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Windhager BioWIN260 with wood pellet feed system and 3 Ton hopper (Waldo county - Maine)

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by PassionForFire&Water, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. PassionForFire&Water

    PassionForFire&Water Minister of Fire

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    Limerick-Maine is 2 hours from Billerica-MA, where Caluwe Inc is located (and WindhagerUSA will be). I would think that is close enough, or is it that important that a service company lives next door.

    Most important is that all spare parts are in stock, and that the customer does not need to wait 2 or 3 weeks.

    Installers will be more wide spread.
    For the state of Maine there are already some: in Waldo county and in Aroostook county.

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  2. PassionForFire&Water

    PassionForFire&Water Minister of Fire

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    Hi Brian,
    I believe it is the policy of this forum not to go into pricing topics.
    Pricing on the Windhager BioWIN can easily be found on our website and via internet searches.
  3. PassionForFire&Water

    PassionForFire&Water Minister of Fire

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    Your initial question was related to servicing, not installations. I answered that one.

    Installs are the responsibility of the customer.
    We can only point out to pull the required permits and inform them to hire a "solid fuels" certified installer and adhere to all local codes and regulations.
  4. PassionForFire&Water

    PassionForFire&Water Minister of Fire

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    UL/CSA by OMNI-Testing (467-S-01-2 ): http://www.omni-test.com/listing_directories/pld_search_results_final.php?product=1192

    ASME certification is in process and will be available as an option in July/August 2013 on BioWIN & BioWIN-XL

    No issues so far with local code officials.
  5. PassionForFire&Water

    PassionForFire&Water Minister of Fire

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    Some numbers since startup:
    846 operation hours
    2.69 Tons of wood pellets consumed
    532 starts.
    1.6 hours of average burn time

    The area did see a bunch of power losses the last month: the BioWIN handles them nicely and starts up when electricity comes on again.
  6. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    When was startup?

    (i.e. how long has it been operating)
  7. PassionForFire&Water

    PassionForFire&Water Minister of Fire

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    Since Dec 22-2012, That is 53 days

    846 operation hours / 53 days = 16 hours/day on average
  8. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Ummm...that's in the future. :)

    But seriously, can the stock controls come with up with this data, and maybe more?
  9. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    This thread reads as a sales commercial to me, or am I out of bounds? Reporting and data are good, but I would like to see as impartial, objective reporting as reasonably as possible. Reporting by a dealer or mfr rep just does not quite meet that standard.
    sinnian likes this.
  10. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I think it's informative.
  11. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    Agreed.

    The stats on pellet use and burn times are interesting and will be informative to compare to the one we installed back in the first of December. That unit is on a 100% low temperature radiant system and the only boiler protection is the pump aquastat integral to the boiler. It turns off circulation at 122-125* if I recall.

    2.69 tons =5380# so 5380 / 846 = 6.36 pounds of pellets per hour. Pellet heat content is generally acknowledged to be about 8,250 btu/pound so this boiler is averaging 52,470 btu's output / hour of run time. I think the rated output on the 260 is 88,000 btu's so it would appear that it is modulating down to about 60% output for an average over the whole period.
    This is where a pellet boiler can really shine in comparison to a wood fired boiler with no storage. It can, (at least this one) modulate to match the existing load without having to have a huge amount, if any storage capability.

    In my neck of the woods you can buy premium quality pellets for $189/ton so 2.69 x $189 = $508
    That 2.69 tons = 44,385,000 btu's
    The equivalent in oil at our local price of $3.74/gallon figures out to $1194 so the guy is heating his place with minimal effort involved for only 40% or so of the cost of oil.

    Using the equivalent in LP gas would be 486 gallons and at my local price of $1.95/gallon right now that figures out to about $950.

    I have to say that even if you have your own land and the cordwood used is "free", it would make me take a little bit dimmer view of cutting, hauling, splitting, stacking, drying, hauling, loading, burning scenario that we go through with cord wood.
  12. Downeast Farmer

    Downeast Farmer New Member

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    Heaterman--
    Would you use this pellet boiler as a wood boiler--with a backup, or as an oil boiler, which doesn't need a backup. If the former, what sort of backup would you use?
  13. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    Provided the fuel source (loading) is taken care of I don't see any reason at all that a person could not use this as a stand alone primary heat source. They look to be an extremely reliable piece of equipment made for continuous duty.

    Mine is connected to my gas boiler piping and running at about 55-60% output as we speak. It's about 12* here right now and headed below 0 tonight.
  14. sinnian

    sinnian Minister of Fire

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    You should know insurance companies require a parallel back up source.
  15. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    Yes they do. I think though that they have to get up to speed with what is going on in the market especially with automated feed pellet boilers like the one Marc noted at the top of this post. To me there is virtually no difference between a pellet boiler with a 3 ton hopper and a gas boiler with a 500 gallon "pig out in the yard or an oil boiler working from a 275 gallon tank.
    That rule is based on "old school" solid fuel heating devices and IMHO is not applicable to the type of system Marc has going there in Maine. If I were a homeowner being faced with that, I would take that issue to court and very likely win. The pellet boiler mentioned here acts more like a high tech gas boiler than something that burns wood.
  16. PassionForFire&Water

    PassionForFire&Water Minister of Fire

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  17. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    FWIW, some more fun with numbers.
    ... but Passion states the pellets are at 7,500 btu/lb.

    Using 8,250 btu/lb, this would be about right at an assumed MC of 5%. Wood HHV at 0% MC is 8,660 btu/lb, HHV at 20% MC is 6,930 btu/lb, so at 5% MC HHV would be 8,230 btu/lb. I'm assuming that 5% "as delivered" probably is pretty close. Energy in Wood

    The MC would increase to the equilibrium point the longer the pellets are stored before burning. The amount of increase would depend upon local conditions, but if stored at 40F and 30% relative humidity, the equilibrium point would be 6.3% MC. Equilibrium

    Starting with available energy of assumed 8,250 btu/lb, and ignoring equilibrium MC, the next calculation is to adjust for boiling off the 5% MC plus the water generated during combustion and further adjusting for the increase in temperature from the pellet temperature as fed to the boiler (???, but assume 40F) and the flue exhaust temperature, which is stated as being "in the low 200'sF." This water content is 0.05 lb + 0.54 lb combustion water = 0.59 lb total water. Energy to boil water is 1,050 btu/lb, and if exhaust temperature is 240F, the temperature rise is 200F, so btu/lb to boil off the water and raise the temperature is 1,050 + 200 = 1,250 btu/lb. Therefore, net pellet energy delivered at the pellet combustion point is 8,250 - 1,250 = 7000 btu/lb.

    The same calculation can be made with cord wood, and the result is 6,050 btu/lb at 20% MC at 400F stack temperature. Energy in Wood.

    Based on these calculations and the cost figures given by Heaterman, pellet cost is $0.0945/lb, and still is about 50% the cost of oil and about 63% the cost of LP.

    The cost of cord wood varies by region. In my area a cord of seasoned red oak cut, split and delivered is about $170, and at 20% MC the weight is about 3,600 lbs/cord. Btu adjusted cost would be $0.0546, or about 58% the cost of pellets. Of course, handling for stacking, hauling, loading, and burning still is required. Any potential user of any pellet boiler would take into account these factors, as well purchase, installation cost and other costs and benefits, in determining to purchase a pellet boiler or a gasification boiler (with storage), or indeed any other heating appliance.
  18. ewdudley

    ewdudley Minister of Fire

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    So bottom line, with anthracite a $239 per ton delivered, 12300 btu per pound, it's our duty to choose wood as more expensive but carbon-neutral.
    henfruit likes this.
  19. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Wouldn't a modern pellet boiler beat out a wood gasification unit when it came to efficiency, so that would have to be tanken into account.
  20. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I used to live in Reading, PA back in the '70s, and someone I knew had a coal boiler fed by an auger from a bin. That was his primary source of heat. I don't know what cleaning is required of a modern coal boiler, but it seems that the two technologies, neglecting any fuel cost comparison, are very similar now.
  21. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Correction: This water content is 0.05 lb + 0.54 lb combustion water = 0.59 lb total water. Energy to boil water is 1,050 btu/lb, and if exhaust temperature is 240F, the temperature rise is 200F, so btu/lb to boil off the water and raise the temperature is (1,050 + 200) x 0.59 = 738 btu/lb. Therefore, net pellet energy delivered at the pellet combustion point is 8,250 - 738 = 7,512 btu/lb.
  22. ewdudley

    ewdudley Minister of Fire

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    As long as you're figuring to four significant digits, need to account for the specific heat of steam vs. that of water, at least so I was told when completing my chemistry merit badge.
  23. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Should probably only account for 2 significant digits. And my gut tells me no need to account of specific heat of steam. The steam is in the exhaust gas flow, through the fire tubes, and then exhausted to the outside. It is not condensed back to water inside the boiler. But feel free to add your thoughts.
  24. ewdudley

    ewdudley Minister of Fire

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    The steam is heated and needs to be accounted for. My 'thoughts' are that if you're going to offer thermodynamic analysis as opposed to what your 'gut tells', then do so correctly.
  25. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    What's the point of all this? Pellet is more expensive than wood? Isn't that a given? The subject is about a recent modern pellet boiler intallation and operating resuilts.

    Edit: Maybe there should be a separate pellet boiler forum.

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