Atmospheric Draft Wood boiler?

RM.Rob

New Member
Jul 7, 2020
1
Maine
Hey all,

I have a client looking to do an off-grid type system, so truly minimal electrical usage is the plan, and he wants to burn wood/biomass. All the units I'm familiar with have forced draft fans which take up too much of a power budget. It's a hydronic system so we need a boiler.

Is anyone aware of a simpler wood boiler, indoor or outdoor, that relies on atmospheric draft? We have a chimney available for indoor models.

The "Seton" appears to be such a beast. I'd love any feedback on that unit or any others that likewise depend on a chimney for their draft as opposed to a fan.

Thanks!
 

E Yoder

Feeling the Heat
Jan 27, 2017
375
Floyd, VA
Check out DS Machine out of Lancaster PA. They cater to no power or minimal power setups.
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,484
Nova Scotia
Hey all,

I have a client looking to do an off-grid type system, so truly minimal electrical usage is the plan, and he wants to burn wood/biomass. All the units I'm familiar with have forced draft fans which take up too much of a power budget. It's a hydronic system so we need a boiler.

Is anyone aware of a simpler wood boiler, indoor or outdoor, that relies on atmospheric draft? We have a chimney available for indoor models.

The "Seton" appears to be such a beast. I'd love any feedback on that unit or any others that likewise depend on a chimney for their draft as opposed to a fan.

Thanks!
Mentioned above. Varm 40UB. I have had one for 8 years now. Works very well at burning dry cord wood, using very little power & with simple bare controls. The EPA thing kind of screwed things up, they didn't go thru the testing. But may still be able to be sold for other than residential use? Smokeless Heat is the source. They also have a bigger one, the 50UB. Or did, at least.

You need a good tall chimney (I have 30'+/- of insulated stainless), and you also need to have storage tanks with it. I would suggest 1000 gallons. Plumbed & arranged for very good convective flow - I would think extra important for off grid. But the potential is there to do all heating using absolutely no power at times - if you plan & install carefully for it (optimizing for convection flows thoughout the entire system).
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,348
Northern NH
Make sure you install the new style ECM circ pumps, they pull a lot less power. Sine you are in Canada the Varm may be an option.
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,484
Nova Scotia
Make sure you install the new style ECM circ pumps, they pull a lot less power. Sine you are in Canada the Varm may be an option.
Sig says Maine?
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,348
Northern NH
Sig says Maine?
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Sorry, My guess is if you are in rural Maien no one will care but if down in southern Maine along the coast keep an ey out for low hour used boiler.
 

Groo

New Member
Jul 8, 2020
3
MI's UP
am air furnace will work with convection during a power outage.
for a water system, I would look into DC circulation pumps, maybe automotive coolant sourced?
the Dc circulation pumps would let you use solar to charge the batteries for circulation.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,569
central pa
Why not just do a stove so you need no power at all?
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,309
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Why not just do a stove so you need no power at all?
We know so little about the home being heated. Just “it’s a hydronic system” and is off grid. For sure a woodstove might be way smarter. I can heat 100% of my 1800 sf shop and 1700 sf home with zero power using wood stoves.