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How much to get into the gasifier game?

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by velvetfoot, Dec 31, 2007.

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  1. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I'm just thinking pie in the sky numbers, no storage or stack, small unit.
    Really, really approximate, order of magnitude kind of thing.
    Just dreaming.
    Thanks.

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Click on the Cozy Heat banner and the EKO section has prices. For a small gasifier like the 25, it's around $5,000, delivered to a commercial address with a forklift. Depending on how much plumbing and accessories (mixing valves, pumps, etc.) needed, another $1,000 to $2,000, I'd say. That's DIY. You'd have to contact Tarm and Econoburn (banner below) for their pricing.

    Mine's nothing fancy--just aquastats and pumps for the most part. I do have a low-water cut-off switch that I picked up on Ebay for $10 a few years ago.
  3. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    There are a few folks who've gone whole hog on the DIY route. My brother's gasifier budget was something like this:

    Awesome Miller MIG welder - $2000
    Stainless Steel stock - $1000
    Everything else - $1000

    Labor: One whole summer's worth of every minute of spare time.

    Otherwise, a minimal installation doesn't have to be a whole lot more complicated than the boiler, a mixing valve, and a circulator pump. The mixing valve is to keep the boiler inlet temp high enough to protect the boiler from condensation damage. This assumes, of course, that you have a hydronic heating system (baseboards, radiators, or radiant coils) to hook it up to.

    My initial install for my EKO 25 wasn't much more complicated than that.
  4. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    A Tarm Solo Plus 40 about $7,000; add about $2000 for pumps, plumbing, thermostats, everything else.
  5. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Thanks guys. That give me an idea of what I'd get into.
  6. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    I have been considering something similar. Say Eric you seem to be one of the more familiar with this stuff. How much smoke will something similar to yours leak into the house when you are tending it if its in the basement. Secondly, can you vent these through a masonary chimney? I already have a boiler that I don't want to give up completely but would consider sliding over and powerventing and hooking to the wood boiler if doable. I like the idea of the staple up radiant to augment my pellet stove. It does get cold in those back bedrooms.
  7. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    I'll reply on the smoke issue, as I have one in my basement.

    I don't get smoke as long as I don't open it when it's cranking. I fill it pretty good before I light it, and only add wood when it starts to die down. You can tell because the gasification rumble fades out, the stack temperature drops, and the water jacket temp drops a bit. I try not to let it get to coals, just don't open it when it's at peak output.
  8. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I wouldn't want to be in a position to predict draft on any chimney. But you can certainly vent a gasifier into a tile chimney liner. Since they produce no creosote, that's not an issue.

    My boiler is out in the barn, so I'm less concerned with smoke than I would be if it were in the basement. Basically, it never smokes while operating. When you open the loading door, you will get a face full of smoke under the conditions described by nofossil. I think, like him, you would figure out pretty quick how to avoid that. And I would tend to undersize a gasifier going into living space. Especially without hot water storage, you want to run it hard for a clean burn. Idling is not the end of the world, but it does present some maintenance issues involving smoke.

    I have a straight-shot 8" Duratech chimney rising straight up from the boiler exhaust about 25 feet with excellent draft. But it will still produce smoke when you open the fuel loading door at certain points in the cycle. I've never figured that out, but my old, conventional wood fired boiler, hooked up to the same chimney, did the same thing. It seems to be a common trait of gasifiers. When you think about it, a gasifier's firebox is no different from a regular wood fired boiler or OWB. It's the bottom chamber where the magic happens.
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