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Pellet House pellet search and review "Ultimate Pellet search"

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by jtakeman, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. WoodPorn

    WoodPorn Minister of Fire

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    I think the way you've done it thus far is perfect! Don't let the wannabe engineers here with grandiose visions frustrate you. Testing to this point has greatly helped the masses, and needs nothing added.

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  2. ADVA

    ADVA New Member

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    I Humbly Agree!

    Whats gotten into these wanna-be engineoroes & their grandoise complicated
    micro managing Jay's diligent efforts that have helped so many of us.

    Have to admit however.
    That if the 1' box method is the standard.
    PFI's method is flawed then.

    Thanks for all your efforts Jay.
    Dont change a thing!
  3. vvvv

    vvvv New Member

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    lol call Twin Port Labs & ask them how they test their pellets for PFI labeling
  4. WoodPorn

    WoodPorn Minister of Fire

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    I don't think too many here have the time or patience to worry about Twin Ports methods. J's testing and methods are "real world" and not a corporate engineered strategy.
  5. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Don't have to Here is there testing spec's!

    6. Test Methods
    6.1 The requirements enumerated in this specification shall be determined in accordance
    with the referenced ASTM test methods or other referenced methods except where
    modifications are noted or in accordance with the test procedures specified.
    6.1.1 Bulk Density – Determine in accordance with ASTM E 873 except this method shall
    be revised to utilize a 1/4 cubic foot container that is tapped 25 times from 1 inch. In
    order to insure that an adequate sample quantity is available for this revised method, a
    minimum sample size of 12 pounds (5.44 kilograms) is recommended.
    6.1.2 Diameter - Select 5 pellets randomly out of the pellet sample being evaluated and
    measure the diameter of each pellet with the caliper specified in 8.1. Each measured
    pellet diameter shall be recorded to the nearest 0.001 inch. The average pellet
    diameter as well as the range of all pellet diameters measured shall be calculated and
    reported to the nearest 0.001 inch.
    6.1.3 Pellet Durability Index (PDI) – Pellet durability shall be determined by using the
    method specified in Annex A.1. It should be noted that the pellets remaining after
    performing the fines determination as specified in 6.1.4 can be used without further
    preparation to conduct the durability test.
    6.1.4 Fines – Determined using the following procedure that incorporates the use of a 1/8-
    inch (3.17 mm) wire screen sieve. All weight measurements shall be recorded to the
    nearest 0.1 gram.
    6.1.4.1 Secure a representative fuel sample.
    6.1.4.2 Reduce the sample size down to a minimum of 2.5 pounds (1,133 grams) using a
    sample splitter with 3.5-inch (89 mm) slots. Larger sample sizes may be used.
    6.1.4.3 Using the analytical balance specified in 8.2, weigh the sample and record as the
    initial sample weight to the nearest 0.1 grams.
    6.1.4.4 Weigh the receiving pan and record the weight to the nearest 0.1 grams.
    6.1.4.5 Attach a 1/8-inch (3.17 mm) screen to the receiving pan and place the pellet
    sample on the screen using care not to overload the screen. The maximum load
    on the screen should not exceed 1 pound (453 grams) of pellets per 100 square
    inches (654 square centimeters) of screen surface area. Smaller screens may
    require the sample to be screened in increments.
    6.1.4.6 Screen the sample by tilting the screen side to side 10 times.
    6.1.4.7 If the sample is being screened in increments, after the first portion has been
    screened remove the 1/8-inch (3.17 mm) screen from the base pan, and empty the
    pellets off the screen.
    6.1.4.8 Repeat 6.5.1.5 through 6.1.5.7 until the entire sample has been screened.
    6.1.4.9 Remove the 1/8-inch (3.17 mm) screen and weigh and record the weight of the
    base pan with the fines to the nearest 0.1 grams.
    6.1.4.10 Calculate and report the percent of fines to the nearest 0.01% as follows:
    % Fines = [(Weight of Base Pan + Fines) – (Weight of Base Pan)] x 100
    Initial Sample Weight
    6.1.5 An alternative fines determination procedure is provided in Annex C.1.
    6.1.6 Inorganic Ash – Determine in accordance with ASTM D 1102.
    6.1.7 Length - Starting with 2.5 pounds (1.13 kilograms) of pellets randomly selected from
    the sample being evaluated, hand sort to identify pellets over 1.50 inches in length.
    Use the caliper specified in 8.1 or a certified measuring block as specified in 8.3 to
    confirm that a pellet exceeds the specified length. The weight percent of all pellets
    exceeding the specified length shall be reported. In addition, of the pellets exceeding
    the specified length, the longest pellet shall be identified, measured with the caliper
    specified in 8.1, and the length reported as the maximum pellet length.
    6.1.8 Moisture – Determine in accordance with ASTM E 871.
    6.1.9 Chloride – Determine in accordance with ASTM E 776 or ASTM D 4208 or ASTM
    D 6721.
    6.1.10 Ash Fusion - Determine in accordance with ASTM D1857.
    6.1.11 Heating Value – Determine in accordance with ASTM E 711.

    We could do some of these, But no way in heck we could do them all. I prefer what my stove says. Instead of the perfect sample the mills send to twinports lab. I am sure if we took a forum vote most would rather see whats really in them bags! %-P Why don't you poll the audience for us?

    My lab coat is at the cleaners, May take years to get it back! Now where did I put my pocket protector???? geez!
  6. ADVA

    ADVA New Member

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    "6.1.1 Bulk Density – Determine in accordance with ASTM E 873 except this method shall
    be revised to utilize a 1/4 cubic foot container that is tapped 25 times from 1 inch. In
    order to insure that an adequate sample quantity is available for this revised method, a
    minimum sample size of 12 pounds (5.44 kilograms) is recommended."

    Thanks Jay.
    They revised to use a 1/4 cubic foot.
    So a bit smaller.

    So they can pull this from a sample size of just 12lbs.

    Now if you took the pellets & made them all near the same length.
    Then it works.
    Would still average 3-samples though.

    You hope they gave it a test pulling from the same bag/12lbs:
    Longer pellets & Shorter.
    Doing tests on both to discover any trends.

    OK my 5-min. of nit picking is over for the day!
  7. ADVA

    ADVA New Member

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    "STEP AWAY FROM THE TEST BENCH & REMOVE THE POCKET PROTECTOR FROM YOUR LAB COAT"!!!

    Jay,
    The methods you have used to put the charts together are fine.
    It has helped me to understand many things & am getting an education here!
    Plus the basics you always throw out there for us on the "bottom line" of heat/costs.

    Happy to dip my foot in the "mud"!
  8. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Uh O' Now I know where my pocket protector is! I left them in my lab coat pocket! :ahhh:

    I try to do a better job. The more steps will = less brands to be sampled! Less free time this year too!
  9. ADVA

    ADVA New Member

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    Jay,

    That might not be worth the trade off=
    "Less brands tested".

    The "top tier quality" pellet companies tied to their own high end wood floor etc. suppliers which in some cases are their own companies.
    They most likely would be best at being most near last years tests.
    Unless this bad economy forced them to "taint" their pellets with less desirable wood.

    Some retesting of certain brands may be worth it.
    The bags I picked up are marked 7-10.
    So they are recent.
    Will be comparing them this weekend against last winters stock.

    Seems some companies after they get their premium stamp decrease the quality.
    Others of poor quality last year may have refined their process....ya hope!

    Still can't believe "Natures Heat" is selling pellets yet.
    That is "if" they are as bad as the ones I have used.
    They are putting a material looking/behaving like MDF/etc. in their pellets.
    Very hard near rock like pieces & lots of not just fines but "dust".
    I think thats where it comes from.
    Could be some seed based cause too though...
    Also where the fine white film on my glass comes from too.
    I believe there are binders in the manufacturing process of these/MDF types of so called wood based products.

    Has anyone tried the "POTOMIC" pellets?
    They are claiming some high BTU's & Very low ash.
  10. WoodPorn

    WoodPorn Minister of Fire

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    Don't ALL manufacture's claim that?
  11. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    They always claim the sky and you won't always get that! Or the sky maybe cloudy the day you bought them! :)

    I looked for them last year and found nada, But maybe this year????
  12. ADVA

    ADVA New Member

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    "Has anyone tried the "POTOMIC" pellets?
    They are claiming some high BTU's & Very low ash
    .[/quote]

    Don't ALL manufacture's claim that?[/quote]"

    That's why we need to put them up to the likes of the Grand Poobaaa of Pellets!
    :)

    Cant wait till I run by some place thats got some decent brands.
    I will pick up 2-of each so I can see for myself what Jay sees.
    Talking to the locals here.
    So many have been burning terrible pellets for years & know no different.
    Just heard today of the 2008 winter shortage in NNJ.
    People were lined up only allowed so many bags & Police had to direct traffic every week!
  13. ADVA

    ADVA New Member

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    Just hung up the shirt.

    Jay,

    Here are the pics & weights & Ash Content for the TREECYCLES 7-2010's.

    They weigh in at .30lbs. That's ash only.
    Not the jar.
    If I put a 3/8" washer it kicks it up to .35lbs.
    So I would say it's about .33lbs.
    Since the scale only measures in .05 increments.
    I figured out that the .33lbs of ASH is 5.4oz. in weight.
    (correction)=Jay figured out the ash is 5.38oz. in weight. Thanks Jay!

    The ash level "if I fluff it up as much as possible" in the Mason Jar is just over the 12oz. mark.
    If I try to "settle the ash by smacking the jar on the table" it goes to just under the 11oz. mark.

    I dont know what this all means.
    I have to say. I am very impressed with these TreeCycles.
    The ash looks like the Okanagan's.

    Today was first time I opened the stove since I burnt the bag.
    I touched the ashes on the edge of the burn pot & they just disintegrated into even finer powder!
    These are completely different & personally I am impressed.
    I think I am going to get serious with these pellets.

    It should be noted that the ASH has not one hard piece in it from any silica or other materials becoming hard or glassy.
    Putting my hands thru the ash & I could not feel one sharp or hard piece etc.

    Took a brush & paint brush & wiped the entire stove out.
    Every nook & cranny.

    Then after I smacked the ash pan on the steel table to get every bit of ash out.
    I blew out the stove with air & swept up the little extra I got.
    Found a dozen pieces of pellets that did not burn all the way.
    Must have dropped of edge of burn pot.
    They are not in the mason jar.

    BTW- Sorry took so long.
    Been busy & after 4-supermarkets I finally found a dozen Mason Jars at Walmart.

    I am going to post this on the TreeCycle Followup Thread Also.

    NOTE:
    All the pictures are untouched, non-auto corrected.
    Just shrunk in pixels to the maximum size this site will allow.

    Attached Files:

  14. ADVA

    ADVA New Member

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    Here are a few more pictures of the TreeCycle's.

    All the pictures are untouched, non-auto corrected.
    Just shrunk in pixels to the maximum size this site will allow.

    Attached Files:

  15. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    H Advance, Thank you very much for the testing of the TC brand!

    This batch looks even better than what I tried last season. I am also impressed with them and with your testing! :) Good job.

    So we have the ash around the 12 ounce mark.

    Ash weight at .33 or 5.38 ounces.

    Ash percentage would be .825%

    I sent you a PM on how to tally the percentage too!

    Again great job on the testing and I hope you will join this years testing thread. We can use the TC's results there too! Wat to go!

    Edit: Results were from a 1 bag test. Numbers were corrected.
  16. evil

    evil New Member

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    I would really like to see LG's on the bench here. Not sure if I missed them or not. If it's a supply issue I was wondering what the cost of shipping from here would be to get them there?
  17. ADVA

    ADVA New Member

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    Jay,

    Testing was only on One bag.
    Decided against testing 2-bags since I plan on doing this more with other pellets &
    for consistency it would mean always having to burn 2-bags of every other pellet I test.

    To confirm:
    Testing was one bag only.

    I spoke to Mike.
    He said their newest are even yet a bit better than these 7-2010's.

    I believe him & will be picking up that tractor trailer load for us all here in NNJ.

    Oh yea, Thanks for the compliment.
    Your an excellent teacher!
  18. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    evil,

    Sorry I missed your post on the LG's. I can't get them locally anymore. When woodpelletsales.com started marketing them. The local guy I got them from was pushed out for some reason. I contacted woodpelletsales and asked for a sample to burn and they blow me off. They do there own independent testing and post the results on there site.

    Unless another member finds them and plans on testing them, There will be no testing of the LG's.

    Edit: A member named benski tested the LG's in the bigbox test thread.

    Check here:

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/42511/P330/#539204
  19. Millsk

    Millsk Member

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    Man these tests are great. Fantastic guide to pellet burning.

    I do see that you have a multi fuel stove, have you given thought to doing this type of test with other fuel types? I know there is a place in RI that sells corn, and apparently the place inplinville ct has berry pits. That info would be very interesting!

    Thanks again for your time and efforts!
  20. ravensdalepelletman

    ravensdalepelletman New Member

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    here is a pellet test i found on the web. tested 53 diff brands of pellets. go to www.woodpellets4me.com its pdf file 1/2 way down the page. ck it out. they even weigh each bag.
  21. PJPellet

    PJPellet Minister of Fire

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    Cool, thanks for the link.
  22. sinnian

    sinnian Minister of Fire

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    It is the SAME test as this.
  23. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Yes, My test's you saw here first! Douglas Middleton(AKA BTU, Mr. Warm) compiled them to show some of the dealers. If you read carefully you'll see my name as the dummy doing all the work!
  24. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    The folks (at woodpellets4me.com) around the corner and down the road a piece have also been following your testing and reading the mail here.

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