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large boiler for my dad

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by brian89gp, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    My uncle has a 20,000 sq. ft. pallet shop he heats with one of these. No insulation and the doors are opened and closed all day.
    http://www.biomasscombustion.com/
    They burn about 1/3 cord of thin pallet boards during an 8 hour shift.
    It's warm enough in the building I've seen the guys working in sweatshirts at 0 degrees outside.
    The blowers on his move air a long way across his building which may work well in long greenhouses.
    If you can source some cheap/free scrapwood it may be an option.

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  2. ewdudley

    ewdudley Minister of Fire

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    But coal is readily available. You would be buying by the trailer load, just pick up the phone and tell them where you want it delivered. Economical, easy to store, easy to handle.
  3. Hansson

    Hansson Feeling the Heat

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  4. BoilerBob

    BoilerBob Member

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  5. BoilerBob

    BoilerBob Member

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    I agree, Froling has a nice wood chip boiler
  6. rcollman

    rcollman Member

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    I would do wood chips if I had to heat several greenhouses. I would either buy a chipper or have someone turn my "free" wood into chips. Or buy it by the truckload once real old age kicks in :)

    I burned cord wood for about 5 years, then switched to hard coal for about 3 years and went back to wood. I liked the BTU output per unit of handling of coal and the no fooling, all night burn compared to wood. However, coal ash is nothing like wood ash. Getting rid of it,involved 10 or more times the handling (and volume) than wood ash and I had to take it to a landfill instead of the garden or lawn.

    My airtight Solo 40 uses 60% or so of the wood my other boilder used,. I looked into bricks instead of cord wood on the price side this fall. Roughly speaking, when a real cord costs me $230 split reasonably and delivered, sawdust bricks were over twice that cost per BTU. I believe pellets would be about the same. Of course less storage area, no bugs, no moisture worries and if you can move around a 1 ton pallets, no handling to speak of for the bricks. My wife suggested I figure out propane to make me feel good. That was 4 times the cost of cord woood and made bricks seem like a good deal. So there is hope when I get older, or my wife does not have me around. Just saying...
  7. bigburner

    bigburner Feeling the Heat

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    Some buddy type in Big Burner?? I own a chipper and would like to burn both chips and logs, the chips would be a great ways to keep things at a steady output. my situation would require the chips to be dropped in the same combustion area as the logs. Only wood for now. Green house suggestions: Buy the biggest OWB you can find, add as much storage as you can find 3 / 4 thousand gallons. [Assume AHU]s ] Open or closed system guess it depends on wallet either will work fine with proper water & design [do not use any heat exchangers if possible] sequence of operation have dad start firing in the after noon and start charging the storage and keep it burning hot this will allow for less quality wood. if there was room I would line the burn chamber with fire brick, this could increase efficiency & will operate more like a batch boiler. I would operate the AHU with as low as water temps, as set point will allow. Fans running continuous and tempering water temps with a delta t pump. This set up is nothing that I would do for my self and most likely wouldn't recommend it to my customers either, but sounds like simple simple simple, is better for dad, open the door - add wood.
    LEES WOOD-CO likes this.
  8. brian89gp

    brian89gp Feeling the Heat

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    A batch heater is what I had in mind but could not think of the term. Simple (for him) is indeed what I am after. The chip and pellet burners fit the requirements too but I need to look into the financial feasibility of them. If efficiency can be had while keeping it simple then I am all for it, such as adding secondary burn tubes to the boiler since they seem pretty foolproof or a forced draft system. I can see some good possibilities in a secondary burn system in addition to a auto damper forced draft fan that is based on water temp while keeping it relativity simple.

    Do you have any suggestions for very large OWB? I liked the look of the DIY pallet burner linked to on the first page with the absolutely huge firebox, load it once to the gills and just let it go. Should I be going more for an open or closed system?

    I will start reading about AHU and delta t pumps. I am waiting on him to get me the sizes of the greenhouses so I can run the heat loss calc.

    I am open to the idea of a gassifier and other methods as long as they are simple.
  9. brian89gp

    brian89gp Feeling the Heat

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    The small greenhouses are 223k BTU according to the heat calc link earlier in this thread. There are two of those and then one other that takes less then 200k

    24' x 100', 8' tall, 30' linear pipe in arch. -10* outside and 45* inside design temps.



    He has 3 small ones in total and can probably convert what is left of the larger one (fire destroyed it) for summer use only and/or use the forced air outdoor burner he already has to heat it for seedlings or other plants that need high temperatures for short periods of time.

    So design size for boiler would be 446k BTU output minimum but it would be nice to be at 669k BTU if it can be accomplished with minimal cost increase over the 446k so he could heat all three of the smaller greenhouses with it.
  10. fuelfarmer

    fuelfarmer Burning Hunk

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    Just to make a point I like to tell people you can spend $1000 on a heater and $50,000 on fuel, or $50,000 on a heater and $1000 on fuel. It is your choice. That is not exactly true, but the cost of a biomass systems is big up front. Over time it will save a lot of money. And time will happen either way, so why not prepare to save.

    A friend reminded me of this. Remember Dr Pepper time? You were to drink a Dr Pepper at 10, 2 ,and 4 o'clock. When it comes to feeding a large outdoor boiler to heat a big project just remember 10, 2 and 4 o'clock or something like that. And 10, 2,and 4 happens twice a day.
  11. brian89gp

    brian89gp Feeling the Heat

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    Point taken.

    He is 63 and likely won't be able to do this for more then 10-15 more years. The upfront cost of efficiency would would need to be paid back in that time frame to make it worth it.
  12. aussiedog3

    aussiedog3 Feeling the Heat

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    TheLogBoiler "The Log Boss" Maybe worth checking it out. Saw some advertising for it in the area. Actually saw one for sale in the parking lot at a country meat market.
    Can be loaded with about 4' logs from the top on the side, firebox looks to be 500 gallon propane tank.
    I would think it would burn a long, long time if you loaded this pooch to the gills.
    I don't know anybody that has any experience with them but looks to be built for commercial applications.
    Now that I think about it, it may have been developed by greenhouse operators because there are a ton of greenhouses in the area where I saw it for sale.
    It was northeast of Zeeland, Michigan and northwest of Hudsonville, Michigan
  13. A typical OWB will have very little resale value after 10 years. A garn would still be worth something to sell.
  14. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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  15. Fred61

    Fred61 Minister of Fire

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    I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole!!!
  16. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    Funny you said that, because it burns 8ft poles with ease. :p
  17. Bob Rohr

    Bob Rohr Minister of Fire

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    I like the concept of these large round bale boilers. In my area of SW Missouri their seems to be plenty of old bales rotting in the fields that could be used for fuel. I'm not sure if anyone has built one of these in the US, but it probably could be fabricated by most any metal shop that builds tanks.

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  18. NE WOOD BURNER

    NE WOOD BURNER Minister of Fire

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    Thats the Log Burner I saw awhile back! Thought it would be a good solution. My initial thought was that loading would be easier with a tractor or a picker. I work with equipment operators routinely and many operate equipment well into there 80's. I figured if Dad cant run the tractor or picker Im guessing that running the Greenhouse would be difficult also. Would love to hear some feed back of these units from users.
  19. Fred61

    Fred61 Minister of Fire

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    See, I'm two feet too long==c
  20. brian89gp

    brian89gp Feeling the Heat

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    Those are some monster wood burners.

    I am going to work on improving heating effiency of the greenhouses this year with the possibility of changing the heat source up this next winter but more then likely the one after. Throwing another sheet of plastic up and inflating it should drop the heat load at design temps (-10*) to 130k per greenhouse. Normal overnight temps only get below 10* for a couple weeks and heat load at that temp is around 85k per greenhouse.


    I have narrowed it to three types of possibilities. Coal is out due to delivery costs and the chip system doesn't compete will with the price of pellets here.

    1. Pellet boiler
    2. A large batch burner boiler, inefficient when it comes to using a lot of wood but time savings by not having to split and cut nearly as much. Minimal storage.
    3. A large gassifier with huge storage. It is a distant 3rd, but still in the running.
  21. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

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    Seems like a Garn with extra storage would be pretty nice. I have found 1000 gallon propane tanks for as low as $100. You could have storage in each greenhouse plus the capacity of the Garn. It would a least let him sleep for a while.

    If you think wood moisture could be an issue. Maybe Large OWB with storage in each greenhouse.

    gg
  22. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    If this is commerical application make sure you check that you dont inadvertently turin into a permitted source. Having to deal with air permitting is not something I would wish on anyone.

    Dick Hill years ago desing a big version of his wood furnace for the state forest nursery greenhouse in Maine. It had a huge storage tank. Unfortunatley it really required a boilr tender to feed the darn thing whne it was running. I think 60 pounds every 20 minutes. Might be worth checking with "Tom in Maine" to see if he knows of any reports on that set up.
    flyingcow likes this.
  23. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    That bio-burner looks super-sweet! If you dad has some equiptment then it seems quite feasable, wouls need a tractor and a wood chipper for that oak. 30 chord is ALOT of wood to handle.

    TS
  24. singe

    singe Member

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    Hi Brian, just thought I would stick my fillings in here as this thread is quite close to home for me in many ways- I heat a smallish 30' x50' polytunnel in the pennines in england, its pretty cold and miserable up here, I keep just under 7000 us gal of water in pools between 74-80f to grow coral and breed tropical marine fish, It cant get cold or they are dead! The tunnel is double skinned with air blown between to act as insulation which makes a big difference. At the moment I'm running a 25kw eko orlan gasser with 300gal of storage (the pools themselves also act as storage) I insulate everything and cover the pools at night but its a struggle, I burn whatever I can get my hands on, sofwood blocks from pallet making, hardwood and softwood logs, rarely as dry as they should be and coal in emergencys when the wood is really wet. I load every couple of hours in the daytime, still its 5x more efficient than when I used barrel stoves!

    I Need a bigger boiler and something that will burn whatever I can get hold of and burn it well- my choice for an upgrade is a FARM 2000, I think they export to the states, they are very very well made, my father in law has one as do quite a few tight farmers around me!, they are pretty efficient upwards gassifiers (the primary and secondary air mix are altered over the burntime), simple, and the bigger models such as the HT80 have a firebox thats 8ft long and 4ft wide so you can load them easy with a couple of pallets of wood on a forklift, they will burn whatever you throw in basically, wet or dry and its very easy to clean the exchangers if your using sunbstandard fuel, that said the time you would save loading and chopping you could start to get a head with the fuel storage- if youve a well ventilated polytunnel or greenhouse to stack your wood you can get oak splits pretty damn dry in a year.

    Im a slave to my boiler at the moment in winter and ive worked out just changing to a 4.5ft by 2.2ft firebox (ht 45 model) I could load just twice in 24 hours, with bigger bits of wood and save over 2 weeks in time (normal working days) over a heating season !! obviously I undersized massivly at the start but the business has evolved and grown.

    just my thoughts...
  25. brian89gp

    brian89gp Feeling the Heat

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    Gives whole new meaning to redundancy and double checking doesn't it?

    For gassifiers the Garn is on the top of the list. The amount of heat required looks to be making the OWB option less likely
    I was contemplating something along those lines. If there is enough tanks in each greenhouse then the greenhouse could probably be heated by radiant heat comming off of the tank which would eliminate the need for fan coils and fans (and by proxy the power needed to run the fans which is usefull during power outages). The one thing I haven't figured out about that yet is the efficiency of doing it that way. The greenhouses only need heat when it is not sunny even on days that it is -10 outside, so any leftover heat in the tanks in the greenhouse that lasts to the next day is essentially wasted. Granted it will warm the greenhouse still, but the greenhouse didn't need to be warmed. I was hoping to keep the storage properly sized so that fully heated it would run out of heat in around 12 hours. The whole question on what to do with excess heat that runs into the next (sunny) day is why I was thinking of fan coils as heat can be stored in insulated tanks and used when needed. There are losses, but not as much, as there is an actual call for heat.

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