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Insight video report concerning OWBs.

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by tronsliver, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. tronsliver

    tronsliver New Member

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    Here is a link to a recent video report concerning OWBs. What makes this report different are perspectives from Central Boiler's law firm and Farm Bureau. With the anticipated changes to NSPS now being debated many are concerned that EPA's Method 28 WHH does not represent real world use of so called gasifier OWBs. You'll notice in the video that one of the complaints involves a Central Boiler EClassis 2400, 800 feet away from a neighbor.

    http://wcnyconnected.com/insight
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2013

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  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Good report, IMHO.....

    The Central Boiler guy is using the old "we want them to do it right"....same with the Farm guy. Pass the buck, it seems.

    I have to commend the host for doing their homework. It's rare to see a fairly informed show. Sure, there is some BS being thrown around (of all types), but in general it's more accurate than most debates.

    This whole thing, IMHO, is due to the original loopholes and the many companies that don't care enough and let the greed steer them. It's one thing to phase regs in over 10 years or so, quite another to be able to sell these 25+ years after better systems were devised.
    flyingcow likes this.
  3. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    Hmmm. No admission by CB that their product might be less than satisfactory. Go figure.

    Both the Farm Bureau guy and CB's lawyer seem to think .....or at least maybe parrot the company line that if you install and burn the OWB right everything will be OK.
    Go figure.

    Neither the FB guy or the CB lawyer seem to grasp or at least admit to the fact that an OWB,.......any OWB and many indoor boilers too, cannot burn clean. It is physically impossible unless thermal storage is involved in the process. A fire simply cannot be cycled on/off/on and be expected to maintain combustion temperatures required to maintain a gasification burn process.

    Good combustion technology coupled with storage is the only way to burn wood cleanly. Unfortunately the manufacturers will fight this tooth and nail until the EPA finally says enough and bans all wood burners period.

    All I can say to everyone here is don't become a reason for others to hate wood burning. Do it right or else don't do it at all.

    I read through a new standard a couple weeks ago that actually makes sense. Let's hope it is universally adopted and enforced. Then we might still be able to burn wood in another decade and beyond.
    charly, ewdudley and leon like this.
  4. leon

    leon New Member

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    AAAYYYYYY CARAMBA LUCY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    I am certainly glad a I have a commercial wood splitter to split all my wood into small pieces !!!!

    Did you see all the unsplit blocks he has in that bloody thing just smoldering before he tossed in
    another one for the benefit of the camera crew and the reporter/news lady? !!!


    He would gain so much more good will if he filled that thing half full or more with full fire brick or
    the 12 by 12 firebrick used in pizza ovens!!!!!


    Even though my neighbors are a bit away from me on either side I always burn hot and wide
    open with the small amount of water in my switzer wood and coal boiler and the Buderus oil boiler.
  5. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Well, OWBs are banned in WA and in OR now. There are different reasons and different laws in either state as to why. And yes, they are not outright banned, but no currently available OWBs can be sold in either state, which in effect means they are banned here. All but one IWB (the Greenwood, only available in WA state) are also banned in both states, again for different reasons. WA requires EPA testing and state certification before they can be sold, OR is waiting for clearer wood boiler regulations and testing requirements from EPA (which may never happen). Forget selling them used, they cannot be sold new or used in either state.

    You scream and you will likely get more states with more laws banning more wood burning devices, and not just OWBs. I believe that smoke dragons are the far bigger issue, and by a wide measure. I mean, boilers are and never were very common out here, and we still have smoke problems in these states. The net effect of the OWB ban has been zero here. And CB is a far more responsible company than many other (if not all other) OWB builders in my experience of installing, owning and running OWBs. There are a million and one fly-by-night OWB companies out there, and they will never have EPA certs.

    To the OP, who seems to be on a mission to trash talk OWBs (and particularly CB) on many forums like this on the web: I suggest that you move to WA state where you will be safe from the perils and evils of OWBs. They also have the toughest laws on all wood burning devices and burning. Or move to Santa Clara Co., CA where all types of wood burning devices have been banned in new construction and remodeling for many decades now. Its funny, but smoke is still an issue in winter months in both WA state and the SF South Bay area though... :rolleyes:
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 28, 2013
  6. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    hobbyheater likes this.
  7. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    This was pointed out here before and threads were erased or closed.

    I think this particular report and video are educational, though. Do you agree?
    flyingcow likes this.
  8. tronsliver

    tronsliver New Member

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    I agree, it's bad enough cycling technology alone causes problems but throw on top of that wet wood, oversized units, or improper placement and you have a compounded problem. I always asserted that one of the problems with traditional OWBs is the amount of wood they burn. Most folks start with good intentions but find they can't keep up and give in to wet wood.
  9. tronsliver

    tronsliver New Member

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    I have some reservations about the changes to NSPS concerning Method 28 WHH but the one good thing is the elimination of traditional OWBs. As you correctly stated greed has been the driver and the new standards will eliminate the worst of the worst. Hopefully this will also force more manufacturers to adopt thermal storage and abandon cycling technology.
  10. Fred61

    Fred61 Minister of Fire

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    I didn't watch the video to the very end (ran out of time) but without any mention that wood can be burned cleaner, the video damages the wood burning community in the eyes of the general public.
    BoilerMan likes this.
  11. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    What in particular?
  12. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh, interesting.
    I'm watching it through the eyes of someone who knows it can.....be burned better, even in "dirty" boilers.

    But, Fred, that's not the issue here. The reason regulations exist is that things often don't work right or are not operated right. There is not a single source of emission in this (or other advanced countries) which is not regulated.

    I think the video puts forward the essential question - does a neighbor have the right to smoke you out? It's not about the neighbors who don't.
  13. leon

    leon New Member

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    Speaking as a New York State resident and wood and
    coal burner for 31 years.

    The NYSDEC has become a toothless money deficient/
    low priority department of the government of the
    State of New York.

    Even Prior to Governor Patterson's term in office the
    NYSDEC has had year after year after year of toothless
    operating budgets.

    The issue of hydrauic fracturing is also a huge factor in this simply
    because of all the special interests involved and the loss in revenue
    to land owners as well as the potential for harm to the surrounding
    home owners that would be affected by drilling IF it is allowed.

    Before I get any further;

    As a certified and unregistered water well driller and pump intaller
    I think I am able to look at this issue and discuss it adequately.

    NOW what the various New York Stateland owners associations
    and the New York State Oil and Gas Drillers association are NOT
    discussing freely is this:

    They claim fracturing for oil and gas has been done safely for
    many many years in New York State.


    WHAT THEY FAIL TO EXPLAIN IS:

    There is a difference in Vertical Well Fracturing and the tecnique of
    Horizontal Directional Drilling and the use of the fracturing process!!!!

    Vertical well fracturing which is very effective has worked in New York State
    and worked VERY VERY well.
  14. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    It's always a double edged sword. Americans, by nature, would prefer that each person be responsible. But large populations simply don't worth that way - especially when a party considers it a "natural right" to burn something or, in the above case, to drill it.

    I'm sure there is lots of lobbying anti-environmental money going into many state reg orgs. Which is why, as explained in the video, national standards are needed...possibly in conjunction with local enforcement. IMHO, of course!
  15. leon

    leon New Member

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    MY apologies, I cannot further edit my post.

    BUT what I am saying is the New York State Oil and gas Producers Association is painting both drilling methods with a broad brush saying they are one and the same, they are not!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I believe Governor Coumo is just holding his cards close to the vest to wait and see what the track record of well drilling is bringing in other states as I ma sure he is aware that the actual shale geology is the issue.

    ONE big thing to note is this These drillers are not running around drilling core holes to bring up rock samples in the circumferential area surrounding a potential drilling site to see how the shale rock dips and folds because it will cost them MORE MONEY.

    On the positive side:

    A rock core sample tells the geologist exactly what is down there in what is referred to as the potential strike zone desired for drilling the potential gas bearing strata and each core tells the geologist what the shale seam looks like at intervals of one thousand feet in distance from drill pad.


    IF these drillers had simply stayed working with vertical drilled gas wells and vertical well fracturing the issue would be a mute point.
  16. tronsliver

    tronsliver New Member

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    Method 28 WHH does not account for startup emissions for each of the burn categories within the test. In other words, wood is loaded onto a hot coal bed for each category, starting with the initial load. This is disingenuous to the consumer and those in proximity to the emissions.

    Further, based on reports conducted on Method 28 OWHH, the average Phase II OWB has an output rating of 175K. If you consider the design day heat load of 40K for an average home in a cold climate you end of having a oversize factor of 4.4. This represents 23% of the maximum hourly rate of the OWB. In essence, the OWB will be at or below 16% of heater output 90 percent of the heating season.

    Now how does this correlate to Method 28? Method 28 does not account for over sizing in its testing categories. Nor does it account for the difference in climates which can have a dramatic affect on performance.

    I'm sure this why manufacturers claim it's not their product that is the problem but how it's operated. Interpreted this means: dry and suitable wood, a very cold climate that stays cold throughout the heating season, and a unit matched perfectly to the heating load. Method 28 can not realistically account for these variables.
  17. Den69RS96

    Den69RS96 Member

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    So if the EPA changes their test methods and the OWB manufacturers have to meet those new standards you will be happy then? I'm all for cleaner air, but it seems your aim is strictly at OWBs. There are alot more people with wood stoves vs OWBs. I have 3 neighbors, all burn wood. Two of them heat with a wood stove. One of those two does not observe he best wood burning practices. His stove puts out alot of smoke visible through any of the windows on the back of my house. The others stove produces little smoke. My closest neighbor has one of those big bad smoke dragons. He burns cut split seasoned wood. When i drive buy I hardly see any smoke. I drive by a pretty large campsite going into town. Pick any day of the week during the summer and you'll be greated by lots of smoke as you drive by. If you were truly concerned about emissions, you would include all kinds of wood burning methods in your statements, but you seem to target OWB only. Why is that?
  18. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    You should try visiting some of the ski resorts in VT in the wintertime. 1,000 prefab fireplaces with newbies all going at once!

    It's a big world and most of us can only address a couple issues at one time. I was dead set against all the exemptions in the 1990 EPA stuff, but I understood that, due to low sales, the EPA wanted to address the bigger picture first. Here we are 23 years later and, IMHO, there is no excuse now.

    But, realistically, we had an EPA which was ordered to "stand down" for the majority of that time. That's why Christie Whitman quit and maybe even why the latest head went bye-bye (she had concern about fracking).
  19. hobbyheater

    hobbyheater Minister of Fire

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    There is clean burning technology that has been on the market since 1981 . The final cost was $ 4,500 in 1983 dollars to have our Jetstream delivered from Nova Scotia to our home on Vancouver Island .
    Clean burning technology has been around for some time. PEOPLE JUST DO NOT WANT TO PAY FOR IT !!!

    The PDF file is the pages from the Jetstream Manual on the principals of clean burning of wood .


    IMGP3758.JPG
    Testing the SMOKE with the boiler at peek combustion . Air smells no different than the air coming out of a hot air register and is just hot enough to be uncomfortable to breath .

    pig2.jpg
    This was our first boiler , though indoor it was very much a smoke dragon .It burned 22 cords per year to accomplish what the Jetstream with 1,000 gallons of storage does on 4 1/2 cords .

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013
  20. PassionForFire&Water

    PassionForFire&Water Minister of Fire

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    Hey Hobbyheater, I see you sniffing at that smoke pipe way to often.
    Are you sure you are burning cordwood? .... or is it pot or something more potent your are burning?;)
  21. hobbyheater

    hobbyheater Minister of Fire

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    I just like re-posting that picture. Loose memory chip I think, :p but firm GRIP on the ladder! ::-)
  22. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    Well said my good sir!

    I think the general problem of wood-burning and good burning practices is laziness or just plain ignorance. You have to pay to play, we all know that, we have advanced burning equipment as well as thermal storage. We have a good idea of the principals involved is proper seasoning and processing of wood (no log lifters to get the wood in the boiler door).

    We also know that by burning the way we do in the advanced appliances we have we are able to burn less than half the wood those guys burn. To me that's not only smarter, cleaner.............and less work!

    TS
  23. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    Tron........The test method I was referring to is not EPA28

    There is another one developed by Brookhaven Labs and it reflects cold to cold and hot to hot operation as well as storage. Looks very promising to me. Dated in February of this year so it's a recent development.
    Actually uses real cord wood instead of kiln dried dimension lumber.!!!
    In and of itself that is a major step in the right direction.:)

    From the way it reads it will be a very fair but very tough test method.

    Are you aware of it?
  24. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    In the public debate on wood burning it is essential to educate legislators, regulators and the public on clean wood burning. An environmental learning center I work continually is involved in doing this. It has a Wood Gun E500 (external 4000 gal storage), a Garn WHS3200 (integrated 3200 gal storage) and a Froling FHG-L50 (external 1650 gal storage), all located in the middle of and in close proximity to classrooms, dormitories and staff living quarters. The facility is visited by about 10,000 persons every year, including during the cold weather heating season. It is surrounded by hills on three sides and a lake on the 4th side. There is no smoke issue from any of these.
  25. tronsliver

    tronsliver New Member

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    Yes, and I agree it is a major step in the right direction. The question becomes will the EPA adopt the changes for WHH? As we speak (unless the government shutdown affected the process) OMB is taking comments from select groups concerning changes to NSPS. The proposed changes to NSPS, with respect to hydronic heaters, is projected to use the current Phase II standards employing WHH as the discriminator. The positive aspect about including Hydronic Heaters in NSPS is the volunteer program will be dead, and as such the EPA will no longer need to over compromise to get participation. If the changes to NSPS are ultimately adopted manufacturers will be forced to comply. The question then would become how to incorporate the Brookhaven changes. As we all know change is difficult and slow in government programs.

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