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Springbrook draft heating system for EKO 40

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Donl, Mar 8, 2008.

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  1. Donl

    Donl Feeling the Heat

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    I've being putting this together in my spare time over the last couple of months. Thought I'd post the schematic for anyone who is interested to take a look at and provide any feed back. I hope to finalize the design in the next few weeks so I can get started putting it all together. I have another schematic showing the electrical controls that will be necessary for this to function properly. I will post that schematic once I've had a good second look at it.

    Basically I have a small 9' X 12' boiler house that is situated between the house and workshop. The boiler house will be fully insulated. 1-1/4" Rehau insulated pex will be buried below the frost line beween all the buildings. I want to avoid using any antifreeze. The workshop is 800 sq feet and has 3 X 250 feet loops of 1/2" pex in the concrete floor. The 1000 gallon storage is located in the house basement. The schematic shows a Copper coil HX, however I may opt to use a flat plat HX instead.

    Any comments or suggestions are welcome. Thanks to all those who have posted their system plans in the past! Without them, I would not have had a clue as where to start.

    Don

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  2. Donl

    Donl Feeling the Heat

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    Here is the draft electrical schematic. Eventually, I will add monitoring and control capabilities so that I can monitor and control the system from a web browser. I am also leaning about PLC's and how I may apply there use in the future. I guess this is turning into a bit of a hobby for me. Something to do between clearing snow and cutting wood and playing with the horses. Feel free to ask questions, it's a good way for all to learn.

    Don

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  3. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Beautiful diagrams, Don. I'll have to look them over in some detail to try to figure out what's going on, but you obviously put a lot of thought into it. There's a lot going on there, but it looks really well thought-out.

    As much as I liked having the boiler in the basement of my old house, I come to believe that having a seperate building is really the way to go, for a number of reasons.
  4. sparke

    sparke Minister of Fire

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    Impressive. Like Eric said, it is going to take a bit to digest all that info. Did you design the plumbing and electrical yourself?
  5. Donl

    Donl Feeling the Heat

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    Nope, I had lots of help from the guys on this forum. I do have an electronics background and have done lots of programming in "C" , "Assembler" and "basic". The plumbing part is all new to me. I thought that part would be easy, but I am having some difficulty grasping some of the basics, but it will come. I would say that over the years most of my learning has been through my mistakes and I'm sure this will be no exception.

    Don
  6. Jersey Bill

    Jersey Bill Member

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    i couldn't get the electrical image to print. could you re-post it?
  7. Donl

    Donl Feeling the Heat

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    If you can't print this send me your email address via private mail and I will send you a jpg file.

    Don

    Attached Files:

  8. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

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    Don - Nice looking drawing with legend even better for those like me that do not know all the plumbing fixtures.

    Your system looks similar to mine except my workshop is a garage and will have a (future) forced air system instead of in floor.
    Could you explain the "steca" is that a Stecasolar product ? How does it operate ?

    Thanks
    Tony
  9. termite

    termite New Member

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    Nice work Don. I can't wait to see the installation photos. I'm also anxious too see how you implement the web based control/monitoring system.
    Your system will be similar to mine except for the atmospheric storage. I can tell you that I am extremely pleased with its function.
    Have you rounded up all the valves, actuators and controllers? If I had it to do over I might have selected the Goldline GL-30 differential controller instead of the Steca. It uses regular 10K NTC thermistors and you can set a more narrow differential. It doesn't have LCD though.
    If your experience is like mine, and I suspect many others on this board, it will quickly turn from hobby to compulsion (in a productive way).
  10. sparke

    sparke Minister of Fire

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    Termite you are so right. There should be a warning label or something. Surgeon General suggests no more then 10 hours a week changing boiler controls and plumbing!!
  11. Donl

    Donl Feeling the Heat

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    Tony, Yes it is a Stecasolar product. The one I have is the Steca TR 0301U SunEarth. I believe that this is the U.S. model.

    I will be using it to control the operation of the storage pump only during the charge phase. There will be a temperature sensor on the supply pipe to storage and one in the bottom of the storage tank. The Steca will monitor these two temperatures and only activate the pump when the differential is greater than 16 degrees F. The idea here is to ensure that the supply temperature will add to storage and not subtract from storage. For example, when there has been a demand for DHW and House heat, it is possible that the temperature leaving the furnace plenum will be less than the temperature in the storage tank. The Steca will ensure that the supply will not go to storage during this condition. The 16 degree F. differential is fixed by the Steca controller so we will have to see how suitable that will be. Termite in his post above identifies a controller that may provide more differential control.

    Don
  12. Donl

    Donl Feeling the Heat

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    Glad you noticed the similarity! I have managed to obtain most of the parts, mostly on Ebay. I even obtained a couple extra 4-way valves that I may use If I also put some storage in the shop.

    My wife has informed me that I have already made the transition to compulsion.

    The costs do add up quite quickly. I would hate to see the costs if I was having someone else put this together. I have found you have to look around because the prices do vary by a large degree. Here in Canada I have found that the wholesalers are completely out to lunch with their pricing. It has been more that worthwhile to have various items shipped here from the U.S.

    One thing I have had difficulty getting is 1-1/4" black pipe and fittings. The Wholesales won't sell to me because I'm not trade, and the retailers won't sell it because there is not enough demand.


    Don
  13. Jersey Bill

    Jersey Bill Member

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    what is the 1.25" black pipe for? Its standard in every plumbing supply store around here. home depot even has it.

    As for the controls, I have a job on my board now. (gas boiler, wood boiler, 1000 gal thermal storage, radiant heat, dhw)
    I dont know how much the stecca controller is, but I priced the tekmar 153, I think it was around $700. I needed a boiler control also, like the 362
    for another $700 and i still wasnt satisfied that it could do everything that I needed. For about the same money on Tekmar stuff, I ordered a Siemens PLC, and a 6" color touch screen panel display.
    I was looking at the web interface also. that could be done with a more expensive panel display, but I dont think i will do that on this job.
    I will say that I am partial to PLC's. Other jobs fit the Tekmar mold better so I couldn't justify it. Once I added the thermal storage control, the PLC price became fesable.
  14. termite

    termite New Member

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    I was going to ask why you had the storage isolated to just the house loop. I know there is a good reason because everything looks very well thought out. I figured you must be cramped for space on your boiler room or something. I know the heat loss and humidity from having the tank in the house is probably great during winter but may be brutal in the summer. If you aren't going to use it for DHW in the summer then it doesn't matter.
    I don't know if you are showing all your valves or not, but you definitely want to isolate the boiler loop from the house loop. That way you can keep your wife warm while you tweak things in the boiler room. I learned that soon after my install was "complete".
    Thank goodness for ebay. Retailers here have things jacked out of sight as well.
  15. Donl

    Donl Feeling the Heat

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    I need the 1-1/4" black pipe for "loop A" All our local Home Depot's only carry up to 1" black pipe and fittings.





    I paid about $120.00 on Ebay for the Tekmar 153. I have seen it priced much higher though. As for controls, I have been looking at PLC's but they are expensive and so is the software. I have always done most of this kind of stuff as "Home Brew". I have been playing with off the self Linksys Wireless routers that run Linux. These are amazing low cost, reliable computers that if you have the time can get them to do just about anything. The big draw back with this approach is that once everything has been completed and running properly, I will probable be the only one in the world that knows how it works! I guess I need to think this through some more.

    Don
  16. Donl

    Donl Feeling the Heat

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    The storage is located in the house for a number for reasons;
    1. I have a 1000 gallon cistern available
    2. No space for one in the boiler house. (although I did consider putting in underground storage)
    3. In the future I will likely add storage in the workshop.

    No plans for DHW in the summer.



    I'm not sure I understand your point here. The way I think I have it setup is that during "Recovery phase" only the two (2) pumps in the house will be running. No flow will take place at that time between the boiler and the house on "loop B". Do you mean that I should have ball valves in place to completely shut off "Loop B"? If so, I'm not sure as to why. Please explain further.

    Don
  17. termite

    termite New Member

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    If you gate off loop "b" you could drain either loop "a" or "c" and leave the other loop pressurized and unaffected. The way you are set up you could charge your storage, close a couple valves on loop "b" and have heat in your home for a day or so if you had to work on the boiler loop. Actually it's the same thing you are doing at the CST's for your storage coil.
  18. Donl

    Donl Feeling the Heat

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