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OWB selection Central Boiler E-Classic 2300

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by JrCRXHF, Apr 28, 2008.

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  1. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Have you seen the E-Classic working, coalman?

    I may get a chance next week at the NEFP Expo in Essex Jct., VT if they fire up the demo unit. Hard to tell much without a load on it, of course, but I'm interested in how they achieve the secondary combustion.

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  2. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Part of this makes common sense, and part, like so much regulation, is driven by a mission by some to eliminate competition from others, all in the name of health, safety, etc. Where this regulation falls I do not know. At the same time, it does not make sense to me that individuals should be given a free ticket to spew smoke and ash into the air. The key is a balance.

    I had the opportunity about a month ago to deliver a presentation of wood gasification boiler to a county alternative energy group, at which a rep of the MN PCA was present. I tried to carefully make the point that all wood burning appliances are not the same, and care must be taken in any future regulation not to paint with too broad a brush. I think the rep was impressed by the video I showed, along with other info.
  3. antos_ketcham

    antos_ketcham Member

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    There is no cat in the E-Classic. It down drafts to a secondary combustion chamber in order to scrub the emissions. There is a bypass damper which opens to the stack directly when you are loading. When you close the door you also close the bypass and the emissions are then forced down through the secondary chamber.

    Pete
  4. intc97

    intc97 New Member

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    I saw this stove about one month ago. My neighbor over the border in Canada sells Central Boilers and he had one of the first ones. The things I didn't like was:
    1) The smaller firebox
    2) The price he quoted was around $10,000
    3) There were alot of sensors to operate the downdraft cycle( solenoid switches)and it is new technology
    4) It only came in one size
    5) Limited warennty
    He told me he was afraid all the new regulations might limit his sales of oldrt OWB's and this one would meet the nerw regulations.
  5. solarguy

    solarguy New Member

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    Central claims 98% efficiency. I think they are talking about combustion, not thermal. I'd bet the thermal efficiency doesn't get above 60% . OWB's by their very nature hold too much water therefore they will never achieve the thermal efficiency of a low mass boiler. With their new design, you'll need to brush out the heat exchanger tubes constantly, you'll have a big pile of creoste to dispose of.
    After 7 years of using one of those OWB wood eating monsters, I wouldn't give you a bucket of horse piss for one of them.
    Now, let me tell you how I really feel :)
  6. deerhuntrer

    deerhuntrer New Member

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    I like horse piss
  7. antos_ketcham

    antos_ketcham Member

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    FWIW - When I looked at the unit myself I found the following -

    1) Yes, the firebox is smaller when compared to the traditional model in that size. That said, it can still take wood up to 36" long

    2) That price would seem to include a mark-up, tax, or both - he was in Canada right? GST tax? That price seems high compared to what I am seeing in VT.

    3) I saw one solenoid - just like the old CB. What are the other ones you saw for?

    4) True - only one size now, but they are coming out with a smaller one.

    5) More limited than the traditional? I thought I saw 20 years.

    Anyway, this is an interesting discussion. I will post pics. when I get mine up and running.

    Pete


  8. solarguy

    solarguy New Member

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    Darren,

    You're in a different situation than most OWB users. You have an abundant supply of slab wood from your sawmill, you're located up in God's country & there's probably no neighbors close by to raise hell with you.
    This is not typical for the average OWB user & the line of BS they are fed from the sales force.

    My point is the OWB's do consume twice the wood when compared to a gasifier, lay down a 1000 times more smoke & are not efficient from a thermal point of view. I loved mine when we had a ton of pine tops left over from a couple of logging operations but after I had to start harvesting timber to feed the thing, a couple of years later I wanted to put a bullet in my head.
    I've used both indoor & outdoor boilers for the last 14 years, I've gone back to an indoor boiler for a reason.

    Bob
  9. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    After seeing the difference between what Central claims about their products and then how they actually perform in the field, I don't believe anything that company says. I wouldn't buy anything with that brand on it. I don't sell them but I do wind up trying to help a lot of people having problems with them. The product itself is mediocre in terms of performance and efficiency but the main thing is that the company basically promises the moon and people are disappointed when it doesn't deliver. It burns wood, puts about 30-40% of the heat into the water and that my friends is it. It's not magic.

    The thing that most people don't realize is how efficiency is calculated. System efficiency is the product of combustion efficiency times transfer efficiency. In other words you may very well have a boiler that hits 90% combustion efficiency but it's heat transfer is only 55%. This gives you a net efficiency of 49.5%. The heat transfer efficiency of nearly all the OWB's that I have seen test data on usually falls between 30-40%, so even if you have a combustion efficiency of 90% you're only capturing around 32% of the heat available in the wood. NoFossil ran into this with during detailed measurements on his EKO. He came up with overall numbers in the 50% range if I recall. Those would be correct except for including jacket losses into his conditioned space.

    Just as a note. Eric mentioned a while back that the Garn crowd is a cult. They are a cult for a good reason. Garn's system efficiency numbers are in the 75-80% range. Far above anything else that I have seen specs on from an independent lab. Their combustion efficiency is 90-92% same as anyone else's but their transfer efficiency is in the 85% range. System efficiency is 76.5%. Nothing else is even close to that. You simply can't beat massive heat exchanger surface and dwell time along with a totally submerged firebox. You have to burn one to believe it.

    Now I'm totally off track here....................Sorry for derailing the thread
  10. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Hope I didn't offend anyone with my "cult" comment. I haven't seen TCaldwell or Garnification around in awhile, so now I'm wondering.
  11. JrCRXHF

    JrCRXHF Burning Hunk

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    This is all good information.

    We are all looking for one thing the cheap way to heat our houses.

    How much more does a Garn run then a EKO or biomax. I have watched a video of it running i was impressed the only down side is that it takes a up a great deal of space.
  12. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Dude, I know you're one of the 'sperts here. . .but . . . you sure about where the efficiencies are and are not in these units? I am pretty sure that OWB's like the CB are good in the heat transfer efficiency dept (nearly every bit of heat from the fire gets into the water because of the large surface area of the water in direct contact with the fire) but piss-poor in the combustion efficiency dept (Fire never burns hot because of all that water surface area)? Or did I miss something?
  13. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    How long have you had your GW100? Why are you replacing it?

    Jimbo
  14. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I think your typical OWB flunks in both categories. You have smoke and high stack temps, which suggests to me that they're getting incomplete combustion and a lot of heat is not recovered and going up the stack and into the atmosphere.

    Anyway, the E-Classic looks to me like a downdraft gasifier, which means it ought to have higher efficiencies than CB's standard OWB models. That's if it works under actual battlefield conditions, which obviously remains to be seen.
  15. deerhuntrer

    deerhuntrer New Member

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    Solarguy,
    U R right. OWB are not for everyone and yes they do use alot of wood. You are correct. I agree they are not for use in urban areas or even suburban. But we here are under attack from leftwing environmentalists, and these OWB do no harm to anyone here.
    I actually would like to ask you some pionters on Solar energy as we are looking to try to get off the grid (as much as we can) and we have been researchiing solar but I am a newbie. Can U help?
  16. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    Not really. The ratio of btu input to surface area of the HX (usually well insulated with creosote) is not all that good. If they were transferring the heat well, I wouldn't see stack temps of 800*+ during full burn. If there was a btu load of 100K worth of wood surrounded by 30 sq ft of HX surface, common in a lot of OWB's, that would enable fairly decent transfer numbers. The problem is that most operators are ramming all the wood they can into the unit which effectively lowers that ratio by raising the btu input of the burn. When the aquastat satisfies and the fire "goes to sleep", so does the combustion efficiency. So with a typical OWB you're either getting killed on the combustion side or the transfer side.

    Hope that made some sense.
  17. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    None taken by me my good man. I have to confess I get a little sideways when talking about Garn's but I try to stay objective and truthful in my comments.
  18. JrCRXHF

    JrCRXHF Burning Hunk

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    how much do the garns cost?
  19. intc97

    intc97 New Member

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    When I looked at the stove, he told me there were 5 solenoids. He may have been mistaken since he just got the stove in and they hadn't been out that long. Not sure of the mark up being in Canada . I thought for that price, I would be better off putting a gassification boiler in an outbuilding and have a storage tank in my basement. I'm going to a show this Friday and hopefully will be able to see alot of OWB and gassification stoves. One of my neighbors has a Tarn and storage tank and loves it. I'm getting alittle nervious living in NY with all the laws that I'm hearing about. Let me know when you get your stove.
  20. antos_ketcham

    antos_ketcham Member

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    I have had the GW 100 for one season. I am replacing it for a couple of reasons.

    1) Creosote- without storage, and I have no room for storage, my unit is making a lot of creosote. I am cleaning the chimney every other week and have had a couple of mini fires in the chimney. I can see creosote all over the hx pipes in the upper part of the boiler so I can only imagine what the back may look like - probably something like Dkerley's pictures of his when he opened his up. I also get creosote laden liquid that drips out of my pipe and the furnace onto the floor and stains it. And here is the crazy part - I am burning hot. I have a flue gas probe in my pipe and it registers in the clean burn zone when the unit is running. Now that said, I am closed down most of the time and then it is not. Without storage, my damper is mostly closed.

    2) Lack of access for cleaning - without an easy access panel, I would have to undo all of my plumbing and then figure out a way to move the beast so I can get at the back to open it up and clean it. That is way too much work and expense. I consider the lack of a side access panel for cleaning and inspection a design flaw.

    3) Not Weatherproof - not being weatherproof means it needs to be in a small building. What this has meant for me is that I generally feel like my lungs have been through a cheese grader after loading the thing. Smoke rolls out the door and fills the boiler room and my lungs. This is likely not good for me.

    I believe if I had storage all but issue number 2 would be moot. But I don't have the space and my wife says "no more outbuildings", so, I am switching to the CB E-Classic.

    Pete




  21. antos_ketcham

    antos_ketcham Member

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    The new E-Classic will be at the Expo later this week. Greg Beliveau from Goose Creek Farms is the local dealer and he'll have a booth. Is this the show you are going to?

    I will let you know how it goes with the new stove.

    Pete

  22. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    Just out of curiosity Jr. What price were you quoted for the E-Classic?

    Also, what are you planning to do for storage on the EKO?
  23. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Pete:
    My hat's off to a guy that can buy a new wood fired hydronic every year.

    When I pulled my pipe apart for cleaning last month (first time since October 2007) I found very little creosote. I found considerable ash still in the unit, right below the pipe opening. Honestly, I just reached in a removed it handful at a time, but if I'd had the time, I would have taken the ShopVac to it.

    I think storage (maybe even a buffer tank) would make it easier to run clean, but, IN THEORY, if you size the unit properly, then load properly, idleing should be minimized. And when the damper opens, what little creosote has accumulated should burn off.

    Jimbo
  24. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Makes perfect sense.

    Though I think my GW100 can be run efficiently and VSF, it requires the proper load for the situation. If we could reduce the load cycle (and all it's inputs) to an algorithim, every appliance could run virtually VSF.

    Jimbo
  25. JrCRXHF

    JrCRXHF Burning Hunk

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    The E-Classic was $8,550

    For storage i was going to do 8" Block box 6ft x 3ft x 3ft and then put a plastic liner in it along with insulation and have my feed and return on the top with 2 40 plate heat exchangers so that the water system would not be pressured and would not effect the water in the boiler or the house loop.

    I am also thinking about the BioMax
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