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How Many Pellets???????????

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Robzheat, Oct 16, 2006.

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  1. Robzheat

    Robzheat New Member

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    How many pellets do you use on a normal day in October like today when night temps are 33, day temps 55. It seems I went through alot, almost bag in a half. I have heard from the dealer and others that they use about a bag a day. I can see me using 2 bags a day when its cold.

    i had the settings at Room temp- 71
    Feed rate --- 4

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  2. BigV

    BigV Member

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    Fortunately I now have a wood burner in my family room and a pellet stove in my dining room. I only use the pellet stove in the mornings to take the chill off the air when the kids are getting ready for school and use about a bag every 3 to 4 days.
    Before I put the wood burner in I was using about 1-½ bags a day when the temperature got below 30 degrees. I don’t think it would be unreasonable to use 2 bags a day on cold days with just the pellet stove as the primary heat source.
  3. smirnov3

    smirnov3 Feeling the Heat

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    I'm a newbie pellet burner, with a Harman accentra, and what I saw with my set up was that the stove called for heat just often enough so that the stove never let the fire go out.

    The distribution blower would crank up for a bit, then turn down to off or almost nothing for 15 minutes. During this time, the stove kept feeding pellets, and the fire stays lit.

    I think that it's intrinsic to the stove - because it takes longer to get a solid fuel fire going, the stove responds slower than oil/gas. so on not-so-cold days, it wastes fuel.

    Or that's the way it seems to me. like I said, I'm new at this, so I could be way off base.
  4. TedNH

    TedNH Member

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    I have been playing with my XXV. Last night I turned the feed rate down from the recommended 4 to 3. That seems to have made a difference. I didnt use nearly that many pellets last night as I have been.
    Im going to call the dealer it a little while and pick their brains.
    Im also turning down the stove to 65* before I go to bed.
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    You might want to try setting the thermostat back a couple degrees. We kept our room temp set to 68 degrees during the day and 62 degrees from 11-6am. That would use maybe 1/2 to 3/4 bag/day given the temps mentioned and how windy it was. This was for heating a 2000 sq. ft, older farmhouse. When daytime temps dropped into the low 40's we'd go up to 1 bag/day. The only time we would go into 1.5 bags/day was when the temps dropped into the 30's during the day and 20's at night. But this includes supplementing with the woodstove in the evenings, when the temps were below 45.
  6. skypager

    skypager New Member

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    I'm not experienced with the Harman models but I've found on/off thermostats cause the stoves to use more pellets. I feel that the best way to operate a pellet stove is to always have it running and adjust the heat output as needed.

    A thermostat, especially on/off type, causes frequent temp variations in a home whereas a pellet stove burns best maintaining a steady level of heat, not requiring many more pellets when you want to turn it up. If you think about it there is a lot of heat you don't get into the home when the heat exchange is warming up and this happens multiple times a day with an on/off tstat. A Hi/Lo thermostat seems to work ok as the heat exchanger is already on its way to being good and hot.

    My parents had a Vermont Castings Pellet stove many years ago. (Yeah, VC made one short lived pellet stove and it was unlike any other pellet stove I've ever seen, not in a good way.) The stove was an inefficeint bottom feeder that constantly spilt half burned pellets out of the burn pot. Even as it was, they only used about one bag a day by running it on low during the day when no one was home, cranking it to high for about an hour when they arrived home in the evening, then putting it down to medium overnight.

    They heated a 1300 sq ft ranch this way for about 10 years and rarely turned on the baseboard electric heat. (Now they use a Quadrafire Direct Vent LP stove / aprox 30,000 BTU / a little more expensive but no more 40# bags to lug up the steps)
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    This wasn't the case with our Quad. On the digital thermostat, one could set the temperature swing quite precisely. I had it set to 1 degree swing. The thermostat was located in the hallway and not in the livingroom where the insert was installed. It worked very well. I think the larger swings in temp can be due to a poorly located thermostat, a leaky house, or both. But in our home, the Quad heated as evenly as the propane furnace.
  8. TedNH

    TedNH Member

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    Harmans do not allow you to adjust the temp swing. Im still confused by the feed rate. I spoke with the shop that I got the stove at this morning and they said to leave it at 4...no matter what.
  9. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Some shops don't have a clue sometimes it's all experimentation for your particular setup.... This year I have mine set at 3 on the feed (last several years at 4)
    temp at 75* and most important it the room temp knob set at medium.... This allows the stove to ramp up and down the blower speed based on temp...
    My wife decided one day to turn the knob to high...... It blew hot air out for 10 minutes then it started to get cooler, the blower actually will remove too much heat from the heat exchangers and the stove can't seem to keep up so adding more and more pellets is it's only choice.....
    So my question is what is your blower set to?
    In the dead of winter I can usually get almost 24 hours on a 60 pound hopper full.
  10. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    heres a little hint, Ted....go ahead, set the feeder at 4, and time how long the feeder actually runs in a minute...then try it at 3, time how long it runs for a minute, and for laughs, set it at 5 and time the same way....you will notice a certain consistency by a certain factor....see what that factor is....
    anyways, 3-4 is fine, we set most of ours between 3 and 3-1/2.
  11. Robzheat

    Robzheat New Member

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    GVA,, What is the room temp knob??? Do you mean the distribution fan knob on Medium?
  12. Robzheat

    Robzheat New Member

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    Well I turned the feed rate down to 3 and seems to give off plenty of heat and I feel less pellets were used
  13. pelletheat

    pelletheat New Member

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    I copied a post from last year regarding the operation of Harman auto ignite pellet stoves, I hope this helps.

    The feed rate setting on Harman pellet stoves is based on a 60 second cycle. When the stove has a demand for heat based on your “Room Temp” setting of 74* and is 3* below the setpoint the stove will initially run the augar on a 60 second cycle, feed rate of 4 means the augar will run for 40 seconds, idle for 20 seconds. This cycle continues until the temp being registered by the room sensor approaches the temp setpoint on the stove, before the temp over shoots the target setpoint the circuit board over rides the initial feed cycle and starts to maintain the heat output by running the augar only to keep the room temp satisfied, this will vary within the 60 second cycle. When the room temp has been satisfied the stove will run the augar approx. 7 seconds every minute to keep fuel in the burnpot. If you are running your stove in “Auto” with self ignition the stove will shutoff when it “CAN NOT” maintain a temp within 3* (77*)of your setpoint. Mostly on warmer days in the spring and fall. Having the feed rate set to low will not allow the stove to bring the room temp up in a reasonable amount of time, thus it will take much longer to achieve a setpoint with a feed rate of 2 because the augar will only cycle fuel for 20 seconds and sit idle for 40 seconds. You can potentially consume more fuel with a low feed rate setting, because you limit the max BTU output of the stove.
  14. smirnov3

    smirnov3 Feeling the Heat

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    And too high a feed rate results in too big a fire to transfer heat effectivly. So it sound like you have to dead some seat-of-your-pants adgustments, following some golden rules (HarryBack, correct me if I get these wrong)

    1) for premium pellets, feed rate should be between 3-4

    2) If it takes too long to heat up area, try turning up the feed rate. If it doesn't help, turn it back down

    3) if you seem to be going through pellets too fast or there are pellet bits in your ash, turn the feed rate down

    4) go back to step 1) and repeat. Stop when summer arrives.
  15. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    yea, that pretty much sums it up, Anton.
  16. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Yes the room temp know controls the dist. blower speed Harman sometimes moves the knobs around on the control board not sure if they remame them. But on mine it is the room temp, off, and stove temp knob that I am talking about.
  17. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    actually, the control knobs all stay in the same place on the board, GVA, in fact, for all of the auto-igniting stoves, the control boards are one in the same....identical. Some models do have the control board mounted upside down, so on a quick inspection you might think they are different, but they arent. The labelling is identical as well. If you can run a p68, then you'd use the same procedures to run any of those stoves...always nice to sell someone their second Harman.....no learning curve.
  18. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    That's probably it (the upside down board) on my brother in laws accentra freestanding it has that funky little door thats hard to open and the knobs were not in the same location as mine I just never really looked at it, but knew that they were not like mine......
  19. moog5

    moog5 Member

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    The person you spoke to in your shop doesn't seem to understand that the feed rate needs to be determined based on the type of pellets you are using. Forget what everyone is telling you and follow the owners manual. I remember when I installed my xxv last year, I read it over and over, and for some reason, I read right past it, because the instructions on how to set it really don't stick out too well in their manual. I remember going through what you were/are going through (watching those red embers fall off the edge), digging through the manual and not being able to find the feed setting instructions. I followed these instructions last year and this year, and when I read your post, it still took me 10 minutes to find where the instructions were in the Manual.

    Go to page 16 and follow the steps under "Helpful Hint #7". If you follow these steps, your ash should never get to be less than 1" wide, unless the stove is pushing out a hi feed rate of pellets when the mass of red hot coals isn't up to snuff (caused by a dirty grate, iginiter area, or a coal mass which is still trying to grow larger, the reason for the 30 minute long burn time between checks of ash widths). "Helpful Hint #4" should reference "Hint#7".

    If you don't have the xxv owners manual, here is a link to Harmans pdf version.

    http://www.harmanstoves.com/doc/xxvm.pdf
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