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This Gasifier burns wood, pellets, and wood chips

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by GS7, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. GS7

    GS7 Member

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    Anyone know if the Woodmaster flex fuel gasifier is a quality choice? It's made in the USA and burns wood, pellets and wood chips. Also says solar compatible. One concern is it says it's made of heavy duty mild steel? What on earth is mild steel?? 100,000btu unit weighs 1,400lbs and 200,000btu unit weighs 1,800lbs, so I'm confused. Anyone have experience or knowledge about these units?

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  2. __dan

    __dan Burning Hunk

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    Mild steel refers to the amount of carbon in the steel. Mild steels are softer, less carbon, and common. High carbon steels are harder, stronger, springier. Tools, knives, and vehicle leaf springs are high carbon steel.

    Other than that, I have no knowledge about what makes a good boiler steel, other than my expectation a boiler manufacturer who has been in business a long time knows what type/ quality of steel to choose to make into boilers. Steel type / quality is a big factor for boiler corrosion resistance and longevity.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2013
  3. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    From what I can see on the site, it looks pretty good.
    Before I bought the Wood Gun, I had seen some other Austrian made units but none were available here.
    It's got Lambda controls, which from what I read here is a hi tech feature.
    It also has a self lighting option, which is very cool.
    The Wood Gun came with little gremlins that relight the fire:p

    I couldn't seem to find a price and wasn't able to open the videos.

    Are you in the market for a gasifier?
  4. GS7

    GS7 Member

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    This road is ROUGH. I have forced air oil heating, and originally was searching for just a good central heating unit to get OFF oil. Talked to numerous hvac guys in CT and those familiar with wood burners are few and far between. Self install is not an option, this is NOT my area of expertise. And my situation requires someone experienced. I looked hard at the Yukon Husky which one hvac guy was pushing me to "just get their combo unit", and he'd install for a grand total of $10,000, includes unit, duct work and new zone dampers and panel. Not for me. Then I was SOLD on the KUUMA which not a single hvac person I've talked to has any desire to review the installation manual or speak to the company. They're not interested in doing an add on install because they have never done so and don't care to explore it at all. Then I came across the Woodmaster flex fuel gasifier. Love that they burn cord wood, pellets, and wood chips. Expensive! Starts at $8,000 for 100,000btu, 1400lb unit. I like that their dealers install and service these USA made units. The dealers are trained by the manufacturer. Found two dealers here in CT. I'm not familiar with Woodmaster but come Monday morning you better believe, I will see this unit in person and fire the questions away. It's very frustrating navigating this fragmented industry. This gasifier unit that's dealer installed, may be the solution for me. We'll see real soon. Still don't like the price but it's as close to a possible solution as I've gotten. There is a Harman dealer who installs too, but I'm not sold on their wood coal furnace and the wording in their warranty is awful. They consider over firing, rust and paint peeling on THE ENAMEL and this voids the Harman wood/coal furnace warranty. So this is how I ended up looking real hard at this Woodmaster flex fuel gasifier.
  5. __dan

    __dan Burning Hunk

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    Woodmaster may be a good unit, IDK.

    It looks like they are absolutely mislabeling a boiler as a furnace. All of their units have water as the heat transfer medium, including the flex fuel. To install a boiler with hot air distribution, you would need a HW coil in the ductwork and HW storage if you are batch burning cordwood.

    You will see this at the dealer. It connects to the loads with plumbing, not ductwork.

    Otherwise, it has high quality features like automated control of primary and secondary combustion air, downdraft gasifier design, and their partnership importing Austrian technoloogy for US manufacture. It looks like they are on the right track, and imo, the ability to burn cordwood or autofed pellets is a feature many will depend on.

    The market does need to mature, especially in the quantity of units installed. Very high quality products are available now. The market needs to get into the range of millions of units annually, then the pellet and chip burners will get a lot of attention because of the easier fuel availability.
  6. GS7

    GS7 Member

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    Yes, I caught that too, and realize a water to air heat exchanger will be needed for forced air. With dealers doing the installation, this appears to be a good option.
  7. leon

    leon Member

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    My first question to them would be this:

    WHy are you not using boiler plate steel???????????
    Is the cost of boiler plate the reason you are not using it?????????????????


    As far as a Harman wood and coal boiler goes I would ask to see a copy of the
    warranty as thier explanation about peeling paint is absurd!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I do not remember there being a peeling paint exclusion on warranty coverage with them.


    We have two harman dealers located near me and I will be purchasing my replacement
    wood and coal boiler from the dealer further away because of his lower prices etc.

    I would buy the Harman furnace unit and remove the shell and not worrry about it ever as
    all it is is sheet metal window dressing.
    :mad:
  8. GS7

    GS7 Member

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    I will am definitely directing the mild steel choice to the manufacturer on Monday. I'm no expert and I've been told from a different dealer of another brand the choice of mild steel has less carbon and makes the steel more flexible and welds better? I'm not one to speculate so the manufacturer will have to give me their direct response. One thing I did notice is the boiler's weight is twice as heavy of some other models. 14001bs and 1800lbs for the Woodmaster 100,000kw and 200,000kw models.

    Getting back to the Harman furnace the thing that concerns me is this wording right from the manual about the enamel bubbling sorry not "peeling". But c'mon can't any enamel finish show cracking or bubbling under normal use:

    "This warranty is void if:
    The appliance has been over-fired or operated in atmospheres contaminated by chlorine, fluorine, or other damaging
    chemicals. Over-firing can be identified by, but not limited to, warped plates or tubes, rust colored cast iron, bubbling,
    cracking and discoloration of steel or enamel finishes."

    It's that phrase above that stopped me in my tracks from considering Harman any further, and I have a Harman HI300 insert right now. And yes the top of the firebox shows worn enamel but no warping whatsoever. It's 2 years old. Sent pictures to Harman through my dealer and the first response was did I over fire the unit. The chimney sweep actually prompted me to look at it. I said signs of rust after just 2 years is odd, and Harman said their units are naturally exposed to moisture and it was nothing to be concerned about and it will simply burn off. So that's been my Harman experience, and these Woodmaster units are far from inexpensive so I'm trying hard on the research end. Sorting through it all is no easy task.
  9. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Boiler plate IS mild steel.
  10. GS7

    GS7 Member

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    Is that good or bad in your view and why? I'm seeing arguments for both?
  11. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Unless it is in use in a highly corrosive application it is fine. High carbon boiler plate is available but not common. Every wood stove I have ever seen is built with low carbon mild steel too.

    I will have to leave it to welders and metallurgists to explain the whys and details.
  12. hobbyheater

    hobbyheater Minister of Fire

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    Have you talked to the people at Kuuma? Talk to them and send pictures of your current oil installation. The smaller of the two units would be a very simple add on install. They may know of a reliable installer who may only be a day's travel away. Several days' travel time may be a lot cheaper than the price of a boiler, storage, heat exchanger and labour costs to do the complete install.

    I did an install of a wood furnace for Granny earlier this year and it is very simple. Wish now that I had taken more pictures of the install so I could have shown it in steps.

    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/grannys-new-wood-furnace.108241/
    BoilerBob likes this.
  13. GS7

    GS7 Member

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    Love the pictures! What a nice installation. I've talked to kuuma and the customer I was able to reach loves their kuuma, and it was a self installation by the husband whom I was told was tied up for months and unable to call me back but the wife said they burn less wood and love the unit.
  14. hobbyheater

    hobbyheater Minister of Fire

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    004.jpg
    I spent my entire working life in the woods operating the log loader pictured and doing many log harvesting related jobs in the industry. I have had no training in furnace installations and I did not find the installation of the wood furnace all that difficult. You just have to break the install into segments and do it a step at a time.

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