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Quadrafire Castile Experiment

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by tjnamtiw, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. smalltown

    smalltown Minister of Fire

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    Nice testing and some interesting ideas. I especially like the idea that these changes are reversible. I wonder if the baffle plate was cast iron wouldn't it heat up and radiate more heat toward the tubes?

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  2. B-Mod

    B-Mod Member

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    How many heat tubes does everyone have??? My stove is one of the first ones, Oct 2001, if I remember right. I only have 8 tubes, every picture I can find and parts books show 10. My owners manual shows 8..........Brian
  3. smalltown

    smalltown Minister of Fire

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    Mine has 10 tubes the #1 and #10 are partially blocked by the decorative casting.
  4. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    Sorry, but that's a bad assumption to just average the temperature gains and losses because you don't take into account the flow rates through each tube which equates to btu's coming out of each tube. Unfortunately I haven't been able to spring for the cost of a flow meter to put this to rest. You are adding the tubes 1 and 10 into the equation and they have almost no flow at all. Throw them out and see what you get. Also, you're missing the point of less heat going up the flue.. Where is it going??? Out into the room. Rather than readdress the basic premise of the test, I'll let you read what I wrote again. I'm just looking for a way to break up the flow and get some turbulent flow to better extract the heat and at the same time present more surface area to the flow.
  5. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    Right on Smokey. It's actually two squirrel cage fans. Don't know the fan outlet size. One other thing is that the tubes are in parallel, which, like an electrical circuit, reduces the resistance to flow of air. That's why I wished that they had put three times more COPPER tubes in there even if they were smaller. I think that's what they did to the Bixby, but not sure.

    After the springs, I'm not sure how you would compute the outlet area because they really aren't blocking the air as much as they are rerouting it into a spiral flow. you would need some very sensitive pressure gauges at both ends to see the difference. I still like the alternate idea of a spiral piece of flat stock fitted snugly down the tube to cause the flow to divert plus give more surface area.
  6. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    also a good idea. As a 'doable' alternate, you could weld some fins on the bottom side to increase surface area and pick up more heat. Maybe AFTER the warranty runs out. %-P
  7. Countryboymo

    Countryboymo Feeling the Heat

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    We need a honeycomb like material that would slide down the tubes that wouldn't restrict airflow much but would have a lot more surface area. It could be slid out and rinsed down or washed in the dishwasher every ton of pellets or so. Wow I can picture it in my head and its made out of that space age material that is super thin but a super conductor of heat.... unobtanium. I apologize, I started daydreaming and woke up at the point of my skin melting from walking in front of the 'pellet reactor'.
  8. Wi Thundercat

    Wi Thundercat Feeling the Heat

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    My st.croix has 16 tubes that are approx 3/4"-7/8" in diameter. Seems to me that they used the spiral flat inside the flues on some of the oil burners we cleaned. Imagine this was to improve heat transfer!
  9. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    Actually, that is not so far-fetched an idea! There are also things called 'heat pipes' that move heat from one place to another through a tube without any moving parts. They could be used to bring heat back from the exhaust and into a secondary blower system. All sorts of things are possible.
  10. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    With the 16 tubes, you are probably ahead of the game. There's another example of the spiral flats! Someone knows what they are doing!
  11. Czech

    Czech Minister of Fire

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    Venturi Effect? Mine has 10 tubes, two partially blocked as mentioned.
  12. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    Didn't think about that, but it would help, I guess. Why would they incorporate that and not use any of the other things people have brought up?? Crazy Chinamen!
  13. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    Well, I cut the springs for my Sante FE, took initial readings, inserted the springs, waited for the same fire volume and took second readings. The readings are very similar to those I measured on the Castile, which probably is not surprising since their guts are basically the same. Both stoves were given the monthly cleaning prior to readings being taken.

    Tube 1 before 170 after 160
    Tube 2 before 165 after 182
    Tube 3 before 140 after 170
    Tube 4 before 140 after 160
    Tube 5 before 170 after 175
    Tube 6 before 190 after 200
    Tube 7 before 145 after 155
    Tube 8 before 140 after 155
    Tube 9 before 180 after 180
    Tube 10 before 190 after 165

    Exhaust temp before 170 after 160

    As with the Castile, the lowering of exhaust temp shows that less heat was going up the chimney and therefore going into the room. Very little airflow comes out of the first and tenth tubes so those readings are moot IMO and no springs were installed. For tube 10, I can only assume that less heat is available to transfer there since more has been extracted with the previous tubes.
  14. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

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    Would not a larger stove be more practical than trying to get more heat out of a smaller stove.
    My CB1200 gives all the heat I need on medium setting.
  15. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    Hindsight is a wonderful thing. After dropping over $6K for two stoves plus installation, it's really not in the equation. If you're happy blowing 170 degree air out the exhaust, then there's not a problem. When you talk to Bixby owners and they tell you they can lay their hand on a barely warm exhaust pipe outside, you know that you have something less than efficient.

    Because of my floor plan, one stove would not have heated my family room at all, so I needed a second stove anyway. If you buy these things, you have to either be a tinkerer or insane. I like to think I'm the first but don't ask my wife.
  16. Trail_Time

    Trail_Time Member

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    I am interested to see further discussion on this. Thanks for taking the time to post.

    Have you tried removing the springs from tube 1 and 10 and see what happens to the temps on those tubes?
  17. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

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    Well I run mine on medium heat and high fan, I can hold my hand on the vent pipe 6 inches from the stove adapter and leave it there all day.
    My oil furnace vents at 500 deg F, nothing I can do about that either.
  18. YooperD2

    YooperD2 Member

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    That makes me want to go to the spring store to modify my Santa Fe. Thanks for posting your test.
  19. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    Actually, I don't have springs in tubes 1 and 10 because the springs I bought were 36" long each and I cut them into 9" lengths so I ended up with 8 springs from the 2 initial 4' springs. I figured that with the small amount of air coming out of the outer tubes, it would not be worth the effort to buy and insert springs in them. In hindsight, I could have bought an extra spring when I bought my second set of springs for my second stove but I didn't think of it. :red:
  20. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    [quote author="slls" date="1291415542
    Well I run mine on medium heat and high fan, I can hold my hand on the vent pipe 6 inches from the stove adapter and leave it there all day.
    My oil furnace vents at 500 deg F, nothing I can do about that either.[/quote]

    Wow, you're either 'tougher' than I am or the Classic Bay had upgraded their design for better heat extraction because I can't keep my hand on 170 degrees. Now I'm measuring on an insert right after the stove's detachable outlet.

    How do you get the high fan on medium heat? We don't have those choices on Sant Fe's and Castile's unless you rewire it like b-mod did.

    Oh, I forgot to mention that the Classic Bay would not fit in the width of my little fireplace. If I remember it was like 1/2" too wide. My Sante Fe JUST fits!!!!!
  21. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    [quote author="nuYooper" date="1291416680

    That makes me want to go to the spring store to modify my Santa Fe. Thanks for posting your test.[/quote]

    You're welcome. Yes, give it a try. I got my bill from McMasterCarr and it was $18 including shipping.
  22. thz123

    thz123 Member

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    Keep me posted too. I have the Castile too. I like this idea, and might try it. I have wondered why there arn't blower motors for the side walls. I have tried to move air through these side walls, and haven't figured out quit how to do it correct. If I put a small fan blowing under the stove I do get some heat out of the side "vents". Instead of the springs would flat aluminum or copper metal work like someone suggested above? Or I wonder if steel wool in the tube somehow would work too? It would have to be easily removed too, and I don't know how to do that. Great idea!
  23. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

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    Wow, you're either 'tougher' than I am or the Classic Bay had upgraded their design for better heat extraction because I can't keep my hand on 170 degrees. Now I'm measuring on an insert right after the stove's detachable outlet.

    How do you get the high fan on medium heat? We don't have those choices on Sant Fe's and Castile's unless you rewire it like b-mod did.

    Oh, I forgot to mention that the Classic Bay would not fit in the width of my little fireplace. If I remember it was like 1/2" too wide. My Sante Fe JUST fits!!!!![/quote]

    Yes different stove, 3 heat settings, low ,med, hi, fan settings, low, hi. the fan speed is different for the 3 heat settings, each higher for each mode.

    I work with my hands a lot, maybe that's why I can take the heat.
  24. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    So you have a high and low setting for each of the three heat settings? Damn, I wish mine had that! The low fan on low heat is about useless.

    Like the comment on the 'take the heat'. Hey, I'm married so I CAN TAKE THE HEAT TOO!!! ha ha ha. I have a feeling with the high fan setting on the lower heat levels you are getting better heat transfer.
  25. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    I like your thinking on a fan to extract heat from the sidewalls. This would help with an insert since that heat is going into the chimney area instead of the room but it wouldn't make any difference with a free standing one, I don't think.

    I wouldn't think the steel wool would work because it would REALLY restrict airflow and maybe even trip your overheat snap switch. I really DO like the idea that was brought up earlier about a 1 1/4" wide piece of flat stock twisted in a spiral and inserted into the tubes. It would be less restrictive and give about 2/3 more surface area. It is certainly worth a try. Original surface area is pi X 1 1/4". The flat stock would have two surfaces each 1 1/4" long. Pi is 3.14 so we end up with 5.14 diameters of surface area.

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