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Quadrafire Castile Experiment

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

  1. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    To be honest, I'm not sure my 'air flow thingy' :lol: is what I was hoping for, It is used to read wind speed outside. With the springs in place I get about 5 mph and without them, I get about 3 mph. So the springs have definitely restricted the flow somewhat causing a higher speed OR the spiraling of the air is causing strange things to happen to the readings. I haven't really had time to compare areas with and without the springs to see if I can draw any conclusions such as 'are the springs really restricting total cfm?' Have to also look at btu's coming out too but I'm not ready for that one!

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  2. thz123

    thz123 Member

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    No, I did not ever get the original set (diameter of 1.25") in. Last weekend I cut a piece of wood to gauge the I.D. of my tubes. Best I can tell, in the back my tubes are 1 1/8". So I purchased the springs that had an O.D. of 1.12", the wire size was a little smaller in diameter. I installed them last night.

    I am currently having an issue with my convection blower motor, its squealing and grinding. I have a new part on order with my dealer, and it may take another week to get the part. My stove is 6 years old now. last night I ran the stove with the noise from the convection blower. I am not sure if it is running properly, since the convection blower is what brings the air to the burn pot. So I am not sure if the stove is getting its normal heat.

    The air coming out with the springs installed is for sure hotter, no doubt about it. I was running on high and couldn't keep my hand in front of the tubes - the air was that hot. I felt like my hands were going to get burned in that air stream. Normally, with out springs, I can keep my hands in front of the tubes no prooblem.

    The air coming out is spiraling around in a strange pattern, you can feel it by standing a few feet away.

    I made a accordian style tubulator out of some aluminum roofing material. I tried to put that in last night, but couldn't get it in due to its flexibility, and I should have made it only 1" wide rather than 1 1/8". It keep tring to fold as I pushed in. I will try when its cold. It will only redirect the air, its too thin to absorb much heat.
  3. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    Sounds interesting, thz123. Somewhere along the way, the diameters of the tubes must have changed or the Chinese wanted to use up some old tubing. :eek:) Sorry you had to double order springs but maybe someone else will be willing to buy them from you.
    You said convection blower but it sounds like you meant combustion blower. That's got to cost a king's ransom for one of them from the dealer.

    I think your idea of a turbulator should work. It doesn't have to absorb heat but just disrupt the flow so it is turbulent and mixes in the tubes. Keep us informed on that one. You're the first to put something like that in there so I'm interested. If you put a hole through the leading end of the accordian, you could hook a piece of coat hanger (wish they still made metal ones as much as they used to!) in it and 'pull' it down the tube.
  4. jackiec

    jackiec Member

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    I have had the springs for a few days now and I have been holding off installing them because it seems improvements/adjustments are imminent. It would be nice to hear from a physics professor on how to maximize heat gain. It would also be nice to hear from a Quad engineer to get opinions and ideas. Surely, there is a scientific equation to achieve maximum results? Or should I just install the springs and start gaining heat?
  5. thz123

    thz123 Member

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    Your correct combustion blower motor. The noise comes and goes, but its loud. Your right its a kings ransom, but cheaper than buying a new pellet stove. I have over 200 bags of assorted pellets in my garage. I love the heat from a pellet stove, so its getting fixed no matter what.

    Exhaust blower motor $216
    Gasket (if needed) $38
    In home install $79.00 for one hour (I live in the country)
    Total with Iowa 7% tax - $356.31

    This is the only problem I have had, besides the tad pole gasket, in 6 years.

    In a way I feel lucky that those are the only problems I have had, so i have no complaints. I don't know if they warrent the repair. This is pricing directly from the Quad dealer in town.
  6. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    You're right. In the long run, $356 is a cheap price to pay for 6 years of enjoyment. They really have no shame charging $36 for a gasket. Amazing!
    I wish I had 200 bags in my garage! (At the price Lowes is charging up North).
  7. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    Put them in and enjoy!!! It takes no time to take them back out. Yea, I would love to get some 'official' info on our ideas. I know that boiler people have used turbulators for many, many years but is there something better now? I majored in physics............................................ 45 years ago! I just threw out my thermodynamics texts this summer after no one at the garage sale would even TAKE them for nothing. Same thing with 45 years of Nat'l Geo's. Amazing that no one reads anymore. Not even the library wanted my ~300 books!!!
  8. thz123

    thz123 Member

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    I love National Geographics, and don't care how old they are. I pay 10 cents a piece at St. Vincent De Paul for the ones I am interested in.

    I pay $4.00 a bag per ton for pellets, other wise they are $4.50 a bag. I have Blazers, White lighting, OHP (Ozark hardwood products), Indeck, and fuel King.

    Fuel Kings are awesome pellets, which were made in Waterloo Iowa, the plant has been closed for two years now. I scored 2 tons of Fuel king from our local feed supply store (they had 300 bags of old stock), and they delivered the 2 tons for $10.00. When unloading the driver and I did it by hand and he helped me stack the 2 tons in my garage! One hell of a deal! Fuel Kings came from a company that manufactured furniture, they made pellets from the saw dust. Saw dust is Oak, NO Bark! I love Fuel Kings, too bad they closed 2 years ago. So I couldn't pass on the fuel kings, Thats why i have over 4 tons of pellets in the garage. I started the season with about 250 bags, i probably have 225 bags. How does one become a member of the pellet pig club? I wonder if i qualify?
  9. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    It sure sounds like you qualify for pellet pig! I just got off of the phone with my closest supplier and they want $4.97 a bag whether you buy one bag or one pallet! Lowes is a little further away in Clemson, SC and they want $5.97 a bag. That's just plain crazy. I just opened another bag of these %^&&*** Carolina Wood Pellets and I swear that the AVERAGE length is 2" with many at 3"+. I told my supplier that I was hoping he would get another source because these people clearly don't know what pellet burners have to deal with when they get pellets like that. I've been fighting my Castile all day with bridging at the top of the chute.

    My Nat'l Geo's were a complete set from June of 1965 to present. Now you can get the entire collection on DVD's!
  10. G00k

    G00k Member

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    Here I am again, the aluminum foil kid!

    If one of the aims here is to defeat the laminar effect, how much of the airflow in the tube needs to be affected to better mix the heated air?

    For example, if it doesn't need to be a strip as wide as the inside diameter, (say, for an inside diameter of 1.25 inch, maybe a strip of .75 inch wide and as long as the length of the pipe) Maybe aluminum foil folded over several times into the correct width for strength, folded back at the inside edge to prevent being forced open by the air flow (no restriction), and maybe a gentle twist to generate enough turbulence to disrupt the laminar effect.

    Everyone has aluminum foil, and it could be used to test the hypotheses. I will try it, but I don't have much access to the exhaust area or (more importantly) the test equipment to properly gauge the result.



    Don't laugh. I've seen testing laboratories.
  11. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    Yes, I have been more involved with DOT testing lab in Pa and I shake my head in disbelief at how ignorant they were of testing methods that manufacturers were required to use.

    I'm not sure how stiff you could get the aluminum foil but it sure might surprise me. Worth a try. Isn't the exhaust on your Castile just behind the cast door? I have an insert so maybe the free standing one is different. There have been quite a few good ideas here!
  12. G00k

    G00k Member

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    Yeah, it's behind the door. Like I said, I'll try it and report back how it feels to me. Maybe a meat thermometer of some other crude method...
  13. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    Great! A meat thermometer works as long as it doesn't sit on the tube.
  14. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    One thing I am learning from these experiments is that evidently the Chinese have no quality control (big surprise). One person can't fit the springs into the tubes and had to order 1/4" smaller diameter and another one just had the springs slide right down the tubes to the plenum!!!!!
  15. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    That means that HHT/Quadrafire also has no quality control either.
  16. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    10-4 on that one, good buddy!
  17. G00k

    G00k Member

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    So far, I'm trying the foil experiment on two tubes only. A full width (~12") of foil approx 15' long, folding so that the 15" dimension folds to ~ .5 - .75 inch strip. Folded the "hot end" back about .5 in. At the "cool" end, I peeled a tab down about .5" to keep it from sliding out of reach into the tube. I twisted the resulting strip to resemble the "turbulators" from the other site's picture. I only got about 5 twists on it.

    Once the blower turned on, I could feel a distinctly lower rate of air flow using the two center tubes. I pulled the strips out and put them into two of the tubes that had the most flow. It knocked the flow down in thise tubes appreciably*, BUT the two end tubes (either end) started having more air flow (They had much less flow originally). Perhaps one can tune the total heat output doing this.

    Has anyone using the spring inserts noticed a similar effect?

    *The test equipment I'm using for the moment is just my hand (relative airflow).
  18. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    I can answer that question about changing airflows IF I ever get off my lazy butt and use my airflow meter with and without the springs. :red: Football time now, though. My priorities are slightly warped.
  19. G00k

    G00k Member

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    No, you priorities are okay. I don't need heat when in the heat of battle! Go RAVENS!
  20. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    Well, now I know why they have half times! Gave me time to take some airflow measurements with and without the springs in place in tubes 2 thru 9, with 1 being on the left side. First with the stove convection fan on high WITH THE SPRINGS and then next to those readings are the readings with no springs in any tubes. All measurements taken with my Dwyer wind speed meter resting against the side of the tube and the frame so that all tubes were presented with the same angle to the measuring tube. Also, the measuring tube end was presented to the center of the tube. All readings are in mph.

    Tube w/spring wo/spring
    1 2.9** 4.7
    2 8 7.5
    3 6.5 4.5
    4 7.5 4.6
    5 6.7 3.2
    6 6.4 3.6
    7 6.5 4.8
    8 6.7 6.5
    9 5.5 4.8
    10 4.5** 0.0

    ** = no spring

    One thing to notice is that the springs force airflow through the final #10 tube, so we get heat from it whereas we get none without the springs.
    Also, in all tubes except the first one, the speed of air increased with the springs in place. I think this could be expected since we are, undoubtedly, reducing the effective diameter to some extent. However, with the higher speed we are blowing the hot air further into the room plus the springs, IF FITTING TIGHTLY, have heated up and present more surface area to the turbulent flow. Now we need a thermodynamic whiz kid to analyse all this!!!!
  21. B-Mod

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    And here I thought that was you, lol...........
  22. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    ha ha ha. Yea, maybe 40 years ago before I destroyed most of my brain cells with torpedo juice in the Navy (190 proof) and an 'occasional' sip after that! Maybe we can find something we can use by googling. We shall see. Those readings were interesting, though.

    I was really surprised that the aluminum foil turbulator retricted flow so much. Gotta try that with some sheet metal.
  23. jackiec

    jackiec Member

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    Installed the springs in Santa Fe insert today. I can still hold my hand in front of the tubes but it is definitely hotter. I can feel the heat being thrown from 10 feet away now and not before. Skytech remote temp was overshot by a degree....Never before has that happened.
  24. B-Mod

    B-Mod Member

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    I think the key (using my hand as a flow meter) is leaving out the springs in the outer pipes. I put them all in and it killed off some flow. Keep in mind I only have 8 tubes total, so your results could differ...........
  25. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    I noticed the same thing with my Skytech! I actually turned the span down from 2 degrees to one degree. Even at that, it overshoots by 2 degrees before all the heat is out of the stove! I'm glad you got the springs in successfully!

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