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Is storage a "must" with a gasifier?

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by bigbear, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. Coal Reaper

    Coal Reaper Minister of Fire

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    thats awesome to hear. i was under impression that baseboard wasnt nearly as effective when below 150*. you must be on the right track with constant set point. good on yah. my OB runs almost constantly when temps are in single digits just trying to maintain temp, let alone raise from nighttime setback.

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  2. willyswagon

    willyswagon Burning Hunk

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    That is what I have found as well. I have no storage at the present time. I was like everyone else in their first year, busy reading post on here, applying little changes.

    By far the biggest difference here has been to leave the stats at 70*. The house is always warm, and the boiler doesn't have to do the double duty of bringing the house up by 5* plus making all the hot water that the "3 Shes" go through in the am. You would think there was a Prize for the most hot water used!!
    No boiler should have to suffer with that:p

    I still struggle with the storage vs no storage deal, but for now the no storage system seems to be serving my needs.
  3. James Reimer

    James Reimer New Member

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    I feel I'm letting my boiler down when I take it easy on it. It wants to work hard and pump out the btu's! That's when it's happy happy happy.
  4. gimmegas

    gimmegas New Member

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    I like the longer b/w fires part. Then again, if they cool down enough it takes more fire to get them back to temp. Maple1 has a good answer to the big tank issue. Just hook a couple smaller ones together. Let me know if you find the big tank, Reaper.
  5. gimmegas

    gimmegas New Member

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    I like the battery analogy, Maple. I also like the idea of hooking a couple of smaller tanks together and maybe even stacking them (thereby reducing surface area to potential heat loss). Maybe two 330s (like yours) together might be enough for me? I just want to make sure I have room for the boiler,storage and a winters worth of wood. The plywood underneath them might be a good idea too, esp. for condensation. Any issue w/ that w/ your tanks? We don't want them to rust out. Thank you for those dimensions, too. It helps. I plan on a bulkhead thats 4 ft wide and maybe 6 1/2 ft tall. Should be able to get them in there w/o too much of an issue.
  6. Coal Reaper

    Coal Reaper Minister of Fire

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    Yeah its just a big thermal battery and with decent enough insulation it comes down to btus in vs btus out.
  7. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    The plywood was a spur of the moment thought, I had some pieces of 3/4 kicking around from a shed project & thought it might spread the footprint a bit. No idea if it accomplished anything though.

    I have seen no condensation, and thought I very well might because I also have an improvised DHW preheater circuit stuffed inside the storage enclosure consisting of about two rolls of 3/4 pex, first coiled a couple loops around the bottom, then a couple loops up around between the tanks, then a whole roll laying on top of the top tank. Fresh cold DHW comes from my well right into the bottom of this circuit and out the top. If I get no condensation off that, I don't think any will be seen under any other circumstances. That circuit works very good, it was an experiment that paid off while I had my sidearm circuit apart for quite a while getting it rearranged. Haven't measured the temp rise across it but plan too.

    Before I decided on the 330's, I also considered plumbing together 6 -110's. It would have been a bit of a pain plumbing all those tanks together, but the 110s are very easy to handle & fit into tight spaces & arrange how you want them. Plus they would have been cheaper overall at $90/ea compared to $350/ea for the 330's. I went with the 330s because I decided I could get them to just fit where I wanted them to, with about a half inch to spare on each side.
  8. willyswagon

    willyswagon Burning Hunk

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    While storage is not a must, I'm sure it would be convenient over the next day and a half where temps are going from -5*C (26 *F) now, to a high of 12*C ( 57*F) tomorrow am, then dropped back to -9 *C(16* F) for Friday.

    Back to small hot fires. It looks like this may require relighting the boiler at some point.
    I'll have to think about this as I haven't done it since the third week of november!!
  9. KenLockett

    KenLockett Member

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    Due to my 3-way Termovar tempering valve, I get no circulation of my boiler supply below about 160 DegF. In my case I actually find this kind of an inconvenience. Would rather be able to use the hot water supply from the wood boiler below 140 DegF.
  10. KenLockett

    KenLockett Member

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    I to dare not use setback when the temps get into the single digits. Loss of wood boiler output thus allowing the temp to drop is a no no. Takes forever to get temp back up. I to have been using 68 DegF as a low limit on setback from 70 DegF during the day.
  11. gimmegas

    gimmegas New Member

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    Maple, I was thinking they were six sided, not cylindrical, so stacking would be like putting boxes on top of each other. Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Jokes on me. Did you have to build the cradle for them? From what I can tell, the install was an adventure but apparently from the outcome you did an outstanding job. Bravo! OK, so if I want to find 330 gal tanks where do I go?
  12. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Don't know where you are or the local situation there - I got mine at a scrapyard an hour away from me. They had a mountain of them of all shapes & sizes.

    I built a cradle out of 6x6, with some 4x4 & metal strapping thrown in along with lots of silicone for a glue where the tanks meet the 6x6. Did some wood carving with my ms170 to get the round tanks to fit the straight 6x6. Think there are some pics in my build thread. That's the way I went - some just take their tanks to a welding shop & get them welded one on top of the other to make one big unit. Some of the vendors/advertisers on here get that done & sell them that way, ready to plumb in.
  13. McKraut

    McKraut Member

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    I load the boiler when I leave for work at 7:30AM and again when I get home at 10PM. When the temp gets below 15 degrees I usually have to add an extra load
  14. gimmegas

    gimmegas New Member

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    I'm currently in VA, but will be moving to ME in another 1-2 yrs. Scrapyard, eh, outstanding! I'll poke around. I'm sure I'll find something. Not something I need right now, anyway,just trying to get things lined up for when I do. How about your boiler. Where did you get that from? Is there a dealer near you in NS?
  15. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    No dealer near me. Got mine from Smokeless Heat in Pa. - great to deal with.
  16. chuck172

    chuck172 Minister of Fire

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    I would like to add Bigger tank=Longer between fires + Longer fires.
    More storage doesn't add to efficiency, just convenience. You have to burn twice as long to heat double the storage.
  17. 91LMS

    91LMS Member

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    i can't help but feel that my system lacks in efficiency w/o having storage.
  18. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    IMO there are pretty big potential gains in efficiency in adding storage to a non-gassifying boiler, if the boiler has decent heat transfer (e.g. fire tubes). If I had a decent non-gassifier and wanted to do big changes in stages, I'd install storage first, then swap boilers after evaluating performance with the storage addition. I think the bigger performance jump would be in going to storage, than the second jump to gassifying - IF you have a decent non-gassifier, and PARTICULARLY if it currently satisfies your heat demand well. If I had tried that with my old boiler though, it never would have had the extra heat to put to storage in the heating season.
  19. Fred61

    Fred61 Minister of Fire

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    Think of all the "low grade" heat that is just put into the atmosphere in the world. Not hot enough to do anything with it so we put it in our lakes, rivers and into the air with cooling towers. When a boiler idles, there is a certain amount of low grade heat that goes out the stack, in the cooling down process and the heating process that brings the fire back up to and past the boiler temperature. And in fact it robs heat from the boiler tubes until the fire is hotter than the boiler. To me, that is waste heat except for some that radiates into the living space if the boiler is in the home. I believe there is a fair amount that goes up the stack.
    Can we measure the difference if we have storage and burn longer and hotter? Don't know, but there is more waste without storage.
  20. ihookem

    ihookem Minister of Fire

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    Some things I wonder about. With storage you run it super hot and then let it cool down to outside temps if it's outside. It may be -10 F . Is this harder on the boiler than not hving storage and keeping the boiler hot form Oct. to April? One poster said he had no storage for his gassifier for 18 years. This is a long time for a boiler I wonder is it is less stress on a boiler if it stays hot all winter. Just a thought.
  21. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    That's a good question.

    I've only been running mine in heating season so far, in my basement. When it 'goes cold', it goes down to around usually 100 or so. The lowest it would go is around 60 or so, that's about what my basement is - when it goes really cold in the summer, it will be a bit warmer than that. I was wondering about this with mine - but this is the way it is designed to be used, so I'm putting all my faith in the designers. Mine does spec that storage is a must - maybe those that are designed to run without storage might have a concern when adding storage? But I don't think there is a huge difference in construction techniques across brands - although I haven't seen the insides of any, and have no clue about material differences between them.

    Also, when firing, I don't think they run any hotter, or 'super hot' as you say, than boilers without storage - they just run longer. I think the main thing to worry about would be to have good return temp protection, and decent water quality.
  22. mr.fixit

    mr.fixit Member

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    A couple things I think are important if you do have storage;

    You should have enough storage capacity to carry your heatload for a long enough time to make it worthwhile.Like charging storage once a day or every other day.

    You should have a big enough boiler to charge the storage in a reasonable amount of time to fit a persons schedule.

    I have only 500gallons,so it won't carry my load to long,but it works nice in the spring and fall.This time of year not so much. The boiler runs pretty much steady,because it's not oversized.

    As far as wood consumption goes,not so sure more storage(or any at all)would help me with current sized boiler.
    The past few days I have had the storage valves turned off just to see how things go.It does go into idle once and a while,but it doesn't really smoke a lot. I think I use slightly less wood doing it this way.
    With the storage turned on,seems like the boiler runs and runs and unless the firebox is kept full,the output is lower and storage temps don't rise with zones steadily calling for heat. With storage off,seems like a load of wood goes a long way. I don't know,maybe it's just me.

    I suppose the thing to do would be to weigh the wood loads a week or so each way and compare to heating degree days.

    In any event,not sure storage helps too much if the boiler is closely matched to the heatload.

    I think the ideal would be modulating output like the pellet boilers,but but you can only turn the air down so far.
    Maybe the thing to try would be throttling the output(nozzle size and air)to match demand more so it can run steady with good gasification at different outputs. Probably not as simple as it seems.
  23. gimmegas

    gimmegas New Member

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    OK. Will check them out.
  24. gimmegas

    gimmegas New Member

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    I'm getting the idea that matching the boiler size to the size of the area you're heating is more important than the storage, although as you say there is the convenience factor. Otherwise it may be equivocal? Not really like you are burning less wood w/ storage, correct?
  25. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Is that what the lambda units do?

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