1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Researching systems

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Dextron, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. ewdudley

    ewdudley Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,783
    Loc:
    Cayuga County NY
    Anyone in the planning stages may want to take into account that tanks plumbed as show will not be able to make use of the volume above the upper port nor below the lower port, unless there are internal riser and dip tubes to reach up and down near the ends of the tanks. Loss of usable volume could be one third or more of total tank volume.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,239
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    I disagree. Granted you won't get the hottest of the hot water.. but the conduction is pretty good inside the water, and the pumps are pulling 15 or 20 gpm.. there's plenty of mixing going on.
  3. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Messages:
    4,244
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    I think that with the good stratification we all desire, and the vertical tanks encouraging that, and my 15-58 pumping nowhere near 15-20 gpm on low and working just hunkey dorey doing that - I might agree with EW on this one. My horizontal tanks seem to have a pretty well defined stratification line that lowers as the tanks heat, and rises as they give it up. With the ports where they are, that line wouldn't go lower than the bottom one, or higher that the top one. If you left the top uninsulated though they'd make a darn good radiator up there. :)
  4. Dextron

    Dextron New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Messages:
    19
    So if I am understanding things right the difference between lambda units and more conventional ones is that lambda units manage the combuston air automatically based on O2 and sometimes temp readings. I suppose what could be considered a disadvantage is the level of technology involved would make troubleshooting a control problem more difficult. Anyone have thoghts on the reliability of lambda units?
  5. Dextron

    Dextron New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Messages:
    19
    Propane is too expensive to use for heating a house here so it is mostly the 100 lb. bottles for kitchen ranges or other appliances. At least I have never seen one of the 500 gallon tanks here - I will have to look around some.
  6. Dextron

    Dextron New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Messages:
    19
    I am going to set out some of my storage conundrums and see if anyone has thoughts, ideas or experiences on them:

    Pressurized storage - I am doubtful I will find anything local which means shipping something in. Spendy for something this size but still a possible option if advantages outweigh costs.

    Unpressurized vessels - quite likely to find something local - fuel or water tank(s) that could be retrofitted. Also thought I read a post that mentioned a liner kit where you build structure to support it. Sounds a little shaky but I guess that depends on the materials. Would think the liner would be nonmetallic so that should help with corrosion issues.

    I was planning on running antifreeze in the boiler and the loop to the house. Pressurised or not I would like to avoid having to buy enough antifreeze for the storage. Could the storage be heated with a heat exchanger internal to the tank? That way there are no lines, valves, etc. with water in them and the mass of several hundred gallons of water should stay above freezing for a while if something unexpectedly prevented firing the boiler for a time. Or the storage could be drained off if need be. Maybe I'm being to paranoid about the possibility of freezing up but stuff happens sometimes and it seems to happen more when it is really cold out.

    Boiler would be located in shop with lines running to house. Shop is currently well insulated but only heated when needed with a wood stove. Thought was waste heat off boiler would be enough to keep shop warm. Or add a couple Modine type units if needed or if I want some immediate heat at times.

    This is kind of rambling and incomplete but I am working at coming up to speed on this stuff.
  7. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Messages:
    4,244
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    Search American Solartechnics (think I got that right) for semi-DIY non-pressurized tank kits. Or look for member 'Tom in Maine' here - those are his babies & there are lots of satisfied users here.

    Where are you located?
  8. ewdudley

    ewdudley Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,783
    Loc:
    Cayuga County NY
    If non-pressurized steel tank storage can be elevated to be highest point in system you could have sealed oxygen-tight storage with a bladder type expansion device (a.k.a. a big truck tire tube) as is done by Heatmor OWBs.

    It's fairly easy to freeze-proof a system without resorting to antifreeze, even in an unheated shop, even in Yellowknife.
  9. Dextron

    Dextron New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Messages:
    19
    Thanks for the information. That looks interesting - I will have to talk to him.

    I'm located in western Alaska.
  10. Dextron

    Dextron New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Messages:
    19
    I would have to check elevations but that could be another option.

    I've had a few ideas on this. I may end up with a direct vent oil fired space heater as backup in the shop that could be left at some minimal setting. The shop holds heat quite well once the structure is warmed up but it seems that even well insulated the lines to the house might freeze if the circulator was down. Could heat trace those on a thermostat I suppose. Any more Ideas you have are welcome.

    On the antifreeze, I guess it seems like a "just in case" protective measure plus it seems to be the local norm. The most common conventional heating system here is an oil fired boiler supplying either baseboard, some radiant floor or Modines in a shop situation - but they all use antifreeze.

    Yellowknife, huh? Your winters are probably worse than ours. I'm in Nome, Alaska - out on the west side of the state.
  11. 711mhw

    711mhw Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    Messages:
    417
    Loc:
    Western ME
    I gotta ask about collecting driftwood. Are your shores such that you can operate a pick up on them to collect it, are they logs? Pretty cool to have your wood "wash in". You definetly don't have to deal with the "tops":)
  12. Dextron

    Dextron New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Messages:
    19
    Yes, there are miles of beach you can get a truck onto. It got cold enough with no snow this year that the sand froze so you could even pull a trailer some places. Very few branches on anything, most of it has been thrashed around enough that there isn't even any bark on it. In the condition it arrives it can be hard to tell species or age. I've always just thrown it in the stove and some pieces burned better than others - I really need to get a moisture tester. It is more like farming than logging - there is a new crop every year instead of waiting 50 years for a tree to grow. Also like farming, some years are better than others. The sand can be tough on the saw chain though.

Share This Page