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indoor wood stove/boilers

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by toddm, Mar 20, 2009.

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  1. toddm

    toddm Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    south central pa
    They say it can't be done, but it is done routinely in Europe. For proof, here is German gasifier boiler claiming 90 percent efficiency and 70 percent output to water http://www.he-energy.de/Downloads/HEE_Walltherm_engl.pdf and designed for the living room. Yes, it is expensive, and doubly so priced in Euros. But here is the British made Stratford SEB-20 which is 73 percent efficient and delivers 60 percent of its output to water. www.eco-boiler.com I have one in my garage at this moment; I bought it on www.ebay.co.uk and got delivered this month for $2,300, all in, thanks to the depressed British pound.
    So why does this site say in an article about domestic hot water: "A woodstove cannot produce the volumes of water needed to heat your home through a baseboard or radiator system." And why does woodheat.org say "The first thing that needs to be said is that a wood stove is not the right device for heating water for in-floor radiant. You would never get enough heat off a wood stove to make a dent in radiant heating needs."
    What they mean to say is that you wouldn't take your U.S.-built horse and buggy out onto the Interstate. They are mum on efficacy of aiming a Mercedes or Land Rover at the divided highway. (To be fair, Europeans have enjoyed 30 years of coherent energy policy. The U.S. stove industry has been whipped from pillar to post.)
    Why does indoor matter? Given adequate storage, an indoor boiler can deliver btus at far greater efficiency than OWBs, to say nothing of the charm of flames dancing in your living room. The average attentive homeowner can tailor relatively short, hot, nightly burns with far greater effect than an OWB cycling in and out of idle mode. The question of handling wood outside vs. inside comes down to how much wood we're talking about. If the German Walltherm burns a third as much wood as an OWB, would you be reluctant to cart it into the house?
    Trouble is, the U.S. industry wants you to think there is no choice. Here is the Hearth Patio and Barbecue Association, the trade group for stove retailers on the subject of EPA certifications: "In the U.S., it is illegal to buy a new wood stove unless it has been EPA-certified."
    And the EPA on the same subject: "In some states and jurisdictions, it is illegal to offer for sale, purchase, operate or sell a house containing a wood stove not certified by the EPA Wood Heater Program."
    Obviously you want to check, and reach for the salt shaker if someone says "trust me, I sell stoves."

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  2. Fi-Q

    Fi-Q Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Messages:
    273
    Loc:
    Bonaventure, Quebec
    Nice Boiler !!! I agree with you..... That's the kind of thing I would like too have.... and it's way cheaper than an Gasification unit !

    As it's not UL (neither CSA) approuved, what did you insurance company say about it ?? That would be my only concern !
  3. sdrobertson

    sdrobertson Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Messages:
    733
    Loc:
    West Michigan
    Those are nice looking boiler...can't wait till you get it hooked up so we can see how she runs. Looking at the technical data it shows flue temp of 403c which is 757 degrees. That's cookin but I'm not sure what a regular wood furnace runs at. I wish they had a technical drawing to show the heat exchanger as this would be pretty interesting to see. Good luck with the installation and can't wait for the photos.
  4. toddm

    toddm Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Loc:
    south central pa
    This is new construction so it will be a while.
    I haven't raised the subject yet with my insurer, but there is certainly no shame in owning a British stove. The Brits are better at regulating them as well as building them. HETAS is their UL, EPA and BOCA rolled into one. Manufacturers answer to HETAS on safety and emissions, retailers on performance claims, and service people on installation and maintenance procedures.
    The last could be troublesome, granted. There aren't too many stoves in this part of the world with four 28mm taps on the back of them. But my installation is as basic as it gets: thermosiphon connection to a vented indirect tank, heating in turn 25 tons of concrete slab that will warm 1 degree/hr at average output. Stratford specs require a cold water supply capable of adding water as fast as the stove can lose it, so the most likely disaster is water damage. These stoves literally are all over Europe.
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