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Somerset vs. Green supreme.... pellet wars in the Englander cpm

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by MikeP, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. MikeP

    MikeP Member

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    So if you came in here to read that one is hot as hell and the other is like turning on the ac, hit the back button now....

    First things first, temp readings were taken with 2 cooking probes, one a digital placed thru the middle slot of the heat exchanger and touching the metal on the top of the firebox, the other is a 12" long mechanical gauge inserted right of center, and not touching any of the metal surfaces. I used the 2 gauges this way as the air only gauge gave me an approximate temp of the output air, but is slow to react to temp changes, and the one touching the metal would show quickly any changes to adjustments being made. Stove was run on heat/blower settings of 9-9 and when adjustments were made they were allowed to run until the stove settled in, I would then back out and then go back to the changes to verify that it was the adjustment making the difference and not just a fluke.

    Ok with that said on to the results....

    First up the Somersets, stove was run on factory fuel/air settings of 1-4-1 temps settled in between 300-315 digital, 200 mechanical, changed to 1-5-1, temps jumped to 325-335 digital, 210 mechanical, went to 1-6-1, hottest yet 335+ with a high of 352 on the digital, and 225 on the mechanical.

    Stove then ran for the next 24 hrs on the Somersets on hi/low off the thermostat.

    Got home from work tonight with 4 bags of Green supremes and started test two. Started at the Somersets hottest setting 1-6-1, stove maxed out at 290/180ish, so its true the GS pellets aren't anywhere close.... but wait.... went back to 1-5-1 temp jumps up to 315-320 digital and 200 mechanical, INTERESTING... go to 1-4-1, and, 330-340 digital 220 on the mechanical.

    This got me thinking, how many of the pellet tests on here were done at an optimal air/fuel setting for a particular pellet, and then tested another pellet at same setting only to report back that the second pellet sucked? Another thought was that with the CPM, clinkers or other build up really isn't a problem due to the stirrer, are some of these "inferior" pellets plugging the air holes on the burnpots of the pellet only stoves and creating a poorer burn that ends up as a low heat rating????

    Ending thoughts.... If I had my choice between the two, at the same price, obviously I would, and did take the ton of Somersets, (only one my local blowes had==c) but at least in my stove there isn't a huge difference between the two.

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  2. jrsdws

    jrsdws Feeling the Heat

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    Was the stove cleaned thoroughly prior to beginning each "test"?

    The stirrer certainly keeps large clinkers from forming, but won't eliminate air hole plugging or carbon like build up completely with some pellets.
    Jack Morrissey likes this.
  3. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Pellets are an important factor for burning (heat, ash, fines, etc).

    But the stove plays a large part in it also. Getting the heat out is #1. Having a good heat exchange system is key.

    Not taking away from the CPM, it will burn Any pellet with ease. But could use a slightly better heat exchanger. IMO.

    Those 2 pellets in my Quad are almost 35°-40° different on low heat setting.

    Some may look at those #'s and think they are low. But when dealing with 2,000 lbs of a higher grade pellet? Makes life much easier.
  4. Phil Do's fire.

    Phil Do's fire. Minister of Fire

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    I don't understand why you didn't monitor the exhaust temp and blower temp to determine the efficiency of the pellet? Heater box temps are influenced by incoming air especially if you have an OAK hooked up.

    I can tell you that I get a higher convection air temp and lower exhuast temp when I use Somersets compared to Chows!;)
  5. Pellet-King

    Pellet-King Minister of Fire

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    Set's are in no category with garbage green supreme!!
    Eatonpcat and oldmountvernon like this.
  6. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    In my testing I used my stoves damper to tweak the air(its all in the test thread). Feed rate was kept the same and I also use an hour meter to see how long they last. I measure the convection temps and not stove surface temp. Pook should be here to guide you like he guided me(more like torment than anything).

    There are many variables that can trip you up along the way. just try to keep things as consistent as possible so no pellet has a clear advantage. Try not to step on other testers toes, As one of the many variables is the stove itself. What your stove does, May not do what Joe's stove does. Even if Joe has the same stove as you do.

    Thanks for sharing
  7. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    Jay don't be so sensative. :p
    Eatonpcat likes this.
  8. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Where's all the critic's now? Dis guy's got it easy! :p
  9. CT Pellet

    CT Pellet Minister of Fire

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    I think that to keep it fair, Green Supreme should get a re-test, just like in Jay's original testing thread.==c
  10. IHATEPROPANE

    IHATEPROPANE Minister of Fire

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    Anything is possible.......if they work for you great.....I just don't like the ash of Green Supremes.....they feed really slow so that is a factor in why the generally "are not as hot".....but given the same price Somersets all day every day
  11. Shaw520

    Shaw520 Feeling the Heat

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    None of this test holds any credibility if you're not measuring feed rates, (pds per hr)... Somersets are a much smaller pellet therefore feeding faster,.. therefore creating more BTU's per hr.
    jlupi likes this.
  12. jlupi

    jlupi Member

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    So your saying pellet type effects the heat exchange of the stove? I think thats a stretch unless you let excessive ash build on exchangers.
  13. jlupi

    jlupi Member

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    I purchased 2 small batches of somerset. 1st pellets were very small chips. 2nd was larger and more comparable to some other pellets
  14. imacman

    imacman Guest

    A BIG stretch, IMO.
  15. MikeP

    MikeP Member

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    LOL... I knew this would rile some of you up;) , and maybe in some stoves there is a huge difference but with mine, not so much. And to clarify I did buy the ton of Somersets instead of GS, both were priced the same, but if it had been a big price difference between the two I would surely give it some thought?

    To answer some of the questions

    ,JRS- no the stove was not cleaned between the runs, it was cleaned the morning of the Sets run, so if anything the Supremes were at a disadvantage due to the day and a half of ash/build up in the stove, and the stirrer makes a huge difference imo, I've taken a scraper to the pot twice this year, and there is/was only a small amount of blockage on most holes and none on quite a few.

    Dex- I agree that Englander could of done a better job on the heat exchanger, even some angle iron welded in there would of created more surface area and a better heat transfer.

    JT and Shaw- Absolutely I could try and make it a more lab type test, monitoring all kinds of different variables, but most of the "tests" on here are pretty much.... "dumped brand X in my stove and stove went cold, dumped brand Y in my stove and it melted into a blob on the floor, X is crap Y is great" without ever trying to adjust for the pellet itself. Even your test Jay (great by the way) really only applies to pellets burned in your brand of stove, with the same intake/exhaust setup, and the adjustments you made to try and make it fair. As for how, or what to monitor the temp of, in my opinion as long as both are done with the same gauges without being moved or adjusted, what does it matter? You can't tell me that if a piece of metal is 10, 20 or 100 degrees hotter that it's not releasing more heat to the air/room? And also the second probe was an air temp only reading.

    Maybe its the wood burner in me that looks at it like no two loads of wood burned the same, some needed more/less air, or other tweaking, I was just trying to bring to the discussion that just because others have had poor results with a brand of pellets in THEIR stove and setup, doesn't automatically mean that the will be junk in theirs. And how much does build up, or clinkers in a non stirrer type stove affect the outcome of how hot a certain pellet is in that stove? I mean some of these tests show a 30-50% reduction in heat from the hottest to coldest? The pellets would have to have a super high moisture content, or made of stone to show that kind of difference, wouldn't it?
  16. Shaw520

    Shaw520 Feeling the Heat

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    all good points,... I also made this point a couple of months ago: that a bag somersets (stove set on lowest feed rate) will burn for 8-9 hrs at 500 degrees,.. while a bag of GS's (stove set on medium feed rate) would burn for 12-14 hrs at 350 degrees,... what works better for you??,... in my stove,.. in my living space,.. the GS's worked better for me...wanna buy some sets??
  17. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    My stove has a stirrer too, No clinkers except small ones in the ash pan. Some have tried pellets I burned and had clinkers up the wazoo. Many variables between stoves and their setups to mess with us. YMMV is a good disclaimer to add JIC! Like shaw said, You gotta keep track of how long they last. Even if they both have the same heat the deal is the pellet that does it the longest. Real tough finding the best bang for the buck though. Carry on!
  18. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    5 yrs of burning Somersets and NEVER seen a single bag that had a "regular" look. They have always been and always will continue to be a small pellet. Thats part of why there so hot. Small pellets feed more. If they made 1" pellets, they would likely be average. But most of the higher end/hotter pellets are on the small side.

    Any pics of these "larger" pellets?
    Shaw520 likes this.
  19. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    I love a good pellet war:p .
    Eatonpcat, smoke show and slvrblkk like this.
  20. Shaw520

    Shaw520 Feeling the Heat

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  21. jlupi

    jlupi Member

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    No pics but the last batch were about the size of NA 1/2 - 1 inch. it caught my eye because pev they were very small and consistently so.
  22. CT Pellet

    CT Pellet Minister of Fire

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    I've decided that if someone does one of these "household" tests, and you don't like the results, or you dont agree with the tester's opinion, then the test is no good. Therefore, OP, your test is no good.==c
  23. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Whew, I'm not alone now!
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  24. Woody1911a1

    Woody1911a1 Feeling the Heat

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    trust me J you are NOT alone . i got so sick and tired of the "if you don't burn somersets " crap that i quit this forum for almost 2 days ;) it was getting really old .
  25. MikeP

    MikeP Member

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    Maybe its because the stove is in my basement, everybody knows that nothing good can come from a basement install...:p

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