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)

Greenwood boiler problem

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by joeski206, Nov 9, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. BrownianHeatingTech

    BrownianHeatingTech Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,253
    Loc:
    Northwood, NH
    Fields is usually pretty good. I expect a DI-2 would be best for simply creating suction to prevent smoke in the room. You could even jump to a DI-3, if you wanted, but I don't know that it would be necessary. Since you won't be leaving it on except when the door is open, having it balanced to the draft needs of the appliance isn't critical.

    Joe

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. MarcM

    MarcM New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2007
    Messages:
    140
    Loc:
    CT/MA/RI border
    As much as I hate to disagree with a moderator on my very first post, I'd disagree. I have a close friend who recently bought a home with a Tarm wood/oil burner and water storage tank. The design prompted me to read into the subject further as I'll be moving into an older home with a plentiful firewood supply soon and will have to make some choices on heating system upgrades.

    At any rate, gasification is an accurate description as any, although in my field it is more commonly referred to as pyrolysis. That is, the process by which solid carbon/organic fuels liberate combustible gas upon application of the required external heat flux. This process is endothermic, as it would cease upon removal of the applied heat flux, and is therefore, not a form of oxidation. No matter what one uses to burn wood, anytime a solid fuel is involved in a combustion reaction, gasification or pyrolysis occurs. Molecules from solid fuel cannot participate in oxidation reactions when they're still involved with the solid. When you observe any solid fuel combustion you are observing two separate categories of chemical reaction. The first is the gasification or pyrolysis which is completely endothermic, the second is the combustion reaction which is exothermic. The combustion supplies the heat for pyrolysis and the process becomes self sustaining.

    After the fire is built in the fire box in my friend's Tarm, it appeared to me that this process was occuring to the wood in the fire box. In other words, I saw no glowing, indicating the absence of combustion, however the heat from the ceramic chamber and coal bed below was continuing to gasify or pyrolysize the wood above. In this case, there is no real secondary combustion occuring, just that the pyrolysis and combustion reactions where physically separated to facilitate the addition of oxygen via the draft fan to lean the fuel/O2 mix out to a point where much more complete combustion can occur.

    Well, I love the site so far and hopefully I can learn a lot and contribute a little as well....
  3. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,705
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    Thanks for the clarification, MarcM, and welcome to the Boiler Room.

    It pays to remember that the moderator is an expert on nothing. His/her role is to facilitate discussion and generally keep the ball rolling and between the gutters. That has never kept me, specifically, from expressing an uninformed opinion on just about any topic. Corrections, clarifications and outright rebuttals are encouraged.

    Anyway, call it what you want, it's a fascinating process and I appreciate your detailed description.

    I'm glad you're considering a gasification boiler. Sounds like you're the kind of person who would really enjoy using one. I know I do.
  4. MarcM

    MarcM New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2007
    Messages:
    140
    Loc:
    CT/MA/RI border
    No problem, my comment was kind of tongue in cheek. I have the typical 3 year seasoned red oak-dry engineer sense of humor.

    But I grew up in a house primarily heated by a single Vermont Castings Defiant, so I've been cutting firewood all my life. When I heard of these boiler inovations and their pairing with heat storage, I just love the possibilities for efficiency and customization!
  5. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Dude! I already have a headach . . . yo trying to give me an aneurism?!?!! :coolmad:
  6. MarcM

    MarcM New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2007
    Messages:
    140
    Loc:
    CT/MA/RI border
    Fortunately, my engineering starter kit comes equipped with aspirin for such an emergency. It's usually buried under the slide rule and pocket protector though... :coolsmile:
  7. altheating

    altheating New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    Messages:
    172
    Loc:
    Central New York
    I had the option to go with Adobe, Greenwood, Eko and the Econoburn dealerships. After looking at the four of them and having sold one Adobe (one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made) I decided to go with the Econoburn Boilers. As the first Econoburn dealer in New York State I can only say good things about the folks at Econoburn. The factory tech guys have been outstanding. Sales leads and dealer support is also great. Mr. Raines has been running Dunkirk Metal Products (The Parent company of Alternative Fuel Boilers) for 50ish years, that says alot about the company.
    My EBW-200 uses approximately 2/3 less wood than did my unsheltered 275 Ootdoor Wood Smoker! The choice is not hard to make, it's either the ECONOBURN, Tarm or the Eko. In that order!
    I have been using the Econoburn's since mid May for domestic hot water and now for home heating and domestic hot water. I have installed 30+ boilers. They work just like the factory says. When properly sized for the building being heated these units are the cadilacs of wood gasification boilers.

    I just found this site, hopefully I will spend much more time here, very interesting.
    For more info on the Econoburn Gasification boilers www.altheating.com 315-717-3633, I can handle sales for most of eastern NY to central NY.

    Alternative Heating Solutions
    295 Osborne Hill Road
    Herkimer NY 13350
  8. antknee2

    antknee2 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Messages:
    253
    Loc:
    NY
    Altheating I would like to know what happened with the Adobe boiler to cause such a negative experience ???
  9. altheating

    altheating New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    Messages:
    172
    Loc:
    Central New York
    The boiler is probably the cheapest constructed boiler I have ever seen. The install cd only covered 1/2 the process, which inturn caused the boiler to rot out in 3 months. The manual was four or five pages of copied directions. The factory gave little support to me or the customr. Finally they agreed to replace the outer skins and such. They would not accept a credit card for payment on the parts. They certainly took credit card payment for the initial purchase. Even after the fix was taken care of the stove still drafts through the ash clean out door. I have seen much better boilers created in a home workshop! Even after the fix was taken care of the factory guys said the pipes into the oil boiler were reversed, they were not. The refractory blocks are all cracked. They said he can fix it with refractory cement. I certainly learned from that bad experiance. I simply tell people to call the homeowner and ask him which boiler he would rather have had installed. This customers father actully installed an Econoburn after seeing his sons desaster with the Adobe.
    Load an Adobe and you get a face full, no a room full of smoke. I should actully buy that Adobe boiler from him, it sure would make a great marketing tool.
  10. brad068

    brad068 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    440
    Loc:
    Central Wisconsin
    altheating,

    What are your thoughts on the Garn boiler?
  11. altheating

    altheating New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    Messages:
    172
    Loc:
    Central New York
    I have not seen or know anyone who has one.
  12. antknee2

    antknee2 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Messages:
    253
    Loc:
    NY
    altheating Thank you for your reply . Sorry to hear about such a bad experience , maybe I was lucky the Adobe boiler dealer took one month to return my phone calls , by then I already purchased a used Seton boiler with lots of problems . Thank You Anthony
  13. brad068

    brad068 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    440
    Loc:
    Central Wisconsin
    Check out my build pics of a garn principled boiler in the uploaded pics for garnification thread. In my opinion, after you see and understand the the design and operation of these units you might be adding them as one of your most favorite. I seen two units over 20 years old and still working.
  14. jpowell1979

    jpowell1979 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    Messages:
    44
    Loc:
    Fairbanks, AK
    I have been running my Greenwood 100 now for about 3 months and have very few complaints so far. I did install the draft inducer fan in the stack as Greenwood suggests and it help in starting a new fire and to keep smoke from coming out of the door when loading. I installed my Greenwood in a detached, insulated shed and have storage for 2 cords of wood so that when it is -40 like it is now, I don't have to be cold when loading the wood. In my garage I have a temperature gauge so I can look and see when it is time to reload the firebox. I usualy reload when the temperature drops to 150 or when I hear the furnace kick on at 140 degrees. If you let it burn down to ashes there is no smoke when you open to door and you have less ash accumulation. I have only emptied the ashes once and it looks like you can burn at least 1 and 1/2 cords before the ash gets to be a problem. So far I have no crack in the refreactory, but I expect that they might develope as time goes by. I have been very carefull about not overfiring when the refractory is cold and have only let the furnace cool down below operating temperature twice so far.

    I would agree that 12 hour fire times are unrealistic and my rep did not promise this as some reps have. I can easily burn 8 hours and can usualy know when I will need to reload based upon the outside temperature. So far I'm 100% satisifed with the product and enjoy listening to my friends complain about their heating bills as #2 heating oil reaches $3.50/g for delivery. Right now I'm paying about $180/cord for white birch and plan on getting a log truck load of 10 cords this summer to bring my price down to less than $100/cord. I also wanted to mention that there is very little smoke coming out of the stack. My neighbors wood stoves seem to smoke more than the Greenwood operating with a full load. When it was warmer out there was some incomplete combustion but it was as much my fault for overloading the fireboxfor the conditions and causing the fire to smolder with the dampner shut.
  15. henfruit

    henfruit Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Messages:
    710
    Loc:
    New Hampshire-Maine border
    i was wondering are uburning all round wood? i have mine in the basment i had to put a hood over it to help with the smoke even with the inducer. i have one crack so far on the side towards the rear. if you have good load of wood in it i will get a 6 to 8 hour burn. how big is your shed and what type of smoke pipe are you useing? how far from the house are you running it? thanks for your help patrick in nh
  16. jpowell1979

    jpowell1979 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    Messages:
    44
    Loc:
    Fairbanks, AK
    The shed is 10 x 12 and is about 50' from my house. I ran 1" PEX tubing from the house and had spray urethane insulation applied for insulation of the PEX. I also got a larger circulation pump than the one that shipped with the boiler and installed a Tekamr dual boiler control with my oil boiler wired as the secondary stage. I burn only white birch rounds 7-14" in diameter. The shed is 2x4 construction with insulation. The smoke stack is 6" single wall metalbestos on the interior and I have 8' of insulated going through the roof and outside. I bought a draft gauge on ebay and added chimney sections until I got the draft within specifications. I think it was supposed to be .05-.07" of draft. If I open the door before the fire is burned down to coals there is some smoke, but I usually wait till the temp is down to less than 140 and there is very little smoke.
  17. Bartman

    Bartman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    182
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    Wow! It's a good thing I read these posts about the GW. Tonight I took part in a GW webinar, and was impressed about the unit. Some of the questions though were infact about the loading of wood and flame/smoke exiting through the load door. During this online seminar the pictures of installations on the PowerPoint presentation showed "blackened" doors and surrounding areas. Another question I had about the GW was the durability of the firebox because they specify that the large logs are better. A 16" dia log is pretty heavy to drop into a heated refractory, much less several, I figure it has to crack. I know that my old steel New Yorker is really inefficient, but it only smokes when first started, afterwards the smoke is barely discernable. Cracking is not an issue, an I've abused it for 22 years. While I'm getting ready to make a decision soon to replace the old girl I guess high efficiency comes at a price, not just in initial outlay, it seems that these boilers are rather delicate in comparison to their not so delicate fuel. Right now I think I have enough info in preparation of GW's rep who is supposed to call me tomorrow to answer my questions regarding a 100.
  18. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,705
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    I don't think the EKO is any less durable than my old Royall, and that was one tough (25-year-old) boiler. But I agree with your point about dropping big wood into any boiler. You want to set it in place whenever possible. Nothing worse than tossing a piece in too hard and "ringing the bell." Ouch!

    Solid fuel appliances really take a beating compared to their oil and gas counterparts.
  19. Bartman

    Bartman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    182
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    I agree they take a beating, and that's what concerns me. Take $8000, buy a new gasifier, load it wrong just once and you have a good chance on ruining your investment. For me it's going to be a big job to replace my NY, not only do I have to get that monster out of the basement, but I have to put a bigger one in it's place. For me, there is no other choice than a basement install. The rep @ GW (Bill) told me that the procedure to load the boiler is to make sure the flap is open, then wait 5-10 seconds before opening the door. On my present unit, since my boiler uses an under fire draft blower, to load, you hit the big red stop button which shuts the blower down, you crack the door for a second, then open and load. When full, close door hit green button, blower starts (unless water is above 165 degrees) and go, simple. Don't want to make it more complicated than that, after all Mrs.G has to use it too.
  20. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,705
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    Well as I said, having owned both, I don't think a gasifier is any less durable than a conventional indoor wood boiler. I did have one fail after 12 years, but I suspect that had more to do with low return water temps than operator error. And believe me, there was plenty of that.
  21. Bartman

    Bartman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    182
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    Eric,
    Who sells the EKO around here?
  22. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,705
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    I bought mine from Cozy Heat, the banner at the top of this thread.
  23. leaddog

    leaddog Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Messages:
    912
    Loc:
    Hesperia, Michigan
    On the eko you load the wood length wise. You have some coals on the bottem covering the fire brick so it would be hard to break the fire brick. The nozzels are replaceable and not very expensive. You are more apt to damage the nozzels with a poker when you stir the coals and that would be hard to do if you are careful. The sides are steel. the fire brick is only on the bottem and up the sides a small ways as that is only where the gasification and burning takes place before the gas is forced down into the secondary chamber. I have the eko80 that has a 40in long chamber so I can put over 3ft long pieces in and if they are big they are heavy. The only long pieces that I put in are 6in and under as the big stuff I cut 16in and split as they are easyer to handle. I cut all the small limbs 3ft as that makes them easy to handle and less work cuting, one cut instead of two and one piece to pick up.
    leaddog
  24. Bartman

    Bartman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    182
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    It looks like I might be interested in the small EKO 18, I don't know if it's available here in the US, I'll be calling Cozy Heat soon.
  25. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    I think the big difference between the EKO (or any other forced-induction hydronic units) and the GW (or any other naturally aspirated refractory units) is that the GW is probably better at burning 'less-than-ideal' wood. But the better wood in concert with the forced induction probably makes the ELO a more efficient unit.

    I doubt you could find worse customer service than GW though :shut:

    Instal the GW outside finished area and the smoke issue becomes a non-issue. The cracks in the refractory are annoying, but probably not a deal-breaker. With no grate, ash remove becomes an issue. Yes, if you let it burn way down, the ash is very minimal. However, the last few hours of a burn cycle left that long will produce minimal heat, so without storage, that becomes a problem.

    Jimbo
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page