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Gasification Wood Boiler Prices- Are they worth it?

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by RegencyNS, Oct 1, 2008.

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  1. RegencyNS

    RegencyNS New Member

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    I just got a quote on some wood gasification boilers here in Canada. As quoted,

    "THe new tarm gasification systems need a storage tank to get the real benifit of the boiler. A very rough price would for a boiler and tank would be around $16,000. THe Froling doesn't need a storage tank and it's about $13,000, the froling is the top of the line. The shipping and duty on the boilers really makes the cost go up."

    Holy CRAP! Thats alot of dough here in canada! It would take the rest of my life to recoup the cost of switching from oil Boiler- wood stove to oil boiler/wood gasification boiler. I don't think it is a viable option here in Canada.

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  2. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Guess this is capitalism at work - supply and demand setting price. Entirely possible due to pent up demand that initial pricing is quite high to test the market, gain some quick profits from early joiner purchases, and then let time determine what price adjustments are in order, if any.
  3. muncybob

    muncybob Minister of Fire

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    I know what you mean...even with pricing in the U.S. it will take me many years (but I hope much less than the rest of my life!!) to recover the initial cost using today's oil pricing and taking into consideration the chimney work I'll need done to keep my oil boiler as back up. Still, I intend to be in my house at the "break even" point and hopefully both boilers will still be working fine. I just don't know that I can take the leap this year...but I do intend to do this by next summer at the latest. The only way I will not come out ahead (barring premature equipment failure/replacement or a drastic reduction in the cost of oil!) is if something happens to me that makes it impossible for me to continue to cut the wood needed. I will be looking at the Atmos boilers further since they are considerably less expensive....but I have to wonder why they are so much cheaper?
  4. PatrickAHS

    PatrickAHS New Member

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    How many BTU's was the boiler?
  5. RegencyNS

    RegencyNS New Member

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    Atlantic Canada
    Where do you purchase Atmos boilers in North America?
  6. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    I know I sound like a prick, but . . . when oil prices have doubled and we've already had a couple of frosts, did you think now would be a good time to purchase and instal a new system?

    With free wood, I should be running in the black three years from installation. I didn't do storage. Everyone's situation is different, but, even with purchased firewood, it's worth it unless you can't physically do the work.
  7. chrisfallis

    chrisfallis Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Central Colorado
    I spend roughly USD 3,000 in natural gas heat to keep my house at a toasty 64 F / 18 C. Cooler at night with a timed thermostat setback. I was anticipating that I could pay for a gasification system with storage in about 5 or 6 years. Now our local utility company is threatening 20-30% increases in natural gas costs this year. What about next year and the year after? My wood comes to me just with the cost of my labor and a bit of extra tuck fuel, so pretty close to free. Now I just have to convince my spouse that it would be nice to get up in the morning and not see your breath. Not a hard sale, that one.
  8. pybyr

    pybyr Minister of Fire

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    this is indeed probably _the_ worst time of year, in _the_ worst year in the last 3 decades, to be price shopping for any alternative fuel heating device

    glad I got my Econoburn already

    my system should hit break even within 5 years, and that's with big storage, and no skimping on any parts, using back of envelope/ seat of pants projections

    As to cost trends, well, the way materials trends and economic uncertainties are going who knows what anything will cost, or whether any of us will be able to pay for it, a few years out

    I decided to get on board with a system that lets me supply my own heat and get off the rollercoaster of fossil fuels, speculators, etc., and that the sooner I made the leap, the sooner the break-even will someday arrive, and then I'll be saving lots, for a long time
  9. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    West Michigan
    I am just now receiving all of the parts for my gassification system and I will tell you that I went way over budget. But I want to do it right the first time. My payback will likely be in the 5-6 year range. But here is the kicker - instead of keeping the thermostat at 60 during the day, 64 when we're home and 57 when we're sleeping I now plan to keep the thermostat much higher! So apples to apples payback, BTU for BTU, I'm probably closer to 3-4 years.

    Once you commit to the idea of heating with wood you have a lot of options to consider. For me the gassifier with storage was by far the best shot. Loading once a day (with any luck) and only needing 3-4 cords per year (with any luck) is worth the extra cost when compared to other technologies. Add that to the fact that I live in a subdivision with houses nearby and again the gassifier is almost the only option (very little smoke).

    Call me in five years and I'll tell you if I still feel the same...
  10. Reggie Dunlap

    Reggie Dunlap Feeling the Heat

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    Northern Vermont
    The payback period is longer for those in warmer climates. My payback period will be 2-3 years. I bought my Tarm before the prices went up and did a lot of the tank work myself.

    If you think these systems are pricey now wait until heating oil costs $8 a gallon. The cost of steel, transportation, and the weak dollar all contribute. None of these factors are likely to go down in the coming years.
  11. Jim K in PA

    Jim K in PA Minister of Fire

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    Trevor, you're right on the money. The prices Shawn quoted don't sound that far out of site to me, actually. The return, and therefore justification, will vary with each individual application. The more oil/gas/electricity you use to heat with now, the more justified the investment. I'll have $20k into my setup, easily, by the time I am done. With my annual oil budget at around $6k, I see a 4 -5 year payback period. That is the simple analysis, and ingnores the level of freedom gained by switching from a fuel source I have no control over. One can speculate all day/month/year about where fuel costs may or may not go. For me, I had to make a decision based upon the current factors and trends, and I have no regrets (and I have yet to burn a stick of wood in my GARN!!!)

    I think the real cost comparison to be made should be between gassification furnaces and the average OWB. That difference (Delta $) is not as big as one might think. For me it was about $6k. One year's worth of oil.

    That's my .2 cord on the subject . . . ;-)
  12. muncybob

    muncybob Minister of Fire

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    Where do you purchase Atmos boilers in North America?[/quote]

    I don't believe there are any licensed dealers at this time. Atmos did reply with what they call "partners". Here is what they sent me:
    Hello,
    We do not have established dealer in the USA but there are some
    partners. See below.

    Pauls Mechanical Construction
    P.O.BOX 520812
    Big Lake, Alaska 99652
    USA
    tel: +19078929054
    GSM +420776 445 737
    pmd@mtaonline.net

    or

    Advanced Biotechnology
    2 East Lake Way, P.O.Box 3637
    Airdrie, Alberta T4B 2B8
    Kanada
    tel: 0014039127424
    fax: 0014039484780
    email: thomas@gomixer.com


    There is also a thread here someplace discussing a contact in CT. This is the peerson i intend to call tonight.
  13. muncybob

    muncybob Minister of Fire

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    If I could do it now I would!!! I hate the thought of paying another $3.5k+ to the oil man!!! My problem is I waited too long this year and I cannot do the chimney and boiler work myself...this would mean for me I would be without hot water/heat for a minimum of 3 days(more likely 5) and the soonest anybody can do the work is the beginning of November. Maybe I should take the wife on vacation that week to Bahama and leave the house to the contractors!

    With my pesonal situation aside.....I would do it now even if it meant needing to borrow some of the money until tax return time!
  14. MrEd

    MrEd New Member

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    Rural New England
    I am looking at less than 2 year payback on mine - I am doing all the labor myself and got a 500G propane tank for free.

    Breakdown -

    Tarm - $7500
    500G propane tank - free
    pumps/tools/piping - $900
    chimney - $1100
    expansion tank - $500
    misc(insulation etc) - $500
    superstor - $1100

    I used 2000 gallons of oil per year, within 50 gallons, every year for the past 5 years which at $4/gallon is $8K per year.

    And as another poster said, now I can keep the house a toasty 72 all year round, and maybe even crack a window for fresh air once in a while.
  15. pybyr

    pybyr Minister of Fire

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    you just basically nailed in words what's been going through my mind ever since I launched my project- even at each turn where some aspect turns out to be a bit pricier than I'd originally hoped-- once it's done, and done right, I'll be darn glad I didn't wait any longer
  16. mass hills

    mass hills New Member

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    Loc:
    central ma
    The dealer for Atmos is Connecticut Green Heat. I have talk to them planning to take a drive down there soon. They also have EKO.
  17. WoodNotOil

    WoodNotOil Minister of Fire

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    I put my Tarm in 3 years ago and with the rise in materials, currency differences, and the cost of oil, I would have spent more already to heat with oil in the last 3 years than I spent putting this thing in. When I took the plunge heating oil was $2.65 a gallon. I would do it all over again even in the current conditions. Compare the current prices on all the gasifier brands and see what the best price you can get is. Think about maybe making your own storage or running without any for a couple of years. I know some boilers now have to have it, but there are brands that work without and better with. I only added storage this summer. Check out the gasifier tab on my website in my signiture as well.
  18. stokes79

    stokes79 Member

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    Loc:
    Ketchikan AK
    I am setting up my boiler and even if I got crippled and had to buy my wood, at least I would know my money is staying local, probably feeding a family and not contributing to any world oil BS. Besides the price here for a cord of wood is 100 to 200 dollars it would still be cheaper to buy wood than oil for me
  19. Hansson

    Hansson Feeling the Heat

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    Sweden,Leksand
    Like over here. oil costs $8 a gallon :-(

    I`m really happy to have a good Gasification Wood Boiler.
    The innova 30kw cost $5900 here
    One 400 gallons tank is $1300.

    We say that 650 gallons is the smallest tank you shall have to the 30kw
  20. penfrydd

    penfrydd New Member

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    In the original thread, it was stated that the Froling doesn't need heat storage. That is not my understanding. It is only designed for use with heat storage. That would make it much more expensive. It is, however, the Roll-Royce of boilers.

    I expect a payback of 5 years. There is the side benefit of a much healthier stand of trees, better physical condition for myself, a good sense of hard work and a job well done for my grandkids, and a house that's warm enough so that I can play the piano without having cold hands!
  21. SE Iowa

    SE Iowa New Member

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    Not to play devils advocate, but I seem supprised at the amount of NG and Oil some of you are saying you have used in the past. $3000 for NG per year and you kee the temp at 64F?? $8000 of oil per year?? I can not fathom this kind of expense. Maybe an upgrade on insulation/windows etc would be more cost effective. $20,000 will go a long way in insulation/siding/windows. These types of improvement save on fossil fuel AND wood consumption. I always thought they preach conservation pays off before new technology?
  22. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    I pay just shy of $2000 a year for natural gas for heating 3200 well insulated square feet. My home was built in 2003 and is pretty tight. We keep the thermostat very low. That's why I say I'm on the 5-6 year pay back plan assuming natural gas prices don't go up too significantly. If they shoot up 20% this year as some have said in the news this week my payback gets shorter. But as I stated previously my thermostat will likely be 10 degrees warmer this winter!
  23. pybyr

    pybyr Minister of Fire

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    I agree in general with the idea of conservation before other stuff. when I bought my 1830 farmhouse in a cold spot in VT, the rain leaked through the roof, and the winter wind blew right through the walls.

    It's come a long way since then, in all regards.

    I use a fraction of the oil + wood that I used the first few years I was here, because I have done a lot of insulation and air sealing (although there's yet more to do of each-- and I do intend to do more of each, eventually).

    But at this point, even though more can and will still be done on the insulation, it struck me as something in the nature of a moral imperative to get off the economic rollercoaster of a fuel (oil) that is having all kinds of unintended effects, ranging from climate change, as long as you are not someone who questions that, to sending $$$ out of my pocket and local and state economies to greedy corporations without borders, and various places in the world that, well, while I don't want to seem racist, I'd just as soon not send my money to....

    Instead, I will be able to go out my door, across the road, cut my wood, and have a system that, unlike my prior wood systems (which only yield heat when I am around to feed them logs, which doesn't work so well with a day job) let me wave goodbye to the oil truck, which, without wanting to be mean to my local decent oil vendors, is part of a fouled up global system that has sent incalculable dollars to the Bin Laden family, and its various offspring and their wacko affiliates, over many decades.

    There'll be a priceless component to using my woodlot instead.

    And then I'll get back to moving forward with the insulation, using the money that I will pretty quickly begin to save by not spending it on oil.
  24. grainfedprairieboy

    grainfedprairieboy New Member

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    Funny how things can change so rapidly after this was wrote.

    A half a year later the price of energy and steel have both tanked and with it.....a demand for the product. So where are the prices? Anyone seen any movement?
  25. Medman

    Medman Feeling the Heat

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    Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
    Oil is on the rise again. The Saudis have cut supply pretty drastically and I think that by next winter the price of oil will again be in the $3 a gallon range. There will be some profit-taking on the part of suppliers as well, keeping the price up. Gasoline here is edging up on the $1 per litre ($4/gal) price again due to the cuts in supply and increasing costs of crude. Anyone thinking we are out of the woods on this on must be short-sighted or a politician.

    On a positive note I think that prices will fall for the boilers and the components required to install. Add to that the Canadian government's tax rebate on home improvement projects up to $10,000 - this year will be better for install than last. I am glad I installed last year though - I have already kept $1000 in my own pocket. I estimate payback to be about 6-7 years, with the added benefit of being warm and comfortable all winter long.

    BTW, my total cost of install, boiler bought in August 2008, was about $15,000 CAN. This included the boiler, piping, accesories, pumps, pex, HX's, getting the trenching done outside, the new air handler, thermostat and upgrades to the ductwork. I did ALL of the work myself except the trenching and backfill. I am planning storage for this spring, which should run about $1200 for 1000 gallons.
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