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Fire view in a cat stove

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by metalsped, Dec 23, 2012.

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  1. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I was not assuming. I specifically added that information as not all stoves operate the same way.

    Correct.

    Correct, if those numbers are accurate.

    Partially correct. Since it is impossible to tell if the BK numbers and the Progress numbers are factual or have been tweaked by the marketing department, which happens. A lot.

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  2. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    Those numbers are from your EPA list post.... See the output range column.
  3. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Here's a question; what temperature would the progress have to be running at to hit 73k BTUs an hour?
  4. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    Got me, I haven't been able to put in more than 3 or 4 small splits so far, it's been 40+ outside and that is just about burning out my whole neighborhood! ;)

    But keep in mind it might not mean it's running at a different temp, it could mean its releasing more heat. Two stoves can both be the same temp on top, but one could easily be putting more heat into the area around it while maintaining that temp than the other.
  5. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    I don't own either one of these stoves and they are both excellent stoves and I feel the thermostatically controlled air intake on the BK is what gives it the advantage. If WS were ever to incorporate this into their stoves successfully I feel we could have a virtual tie here. I for one would like this feature if it was reliable and apparently BK has a good track record with this feature and what separates them from the rest of the pack..

    Ray
  6. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    Why is it, when COMPARING specs, or ASKING simple questions about a BK stove, it becomes an attack on BK stoves or a tape measure if it is or isn't the best stove in the world? You guys are funny. When I was researching on here reading old threads..., everytime a bk came up in a thread, 6 bk guys jumped all over it as if they were defending the empire! :rolleyes:

    Again, I love BK stoves. I am NOT trying to figure out which one is better. I'm COMPARING SPECIFICATIONS, they are different, very different. Reading these types of comparisons, is eactly how people make selections. The fact I picked a WS does not make it a "better" stove, it makes it the correct stove (hopefully of course! ;) ) for me and what I wish to do with it, based on it's specs and peoples real life experiences. I have a neighbor that has a little stove with a 2 or 3 hour burn time. He LOVES it, and thinks it's the perfect stove for him. He burns it once a month for 2 hours when he is entertaining. Does that mean it is a "better" stove than a BK? No and yes. It's a better stove than a BK, for him and how he uses it, that's all.

    raybonz,
    You brought up a great point I have never thought about. The t-stat on them. Thats a great feature, and I wonder why more stoves have not copied it/implemented it? How is there longevity, do they ever have any issues/break...? I think not as I have not run into any threads about problems with them, so I doubt they have many issues. But, can you change them/replace them if required?
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  7. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    I believe that VC has used thermostatic dampers and maybe still does? BB will probably know this.. It is in this regard that BK is able to achieve long burn times where other cat stoves may fall a bit short. Not sure if a secondary burn stove can use these however the T6 does have what they call EBT. Is this the same thing? I really don't know but I do know that WS is a beautiful looking and high quality stove that would benefit from a thermostatically controlled air intake. I feel if WS could incorporate this successfully their sales would skyrocket! I did ask about this at the WS open house and they are looking into it and who knows if they do come out with this feature perhaps you could add it to an existing stove..

    Ray
  8. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    And they really shouldn't.
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  9. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    It does. And it blows. I am beginning to think it is due to the downdraft design of the stove that is the main issue with the system.
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  10. evilgriff

    evilgriff Burning Hunk

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    I had both VC and BK cat stoves with thermostats now. VC Top load, 1.3 firebox, cast iron, legs. BK front load, 1.8 firebox, steel, pedestal. Thermostats worked on both stoves and were very helpful, at least for my applications. Burn time much longer than VC, I guess partly from larger firebox, use of insulated firebricks and tigher sealing due to less gaskets/simplicity. BK is easier to use, and has a nice fireshow (last night when running on high to fix cold house). When all the way down, no fireshow. I find when selecting a stove, clearances (BK perfect for me), size of house, style and size of stove, pricing, etc-- become like a flow chart, pick one category and your choices go down some more. I wanted to entertain a PH, but it was too big for my application. And BK was out of the running until the 20 came out. I think some make mistakes by choosing a stove by style over function. This site allows people to get the dirt on each stove which should help further narrow your choice. Each stove has plusses and minuses. I think most are good, a few duds, but the win really comes when the correct stove meets the correct application.
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  11. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    Well said evil. I'm looking forward to more pics and stats on your Sirocco...
  12. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    The EPA testing, burning same technique and same wood in each stove, yields PH at about 72000 BTU/hr, vs Fireview closer to 40,000 (don't remember exact figure). firebox of the PH is nowhere near 75% bigger than Fireview. It is just a much more efficient stove. Much bigger window, and better burner of volatile gases as well, so both more efficient burn, and throws more heat out the window versus sends it up the chimney. I've burned both in the same home, as have many others, and the PH send out way more usable heat than the Fireview on the same wood load, and on a large load for the PH puts out an impressive amount of heat for a long time. Woodstock conservatively indicates 80,000BTUs per hour with hardwood cordwood. For specifics about temp needed in firebox/on stovetop to achieve that BTU production, give Woodstock a call. They'll tell you.
    Don't need to compare it to the BK..they are different stoves serving different markets. Both are well designed and do what they are designed to do.

    If you need a lot of het for a large or hard to heat home, I don't think there is a free standing stove that will surpass the PH for heat output and efficiency and ease of use.
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  13. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    At the end of the day, after combing through all the specs, a given load of fuel contains a certain amount of energy, say 500,000 BTU in 80 lbs of wood. (Which variety? I dunno. Pick a species.)

    Burn through that load in 4 hours in any stove @ 80% efficiency, and you get 100,000 BTU/hr. Stretch out the burn, and you get less BTU/hr. Cat stoves are better at stretching out the burn, because they can burn cleanly @ low air settings. BK's do seem to be the best at this. Recent observation indicates that the thermostat just stays shut on low burns, so the BK's phenomenal capability has been attributed to Alien Technology®, beyond the grasp of our puny human brains.

    The weakness of a cat stove seems to be that a catalytic element of a certain size can handle only so much exhaust flow. Bigger stoves that hold more wood need bigger cats, and the precious metals aren't cheap. Perhaps this is why you don't see super high-output ratings on the cat stoves; they would have to run very large catalysts to burn cleanly @100,000 BTU/hr, and IMO, there isn't really any good reason to want to do this. When you run @20,000-30,000 BTU all day, your house is probably already toasty (Clearly, there are exceptions. Bringing a weekend cabin up to temp quickly on Friday would be one example.)

    So a non-cat design would seem to have the advantage for high output without adding much cost (maybe $500 for a HO cat?). I think this might be why Woodstock went with the hybrid design for their larger stove. Best of all possible worlds? I dunno. The new Lopi hybrid is looking pretty good too. Maybe the future is hybrid. . .then again, maybe the Future is Alien®. :p
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  14. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    That demonstrates exactly what I was talking about. Me thinks the design and characteristics of the stove have ALOT more to do with heat output/BTU ratings than one would think. Same size fireboxes does not mean same or even similar output by any stretch. That just doesn't make much sense scientifically.
  15. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I will be buying a Progress when these VC stoves die on me, but, I can guarantee the Progress does not put out twice as much heat as the Defiant.

    This chit isn't magic.
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  16. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, design and efficiency certainly play a part, but basically, cat stoves are 10% more efficient than non-cats. ±10% is easily eclipsed by firebox size, say 3 cu ft vs. 2 cu ft. I don't think anyone really wants to argue the position that size doesn't matter, at least with heaters. ;)

    It would seem that some designs work more effectively as radiators. . .

    There has been some speculation that the very thin Tritanium alloy hull passing more heat to the room is part of the BK magic.

    I recall that the PH testing was delayed while they switched to IR-reflective glass and added the ash lip, because it was throwing too much heat through the glass for the front clearance they wanted. . .probably due to reflection from the stainless fireback.

    So, there are certainly many elements of a design that affect how a stove heats, and I would not presume to tell anyone, including the many PHers who are getting more heat than previously with their Fv, that what they experience in their home is not valid, but I don't see the explanation in Woodstock's efficiency numbers. Both the Fireview and the Progress run ~ 81% HHV. I and others have measured the Fv @1.8 cu ft usable capacity. 2.75 cu ft = 53% larger for the PH. 1.53 x 42,900 = 65,500 BTU. . .getting closer to the PH's 73,000 EPA number. Where do they get the extra 7,000 BTU? From the heat exchanger, maybe? I dunno, but the answer is not in the efficiency figures. Looking at the non-EPA max output numbers: 55,000 BTU for the Fireview x 1.53 size increase would give 84,000 BTU, and I think this is an achievable number for many non-cat ~3-cu-ft stoves, but to burn cleanly at this output level, a cat stove would need a m0nster catalyst. . .or hybridization.

    http://www.woodstove.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=119&Itemid=227

    http://www.woodstove.com/progress-hybrid#comparison chart

    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/anyone-post-this-yet-epa-stove-comparisons-from-woodstock.84712/

    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/new-woodstock-progress-hybrid-epa-info.72886/
  17. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    I was just looking at the BK site (Sirocco vs. Fireview is an interesting comparison.)
    They have a new tech spec: Max Heat Input.
  18. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    I saw that to this morning... Which spurred the "where are the EPA #'s' question... The other #s u posted above are also interesting. BUT the big question for me is, and I posted this in a new thread and did not get an answer a few weeks ago; How and what does the EPA test to determine efficiency? I have a feeling based on what I know about the EPA, they are simply interested in how efficiently the fuel is burned as opposed to it exiting the chimney into the air. But that does NOT tell us the heating efficiency, it would tell us the "smog" efficiency, similar to the grams of particulate released.... In other words, I wonder if some stoves blast a lot of the heat generated into the chimney and out instead of into the room the stove is in.

    There are a lot of unknowns here... I'd love to know what the EPA does for these numbers.... That would tell us a lot.
  19. jatoxico

    jatoxico Minister of Fire

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    I think you hit a point I've wanted to make as I read this % efficiency and that %. Same as with oil burner effeciency #'s, the efficiency refers to how much of the fuel is burned not how much of the available BTU's goes to heating. There are probably too many variables in installations to make good comparisons between stoves(chimney length, pipe type etc.) but as far as I can tell the manufacturers are only providing a spec on how much of the wood is burned not if the BTU's are captured as usable heat. Something to keep in mind.
  20. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    You got it exactly. There can be other things affecting how much heat a stove actually gives off. The EPA is only interested in one thing, pollution, or minimizing it.

    Here's a good example: two years ago I replaced my high efficiency oil burner. I forget off the top of my head the exact efficiency numbers but the new one was only 2 percentage points better than the old one (old one was 80 and new one 82 for example). Yet, I'm burning less than 1/2 the oil. I have no gage on my oil tank, so we get timed fill ups, basically every two months. We are getting killed because they are coming and the tank is only taking 75 to 100 gals, instead of the normal 200 to 275 gals. Nothing else changed, and the burner is the same size rating, same chimney, same blower... Yet 2% efficiency is making a huge difference in heat output, obviously that is not the only difference. The burner is obviously just a better design, it delivers more heat to the house given the same fuel and efficiently.
  21. jatoxico

    jatoxico Minister of Fire

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    Had a similar experience in my old house. Installed high efficiency oil fired furnace. The efficiency was somewhat better but the real gain was how well it extracted the heat. So much so that it could be plumbed for direct venting and had a tiny boiler so it did not need to run when there was no call for heat. To translate to the wood burning industry even if the unit has excellent secondary burn capability if the unit does not transfer the heat to the room then too much goes up and out. I guess that is one reason the soapstone stoves are so nice, heat retention.
  22. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    We're burning wood here guys this isn't rocket science! I understand a lot of us here are passionate about this hobby but sometimes we tend to over think things. :cool:

    We're so far off coarse from the original posters question at this point! I think this thread has run it's coarse. :)
  23. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Our oil burner in the family home is a converted coal burner, about 5 feet x 5 feet by five feet or bigger...house was built in 1894. Heats a 17 room Victorian home...you don't want to know the oil bill. Once upon a time it was very reasonable. Remember a salesperson trying to sell my Dad a new furnace. He listened to the entire pitch, including the claim the new furnace would save over a thousand dollars a year (this was in my childhood--the 60s). My Dad asked the fellow how much he thought Dad spent on oil a year. The guess was quite high. Dad replied, "Under $800." The man stood up and walked out, not another word. Today, might be a good idea to get a new furnace...but how the heck would you get rid of the old one? The furnace room always sounded like monsters were inhabiting it, but the basement surely was warm...Mom raised the bread on the top of the furnace. Heated the home for all 13 children very comfortably. Often think, there is no way anyone could afford our family today...unless living on a farm, I guess. even then....
  24. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Yup, you are right, we're off course.

    Sorry.

    We can all agree, fire viewing is soul warming.

    Happy New Year.
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  25. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    Oh don't worry, we lost the op a long time ago! ;)
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