1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

What a difference a year makes! Love the Vigas

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by JP11, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,355
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    So.. last year when all my zones were calling.. and the boards were lit up like a Christmas tree... Oil boiler would run and run for 24 hours STRAIGHT when it was -10 out.

    Tonight.. I just chuckle and throw in a few more splits. about 100k btus headed out to the zones, and another 100k headed to the tanks for when the wood runs out in 3 or 4 hours.

    Mighty happy with AHONA and Mark.

    JP
    pen likes this.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Brialin

    Brialin Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Messages:
    25
    Loc:
    Central MA
    3 weeks with vigas 40 and having to let run out of wood because 1000 gal storage up to temperature. I am using quite a bit less wood than my old tarm gassifier. Hope to have a good week of 0 degree weather to really try her out.
  3. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,355
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    I THOUGHT I would need to have storage charged AND the vigas stuffed full when it was -10 outside.

    Nope.. All I did was make creosote, and burned only about a quarter of the firebox. Woke up to 180 degree tanks.

    Heating system shuts off much more when the supply water is 195 mixing in.. instead of the oil boiler clawing to maintain 150 or so.

    Very happy indeed.

    JP
  4. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,653
    Loc:
    Northern Maine
    So other than the total fun that we all enjoy of wood burning, how much cheaper is the wood than your bio-diesel you were making for the oil burner? Or is it too early to tell?

    TS
  5. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,147
    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    Glad you are happy with your system JP. Nice when a plan comes together. Being able to heat everything, including DHW all year round, with wood is great.
  6. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,355
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    I did the math last year (oil may be a tad cheaper at the moment than it was last year) I tried to see if I would be better rushing to get my boiler in, and buying dry wood. When I compared my cost of biodiesel to wood.. I needed to be able to buy DRY wood for 225 a cord. I figured it wasn't realistic. It was fall at that point.

    I was running 70% bio and 30% home heating oil. Bio costs me around a buck to buck and a quarter a gallon to produce.

    BUT... I never had enough grease to make it thru the whole winter. AND the bio really should only be stored 6 months. So.. I was always trying to make enough, and get it stored in my utility room in a big cubie, or in drums. Even in the mild winter I was buying nothing but HHO by late february or so.

    Now.. my fuel is sitting out in the snow. I can bring in a pallet in about 5 minutes. Snow melts off it for 24 hours, water goes out the floor drain.

    Plus.. I would MUCH rather spend 15 minutes brushing out the tubes in my vigas than an hour messing with the buderus. I was cleaning that every 300 to 400 hours of burner operation. Sometimes it would still be very clean. Others it was pretty filthy.

    It's snowing just a little bit out now. My dad is talking about coming over to run the kubota for me and winch, then haul the cut logs to my processing area with the forks. Gotta say this is much more fun to me than messing with the bio. I still make it... but only in the summer. I'm down to just one mercedes that runs it.

    JP
  7. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,653
    Loc:
    Northern Maine
    Interesting to hear JP! I know a guy who makes bio to heat his house didn't ask him what it cost him to make or the time involved, just was in passing convorsation. I know another guy who runs his tractor for his brush cutting busness on it in the summer, don't know if it was 100% or mixed with off-road.

    TS
  8. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,355
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    Methanol is the big cost driver. At one point I had a bulk supplier. It was very cheap. Now.. I buy drums. 4 bucks a gallon. It takes 5 gallons to make about 28 gallons of fuel. Throw in a few bucks here and there to my grease supplier (it's fantastic grease that cooks almost exclusively french fries) and some cost for the caustic. Electricity.. and believe it or not.. a WOOD CHIP mixture to filter thru.

    Buck, buck and a quarter. Those old mercedes diesels run great on it. I don't mess with it in the Kubota...as I don't run enough fuel thru it to make a difference.

    It's a cool hobby.. and it pays dividends. Both to be driving without buying oil from countries who hate us, and the money savings is nice too.
    Taylor Sutherland and flyingcow like this.
  9. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,653
    Loc:
    Northern Maine
    Did you hear about the guy who was caught, not paying road taxes for the fuel he was useing. Wow the state is going for a new low on that one.

    On topic, I bet you could burn those wood chips in a stove or the like. My favorite is cooking bacon in the microwave and the grease soaked paper towels to start the fire!

    TS
  10. Fred61

    Fred61 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Messages:
    1,867
    Loc:
    Southeastern Vt.
    Makes me wonder. Are pigs flammable?
    Taylor Sutherland likes this.
  11. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,355
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    If I was driving a commercial truck... I would never use the fuel.

    Yeah, those used, glycerine and biodiesel infused chips burn great.

    JP
  12. Only a matter of time before the state institutes a new road tax based on how many miles you drive. Those Prius owners have got to pay there fair share you know. And they just don't buy enough gas... Somehow I doubt once the they pass a new road tax they will forget to reduce the gas tax.

    And I'm partial to boxes from double bacon pizzas to start a fire.

Share This Page