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Wood consumption survey

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Vtgent49, Mar 20, 2008.

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  1. Vtgent49

    Vtgent49 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    102
    Loc:
    Central VT
    Can we try a survey related to wood consumption? Just asking Boiler users, who are 75+% wood users, and who have a full season (or close) of data.

    Responses should include:

    Boiler type: Indoor or Outdoor, Gassification or Not
    Building: Sq feet and relative insulation quality
    Location:
    Wood quality: Hard or soft, etc.
    Quanity of F Fuel used for back-up:
    DHW included: Yes or no

    I ask because I hear fairly wild estimates of savings by gassifiers, then hear of rather large quantities of wood being consumed, then from others who seem extremly successful. I'll start with my responses in the next post.

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  2. Vtgent49

    Vtgent49 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    102
    Loc:
    Central VT
    Hi,

    Wood/oil boiler, indoor, 23 years old, non gassifier, no storage, baseboard
    2300 Sq Feet, medium quality insulation, ca. 1985
    Central Vermont
    Hardwood, A+ quality and dry
    DHW included all winter, then had gas b/u

    4 Cords, 200 gals oil, 160 gals LP

    Notes: LP DHW is now gone, solar on the way, 1/2 of oil used when on vacation
  3. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    3,398
    Loc:
    Addison County, Vermont
    This thread is less than two weeks old and has much the same data.

    My own update:

    Boiler type: Indoor / Gasification (EKO 25)
    Building: 3500 square feet, well insulated, lots of glass
    Location: Vermont
    Wood quality: Variable, mostly hard but lots of small and some punky junk.
    Quantity of Fuel used for back-up: < 5 gallons
    DHW included: Yes - hot tub also
    Wood consumption, October 15 to present: about 3 3/4 cords.

    My brother next door built a gasifier and heats exclusively with it. He's around 3.5 cords, slightly smaller and better insulated house.
  4. ebbci05

    ebbci05 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    39
    Loc:
    Northern Mi.

    nofossil, to me that is nothing but amazing. I don't have a full season in so I am not going to give my stats but I do know that I am over double that in 2 months. I can't even imagine using that amount of wood. Wishing I had your stats
  5. Vtgent49

    Vtgent49 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    102
    Loc:
    Central VT
    From what I've read, nofossil sets the standard. But 4 cords has worked for me for many years and in a few different houses, although 50% smaller than his. Frankly, I love cutting wood, but 4 cords is about the limit of my attention span. I am concerned about hyped savings not working out. Wood heat has been around a long time.
  6. altheating

    altheating New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    Messages:
    172
    Loc:
    Central New York
    Boiler type: Indoor / Gasification (Econoburn EBW-200)
    Building: 5200 square feet, 28 year old home insulated, lots of glass, 18' vaulted ceilings.
    Location: Central New York
    Wood quality: Good Hardwood
    Quantity of Fuel used for back-up: 0, zilch, not-a and not going to use any!
    DHW included: Yes - 40 gallon indirect fired.
    Wood consumption, October to present: 9 cord.

    Found out my underground lines (100') has been compromised with outside ground water. Loosing lots of BTU's to ground.
    Replaces approximately 1500 gallons of fuel oil.
    My old outdoor wood boiler used 30+ cords last winter.
  7. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    3,398
    Loc:
    Addison County, Vermont
    I was a bit skeptical about wood consumption (and everything else). Based on previous experience in other houses in Vermont, I had expected to burn 6-7 cords. In my first two seasons, I burned 3.2 and 4.5 cords, and I'm on track to burn just over 4 cords this year. I'm a believer now.

    My brother next door has heated with wood for years, first with a conventional indoor boiler, and with a gasification boiler for the last two seasons. He saw a 40% reduction in wood usage with the gasification boiler.

    I suspect that there are many ways to burn more wood for the amount of usable heat delivered. I've spent a bit of time studying and optimizing the performance of my system. A couple of things that I think are important in achieving the performance that I've seen:

    1) Dry wood. Not necessarily bone dry, but well seasoned at least.

    2) A burn pattern of many short, hot fires - no idling. Storage helps a lot, but is not absolutely necessary.
  8. antos_ketcham

    antos_ketcham Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Messages:
    155
    Boiler type: Outdoor, Gasification: Greenwood 100
    Building: 1100 Sq feet log cabin with relatively low insulation quality. 6 inch logs and old windows.
    Location: North Central VT
    Wood quality: Hard and Soft. Dry.
    Quantity of F Fuel used for back-up: None
    DHW included: Yes.

    Probably have burned 6 cords since November - maybe 7.

    Pete
  9. pdboilermaker

    pdboilermaker New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Messages:
    140
    Loc:
    North Central Indiana, Kokomo
    3500 sq ft 2 story farm house. 100+ years well insulated but no windbreak and in north central indiana that SUCKS. Heating dhw also for 6 showers per day and Lord knows how many cloths washing cycles. Furnace for upstairs and furnace for downstairs. Woodmaster 4400. Used 12 cords of wood, mostly pine, cottonwood, basswood and maple.
  10. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Messages:
    6,205
    Loc:
    Carver, MA.

    Hey Bill,
    Those are very impressive stats! Whatever you're doing you're doing it right! Have you considered a career as a wood boiler control consultant? Vermont has long cold winters yet you manage to heat a large home plus all your hot water needs? Truly amazing.. Your brother doesn't do too bad either.. Have you tweaked his system at all? There is no doubt you set the standard here..

    Keep up the good work,
    Ray
  11. Mainewood

    Mainewood Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    Messages:
    59
    Loc:
    Somewhere in Maine
    Boiler type: indoor combination wood/oil non gassifier: Benjamin CC-500
    Building: 2800 Sq feet colonial with good insulation quality. built 1998
    Location: Maine, near New Hampshire border
    Wood quality: Hard and Soft. Dry.
    Quantity of Fuel used for back-up: about 150 gals oil
    DHW included: Yes.

    5.5 cords since Oct.
  12. MALogger

    MALogger New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Messages:
    147
    Loc:
    Foxboro, MA
    What type of gasifier did your brother build? From scratch, purchased plans? I am intrigued by the seton as an option to build.

    Thanks,

    Craig

  13. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,705
    Loc:
    Central NYS
  14. deerhuntrer

    deerhuntrer New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Messages:
    47
    Loc:
    Mountains of Maine
    Boiler type:CB 6048
    Building: 5,000 SF 200 year old farmhouse. insulation varies thru the house
    Location: Maine Mountains
    Wood quality: Hard and Soft. Dry and green
    Quantity of Fuel used for back-up: 0
    DHW included: Yes, 100 gallons

    8 or 9 cords since Oct.
  15. trailhound68

    trailhound68 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    Messages:
    98
    Loc:
    NW CT
    Seton 100 Indoor, located out in room off garage. 1st season. No splitting!
    heating 2900sf house, 800 sf garage and DHW. And boiler room.
    70 degrees constant in house and 65 in garage constant. Boiler room 200sf 80 deg's!
    I will burn about 10 cord plus this year. NO OIL!
    I have heat losses underground also that needs to be addressed. Pump volume? maybe.
    Last year:
    Jenson indoor boiler, same location.
    heating 1100 sf house, 800 sf garage, DHW and boiler room.
    This part of the house is not well insulated.
    Cut, split, stacked and burned 12 cord. NO OIL.

    So; I've almost doubled the size of my house and burned less wood. And I keep it warmer. And no splitting and stacking. And I'm selling my wood splitter.

    But; It should be noted that if your wood boiler is in your basement the residual heat gain is tremendous. It can be like having a wood stove in your basement AND still enough hot water to circulate through the house and heat DHW.

    If my boiler was in my basement, my consumption might be half. It gives off that much heat.
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