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)

Help deciding on Gassifier wood boiler

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Den69RS96, Nov 15, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. EffectaBoilerUser (USA)

    EffectaBoilerUser (USA) Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Messages:
    202
    Loc:
    Michigan
    When you mention the 1200F temperature can you clarify exactly what you are measuring at this temp.

    Thanks,

    Brian

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,305
    Loc:
    WI
    You do know that he is in fact a Effecta boiler Dealer right?

    I'm not saying that they aren't good boilers but his user name should probably read "Effecta Boiler Dealer"

    gg
  3. Noggah

    Noggah New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2012
    Messages:
    52
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    The 1200 df is measured with a thermocouple in the gasifcation chamber where the secondary burn is completed,
  4. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Let me ask you this: have you ever lived in a house with an OWB? I have never seen a wood burning appliance that is completely smoke free... ever. Of course, here in the wild west we do not have many houses with basements. Far more typical here to just have a crawl space. From my experience with both indoor and outdoor wood burning appliances, I would HIGHLY recomment that people consider putting the boiler outside. Main reasons: no smoke inside, it all stays outside (wood, bugs, debris, dust), FAR lower fire hazard, room saved, etc. You can place them so they are not far from the house and you are not exposed to extremes. I mean, I have to go out there anyway and get wood off my piles to feed the indoor wood stove here; same effort to feed a boiler outside and loss wood hauling. Some loss of radiant heat outside, yes, but the advantages far outweight the disadvantages in my view. I actually got to like going out to feed the boiler, outside. Had to take the dogs out anyway...

    As for planning, it is highly dependant on the space being heated, the existing floorplan and heating system, and the local, regional and state laws. I would recommend any Central Boiler, having owned and installed a classic model myself, and living with the great results. Open unpressurized boiler systems with hydronic floor heating are the way to go. The people at CB were extremely helpful with sizing my hydronic Hx (I mean, it was perfect), they were very good on the phone with design help and spoke American English, and they made more than good on the warantee (damper door replaced for factory defect, controller replaced, free anti-corrosion given to use because of boil-over due to defective damper). The units are bullet proof with high quality steel, and they will last 20 years or more, easilly. They have also been around, which in the OWB world is a rare thing. Many OWB companies have come and gone, and many are (or were) fly-by-night operations.

    I also heard about how 'bad' CB quality was on 'earlier models' and how much they smoked, how the insulation caused them to rust, and the general evils of OWBs, etc. etc. All disinformation and simply not true. The CB unit that I installed is still firing at my ex's place for 6 years now. The CB rust inhibitor is good stuff and works. The OWB smoke is little; I posted photos of it on another thread here. Firebox rust was non-existant to the extent that I stopped cleaning the firebox before shutting it down in summer months. I just put a plastic bucket on the stack and left the ashes until fall when I refired it. Creosote does not cause rust, if anything it inhibits it. The only problem is if the creosote is wet or traps water under it against the steel. Similar problem if the ash traps water. I rough scraped the sides and ash pan with a garden hoe as we burned, gave the unit a good hot fire to cook out the water before shutting it down for the season, and that was it. Shut her down, fire her back up. Yes, the older classic CB models do eat wood. That was not really an issue for us there though, as she has 100+ acres of huge trees (grand for, doug fir, black and white oak, chinkapin, hemlock, madrone, etc.). All the free wood that we needed. We burned far more wood in slash piles every year than in the boiler (in Oregon you are responsible for burning slash and are liable if you do not). We burned about 10 cords a year there, 2200 sq ft heating and DHW, lots of windows and skylights, toasty warm all the time.

    I would love to put in a CB gasifier OWB here, but I am not likely to be here much longer. So I will put in a cheap heat pump and an EPA wood stove, and leave them here.
  5. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    How do you delete an errant post here?
  6. Northernliving

    Northernliving Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    Messages:
    27
    Loc:
    NorthEast
    Thanks guys for all the info. I'm looking at inside and outside at this point. I have a nice Woodstock that I'm heating with now in my family room with a very open floor plan. It does a great job; love the ambiance of the fire and warmth but can't do it all in a 3600 sq ft home and it doesn't have DHW. I get zero smoke inside with it. None - zip. The mess is definitely there though with bringing all the wood inside. That's why I find the outside boiler so appealing. Mess is outside and I don't have to haul 8 cord of wood into my basement (it is a walkout, though). My garage is part of my house, so I can't put the boil there, and my hobby barn is several years away.

    So, I'm looking at the Tarm and Wood gun as inside options, and was interested in the Porter and Main and the Heatmor as outside options. I was thinking that the CB E-Classic was problematic based on other reading, so thanks for the endorsement there (Nice to hear from a fellow Mainer, too - have property in Bethel and on Moosehead Lake)

    The advantage of inside is that you capture the boiler heat loss and you don't have to go outside to load it, but you do have to lug all the wood INSIDE from outside and the mess is OUTSIDE. I'm leaning to the OWB, but haven't completely made up my mind. Wanted to keep the project under $10k, but it's looking more like $12-13k at this point.

    North
  7. Como

    Como Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    866
    Loc:
    Colorado
    A couple of other options:

    Pellet Boiler
    Wood Chip Boiler

    The former is nearly as hassle free as a fossil fuel boiler.

    If you get really cold the chips need conditioned storage or regular processing to avoid freezing into a lump.
  8. Noggah

    Noggah New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2012
    Messages:
    52
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    Hey North,

    It is kind of comforting to see how many Mainers are here and it is great to be surrounded by people of like minds. I hope your search for the right stove is successful. I planned for three years before buying mine. It is worth the time and money investment in the end.
  9. bpirger

    bpirger Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Messages:
    610
    Loc:
    Ithaca NY Area
    Without a doubt there is loss in the underground piping, the boiler outside in a shed or a free standing, etc. But this can be minmized with proper installation and purchasing of proper materials. See the sticky on the undergound lines. Pay careful attention to what you bury in the ground.

    I have a Garn outside in a shed. Garn is insulated, shed is not yet. I know I have some loss out there, and no doubt in the ground, but it is great not having the mess inside. Also, we do have to go out once a day and start a fire. It's 80' away....no big deal in any weather.

    Used to (and still have) the Lopi Liberty inside, a great wood stove. We do burn more wood in the GArn, also heating all the DHW, and without a doubt, have some extra loss. System is not yet "ideal".

    I would have LOVED to put the Garn in the garage....but it would take a a fair amount of room, and more importantly to me, I didn't like the idea of a raging roaring fire in the garage in the event of a flammable material presence. From time to time there's a gas splill or similar in the garage....it'd scare the crap out of me. Having had a housefire in my youth, killing my little brother, I don't need to have the concern. Insurance companies often are unhappy, requiring the unit to be in a walled off unit with no entrance from the garage.

    Everyone is differnt, everyone will tell you what works for them. You have to decide of course what works for you.

    Every now and then I wish I could go and stand in front of the blazing Liberty for that deep, full body roasting.....but since I had the Garn online in NOV11, we haven't had a single fire in the Lopi. Now I just lay on the 80 degree floor if I need too. :) But it isn't the same.
  10. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,430
    Loc:
    West Michigan
    Hey, Stihl, I was trying to be "overly dramatic" with my statement regarding having a boiler outside. That was the intended tone of my entire post. I'm not an OWB basher. In fact, I don't really care what anyone does with their boiler. Hence my "to each his own" comment. I was just shooting back at Effecta for the fun of it. I enjoy having my boiler inside for a lot of reasons. But certainly there are plenty of reasons others may chose otherwise...
  11. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    3,179
    Loc:
    Falmouth, Michigan
    Personally I would not recommend any of the outdoor gassers at this point. There is some serious junk coming down the tracks. It appears EPA is evaluating their test protocol and finding that the claimed outputs and efficiencies are totally off base in regards to the PhaseII certifications these units received.
  12. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,305
    Loc:
    WI
    I have heard similar that the OWB gasifier manufacturers are not happy about the up coming change is testing procedure.

    How do you think the current indoor technology will do with the new tests?


    gg
  13. Como

    Como Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    866
    Loc:
    Colorado
    You can find more accurate information for Boilers sold in other countries.

    Generally OWBs are specific to the US.
  14. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    3,179
    Loc:
    Falmouth, Michigan
    The indoor gassers will do OK. Some better than others but from what I have seen, the Euro style wood burners do pretty decent when connected to reasonable storage.

    The OWB's that supposedly meet PhaseII are another story and I offer the following for anyone considering one of these units that are claimed to comply.

    EPA is well aware of the fact that the initial PhaseII testing was way off base and they went to Brook Haven National Labs and NYSERDA for "backup testing" and review of the results published by the OWB manufacturers. The lengthy and very detailed report came back with positively scathing results. .........let's just say there is a very good reason one of the biggest OWB dealers near me recently sold his business.

    Read the following paragraphs directly quoted from the "conclusion" pages of the final report and draw your own, but it pretty much flatly states that none of the results are accurate, emissions are higher than claimed, efficiencies were drastically overstated and in many cases physically impossible.


    "The technical review of the test results for the 23 White Tag qualified hydronic heater units presented here found
    more than 90 percent of the existing tests had questionable results for efficiency and/or particulate emissions rates or
    were missing data necessary for their determination. Additionally, of the units reviewed, a significant number were
    not conducted within the precision required under the method and some testing was conducted outside of the
    prescribed heat-load categories."


    Then it went on to say..........

    "There are significant concerns about the efficiency measurement method and results of the M28 OWHH tests. For
    many of the units tested, the accuracy of the energy output value derived from water temperature and flow rate
    measurements on the supply side of the heat exchanger is poor, and the reported efficiency levels are considerably
    higher than those based on stack loss measurements. Where this occurred, the efficiency results are either very
    inflated or simply not thermodynamically possible."


    Regardless of the level of inaccuracy in the test, I would, at this juncture recommend that no one purchase any OWB for the simple reason that there will be very few, if any, that can actually hit the standard and will subsequently not be able to survive business wise. You may be left with a unit which has no warranty coverage and no factory backing as the factory has disappeared and the company folded up. This is happening already.........HeatSource for example got out while the getting was good. Many more will follow. The basic premise of operation for an OWB does not lend itself to high efficiency or clean burning.
    I fully realize that is a pretty broad statement and I may make some enemies over it but I feel that people who are considering an OWB need to know the facts. You simply cannot "idle" a load of 200-300 pounds of wood and expect clean burning characteristics and high efficiency presently claimed. The physics simply are not there to support what these manufacturers are claiming. It's not like they can reinvent fire itself.
  15. Como

    Como Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    866
    Loc:
    Colorado
    Excuse my french, bit it does fall into the bleedingly obvious category.

    I think there will always be a rump market, but for how many players?
  16. Northernliving

    Northernliving Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    Messages:
    27
    Loc:
    NorthEast
    bpirger, I have a couple of questions on your garn. What size shed is it in? Are you using additional storage or just what is in the garn? Does you system use antifreeze?
  17. Den69RS96

    Den69RS96 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2011
    Messages:
    25
    Loc:
    Central MA
    Heaterman, thanks for the info. I definitely keep that in mind when if I decide to go the OWB route. I constantly check my state to see if any regs have been passed. I'll be checking much more often now.
  18. skfire

    skfire Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Messages:
    355
    Loc:
    NEPA
    http://www.nyserda.ny.gov/en/Public...les/Publications/Research/Environmental/10-19 staged combustion biomass boilers acc.ashx

    http://www.nyserda.ny.gov/en/Public...t/~/media/Files/Publications/Research/Biomass Solar Wind/10-01_european-wood-heating-technology.ashx


    good reading(and I am not endorsing one way or another) and an insight to where they are heading with the current ongoing report, as Heaterman said.
    I have heard they are using certain boilers as benchmarks and I do not know how favorable or "fair" the process is, but it sure will create an upheaval.

    Scott
  19. Como

    Como Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    866
    Loc:
    Colorado
    There is no need to reinvent the process, there are already standards used elsewhere, they just need to be adopted.
  20. bpirger

    bpirger Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Messages:
    610
    Loc:
    Ithaca NY Area
    North:

    My Garn is in a 24x16 shed (or is it 24x12...argh, I can't remember...and I'm not at home!) I only have the 1500 gallons (a little less I believe in actual volume, maybe 1400) within the Garn. I have no antifreeze, just water. If I lost power or similar, I think it would take a LONG time for the Garn itself to freeze...like a month or more. But, the piping could freeze quicker...so hopefully power will never be lost for that long. One of these days I hope to get a good generator, just in case of the horrendous storm scenario....

    Actually, in the house now (i.e. other side of the plate HX), I do have antifreeze...but when I hook up the addition this Spring/summer, I will flush what is in there and fill with just water. Again, presumably power won't go out "forever", I won't get hospitalized "forever", etc. Where "forever" means time for everything to freeze up.

    I'll measure the width of the shed. Heck, I should get some pictures of the whole thing too.... EDIT: 24x16. I can store about 1.3 cords along one of the 24' walls of the building....a month plus for me. One a month, spending an hour bringing wood from the woodshed into the Garn barn. I also have an 8' wide overhead door. Higly recommend something like this for easy wood entry.
  21. martyinmi

    martyinmi Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2011
    Messages:
    76
    Loc:
    Central Mi
    heaterman,
    Lets all live under the presupposition that the Garn is more efficient than any gasifying OWB ever built. If they are all tested tested side by side against the Garn, the Garn will be ???(fill in percentage) higher than all others. Thanks
  22. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    3,179
    Loc:
    Falmouth, Michigan
    Sorry to ruffle your feathers. It is certainly not my intent.

    I use Garn as a yardstick not so much because it is the most efficient thing on earth but rather because the unit itself and the test numbers they pronounce are based on sound engineering. Martin Lunde would not/did not test to the EPA standard because he knew it was hokey in the first place. I respect him for making a stand and daring to raise a little stink about it.
    More in the industry should do the same.

    This is of course just my own personal opinion and anyone here is certainly free to call it junk and disagree.
  23. barkeatr

    barkeatr Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2011
    Messages:
    212
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    i know the efficiency of my profab 200 gasser. by golly, its 100%. my formula?, divide tons of heat by not much wood x reasonable investment cost to the third power and invert that with happy wife dog and teenage daughter =100% happy camper. Its quite simple really.
  24. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,305
    Loc:
    WI
    Sounds like we may know soon as they are going to redo the tests. Some of the OWB manufacturers reported numbers from their chosen testing facility that are not therodynamically possible. They continue to advertise those numbers as a sales pitch.

    After observing my system run with storage I can tell you that it runs 4-6 hours a day and smoke is virtually non exsistant, clear stack. It would be pretty hard to smolder wood on and off all day and be as smoke free and efficient as batch burning. The Garn also has the advantage of heat loss being absorbed into the massive water jacket.


    gg
  25. Como

    Como Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    866
    Loc:
    Colorado
    A Gassifying OWB is a bit of a contradiction.

    I guess it means an OWB that can operate in both normal OWB mode and more efficiently.

    So you would have to either specify the mode or take an average?

    A friend of mine has a CB 2300 and operates it flat out at c 50% efficiency as good as I can tell.

    The ones that are loaded twice a day or less are going to be well below that.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page