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  1. RightSeatCessna

    RightSeatCessna New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2012
    Messages:
    81
    Loc:
    Saco, Me
    Good evening,

    Looking into a pellet boiler to replace my oil boiler. Does anyone have any experience with the Kedel or Okofen with MeSys? If you have any other recommendations please let me know.

    Thanks

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  2. Chris Hoskin

    Chris Hoskin TarmSalesGuy

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    457
    Loc:
    Lyme, NH
    I would suggest that they are not directly comparable. The Okofen is a Cadillac and the Kedel is an Oldsmobile. Fröling and Okofen are the Caddys, Kedel and Pellergy are the Olds and boilers like a Harmon or Traeger would be the Chevy. All will get you to the grocery store but the level of sophistication, ease of use and price are what put each in their respective categories. What your heating needs are and how much you are willing to interact with the boiler (tending and maintenance) and, of course, your budget will determine which boiler is best for you. None of them are a bad choice.
  3. foamit up

    foamit up Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Messages:
    71
    Loc:
    Central, Maine
    Have you checked the BIOWIN. Great Boiler for pellets and smart design. Call Marc 781 3088583. He advertises on here. If you want to take a look at one in use i am by Augusta. Set it and forget it. Foamit Up
  4. henfruit

    henfruit Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Messages:
    712
    Loc:
    New Hampshire-Maine border
    Ahona has a nice line of cast iron units. Complete with bin under 6 k
  5. kopeck

    kopeck Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Messages:
    534
    Loc:
    Maine
    I've been keeping my eye on the Kedel, not that I'm in the market but it's been an interesting story to watch.

    They seem like simple, well built units. I've seen one at the fair and liked it. That being said there are others that are great options too.

    If you like to keep your business completely with in Maine then the Kedel is a good choice.

    K
  6. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    3,108
    Loc:
    Falmouth, Michigan
    I'll second the Windhager. It's a nice solid mix of technology and simplicity. It's construction is pretty robust too, about 200-300 pounds more weight than the Kedel for the same output if I recall. The Okofen is a very good boiler but it's mechanisms are a fair amount more complex than either the Windhager or the Kedel.

    From the Windhagers we have installed I can tell you with a straight face that they have all performed flawlessly. No issues of any kind and they have a control that is able to be adapted to virtually any type of heating system.

    Some other things I like about them are.........in no particular order....

    the double wall stainless "air cooled" firepot
    automatic ash removal to the on board ash container
    Automatic cleaning of the flue passages, firepot/burner, and ash collection area at each start up or every 6 hours of operation.
    Lifetime ignitor warranty
    Simple to use control that will interface with everything from a traditional old round Honeywell thermostat to a modern 0-10VDC building management system.
    Control tells you when it needs to be cleaned (about every 600 hours of run time)
    Very robust pellet feed motor and auger. (best I have seen)
    Foolproof on board fire suppression should there ever be heat built up in the feed tube.
    Around 700 pounds of heavy gauge steel.
    Control readout monitors flue temp, firing rate, tons of pellets used, time till next cleaning, water temp, all with a push of a single button
    Flue temps are extremely low. We typically see around 230* at maximum firing rate which to me speaks volumes about the actual efficiency of the boiler. Most of the time less than 210*.
    Very proven product with over 45,000 BioWin's in use through out the world.
    Last but not least, I was thoroughly impressed with the factory, the workers and the management at Windhager when I visited their place in Austria. 1st class operation and 1st class people.
    Karl_northwind likes this.
  7. DZL_Damon

    DZL_Damon Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2013
    Messages:
    180
    Loc:
    Maine
    I can not describe how happy I am with my Kedel! I did some extensive research for months before deciding to go with the Kedel with ZERO buyers remorse.

    The variability of the controls is amazing. I run the largest, most sophisticated wood pellet boiler known in the western hemisphere and I was amazed that the Kedel had many of the features my $4 million boiler has and even more.

    I liked the analogy of the boilers to the cars. The Kedel is top of the line and much like a fully loaded Oldsmobile;comparable to the Cadillac for features, but it is priced like the Chevy. My 102kbtu Kedel was actually LESS expensive than the tried and true (but simple) Harman PB105.

    Your installing contractor will fully set it up, but you have access to tweak and adjust EVERYTHING from the fully integrated touch screen OR by logging in online and doing it from anywhere in the world on a computer or your phone. It has excellent trending data and logging of your fuel consumption to fine tune and monitor the unit. There are several extra outputs, temperature sensor inputs, and features for doing extra custom set ups like I have done in my house. It will email you and text message you if it goes into alarm, or you can have it set up to simply send an alert to your service contract company and they will let you know there is an issue.

    It's all set up to work with your solar hot water systems, outside temperature curves with limits and changed temperature points based on the temperature, DHW priority that will operate even if Outside air dictates not to run, O2 control with adjustable controller, variable firing rate also fully adjustable, etc etc.

    I would not hesitate to go with the Kedel at all. Its variability with outstanding controls and web interphase along with high efficiency and self cleaning make it the best bang for the buck. For fun, check out how mine is doing, look through the trends and consumption rates. You have even more controls if you were logged in with more views. I forced mine on today even though the weather compensation curve is currently set up to not come on until its below 50*F for 3 hours. I have mine going as a primary/secondary to an 80 gallon buffer tank but you do NOT need to do this. No buffer tank is necessary, I just wanted to eliminates start/stops in the heel season with my 5 zones + DHW.

    Here is mine: http://stokercloud.dk/dev/showmain.php?mac=diesel

    Feel free to contact me with any questions and I'll be glad to weigh in.
  8. pellets4me

    pellets4me New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2013
    Messages:
    1
    Loc:
    Maine
    @RightSeatCessna,

    I service and install both brands you are interested in and this is one of the most common questions I deal with. Both boilers are very reliable, efficient, and are designed to be your sole source of heat, without the need of a backup system. They both have a 30 yr warranty on the vessel, and both have auger or vacuum feed options to allow for various design configurations. The Kedel is much more affordable per btu and has many of the same features as the Okofen. The Kedel excels in its user friendliness. It comes standard with a control that provides remote access to the boiler from your pc or smartphone, to monitor operation, pellet usage, make adjustments and even utilize the nearest weather station for outdoor reset control. It can email you and your service provider in case of an alarm, which is a great feature from the service provider's point of view and all of this is standard. The Okofen has this capability but it is not as user friendly and is typically a 1,500.00 add on and outdoor reset is also an additional control and cost. Okofen does have a convenient ash removal feature that augers ash into a separate container making it easier to dispose of, while the Kedel has an ash drawer which you must empty periodically. Okofen also has a wider range of Pellet Storage available for challenging installs. My experience has been in most instances the installed price of an Okofen exceeds that of a Kedel by 5-6,000 dollars. Most of my customers pondering the same question you are, have selected the Kedel, unless they were really in love with the ash-augering feature of the Okofen, or had a circumstance that restricted them from using one of Kedel's pellet storage solutions. (Rare)

    Hope this helps.
  9. sinnian

    sinnian Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    894
    Loc:
    Limerick, Maine
    I am calling bull on this. Kedel's start at 13K+ installed, and do not provide DHW (like the Harman) w/o additional costs. In fact, if I am not mistaken, they just went up an additional $1,600 due to "costs of installation" ~ all the while the unit wholesales for less than 4K.
  10. DZL_Damon

    DZL_Damon Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2013
    Messages:
    180
    Loc:
    Maine
    I just checked their website: They start their estimates at $11,400 installed for the 102k model like I have. They state the owner should be prepared to spend up to another $2500 in installation costs based on how complex your set up is and what you are planning to do. So, I'm assuming if you ask your contractor to drop the boiler in the basement and hook up to existing supply/return and you have electrical already set up for use it will be less expensive. If wires are being pulled across the house for electricity, and you are jammed in a hard to work spot that takes longer, and a lot of plumbing has to be redone it could cost you more just like it would with any boiler if you have a unique set up.

    I paid several hundred less for my Kedel (not installed) than a slightly discountedHarman PB105 at my local stoveshop... perhaps my local stoveshop is overpriced? I did not opt for the 700# hopper or air compressor as I was making my own pellet hopper and I already had an 80 gallon Ingersoll Rand 15 feet away so no air compressor was needed either.

    As for DHW, DHW is set up like a zone just like most boilers to an indirect water heater... no there is no provision for an on demand DHW coil in the boiler. I currently have a switching relay with priority running my DHW just like it was with the oil boiler. I think they list possible additional costs as in you were to BUY a DHW heater for a new built house, etc. For me to have the Kedel run the DHW, it would cost me less than maybe $40 for an additional temperature sensor to put in the DHW heaters thermal well vs a traditional aquastat. After that sensor is in there, the Kedel can toggle the circ pump from it's software for whatever setting and span you desire. You can even set 3 times a day to start the Kedel early to make sure DHW is up to temp before you would normally consume hot water. You can also set another higher minimum firing rate for making DHW over your standard minimum firing rate for heat, so you have a quicker recovery time. I'm actually going to convert my current DHW system to getting control from the Kedel for these features

    I'm not 100% on this yet, but I'm pretty sure you can have a 3 way valve (or x2 2 way valves) going to the house heating loop and the DHW heating loop. It will open DHW and close the house loop for priority heating. I can see this being greatly adventageous with my set up since I'm running an 80 gallon buffer tank for my multiple zones. In the summer I could use the DHW priority without wasting money (and unnecessary heat) going into charging up my buffer when I just need enough for a shower.

    I assure you sinnian, no bull! Give them a call if you have questions and talk to their nearest certified installation contractor around you. I spoke with a lot of people about a lot of units, and did a lot of very calculated decisions before landing on Kedel. I called all available pellet boiler suppliers at the time (early this year) that were in the state. I visited the local Harman shop 10 minutes from my house many times and really did contemplate the readily available Harman many times that was sitting on the shop floor ready for immediate delivery. The guys all know who I am since I burn more pellets before coffee break than most burn all year... even with the discount they offered me the Kedel was less expensive and the Harman just didn't have the options and connectivity that I wanted. I did not install the Kedel because they were conveniently next door (they were not) or readily available at the time (I had to wait a few months at the time to get my unit ordered since they just started selling them). I purposefully made my decision even though it was less convenient at the time because I felt it was truely the best bang for the buck.

    Are the MESys boilers and Frolings awesome?? Yeah... they are! But MEsys started at $10,000 for their smaller unit not installed and Froling was even more. The Pellergy's and Harmans were not self cleaning, and offered no trending or remote monitoring/control even though cost was comparable.

    Would I have been happy with the Harman PB105 if the Kedel was not available? You bet! I know a few local guys that love theirs and have checked out their units before I made my decision. But the additional features such as O2 control for efficiency, touch screen, trends, web control, compressed air clean out, self cleaning heat exchanger, and loads of other options really helped make my decision easier.

    I'd be happy to answer any questions about the Kedel to the best of my abilitys. They are quite new, so information is not as readily available from people that have one at their house yet. There are over 30,000 units in Europe and they just got to our shores about a year or so ago by Interphase Energy out of Portland, ME. If you want some real life feedback and experience with the Kedel, feel free to give me a shout. I am probably slightly more familiar with them than the standard home owner since I installed my own unit and got very involved in the process... so I would be happy to also weigh in for new owners that have questions about operations.

    -Diesel
    stayfitz likes this.
  11. sinnian

    sinnian Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    894
    Loc:
    Limerick, Maine
    Well I apologize than Diesel, sounds like you got a heck of a deal on your Kedel. Great units ~ I wish they were around in 2008...
  12. sinnian

    sinnian Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    894
    Loc:
    Limerick, Maine
    I put in a 50 gal electric DHW tank that is set up with my pellet boiler so when the PB is in use it preheats the water and really never turns on, and in the summer when the PB is off it just runs electric. If I were doing it now, I would get one of the hybrid heat pump water heaters since I need to run a dehumidifier anyway in the summer.
  13. DZL_Damon

    DZL_Damon Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2013
    Messages:
    180
    Loc:
    Maine
    No problem. I'm sure that Harman is keeping your house nice and warm too and should be for years to come. New models of everything comes out everyday but my olderstuff still gets the job done well... my phone was obsolete 2 days after I got it, my computer is slow in relative terms, they have a better model of my car now... you know how it goes.

    As for the heat pump for DHW, check out craigslist in Augusta. I bought one of those external units for $350 from that fellow that bought out the remaining stock of Hallowell Heat Pump in Bangor when they went out of business. They had a copyright infringement over the Nyle or Gyser units I believe (they poached on of their engineers that was working on the dehumidifier/heat pump units). They look nothing alike, but they share enough off the shelf internals to be an issue.

    Anyway, they are 110vac and I have been making hotwater for x2 all summer for just under $22/month per my Kill-a-watt meter that has been plugged in all summer. Something like $0.73/day. It would be even less if I put the unit on a timer which I plan on doing next summer for a few hours in the morning and a few hours in the evening for dishes. It turns on it's internal pump every 15-20 minutes to check the temperature of the tanks water. Doing this is disturbing the natural stratification of hot water some and the unit comes on several times a day for short runs to "top off" the temperature in the tank. This is pretty unnecessary and I'm sure I could cut down to $0.50/day if I ran it on a timer so it didn't top itself off all day. Then again, my downstairs (not subground) never got above 70*F all summer which is just awesome. I actually dumped the hot water a few times to force it to run to have some sanctuary from the heat a few times this summer.

    Recovery time is slow at about 1-1.5 hours on my 30 gallon SuperStor but 2 folks can take a moderate shower in a row.... I'm still working on the definition of "moderate" with my wife.... I helped my best friend install one in his house into his 41 gallon Amtrol Boiler mate. Him and his wife can take whatever kind of shower they want in a row and not run out of water. His was more simple to hook up than mine since I had to make a 3/8" soft copper tube go in the 3/4" feed pipe on the bottom for my hot water discharge out of the HP. If I took suction off the bottom and discharged in the top... it would give you a cold shot of water during a shower when it came on.

    Tom Gocze is selling Nyle units for $300 on craigslist and ebay as well... he has over 900 of them in his warehouse when I swung by to buy cheap foam board insulation from him! The only bummer is they are 220vac not 110vac. Nice units though, and 220vac is not the end of the world.
  14. Dana B

    Dana B Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    399
    Loc:
    So. New Hampshire
    I would reccomend the Windhager Biowin. I had mine installed about a month ago and have been using it for heat for about a week now. So far so good. I looked into the Kedels, Harmanns, Okofens and Frohlings.

    I thought there was kind of an unspoken policy on this site not to discuss pricing for equipment in detail in the public forums. Personally I do not like discussing numbers with regard to how much I paid for my boiler. That's between me and the distributor. If other prospective buyers can work out deals for themselves, more power to them.

    Anyhow......

    What I found in my situation was:

    Okofens and Frohlings: Both very nice but my pockets aren't that deep. Nothing else to say there.

    Kedel and Windhager: Windhager was a bit more modestly priced. I spoke with Jacob w/ Kedel once but never talked ot him again after our initial conversation. Not sure why but that's just how it worked out. I then spoke with Marc w/ Windhager, he provided a demo, I spoke to others on here regarding the units, and I ended up buying one. I have no experience w/ Kedel and never even laid eyes on one in person but there seem to be those on this site who've dealt with them that speak positively of the brand. As for the Windhager there are also many people on here with good things to say and I personally own one and am happy with it so far. The build quality is top notch.

    Harmann: I looked at these because there is a dealer close to where I live and they are affordable. There has been a lot made out of an issue the PB105s have/had with their burnpots developing bubbles and needing to be replaced. I saw one in person and the quality and level of engineering just did not seem to come close to the Windhager which was in the same nighborhood as far as pricing.


    Whichever route you go you'll most likely be investing at least 10K in a pellet boiler after the installation, chimney liner and other costs. That's a pretty costly mistake if you end up regretting any of the choices you made along the way. Please forgive me if I'm stating the obvious but what you need to do is do your homework; talk to as many people as you can about the different brands, setup times to go watch demos, read the product literature etc etc

    Best of luck in whatever choices you make and please let us know what you decide.
  15. Tim04757

    Tim04757 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2013
    Messages:
    6
    Loc:
    Northern Maine
    I purchased a Kedel in September after looking at several of the manufacturers out there. I was looking for a high efficiency unit, automation, and customization. I liked the Okofen and the Froling but found the price tag to be way to unrealistic for an average budget. When I found the Kedel I knew it was the right choice. I have the 102,000 BTU unit with the 700# hopper. The installation was easy and took less than a day so installation costs were low. I had already updated a lot of the plumbing on my own which also cut down on the cost of the local techs. It was mentioned in a previous post, but I also got my Kedel for less than the cost of the Harmon and FAR FAR less than the Okofen or Froling. As for the functionality of the Kedel, it has everything I wanted and then some. The efficiency of the unit is excellent. The lack of heat loss up the chimney allows that I can place my hand on the stove pipe while it is running and not lose the skin from my hand as with other units. The system is self cleaning and came with the air compressor. It cleans the burner plate automatically after consuming a customized amount pellets, and at the end of every cycle. The heat exchanger is also self cleaning after a user customized period of time, as well as at the beginning of each run cycle. Other units have an ash compaction system so the ash doesn't have to be emptied for extended periods, however, this is just more moving parts to break , and service, and the ash container will be that much heavier. Although I haven't had to do any of the very seldom 'manual cleaning' yet, it is extremely simple. I have been burning pellets for over a month ash drawer isn't even close to being full. (This i know will vary by brand) There are videos online of how to clean these units and it is as easy, or easier, as it looks.
    I also have to comment on the controls. It is all touch screen controls. An additional benefit of hooking the boiler to the internet allows me to monitor the unit in real time. If I want to change something, I can do it from anywhere. The unit automatically adjusts itself to the weather conditions based on internet weather data, or an exterior temp sensor, so it runs at the best efficiency on sunny vs. snowy days. It is completely user adjustable at the touch of a finger. It even tells me how many pounds of pellets left in my hopper. I have also chosen to allow my local techs to view the unit in real time so they can offer suggestions or recognize any issues before they happen. In the event of any unforeseen issues, the unit will email me and my techs automatically. Or at least I'm told it will, I have had ZERO issues or complaints to test it.

    So, to answer the initial question asked on this thread, Okofen or Kedel? KEDEL. If any of my friends were to tell me they were considering spending the extra money for the Okofen, I would invite them to my house and show them my Kedel. Then I would ask them if they felt they needed to spend twice what I did

    I would also offer my take on the vehicle analogy. I would say it is like having a vehicle with different trim packages. They both drive the same but do you really need to spend thousands of dollars extra for the chrome wheels, and a dashboard that tells you how to drive when you already know how?

    And since the thread asked about experiences with either unit, I'll let everyone know that I have a blog about my ongoing experiences with the Kedel, from a homeowners perspective, as everyone seems to be asking the same questions. Here is the link: http://kedelproject.blogspot.com/ I have also posted some of the cleaning videos.
  16. Dana B

    Dana B Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    399
    Loc:
    So. New Hampshire
    Hey rightseat, have you purchased a pellet boiler or gotten closer to purchasing one?
  17. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,721
    Loc:
    Northern NH
    Maine is trying to free up bucks for Pellet boiler installs and NH has a 30% incentive for pellet boilers that folks need to check out. Of the course the sweetest deal was Berlin NH and now Farmington Me where they throw money at anyone willing to install one.
  18. DZL_Damon

    DZL_Damon Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2013
    Messages:
    180
    Loc:
    Maine
    Efficiency Maine DOES have a $5000 rebate for automated pellet boilers right now. I sent in my paperwork this morning
    flyingcow likes this.
  19. RightSeatCessna

    RightSeatCessna New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2012
    Messages:
    81
    Loc:
    Saco, Me
    I had the folks from Kedel stop by to give me pricing, I was quite shocked to hear 22k for the 54k BTUs unit. With the rebate I'm looking at 17k which isn't terrible. This includes a water pump for hot water. I currently have a 1991 Utica running at 78% efficiency with a brands 50gal storage tank r hot water but only use 600 gallons a year of oil to heat and hot water. I am thinking I m better off with my current Englander and Utica running it into the ground. My other issue is that I don't have much storage (basement is finished) and the three ton storage option will take away 75% of my storage. For the moment I have decided to invest my money in my aviation career and moved the Kedel on the back burner for the moment.
    heaterman likes this.
  20. RightSeatCessna

    RightSeatCessna New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2012
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    Loc:
    Saco, Me
    Was there a shortage of pellets in bulk delivery like there was in the forty lb bags/tons
  21. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Messages:
    4,242
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    Holy crap! !!!
  22. sinnian

    sinnian Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    894
    Loc:
    Limerick, Maine
    Nope
  23. RightSeatCessna

    RightSeatCessna New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2012
    Messages:
    81
    Loc:
    Saco, Me
    I should clarify that it was for the 68k unit with 3 ton storage option and indirect hot water or an 80gal heat pump. Since I only burn 600 gals of oil my payback may not be for another 15 years. By then I may have natural gas as an option...
  24. DZL_Damon

    DZL_Damon Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2013
    Messages:
    180
    Loc:
    Maine
    Are they lining your chimney too at that price? Is your install exceedingly difficult? That does sound VERY steep! Heck, even with all the maximum options added from here: http://kedelboilers.com/meet-kedel/our-pellet-boiler/ for the 68k model with the big bag and I can not add up to $22k! Who is the installer?
  25. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    3,108
    Loc:
    Falmouth, Michigan
    I would have to agree with your decision. Right choice. At 22K you are up in rarefied air as far as payback is concerned with existing heating costs in the $2,000 range like yours are.
    DZL_Damon likes this.

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