616
    Loc:
    Southern Tenn
    Read discussions about oxygen sensors used on the lambda boilers but never occurred to me to install one to optimize the inlet ports. Looking forward to seeing his solution for a display off the sensor and what sensor he uses. Keep us informed. I'd love to add to my boiler.
  6. Trex83

    Trex83 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    Messages:
    45
    Loc:
    Far Eastern Ontario, Canada
    Right now Tennman, we just have the sensor and the cables shipped with the unit. Using a MTX-L from Innovate Motorsports running with an LSU 4.2 Bosch sensor (recommendation from Burt's Greenhouse in Odessa, ON and the gasification forum - gasification at lists.bioenergylists.org ).
    My dad has to weld the bung in the chimney adaptor on the boiler and I have to find a suitable 12 Vdc 2A power supply and a small mounting box to keep the dust out of there.
    The Froling S4 Turbomatic video seems to put their lambda sensors after the exhaust blower, that's where my dad will put it.
    I'll let you know when its going to be hooked up and running.
    Trex
  7. Tennman

    Tennman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Messages:
    616
    Loc:
    Southern Tenn
    Man you have me jazzed about hot rodding my boiler. So what I think you're saying is you bought the MTX-L from some motorsports supplier and the Bosch sensor from, I guess, an automotive supply house. It looks like that automotive Innovate display does everything, including some neat outputs to a computer if you want. All you do is give the Innovate 12VDC power or something and you have a complete oxygen sensor system for fine tuning the boiler. This looks like a pretty simple add-on. This is very cool Trex! Tell your dad thanks for the research. Yes, keep us informed. I'm thinking this will be very useful for tuning air settings. BTW, 2800 liters is about 740 gals. For us down here that's an odd size and a little under the usual 1000 gal storage used with a 60 boiler. Is 2800l a standard propane tank size in Canada? Why 2800l or 740 gal?
  8. taxidermist

    taxidermist Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,031
    Loc:
    Fowlerville MI
    OH MAN Larry!!!! here we go!!! we should race our boilers when we get done installing our lamda sensors. LOL
  9. I can hear it now...
    My biomass can take a 1000 gallons from 140 to 190 in 4.2 hours. ;)
  10. Tennman

    Tennman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Messages:
    616
    Loc:
    Southern Tenn
    Yes indeed!!! LOL seems too mild!!! Where the heck is that funny face icon menu!!! I'll bet you a quarter I can SMOKE both of you guys! (Where the heck are those funny faces on this iPad!?!**!)
  11. Downeastinmaine

    Downeastinmaine New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Calais, ME
    I installed a biomass 60 on 12/04/12. I have nothing but trouble with it. I have spent probably 60 hours messing with it. First I was burning old wood for my wood stove. It was dry but split big. I was getting "FUEL" outs as you can expect. I split the wood down to 4-5 inch size with the same results. Then I had some 4 foot sticks that had been cut for two years, mostly small tops, about 4 inch diameter that I cut to 2 foot sticks and I get the same thing. I dont know what to do. I am getting a lot of smoke out of the chimney and not the steam that everyone talks about. I get a blueish whiteish flame when I have a good bed of coals but there is still smoke. My primaries are about 3/4 of the way open and my secondary is about 1/3. I will post pics later. Lately while gassing, the secondary port hole has been rattling. Im not sure what that means. Any advice? By the way, thank you to all who have posted on this topic. it has got me going in the right direction.....I think.
    Also, has anyone tried suppletmenting with coal to extend burn times? In the manual it says "50% soft coal", what does that mean? I appreciate all replies.
  12. taxidermist

    taxidermist Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,031
    Loc:
    Fowlerville MI

    Smoke is from unseasoned wood.....Well lets call in not enough seasoning for a gasser...lol

    Tell us a little more info
    Fan speeds
    fan shutter % open
    Type of wood your burning

    Also only 60 hrs messing with it? man you need to spend more time with it!!! treat it like a new born child...LOL

    Dont worry the guys here can get you burning like a pro in no time.

    Rob
  13. Downeastinmaine

    Downeastinmaine New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Calais, ME
    Rob,
    I appreciate the quick reply. I am burning mostly beech, yellow birch and maple. Fan is changing all the time. I try to go as low as possible to stop blowing holes in my coal bed. shutter is open about 25%. 60 hours doesnt count the 1/2 hour to an hour I wait each load until im sure thats its going good. Do you know what the rattling of the secondary hole is?
  14. Fred61

    Fred61 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Messages:
    1,698
    Loc:
    Southeastern Vt.
    How old is the"old wood" for the stove and how long has it been split and stacked under cover?
    2 year old rounds may not be dry enough. Wood that is completely encapsulated by the bark dries very slow. I usually try to split even the smaller rounds before I stack it. If a round is too small, I just zip the chainsaw down the length of the piece and it will dry twice as fast as long as you penetrated the bark and the sapwood is visible.
  15. Downeastinmaine

    Downeastinmaine New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Calais, ME
    The old wood has been split and stacked for summers. it was split a little big for a gasser but i split it again about a month ago to suit the gasser. Thanks for the advice about the tops though. I thought round was the way to go
  16. Wood issues aside try the following and let us know how it goes.

    Set the controller for
    190 set point
    100% fan speed
    Pump Launch temp of 165 or 170

    Primaries wide open
    Air shutter wide open
    Secondaries almost closed, like 1/8 open

    Make sure the weight on the front flap is set so the damper is opening and closing when the fan is on/off.

    Load the boiler with your smallest splits first, then some kindling, then cardboard, then fill about 1/2 way with your regular wood. Light the cardboard and leave the door cracked until you are sure the fire is going to burn. Then close, shouldnt need to open again. You should have an almost instant secondary flame once the kindling gets going. Sometimes it will stall untill the first layer of splits gets going but should be gassing well within 20 minutes and stay that way until it is out of wood.

    I suspect your secondary is open too much and is blowing out the gassification flame. Also need to make sure the upper chamber is getting plenty of air, ecspecially if the wood is not well seasoned.
  17. taxidermist

    taxidermist Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,031
    Loc:
    Fowlerville MI
    Well I tell everyone new to run at 100% open fan and speed at 100% until you figure it out. Then start changing only fan speeds Your setting sound ok for Pri and Sec I think you are just starving it for air.

    To keep from getting the fuel light change your fb setting to 2hr and your fd setting to 00 and see if that helps.

    Our gassers hate round wood I split limb wood at least once

    Are you using storage?

    Rob
  18. 1/3 open on the secondary is too much. On the biomass the secondary inlet is a round hole with a piece of metal you can slide over it to close it down. A little adjustment makes a big difference.

    Once you get a good fire going with a bed of coals you can adjust the secondary. Turn down the secondary air adjustment until the flame goes out. Then open it up and getting it going again, the continue opening until the secondary flame goes out again. Then leave it set in the middle of the two extremes.

    I've had mine at ~15% all year with good results. 1/3 and the secondary gassification is very poor and intermittent.
  19. taxidermist

    taxidermist Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,031
    Loc:
    Fowlerville MI

    Good info MIke!
  20. Trex83

    Trex83 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    Messages:
    45
    Loc:
    Far Eastern Ontario, Canada
    All right all right there! I wanted to come back and write about the O2 sensor and other stuff we've been up to but I have to start work early (this morning) so I'll come back later this week.
    Overall, my father is very pleased with the sensor, mainly removes the issues in assessing if the boiler will stop gassing when using wet wood.
    More to come soon.
    Trex
  21. Tennman

    Tennman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Messages:
    616
    Loc:
    Southern Tenn
    Trex, Did your dad stick with the components and part numbers you posted back in Jan 9 for the O2 sensor? I intend to add that sensor this summer when I do my system upgrades. Have one 500 gal propane tank and looking for the other for my storage add-on. Hope to be posting pics in several months of the new system.

    BTW to all BioMass users. Just finishing my 4th season and I don't know if how/what I burn makes a difference regarding nozzle erosion, but my consumption has gone up dramatically with my worn out nozzle. I'll measure the opening and post, but I'd guess the nozzle opening on the primary side has doubled in size basically creating a funnel. The consequence is lots of coals approaching golf ball size in the lower. Easy to image the consequence of rapidly losing coals of that size. Just a heads up that by the 4th season having a spare nozzle on hand might be a good idea. I received mine several months ago from New Horizons and after an hour attempting replacement decided to just wait for end of season shut down to tackle. I'm tempted to cut an expendable metal nozzle entrance from ~1/4" steel to protect the nozzle's ceramic opening. Not sure if that's a good idea or not but have plenty of scrap plate on hand to try. Mainly posting giving a heads up on nozzle erosion so you guys don't get creamed on efficiency mid-season like I did. Ending another season. The best season yet and looking forward to the experiencing storage next season, but thankful at the moment to finally experience Spring and my other passions that need nice weather.

    Any other BioMass lessons learned from this season I'd love to hear. AND glad to be still able to pick Mike's brain about his BioMass since he's not going V-gun. ;lol
  22. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Messages:
    2,426
    Loc:
    N.W. Ohio
    I just patched my nozzle erosion again and think I may be good for another year ! Used some premixed stuff I got at Menards. I have a spare on hand just in case.
  23. I've been really happy with the sacrificial firebrick overlay that I made. Cost less than $10 and has and appears to have stopped the nozzle erosion. I'll get some before and after pics when I do the end of season clean out. But I see no problems with keeping my original nozzle for another couple seasons.
  24. goodwood

    goodwood Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    Messages:
    37
    Loc:
    cny
  25. goodwood

    goodwood Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    Messages:
    37
    Loc:
    cny
    my nozzle eroded badly after only 1season,I was loosing big coals dropping into lower chamber,I was scooping them up and throwing them back in upper loading door for awhile, tried the firebrick overlay,seems to work fine so far, i've got a new nozzle,i am looking forward to hearing how much of a job it is to replace before i attempt it

Share This Page