1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Lambda Type Owners - Highest Secondary Settings Seen?

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by hiker88, Nov 22, 2012.

  1. hiker88

    hiker88 Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Messages:
    218
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    Hey everyone - happy Thanksgiving,

    It's been a fun month or so getting to know the new boiler. For you guys with automated units, I'm just curious what kind of secondary settings you see?

    I had a fire this morning and the secondary was at 62% and it flirted briefly with 63%. The rumbling noise was quite impressive. It's kind of become a point of interest of mine to see how wide open that secondary will ever get. So, just curious what others have seen and what I can set my sights on.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. TCaldwell

    TCaldwell Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Messages:
    533
    Loc:
    860-868-9014 h 203 948 0864 c nw corner ct.
    Secondary output reflects the direct acting controller output and the percentage of secondary air. A output of 63% at high burn is representative of well seasoned wood. The dryer smaller splits or construction wood will give a higher output, and larger and higher mc will require a lower op to maintain setpoint. controller output has no correlation to effiency, a higher controller op does not mean higher or lower effiency, just the percentage of in this example secondary air required to maintain setpoint. well seasoned wood will typically produce high burn outputs between 45-75% range
  3. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,350
    Loc:
    West Michigan
    This seems a little bit contradictory. It's generally accepted that burning lower MC wood will indeed increase efficiency of a wood burning appliance. So if secondary output is closely correlated with wood moisture content wouldn't it then also be an indication of the quality/efficiency of the burn? If the answer is "no" there must be some voodoo magic happening in these lambda boilers.
  4. TCaldwell

    TCaldwell Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Messages:
    533
    Loc:
    860-868-9014 h 203 948 0864 c nw corner ct.
    Steele, It is a generalization you could make, high secondary output= high effiency, however output is dependant on type, size and mc and chosen setpoint. A o2 feedback system calculates a output to meet a chosen setpoint. Effiency primarily driven by o2% and stack temp, for instance if you are humming along at high burn with a setpoint at 6%o2 with a secondary op of 55% with a secondary burn chamber temp of 1800 deg and a flue temp of 300, then you decide you want a higher op, to do this you would need to increase your setpoint to say 7%[ you need a higher secondary op to increase the residual o2 in the fluestream] in doing so your new op will have increased BUT your secondary burn temp will have decreased, flue temp increased along with excess air= lower effiency. what really matters is chosing the correct o2 setpoint for your boiler combustor design by sampling with a portable fluegas analyser. It will calculate on the fly what the effiency is and you can adjust the setpoint to get the highest effiency. the op will adjust to maintain setpoint throught a burn. Wood type has alot to do with op denser woods by nature will tend to burn slower, requiring less op but will burn hotter than some softwoods that require a higher op.
  5. EffectaBoilerUser (USA)

    EffectaBoilerUser (USA) Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Messages:
    202
    Loc:
    Michigan
    I have been operating my Effecta Lambda 35kW boiler for 3 years now and have always been impressed with how the primary and secondary dampers automatically adjust from 70/30 with a cold, first started boiler and then by the end of the 5 hour burn they are at 40/60 or as much as 20/80.

    Today (per the request of a gentleman in Colorado) I am going to do a burn using 100% kiln dried pine. According to the one I am speaking to in Colorado, the only wood available in his area is very dry pine and other woods. He has tried to burn this wood in several NON LAMBDA controlled gasification boilers with no success. A fixed damper opening boiler allows the combustion to get too violent and causing many problems.

    I will post my data logging results of this burn once I have completed it.
  6. hiker88

    hiker88 Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Messages:
    218
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    That will be interesting to hear about.
  7. Seriously? I burn almost all pine and often burn a load of only kiln dried construction scraps. No issues.
  8. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Messages:
    4,008
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    Yes, first I've heard of that.
  9. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,350
    Loc:
    West Michigan
    Probably a bit of a fish-tale by your Colorado source. I've burned wood too dry to register on my super-high-dollar Harbor Freight moisture gauge with no issues. With storage it's actually a bit of a treat to have a wicked hot, wicked fast fire with uber dry wood. I like my fires like my bouts with stomach flue - fast and violent.
    Taylor Sutherland and flyingcow like this.
  10. EffectaBoilerUser (USA)

    EffectaBoilerUser (USA) Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Messages:
    202
    Loc:
    Michigan
    I spoke with the gentleman again today and he is telling me that were he is located (9,000 ft elevation) the wood is extremely dry and when used in an EKO and Pro Fab's new indoor unit it gasifying too much and the excess gas is causing small explosions in the boilers and smoke is being exhausted out the draft openings. He is telling me that because the draft openings on these units is fixed that he is unable to accurately control the amount of combustion and secondary air going to the boiler. I am hopping to burn a load of kiln dried pine this weekend and data log the entire burn in my Effecta Lambda 35 boiler. Should have something to post on hearth next week!
  11. I know a guy who has a friend that went to college with a guy who is dating a girl who talked to a person in a coffe shop that has an effecta, and he said.... (insert negative criticism of effecta here)
    stee6043 likes this.
  12. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Messages:
    4,008
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    Tell him not to stuff the wood box so full.

    Do EKOs & Pro Fabs (Empyres?) really not have ANY adjustments on the doors? Mine is likely the most minimalistic gassifier out there, and it has an opening adjustment on the intake door - and one on the secondary chamber.

    I don't think your 'experimental' burn will have any correlation with burning pine in Colorado either - and I'd suspect there are some on here doing that successfully now with units from the 'other guys'.
  13. willyswagon

    willyswagon Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Messages:
    218
    Loc:
    PEI, Canada
    Empyre Elite has no adjustments period! That's why I bought it.
    As my wife said, If she had to F$%& with adjustments for heat, it would be with the oil boiler thermostat!
  14. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Messages:
    4,008
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    Even though mine has adjustments - they're minor. Like a threaded stop on the draft door - set it & forget it.
  15. EffectaBoilerUser (USA)

    EffectaBoilerUser (USA) Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Messages:
    202
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Thanks for confirmation regarding no adjustments on the Empyre Elite 100 - at least I know the gentleman in Colorado is telling the truth!

    What types of wood are you burning in your Elite 100? How do you like it?

    What I was trying to say in my previous post was that most of the currently available wood gasification boilers have little to very minor adjustment and normally this is not a big issue. However, when trying to burn extremely dry pine and other soft woods the fixed primary draft systems tend to consume the wood quicker because they are not able to change/regulate the amount of air going into the primary/secondary chambers (obviously, very dry pine wood requires much less combustion air than a 15-20% MC hardwood).

    On Lambda controlled boilers the draft openings can be quickly and easily changed by a key stroke on the control panel. Normally I run my Effecta at a 13% CO2 setting for 15-20% MC hardwood. However, when I get into some much dryer softwood such as pine I lower the CO2 % to 10%. Doing so closes the upper primary draft control more and thus allows less combustion air in the primary chamber. This then allows the pine to burn slower/last longer and provide more BTU output.

    Another nice feature of Lambda controlled gasifiers is that there is no by-pass lever to operate. You simply throw in the wood, start the fire and the Lambda system automatically changes the position of the servo controlled dampers (primary and secondary) depending on the outlet CO2%.
  16. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Messages:
    4,008
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    If all I was burning was dry pine, I'd just take 10 seconds and thread my draft door stop in from its present wide open location to cut down on primary chamber air, and burn away. Set for the fuel, and forget.

    I will admit Lamda controls would likely be beneficial for changing conditions throughout a burn, yes. But I'm all about simplicity. Who knows - maybe someday I'll even have Lambda something-or-other in my basement.

    Betchya I can clean my boiler faster than you can yours. ==c
  17. __dan

    __dan Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    Messages:
    248
    This thread should go back on track.

    I have the same boiler, the Froling FHG-L 20,. First burn was ~ 7 weeks ago at the end of October.

    The thread should really sell a few more Frolings, though I have to be careful what I say.

    I am set up for HW storage with taps and valves ready in the primary header, but I'm a bit non standard right now and using the 1200 sf, 4", radiant basement slab for storage. I knew this was not enough load for the full burn and was concerned, depending on the Froling's ability to turn down the output. Briefly, I am getting perfect burns with no slumbering and huge turndown. I am injecting 135 deg F and returning 100 to 110 F from the slab at the balance point.

    Initially with the factory defaults I did not have enough load and saw some slumbering in the first few days with trial small loads. I considered my options and five minutes of googling delivered the factory code to enter the service menu and have access to changing operating setpoints. No hardware modifying. All I had to do was lower the minimum flue gas temp to 95 deg C (because the slab is not enough minimum load) lower the supply water temp to 73 deg C ( the Froling is slow to modulate above setpoint, it operates substantially higher, usually 80 to 90 C HWS, at minimum load), and raise the slumbering temp to max (20 C above HWS setpoint or 93 C).

    Typical burn, I can not load more than halfway. At the end of the burn with only the warm slab for load, it runs 20% primary air, 10% secondary air, 35% draft fan speed, 16% excess oxygen, but it is drafting through the charcoal bed and flue gas is 110 C which is to much for my load, and the HWS temp runs 90 C. Flue gas temp ~ 100 C will get me 80 C HWS temp. The Froling at that point is running on the (programmable) minimum draft fan speed, 35%, minimum primary air at 20%, and well above HWS and flue gas setpoints. Half load burn time is ~ 3 hours.

    DHW load plus the basement slab is enough load for the Froling and will pull down the HWS temp to above setpoint at the minimum burn rate.

    The Froling is a lot bigger than the Weil McLain 3 section Gold oil. The basement slab load burns the oil.

    Although I am sold on storage, it's in the future. I am getting everything I want right now. Unlimited heat and DHW and its very light on fuel. I am burning two 32 gallon Rubbermaid barrels of wood in ~ 3.5 days. About equal to a full 6 cu ft wheelbarrow load for three days. I have three years of cordwood in the yard and am burning the junk first.

    I wanted initially quick heat with minimum fuel. Circs start up after ~ 15 minutes and 1 hour later the DHW load drops out and the slab is returning 100 deg F. It goes quickly to minimum load and ~ ten minutes later the Froling has turned down to 35% draft fan speed and 20% primary air. The secondary air always runs at the minimum setpoint of 10% and above minimum excess O2 ~ 12 to 16%. I've seen 50% secondary air only if I open the boiler and poke the coal bed at minimum load.

    Payback is ~ 5 years with nice heat.

    The Froling is effortless to light, mostly put the wood and paper in, light and walk away. Three minutes. I am burning birch and swamp maple from outside. I am loaded with red and white oak after I burn the junk.
  18. willyswagon

    willyswagon Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Messages:
    218
    Loc:
    PEI, Canada

    Burning Maple, birch, and the odd beech. I am looking at wood that is between 16-20% on the MM. I have to be carefull with the sizing of the splits if there is not a big heat demand. As your guy in Co stated, if you get alot of gas built up you can get a little wood gas explosion when the fire re ignites. My buddy with the Wood Gunn finds the same thing.

    They would like to see the wood between 18-25" in length.
    It says in my manual that if you wood is very dry you should keep it 5" dia or more.
    If it is high in moisture you should split it less than 5".
    If between 19- 25% moisture they say the diameter of the wood is not that important.

    Hope this helps. If you would like anything else on the Elite PM me so this one can get back to Lamda controll stuff
    Ken.
  19. hiker88

    hiker88 Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Messages:
    218
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    _dan

    I've been through your thread a couple times. What does hws stand for please?
  20. __dan

    __dan Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    Messages:
    248
    Hot Water Supply - temp right out of the top of the boiler.

    One more data point, got my electric bill. Heat and DHW, the Froling with the circs, is exactly $9.46 for the month.
  21. EffectaBoilerUser (USA)

    EffectaBoilerUser (USA) Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Messages:
    202
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Ken,

    Thanks for the clarification on the type of wood you are burning in your Elite 100 boiler.

    A while back I did some temperature measuring and data logging on my Lambda boiler which showed some of the temperature differences with and without the Lambda sensor activated. Since the topic of this post is related to Lambda sensor controlled boilers, I have attached it again to this post to show what the data displays. In addition to lower smoke temperatures and more consistent/tighter temperature bands in the secondary chamber, the use of a Lambda sensor on reduces emissions by approx. 400%.

    Attached Files:

  22. hiker88

    hiker88 Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Messages:
    218
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    Thanks for that. Although we have the same boiler it is hard for me and my limited experience to compare since our set up is pretty different. I've only made changes two settings. My slumber temp is 90c ( i think 85 or 87 was the default) and there was a timer setting that Tarm walked me though changing in the service menu. I was getting some erroneous "boiler has air leak" message related to the residual oxygen readings. I was burning some real gnarly pieces of wood at the beginning of the season and as a safety, the boiler was interpreting the high residual oxygen content settings as a leak, or leaving a door open. Once Tarm walked me through the change I never got the message again.

    With 220 c flu gas temp I hit 64% on the secondary last night. Our TV room is in the basement, and when I really hear it rumbling I go out for a look. My wife thinks it's dorky as anything, but like I said, I'm a gadget guy and just generally curious about these kind of things.
  23. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Messages:
    4,008
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    Reduces emissions by 400% over what? Are you saying emissions are 400% lower with Lambda activated than with it deactivated - all else being equal?
  24. EffectaBoilerUser (USA)

    EffectaBoilerUser (USA) Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Messages:
    202
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Can you let me know what the slumber temp is? On my control panel I have the following:

    Smoke Temperature
    Boiler Temperature
    Efficiency%
    Primary opening and Secondary opening are in the form of a series of vertical bars that move as the dampers change position

    What does your control panel display?

    On your Froling do you have (1) fan, (1) Lambda sensor, (1) smoke temperature sensor and individual stepper/servo motors for both the primary and secondary drafts?

    Thanks!
  25. hiker88

    hiker88 Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Messages:
    218
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    My main menu is configured to show flu gas temp and boiler temp (you can add things like temp of the boiler room etc, but this is what I go with). My settings sub menu shows boiler temp, flu gas temp, fan speed, primary air setting%, residual oxygen content %, secondary setting%, service hours, time in slumber, and then software version.

    The boiler will slumber at 93c and ETL at 100c

Share This Page