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Water heater insert / boiler mod for P61/45/38

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by nate vignola, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. nate vignola

    nate vignola New Member

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    Webbie said this solicitation was ok- I appreciate the help!


    I've seen a few different types of 'boiler mods' for pellet stoves and have not been too impressed by them so I made my own. I'm not a fan of drilling holes in a perfectly good stove, nor am I keen on the idea of a pipe bursting inside the firebox. I like the idea of being able to run dry and not worry about it. I made my own 'adapter' and so far this year, I haven't used any fossil fuel for heating my DWH (> 1000gallons/week used).This adapter fills the need for me, where my solar hot water system does not provide enough heat gain during the winter months.

    My reason for joining the board is to see if there is anyone out there who would like to beta test my adapter on their stove. I am the owner of a small startup company ( NVEnergy,LLC ) .

    The key candidate would already have a large DWH storage unit such as a system with solar panels and has an electric or gas backup. My adapter takes the place of the door glass in the stove, so there are no permanent modifications.The beta tester would need to be someone in southern NH or eastern MA, I am in Leominster, MA.

    It creates about 15K btu's/hr+/-, depending on fuel and flow rates. I'd give the beta tester an insert for them to try out. They would be responsible for installation (need a pump - taco 009 or wilo 32, secondary heat exchanger and a 5 or 10 gallon drain back tank, along with a controller). I'm interested in feedback for ease of use and level of benefit to them, and of course positive feedback and word of mouth advertising.

    Best Regards,
    Nate

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  2. silverfox103

    silverfox103 Feeling the Heat

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    No thanks, not interested in a Rube Goldberg contraption. Once you start doing stuff like that, you void any guarantee and create a safety hazard. If your insurance company knew you installed one of these gizmos, you would be without insurance. If there was ever an insurance claim, you would be left holding the bag.

    First get this thing approved by the manufacturer of the stove, the underwriters laboratory and get it UL approved.

    Until then, I'm not interested.

    Tom C.
  3. subsailor

    subsailor Minister of Fire

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    Nor I.
  4. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

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    Wish I know more about boiler type set ups but I do not. Good luck but there is a lot of liability.
  5. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    Geez tough place. I would do it if I had forced hot water. Talk with Marc caluwe from heat to hydro converter, he may be able to help you out.
  6. Bioburner

    Bioburner Minister of Fire

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    So you take out the only way to monitor the fire? Kinda like driving a car with blacked out windows. I worked with boilers larger than some peoples homes and they had veiwing ports along with all kinds of sensors.
  7. movemaine

    movemaine Feeling the Heat

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    It might be nice to see pics of an operational setup.
  8. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    I agree. Pics would be nice.

    If you wanna sell it? People need to see it. :)
  9. nate vignola

    nate vignola New Member

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    Thanks for the responses! I agree that any type of mod has liability and the key to limit the liability is to identify the potential failures/risks and to mitigate by integrating a fail safe mechanism. I myself as an industrial engineer, big on the fail safe. Just like a pellet stove, opening the door causes the auger to stop pushing fuel and disengages the air to the burn pot.
    Here, the boiler insert is connected to a drain back tank which isolates the water from the end use, but most importantly, like any drain back tank, it is vented to atmosphere. Looking at the worse case scenarios ( power outage, pump failure ) all the water drains out of the adapter, back into the tank and stops circulation. If the pump controller failed in the on state, any steam created would be vented out of the drain back tank. Worse case beyond that is the contents are leaked onto the floor (5 - 10 gallons).

    Is there another scenario that I missed? Please let me know. BTW- the UL cert is an eventual expected end state.

    I'll post some pics and a schematic of my install later today. It's not the prettiest and could benefit from a coat of paint.
    Best Regards,
    Nate
  10. ekarlis

    ekarlis Member

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    Boy you guys are hard nose! What if the guy that invented pellet stoves came to you & asked to try out his new stove? This is what sets us apart from the rest of the world, we come up with inventions & solve problems. We are
    Americans! You have to have a good engineering backround when you do stuff like this. Orville & Wilbur would
    not like you guys. If I qualified, I would try it. Nate, keep it going. We need guys like you.
    jtakeman and smoke show like this.
  11. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    I like the idea far better than the crosslink, however I am not a candidate for testing.
  12. Harman Lover 007

    Harman Lover 007 Minister of Fire

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    Geez...that welcome was a little rough.....Nate, we aren't normally like this. I am not a candidate either but would love to see what you are up to....
  13. moey

    moey Minister of Fire

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    Would love to see pictures, assuming the pellet stove industry is still going in 5-7 years I suspect they will have models with water hookups, besides the obvious boilers out there now.
  14. Lousyweather

    Lousyweather Guest

    yea, tough forum, but I feel the short term potential risks far outweigh the benefits. Its one of the reasons we have UL listings, testing agencies, etc. To modify a stove without testing by the manufacturer and UL, you WOULD be nullifying the UL listing. I am absolutely no expert here, but even being an idiot I know that if there is an issue, my homeowners insurance people would be only too thrilled to back out of any damages incurred from product failure, or, at the very least, would give their parasitical, bloodsucking crook (read:lawyer), and leg to stand on when I am forced to take them to court because they wont pay.......I just dont see the upside here.....but hey, thats me.
  15. silverfox103

    silverfox103 Feeling the Heat

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    If you think it's such a good idea, volunteer to be a beta tester, for what I'm guessing is a "low introductory offer, available for the first 100 callers. Ha Ha

    Tom C.
  16. brack86svo

    brack86svo New Member

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    I did a homemade boiler conversion on my Breckwell that looks a lot like the Crosslink kits. I would have to run my stove at full bore to heat the house and DHW. I can't imagine that I could make it much more efficient then what it is. That being said, one or the other would be feasible but, for what Crosslink claims they can do, I don't see doing both without burning a lot more pellets.
  17. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

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    Kinda sounded like the Shark Tank, "No thanks, I am out!".
  18. Bioburner

    Bioburner Minister of Fire

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    Couple of european companies have H2O hookups. America makes to many lawers to protect idots.
  19. Bioburner

    Bioburner Minister of Fire

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    Insurance company drop me for having a Chinese Celebration string of crackers on my end table! They would S&#@ if they knew I was building a afterburner to mount on a pulse jet motor for my motorcycle.
  20. silverfox103

    silverfox103 Feeling the Heat

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    Who's Webbie? Something is not right here.

    Tom
  21. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Webbie is Craig the site owner and the boss here.
  22. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

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    Kinda like the "man" behind the curtain for the Wizard of Oz.
  23. silverfox103

    silverfox103 Feeling the Heat

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    Now I know.

    thanks

    Tom
  24. cgokey

    cgokey New Member

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    That was one my questions about these and was looking at cross links too. I'd love to remove my electric water heater bill, but I wonder how much more it would cost me to heat both the home and the water heater. Any analysis one this in terms of savings?

    Chris
  25. brack86svo

    brack86svo New Member

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    I use mine to heat water that goes through a water to air heat exchanger in the plenum of my air handler. If I run the stove at full bore, setting 5, it will maintain 150 degrees with the air handler running. The manufacturer does not recommend I run the stove on the highest setting for more then an hour. I'm not sure on the heat loss with doing a side arm style heat exchanger but, I don't think it could keep up with doing both.

    The air coming out of the stove gets blown throughout the house via the return side of the air handler, when the blower in the air handler is not running. The water being heated in the coil turns the blower in the air handler on at 150 degrees. If I ran the stove at #4 setting all the time, I think it may be able to heat the DHW but, I think the house would get far too hot in the process, because of the hot air coming out of the stove.

    I have a 1400 square foot cape cod. During this really cold snap, I was barely holding at 70 degrees in the house with the stove on 4.

    I have not seen any really good pictures of the crosslink kits but, I believe I have made the most efficient coil that I can come up with. With my stove at setting 4, I am seeing about a 15 degree rise between the inlet an outlet. I do not run a mechanical thermostat like the crosslink kit does. The thermostat will raise the water temperature faster but, it all comes down to the volume of water. A car thermostat raises the engine temperature faster, only because it eliminates the radiator during warm up and maintains that temp. As soon as you take the thermostat out, and drive the car down the road, your limited to the amount of heat the engine can produce. Basically, the water in the coil gets hot with the thermostat but, when it's introduced to something that is pulling that heat away, it does you little to no good. I'm not sure if I explained that in a very good way, I'm sure some of you will understand what I meant though.

    Now that I rambled on.... I think that without running the stove at a very high setting, the water would not be able to maintain a high enough temperature to heat both the house and the DHW. The claims that it can do both, none the less in very large farm houses, seems suspect to me. It seemed interesting enough for me to try on my own though, and heating my house this way is working. I don't feel that I burn less pellets and didn't expect to. I built and tried it as a better way to distribute the heat through my house.

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