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Tarm wood usage

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by chuck172, May 1, 2008.

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  1. chuck172

    chuck172 Minister of Fire

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    I'm currently using two woodstoves. A basement quadrafire and a lopi on the main floor. (bi-level). I know I asked before on this forum but I'm concerned with the amount of wood I'll burn with my new Tarm Solo 40. I only burn the basement stove on colder days and nights. I usually burn about six cords a year.
    I don't cut and split wood because I enjoy it, or need the exercise. I do it for the heat.
    The Tarm has a 5 cu. ft. firebox. If my woodburning season is from Dec. till April, thats 120 days. One load daily will be 600cu. ft. or aprox 5 cords. That would be great. Now two loads will bring me up to 10 cords. Too Much!
    I know I'll be getting free hot water, but 10 cords is just too much work.
    Next winter I will have storage. I don't mind tending the stove more often, putting in Partial loads. I do plan on adding 800 gal. storage next spring.

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Hard to believe you would burn ten cords in NJ. You'll use less wood with storage, but five cords sounds more like it to me.

    Wood consumption depends on so many variables that it's pretty hard to predict. But even if you burn more wood in the first season than you expect, there are ways to fine-tune your setup to get it down. And, you'll use less wood over time as you become more familiar with how the boiler works in your situation. You're going to squander some heat as part of the learning curve.

    Bottom line: I'd stock up on wood just in case. Nothing wrong with having dry wood left over at the end of any heating season, IMO.
  3. Reggie Dunlap

    Reggie Dunlap Feeling the Heat

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    I don't think there's any way you would burn more than 5 cord per winter in NJ. I'm 40 miles from Canada and probably will average about 5 cord. That's heating 4000 sq. ft. with 750 gals of storage.

    I'd get 10 cords and use the rest next year.
  4. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    If you're currently heating with 6 cords a year, the Solo 40 may be bigger than what you need. I'm using an EKO 25 (80,000 BTU) to heat a large house in Vermont. My wood consumption seems to be averaging about 4 cords a year, and I also heat my DHW and a large hot tub with it.

    Storage should allow you to skip a lot of days, and I'll bet that you don't need a full load on a lot of other days.
  5. chuck172

    chuck172 Minister of Fire

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    I live in the ice-box on North West N.J. Sussex County. 4 mi. from the delaware river, P.A, NY.
    Believe me when I say it gets cold here. Nothing like you guys though. I thought about the solo 40 being too big, but I was advised for the 600. extra, It would be worth it when I decide to get the storage.
  6. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    I'd be generous if I say I burn 5 cords of pine in my Tarm 40 to heat my shop, very poorly insulated, see through cracks. Our winter temps are cold, -30's on occasion, 0 to -20 frequently, and generally 5-25 during most of the winter. I also have storage.
  7. chuck172

    chuck172 Minister of Fire

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    Storage is the way to go. Unfortunately just too expensive right now. I'm just wondering what the wood usage is for people who don't use storage. If I can get by with more frequent small loads as compared to full loads, high burns to heat 800 or so gal.
  8. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Others without storage say they get by fine. The Tarm has about 50 gal of water in the boiler, plus heating system water. That is the load you will be cylcing. The higher and more continuous your heat demand, the less cycling and more efficient will be the operation of the boiler.

    I have an idea that I haven't noticed being previously discussed. Look at the following post and see if this might provide some wiggle room for you.

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/17776/
  9. chuck172

    chuck172 Minister of Fire

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    I talked to the Tarm man today. Very knowledgeable. He feels in my situation and that since I will be getting storage next year to go with the Solo 40. My current calculated heat loss is 108,658 btu's.
    He feels I probably will burn between 6-7 cords this winter, and might be able to cut it down to 5 with 800 gal. storage next year. He feels with the bigger boiler I'll be able to adjust the wood load to suit the weather, tend the boiler more often, but should be fine.
    Now its all up to my wife and me. In a sense I'll be trading off two woodstoves for 1 woodboiler, and getting more even heat and free hot water.
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