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  1. sdrobertson

    sdrobertson Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Question for you before I tear down front of stove tomorrow while cleaning everything. I've always had a problem staying in complete gasification. What I've been doing is after stove is up to temp and running well I start to get smoke out the chimney. I would go out to the stove and stir up the wood and it would burn really well for about 5 - 10 minutes and then start to smoke alittle again. In a hour or so I would go back out and stir and again good gasification. What I was thinking was that I couldn't keep hot coals by the nozzles so I would loose gasification. Today I decided to screw around with the secondary air and I went from fully closed to fully opened. Not much difference. I then opened the top and let the smoke clear out like I always do and then stirred the wood. It occurred to me that maybe I was getting to much fuel (smoke) and that maybe the primary's were open to far and letting to much air in the top chamber. I have a fire going so I can't work on the primary's so what I did was open the secondary's all the way and closed down the fan shutters to about a 1/2 inch. Its been about a hour and still in gasification but its not roaring like it does when I first close up the top after stirring the wood. I set the primary's to the manual specs so what I wondering is how much should I close them so that I can start closing my secondary settings and fine tuning? Does any of this make sense or am I spinning my wheels like usual?

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  2. sdrobertson

    sdrobertson Minister of Fire

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    Update - My burns are just a little bit better now. Its even better with no end to gasification when I just barely crack the bottom door. I did this for 30 minutes and it really ran well so I'm thinking its starving for O2 in the gasification chamber. I'm not spending all night with the door cracked so I closed it up and it went back to the way it was burning this afternoon. Hopefully tomorrow I can get it zeroed in with the primary air closed down - I'm just wondering how much?
  3. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    That almost sounds like you're burning wood that's not dry enough, though it could certainly be the air adjustments as well.
  4. sdrobertson

    sdrobertson Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    When you make adjustments to the air - how much do you have to move them so see a difference? Is it like a fine carburetor where just a 1/4 turn really changes things or are we talking a full turn on the secondary screws and a 1/4 inch on the fan inlets?
  5. rickh1001

    rickh1001 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
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    126
    Loc:
    upstate NY
    sdrobertson

    I am still learning how to tweek my EKO 60 as well. I know if I have only a modest fire going, then load it to the gills with fresh wood, I often come back to find that there are no coals by the nozzles, and sometimes the boiler will shut down with a "Fuel" error. On the other hand, if I maintain a deep bed of hot coals, I can throw wood on up to the top of the chamber, and have it burn down nicely, with full gasification. So I'm not sure it is simply the wrong settings on the primary/secondary air, as much as it is the routine of stirring the embers and charcoal down towards the nozzle before loading more wood.

    One thing I am seeing is there is a bit of a myth about firing these boilers flat out, then living off the stored heat for a day or more. At least in my case, where I am heating two buildings with rather large heat loads, and with only 500 gal of storage, there isn't a whole lot of down time between firings. In fact, I am pretty much running the EKO full time in the colder weather (we are at 5F tonight). It seems to like being loaded every 4-6 hours, and if I do, it keeps a deep bed of coals and gasifies like crazy with a huge roar and red heat in the secondary masonry. In that regard, I have found the recommended settings from the factory to be right on - about 50-60% opening of the primary fans, and 3.5 turns out on the secondary screws. The EKo hates it if it runs out of fire, and I find it takes hours to get the bed of coals really going again where I can have steady, reliable gasification if I leave it.

    In general, I am finding keeping the EKO running is pretty similar to running a regular wood furnace. Nothing wrong with that, but although it is more efficient with its gasification and automation, it is still a wood furnace at the end of the day, and requires more or less continuous attention.
  6. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    boilerman & sdrobertson,
    Ideally for gassification the upper chamber is only supposed to smolder and generate enough heat to charcoalize the wood in the upper chamber and should never get enough oxygen to have a fire. If you are getting burned out pockets over the nozzle it is because of too much air supply/velocity over the nozzle. I only have a 40 but the principle is the same. Close down the primary as directed in the new manual on page 18 (to 9-12 mm) and the blower (from 50-70%) to start tweaking the boiler. In my 40 with no storage I have added about 1 hour burn time per loading with hard wood. A monster flame in secondary that is predominately yellow orange in color is under oxygenated and over fueled which blows efficiency and produces smoke and will produce hot pockets that gassify for a short time.

    500 gal storage is barely minimum and probably too small for the 40 and for the 60 is way undersized. See page 7 in the manual for the formula and page 26 for the data to plug in to the formula to determine storage for your boiler. For the 60 you should have about 841 gal minimum (their math confuses my calculator). Nofossil has a 25 and uses 880 gal. storage and one fire a day. I don't know your sq. ft. or heating formula for btu's required for your set up but per your boiler and the manual you need more storage to extend your between firing times. With no storage I burn 24-7 so I know your pain. Next summer I am going to try building 1200 gal. storage for my system...Stay warm
  7. markpee

    markpee New Member

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    151
    Loc:
    Huson Valley New York
    Can someone tell me where the primary air setting is located on my 40 and how to get to it?
  8. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

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    Oct 24, 2007
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    The primary air setting is behind the fan panel , you have to remove about 12 screws and there are 2 slide covers in the upper corners of the panel. I know what you are thinking why the heck didn't they make these easy to adjust like the secondaries. There is a good picture of it in the new manual.
  9. sdrobertson

    sdrobertson Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    West Michigan
    This morning I filled the stove with what I know is dry wood and let that burn to see if Eric was right in a couple posts above this. No smoke but I was still getting the pockets around the nozzles so the wood and the primary air was a problem. I just read your thread and it makes sense because I always have flames in the top chamber. I just closed the primary's just a touch. Immediate results were bluer flames (still more orange though) out both nozzles. I'll let it burn like this for awhile and hopefully I'll have good results. One problem I still have is that I noticed that my secondary covers are to low just like several others have had. I'm wondering if this was a design by Orlan of if they are supposed to be totally covering the secondary tubes as my stove is a older 60.
  10. Dave T

    Dave T New Member

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    Mar 28, 2008
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    Loc:
    Dansville NY
    SROB I wish I could tell you how mine burned before I changed my secondary inlet plates, But I saw this as a problem before I had my first fire and switched it (easy fix) but if there are more than mine out there that the secondarys are low on the EKO standards maybe mine was not a mistake?? Either way I put screws in the secondary holes so it can be changed back easily..In my opinion comming in full contact with the secondary inlet pipes is the only true way to close them off, opening them a little extra is no issue if that what it takes just my $0.02..Dave
  11. sdrobertson

    sdrobertson Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    West Michigan
    I agree that it seems funny that there are so many. I wonder if they did it for safety reasons as you can never close them off all the way and then build up gas in the bottom chamber. I'm going to burn awhile and see if I can get it tuned in further before I attempt to move them.
  12. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Central NYS
    There's a lot of good information and observations in this post. Boilerman is right about a gasification boiler being not all that much different than any other wood-fired boiler in the commitment and tending department. You just get a lot more usable heat out of a gasifier and a much cleaner burn. I also agree completely with the observation about the coal bed. That seems to be a pretty important element to success. You can get a clean burn without a bed of coals, but it's trickier to accomplish. I always try to stir the coal bed up and get everything right over the top of the nozzles. As to the air settings, I'll have to look your advice over again and see if I can come up with an experimentation strategy. Basically, I got mine working well last year and quit fooling with it, but I have the new controller (not hooked up yet), and it seems to offer some interesting options for tweaking performance. Like everyone else, I'm always looking for more efficiency. But hey, this morning it was below zero here, and I woke up to a 70-degree house (big bastid, too) and a firebox full of coals, so it's all good.

    Threads like this will really allow us, over time, to nail down how to set up and operate these things. I'm really grateful that we have so many new users willing to experiment and share.

    BTW, I did the most recent manual revision for New Horizon Corp., and I'm really pleased to see that it seems to be more helpful than the older ones. I don't have any connection to the company, other than I bought my boiler last year, took a look at the manual and suggested to Zenon that it would benefit from some illustration and clearer descriptions. I would still like to expand it into a more comprehensive user/installation manual. So maybe when we get this all figured out for good, I'll get Z to let me take another whack at it.
    evamaxx likes this.
  13. verne

    verne Member

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    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    149
    Loc:
    highland ny
    I have to make an observation . So far Im not sure how much storage is helping me . fast clean burn , yes . but I too load my boiler in the am and pm like most, all though I have to start without a coalbed . Im still learning what temps I can survive on off my tank so maybe this will change .
  14. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
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    1,156
    Loc:
    N Illinois

    The new manual is a huge advance over the older one ! Thanks Eric
    The new one really helped me in getting it installed and running everything from the startup without too much trouble aside from my semi poor soldering skills.
    One item I noticed was the piping diagrams do not show a manual tempering valve ahead of the danfoss or termovar.

    It seems as storage must be sized fairly large to offer the ability to skip fires or even days because it takes more time to start them from scratch instead of just adding wood and letting it burn. I have not started a new fire in a few weeks I just add wood 3 times a day and keep it going and even though the fantasy of using a couple arm fulls of wood every 12 hours has not come true I am pretty happy with it so far although a wood splitter sure would be handy for that wood the maul just bounces off of.
    sorry for the rambling
  15. sdrobertson

    sdrobertson Minister of Fire

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    West Michigan
    [quote author="Tony H" date="1228809051
    It seems as storage must be sized fairly large to offer the ability to skip fires or even days because it takes more time to start them from scratch instead of just adding wood and letting it burn. I have not started a new fire in a few weeks I just add wood 3 times a day and keep it going and even though the fantasy of using a couple arm fulls of wood every 12 hours has not come true I am pretty happy with it so far although a wood splitter sure would be handy for that wood the maul just bounces off of.
    sorry for the rambling[/quote]

    I work 12 hour shifts so on the days I'm working I'm gone for 14 hours or so. What storage has done for me is allow me to leave the house with a small fire going and get through my shift without having to worry if my house is warm for the family. I get home from work in the AM and start a fire, get the kids ready for school and load the stove. Get some sleep and load the stove again before work. CB 6048-lots of wood, smoke and warm house - EKO-allot less wood, no smoke and a warm house. Only drawback is I have to start fires from scratch but that is getting easier every time I do it.
  16. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    I think you hit the critical point here. I made the decision to start a fire when I need it, run it flat out as long as I need it, and let it go out. Starting a fire takes 10 minutes, including the time to get it going hot enough for secondary combustion. With storage, I only have to do that once a day.

    Trying to keep a fire going when you don't need it hurts your efficiency and can cause creosote deposits in the heat exchangers and chimney.
  17. tuolumne

    tuolumne New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
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    Loc:
    Now living in VT, and building new home in VT
    What is this new manual that folks are speaking about? I would love a glimpse. We just moved into our new home over the weekend, so I am ready to start tweaking my EKO 40 to get better results. The short story is that our house is plenty warm, even with temperatures below zero sunday night and near zero all day yesterday. I really need to get on top of my storage hookup...I have all the components, but I've been delaying due to the difficulty in moving 500 gallon propane tanks and wondering if the welding process will blow me up. I woke up around 5 this morning and the house was warm. However, my boiler was still full of wood (145 degrees) and said FUEL. The house is insulated quite well, and there may be several hours between zone calls when the thermostats go from 68 to 65 around 9:30. During this time I must have run out of coals and gasification could not get going again. Obviously my storage scheme would be saving me a lot of wood here...I could have avoided throwing those last two armloads in altogether. I wonder if I could tweak a few air settings in the meantime to help keep things going through the night when the temperature is moderatre outdoors like 15 degrees =).

    Most important: is there an online version of this new manual?
  18. taxidermist

    taxidermist Minister of Fire

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  19. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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  20. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    tuolumne,
    Where the 40 is concerned, at least mine, I can testify to what tweaking the air can do for extended burn time. I downloaded the new manual and printed it and will be referencing it. Page 18 shows factory recommended settings for "primary" (9-12mm) pictured on pg 19, "secondary" (3,5 turns) pictured on pg 19 and "blower opening" percentage" pictured on pg 19 which are all variable compared to moisture content of the wood being burned. For me primary was almost open an inch when I got the boiler and secondary was open close to an inch as well. The blower opening was closer to 3/4" open. The boiler worked and was impressive. I was naive but my house was warm. It is my opinion that though the new manual is better than the old one I got with the boiler it is only the starting point. 10mm (middle of the road) for primary still seems over powering and I think that is because the blower is a bit robust compared to its purpose. My setting is now 9mm and still too strong as it doesn't seem effected by wood moisture content and there is a lot of blue flame in my secondary chamber and I really have to crank the secondary wide. Any how I am around 10 hours for my burn time with a good coal bed remaining per loading of hard wood without storage. My experience is for there to be coals in my boiler when I wake up I have to avoid sleeping more than 10 hours. Your heat needs are probably greater than mine but you can stretch the burn times.
  21. tuolumne

    tuolumne New Member

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    Now living in VT, and building new home in VT
    Thank you, that is extremely helpful; especially the chart. My manual contains wonderful advice such as, "Right boiler's temperature maintaining during its exploitation is very important."
  22. markpee

    markpee New Member

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    Cave Man -

    Is blue flame good or bad?
  23. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    Blue/yellow/white flame indicates a clean burn. Orange indicates an under oxygenated (too rich/cooler) flame like an acetylene torch before the O2 is right for the mix. Wood gas should in some regard be looked at as natural or lp gas while burning. Before you can get the hottest flame in ng or lp you need the blue that turns to white/yellow at the tips. Blue then is primarily an indicator you are getting a good mix with enough oxygen. I have no storage and have been running my boiler to get the longest sustained burn times and have had my blower set way low to keep from getting smoke and burn out pockets in the primary chamber. Those problems were because my primary was too wide for the velocity of a wide open blower. I'm down to 9mm on primary. To get the blue flame though it is better to cut the blower way back so you can actually see the blue. Once adjusted you can reset the blower to a wider setting of your preference. It appears that you get a quicker transfer of heat with a wider blower opening but a shorter burn duration which is ideal to some with storage. A smaller blower opening means a slower heat transfer but a longer burn duration with less idling which is ideal for my situation and no storage.
  24. Kemer

    Kemer Member

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    Our situations and settings are the same and i'm getting the same results.It's 50 here and waiting for cold to load it up to see if things change
  25. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

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    So if I am following this correctly when I have mostly orange gasification I should OPEN the secondaries more to get more oxygen and a hotter blue flame.

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