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Froling controller options

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by DanW, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. DanW

    DanW New Member

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    Good day,

    I've just received a quote on an FHG 50. The boiler comes with what the vendor calls an "S series" controller which controls blower speed. The "L series" controller (Lambda) continually adjusts primary and secondary air to maximize burn based on the O2 sensor. I haven't found anything on Froling sites discussing the controller options. Boiler price (canadian) $7950 base, $10,300 with upgraded contoller.

    Have any Froling owners run their boilers with the basic controller, and then upgraded and can comment on the difference. I am leaning towards the higher level of control (do it right the first time), it's just that $2350 is a lot of cheese, and I can afford the price of this question.

    Thanks.

    Dan

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  2. kopeck

    kopeck Minister of Fire

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    I looked at the Lambda less Froling boiler (the Lambda equipped was out of my price range). When I talked the sales guy about it he told me I would be just as well off with the Tarm Solo Innova and it cost less money so that's the direction, the other boiler I was looking at, so that what I went with.

    Much of the what makes the Froling attractive is the Lambda controls so with out them they're really like a lot of other negative draft boilers. I'm not saying that you shouldn't get one, I'm sure they're still really good units.

    K
  3. DanW

    DanW New Member

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    Thanks kopeck. As far as budget goes, this is what I've seen for pricing around where I am:
    • Biomass 60 $7750 + freight,
    • EKO 60 $7050 + freight,
    • Empyre elite 200 $9395 + freight,
    • Garn 1500 $14,245 +freight.
    So the base Froling FHG 50 at $7944.34 including freight seems to be in the running as non Lambda, and the Lambda controlled at $10,300 and its level of automation is not out of the question. I realize that the boilers in my list have different ratings and features so there not entirely apples for apples.
  4. OldStoneHouse

    OldStoneHouse Member

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    Dan - not sure where in Canada you are but you might look at a Vigas as well. I saw one in operation on the weekend and it was impressive. There's a dealer in Brockville, ON. I'm in the same boat as you and trying to decide - I still like the Tarm units myself.



  5. DanW

    DanW New Member

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    Changed info to show location. I feel like I've "boiled" it down to the Froling, just trying to figure out controls. I just showed a short list to offer comparison.

    I became interested in boilers ~9 years ago when I moved into the hills. I started out like many others, looking at OWBs, there are a few Central boilers around here.
    I've evovled to wanting a gasifier with storage and am ready to pull the trigger.

    Dan
  6. OldStoneHouse

    OldStoneHouse Member

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    Very good - I didn't think I could get the Froling to work in my basement but now you've got me wondering if I can rethink things and have it work okay. It's a beautiful piece of machinery!

  7. hiker88

    hiker88 Burning Hunk

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    It sure is :)
  8. Tennman

    Tennman Minister of Fire

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    Huh... I surprised that a non-lambda BioMass and Froling are so close in price. I thot the 60 BioMass was going for about 5900... or around 6 grand these days. Could be wrong. If I could have had either for the same price....hummm. But perfectly happy with the 60 BioMass I bought for I think 5500 four years ago. But the reason I chimed in here is that after 4 seasons of use with different grades and types of wood, etc.... I'm gonna take my chances with technology next time around and go the fully boat on lambda controls. Everyone has to have a budget but I'd buy the controls. Rarely see the Lambda guys here asking questions.
  9. Can the lambda control be retrofitted to the frohling at a later date. If so how much?

    Personally I dont see the need for lambda controls. But if you can buy without and upgrade later might be an option to consider.
  10. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Are those for purchase from a Canadian dealer/distributor? Or cross border?
  11. DanW

    DanW New Member

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    Remember that I'm in Canada, where I pay ~40 bucks for a 24 of beer. Seems like the boiler prices are relatively higher as well. I am leaning towards the Lambda for the servo controlled primary/secondary air control. I could then let the "fine tuning" take care of itself. I have a seemingly endless supply of dead standing Jack Pine available, and sometimes get into Douglas Fir. No hardwood. I work at a sawmill and have access to kiln dried SPF as well, I sometimes stack 2x6 in the woodstove and it doesn't flash up to badly.
  12. DanW

    DanW New Member

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    Canadian.
  13. DanW

    DanW New Member

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    Upgrade is an option down the road as well. I don't yet know if I buy the base model (and recieve it's controller) and then order the Lambda, does the upgrade price increase. This crossed my mind beacause even if I installed the Lambda right away, I would have a back up on site.
  14. Tennman

    Tennman Minister of Fire

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    Ok.... I didn't think about the exchange rate... but still a little confused that there's very little price differential between Froling and BioMass. Could be explained if there was a Canadian Froling importer and New Horizons in the U.S. is the only BioMass importer. Again, I only chime in here because I'm a happy BioMass owner who likes the idea of lambda controls. In the BioMass sticky we currently have a new user who is experimenting with adding an oxygen sensor and display from the automotive world to give us half of the lambda solution. I.e. sensing the oxygen in the flue so we can manually adjust our shutters. This issue is more important to me as a non-storage burner since I often run "off optimal". Maybe next season when I'm able to run 100% fan and get my shutters better optimized for wide open burning maybe I'll become less concerned about the tuning like MikefromMaine appears to be..... But from where I stand at the moment, and as a guy who burns all kinds of wood species, having the boiler sort out all that discussion in the "Tuning EKO" sticky sounds mighty appealing to me. My 2 cents, but I'd really at least like the ability to add it later. Particuarly when I see the price comparison. Fun decisions, enjoy.
  15. DanW

    DanW New Member

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    I'm not sure if its exchange related, we're close to par now. Perhaps duties and Tariffs when bringing a non-US made product from the US to Canada. I do believe that the Froling comes direct to Canada now. Its price has dropped dramatically over the last couple of years.
  16. Tennman

    Tennman Minister of Fire

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    I kicked around upgrading to a Garn vs adding storage and the concensus was the Garn was more ideally suited to a radiant heat application. I'm stuck with forced air so that may be a factor for you in your decision process. But if you're doing radiant virtually all the Garn guys are happy campers. When you go with a full system with storage from jump street the Garn becomes tantalizingly close in price, probably within several thousand. Well... have fun.
  17. skfire

    skfire Feeling the Heat

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    In my humble opinion, bite the bullet if financially feasible and get the FHG-L.
    The Lambda is well worth the extra bucks.
    I as well had to scrape up the extra dough for the system and do not regret the decision to date.
    After 2 years(heating seasons) with it, I would not dream of messing without it.
    I have 966 hrs on it and no problems. This year went through 4.5 cords(cherry, ash, oak) for heat and Domestic hot water(family of 4, 2.800 sq ft house, all radiant heat, 56,000 btu/hr heat loss @ 10f)

    I load, light, wait 2-3 minutes, close the door and walk away. Admittedly I come back to check the parameters' status, simply because I AM AN ADDICT!!!! I have boiler issues, according to my wife and kids.

    Good luck in whichever route you opt for, you are in the perfect place here for your info, all the people in this forum are fantastic and more knowledgeable and helpful than most.
    Again I highly recommend the Lamda.

    Scott
  18. scooby074

    scooby074 Feeling the Heat

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    Subscribed.

    I love the look of the Froling boilers with the Lambda for my next place. lots of control and remote monitoring options. This thread should be educational for me.
  19. skfire

    skfire Feeling the Heat

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    That is just WRONG man:eek:

    Scott
  20. Floydian

    Floydian Feeling the Heat

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    Seriously! Time for some home brew.

    Noah
  21. Before I had storage I could see the benifit of lambda controls, they may have helped some. Even though I would never have paid for them. To me they are added cost, complexity and future maintance items.

    Now that I have storage I don't see any reason to have lambda. Twice in the last week I've looked at my chimney after starting fire and thought the fire was out because I couldn't see any smoke. Went downstairs to see the boiler happily cruising along at 190. I just don't see spending an extra 2k for the controls. Spend a week manually adjusting the shutters and pocket the 2k.


    Edit, now that I think of it can you even buy a lambda boiler that doesn't 'require' storage? So how much of the benefits of storage are being credited to the lambda controls?
    Fred61 likes this.
  22. Blue Tornado

    Blue Tornado Guest

    Does the Lambda control stir your fuel when there is a bridge?

    On the serious side. In the shop is a temporary setup EKO 25. (Final install after the thaw) Within 10 days I have locked in the settings that work. Primary, secondary, and fan speed are set. If any tweeking is needed for whatever reason I increase or decrease the fan opening. Very simple.

    Will the lambda truly minimize the wood usage over 15 years to justify its cost?
  23. No but I think it will make coffee while you load the boiler. Not sure though.
  24. hiker88

    hiker88 Burning Hunk

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    No, but it is really amazing to watch it throttle down the primary setting and fan speed when the wind is gusting 40+ on a ten below night.
  25. Fred61

    Fred61 Minister of Fire

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    With my daily four hour batch burn, I had been thinking the same thing. I'm down to one short idle session in each burn when the tank temperature approaches 178 and if my estimate of how much wood I loaded is close, there is nothing but charcoal in the box at that time. Up until 2 weeks ago, I had the air set at the sweet spot for 4 years. I happened to get into a section of my wood pile that was measuring 9 to 10 percent moisture and I found the need to reduce the air supply.

    In this weather where it's not cold enough out for the chimney to steam, I can't see anything but shimmering air emitting from the chimney.

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