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Ideal Setup For Pole Building Shop/Living Quarters

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Slick85, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. Slick85

    Slick85 New Member

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    Hi all. Great site you have here. So glad I've found this place. My fiancee and I are in the process of designing and then building a pole building shop with attached living quarters. Right now we are leaning towards the size range of 40x80x20 with around 30 feet of it finished(2 story). I am looking for opinions on what would be the best way to heat this space with wood as fuel. My family farms and has several acres of timber which we cut wood off of every year. My dad and granpa have 3 Hardy stoves between them. We burn a LOT of wood. Not knowing any better I was looking into adding a Hardy to my future building, but found out that my state(Indiana) no longer allows the old style OWB. It sounds like this could be a blessing in disguise.ha

    From my limited reading here, it seems as low an indoor gasifier boiler is much more efficient and will burn substantially less wood than what I am used to with the Hardys. This would be amazing. I may even be able to convert my dad and grandpa from their Hardys!

    I'm not against adding a seperate storage building attached to my building. Don't think I would want the boiler on the inside of the shop, unless you all could talk me into it? I have looked into radiant heat in the concrete slab and that sounds like that is a good option. Thoughts on that? Would a Garn Jr. type boiler lend itself well to this application? Thanks in advance for the help.

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  2. Unless you get a gasification boiler with lambda controls you'll probably burn just as much wood as a typical owb.

    (don't shoot the messenger, just repeating what I heard)
  3. NE WOOD BURNER

    NE WOOD BURNER Minister of Fire

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  4. Slick85

    Slick85 New Member

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    So I take it the garn doesn't fit into this category? Can you give me some examples of a unit like you mention? I assume this will substantially add to the cost?
  5. Slick85

    Slick85 New Member

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    NE WOOD BURNER: I have been looking at that thread, thanks. What wood burning option would make the most sense for a setup like mine?
  6. nrcrash

    nrcrash Member

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    Slick- Don't pay attention to Mike, he's just has some lambda control envy. He won't admit it but he wishes he could retro fit his biomass with some lambda controls..... unfortunately he can't, so he'll be unhappy little ball of hate until his biomass dies and he upgrades to something with lambda controls.
    flyingcow likes this.
  7. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    I would look into an indoor gasifier with storage. That could either be incorprated with the boiler like the Garn, or separate. Also keep in mind you might not be able to put the boiler in the shop - fumes & flames are a bad mix. but you could maybe partition off a place for it with its own separate outside entry.

    Within that the possibilities are, well, there's lots of them.

    Maybe Mike can share details of his V-Gun :)
  8. NE WOOD BURNER

    NE WOOD BURNER Minister of Fire

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    What State do you live?
  9. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    On occasion I feel like I'm walking down a middle school hallway around here. Weird flashbacks to be having...

    If I could break into the "my air jordans are better than your pumps" debate I will offer the following:

    If you're building new I'd consider investing heavily in insualtion and all the things that go along with it. If you go over-the-top on insulation, windows, doors, etc. you may find yourself in a position to heat that new building with a 100W lightbulb after it's all said and done (slight exageration, but pumps on your shoes will change your life).

    Consider how solar gain can be used in your building design to suplement heat. Consider using low temp emitters everywhere possible. And make that hog of a building R200 top to bottom!

    Just my two cents. I just heard the bell ring so I better get to it...I just wish I remembered where my locker was.
    BoilerMan likes this.
  10. Slick85

    Slick85 New Member

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    NE WOOD BURNER - I'm located in Indiana. Maple1 - That would be my plan, build an attachment to the main building, if the storage was built in like the Garn. What about a setup with the storage in the main shop with the boiler located close by in another attached(but seperated) portion of the building?
    stee6043 - I plan to spray foam the entire structure. Anyone have any realistic guesstimates as to the amount of wood used with a gasifier vs. a Hardy(or similar)? Is what I am planning economical vs. conventional heating? Will the payback be there?
  11. Slick85

    Slick85 New Member

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    Keep in mind it would be essentially "free" wood.
  12. NE WOOD BURNER

    NE WOOD BURNER Minister of Fire

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  13. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

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    Hello, yes a indoor gasser is a lot more efficient than a Hardy. My insurance wouldn't let me put mine in the shop. I was going to put it in a partitioned area so I could get any heat loss from the boiler in the building during the winter and vent the room outdoors in the summer if I wanted to heat water for pool or domestic. radiant is nice heat, but you cant change the temp fast with it and then you dont have duct work to add central air unless u put it in just for the air. I would insulate the slab whether you go radiant or not. I built a shed for mine and love it like that. No mess or smoke in the shop or house. I have a cord of wood inside next to it and 5 cord just outside the door right where I split it.
  14. Slick85

    Slick85 New Member

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    Good information woodsmaster, thanks. That is something to think about with the radiant heat, as far as still needing the duct work for air conditioning. Would geothermal be a worthwhile option? I understand that can cool as well...
  15. Way to attack the messenger.

    Let's just say that when certain salesmen are at the fairs they like to hype certain aspects of their boilers beyond all credible belief.

    Kind of like this guy
    <iframe width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/LWLfBXbu7Io?feature=player_embedded" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  16. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    Radiant is nice, if you heat the area all the time. Cement slab takes a long time to heat and cool off. I have a truck garage that i only heat when I need to. Unit heater no radiant slab. As noted above, good idea to insulate slab anyways.

    If you would like cooling options, try http://www.mitsubishicomfort.com/?u...and Residential&utm_term=mitsubishi heat pump one of these, or fujistu makes them also. I just had the mitsu unit installed. Pretty efficient and simple. Throws some very good heat too.
  17. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    A couple things about the Garn........We have put several in garage type areas with no issues code or otherwise because it is essentially a sealed combustion unit. All air for the fire comes from outside the building when it's burning and unless you open the door with a fire in it the flame is never exposed to the inside environment. Check with your own insurance company and local code people because the design of the Garn introduces a somewhat gray area to the rule about wood burners in a garage and their interpretation may vary from what we have found here. A Garn is also sidewall vent so with your building height you are going to save some serious dough on Class A chimney for a typical gasser.

    Lambda controls......They have their place but in a batch burn unit like a Garn they really don't increase efficiency all that much. When you're starting out with a piece of equipment that runs 80% at minimum there just isn't much room for improvement.
    On any cordwood burner that cycles the fire on/off to maintain a water temperature setpoint, yes.....a Lambda controlled unit will give you a couple points of efficiency and a cleaner burn. Lot's of testing by various agencies has shown that so it's not a matter of dispute in my book.
    For a batch burn set up like a Garn or another gasser with adequate storage to consume the entire load of wood, it really doesn't gain you much.
  18. Slick85

    Slick85 New Member

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    Thanks for the link to the mitsu unit. That could work out really well in our new "bouse". What was the cost on the Mitsubishi if you don't mind? Thanks.
  19. nrcrash

    nrcrash Member

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    LOVE that video! The same woods been burning for 5 days!!!! I guess I've found my next boiler;)

    But I fail to see what that video has to do with bashing lambda controls...... They are a nice option, but won't keep the wood burning for 5 days like the Papa Bear:p[/quote]
  20. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Wonder what ol' Larry is up to these days....
  21. __dan

    __dan Burning Hunk

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    Radiant heated slab. If t were me, I would kick myself if I poured the slab without it. Minimum 2" rigid foam under the slab, more is better. I did 2" and would do 4" if I was pouring today. Be sure to do vapor barrier and thermal break the edges. Insulate the building envelope as much as possible. I would do 2" foam again under the siding minimum.

    Inside gasifier with storage, outside wood storage. In your application you may be able to do a separate inside boiler room with its own door to the outside, at grade, to bring in the wood. That would be sweet. A Garn could be good for your application, but with the radiant slab and storage, you would have a wide choice of the inside gasifier boilers. Direct sidewall venting of the Garn is a huge plus as previously stated.

    Pole building, is that something with no footing, the poles are set as individual piers? If you're going to all the trouble of building a premium lifetime structure, what is the savings of poles on piers over a conventional full foundation. I would consider a reinforced floating slab poured over the rigid foam.
  22. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    I have all radiant slab, slow to respond, but that is good with wood heat and batch burning IMHO. I built 4 years ago, only went 2" blueboard under slab, 6mil vapor barrio on gravel base as well. I'm very well insulated above the slab, still only burn 3.5 cord. I did double the 2" foam around the edge of the slab where the majority of the heatloss is.

    TS
  23. 700renegade

    700renegade Member

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    This reminds me of where I was 4 years ago.

    I just built a 60x60x17 man cave on my hobby farm. I framed out a 16'x 60' strip for a rec room(bar)/ bathroom/ wifes craft room/ boiler room. Above that is now all storage for all my seasonal items like snowmobiles, spare parts, woodworking area, etc. I put the heavy stuff up with the skidsteer.

    My boiler room opens up to the interior of the shop, but it's equipped with a 7' overhead door and man door so I can somewhat seal it off from the shop. I do worry about fumes, as I've already arrived in the AM to find an ATV that's split a fuel line and drained out its tank onto my floor. I have seperate air intake/exhaust from that boiler room, but if I were to do it over, I'd put an insulated overhead door to the outside and only have the man door with a closer to the shop interior. I bring in my wood in IBC totes.

    I put mine on a real footing and 4' frost wall ( only cost $6k ) and floated the slab on 3" of foam. Stick built 2x8 at 24" so doors, windows and interior finishing are simple. Your plan to spray foam is spot on but remember that you get 80% of the value of the foam out of the first inch. The second inch has minimal value if you fill the remainder of the cavity with decent traditional insulation. As for vapor barrier under floor foam, most foam skin acts as a vapor barrier itself.

    Dan brings up a good point - if you run in-floor radiant with a pole shed you will have some headaches insulating the edges to prevent major losses out the edges of the slab.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013
  24. Slick85

    Slick85 New Member

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    This is really great info. If I'm understanding right, the heat loss you are talking about is from the "sidewall" of the concrete slab because you can't put insulation around the perimeter of the concrete? What is the best way to remedy this? Does anyone have pictures of their building? That would be awesome. Thank you!
  25. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    I don't think I've seen yet where you're located? (i.e. the climate?).

    The kind of building that you're talking about doing, plus your access to & experiance with wood buring, seems to me to be the ideal situation to incorporate indoor gassification + storage to heat it all with. Keep reading, now all you have to do is iron out the 'little' details. For starters, since you'll be living in at least part of it, I think I would put in-floor heat in your slab for constant even heat - need to sort that out now, pretty hard to add it later. You can always add rads & modine heaters later if necessary.

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