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Well..........Duh!!

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by heaterman, Mar 29, 2013.

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  1. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    Tell us something we didn't know.

    Pay attention here though. When the article talks about burning wood note what form they are talking about. It's pellets.
    From what I see, hear and read between the lines, I'm guessing that "government activity" is going to start nudging things in the direction of pellets due to the emission factor. It won't be this year or next but I would just about bet that this is the direction we will see thing turn.
    10 or so years ago, pellet burners made up about 4% of all biofuel/wood burning appliances sold. Now the number is about 35% and climbing every year. Methinks the writing is on the wall.

    Also note that this article is pulled from an oil industry magazine. Those guys see it too.


    http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-N...-Cheaper-and-Cleaner-than-Oil-Based-Ones.html

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. VT_Bubba

    VT_Bubba Member

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    HeaterMan,

    Coming from somebody who has burned wood on and off for over 35yrs, I can tell you that I will be burning more pellets and less wood in the future. If you have an available wood source, with Gasification boiler and storage, then wood can still be a fairly desirable solution for many people. However, if you ask my wife, she would never replace our semi-automatic, central heating pellet boiler, with any wood burning appliance of any kind ! A well designed Pellet Boiler System is just way easier to use and maintain for the average person. Just ask the lady of the house what she would rather use when her man is out of town. I know.... the neighbor... ;-)

    We still have a nice Hearthstone wood stove in our basement as our ultimate heat back-up system, and I still enjoy burning wood. However, my pellet boiler is just far superior for the day-2-day task of heating my house and DHW. We have NO regrets moving to pellet at 91% efficency with Thermostat Controlled Cental Heating in the house. We can leave our house for 3-4 days in ZERO degree temperatures and know that the house will be heated.

    VT_Bubba
    iceguy4 likes this.
  3. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

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    While pellets are a good solution for some, I like a fuel I can control the price of.
    Taylor Sutherland, Scols and Fred61 like this.
  4. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    BINGO.
    I've got 70 acres. Still haven't seen a pellet tree. I have heat, FOR LIFE growing perpetually, sparing nuclear armageddon that blocks out the sun.. Even then.. I'l have all the dead standing, assuming the blast didn't knock down the trees. :)

    JP
  5. Frozen Canuck

    Frozen Canuck Minister of Fire

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    I can definately see the appeal of pellets as one gets older. Especially if oil or propane are your alternatives. Nat gas on the other hand looks to be plentiful & therefore cheap for a longer timeframe.
  6. AroostookDave

    AroostookDave Member

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    If I didn't have a woodlot, I definitely would be burning pellets. We have 3 or 4 pellet producers in Maine, and the money would stay here. Pellets take a little work, and that is why some will continue to burn oil. But if a person has a log wood supplier or likes to mess around in the woodlot, then there is no better way to save money. My wife likes the gasification with storage, because all she has to do is set the thermostat where she wants it just like oil. Burning log wood is also cheaper than paying gym fees to burn calories!
    Taylor Sutherland and JP11 like this.
  7. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    My boiler has a pellet head option. Another reason I chose what I did.

    Now if only the local pellet market matures to the point of bulk delivery by about the time I've had enough of handling cord wood - timing is everything sometimes. Hopefully that is way in the future for me.
  8. fuelfarmer

    fuelfarmer Burning Hunk

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    Wood chips I say. You could make wood chips at home a lot easier than pellets. The burner I have does not care if the chips are dry, wet, or "stupid wet".
  9. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    No it probably doesn't, but the EPA/government does and burning chips with low emissions is tough even on a commercial scale let alone a small boiler using non computerized control of combustion.
    Seeing as how the biggest players in the US wood burning industry are dragging their feet with regards to emission levels, we can expect the Feds and states to start telling us what we may and may not do. My gut feeling is that this will be pellets because a uniform fuel is much easier to obtain good results with. Time will tell.
  10. Willman

    Willman Minister of Fire

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    There has been talk of funding and building an export facility for pellets in Maine. While we have bulk delivery in different areas of Maine the bulk export would be a game changer due to world market pricing. While good for the wood cutters and mills it would be disastrous for the average pellet consumer.
  11. fuelfarmer

    fuelfarmer Burning Hunk

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    I don't know what clean is, but this is not bad.

    [​IMG]
    Chris Hoskin likes this.
  12. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    I like the idea of burning wood chips. But how is the average guy suppose to store, dry, and load them? And make them? I don't know anyone who is going to do that. Most people don't have loaders/skidsteers/tractors and plenty of room to store piles of chips, and keep them dry. Burning them wet just seems to go against efficiency. The thing about pellets is just about anyone can buy them at the local Lowe's, or wherever, and move them by themselves into the garage or basement and store them on a pallet. I came very close to buying a pellet boiler, but I have a supply of wood that is free, besides processing it. This was much cheaper and meant the turnaround on the whole system would only be 4 or 5 years. And I can sometimes scround wood or buy cordwood/slabwood very cheap. I can't do that with pellets. I could certainly see pellet boiler in future when I build my retirement home in the mountains. With a wood burning cook stove for back up.
  13. iceguy4

    iceguy4 Minister of Fire

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    I burned wood off and on for over 35 years...loved it==c not sure what was the final straw ...but suspect it was the direct vent feature that leaned me twards a pellet boiler.. this combined with the price of oil.>>. Now as I review some of the previous posts(in a very warm house heated with a pellet boiler I havent checked in over a week) I am thinking ...Pellets...yes the price can spike...yes supply can be a problem... BUT If I start to see a problem I always have the option of buying a pellet mill. my boiler will burn any quality pellet I throw at it. As for biomass...I dont see a problem getting as much as I need delivered to my house.. from what I hear ...pellets will be reasonably priced for the near future. Also ... I do WAY less work heating my house then wood...Show me a wood boiler that you can leave un-attended for over a week with little or no smoke for under $8500.00.... as for those outdoor smoking boilers that are smokey POS...If I lived next to one that bothered me I would shoot it every time it was fired up...:mad:
  14. huffdawg

    huffdawg Minister of Fire

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    I see no heat wave ,is your boiler lit? I have to show some of my neighbours that my boiler is actually lit , they don't believe it is actually burning wood?
  15. fuelfarmer

    fuelfarmer Burning Hunk

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    Yes, it was burning wet wood chips when the photo was taken.
  16. scooby074

    scooby074 Feeling the Heat

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    I'd like to go with chips/biomass myself.

    We have 100 acres of woodlot and the thought of being able to mechanically harvest my own biomass is like a dream to me.

    A larger (used) utility tractor and a proper sized chipper, plus a dump trailer and some sort of storage silo is all Id need to have almost "free" heat. The fact that going to biomass would be probably 80-90% mechanized compared to all the manual labour of solid wood can't be understated.

    Not to derail the thread, but here's a great video from Scotland of an owner of a historic property who converted from oil to chips, saving many thousands a month( was costing $66,000/yr). Since he had all the equipment, he then started selling his chips to others as a side business. My dream!!
  17. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Leaving the price out for starters, I can do this right now for a week or longer, depending on the temperature, with my Tarm and 1000 gal storage. Greater storage would give me even longer times between burns. As to price, storage is a one-time cost, pellet cost is forever and subject to the energy market, and it won't take long before the price of pellets soars past the one-time cost of storage.

    Pellets compete directly with oil/gas, have high transportation/handling costs, and pricing will reflect that. Yes, round wood takes some work, but that can be minimized by getting a semi-truckload from a logger and letting the logger do all the felling and handling, except the final bucking, splitting and stacking. As to that last part, sure beats the price of a fitness membership.
  18. iceguy4

    iceguy4 Minister of Fire

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    Not trying to get into an argument here (I want to be paid to argue)...but I call BS... If we were to compare BTU's...BLA bla bla... I'm loosing interest... I guess ...WTF would I expect ...replying to a thread with this title...:confused:
    Anyway... To put the BTU's in your 1000 gallons will take several trips to your stove/boiler...in my case...none
    been there done that...are you telling me that price wont go up too?
    Work is time...and time is $$$
    As I said before "i loved burning wood"...I super duper love burning pellets.. On the very coldest days I burn about 100 lbs of pellets. my boiler automatically will feed about 1300 lbs+-... so if I fall asleep on the couch, all I have to do is drag my ass to bed...
    Long and short of it...@ 56 YO burning pellets is kind nice....
  19. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    Different strokes for different folks. My grandfather burned 10 cord of wood/year until he was in his early 90s. Tree-length delivered every year, and when I was a kid my parents burned 8+ cord which also was delivered and bucked by my 80 y/o gramp. The man was an old farmer and bucked 18+ cord/year. When he finally decided he didn't want to do it anymore they bought two pellet stoves and his health went downhill fast. Age, and the lack of something to do for sure.

    My take on pellets, and I've installed an PB 105 for my uncle, is you pay now or pay leter. My Gramp is long gone now, but the rest of my family thinks I'm plum-crazy out cutting wood, while they spend $$$$ on pellets (my parents have burned oil exclusively for many years). Before anyone uses the "BS" term, think, we are not all the same and may come from different backgrounds, some want to work and not sepend money, some would rather spend more and not have the work involved. Pellets are about as close to oil/gas as far as automatic goes, and much cheaper than oil around here. But, I still like the idea that my fuel is dependent only on me, asside from the 15 or so gallons of avgas (the saw, and splitter love the leaded, high octane, ethenol free, gas) I run through the splitter and saw to process every year.
    You can tout the little work associated with pellets, and we can tout the little money we pay for fuel, both have their pros and cons. There several people around here that swear by coal and have burned it for a long time, that's as automatic as pellets, but poo pooed for many other reasons........ To each their own, if we all had to burn the same thing there would be expensive pellets, or lots of chimney fires, and firewood shortages.

    TS
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  20. Fred61

    Fred61 Minister of Fire

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    Well I got an offer Friday that I never got when I had the pellet stove. I called the guy that delivered my wood last year and asked him if he was doing it this year. Although we had a little disagreement about the volume which he corrected, he split it nice and small for me. He told me he was "pretty busy" but about 4 miles from my house he cleared a small area of woods that was blocking his clients view. He said there was between 11 and 17 cords laying in the field where he disconnected them from the skidder. He said I would be doing him a favor if I went up and and bucked it up and brought it home. No time limit. He said the species were oak, ash, yellow birch(my favorite) and soft maple. There were no pellet bushes in the inventory.
    mikefrommaine and Tennman like this.
  21. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Time to put this debate to bed for now.

    pen
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