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  1. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    3,019
    Loc:
    Falmouth, Michigan
    We finished this WHS-2000 up the day before Christmas and I just have to show it off. It was a pleasure to work with this owner because he's the type of guy that takes a "no holds barred" approach when it comes to doing things right. I have to give him all the credit for the unique insulation on the Garn. He has a couple large boilers in his business and I thinkn he came up with the inspiration for covering his Garn in commercial grade mineral wool blanket from those. Frankly, I've been around and worked on 25MMbtu Cleaver Brooks units that were not done as well. He and a couple of the mechanics that work for him welded a lip on the lower edge that enabled the insulation to be tucked in and also welded an additional two inches to the manhole to raise the lid above the insulation. As you can see from the pictures they did a fantastic job. I really like how they formed a lip around the draft inducer housing to finish that area out. That took some nifty metal work around those curved edges. I'm familiar with how well this insulation performs and I'm going to investigate the possibility of supplying it in a prefab kit or package. The pictures don't do it justice.

    The unit supplies heat for his house through a 300' run of 1.5" pex and through 120' of 1.25" for the "Last Chance Garage" which is the owners car building shop. We did the design work and furnished the tube, lined up the spray foam insulation for the trenches, plus did the requisite heat loss calcs, near boiler piping and tied it in to his existing house boiler. When the insulating contractor was doing the trench I asked them to "give it a little extra" and it appears they did. I could not measure any temp drop from the "Garn Barn" to the house, 300' away. Surface temp of the pipe was 150* at both spots when I checked it yesterday. Usually I can find at least a degree difference but after checking 3 separate times and coming up with the identical reading, I have to say that the insulation guys did indeed "give it a little extra". The same held true for the shop. They were both reading 150* at the Garn and 150* at their respective destinations.

    The house has a perfect heating system to tie into in that it is all low temp radiant floor and complete Tekmar control system already in place. We did find that the original installer had the heating curve on the variable speed injection mixing set far to high for a radiant floor application. It was seldom a problem as far as over heating the floors in the house because the LP boiler didn't have the horsepower to overheat the system unless only 1 or 2 zones were calling. Most of the time the gas boiler would fire and the temp would barely creep up above 130* which is in the danger zone for a standard cast iron boiler. We noticed that the zone piping got very hot right away when we dumped the Garn into the system return and that tipped us off to the heating curve being set at 1.2. With the Garn supplying hot water instead of the LP gas boiler the house would have been 90* by morning. We dialed the Tekmar back to a .6 which should still be plenty of available btu's for the house. The "Last Chance Garage" is heated with a couple Modine fan coils. Both buildings are tied into side B of the LX110-70 heat exchanger allowing all the outdoor piping to be antifreeze protected.

    Going to sign off and hit the hay but feel free to ask questions on anything.

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  2. EricV

    EricV Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Messages:
    290
    Loc:
    Saranac, NY
    what did that idiot on the Ram Truck advertisement say on tv??? oh yea, SWEEEEEEEEET
  3. muleman51

    muleman51 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Messages:
    231
    Loc:
    SE Minnesota
    That installation make me want to cry. Your customer should be very proud of that. Only wish it were at my house. Fabulous job.
  4. allan

    allan Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Messages:
    92
    Loc:
    EUP of MI
    Nice job heaterman. How many inches of insulation did they install (thickness). Is this product available through a company like State Supply? I'm building legs for my unit so that I can get insulation all the way underneath.

    Thanks

    Allan
  5. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    northern-half of maine
    I used to do a lot of HVAC work(tin knockin') and if you decide to use mineral wool, be aware. It can be nasty, itchy, and down right rude stuff. But it's wonderful fire rated material. I wouldn't hesitate to use it, but use some coveralls, dust masks, etc. Wash all this stuff together with nothing else in the machine.

    Damn nice looking job heaterman. Thanks for the info on temp drops in the underground.
  6. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Falmouth, Michigan
    Thanks Allan

    The owner placed the Garn on 4" of foam and the mineral wool is a full 4" thick. As you can see from the pics about 3/4 of the unit is bulkheaded into the mechanical room which is of course heated to a certain extent by the piping so heat loos from the jacket will be very minimal. There's only about 18" of it protruding into the presently unconditioned space in the Garn Barn/wood storage/machinery building. That area is un-insulated at present but does have tube in the floor and I would imagine at some point in the future it will be heated as well. All I can tell you on the insulation is that the owner bought it from some place downstate. I will be doing some research on sources and types and try to post my findings here.
  7. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Central NYS
    Beautiful. That is some fancy sheet metal fab work on the front. Looks like something you'd do in an automobile factory. I hear there's plenty of excess capacity at the moment.
  8. Dave T

    Dave T New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Messages:
    299
    Loc:
    Dansville NY
    Heaterman,
    Looks like a good space saving install, on top of how good it looks, and with shutoffs everywhere..Nice install Heaterman..
    I do have a question and it is out of lack of knowledge, is that a Y strainer mounted vertically? How well does it work?...
    Every time I see one of those Garns I dream "maybe someday".. Thanks for the outstanding install pics ...Dave
  9. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
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    3,019
    Loc:
    Falmouth, Michigan
    Thanks Dave.

    It usually saves time, $$ and space if you plan first and pipe later rather than design as you go. The wye strainer does the same job vertically or horizontally. When we remove the strainer to clean the screen some crud may fall off and that's probably the reason for your question. .....
    What we do is simply remove it and them purge out a enough fluid to carry any contaminants that may have come lose. Not a big deal when there is a short vertical run ahead of the strainer. Best choice is horizontal but sometimes you work with what space you have.
  10. brad068

    brad068 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    440
    Loc:
    Central Wisconsin
    This is exactly what I'm looking at on my next boiler. A local company builds Gencor tanks that the blacktop industry use. They wrap these huge tanks with high temp insulation and cover it with this aluminum skin just like you have. I talked to a worker there and I think he said that the Gencors heat to @ 1200*f. The insulation that I seen is a 4' wide roll must be 50' long, looks like some good stuff. I insulated the front of my unit with ceramic insulation (2600*F max rated) covered right over the clean outs ( it just hangs from the top header) so I don't have to worry about any hidden sparks. I can throw a coal on it and just watch it go out. Helps me sleep better. :p

    Some guys build street rods, some guys build boilers to look like street rods and this is one of them. Nice job!!!
  11. brad068

    brad068 Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
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    Oh, and heaterman, are you supplying from the top port on this unit?
  12. Jim K in PA

    Jim K in PA Minister of Fire

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    May 22, 2008
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    Loc:
    Pocono Mountains, PA
    Excellent work Heaterman, and thanks for sharing. That is certainly a job to be proud of.

    It looks like they did quite a bit of customizing on the GARN. They removed the stock corner lifting eyes and added a top center one, in addition to the other mods you mentioned.
  13. vtquality

    vtquality New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
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    Loc:
    CT. & VT.
    You have gota' send a quick e-mail with your above bio on the project to Martin Lunde at Garn I'm willing to bet no one has gone to this extreme with a Garn before.
    What would be willing to conservatively quess the the R value is for that jacket?
    Ron
  14. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
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    Yep, top port is supply on this one. The temp at the circ actually runs about 3-4 degrees higher than indicated on the tank thermometer. I have another install we did about a year ago that we are going to go back and repipe in that manner. That particular job has a daily demand of about 800 gallons of 165* hot water and we need every degree of temp we can get through the HX to hit that goal.
  15. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    Falmouth, Michigan
    When I figure out how to post pics on Garn's new forum I'll post this up there too. I think you have to post the pics off site on Photobucket or something like that. My son in law, the family in house guru of computing will probably give me a hand with that.

    I don't know what the rated r-value is on that stuff but I do know the surface temp of the jacket runs the same as the room temp/ The thing I really like is that it is so well sealed. No air movement through the insulation and no issues with the insulation getting moisture in it.
  16. TCaldwell

    TCaldwell Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    860-868-9014 h 203 948 0864 c nw corner ct.
    heaterman, great install pics, how many garns do you install per year? looks like fun, on the last two installs that you posted pics of i noticed that the heat exchangers are located close to the garn enclosures, basically closer to the garn than the back-up boiler. i assume that the demand side of the hx has a glycol type solution for freeze protection . my real question is if there is less headloss in the pressureized side of the hx loop when run this way, or is it the same as the garn side of the hx? could you run a smaller circ on a pressureized, 15psi loop as opposed to a non-pressureized 6 psi loop, or is it the same. Also, have you added additional storage to a garn and how would you approach. thanks
    tom
  17. BrownianHeatingTech

    BrownianHeatingTech Minister of Fire

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    Oct 5, 2007
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    Loc:
    Northwood, NH
    Very slick install.

    How's the cost on the mineral wool insulation compare to fiberglass, for similar R-value?

    Joe
  18. pybyr

    pybyr Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Messages:
    2,301
    Loc:
    Adamant, VT 05640
    WOW... As Mick Jagger said:

    "Anything worth doing is worth overdoing."

    you and your client did that.

    speaking of those sexy Danish chip-burners that you (heaterman) mentioned in another thread, I think it is time for a small group of us to set up a real importer.

    The Scandanavians are gun-shy about exports to the USA; I found that out several years ago when I tried to import a small quantity of pellet burner heads to replace Beckett oil burner heads.

    But I bet we could win them over if we show them that we are for real and that we can take the requisite technical and legal steps to protect them and us

    My head is at risk of exploding in frustration from working too long in a place where mediocrity is rewarded and innovation is punished, so I am ready to deploy technical and legal skills in new directions.

    Let's go for it, folks, all interested, especially Joe B., NoFo, and Heaterman, please reply via PM
  19. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    I have a good friend who is already in the import business, specifically heating related items and he has told me that the main roadblocks are basically these three.

    1. Certification of the product for US/North American markets and the associated costs and..

    2: A reluctance of European based manufacturers to deal with the litigious society we live in here in the good ol' lawyer driven US of A.

    3. The perception, mostly true, that consumers in the US are nearly at the Neanderthal level when it comes to installation, maintenance and operation of heating appliances of all types, let alone solid fuel fired.

    After the past couple weeks which were mostly spent correcting installation related faults and errors in boiler piping, control application and shoddy workmanship, I sadly have to agree. Conservatively speaking, I'd say that probably 80-90% of "professional" boiler installers I have run into would not be let into my house to do a job. They don't have a clue. I have three "installation updates" on the docket next week..........Installation update is about as kind as I can say it. Rip it out and start over is more like it.

    That being said, I will pick his brain a bit to see what his thoughts are on the topic. It's been a year or so since we discussed that scenario and with the gyration in fuel prices recently experienced and more to come, maybe thinking has changed across the pond. Bottom line in all three of the reasons listed is that those companies would be here if they thought the reward outweighed the risk.
  20. brad068

    brad068 Feeling the Heat

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    Heater, What/why do you need to import?, the Garn is already here! :p
  21. leaddog

    leaddog Minister of Fire

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    Sep 24, 2007
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    912
    Loc:
    Hesperia, Michigan
    It's big and does't burn chips and it does'nt modulate. The Refo does.
    leaddog
  22. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    You heard it here first. There is a US manufacturer that presently has a modulating wood fired boiler in R&D;, complete with flue gas O2 sensor. It will be an ASME rated unit. Can't say any more at this point.
  23. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    I'm in the process of contacting various manufacturers for pricing on that stuff. IIRC, the owner said he had around $2K in the insulation but I don't know if that was material only or included the labor his mechanics put into the project.
  24. brad068

    brad068 Feeling the Heat

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    Messages:
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    Loc:
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    I wonder if my unit is as big as your 2200 gallon storage and boiler? What is the big deal with modulating. Show me a downdrafter modulating or not that doesn't have a creosote build up in the primary chamber. The New Kid on the Block has a garn style unit and he asks owb owners " Can you save a cup of that creosote for me 'cause I sure miss that smell!" As heaterman said in the other thread (12 hr burns) about how a garns"overall" efficiency is 75-85% its pretty hard to beat that and justify the expense of modulation and let me know how well the extra electronics hold out for 20 years.

    Just like the tractor industry. The value of the 15-25 year old tractors are increasing because those tractors can still be worked on by the farmers. And you can't compare the autos to the tractors: apples and oranges.

    Alright, let me have it :)
  25. TCaldwell

    TCaldwell Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    860-868-9014 h 203 948 0864 c nw corner ct.
    leaddog, my garn modulates via a in situ fluegas analyser, allen bradley plc , hitachi vsd and 2hp 3 phase motor
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