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I'm new here but I do own an EKO-40 Wood Gasification boiler

Post in 'The Green Room' started by kc10ken, Apr 19, 2007.

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  1. kc10ken

    kc10ken New Member

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    Just discovered this board and wanted to let you know, for anyone who's thinking of buying a wood gasification boiler, that I installed an EKO-40 Wood Gasification boiler 2 years ago and I LOVE IT.

    I haven't spent a dime on heating oil in two years now. I've got it hooked up in tandem with my oil boiler. My house has a hot water baseboard heating system. All my firewood is FREE.

    My house is large...3300 square feet. I have the EKO-40 down in my basement right next to my oil boiler. In the coldest days of winter I load it in the morning and then in the evening....twice a day.......and it heats my entire house AND provides domestic hot water all day and night.

    I LOVE THIS BOILER.

    I looked into the TARM boilers but decided on the EKO because it was better quality and a cheaper price. In the two years I've operated this thing it has more than paid for itself. I bought it from the New Horizon Corp. in Virginia and they were VERY helpful with advice during the installation. I do not have a heat storage tank.

    Anyway...there's my 2 cents worth.

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    One of my main concerns is that all my wood is 24 inches, which is too big for the Tarm. But everything I hear about the EKO tells me that there are no compromises made in design or construction.
  3. kc10ken

    kc10ken New Member

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    I'd have to get out a ruler and actually measure the length of the loading chamber to confirm the size of the wood that I use in my EKO-40...but I WILL say this......I have found that the boiler runs best when I load it with the longest and largest split logs I can manage to get into the loading chamber. ALSO.....make sure the wood has the proper moister content (85%?..I could be wrong on that). I have never actually used a device to test the moisture content of the wood that I burn but I have learned from experience that when I use VERY dry wood and or small logs it tends to burn really fast and not produce as much steady heat.

    Hardwoods burn better too.
  4. kc10ken

    kc10ken New Member

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    On second thought 24" should be no problem for the EKO-40.
  5. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I'm getting the 60, which is advertised as taking wood up to 25 inches, but I believe you can get longer pieces in there. The wood moisture content should be between 15 and 25%, I believe. The 85% sounds like the efficiency.
  6. kc10ken

    kc10ken New Member

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    WOW....the EKO-60 is a BIG unit. The plumber I had install my EKO-40 told me that this boiler is big enough to heat 3 houses of my size, 3300 square feet.

    I am more than certain that the logs I load into the EKO-40 are far more than 24" long. I also noticed that I get the most efficiency and heat when I load the logs nice and tight, one on top of the other, intead of just throwing them in haphazardly. Sometimes if a log is TOO long instead of loading it in diagonally and wasting space, I'll just cut it in half. Are you going to intall a domestic hot water coil on yours?
  7. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Here's what I'm going to heat. I'm currently using a conventional 150,000 btu/hr wood-fired boiler which is not quite big enough to do the job when it's below zero. As you can see, I have a place to put lots of excess heat during warmer weather.

    I'm going to stick with my current DHW arrangement, which is a sidearm heat exchanger. And I'm putting in a 1,000 gallon storage tank.

    Also, how much wood do you burn in a year? Where do you live?

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  8. kc10ken

    kc10ken New Member

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    EXCELLENT!

    What's a DHW arrangement?

    Let me know how you make out with the system you are installing. I STILL might add a heat storage tank. Your house looks huge....how many square feet? Also, my house is new construction (3300 Sq feet) so it's well insulated which is why I think my boiler works so well.
  9. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    DHW is domestic hot water.

    The house is the original 1865 farmhouse with several additions for a total of about 3,000 square feet, plus the greenhouse. I'd say the insulation is fair to moderate. Heating with nat. gas would run about $5,000, I suspect. I really don't know because I've been heating with wood for the past three winters. The boiler is in a cinderblock room in the barn. That's where the EKO is going, too.

    Here's the thread documenting my tank project.

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/6929/P45/
  10. kc10ken

    kc10ken New Member

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    You've got the right idea about locating the boiler in a seperate room outside the house and piping the water in. If I had to do it all over again I MIGHT be tempted to do that as the only downside of my EKO 40 is the occasional smoke in the basement. I don't like the idea of having to go out into sub zero temperatures to load the damn thing twice a day though!
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    What is a reasonable distance for the bolier to be from the house before heat loss is a serious issue? I have a friend that is looking into a HW boiler heater. He wants to put it into his shop which will be about 150 feet from the house. Is this feasible or does the heat loss make it impractical due to oversizing requirements to make up the loss?
  12. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Mine is about 100 feet from the gas boiler that my zones originate from. I don't think 150 feet is unreasonable--OWBs go that far all the time. If you have enough insulation--especially if the lines are buried--it shouldn't be an issue.

    What is an issue is the size of the pump. You need a pretty big one to make a 300-foot loop.
  13. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    KC...Welcome to the forum...

    ...Glad to hear from another "Wood Boiler Head" :)

    Honestly though...I don't mind "Going out into the cold" to feed a fire that keeps me warm...being able to keep more green in the wallet is worth a few trips into the cold. Matter of fact...it's somewhat refreshing...I do alot of work outdoors all year round...it's nice to go out and cool off..."The Mrs." likes a "nice warm house"...a little too warm for me at times...

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  14. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I've done it both ways, and there are pros and cons to each. I don't like the radiant heat from the stack being wasted and I'm sure there's some inefficiency in the long piping loop through unheated space. I have to do a better insulation job on the piping. On the other hand, it's nice to keep all the wood and ashes and other mess in a place where it's not a big deal. And if all I have to do is go out there twice a day, I'll be way ahead of where I am now. When it's below zero, I'm running out there all the time throwing armloads of wood into my old boiler.

    I've got a couple more questions and an observation.

    First, you say that your EKO holds fire in the coals for a long time after the gasification process shuts down. Would that still be the case if you fired it really hard and then didn't put anymore wood in it? Could you fire it once a day, for example, and not have to light a new fire?

    The reason I ask is that I'd like to fire mine really hard and stuff the excess heat into the tank, then fire it hard again when the tank is depleted. In warmer weather, this would probably involve firing it once a day--maybe even less than that. My impression from talking with Tarm owners who have Solo 60s and 800 gallon tanks, is that they do it that way, except that they have to start a new fire whenever they crank the thing back up.

    Since you don't have a tank, your EKO 40 must be idling much of the time, especially in warmer weather, which I guess explains the creosote. I suspect it wouldn't be as much of a problem if you could go all-out and store the heat.

    I'm really happy to hear about your experience with the EKO 40. Sounds like a lot of fun.
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