Corn Stove projects- Transport instrumentation and ect Picture intensive

Lordtimothy200

New Member
Dec 29, 2018
34
Nebraska
Thought I would chronicle some of my Corn Stove projects in one thread. None of these idea's are new, just found inspiration from others who have come before. My wife says it is an mental condition I have- if it isn't broke, I will fix it till it is.

Stove: St Croix Auburn 2009 ish??
Fuel: Corn
Positive pressure stove
Currently no OAK installed- future project

Instrumentation
I like data and figuring out the best settings. To do that you need Data. To accomplish that I installed a Thermocoupler (Max6675) at the side of the combustion chamber and one on the fresh air intake. They are wired to an Arduino and Raspberry Pi (credit card sized computers) for Data logging and any future automation that might be needed. For the display I am using a Amazon Kindle Fire ($30 on Prime day) and a 3d printed box to mount it on the wall.

The display shows Temp in the combustion chamber and intake temp, in addition, temps and alarms from other area's of the household. Currently running 3 different Raspberry Pi's sending data to the display above the stove. Still working on connecting all of them, Temp, Fire and Alarms into one display.


Transport
I posted a thread last year about how I move my corn to the house. This year I got a upgrade with a metal Gravity wagon.

After we first put in the corn stove, two things happened. One, my wife threw a fit about the amount of dust that was floating up when filling the corn stove, and second, I am lazy. So hauling 5 gallon buckets of corn became to much work very quickly. To fix the dust and my lazy issues, we built a 25 bushel box on the side of the house that would feed the stove. Fixed the dust issue and meant I only needed to mess with the corn once every 10 days to 2 weeks.

To move the corn I use a leaf blower and 4" PVC pipe. Pneumatic conveyor. I need to fine tune some of the connections but just to many other projects right now. Takes about an 45 mins to setup, load and unload 20ish bushels of corn.

Future projects
Getting a good baseline of Pellets verse Corn on both poundage and burn time. I would like to know that ratio so that it will be easy to know what price to switch one way or the other.
Automating the damper to get the best burn.
Adding an OAK that I can switch from inside air to outside air
Building custom connections for better air/corn flow when loading and unloading the corn
Experimenting with drying the corn when it is either in the wagon or in the bin on the house

Hopefully someone can find something of use out of this thread, if not hopefully it is an entertaining read.

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FirepotPete

Minister of Fire
Oct 25, 2010
681
Titletown U.S.A
Nice setup. Of course you have the room for it. I think you would find that using a vacuum system to move the corn will clean it better than blowing it. I use a corn vac system with the vac head attached to a large shop vac, secondary tank with a blast gate that drops the corn into a 275 gallon IBC tote.

I was EPRI certified I&C tech in my previous life so I appreciate the instrumentation that you are installing to automate the readings of the stove. I'm just using old TI's and a note book. ;)
 

Lordtimothy200

New Member
Dec 29, 2018
34
Nebraska
I did have a vacuum setup when I got my first load of corn. Took forever to move 25 bushels. Goes back to my being lazy.

It does a surprisingly good job on cleaning the corn, nice side effect, didn't even consider it when the design and building process was going on. Very few fines left from being moved twice with a huge volume of air. If I had to move the corn into an enclosure or basement, I would for sure use the vacuum system. Have to use that leaf blower to clean the porch after I am done filling the bin. Makes a LOT of dust.
 

Lordtimothy200

New Member
Dec 29, 2018
34
Nebraska
Well, if it falls at this point.............it likely would be because of an earthquake or one of my wife relatives visiting. Some of those relatives have their own gravity wells. Anyway back to the subject at hand. It is well anchored to the walls and with 4"x4". Been that way for about 5 years now and still solid.