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OWB to gasifier retrofit

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by DSheckells, Jan 8, 2008.

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  1. kuribo

    kuribo Feeling the Heat

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    I don't recall the name of the company making the gasifier outdoor unit, but a google search should turn it up. They have video of it operating on the web site. Looks good!

    I think that OWB manufacturers fall into a few different categories. Some lack the expertise and know-how to produce a gasifier version, being small manufacturing shops that probably didn't even design the unit they are manufacturing. Most produce what is easiest and offers the largest profit margin. Gasifiers require refractory materials that add a level of complexity, cost, weight, etc., that many aren't equipped to deal with.

    I think an argument could also be made that OWB companies produce what the market is asking for. Gasification is still relatively unknown in the US in the mainstream. As the buying public becomes more aware of the benefits, companies will move in to meet the demand. Already several OWB companies have either introduced a gasifier or are about to....

    I also believe that the market for wood burning heaters, while interest is up with the current energy market situation, will never be that large as the majority of Americans have become too use to the convenience of oil, gas, etc., and aren't interested in tending a boiler. Consequently, in the US, you end up with smaller manufacturers lacking the engineering resources and R&D;budgets necessary to develop a more sophisticated product.

    I wouldn't think OWB manufacturers would be interested in retrofitting existing boilers for liability reasons, as a start.

    I see no reason why, if starting with the right boiler, that one could not convert it to a gasifier. Look at the Greenwood or Seton, for examples-they aren't much more that a refractory lined conventional boiler. With the right cast refractory pieces and a little experimenting with air flows and nozzle sizes, it shouldn't be out of reach for someone willing to spend a little time experimenting. The gasification process has some "play" in it which means one doesn't have to hit everything right on the head for it to work...Remember that masonry heaters have used gasification for hundreds of years, with no moving parts. Part of what makes the ECO and the like so much more sophisticated is the need to idle. If you simply wanted a box to gasify fuel at an all out burn, a lot of the hardware is not necessary.

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Ask and you shall receive....

    Thanks, Chris, for a very thorough explanation.

    You're right--some of us tend to forget that the rest of the country is not totally into the concept of clean wood heat.

    Reminds me of the woodstove industry in the '70s.
  3. DSheckells

    DSheckells New Member

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    Took some photos today, primary and secondary chambers, normal smoke after adding wood....trust me THAT is incredible !

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  4. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I see you got the pic thing figured out Deon. Looks cool. Thanks for posting them.
  5. guy01

    guy01 Member

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    Nice job I've been busy and unable to check your progress but it's been on my mind .
    So here's a question for the experts ,the Taylor stove has tubes running thru the water at an angle.It seems to me that if you extended the tubes into the firebox like a non cat wood stove you should get a good clean burn. what do you think?
  6. guy01

    guy01 Member

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    OOOPS I forgot to say anything about cutting the slits in the tubing
  7. DSheckells

    DSheckells New Member

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    This is a heat exchanger I used last season worked very well for efficiency. It will probably be used in my final design but I need to clean up combustion before anything else. The large box was in the fire box and did get hot enough that no ash was in it when we took it out to clean. The thought behind this was that I got a mutiple pass through the heat exchanger before exhausting the flue gasses. This design slowed combustion to about 25% which I had always done to limit smoke.

    My next design was a flat piece of steel that I set against the back of the firebox that blocked gasses from exiting tubes. Then inserted square tube into a hole cut at the bottom ( square tube in previous pictures ) forcing gasses to the bottom through coal bed. The design you see now was already in place when I made origional post. I am thinking about a design that will use a cast refractory at the bottom to increase heat.

    Current design runs stove wide open although combustion rate is reduced by gasification process.

    Anything you do to increase surface temperatures during combustion will help. Tubes will help. I would think of a false back and bottom for fire box. I found round tubes to be more expensive Ideas than flat.

    Does that help you any? By the way what size taylor stove do you have?

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  8. guy01

    guy01 Member

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    It is a taylor mod#f150 420 gal of water, My Dad is big time on board after getting his first real gas bill in years OUCH
    Guy
  9. guy01

    guy01 Member

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    I don't know if you saw this thread or not there are some materials here to look at I think
    Guy
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