Basic Piping and Storage Design...Planning Phase please help!

JJSHELLEY

Member
Jan 18, 2018
10
Ny
Basics:
Wood boiler in attached garage
Storage tanks in walk-out basement 10 feet away but 8 feet below garage floor
2 500 gallon LP storage tanks, horizontal, side by side piped parallel
Low temp in floor heat 120F supply and 100F return
4 zone pumps with LP back up (over sized headers)

Looking for input on pipping and design. Any feedback is appreciated!
Also really considering variable speed circulators with temperature control for mixing water for boiler and low temp in floor heat vs the 3 way mixing valves?


1583350466034.png
 

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HardDrinkin'Lincoln

New Member
Nov 2, 2019
16
WA

JJSHELLEY

Member
Jan 18, 2018
10
Ny
Two great resources. Thank you for sharing!
At what temperature are you running through your house?
Are you happy with the 500 gallon or would you have gone additional storage?

I have 2000 sqft walkout basement with tubing in the floor, 12 foot on center
And 2000 sqft of aluminum heat transfer plates under 1st floor. So heating 4000sqft, House is 4 years old and insulation is good.

Should I go with 500 gallon or 1000 gallon storage?

Thanks,
Jason
 

HardDrinkin'Lincoln

New Member
Nov 2, 2019
16
WA
Two great resources. Thank you for sharing!
At what temperature are you running through your house?
Are you happy with the 500 gallon or would you have gone additional storage?

I have 2000 sqft walkout basement with tubing in the floor, 12 foot on center
And 2000 sqft of aluminum heat transfer plates under 1st floor. So heating 4000sqft, House is 4 years old and insulation is good.

Should I go with 500 gallon or 1000 gallon storage?

Thanks,
Jason
I have a Triangle Tube propane boiler that uses outdoor reset to determine the radiant water temperature. Water temp is 80° when outside temp is 55° and increases as the outside temp drops, to 115° at 0°.

The Vedolux 350 and 500 gal. tank is a good match for my house built in 2013, 1,875 sq. ft. single story with insulated concrete slab and 1/2" PEX in 3 zones. I sized them based on the actual heat loss calculation for the house. What is the total BTUs lost by the house over a 24 hour period on the coldest design day? Then given BTU generating capacity of the boiler you can figure out how many times per day you would have to burn a load of wood. This is really the first step in determining the size of the boiler. Once the boiler size is known then most boiler manufacturers will recommend a minimum storage tank volume. A larger tank can always be used to store more hot water and then release the energy over a longer period of time before having to relight the boiler.

In my case there was no room, in the garage or my budget, for any tank larger than 500 gallons.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,469
Downeast Maine
Could you put the boiler in the basement and storage in the garage? This would allow for natural thermosiphon action in the event of a power outage.
 

JJSHELLEY

Member
Jan 18, 2018
10
Ny
Could you put the boiler in the basement and storage in the garage? This would allow for natural thermosiphon action in the event of a power outage.
Possible, but I like the idea of keeping the firewood mess in my garage vs bringing it in my finished off basement. I'm thinking of a back up circulator on a battery if I move forward with original plan...Im looking at the Attack boiler and they also have a water hook up if power fails..
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,469
Downeast Maine
Possible, but I like the idea of keeping the firewood mess in my garage vs bringing it in my finished off basement. I'm thinking of a back up circulator on a battery if I move forward with original plan...Im looking at the Attack boiler and they also have a water hook up if power fails..
If I were putting a boiler in a garage the unit would be walled in to call it a boiler room so my insurance wouldn't throw a fit over breaking solid fueled appliances code.
 

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,125
Northern Canada
Up here in the north you can have a solid fueled apliance in your garage,but the unit has to be around 18" off the floor so fumes don't effect the fire.
 

HardDrinkin'Lincoln

New Member
Nov 2, 2019
16
WA
Up here in the north you can have a solid fueled apliance in your garage,but the unit has to be around 18" off the floor so fumes don't effect the fire.
A different consideration is at work in the states. The door of a wood burning appliance, when opened, may drop burning embers onto the floor, where gasoline vapors, which tend to be heavier than air, may ignite.
 
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JJSHELLEY

Member
Jan 18, 2018
10
Ny
Up here in the north you can have a solid fueled apliance in your garage,but the unit has to be around 18" off the floor so fumes don't effect the fire.
Basics:
Wood boiler in attached garage
Storage tanks in walk-out basement 10 feet away but 8 feet below garage floor
2 500 gallon LP storage tanks, horizontal, side by side piped parallel
Low temp in floor heat 120F supply and 100F return
4 zone pumps with LP back up (over sized headers)

Looking for input on pipping and design. Any feedback is appreciated!
Also really considering variable speed circulators with temperature control for mixing water for boiler and low temp in floor heat vs the 3 way mixing valves?


View attachment 257935
I have a Triangle Tube propane boiler that uses outdoor reset to determine the radiant water temperature. Water temp is 80° when outside temp is 55° and increases as the outside temp drops, to 115° at 0°.

The Vedolux 350 and 500 gal. tank is a good match for my house built in 2013, 1,875 sq. ft. single story with insulated concrete slab and 1/2" PEX in 3 zones. I sized them based on the actual heat loss calculation for the house. What is the total BTUs lost by the house over a 24 hour period on the coldest design day? Then given BTU generating capacity of the boiler you can figure out how many times per day you would have to burn a load of wood. This is really the first step in determining the size of the boiler. Once the boiler size is known then most boiler manufacturers will recommend a minimum storage tank volume. A larger tank can always be used to store more hot water and then release the energy over a longer period of time before having to relight the boiler.

In my case there was no room, in the garage or my budget, for any tank larger than 500 gallons.
From your storage tank you have a variable speed circulator connected to 3 zones.

Do you also have circulators at the beginning of each zone or a valve?

The reason I ask is because I currently have 4 zone circulators that I am connecting into from storage. Can I run a variable speed circulator to adjust water temp and feed the zone circulators. I'm just wondering about different flow rates between the 2? Basically I would be taking 190 -120 degree water and trying to get it down to 120 for my zones. The other option is a mixing valve, but if the variable circulator works it would save on pumping cost$
 

HardDrinkin'Lincoln

New Member
Nov 2, 2019
16
WA
From your storage tank you have a variable speed circulator connected to 3 zones.

Do you also have circulators at the beginning of each zone or a valve?

The reason I ask is because I currently have 4 zone circulators that I am connecting into from storage. Can I run a variable speed circulator to adjust water temp and feed the zone circulators. I'm just wondering about different flow rates between the 2? Basically I would be taking 190 -120 degree water and trying to get it down to 120 for my zones. The other option is a mixing valve, but if the variable circulator works it would save on pumping cost$
I have zone circulators. I also have a 30 gallon buffer tank between the circulators and the propane boiler to provide hydraulic separation (different flow rates) and prevent boiler short cycling. In your case a pair of closely spaced tees will provide the hydraulic separation, like was done with the Navien connection to the zone loop. Then you can use something like a Taco 00-VS pump. It comes with a temperature sensor which you mount to the copper pipe down stream from the tees. The pump will use the temperature at this point to vary it's speed to maintain the desired target temperature.

Here's my heating system.
IMG_1775.JPG
 

JJSHELLEY

Member
Jan 18, 2018
10
Ny
I have zone circulators. I also have a 30 gallon buffer tank between the circulators and the propane boiler to provide hydraulic separation (different flow rates) and prevent boiler short cycling. In your case a pair of closely spaced tees will provide the hydraulic separation, like was done with the Navien connection to the zone loop. Then you can use something like a Taco 00-VS pump. It comes with a temperature sensor which you mount to the copper pipe down stream from the tees. The pump will use the temperature at this point to vary it's speed to maintain the desired target temperature.

Here's my heating system.
View attachment 258184

So I finally bought a wood boiler from Tarm Biomass. It is a Effecta Smart 40. Looks very similar to yours. Before I start connecting I'm taking my time on the design phase. I really liked how you used a injection pump from storage to heat load. Like you said, I have 2 closely spaced T's to connect into from storage on my primary loop from storage.
So currently I'm trying to decide between mixing valves and injection pump. I like the idea of injection pump and like your setup.

How does the injection pump work for you?

Would you recommend the Taco circulator with temperature sensor?

Are there any other brands to consider that have a temperature sensor?

What controller do you use for the injection pump?

When storage is at high temp..... injection pump will have low flow.? I read someone had trouble with this because the flow was to small for pump?

Storage at low temp....injection pump will have high flow?

To start off I'm thinking of disconnecting my Navien from my Thermostat controller and connecting it to the Injection Pump. So when thermostat calls for heat that zone pump turns on and also the injection pump. As long as I keep storage above 100F I should be good? That sounds to simple and to good to be true?

Then later on I can install a switch controller to go back and forth between storage and Navien. Like your set up?

Appreciate your help and feedback.

Thanks,
Jason
jshelley@springvillegi.org
 

JJSHELLEY

Member
Jan 18, 2018
10
Ny
So I finally bought a wood boiler from Tarm Biomass. It is a Effecta Smart 40. Looks very similar to yours. Before I start connecting I'm taking my time on the design phase. I really liked how you used a injection pump from storage to heat load. Like you said, I have 2 closely spaced T's to connect into from storage on my primary loop from storage.
So currently I'm trying to decide between mixing valves and injection pump. I like the idea of injection pump and like your setup.

How does the injection pump work for you?

Would you recommend the Taco circulator with temperature sensor?

Are there any other brands to consider that have a temperature sensor?

What controller do you use for the injection pump?

When storage is at high temp..... injection pump will have low flow.? I read someone had trouble with this because the flow was to small for pump?

Storage at low temp....injection pump will have high flow?

To start off I'm thinking of disconnecting my Navien from my Thermostat controller and connecting it to the Injection Pump. So when thermostat calls for heat that zone pump turns on and also the injection pump. As long as I keep storage above 100F I should be good? That sounds to simple and to good to be true?

Then later on I can install a switch controller to go back and forth between storage and Navien. Like your set up?

Appreciate your help and feedback.

Thanks,
Jason
jshelley@springvillegi.org
 

HardDrinkin'Lincoln

New Member
Nov 2, 2019
16
WA
First off, if you haven't done so yet, download Idronics_10.pdf from Calffi. This is another great information source for integrating wood burning heat sources.
How does the injection pump work for you?
The pump works great. The decision to use the pump was made in conjunction with choice of controller. Since my heating system uses outdoor reset to determine the required system temperature, having a pump that responds to both outside temperature and system temperature was a requirement. Your system appears to be a fixed temperature (no outdoor reset) so a pump that responds to only the system temperature is all you require.
Are there any other brands to consider that have a temperature sensor?
I haven't researched beyond what was required for my system. I'll also mention that Taco also has a 00 Series pump with built-in outdoor reset and boiler return temperature control.
What controller do you use for the injection pump?
I chose the Heat Timer MC-Elite modulating controller. It uses two sensors, outdoor and system. I used the 0-10 volt output connected to the voltage-control input on the Grundfos variable-speed injection pump.
1590074890501.png

When storage is at high temp..... injection pump will have low flow.? I read someone had trouble with this because the flow was to small for pump?
The Grundfos pump does not have that slow speed problem. When the control voltage goes to 0 volts the pump turns off.
1590071996731.png

To start off I'm thinking of disconnecting my Navien from my Thermostat controller and connecting it to the Injection Pump. So when thermostat calls for heat that zone pump turns on and also the injection pump. As long as I keep storage above 100F I should be good? That sounds to simple and to good to be true?
That would be a good way to start and will give you the hands on insight into how energy is stored and flows between the storage tank and the heating system. However an automatic way of switching between propane and wood energy is necessary in winter to ensure the house never goes without heat if you're not around to switch back to propane.
 
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JJSHELLEY

Member
Jan 18, 2018
10
Ny
Idronics 10 Callfi has been a great resource. I have been also reading up on John Siegenthaler different designs.

Your Taco Injection Pump. What is the lowest flow that it will run at?

Did you consider the 2 pipe verse 4 pipe design for storage?

Can you share how your tank stratifies. I plan on connecting from the top and bottom of my tanks but with no diffuser plats.
When your heating with low temp and have a delta T of 80 degrees does tank stratification really make a difference?

I like your insulation blanket for your tank. Where did you find it? Are you happy with it?

It's one thing to read about the perfect design, but it's another thing talking with someone that has a up and running system...

Thanks again for sharing!
Jason
 

HardDrinkin'Lincoln

New Member
Nov 2, 2019
16
WA
Your Taco Injection Pump. What is the lowest flow that it will run at?
1590090454305.png

Can you share how your tank stratifies. I plan on connecting from the top and bottom of my tanks but with no diffuser plats.
When your heating with low temp and have a delta T of 80 degrees does tank stratification really make a difference?
A propane sausage tank's horizontal orientation doesn't provide as much stratification as a vertical tank. But heating with such low temperatures doesn't gain much advantage with stratification. The injection pump runs so slow most of the time pumping just a small amount of hot water that must be mixed down to usable temperatures, 80-115° in my case.
I like your insulation blanket for your tank. Where did you find it? Are you happy with it?
I purchased the insulation online at Express Insulation. It was pretty expensive and the truck freight was $80 but in the end it performs very well. And the lower cost alternatives didn't look nearly as nice as this product.
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,528
Nova Scotia
No, I wanted lower temperature mixed water from the tank rather than the high temp 185° water coming straight out of the wood boiler.
Two pipe pulls from the top of storage, not the boiler. I think? That is what mine is. And I would think that if you are mixing or not, you would always want to be pulling supply from the hottest available water?
 

HardDrinkin'Lincoln

New Member
Nov 2, 2019
16
WA
Water for heating will always be drawn at a much lower volume than the volume heated water produced by the boiler when it's running. That means when the boiler is running most of the hot water it produces will be moving into the the storage (or buffer) tank and a small amount being consumed directly by the heating system. Only when the boiler is not producing hot water is the heating system drawing out of the tank.

And conveying 185° water to the heating system results in higher heat losses in the pipes compared to conveying lower mixed temperature water from the tank.
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,528
Nova Scotia
Yes, understood. And of course, not all systems are the same. Mine heats from storage 75% of the time in the winter, with the fire out. I don't mix down, but if I did the mixing circuit or at least the leg of it that draws from source would be very short. So it would only be that very short length that would be at max temp. And at very low flow. IMO if not always drawing the hottest water from the storage part of the system as is available, storage would likely not be fully utilized?
 

HardDrinkin'Lincoln

New Member
Nov 2, 2019
16
WA
In my case the heating system draws out of the hottest part of the tank. At the beginning of a burn my tank temperature may be 100° to 110°. However, at the end of a burn my tank my tank temperature may be 150° to 165°, but never as hot as the 175-185° water produced by the boiler.
 

JJSHELLEY

Member
Jan 18, 2018
10
Ny
In my case the heating system draws out of the hottest part of the tank. At the beginning of a burn my tank temperature may be 100° to 110°. However, at the end of a burn my tank my tank temperature may be 150° to 165°, but never as hot as the 175-185° water produced by the boiler.
Injection Questions

Lets say storage was just re-charged to 185 and boiler is off. Do you see a problem mixing 185 into my primary loop with 2 closely spaced T's. So in the Primary loop I'm looking at 110F supply and 90F return or lower when it starts off. So the Injection pump will read the 90 or lower temperature and increase it up to 110. At this point there will be very low flow from storage. Do you see any concerns with injection pump running that slow?