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Harman stove & very high ash fuels (such as switchgrass)

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by smirnov3, Sep 14, 2006.

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  1. smirnov3

    smirnov3 Feeling the Heat

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    Hi, I was wondering if my Harman Accentra insert could handle a really high ash fuel, like Switchgrass pellets (with 5% ash) or will it just choak up?

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  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I used Harman mechanism with Peanut Hull pellets at 3%, but can't speak for over that. Where the heck does one get switchgrass pellets?
  3. smirnov3

    smirnov3 Feeling the Heat

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    In canada :]

    They are not available in the US as yet, but a Vt. farm affiliated with Cornell Univ. is going to do a test run this winter. If all goes well, they may start producing it commercially. Obviously, even if everything goes smoothly, it will be a couple of years before they are readilly available.

    But their website claims that the best place to grow switchgrass is the NE, so hopefully the prices will be nice and low in Ma. (according to a canadian website, up there it's about the same price per BTU as natural gas, and cheaper than everything else, including wood pellets)

    Switchgrass has roughly 7/8 the BTUs of wood pellets
  4. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Honey I can't mow the lawn up back Why? the switch grass is not long enough yet . I will have to layout a roll of screening a to act as a drying rack to dry the switch grass. I will get the stove running and then burn grass. You said what you are burning grass or have you been smoking it too much? I now can roll my own logs using newspapers as the covers to the grass. Ahhh the eduction practices of the late sixtys is now paying off. Dont Bogart that log my friend pass it over to me.
  5. NFreiermuth

    NFreiermuth New Member

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    Elk,

    I take back the shot I took at you, You're Alright after All!!!

    Now, about passing that grass around...
  6. MaineWoods

    MaineWoods New Member

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    Hello Anton,

    I found this at GrassBioenergy.org



    Harman P61A wood pellet stove

    Heating capacity: 0-61,000 BTU
    Hopper capacity: 120 lbs of grass pellets (with hopper extension)
    Burn pot area of Harman P61A Harman P61A wood pellet stove

    The burn pot area slopes up from the auger pellet feed exit and then flattens out. Pellets are pushed into the combustion bed and burned residue is pushed up over the lip into the ash drawer. This would have the potential to work with high ash materials, and has worked with 4% ash wood residues.

    Results


    At a medium burn rate, the grass pellet mass is burned successfully and the partially-fused ash mat is pushed over the lip of the burn pot. After one to two days, a carbon buildup develops on the burn pot surface a short distance from the pellet feed auger. Sooner or later this buildup stops the flow going up, out and over. This plugs up the stove. This stove could work for grass pellets if the burn surface was cleaned daily. The heat exchanger and air channel under the burn pot and the glass door would need regular cleaning, more often than with wood pellets. The pellet feed system operated flawlessly. The ability of this stove to completely shut down and then start up on its own when heat is required is a nice feature.



    I believe all the Harman wood pellet stoves are similar so I would think you would get similar results.

    Cliff
  7. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    :p

    Speaking of Grass, the news this week said illegal drug use is going up - AMONG BABY BOOMERS! I guess now that we all have our own houses and the kids are gone, it's time to get the water pipe out of storage? Although I'd be worried about heart attacks when we geezers hear it cost $600 an OZ. - and unlike Harrys Pellets, it truly is nuclear!
  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    PelletHead: "Honest officer, it is switchgrass. It is burning in the pellet stove."

    Very Large Cop: "Yeah right. Now I've heard it all. A cast iron doobie. Put on your shoes and put your hands behind your back. You have the right to..."

    Other Large Cop Outside: "Hey Frank come here. Ya gotta see this. The whole neighborhood is outside singing Kumbaya and saying stuff like 'Far out man!' and 'Wow! Dig the spining blue lights man.' and 'Who's got the Oreos?".
  9. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    BB falling out of my seat LOL
    Been a good day for your retorts

    Shop dog I must of missed you shot at me Oh well next time

    Cheech and Chong officer O'mally its only switch grass Ohhhhhh this wow man is this sh-- good, are you sure it is switch and not mex gold?
  10. smirnov3

    smirnov3 Feeling the Heat

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    I have this odd impression that I am being mocked
    :)
  11. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    sorry Anton I hyjacked your post for a little humor don't take it personal. you know if asked I would help you.

    I really think it great switch grass can be used to produce heat.
  12. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    or if were lucky, a buzz. I will be the first huffing on the exaust pipe.
  13. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    Ha .................Why you guys always on the roof cleaning the chimney!? Seems like every day now. Oh , By the way ..... I think you have a little black around your mouth .
  14. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    next thing you know, the dope growers will be peletizing there waste material to heat there grow rooms, use the procedes to make some hi tech pellet mill that no ligit company can afford and get a two for one, you get heat without alarming the power company, and you can huff on tail pipe all day long. I guess they would have some special charcol filter for the exaust so they dont alarm the neighbors....
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Less than a century ago it was US law that one had to grow hemp if one owned over a certain acreage (200?). Maybe we'll get back to the good old days. Hemp seed has a 'high' oil content.
  16. smirnov3

    smirnov3 Feeling the Heat

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    hemp is really usefull - makes better paper than wood pulp, and is great for rope (which, in the days before plastic, people used all the time)

    Too bad the gov't has decided (without much evidence) that it's as dangerous as cocain.

    FYI, cocain affects your brain through the area that makes social interaction enjoyable - it saturates that area so much that cocain addicts start thinking of people as nothing more than annoying objects. it makes them into sociopaths who see nothing wrong with hurting other people. Marijuana is nowhere hear as dangerous (it affects people by 'turning down the volume' on nervous signals to the brain. The main danger with it is that a user is 'impaired' (their reflexes are shot) for 4 or more hours after smoking a joint).

    Mind you, most of my facts on this topic are from reading Discover magazine, so they may be a little bit simplified.
  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It's a great resource, cheap and easy to grow and very fibrous. The govt. decision was swayed (maybe owned is a better word) by the wood pulp industry that wanted to take over the market. They created the refer madness campaign, in a move similar to GM destroying the nation's electric trolley systems. Wood pulp paper is much more energy intensive and when bleached, not very environmentally friendly. Kinda like corn to ethanol eh?
  18. seaken

    seaken Minister of Fire

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    Bart, Funny, very funny

    LMAO,
    Sean
  19. seaken

    seaken Minister of Fire

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    Yes, Anton, I think the subject was too hard to pass up. I laughed pretty hard!

    To the question,

    the Harman does have an advantage with higher ash fuels because it pushes the ash off the burnpot as the fuel is fed from the bottom. However, the burn pot should be scraped down daily with high ash fuels and the vent systems will need to be cleaned sooner. But when comared to other pellet stoves the Harman excels in it's ability to use high ash fuels.

    You might keep an eye on the PC45, which is a corn stove. It has proven to be one of the best biomass burners ever made. We may see the PC45 tweaked to burn switchgrass or other biomass pellets and it will be more efficient than the standard wood pellet stoves.

    US Stove does make a good biomass stove but it is not as easy to use as the Harman. If you are not a tinkerer, the Harman will probably be your best bet. Of course, as biofuel becomes more popular we may see more advances from other pellet stove companies.

    Sean
  20. BikeMedic2709

    BikeMedic2709 New Member

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    (This may sound stupid...But here goes.)

    What is Switchgrass?
  21. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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  22. smirnov3

    smirnov3 Feeling the Heat

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    It's another name for marijuana.

    Just goes to show the power of advertizing.

    :)
  23. BikeMedic2709

    BikeMedic2709 New Member

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    Well! I never thought I would be reading about that, here. Very interesting.
    Thanks guys!
  24. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Well this whole thread "Went up in smoke"
  25. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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