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Why is everyone against (garn)

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by steelejones, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. steelejones

    steelejones Member

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    I believe it did include the price of the Garn....I actually want something SIMPLE in my setup, i dont want nor need anything complex.

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  2. RowCropRenegade

    RowCropRenegade Feeling the Heat

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    Just got my concrete and infloor heat in for my Garn.

    With everything, I should have 30,000 in my whole setup. I won't say it's a cadillac setup, but it's darn close. Fuel oil is at 2.5 a gal right now, so it still cash flows just fine.

    With the area I could potentially heat someday, the garn was a no brainer for me.
  3. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    As far as the outside thing, that's what I'm doing with unit. My tarm is in an unattached garage(wood storage facility, that's what the ins company needed to call it to be happy ;-P ), with my wood supply in it. Usually in the dead of winter, I or my son, when he comes home from school, start a fire and fill firebox(takes about 10 minutes). Then depending on heat usage i may have to go and refill sometimes only half. I get a little under 4 hours on a burn. This will take care of my heat for 24 hours. The Garn is a bigger animal. Have you done a heat load calc?
    -
    Now, I've got a farm tractor and looking for a reasonably priced FEL. When i get that, I'm going to set it up so when I split my wood I'm going to stack it on pallets, right off the splitter. Keep my wood outside for 2 years, than move in a few pallets as I need them. A a pallet will have just a half a cord, so in nov I'll put 5 or 6 pallets inside. Having the 10x10 door will work nice, that way i don't need to store all my wood inside the garage(whoops I meant wood storage facility) and take up room. I'll put the pallets of wood in a high dry place outside til needed. I don't like to handle the wood anymore than I need to. For me, that's a nice benefit of an out building for your boiler.
    -
    Oh yeah, my furnace is in an insulated 8x12 room. Stays cozy enough between fires.
    -
    *******trying to buy seasoned wood, get a moisture meter, most wood is not seasoned as much as they claim. Check it out first, dryer the better. Be a bummer to pay big money, and not get the performance out of it. Not sure how finiky the garn is, but you wouldn't be the first of us behind the 8 ball starting out. If you get a couple of cord right now(like this sat) and split it fine and stack it in a good area, it'll help. Find a big bunch of pallets to help out, pain in the azz to cut up and such, but will be a good help.
    -
    GARN owners, how does it do on semi-seasoned wood?????????????
  4. steelejones

    steelejones Member

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    Im considering putting the boiler inside and the wood outside, and maybe bring in a weeks worth at a time or something. However after saying that, im unsure how great its going to be walking out inside -30 and bringing in wood into a warm basement hahaha.

    Just emailed the Maine rep about the following..

    1. If i can go verticle flue for about 3-4 ft, then horizontal out of the house.

    2. If he can send me a electronic installation manual via email.

    As ive stated in the past, im a DIY kind of guy but my lack of knowledge on heating is great so im about to embarrass myself with the following questions....

    a. How is domestic hot water heated as well as closed loop hot water for radiant heat seperated? or is there a seperate coil that ill need to attatch to a hot water tank for DHW ?
  5. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    There are (like most things hydronic) several different options on how to plumb stuff up with a Garn, and if you put it in your basement you get some choices that aren't as practical for folks with it in an outbuilding...

    From what I've seen here, it seems that most folks have a loop coming out of the Garn that just goes through a flat plate heat exchanger, and back to the Garn - the other side of the heat exchanger is a conventional pressurized system. I have seen some folks put the exchanger in the outbuilding with the Garn, others have put it in the basement, there are arguments that can be made for either approach, and it also somewhat depends on the individual install circumstances.

    Once you are on the other side of the HX from the Garn, you can plumb things using any of the various approaches folks use with any other boiler - in effect the HX becomes your "virtual boiler" and the Garn dissapears, as all the system knows or cares is that there is a source of hot boiler water, not where it came from. With the Garn in an outbuilding, you pretty much have to put the DHW tank on the system side of the HX because that's what you can access easily.

    As an alternative, with the Garn in the house, presumably one could do an exchange coil on the Garn side of the HX instead, and that might also have some advantages with the right setup. I would be very tempted to try doing a thermosiphon loop between the Garn and the DHW heater using a sidearm HX - no need for pump energy or expensive control plumbing other than a mix valve on the DHW out line, would keep the DHW tank at whatever temp the Garn was at, and probably give a near infinite supply of hot water. If this was done, and the insulation on the Garn was good enough, I could even see shutting off the rest of the plumbing in the summer, and still keeping the DHW hot with one burn every few weeks...

    Gooserider
  6. Lazy Flame

    Lazy Flame New Member

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    I feel ya. I opted out of a boiler system or alot of reasons, but the biggest was cost. I just built a small home for $30,000 in materials.

    I may still patch in a supplement system into my forced air gas unit in the "partial basement" What I am most curious is how you ppl get all that wood down stairs!! I know everyone can't have a walkout basement to back up to ;-)

    There has to be an easier way than me taking it a sling at a time. I've already given some hard thought to a conveyor or something.

    Just curious, I'm awfully lazy.
  7. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Lots of different approaches, including conveyors, chutes, etc... I have it worse since I currently have to go UP about half a flight of steps to reach our woodstove - a basement setup would be easier if only because it means going DOWN instead... What I use is a wood cart that I purchased from Harbor Freight - essentially a metal tube frame that is hung between a couple of bicycle wheels. It will hold about 150 lbs of splits, or about 2.5 times as much as one of those slings. The big wheels are good over obstacles, and make it relatively easy to drag the cart up the stairs - FAR easier than a sling, having tried both.

    Gooserider
  8. Lazy Flame

    Lazy Flame New Member

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    Off topic- sorry= Ahhhh, gotcha. Like the wood chute I made to pour the concrete floor in my basement. The narrow doorway makes it a 2 person job. the chute will make the narrow stairwell impassable.

    I haven't installed anything in my small 2nd story on account of the flight of stairs. I'm just to lazy. If I do I may make a small basket or shelf lift. There is a 2nd story deck I could work in. Those were good ideas Goose.

    Downstairs I push my overloaded wheelbarrow up a ramp, into the sun room. As stated, I am waaaay lazy. I don't know what it weighs but I top it off to keep the trips down.

    Hmm. I need to patent a stove that sits inside the main room like an enormous fireplace but I can load it from outside like an OWB. It would sit in the exterior wall like a door or window and it could vent w/a traditional chiney. It would have glass inside so I could see the pretty flame but it wouldn't even have to open. Optional convection fans, heck, add combustion fans or heat jacket and make it a hybrid boiler.

    That would allow some radiant heat, still have boiler capacities, solve some smoke issues, help keep it from freezing in a pinch and I could use it for a pet door in the summer.

    When boilers are like that I'll buy 2!

    And while I'm dreaming I wish to be smart, goodlooking and rich...
  9. duane9835

    duane9835 Member

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    We installed the greenwood in the garage it was to big to get in the basement, but its nice out there to just back up a trailer load of wood and your good to go.
  10. rowerwet

    rowerwet Minister of Fire

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    my wife likes the fact that the fire is outside, makes the house safer in her mind, she keeps asking how soon I'm going to fire up the OPB so she won't have to hear the oil beast in the basement.
  11. Lazy Flame

    Lazy Flame New Member

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    That's more my style. Especially if I can leave the whole trailer in thier. Of course my wifey may have issues if she has to park outside.

    *chuckle* I made a fire in the woodburner for the wifey. It was only 50deg outside, but the fire was pretty. A happy wife is a good thing!!

    Gonna make sweet love down by the fire- Chef on Southpark

    So you just run a stack thru the roof then? When boilers go truly smokeless we'll look at 'em again. The only spot I have is upwind from the house. How much does a garn smoulder I wonder if a 1/4 of the time it may sit idle.
  12. loggie

    loggie New Member

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    I was told the garn would turn my basement into a sauna by a garn rep,he recommended a truck box or shipping container.So I decided to go with a 3 pass switzer 1250 gal pressurized unit in my basement which just fit in my 6' door.I built a rack to hold a weeks worth of wood next to the boiler,I really don't have any bug problems,as all my wood is outside in a large shed and seasoned,I use my four wheeler with a trailer to bring in the wood every Saturday and I am done for the week.I am happy with my setup and would not want it any other way;but that is just me the next guy will say he would not want that in a million years, so to each his own but it is nice having all that heat in the basement and just going downstairs in your slippers to check the fire.good luck with your setup.
  13. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    A big part of the Garn concept is that it NEVER idles if run properly - the idea is that you build a fire, which burns full blast until it goes out, heating all the water in that big tank. You then draw your heat from the tank of hot water until it has cooled to the point of not being useful, at which point you build another fire... The only caution needed is not to build such a long hot fire that the water reaches boiling - I'm told that 1500 gallons of boiling water is an impressive but scary sight...

    The entire gasification boiler plus storage concept, whether it be a Garn or a conventional gasser, is that you spend as little time in idle mode as possible. This is why they are so clean burning and efficient in their wood use.

    Gooserider
  14. Jim K in PA

    Jim K in PA Minister of Fire

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    As Goose stated above, the GARN never idles. It is a batch burn boiler, meaning you burn when you need to recharge the storage tank, not necessarily when the house is calling for heat. It is as smokeless a boiler you can get and still burn wood. Other gassifiers are the same.

    The batch-burn nature of the GARN is, in my opinion, the most misunderstood characteristic of the unit. People read the specs and see over 400k Btuh input, and think "that's WAAAAYYYY too big for my house". Nope, ain't so. That high input rating means you just burn for a couple of hours and all the heat you will need is stored for use as demand warrants. My GARN only burns 4-8 hours out of every 24, and that much only on the coldest of days/nights.
  15. got yerba mate

    got yerba mate New Member

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    thanks so much, this chute idea is just quite something. I'm looking into putting in a boiler and now its definatly going into the basement, and a chute from the outside of the house where I can just dump the wood in with the skid steer, ( We'VE got a concrete slab in the big barn where we dry and store the fire wood ) and its all done. never touch the wood till I fead the stove ( the wood is scraps from our sawmill ) this is such a great site.
  16. pybyr

    pybyr Minister of Fire

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    If you have somewhat of a clean slate, you could put in a full-depth bump-out of the foundation with a Bilco door/hatch on top, and either no stairs or the ones that have planks that slide in and out of brackets. Open hatch, dump wood down it. Close hatch, go back inside and have a large pile of wood ready and waiting. That's my method.

    Or, based on what I saw the other day at a school woodchip heat facility, get a section of corrugated black poly culvert of moderately large diameter- and that has the smooth inside walls- and put it in on a diagonal from the outdoor upper elevation to the cellar, and you could have a nice slippery and relatively indestructable chute.
  17. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    How much does a garn smoulder I wonder if a 1/4 of the time it may sit idle

    You just pinned the major difference between a Garn and anything else. A Garn doesn't go into smolder mode. There is no on/off/on cycle in a
    Garn, just on and off until it needs more wood.
  18. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    Used to know a girl like that. :coolhmm: Sorry, couldn't resist. %-P
  19. zgambill

    zgambill New Member

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    Don't know what you have been reading but the Garn unit is in my opinion the best wood boiler available. I considered putting mine in my basement but decided to put in outside barn instead. Glad I did. You will not have much problem with smoke but the mess of bugs and bark and other things coming off the wood makes a real mess. The residual heat coming off the Garn heats my Garn barn. My dog loves it. I am a Plumbing contractor and have hooked up alot of Out door Wood Boilers. Nothing on the market can compare with the Garn.
  20. Singed Eyebrows

    Singed Eyebrows New Member

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    You answered the question I was going to ask & that was, does the Garn have a built in heat exchanger. I wonder why Garn doesn't put one in as standard? Flat plates to handle the Garns considerable output aren't cheap & just a bit of steel tubing in the hot boiler water would handle it. I had wondered what the top tubing bundle in Garnifications boiler was & this is probably it. Is Garn just trying to save a few bucks by not putting in an exchanger? Randy
  21. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    The reason a flat plate does not come with a Garn, or any other unit I know of for that matter, is simply that there is no "one size fits all". The heat exchanger needs to be sized to the type of system and the heating load, not the Garn itself. The burn rate of a Garn has nothing to do with heat exchanger size. While the Garn does burn at 300-400,000, the heat generated simply goes into the integral storage if not needed by your system.
  22. ewdudley

    ewdudley Minister of Fire

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    Perhaps you meant to say the best unpressurized wood boiler available.

    http://s297.photobucket.com/albums/mm210/forestfamily64/Wood Heat/?action=view&current=P1010109.jpg&newest=1#!oZZ55QQcurrentZZhttp://s297.photobucket.com/albums/mm210/forestfamily64/Wood Heat/?action=view&current=P1010066.jpg&newest=1

    [Screen-scrape and paste as usual. Remove one of the two spaces between 'Wood' and 'Heat'.]

    --ewd
  23. Singed Eyebrows

    Singed Eyebrows New Member

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    Heaterman: I had wondered why a tubing bundle was not welded in at the top of the Garn with one end the inlet & the other the output. This would fit all if I'm not mistaken as you could draw off the heat you needed. Flat plates have their limits as you say. You should be able to take 10,000 btu off an integral exchanger or 250,000 provided it is sized for the largest load, Randy
  24. slowzuki

    slowzuki Feeling the Heat

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    A tube type HX has limits too. Has to be sized. If you use the treatment program and test your water, an open system works well. As soon as they start putting pressurized components you get into ASME stamps.
  25. Singed Eyebrows

    Singed Eyebrows New Member

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    I was wondering this Slowzuki, that having a pressurized loop in a non pressure vessel might cause some code troubles, Randy

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