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)

Garn WHS3200 & Wood Gun E500 – Another Night Out [Part 4]

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by jebatty, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. bpirger

    bpirger Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Messages:
    606
    Loc:
    Ithaca NY Area
    Is there a way to measure flow through a pipe with a "in stream" flow meter? I know ultrasound is used in the biomedical world to measure flow through blood vessels. Is such a tool available for measuring flow through copper or through black iron?

    I did not install flow meters in my system....at some point one has to stop spending money!....but yeah, I'd sure like to know just what my flows are at various conditions...then one can monitor with the temp sensors and really know what is going where.

    Heaterman, is there such a tool available? I'd think there would be....

    EDIT: Yes, they exist! http://www.shenitech.com/Product-Wall-Mount-clamp-on-sonic-flowmeters.htm

    So heaterman, have you ever used one of these? I wonder if one can rent one from someplace.....

    I have access to a thermal camera...now I just need to get my hands on one of these for a bit.... :)

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    2,982
    Loc:
    Falmouth, Michigan
    There's a gadget made for everything these days but no I haven't used any flowmeters of the sonic variety. Call me old school but when I absolutely need to know what's going on inside a pipe it's gauges and pump curve charts for this guy.
  3. alternative energy addict

    alternative energy addict New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2011
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    Central MN
    I really like the idea of the two boilers, with a little tweaking and good understanding of the operation of each, they can be used together at different times of the year to the best of both boilers abilities. It looks like I might have been hired to help add some storage and get the system to be a little more user friendly
  4. Como

    Como Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    866
    Loc:
    Colorado
    I think they doubled their learning curve.

    I have already expressed a preference for one wood chip boiler.

    The other possibility would be to have a number of boilers cascading.

    With this sort of size operation I do not think a Garn is best suited. Just does not play to its best attributes.
  5. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    2,982
    Loc:
    Falmouth, Michigan
    Getting back to the flow issue Jim........

    Many circs come with tappings for gauges on the inlet and outlet flanges. If they are present on the circs at DP it would be pretty simple to get a couple good quality gauges with a "fine" scale installed on them. Then using a curve chart for that particular pump it should be fairly easy to get a pretty good handle on your flow rates using pressure differential. PSI x 2.31 = feet of head which you can find on the pump curve chart and there you have it.
  6. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
    4,256
    Loc:
    Northern MN
    Excellent idea. These circs to have tappings which can be used for pressure gauges. Will discuss this with Deep Portage. Thanks.
  7. ewdudley

    ewdudley Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,627
    Loc:
    Cayuga County NY
    Or a single gauge with appropriate valving, although 'zeroing' two gauges with the pump off would also work.
  8. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    2,982
    Loc:
    Falmouth, Michigan
  9. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
    4,256
    Loc:
    Northern MN
    Deep Portage has a goal of adding storage for the WG this summer, and when the system is shut down for the season, I hope to work with the contractor who will be doing the storage work to also install fittings on the circs so that a differential pressure gauge may be used to determine actual pump head/psi, which will allow more accurate determination of gpm flow. Both the WG and Garn also will get a thorough cleaning this summer, and hopefully next winter I will repeat the tests of the WG and the Garn and obtain and report more accurate data on the performance of each.
  10. Sawyer

    Sawyer Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    599
    Loc:
    Northern WI
    My experiences with the Garn 2000 are similar to yours. Of all the loads this winter I only recorded flue temperatures 500-515 degrees 5 times. My typical load was 150#-170# of 10-15%MC hard maple and yellow birch.

    Looking forward to adding more radiant shortly!
  11. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    2,982
    Loc:
    Falmouth, Michigan
    Hey Jim.....I've been going through some of this looking for clues and this statement kind of jumped out at me.

    "Then again, maybe not. I have to refer again back to the Garn manual that emphasizes intermittent burns and the need to clean ash between burns. It is apparent that coals to ash do accumulate, that regular ash cleaning is required, and that continuous burn is not the recommended application of the Garn."

    I think that someone along the line does not have a grasp of what a "burn" means in a Garn. A burn is not whatever you set on the timer, be that 2 hours or 3 or whatever, rather a burn is whatever you need to reach the desired water temperature. That could be 2 hours or it could be 5 or 6 and it does require reloading. Somewhere along the line wood has to be involved as it is the source of the btu's. :)
  12. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
    4,256
    Loc:
    Northern MN
    We agree on this. I did not intend to say a "burn" was one load. But I did mean to say that a continuous burn (which includes multiple wood loads) is not a practical application for the Garn. I burned 100 lbs/hr, burn rate 600,500 btuh, which was the maximum I could maintain on a sustained basis, and as indicated above, after 19 hours ash had accumulated to the point that the Garn had to be allowed to burn down to allow ash removal before a new burn could be commenced. I'm not faulting Garn for this outcome. This is a factual characteristic of the Garn which may be of interest to some potential users when they consider whether the Garn will best meet their particular needs.

    At the same time, I did not have the same "continuous burn and ash buildup" issue with the WG. Continuous operation is more practical with the WG than the Garn. At some point, however, even the WG will need to have ash removed from the cyclone separator, which would involve letting the WG burn out. I don't know how many hours of burn operation need to occur before this is necessary, but it appears to be long enough to conclude that the WG is suited to continuous burn operation.

    Incidentally, both the Garn and the WG will get a thorough cleaning this summer, and I look forward to a couple more nights out during a cold January period to repeat the tests and determine whether the outcomes are different.
  13. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    2,982
    Loc:
    Falmouth, Michigan
    Ya know Jim.......I'm comparing how you say the Garn there is behaving i.e. ash buildup, to every single Garn I have had interaction with and gotta say that something is not kosher here. Ash buildup that requires scooping out or cleaning is measured in weeks not hours in almost every single case. Heavy users like my "favorite farmer" may have to deal with ashes on a basis of 2-3 times a week but he's burning 70+ cords a year in model 2000's.

    The statements you made above regarding suitability of one unit vs the other tell me about all I need to know concerning preconceived notions and personal agenda. I'd like to hear input from the guy who actually runs those things on a day to day basis if you could arrange that.
  14. Sawyer

    Sawyer Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    599
    Loc:
    Northern WI
    Now I am wondering if I am also getting too much ash. I end up with a 5 gallon pail of ash about every week in the winter which would be about 1800# of wood. I am also in the habit of scooping out the pure ash in front of the door and leaving the clinkers to rekindle each time before I fire. Perhaps I should let the ash accumulate?
  15. Como

    Como Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    866
    Loc:
    Colorado
    What size splits were being used, they looked longer than many might use?
  16. Rick Stanley

    Rick Stanley Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Messages:
    391
    Loc:
    Southern ME
    "[The statements you made above regarding suitability of one unit vs the other tell me about all I need to know concerning preconceived notions and personal agenda. I’d like to hear input from the guy who actually runs those things on a day to day basis if you could arrange that.]" :zip:

    Anyways, regarding ash build-up. I had reported in an earlier thread about how much better heat transfer I got after cleaning the flue tubes in my Garn 2000. I had also started burning waaay drier wood than the wood I had been using that smutted things up in the first place. I had wondered about loading technique etc and Jim (from PA) suggested that the whole issue was about wood MC. Now that some time has gone by, I'm sure he was right (smart a$$) ;-) because I also have waay less ash build-up. So, I don't know about WG. but it looks like ash build-up in a Garn is affected by MC in a big way.
  17. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
    4,256
    Loc:
    Northern MN
    Please re-read what my posts say about quantity of wood burned, ash buildup, continuous burn, and need to scoop or clean out ash, and then compare that to the statement you made about need to clean ash 2-3 times a week, and you will see that we are on the same page.

    1) Part 2: During the 19 hour test burn period the Deep Portage system was using all of the btu output of the Garn, and Garn tank temperature was holding at 156F.

    2) Part 2: I burned "Beginning at 12:30 pm on February 20 and ending with the last load at 6:30 am February 21, the Garn burned 1,858 lbs of wood ...." The wood was 75% red oak and the balance mostly (white) birch. I believe the math shows this to be a little over 1/2 cord of wood in 19 hours of continuous burn, or about 4.5 cords/week, or about 19 cords/month. There can be no "heavier" use than continuous burn. Even your "favorite farmer" is emptying ash 2-3 times a week, and you don't say that your "favorite farmer" burns a single boiler continuously, 24 hours/day, which is what I did for 19 hours straight. And I did not say that I could not continue to load wood into the Garn, but I did say "I don’t think I could have maintained a continuous burn rate higher than 600,500 BTUh [100 lbs/hr] due to coals and ash build-up...."

    3) I'm not knocking the Garn. My comments are exactly on point with information in the Garn manual. As I stated, "The Garn manual that Deep Portage received states that the Garn is intended for “intermittent†use, which I take to mean firing to bring the Garn up to a desired temperature, letting the fire die out, drawing hot water from the integral storage tank, removing ash as needed, and the[n] firing again on the “intermittent†basis." Where is the inaccuracy between my statements and the statements made by Garn? It was clear to me that after 19 hours of continuous burn at the rate of 100 lbs/hr that ash had to be removed from the Garn if it was necessary to allow the Garn to continue to burn at the 100 lb/hour rate.

    4) And my comments are exactly on point with your statement. You said: "and that continuous burn is not the recommended application of the Garn. Absolutely true!! The basic premise of any storage based system is that the boiler is allowed to fire at full burn to charge the “battery†at peak efficiency and let the building load work from that rather than direct btu input from the fire in the boiler."

    Heaterman, we agree on so many things. I am disappointed when I hear you say that I have "preconceived notions and personal agenda." Everything that I did in operation of the Garn for a 19 hour continuous burn period was factual and objective. Please find fault with my methodology, and I will work to correct that. The experience I reported is based on fact, weighing wood, and measurements. My conclusions are based on those facts. Feel free to disagree with my conclusions, that is your right, but please also base that disagreement on facts or specific errors that I made to show that my conclusions are not supportable, and when you do that, I will gladly reexamine the evidence.

    I know of no one who has done with a Garn, Wood Gun, and even my Tarm, what I have done in a real world operating environment: weighed wood burns, temperature measurements, and btu calculations. We all would love to see more of this so that all of us can get beyond the advertising claims, hyperbole, and anecdotal statements.

    The Garn is a good boiler. I calculated 86% efficiency for the Garn, which is higher than Garn itself advertises. I believe my report is solid confirmation that the Garn does very well in the operating environment in which it is intended to be operated.
  18. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
    4,256
    Loc:
    Northern MN
    I have obtained access to a 10 psi differential pressure gauge which should allow me to obtain more accurate gpm flow data for future updates. If I can measure flow this summer when the system is down for maintenance, I can use those more accurate flow measurements to update the reports from this past winter. As mentioned earlier, I believe one source of error that I had no prior way to resolve was that I used calculated flow rates rather than measured flow rates.
  19. Sawyer

    Sawyer Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    599
    Loc:
    Northern WI
    Jim, will this require installing tees either side of the pump?
  20. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
    4,256
    Loc:
    Northern MN
    These circs have plugs on the flanges which need to be removed and a fitting inserted to connect to the gauge, one on each side of the circ.
  21. Sawyer

    Sawyer Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    599
    Loc:
    Northern WI
    I will look forward to your results. When I get time I want to count every fitting and measure lengths to get as close as possible to an accurate flow. A differential gauge may be my next check.
  22. PassionForFire&Water

    PassionForFire&Water Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    566
    Loc:
    Billerica, MA
    Hi Jebatty,
    I have 1" flow meters that clamp on the outside of the piping.
    one is for 1" copper pipe and another is for 1" steel pipe.
    The one for copper pipe has a screen, so you can read the GPM directly.
    The one for 1" steel pipe needs a USB interface.
    PM me if you are interested
  23. Sawyer

    Sawyer Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    599
    Loc:
    Northern WI
    Marc, how do these gauges measure flow without tapping into the flow? I have not hear of these before. Is the usb for input into a computer. does it require software to read a 1" iron pipe?

    Sorry for all the questions!

Share This Page