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Heating a 20 unit motel?

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by rkberry, Feb 16, 2008.

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  1. rkberry

    rkberry New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    Messages:
    14
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    Hello,

    I have a small motel in Canada (brrrrrrr!) and I was wondering if somebody could point me in the
    right direction. What are my options for heating 20 small rooms (12' x20' each) with a wood boiler;
    what products from which companies should I look into?

    Thanks!

    RKB

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,732
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    Welcome to the Boiler Room, RK. It's always nice to get another Canadian member.

    That sounds like a really interesting project. Maybe you can give us a few more details about the type of heating system currently installed (hot water baseboard, forced air, etc.) and the type of boiler or furnace you're currently using. Pics of the existing heating plant are always helpful. If it's a boiler or furnace, how big (in BTUs/hour) is it?

    Also, what's your wood supply? Can you get dry wood?

    You have a number of different options for a boiler. The least expensive choice would probably be a conventional indoor wood-fired boiler. Like an outdoor wood-fired boiler (OWB), the indoor boiler will produce some smoke and probably some creosote and burn a lot of wood.

    A wood gasification boiler, on the other hand, will cost more to buy upfront, but will give you a clean burn (no smoke) and require roughly half as much wood for the same amount of heat.

    An OWB, when all is said and done, will probably cost about as much as the gasification boiler to buy and install, but will consume more wood and produce smoke.

    So that's three options to consider. We can help you refine your search when you post the details on your situation that I mentioned above.
  3. rkberry

    rkberry New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    Messages:
    14
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    Thanks for the welcome.

    I've been reading the 'Father John' thread and it was quite enlightening.

    Presently, the rooms are heated with little electric fan forced heaters; they're tiny, but they heat the rooms nicely, and I don't think the building is even that well insulated. However, as most of us are, I'm looking for ways to save money and I assume wood would be cheaper than electricity. The hot water for the bathrooms (DHW) comes from an oil boiler.

    I want to build more units in the future, so I suppose I should acquire a boiler system that could handle double my current needs, but as the motel business in rural Canada is slow in the winter (go figure), and I really need an average of only ten units fully heated per night (the other rooms can be turned down low), I guess any extra units I build would only be rented during the summer; I'd shut them down for the winter. So I guess all I need is heating for 10-15 rooms. But maybe I wouldn't build more motel rooms; maybe I'd build nice little cottage suites. That might be a better idea. Instead of shutting them down for the winter, I could rent them monthly as apartment cottages, in which case they'd be heated with pellet stoves and the tenant would buy his or her own pellets. Yeah, maybe I'll go with apartment cottages. Anyway, we'll say 10 rooms on average need full heat, and 10 units need low heat. Sorry for the confusion...just thinking as I type.

    Oh yes, I can get dry wood...it's everywhere! Maple and birch mostly. I have two woodstoves in my home and I love it.

    The Garn with large heat storage, like 3000 gallons, sounds pretty cool.

    I wonder how many cords I'd expect to burn from September to May? How many times a day would it have to be loaded?

    Another cool thing is that I plan to open a small restaurant, and we here love our deep fried fish (and scallops and clams) and chips. Am I going to give my oil away to the rendering plant so they can profit from it? No way! I'm going to generate some of my own electricity with that fishy oil! (that's if the Listeroids work as well as reported) ;-)

    Thanks!

    RKB
  4. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,732
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    I was thinking that the Garn might be a good choice in your case.
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