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Seton boiler(greenwood) ?

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by yarg, Aug 21, 2008.

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  1. yarg

    yarg New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
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    Loc:
    catskills ny
    Just found this site today..Is anybody burning a seton boiler or greenwwod succesfully? I recently learned of the eko and im asking ?'s.

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  2. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Welcome aboard! There are people here that burn almost every hydronic unit available today on this board.

    What part of the Catskills?
  3. yarg

    yarg New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
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    Loc:
    catskills ny
    Neversink near monticelo
  4. antknee2

    antknee2 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
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    253
    Loc:
    NY
    The Seton and Greenwood boilers are very high output , easy to start , easy to load , very forgiving on wood size and moisture content . You can load the fire box to the max and close the door come back 12 hours later and have more heat than you could imagine . They do require a time consuming and messy cleaning twice a season , to keep efficiency up and check for dangerous creosote build up in back of the boiler .
    Anthony
  5. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    I use a GW100. It will be two full years Jan '09. This is an oversimplification - and will piss some owners off - but the GW is somewhere between a traditional OWB and a Euro gassifier.

    Very few controls.
    Will handle large rounds, and is probably more forgiving than the downdraft gassifiers when it comes to MC.
    Due to no 'bypass' and a smoke path that tries to defy thermodynamics, when you open the door you will get smoke if there is any fuel in the firebox. For this reason, I recommend IF YOU PLAN YOUR WOOD_FIRED HYDRONIC FOR INSIDE LIVING SPACE, THIS UNIT IS NOT FOR YOU!! Smoke is obviously not an issue in a detached shed, where mine is.

    I would bet that a Euro-style forced downdraft with storage would be more efficient than this style boiler without. But this style seems to handle less than ideal wood better than the downdrafts.

    IMHO, the best design for you depends on YOUR settup.

    Jimbo

    I don't get down to Neversink very often anymore . . . if you ever want to see the GW in action and care to drive an hour and a half, let me know.
  6. jpowell1979

    jpowell1979 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    Messages:
    46
    Loc:
    Fairbanks, AK
    I've got one season on mine in Fairbanks, AK. I offset about 1,000 gallons of $4.50 gallon heating oil by burning 7 cords of wood. The Greenwood is simple and it works. The gasifiers squeeze out more heat, but need very dry wood and have a lot more that could go wrong with them. I'm more than happy with mine so far.
  7. LeonMSPT

    LeonMSPT Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Messages:
    513
    Loc:
    From Maine, now living in Alaska
    Sent an email to a member asking questions. Might as well throw the questions out to the group. Hey there. I live in Maine. Own a 3,000 sq fot 3 unit apartment building.
    Last year, I burned 1300 gallons on #2, and it cost me about 4,000 dollars for heat. This coming winter, I am looking at about 7,000 dollars.

    Have a contractor tearing out old steam (yes, steam... one thermostat in whole building) system and installing 130,000 BTU oil fired forced hot water radiator system. This is going to be piped in 1/2 inch copper. This will result in a significant savings by itself from the old system.

    Currently have a oil fired domestic hot water heater which will be going by the wayside as well. This frees up a chimney flu for a wood boiler.

    The contractor is steering me away from Greenwood and other gasification models. He says he can get and install a "New Yorker" add on wood boiler for about 2,500 dollars cheaper than the Greenwood will be installed.

    1. Do you think you're consuming less wood than if you had a standard add on wood boiler like the "New Yorker"?

    2. Do you get any creosote accumulation in your connector pipe or chimney?

    3. How often on a cold day do you have to load your boiler? How long is the burn cycle?

    4. I "know" there will be a "learning curve", as to loading and weather conditions. I suspect on very cold days, I'd have to cold fire the GW, bring it up to temperature, and then load it again to extend the heating time. I've been burning wood my entire life for heat, mainly in airtight woodstoves and fireplace inserts.
  8. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Burning wood at an apt house . . . so who's loading the beast?

    If you anticipate letting it burn out, then refiring, what are you planning to do when the tenants tell you there is no heat?

    Jimbo
  9. LeonMSPT

    LeonMSPT Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
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    513
    Loc:
    From Maine, now living in Alaska
    Why would there ever be no heat? Spending nearly 17,000 dollars on a new oil burner and seven zone forced hot water baseboard system. Don't want to spend much, if anything, on oil.

    Looking at the issues of the Greenwood/Seton, and the New Yorker WC90. The 90 will be "slightly" undersized, but piped to the oil burner with 1-1/4 inch to move the heat faster. Rather overfire than underfire.

    Can I save enough in wood, chimney cleaning, and reloading, to make it worth buying the Greenwood?

    Is the burn time long enough to get through an 8 hr work day with a 30 minute commute?
  10. LeonMSPT

    LeonMSPT Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Messages:
    513
    Loc:
    From Maine, now living in Alaska
    Ended up answering my question the old fashioned way. Ran out of money... buying the New Yorker WC90 and having it piped in with the new heating system. I can use coal when I need an extended burn. It takes some time to bank up a fire, but I figure if I start when I get out of bed, I should be able to work a fire up and bank it before I need to leave for work. The price difference was nearly 4,000 dollars by the time the numbers were crunched.

    The guy doing the install put 53 of the New Yorker boilers in in a single year in the area. He hasn't had any complaints or problems that weren't quickly tweaked out of the system by adjusting a few things.

    He also added a zone to a "dead area" in the house per the engineer's suggestion. It's an large entry hallway in the front of the house tenants use to get in and out of their apartments. Said it would suck heat out of the apartments and my apartment on the ground floor, resulting in using more heat than keeping it at 60 degrees with a zone.

    Up to 8 zones now, and he said the main system will be ready to fire tomorrow. Tough having it done while I am 6,000 miles away, but my dad is keeping an eye on things. He said he'd have done the job the same way. Cost me a couple grand more to go with all copper instead of PEX, but worth it to me. Dad never liked the stuff, and I don't have much use for it myself. I trust his judgement, as he's retired from doing it all his life. Has some medical issues and could not do it, or help me do it.

    I'll post some pictures and results as soon as I have them...
  11. LeonMSPT

    LeonMSPT Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    From Maine, now living in Alaska
    One zone is an indirect hot water heater... the rest mostly piped in 1/2 inch copper to reduce heat needed to get the house warm. Gets heat to the baseboard faster, and with less fire needed. May end up adding some storage somewhere in the system to even out the heat load. We'll see how it all works this winter.

    Good apartment building to sell to another owner/occupant... not too many three unit owner occupied apartment buildings that will heat with wood or coal.
  12. Sting

    Sting Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
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    477
    Loc:
    Wisconsin
    Have you considered just installing a coal boiler with an automatic stoker and using the oil for a back up. Lots less daily chores with coal.
  13. LeonMSPT

    LeonMSPT Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
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    513
    Loc:
    From Maine, now living in Alaska
    While the cost of wood has gone up, it remains cheaper than coal. The flexibility of being able to burn both is too much to resist. The boiler I am putting in specifically says don't use a stoker system... no idea why but likely has to do with overheating.
  14. Wood Pirate

    Wood Pirate Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Messages:
    132
    Loc:
    Orange County, NY
    How has your system been working? Any complaints?
    I will be installing the same model in my home very shortly. Just wondering how its working out for you.
  15. LeonMSPT

    LeonMSPT Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
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    513
    Loc:
    From Maine, now living in Alaska
    New heating system, oil side, is up and running. Tenants haven't had any complaints. Currently working in Alaska and won't return to Maine until the end of October. The unit will be installed and running on the wood/coal side by the second week in November. I'll post some pictures and first impressions as soon as I have them.

    Like what I've read so far. The installer said he put 54 of these in in one year, and has not had a single complaint that didn't work out with some adjustments and minor changes.
  16. Wood Pirate

    Wood Pirate Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Orange County, NY
    Definatley let me know how its working once you get it up and running and I will do the same.

    Thanks,
    Paul

    Bet Alaska's got wood burning temperatures already!
  17. LeonMSPT

    LeonMSPT Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Messages:
    513
    Loc:
    From Maine, now living in Alaska
    Talked to a friend up on the north slope yesterday and it's be snowing there for about a week. Here in Homer, it's been spectacular after a wet, cloudy, and cold summer. Last three days are the best stretch I've seen since May.
  18. Wood Pirate

    Wood Pirate Member

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    132
    Loc:
    Orange County, NY
    I live in NY but was in Homer Alaska about 8 years ago. Beutiful place.

    I flew into anchorage and took a motorhome Salmon/Trout fishing for 2 weeks on the Kenai River, Anchor River, & Russian River. Drove to Homer and went out for Halibut one day.

    Was the best trip I have ever been on. Would like to go back hunting some time.
  19. LeonMSPT

    LeonMSPT Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    513
    Loc:
    From Maine, now living in Alaska
    Home now since the first. New heating system on the oil side is flawless. Crazy Bunrham V-8 boiler starts and runs a few minutes and shuts off. Called the contractor, "What's up with the short cycles?" He says, "Does it restart right off, or stay shut down awhile?" Told him, "Every few hours, I notice it starting, and it only runs a few minutes and then goes off for a few hours."

    Whole different animal than what was sitting down there last year. 160K BTU boiler with the smaller nozzle in it, about 130K BTU. Company says 86% (!) efficient at that firing rate. Piped most of the radiators with 1/2 inch copper. Less water load, faster heat to the radiator and less water to heat on return. Shorter firing times are the result. He also said that boiler only maintains 110/120 degree standby temperatures, instead of 180. Love the new indirect hot water heater. Tenants and I can all take showers at the same time, water temperature never varies.

    Chimney and piping are waiting for the wood/coal unit. He's got seven ordered now since the middle of August. I am number 2 on the list.

    Soon as the entire system is up and running I'll send some pictures. Turned out there are ten zones, and my basement looks like a pipe organ, but when I saw the system, "Wow".
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