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Question/idea for the experts.

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by SE Iowa, Jan 28, 2008.

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  1. SE Iowa

    SE Iowa New Member

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    I do not own a OWB or a gassifier yet. There is a tremendous amount of differences between all the different types (OWB and gassifiers) as well as differences b/w various gassifiers and owb's. I was wondering if anyone has seen (or could come up with) a list or way of comparing various wood burning units side by side. Kind of like when you go to kelly blue book (www.kbb.com) to compare various cars that you might want to purchase as far as size, fuel economy, specs, cost, etc. It would also help people learn the differences and strengths and weeknesses of each unit. Every manufacturer thinks theirs is the best but obviously, since there are so many people in this forum with different and yet happy installations, there is not just one unit that is above all others. Just like a Honda Civic doesn't suit someone with 6 kids but would be great for a single person who commutes a long way.

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I know that Craig is working on a database that will allow a certain amount of comparison, but I think your best bet right now would be to start a thread with a list of questions and then let those of us with different kinds of boilers provide the answers.
  3. SE Iowa

    SE Iowa New Member

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    Ok, so for starters, where can I find a list of all the names and manufacturers of gassifiers and OWB? I could then go to each website and have a look for myself, although I realize that the website is an advertisement and not necessarily the most accurate source of information. It would allow me to see the different types etc.
  4. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    For gasifiers, you can start with our sponsors, Cozy Heat (top banner) and Econoburn (bottom banner)
    And then there's:

    New Horizon Corp.
    Tarm USA
    Adobe
    Seton
    Garn
    Wood Gun
    Blue Forge
    Greenwood
    Greenfire
    And others that I can't think of offhand.


    I'm not up on all the OWBs on the market, but some names are:

    Central Boiler
    Hardy
    Taylor
    Wood Doctor
    Heatmor
    Aquatherm
    Johnson
    Many others
  5. wdc1160

    wdc1160 New Member

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    some euro gassers such as

    viessman
    atmos
    slokov
    thermona
    dakon
  6. godale

    godale New Member

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    northern mn
  7. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    But can you guy those boilers in this country? I think Zennon used to sell either Dakon or Atmos or both, but, as they say in West Virginni, "not no more."
  8. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I would dispute that somewhat. Every manufacturer wants to make money, that is for sure. But that is probably the only thing that is for sure! As with any market, it is always buyer beware because there is really no valid testing as to efficiency or longevity. This is much more like the "used house" market than the new or used car one.

    With the newfound interest in wood, manufacturers are coming out of the woodwork. A valid question becomes which ones will last, because if the car market and the stove market are any indication, there is not room for all the players (over the long run).

    We have a rough wiki entry which lists both stove and boiler makers - and I do intend to put together a very basic list someday, but it will only serve as a crude starting point. Here is the wiki entry (which includes regular stoves also)
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/wiki/Manufacturers_List/

    Note, one problem with shopping for Central units is that there is no standard in terms of comparison. One boiler might burn at 30% total efficiency and another at 70%. That is a big difference. It is not like regular woodstoves or oil/gas stuff where at least there is a baseline (the energy guide or EPA, DOE etc.)

    Main thing is to know what you are getting. That involves some shopping and even some discussion on boards like this one.
  9. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I would say especially discussion on boards like this one. There's no better source for information on a product than the people who own one, and in many cases we have many owners of different brands and models who are willing to share information, so you tend to get a better picture than just talking to one person.

    I would say don't believe anyone's efficiency numbers, especially not the OWB ones. If they're above 50%, they're bogus.

    Even the legitimate numbers backed up by actual testing are misleading. Those results are achieved under specific, controlled conditions that you are unlikely to replicate with any consistency under actual battlefield conditions.
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