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My wife wants to know why I STILL shop for wood boilers when mine is only a year old

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by ISeeDeadBTUs, Nov 16, 2007.

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  1. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    and I am blaming Eric today. All this talk of BlueForge and I had to go check out their website. Since the Greenwood is the only 'Wood fired Hydronic' I've ever run, I'm going to compare the two . . . .



    1)Before I finally purchased the GW, I was concerned about no means to remove ash.
    GW tells you it leaves nearly no ash behind. As with most sales bull sheetz, that MIGHT be true with PERFECT wood. As I've mentioned before, the GW will leave 'bricks' of compressed ash at the back of the box after periods of over-filling with wet wood. If you let the coals burn down a bit, you can pull the bricks out with a sod shovel.

    Looks to me like the Blue Forge has a way to handle ash better than the GW.

    Score one for BF!

    2)The GW in non-pressurized (open system) which requires a HX of some sort. Everytime I read 'HX' i thin inefficiency.

    Looks like the Blue Forge can be plumbed directly into an inside boiler and/or mixing station.

    Score two for BF!

    As with every other boiler out there, you never know until you run it for awhile.

    One thing I have found with the GreenWood is that chunks at the front of the box are too far from the air intake to really burn hot when the rest of the chunks have burned down. The funny thing is I first came to Hearth.com looking for ideas on a 'ramp' to place inside the GW firbox which would force (by gravity) the wood and/or coals toward the air intakes. It looks to me like the Blue Forge would work better at this since the sides are sloped to force the wood and coals to the center.

    Score three for Blue Forge!!!


    However. . .those of you that have run artificially aspirated boilers - forced air induction units - will probably say they are fine, but I think the simplicity of the GW makes for less to go wrong/malfunction. The Blue Forge looks like it has a downdraft forced air induction secondary chamber.

    Score this one a draw between BF and GW.

    My biggest concern with the BlueForge (remember, this is based on their website, I've never seen a BF yet) is the north/south loading. Is the back of the box refractory material? If so, the loading orientation is going to cause the box to disintegrate faster than the GreenWood- if that's possible! And how much of the primary combustion chamber is refractory? If it's all, like the GW, then the BF will probably also do well with less than ideal wood.

    Don't score this item until I find out more about the primary combustion chamber.

    So . . .anyone here have a BlueForge?

    Jimbo

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  2. rsnider

    rsnider New Member

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    The firebrick at the bottom of the bf is the only refractory in the primary chamber. the only upside is that the firebox is not surrounded by cold water like some owb so it could dry the wood a little not as good as the gw. i do not have a bf but seen one at a show and the only downfall is no insulation on the outer walls of the boiler to stop the heat from going into the room. they give you a bubble wrap insulation to wrap up your boiler on the top sides and bottom. if any one has a bf love to hear from you.
    ryan
  3. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I've owned a boiler with a blower and one with an Ammark bimetal draft control. The nice thing about the Ammark was that it doesn't require electricity. The nice thing about a blower is faster response time.

    As you've probably discovered, heating with wood is a momentum thing, and timing is important. It's less of a momentum thing with a blower.
  4. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    So far (don't forget last year in NY we had very little sub-zero) I like the simplicity of the GreenWood. The only time I'd like a blower is on start-up.

    The company claims the GW is a 'gassifier'.

    This year I am doing WAY better at letting the fire burn down to coals (i'd feel a lot safer doing this with a water buffer tank) than FILLING the combustion chamber and LEAVING it alone. Last year, every time my inside oil burner kicked on, I went out to check the GW - cussing all the way - no matter what time of day or night it was. Right now, I simply have my burner unplugged. What I need is a control that will tell the oil burner to not come on until the water coming from the GW drops below say 150 deg. Right now a strap-on aquastat tells the oil boiler part of the HX loop to stop circulation, but I need to actually control the burner too.

    When I get a chance, I will pictorially document a wood cycle in my GW so you can see how a naturally aspirated boiler doesn't smoke either, once the newly introduced wood load gets warmed and the water gets blown outa it.

    Sux that the BF only has refractory on the bottom, though steel at the back of the primary chamber makes sense considering the north/south loading scheme.

    Seems foolish to not insulate the BF . . . My GW throws off enough heat to melt the snow on the building its in, and it also helps dry the wood supply I keep in the shed for the coldest weather.

    Jimbo
  5. antknee2

    antknee2 New Member

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    I figured out a very easy way to prevent the oil burner from firing up when the Greenwood still has plenty of heat circulating . I installed a strap on Honeywell type L6006C aquastat on the 1'' pex pipe feeding the indoor oil fired boiler , it is set to break on temperature rise 120f or what ever you prefer . I removed one wire from the aquastat relay type L8148J on the actual aquastat inside the box and wired the strap on relay in series . It trick's the inside boiler, it has no clue what water temperate is going through it . Anthony
  6. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Thanks Anthony . . . to bad I spent a fortune on the Viessmann and am not quite ready to do something that may end up really really bad. This thing has an outside control that compensates for outside temperature at the mixing valve. If I ever get this figured out, I am then going to set up 'outside control' for the damper on the GreenWo. The damper should not be set at a static 180 deg - IMHO - but should vary based on expected demand aka/ outside temp, time of day, etc

    Jimbo
  7. antknee2

    antknee2 New Member

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    Your Viessmann sounds like a awesome boiler, good choice. I really like your idea on the outside temperature differential control for the high limit damper . I have bin racking my brain to figure how to shut down the high limit damper when the fire is down to a few small embers, to keep all that heat in fire box. Any input would be great . Fred Seton just laughed when ran that question by him today. Anthony
  8. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Actually, let play with this. A guy I work around has an OWB - not sure on the brand - that has forced induction, though it doesn't claim to be a gassifier. I know the firebox is steel. Anyway, he says that when the temp drops down, the fan goes off so as to not burn out the remaining coals. He says that when he reloads he simply hits the reset on the fan and the fire roars back to life.

    So, if your Seton is basically the same as my GW, why can't we:

    1) remove the aquastat at the back of the furnace (the one that leaks when the water cools down).
    2) remove the thermometer at the feed door.
    3) Install a datalogger where #2 above was. We now have a digital snapshot of hydronic fluid temp.
    4) Install datalogger #2 to record outside air temp
    5) Wire the dataloggers above to a set of relays that tells the damper door:
    a)when the water temp drops below 150, close the damper
    b)when the outside temp is >39, open the damper at 160, close it at 175
    c)when the outside temp is 39>29, open the damper at 165, close it at 180
    d)when the outside temp is 29>15, open the damper at 170, close it at 185
    d)when the outside temp is 15>0, open the damper at 175, close it at 190
    d)when the outside temp is 0>15, open the damper at 180, close it at 200

    I realise the factory aquastat has a 10 degree swing on both sides, but if the above described system had a simple GUI where the user could easily adjust the set points, I think a little bit of trial and error would fine tune the system for each user and probably be more efficient.

    Jimbo

    I don't think it's coincidence that I add Jeanine Pirros pic to my avatar, and I get designated 'Really Hot' %-P
  9. antknee2

    antknee2 New Member

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    Thank you very much , sounds like the way to go , any thoughts on a unit that would work for this application. Happy Thanksgiving
    Anthony
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