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Gasification Boiler Piping Scheme

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Eric Johnson, Mar 27, 2007.

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  1. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Thanks to a lot of help from Dave at cozyheat.net, here's the piping scheme for my new boiler installation. I tried to keep it simple and relatively inexpensive, using as much of the existing equipment and layout as possible.

    The illustration is hard to read. Here's a link to the pdf:

    http://www.nefpexpo.net/thewholeshebang.pdf

    Attached Files:

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Whoa! I watched the video on the boiler. There is some major heat making goiing on in that gas combustion chamber.
  3. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Yeah, and about as much smoke as one of your Marlboro's, BB.
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Methinks you were right about your wood consumption dropping dramtically. Gotta know though, how do those things work? Is it going to work like my neighbors old one does. Fire the crap out of it once a day and used the stored hot water for heat?
  5. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    The people I've talked to who have gasifiers, both Tarms and EKOs, say that the best way to do it is fire them full bore. So yes, the tank is where you would store your heat. A guy I talked to who has a similar-sized Tarm and an 800-gallon tank says that even when it's below zero, he loads the thing twice a day, max, and can skip a day when it's in the '30s. In the summer, you can run one load of wood per week for your domestic hot water. The Tarm goes out if it has to idle for too long (i.e., when the tank is fully charged and there's no call for heat from the house). The EKO has a feature that blows the fan every ten minutes or so during idle, so that the coals (allegedly) stay alive during idle, as long as there's wood in the firebox. I suspect it smokes a little when that happens, but probably not very much.

    In a way, these are more like conventional gas or oil burners, in that there's no big bed of coals to constantly supply heat. When you make the heat, you have to put it somewhere. Hence the tank. I think it's quite a bit different from an operational standpoint from what I have now.

    I'm used to tending the boiler when I'm around, so at first I'll probably get into going out there and putting small loads of wood in it all day long, just to see it work. I have enough room to expand the storage tank from 1,000 to about 2,500 gallons, so I might eventually get into a situation where I'm firing the boiler up once every couple of days during average winter weather and maybe once a day when it's really cold. In the summer, it would be so long between firings for DHW that I'd probably forget to do it and catch hell from my wife for running out of hot water.

    The guy with the Tarm says that when the fire goes out, all he does is squirt a little lighter fluid on the charred wood remaining in the combustion changer, hits it with a propane torch, and in a couple of minutes he's back in business. Beats fooling around with paper and kindling. Personally, as I've said before, I'm used to firing the boiler up in the fall and keeping it going until the following spring. But, in the immortal words of my main man, Red Green:

    I'm a man.
    I can change.
    If I have to.
    I guess.....
  6. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Ok. I have never said it here. Pictures. We gotta have pics of this one all the way. To me this is going to be one amazing set-up.

    And you have got to be the only guy on the planet that will have a void in his life because he has to process less wood and feed the fire less often. Stoking every couple of days is what I would envison heaven as looking like.

    Rock and roll.
  7. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    That, the 72 virgins and the rivers of wine.

    As for the progress pics, BB, you won't have to ask twice.
  8. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    Eric,

    What's the quality of the insulation on the holding tank like?
  9. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    It's two-inch foam board. Not polypropylene (blueboard), which can't take the heat. It's the other, yellow stuff with the foil wrap that they sell at Home Depot and Lowe's. About $33 for a 4x8 sheet. I can't begin to spell it.

    Here's the thread detailing the tank construction.

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/6929/P15/
  10. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    One more question: What are the dimensions of the tank?

    I want to calculate the heat loss from the tank in BTU per hour.
  11. Gunner

    Gunner New Member

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    Where would I find the video?
  12. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    The tank is 7' long by 4' wide by 5' deep. The insulation covers the entire surface area of the inside of the tank (including the lid) and is sandwiched between the pond liner and the concrete. The floor is poured concrete and 3 of the walls are reinforced concrete 8" thick. The other wall (7x4x5) will be 8" cinderblock filled with vermiculite.

    Craig showed me how to calculate the heat holding capacity. Assuming that the discharged tank has 130-degree water and a fully charged tank is full of 190-degree water, it represents just over 400,000 btus of storage. The boiler puts out 205 to 210K btu per hour, depending on who you ask.

    Calculate away, Corie.
  13. Hbbyloggr

    Hbbyloggr New Member

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    Eric,

    Hats off to you for your new direction in wood heating.
    From the looks of the diagram it appears to have a side arm transfer for the domestic hot water. If you are concerned about running out of hot water you may want to consider a " 60 gal Super Store " tank with the coil inside the tank. Ours is powered by an Emprye 450. We put one in to replace the 30 gal electric hot water heater and have never run out of hot water no matter how much the kids shower, dishes get washed or clothes get cleaned. Just add a mixing valve and you're in heaven.
    Also, if the holding tank is not quite finished you may want to consider adding a layer of " Foil -Bubble- Bubble- Foil" from Farm Tek. It will reflect 97 % of the radiant heat back to the chamber. It's great stuff. We put it on the new roof of our home and dramatically cut down on the heat loss.

    Good luck !
  14. Burn-1

    Burn-1 Feeling the Heat

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    EKO video

    Wood gas combustion in the refractory chamber
  15. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    For me it's the next logical step. Actually, I'm already using the (homemade) sidearm with my current boiler, and it works just fine. We have plenty of hot water all the time, even with a 16-year-old girl. So I'm sticking with what works, but indirect is definitely a good way to go. And thanks for the foil bubble tip. Sounds like mylar, no? That stuff is pretty cheap and it reflects like crazy. That's a great idea--I'll have to check it out.
  16. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    couple of concerns the anti freeze zone to the green houes I charged my system with antifreeze but after 4 years I now have to re charge the system because I use a variable fill valve tied to my domestic watter . I'm thinking of installing a freon type tank filling it with a couple of gallone and installing an air pressure valve and preurizing the tank. I would also install a pressure gage to monitor what going on in there. This way the atti freeze dissipation would be recharged with anti freeze and not get diluted with the domestic water.

    second observation is are you presurizing the system with the domestic water or are you setting up a well tank witha booster pump to do so also I agree for hot water a separate zone to a aqua bioiled budy system with a coil. What about solar hot water assistance? I see the 1000 gallon tank for heat storage and wonder is piping threw rock cement insul;ated might accomplish the same thing
  17. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Good points, elk. The greenhouse loop is not really diagrammed completely. What I need is a reservoir (along with a PRV and gauge), since there's not very much fluid in that loop to begin with. If I use cast iron radiators instead of baseboard for radiant heat, then I probably don't need a res. I don't like messing with glycol, but the greenhouse is just too vulnerable to freezing up, and I don't want to have to drain the system every time I decide to shut 'er down. I'll probably just put in a fill tube and top it off as needed, instead of trying to put in a domestic water feed.

    The DHW tank is under normal city water pressure. The heating system is at about 15 psi. There's really no connection between the two, other than through the copper sidearm heat exchanger and the system fill line, which runs through a regulator and is shut off with a ball valve when I'm not filling the system. I also have a check valve on that line to keep the boiler water from backing up into the domestic water.

    I decided to put my meager resources into the gasification boiler instead of solar, although you could easily transfer heat from solar panels into the tank. I don't think thermal mass is comparable to 1000 gallons of hot water for heat storage and transfer, if that's what you're suggesting. Liquid is so much more.......liquid as a heating asset.
  18. Hbbyloggr

    Hbbyloggr New Member

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    Eric,

    It may be a mylar skin. In any event, it is very flexible, easy to work, and it used a lot for the barrier between earth and radiant heating systems.
    As an example, I rebuilt the roof of our old cape , circa 1793 , last fall. Installed new rafters and used the FBBF in the confined space between the rafters with out any other insulation. The company claims an R-19 value in a confined space ,but with a 97% radiant heat reflectivity rating which would make a huge difference with your application.
    This winter there was no visible sign of heat loss on the snow on the roof. Made a believer out of me!
    The web site: www.GrowersSupply.com

    Bill
  19. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Totally awesome project Eric. I'm really impressed so far by the Orlan line. It's great to see this technology showing up, particularly right here on hearth.com!
  20. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    The Euros have this gasification thing pretty well doped out, I think. I'm impressed with all the gasification boilers out there.

    Somebody's got to stick up for wood-based central heat on this board--and keep you stove guys honest.

    Seriously, I think there's plenty of room around here for just about everyone, including (and maybe especially) OWBs. I think most of us understand that the critical issue in wood burning is using the appropriate technology in the right application and location, and all within a reasonable budget. I could show you some outstanding OWB installations. I think we could even get the no-burn Nazis to contribute some useful and thought-provoking discussion that would benefit all of us.

    How many people have upgraded from their pre-EPA stoves, chimneys, etc. after hanging around Hearth.com? And would they have bothered to stick around if they were abused for using what they happened to have installed? Tolerance, understanding and a willingness to both learn and share information and ideas seems to be the prevailing attitude around here, and that's what makes this such a great site. That and the great mods.
  21. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    Eric...Well spoken!

    I've got a few issues with my setup...but am making things better all the time (trying to):
    A friend came over yesterday and noticed the next door neighbors smoke...(from the oil burner) and said "You outta take a picture of what really smokes up the neighborhood!"

    Fresh load of wood, fairly windy at the time...which one is the smoke dragon (gotta zoom in):

    Attached Files:

  22. Hbbyloggr

    Hbbyloggr New Member

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    It would seem the common denominator for all of us is firewood, not necessarily the vehicle used to produce the heat we need. New technology has a way of changing the vehicle and in the process we all come up to speed. Better insulation, better combustion, better safety standards redefine our methods of operation. Maybe loggers are a different breed. I don't know anyone in our logging industry that condemns a guy for running a JD 440C just because they run a CTL system. The common denominator is logging and is respected by both operators.

    I'm waiting for our next generation of OWB's to prove themselves. The technology is close at hand and I will be first in line. In the mean time I have to run the "440C". The little enamel stoves just don't do it in our industrial application requiring 500,000+ BTU's.

    We sell about 1000 cords of firewood per year. I don't refuse a sale because someone uses my wood in a fireplace. an outdoor grill, smoker grill, OWB , or non-secondary burn wood stove. I'm delighted they are burning wood, period. I'm delighted they are using renewable wood energy as an alternative to gas and oil. I have high praise for all of us that have vision concerning our energy needs.
  23. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Good points, Bill. Well said. The 440C was (and still is) a great skidder. A lot of us wish they still made 'em. I drove by Eddie Nash's the other day, and it looked like he has more than a few stacked up in the yard.

    I haven't seen one of the new Black Bear gasification OWBs in operation yet, but I hear they're performing more or less as advertised. Hopefully they will become a big hit and start producing units bigger than 90K btus.

    I like your stack extension, keyman. You're right about oil burners--I've seen them put out more smoke than a pre-epa woodstove.
  24. Hbbyloggr

    Hbbyloggr New Member

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    Eric,

    Eddie Nash's place should be in the National Register.

    If you're ever in the area our coffee pot is always on.

    Yep, there's going to be a lot of exciting stuff going on in the wood burning field, and other areas, too. You might be interested in some of the energy technology the farming community has to offer with their own local resources. Look up www.Farmshow.com . The common thread to all the new high-tech stuff is high temperature.

    " You might be on the right road but if you stand still you're going to get run over."

    Bill
  25. MADDOG

    MADDOG New Member

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    what is the need for water storage w the eko that you speek off?
    Is the water capacity of an eko boiler such that you need to store 1000 gallons of water and why, have a 60 gallon hot water storage tank in floo heat in garage dhw to maintain, and heat via coil in forced air furnace, why the need to store water is it not best to set all temps let it burn and do its thing

    thanks kjm
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