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Pellet Boilers.... Where are you????

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Mack The Knife, May 3, 2008.

  1. sinnian

    sinnian Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
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    Loc:
    Limerick, Maine
    I AGREE, I checked out our "taxfree" contributor from Northwood, NH and his philosophy in what every business owner's should be. After I do some more homework I shall call him to see if Limerick is an area he would want to head to. It is about an hour or slightly less away.

    I don't want to go with a wood burner due to many of the common reasons (mess, bugs, etc), as well as venting and my wife using/filling it when I am away.

    I have a traditional cape, that is well insulated (had the works done to it in 2006), and would really prefer just putting a pellet stove in the basement. However, logic and everything that I am reading makes me think that the upstairs would be verrrrrrry cold, which would not please the wife, nor cats - lol.

    Keep me/us informed on your decision making process, and I will do the same. I will try to get to the Harman dealer in NH this week and pick their brains, though I have a feeling they know a lot less about the boiler then the stoves ~ we'll see.

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  2. PelletOwner

    PelletOwner New Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Messages:
    34
    Loc:
    Maine
    If you haven't already, check out the Maine Energy Systems site and look at their offerings. They're offering a pellet delivery service, installation, and heating system. I have a system with similar parts - the only difference is all my parts are 50Hz/euro electricity, so I had to buy an inverter. The inverter has been my biggest problem part so far, and the inverter I found now actually works but emits a high pitched whine.

    The system comes with a four-and-a-half-ton hopper that automatically feeds pellets into the burner's hopper, where they are then fed into the burner. The system requires maintenance twice a heating season, mainly ash removal which can also be used as both an ice melter and a fertilizer. It has a high-temperature water heating system that keeps 35 gallons of water at 180 degrees and then mixes it with cold water for my tap hot water.

    I can take 24 hour showers. It's pretty awesome.
  3. thomcoastal

    thomcoastal New Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Messages:
    24
    Loc:
    Near Bangor Maine
    I am in the last stages of choosing a pellet boiler/boiler stove. I have gotten a yes for importation and operation in the US from two of the three European companies for boiler stoves, a yes from the MESys people and a yes from the Harman distributor. I now have to weigh the pros and cons of each system.

    Looking at the specs on the European models, it may be worth my while to choose one of them due to the overall reduction in cost to heat my home long term. many of the companies have been in existance from the original oil shortage in 1973. I will look over everything and make a decision soon...Keep you posted.

    I want to thank everyone who has positive input to this site. I have learned as much about where to turn away from as I have learned about companies to lean toward.
  4. kohout77

    kohout77 New Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
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    Loc:
    long island
    Hi, folk's I sell harman pellet boilers I just got them and folk's followed them in.As for the price 6305 is the new harman price and 208.75 for the coil.They raised price on all product. I also asked about froeling and say it's not avaible yet.Rika has one being tested in alaska the aqua evo it's a freestanding as well as a boiler. Tarm was alot of money and to make that work right you need a 800 gal storage tank.wood gas is alot of work compared to pellet you can get harman's 1700 lb extra hopper and run along time.
  5. thomcoastal

    thomcoastal New Member

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    Loc:
    Near Bangor Maine
    The Rika Aqua Evo is one of the boiler stove I am looking at adding to my home. it and several other of similar build are amazing for specs and the reviews of the hardware appear to show great reliability.
  6. kohout77

    kohout77 New Member

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    long island
    Rika was using austroflamm as their name but are just using rika great stoves very quite most parts are german
  7. fr8tdog

    fr8tdog New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
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    Loc:
    mid maine
    Thom,
    I too live near Bangor and sounds like I'm in about the same position as you. I have been trying to get an answer from Froeling, but the standard "sometime the 2nd half of the year" is all I get. I looked at Tarm, nice unit but very expensive by the time you put all the plumbing together. Mine is going into the basement, the Rika looks awful nice to be stuck down there, and what kind of storage or extra plumbing do you need to add to the existing hwbb system? Also, the only dealer I saw was in Portland Ore. That leaves the Harman, I think I would prefer one of the European brands, but expense and uncertainty (froeling) of availability seems to narrow the choices. I think I will try to wait out Froeling, but not sure how long I want to wait, seems like the waiting lists for installation are growing. Please keep us on this forum informed as to what you find out. Also, do you have any leads on pellets around Bangor? I live a few miles from the Corinth plant, but have not asked them if they will sell to an individual, I heard that some places will sell if the order is large enough, maybe they will and we could look into splitting the order. Thanks for putting the results of your search on this forum, the more information the better.

    Greg
  8. PelletOwner

    PelletOwner New Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
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    Loc:
    Maine
    fr8tdog, I would still encourage you to check out MEsys' offerings. They're including a 4 ton hopper so they don't have to deliver as often (less delivery charges), and they're going to be available within two months. They're also going to run a pellet delivery service so you don't have to hunt for pellets. The parts they use are all european with a great track record in sweden/austria/norway/denmark.

    I have a similar 4.5 ton hopper, and it's saved me hundreds in delivery fees.

    If you're looking to add a boiler to a HWBB system, it's really easy. I have a combination of under-the-floor and baseboard water heat, and I could use my old manifold from my oil burner/boiler. I might have gotten lucky with my manifold, though.
  9. Mack The Knife

    Mack The Knife New Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2008
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    Loc:
    Southern NH
    FYI -
    You are right on all accounts about cost, labor, convenience and efficiency. Although efficiency might be closer than you think. The issue with stoves and inserts is the heat doesn't move to other areas of the house very well. There are almost always cold/cool spots. A boiler on a HWBB or a furnace on a forced hot air system is like the oil furnace, but you are burning pellets or other biomass as a fuel.
    The 8 tons that I bought will be delivered bagged and loaded on a pallet. The bulk delivery price wasn't an option for me and the cost per ton and delivered was about $227.00 per ton. Which is equal to the BTU output/co$t of oil (only) two years ago. Oil was at $2.17.00 a gallon.
  10. fr8tdog

    fr8tdog New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    mid maine
    Just got off the phone from someone at Maine Energy Systems. Not really a wealth of information to say the least. Does anyone have a source of information on the Bosch boiler itself?
  11. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    Falmouth, Michigan
    I spoke with the marketing VP at Buderus/Bosch regarding the unit MES is using. Seems there is an exclusive marketing agreement between MES and Bosch. In short, the only place you can buy that boiler is MES.

    PS: I should add that the agreement is for a limited time. Who knows what will happen then but we won't know for a couple years in this case.
  12. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    That's strange...you would think there would be a benefit to consumers and everyone else by having multiple sources of these products. What happens when someone in the Midwest wants one of these boilers? Who services and installs it?

    Maybe they are figure it is best to keep a "beta test" limited to one area so the thing does not get out of hand. It is a lot easier to monitor, repair, install and test when all the units are in a relatively small area.
  13. sinnian

    sinnian Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    922
    Loc:
    Limerick, Maine
    To go with this whole discussion, I have a question.

    With the Harman PB105 and coil for hot water, what else would one need to / should purchase from Harmon to run the unit parallel to one's existing boiler?

    AND

    With the Pinnicle/Traeger PB150 what else would one need to / should purchase from Pinnicle/Traeger to run the unit parallel to one's existing boiler?

    I know there are pipes, etc. that the plumber will supply (and charge) for the installation, but what are the other hidden costs associated with these?

    By the way I got a price quote of $5800 on the Harmon, with another $208 for the coil (both subject to Maine tax), and another quote from NH for $6306 for the unit alone. What are other people seeing for prices?

    I have also seen the Traeger for $6950. Which one would be better?

    Does anyone know what the "average" cost is to install these units? I know there are too many variables to mention, but a ballpark figure?

    Thanks ~ Jeff
  14. thomcoastal

    thomcoastal New Member

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    Loc:
    Near Bangor Maine
    Sinnian
    The pricing I got last season for the Harman was within a dollar of the one you got, the 6306 is the price I got last week for the Harman from the same dealer. The Traeger price I got is the last as yours as well.

    Depending on wheter your system uses a recirculating loop or individual zones without the loop will determine what you need to buy - with the loop not much more than piping and a few valves but without it you may be forced to purchase circulators, etc to ensure the heat supply is evened out to your needs.

    I've gotten three estimates which range from $900-4000 for the installation of the Harman in my home.
  15. Mack The Knife

    Mack The Knife New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Southern NH
    My research has shown me that The Harman PB105 and the Traeger PB150 are both good units and both bring a little something to the table in features. Both units have reasonable efficiency ratings.
    If you haven't seen the Harman it is a direct vent which means you don't need to vent it to a chimney (nice feature). There's only about a 12" pipe that sticks out the rear wall, so you don't need to use the same chimney as your oil boiler. The Harman also only needs a 6 amp breaker/fuse. The 205 lb hopper is a nice load too.
    The Traeger has a higher output of BTU's for more square footage, but do you need that much coverage. I suppose that a power exhaust (maybe $400.00???) could be added to the Traeger for the same purpose as the direct vent, but you need to ask the reps.
    As pointed out in an earlier response, the cost of the boiler is not the only factor to consider.
  16. kohout77

    kohout77 New Member

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    that 6300 price is without shipping that is about 500 the thing weigh's 900 lbs.You should get a heat storage tank for the domestic hot water and maybe a circulator and a mixing valve
  17. sinnian

    sinnian Minister of Fire

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    If I am running it in parallel do I need a tank, circulator and mixing valve?

    Which also begs the question of how to keep my oil burner from running to keep the temperature of the water in its tank up?
  18. kohout77

    kohout77 New Member

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    the domestic hot is separate from the baseboard
  19. Sting

    Sting Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    Wisconsin
    If I understand correctly ---- and I am asking

    The Harmon is a water tube boiler and the Traeger is a fire tube boiler.

    Thats significant to me!

    Enough so to strike one from my short list!
  20. Willman

    Willman Minister of Fire

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    Sabattus Maine
    I spoke to the salesman at MES. Who I will add is new and not up to speed on various aspects of pellet boilers. He told me that a large local oil company is going to do the installs.They are also going to vet independent contractors for installations as well. MES will provide training to any solid fuel licensed tech ( Maine) that they accept into their program. Lewiston Maine is the launch area at this time. Otten has a deal with a local bank to offer financing at a favorable rate. My guess is he could be the importer of the boilers and sell to other shops when the time is right. I was extended an invitation to check out his boiler at his house to see it in operation.

    It seems he is going to take it slow and keep it local to work out any bugs in the system (beta). A rare approach in this day and age. From what I understand the boiler has been around a while in Europe so it should be good to go. The electronics were probably changed to work on USA current. His concern lies in the installation and service provider's as well as delivery more so than the actual unit itself. I will be keeping a close watch on this endeavor.

    Will
  21. Willman

    Willman Minister of Fire

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    Sabattus Maine
    Please give us a quick tutorial on the differences of fire tube and water tube boilers.
    Will
  22. harry

    harry New Member

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    May 24, 2008
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    Loc:
    eastern MA
    hey everyone
    any thoughts on the Orlan pellet boiler? Mack, what is your feeling about this unit, looks pretty good to me?

    harry
  23. Mack The Knife

    Mack The Knife New Member

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    Loc:
    Southern NH
    How are ya Harry..... As sung by_____________. Shame on me for forgetting his name.
    I wish I could have gotten more info on the Orlan. They say it has 92% efficiency. The price that I got from the West Virginia distributor is $7580.00. I might add that I have read many good things about the owner of New Horizon and he stayed on the phone with me answering many questions late on a Friday evening. Give New Horizon a call and ask some questions. He also carries the BioMax 40 and if I were to go to a unit that I had to feed (nonautomatic) I would choose the BioMax 40 myself.
  24. harry

    harry New Member

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    Loc:
    eastern MA
    Mack
    thanks for your info's, I will call him up and talk to him, but why you are not considering a Orlan boiler??
    harry
  25. harry

    harry New Member

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    May 24, 2008
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    Loc:
    eastern MA
    hey kohout 77
    would be a harman good to heat a 4500-5000 sq feet house? beeing a resident of eastern mass could you supply me with a harman unit?

    Thom and kohout 77, who is distributing the Rika Aqua Evo in the U.S. (new england)?

    harry

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