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Wet Wood? Icicles and no gasification.

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by infinitymike, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. __dan

    __dan Burning Hunk

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    The Froling is reading deg C, that 132 C is 270 F. It is only that high because of the fresh add of a few softwood splits. Usually runs 110 to 120 deg C (248 F).

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    infinitymike likes this.

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  2. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

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    I would expect to see steam at those low temps. Which is why I think the WG and Lambda's steam. Low flue temp means instant condensation when the hot gasses exit the chimney into the cold air.

    ac
    Taylor Sutherland likes this.
  3. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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  4. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

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    I wonder if we could get away without drilling the hole and just run the lead through the rope gasket. Think it would survive?

    I tried a bare thermocouple lead...it didn't survive.
  5. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    I don't know. Would the cable/wire bend and get damaged?
  6. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

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    I'm more worried about the cable/wire disintegrating in the extreme temps.
  7. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    I have the same "no secondary window sindrome" in my Attack. I've been thinking of drilling a hole large enough for a 1/2" piece of iron pipe. Then putting a little round of ceramic glass on the outside end of the pipe, seems like the only problem would be keeping the ash out of the pipe. I don't know, I'm still thinking about it though.

    TS
  8. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    I would really love to have a full glass view of the firebox and the gasification tube. I mean c'mon this 2013.

    Oh I know why, because then we would all have them in our living rooms:cool:.
    Somehow I don't think copper pipes and circ pumps would fit the decor of the room.;)
  9. willyswagon

    willyswagon Burning Hunk

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    I have found that the larger the load of wood, the more icicles I get. I guess it makes sense if you take 20% moisture as an example.
    If i put 25 lbs of wood in the fire box it has to send 6.25 lbs of water up the stack.
    If I put 75 lbs of wood in there it has to send 18.75 lbs of water up the stack.

    Because the water is all evaporating at the same time it must be causing a large amount of vapour to be exitng the stack at the same time. Large amount of water vapour hitting a cold surface= condensation and freezing(think of our house windows on a cold day).
    I find that the ice is only there during the early part of the burn (about 1-1.5 hrs) after I just added wood.
    It seems to drop off the flue after that.
  10. PassionForFire&Water

    PassionForFire&Water Minister of Fire

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    Flue gas condensor?
    Please tell us more:rolleyes:
    Make, model, efficiency gain, ... .
  11. __dan

    __dan Burning Hunk

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    Homemade. I expect to get the tank scrap, pipe the flue to the top, continue the flue out from the bottom, and drill a small hole in the bottom for the condensate to drip out to a trap. I was thinking along the line of two 50 gallon propane tanks in series, or a salvage takeout from work - extra heavy steel DHW heat exchanger, 6 ft tall, 30" diameter, lifetime steel wall thickness.

    I have a 12 ft. sideways throw of inside flue pipe, space to ceilng mount two propane tanks, or floorstanding adjacent to the Froling if I get one bigger tank.

    I am not concerned about corrosion. If it rots through in 15 or 20 years it goes to the scrapyard, where it was going before I intercepted it. If it corrodes through, yank it and swap in another scrap, salvage unit. I am thinking just ignore the ash and gum from the condensate, just a filter that lets the H2O out the bottom, and treat the tank as a limited lifetime wear item. When it gets futzed, scrap the tank and put another in.

    The idea would be to just waste out the heat from condensation into the basement, which would be bad in the summer but not excessively with a small fire for DHW. I would need some type of filter for the condensate water so the condensate pump runs cleanly.

    If the industry advances to the point this becomes manufacturer supplied and supported, you may in the future have the option of trading the cost of the stainless UL HT 103 all fuel flue for the condenser and venting with PVC, like condensing gas boilers. For now, I would continue out through the existing stainless all fuel flue for code. A manufacturers unit would need a way to separate the ash and gum from the H2O and be cleanable. This shows the market is still not fully mature.

    If you look at something like the Weil McLain Ultra gas boiler, they use a V shaped downdraft aluminum block heat exchanger and just collect the condensate at the bottom. Something simple.

    The Froling is draft induced. Removing the bulk of the H2O from the flue draft should be an improvement.
    PassionForFire&Water likes this.
  12. PassionForFire&Water

    PassionForFire&Water Minister of Fire

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    What is the flue gas temperature range on your Froling wood gasifier? Model?
    If you know the airflow (better smokeflow) you can get an idea of what you will be able to reclaim.
  13. CTFIRE

    CTFIRE Member

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    I was getting icicles too. I think it is a combo snow and ice and the steam from the WG. Was happy to see this thread as it was nice to know it wasn't just me.
  14. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    Hey glad to be of help. thats why I throw this stuff out there.
    I'm not gonna act like I got it all figured out.
    And even if past experiences proved to be different and I should be concerned, if its happening now I want to see why.
    And I trust that I will get good feedback from this place.

    How ya doing up there? We got pounded with 24" how 'bout you?
  15. CTFIRE

    CTFIRE Member

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    34 inches here. Things are good. Had an incident with my woodgun as well, but was too embarrassed to post. I had a blockage in the transition from my horizontal run into the main stack. I had cleaned out the other sections, but not this one connection i overlooked. Popped every seam on the 26 gauge steel and filled the basement with smoke a week ago at midnight. Not good when a fireman has to call his own fire dept for a possible chimney fire. Very stressful evening caused by poor maintenance on my part. Ash is getting past my cyclone and collecting in the pipe. I think I need to clean it monthly going forward.
  16. willyswagon

    willyswagon Burning Hunk

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    The exact thing happened to a buddy of mine's WG about a month ago.
    Fire Dept came down just to make sure.
  17. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

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    I just serviced mine. Fair amount of fly ash in the horizontal run and in the chimney clean out. No wonder WG suggests you use cleanouts instead of elbows!

    ac
  18. Frozen Canuck

    Frozen Canuck Minister of Fire

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    Not to rain on your parade or tell you what to do but I would avoid this particular temptation. Reason being that even if it works (physics says its possible) what do you do with the condensate that will likely be classified as hazardous waste? Toxic sludge basically from a cord wood fired appliance. No one is going to want you dumping that anywhere near them. Not sure what disposal of hazardous waste costs in your area, here it's high. Then there is the accelerated corrosion of the appliance flue/chimney to consider & cost out. Was the appliance ever designed to be operated in a condensing mode? The cooler the exhaust gets the more resistance it will offer to the fan doing the pushing. Is the fan designed to resist this higher level of corrosion? Plenty of factors to consider when moving from conventional or draft induced/assisted to condensing.
  19. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    I have found the best way to avoid this is to check your ash cyclone every other day or so and be sure it is not plugged just above the ash pan. If the ash can not get down into the pan it gets forced further along the the pipe and settles in. I have done away with almost all horizontal piping. And with keeping the bottom of the cyclone unplugged I have greatly reduced any build up of ash in my pipe from cyclone to vertical chimney.
    CTFIRE and infinitymike like this.
  20. __dan

    __dan Burning Hunk

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    It is much in the future or never and a fix for a problem that I do not have. The basement is already running warm, radiant in the floor, and I cannot imagine how much useable waste heat I would get from two tanks running a passive surface temp of 110 deg F or so. They would have to be right under my bed for me to get the heat. I am getting condensation in the outside riser of stainless UL all fuel that collects and drips out the bottom cleanout cap of the tee. Have seen a little ice mound under it, less than the size of a gallon of milk. It washes the inside and the wet ash collects in the cleanout cap, very small quantity. Most of the ash has been staying in the secondary chamber of the Froling and I've taken out 7 gallons ash (three 2 gallon trips) from the boiler since October. I've been checking it and it's clean right now.

    It was mainly a concern for if wood got scarce and all I had was an arm load of wood to keep from freezing or burning the furniture. A condenser between the boiler and the flue would also keep the mess in one place and the flue a lot cleaner, but it's staying clean now.

    There would be no change to the Froling, which is running with the LK Acaso 810 loading unit and stays fully above the condensing temp. I just brushed the secondary chamber after 3 months running and the factory steel came right up with one swipe. Looked at the top of the firetubes at the fan chamber and there was nothing worrysome, just light grey ash coating.

    I know there will be unforseeable issues. I see three components to handle, separation of H2O, very fine dusty ash, and some tar. The concern would be the accumulation of flammables, and the weight of the tank with a ten year collection of fine ash and some, minimal, tar varnish. If a 50 gallon steel tank lights off the tar inside it, it is not going to burn through, and it seems to be slow burning. I see it accumulating but not lighting off.

    The H2O condensate is not a disposal hazard. Maybe slightly acidic with some ash minerals. Disposal hazards are usually solvents and heavy metals. Coal ash may be a problem, not clean firewood.

    I think a cordwood flue gas condenser could be taken to the next level with some experience and factory engineering. Could get into patentable ideas. I'm sure the geometry of the condenser chamber makes a difference, easy separation of H2O from ash would be necessary. The chamber would have to be rated for a residue burnout, but it should not have a fire, that's what the secondary gasification chamber is for. Remember, the stainless HT 103 flue is several thousand dollars that could otherwise be invested in a listed condensing accessory and PVC vent, when the products and the code approvals mature, like they are for gas condensing boilers. IMO, that would be an objective. The condenser could be a preheater for DHW or low temp return water. Not needing a chimney would be an advantage.

    It's an area that calls for investment and a huge market. I'm a bit afraid that if everyone on oil switched over to wood, there would be no standing trees anywhere. There is a market for more expensive, more efficient equipment, trading capital in equipment for fuel and labor.
  21. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    Thats is absolutely true. I have 10 feet of straight pipe off the cyclone to the top of the cap. If the pan get full , I will fine black ash debris on the grass. Its even more noticeable on the white snow.
    i've even seen small chunks the size of a kidney bean on the ground.

    I empty the ash pan everyday. it doesn't hurt.
  22. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    One of the things forgotten with marginal M/C (edit: and cold wood) is atmospheric moisture content. The two high moisture sources combined can raise havoc with proper gasification requirements. Once steam/moisture starts rolling around in a gasifier primary combustion chamber it takes some time to get it out. Every time the steam condenses and rolls town to the coals it explodes into steam again but it also cools down the fire (like raining on the parade) and will eventually make its way through the cooled fire to the exhaust avenue of the chimney where it can condense again and make icicles. Cold wood in a warm boiler and heated high moisture air make a condensation collector out of the wood (until it finally warms up) and it sits right on top of the coals that you expect heat out of. A sneak counter attack for that is a couple of boiler loads worth of low moisture wood in a dry warm place saved for "emergencies"(i.e. basically a boiler re-light with the right stuff). It's kind of like the cavalry in the old westerns coming to the rescue. I have a Portage and Main Optimizer 250 which is an outdoor gasifier and as long as the wood is dry the 240 gallons of on board storage can take the hit of high moisture air and cold wood and keep the gasification humming.
    Downeast Farmer likes this.

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