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Water Storage & Greewood

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by DKerley, Feb 28, 2008.

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  1. DKerley

    DKerley New Member

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    Hello Everyone,

    I am interested in knowing if any of you with Greenwood's / Seton's are using water storage while operating 24/7. I have a slightly oversized unit at the moment (future plans will require the heating capacity of said oversized boiler) when the outside temperatures get up to freezing. I do not want to be constantly lighting fires so once the OAT gets too warm to run 24/7, I'll be shutting down for the season. Would water storage allow me to operate the GW at the warmer daytime temperatures without the unit sitting idle for too long? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    Doug
    Whitehorse, Yukon

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  2. Chris B

    Chris B Member

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    Sorry I do not have a answer for you question, but I need to respond to your thermometer That's Cold.
  3. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    That thermometer was the inspiration for Yukon Jack I'd say.

    GW100 here, no storage. I can burn in the fall and spring, but this requires very careful fueling. Storage would probably help, but . . . if you really want to run all the time, so you then heat the tenk, then it's still just cool out, it will take a long time to drop the tank temp, thereby your fire goes out. Ask NoFo about this, because I would guess he has a better feel for the actual pros/cons of storage, based on his usage.

    My thinking is that you want to learn to modulate the fire by using small, quality hardwood (that would be hard maple in my case, 1-2") . Build the fire small enough to heat up the box and water, then shut down with a very small amount of super-dried hardwood. That will minimize the smoke during idle, and assure that when the damper finally opens many hours later, it will actually take off.

    Maybe I am biased because I don't have any, but I think storage is not the be-all and end-all. In your case, storage would actually help you light like two fires a week, if you combine large storage with your large GW. Too bad you had to get the bigger one, but my thermometer hasn't said what yours does in a few years.

    Jimbo
  4. antknee2

    antknee2 New Member

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    Thermal storage / buffer tanks save time . I only burn at night and tanks do the do the work during the day . Endless possibilities. Say goodbye to burning 24/7 . Stony Point NY has had a very mild winter so far , that's the only reason I could let the fire go out during the day with only 360 gallon buffer tanks , for my heat load and boiler size Sven form STSS recommends 600 gallons , my house is well insulated and about 2000 sq ft . The solar heating system only works for me from 9 am to 3 pm when we have mostly clear skis . Can't rely on that . Anthony
  5. tigermaple

    tigermaple Member

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    Fingerlakes, NY
    That's freakin' cold.
    I have a gw 100 also, no storage. My unit is slightly undersize for my load, which is just how it was planned (lucky). Mine likes burning hot all day and night. I wonder if WS is a good idea with these type boilers. How the refractory would hold up to repeated heat up-cool down cycles is my question. Might have to shovel out refractory chips more than ashes. Condensation may also pose a problem.
    At those temps, what month are worried about low heat draw anyway, July?
    Pat
  6. antknee2

    antknee2 New Member

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    Excellent point , I use a timer that kills the power to the draft damper after 8 hours . The thermal mass of a GW / Greenfire / Adobe and Seton will hold enough heat to prevent shocking the refractory after 12 hour shut down , damper closed . Just my opinion based on this seasons usage. This is all new to me . Sounds like your setup is perfect and do not need storage this time of the year . Anthony
  7. DKerley

    DKerley New Member

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    Yukon, Canada
    Thanks for all of the replies. Having the large GW does allow me to get a full nights sleep when the temps are low and still have hot coals in the a.m. Fortunately or unfortunately, the 200 was recommended as the better unit for my application based on future expansion plans (expanded workshop & greenhouse). It appeared as if with my current demand and the poor quality of wood (spruce and pine), the 100 would have worked for now but not later. FYI, I have been able to get 9 to 10.5 hours out of a 100 lb. load of wood at an OAT of -30 to -35 C.

    I did some time lapsed photography for about 7 nights to monitor the damper cycles to try to get an idea as to how the unit was behaving. Interestingly enough, the cycles were quite predictable. It starts off short cycling initially and then settles into longer run times 5 hours into the night. The damper was open approximately 28 - 29% of the total time.

    I am wondering if by adding a small amount of storage, would it buffer the shorter cycles allowing for a cleaner burn with longer damper open times? In addition to that, would a small amount of storage assist in a cleaner burn during the warmer (above freezing) temperatures of April and September?

    On the planning board, I am proposing to put a thermostatically (OAT) controlled snow melt system into my sidewalk that would come on as it gets close to freezing, thus increasing the load and again hopefully having a cleaner burn and extending my 24/7 operations.
  8. antknee2

    antknee2 New Member

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    With three 120 gallon Super Store indirect thermal storage tanks hooked up in series with the Seton . Using two of the Super Store built in fined stainless hx an a Flat plate hx 30 plate , with the tanks at 140 f start a fire from scratch , fill the fire box with a good combination of small and large hard wood . The Seton will run full out for two or three hours and fully charge the tanks to 185 f , with a full home heat load all at once . At that point the Seton will cycle . Great system for milder weather , over sized boiler , a home with small heat zones or for a person with a long work day . That's way I have this system . Hope this helps Anthony
  9. DKerley

    DKerley New Member

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    Hi Anthony,

    Thanks for the info. I am curious as to how often your Seton cycles after the storage tanks reach 185F. Does is stay damper -closed for an extended period of time ie: more than 1 or 2 hours, and then, how long will it stay damper-open to recharge the tanks back up to 185. One last question, what is your temperature differential on the aquaqstat for your Seton? I have a 15deg differential on mine.

    Thanks
  10. Kemer

    Kemer Member

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    Anthony,Could you tell me what your tanks cost?and are they pressurized?or can you get pressurized from the tank super store?
  11. antknee2

    antknee2 New Member

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    That's a good question regrading damper cycles , they seem to be extended closed cycles , I like your idea of time elapsed photos because I only burn at night and go to bed early .
    What interval do time do you set on your camera for tracking damper cycles ? I run a 30 degree differential , main high limit 195- 200 f and keep the heat exchangers water pressure at 25 psi , I like living on the edge . A couple of late night visits to boiler , I would find the damper closed and very carefully open the loading door , protecting my face from the possibility of a flash back . I found no smoke or signs of life in the fire box just big dark gray logs , come back in the morning an only find very fine ash . The Seton has a life of it's own with lots of mysteries . Anthony
  12. DKerley

    DKerley New Member

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    Hi Anthony,

    I used 1 minute intervals for the time lapse at a low resolution so that the photos would download quickly and not use up too much memory. It was very interesting to watch how it operated during the different stages of the fire and the heating demands of the house. The photography sure beats hanging around and trying to time it.
  13. antknee2

    antknee2 New Member

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    Hi Kemer The tanks are pressurized 20 psi with a extrol 60 floor mount expansion tank .Water for heat exchangers is a separate closed system with water feed pressure set to 25psi . The tanks with trade discount cost $1600 each . Anthony

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  14. SteveJ

    SteveJ Member

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    Anthony,

    Off-topic - I noticed the trials poster in the background - do you ride or race?

    Steve
  15. antknee2

    antknee2 New Member

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    High Steve : Boiler room readers don't miss a trick . I do ride Trials in woods souroundig my home , Just for fun , and great for keeping up your balanceing skills . I can't seem to get away from 2 stroke smoke .Anthony
    Sorry Doug
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