Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by kopeck, Dec 10, 2012.
So you have a Froling?
Nice if so!
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Nope, Tarm Solo Innova.
I wish I had the Froling but my Tarm is making me happy so I can't complain!
The last couple of days have been cooler with nights in the teens. Last night I threw in a smidge over a half a firebox of wood in with my tank sitting in the high 140s. I heard the fan kick off (cycle, idle what have you) right before I hit the sack and found my tank sitting at 175 and the boiler with nothing but a few inches of hot coals burning down...just about perfect (for my goals anyway).
I've also been experimenting with different ways to light my boiler I think I've finally found a process that is a) Easy, b) Gets the fire going very quickly and c) Doesn't require much newspaper or kindling. I was explaining my findings to my wife this morning and she thought I was a little to excited...
Now if only you can hit it like that every night. It's enough to bring a smile to your face.
Women just don't understand
Last year I didn't seem to have any trouble with loading once we got into "winter mode". Now last winter was pretty warm so I think I'm going to find my self throwing an extra couple of sticks on before I go to bed on those cold nights. I'll just have to wait and see.
Recently it's just been the real up and down temps. We the house never got cold so it not like it was a huge issue.
You know it was for her own good. Someday she might have to light the darn thing! I don't think she was buying it....
I think it's already been established around here. No Fred61 = no wood fire = oil heat.
I made the fall back to oil completely automatic this fall, I'm thinking this isn't going to help my cause!
That's how it is here. Though I have the oil burner shut off. Last night I may have purposefully underfilled the boiler. When my wife woke up to a 64* house she finally agreed to give me the time to hook up my storage this weekend.
You bugger you
I've also been varying my fire building techniques. Thought I knew all about lighting a fire after all those years with the old unit - back then though I only had to light a fire once a year. Now I'm putting small splits on each side of the bottom of the chamber, then small layer of kindling over the nozzle, then some balls of paper, then another layer of kindling. Then small wood/splits. The kindling/paper sandwich was the key breakthrough for me. I've also decided that next winter I need more softwood in my woodpile - it comes in handy for the once-a-day fire build.
I've tried all sorts of things but what I'm doing now is sort of what you described. Two 1"x1"x8" (well, not that exact but you get what I mean) pieces of kindling set across the nozzle and then one or two pieces on top of those running parallel and right over with the nozzle. Then I set a split on each side, partially covering the kindling. Two sheets of news paper crumpled into a looseish ball set over the kindling, light it and close the door most of the way. Walk away, get the rest of your wood ready to go in, open the door and not only is the kindling going but the splits on the side a catching too. Then I load up and close the door.
The new part for me was adding the two splits on the sides. Adding those two splits really seems to get everything going that much faster and it seems to stabilize the fire for loading the rest of the wood.
I watch the stack temp, if it's going up and not getting "stuck" I walk away. The whole process, when done right takes less then 10 minutes, more like 5 if I'm one my game. I've tried propane torch method but never really felt it worked well for me.
I'm glad it worked, I would have probably been sent down to tend the fire. ;-)
You can make it very easy to know how much wood to burn to load storage and eliminate idling at the same time. All you need to know is your approximate average storage tank temperature, the number of gallons of storage you have, and the end of burn storage temperature you want. I will assume boiler efficiency in converting wood to hot water transferred to storage in the 80-85% range, that your wood moisture content is about 20%, and that your interior stack temperature during the higher burn periods is about 400F. Finally I will assume the boiler circulating pump which moves water to storage moves sufficient gpm to handle your maximum boiler output at a delta-T of 20F.
Here is the example for my boiler for the burn I did yesterday:
1. Tarm Solo Plus 40, 140,000 btuh rated output. At delta-T = 20, the 007 will move at least 14gpm through the short 1.25" copper piping between the boiler and storage. 14 x 20 x 500 = 140,000.
2. Average tank temperature at start of burn = 111F, 1000 gallons of storage, target end of burn tank temperature = 190F.
3. From prior measured burns, I know the Tarm is in the 80-85% efficiency range, my wood is seasoned a minimum of two full summer (20% or less MC), and 400F is a good average for higher burn stack temperature.
4. One pound of 20% MC wood in these quite normal circumstances has 6050 btu's. So the amount of wood needed to raise the tank 80F degrees is: (8.34 x 1000 x 80) / 6050 / 0.80 = 138 lbs of wood. Also, 138 / 80F = 1.7 lbs of wood to raise the tank 1F degree.
5. I weighed out 135 lbs of wood and completed the burn, which required several loadings of the boiler. At the end of burn the 3 sensors on my tank (near top, about 2/3 down from top, and bottom) read: 193F, 193F, 174F. The boiler never idled. There was no btu draw on the tank during the burn period.
6. In my situation a typical radiant draw on the tank will drop the tank temperature 10F. If I expect a radiant draw on the tank during the burn, I will add another 17 lbs of wood to the burn (10 x 1.7).
This may seem more complicated than it is. For me this has become so simple that I do weighed wood burns all the time.
You might shortcut all the steps and simply assume wood delivered btu's are 4840 per pound (6050 x 80%). Use your storage capacity in gallons and calculate how many btu's you need to raise the storage to your target temperature: gallons x 8.34 x degrees. And then divide that number by 4840 to get your pounds of wood, and give it a try. Then adjust as needed for your system.
Thanks jebatty, that helps the math make sense.
I just load it up & let it dump some heat into the house if the storage can't take it all.
I thought I would resurrect this thread since we had some cold weather roll in.
In my case there's been a decent change in how everything operates. Now the house is eating a much bigger chunk of what my boiler is producing so storage is talking more time to come up to temp. I'm stuffing the firebox full when I load and in the case of last night which was pretty chilly (and it's going to be chillier tonight) I thew a few extra chunks on when I went to bed. No cycling to speak off, she just churns away downstairs.
It's working well for me, I only used 7 gallons of oil last month, mostly due to getting home late (tis the season!) and the oil boiler kicking on until I could get a fire lit.
The only thing I wish didn't change is I switched over to this years supply of firewood about the same time the cold weather settled in. This years stock isn't quite as good, still burns and gasses well but poplar and red maple just doesn't have the BTUs like cherry, ash and oak.
I know what you mean. I wonder if our plumbing setup is similar? I have the "square tank' setup per Tarm. It used to be that my house was up to temp in about 30-45 mins. and then the temp pretty much stayed there with very few calls for heat, so I would see the boiler and storage temps come up real quick.
Last week or so my boiler gets up to about 78-80 c and stays there for awhile as the zones stay on for awhile. The down stairs comes up to temp first and storage and the boiler temp come up a little bit, then once the upstairs kicks off, the boiler will get up to set point and storage starts coming up. But even still, the zones are kicking off and on more often so the boiler is spending more time at 85% than it used to.
It's 16f outside right now with 16 mph winds. I'm looking forward to firing up a full load when I get home in a couple hours.
I suspect you are right about the plumbing/setup.
I have noticed that since the house load has increased the I've seen a running temp drop as well. With no load besides storage the Tarm will pump 190F water quite regularly but I would also see some cycling (slumber, idling) once my tank hit 168/170 F, now it's hanging out around 180 F and just buzzing along and I haven't heard it cycle once. Now I don't sit with it all day but I do listen while I'm inside.
I really need to brush my tubes, my stack temps are up close to 600 F, since I got home from work early maybe that's my project for this afternoon. I find that brushing them once a month seems to keep everything happy.
It's interesting since this is my second season with this setup but it's all a bit new since last year was so mild!
Brushed the tubes tonight and dropped the stack temps from nearly 600 F to 400 F.
I'm getting some rise in my tank but it's slow going, I just threw a few more sticks in. My zone controller is lit up like a Christmas tree, lots of load from the house tonight.
It took a bit longer to get the old girl gassing tonight but then again that might just be me sitting there watching it. You know the whole wet paint thing...
Don't feel like the lone ranger Kopeck. I swear I could read the paper by the zone "lighting" in the utility room. Funny.. Oil tanks are still full from Oct.
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