Education needed - Woodgun and storage

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sickduck8

New Member
Jul 25, 2021
4
North Country, NY
Good day everyone. I have stalked the forums for a few years now and learned a great deal from reading endless hours on them. A little background here, I purchased a 7 year old Wood Gun E100 2 years ago and had a local boiler guy install it. He did a beautiful Froling install with what looks like 1000 gallons of storage about 2 miles from me with all the sensors and valves and every one of the 100 different items that go along with a large confusing system.

That being said, we didn't modify my system much at all. I have a house built in the early 80's, with 2400 sq ft and 100% hot water baseboard. Its a simple system on one circulator and two zone valves, one for upstairs and one for downstairs. I have an LP boiler which seems to heat the house just fine, but the budget plan cost is outrageous to say the least. We insulated the attached garage and installed the Wood Gun in there. It is simply piped through the LP boiler. It simply circulates the heated water through the boiler. The boiler fan turns on, the circulators turn on, the zone valves open and close as they should....it just never requires the boiler to actually fire on propane because the temperature is already met. The system works flawlessly.

Now, I have read endless hours on here, and completely understand the need and value in storage. My wife has allowed me to begin budgeting adding storage to the system to increase the boiler efficiency and limit short cycling. My main questions have to do with the storage. The Wood Gun has 60 gallons of built in storage and is advertised as being able to run without additional storage...great marketing ploy btw. The way my system is designed, my brain doesn't understand why I can't just install a storage tank in line with a larger expansion tank, which just increases the volume of water that my system is keeping at temperature. This would decrease the short cycling that my boiler experiences, decrease any creosote buildup that has happened, and hopefully decrease my wood consumption at least a little. Please help me understand why all the systems I see are so much more confusing and the benefits or disadvantages to both my idea and the more confusing systems.
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
1,422
Colorado

I did not know what it was so I looked it up and decided to share my information..clancey
 

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,482
Northern Canada
Hi
I believe my system is pretty simple.
My wood boiler is hooked to 1000 gals of storage.My complete system is in another building for various reasons,i have zero issues doing the 125ft walk even at -40F
My backup boiler comes on when the storage drops below 110F.My wood boiler and storage are water,and my underground lines,backup boiler and house have glycol in them.I run a big plate heat exchanger between the H2O and glycol.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,610
Long Island NY
Is it legal to have a solid fuel appliance in your garage?
 

sickduck8

New Member
Jul 25, 2021
4
North Country, NY
Legal...mmm...code enforcement allowed me to relocate it there from the basement and homeowners insurance allowed it during their inspection. There are no vehicles or flammable vapors present, and it is blatantly obvious that you can't park anything but a 9 ft smart car in this '2 car attached garage'. If it became an issue, I would frame a false wall over the garage doors, like contractors do now to seal a home and pass blower door tests before they install the garage doors :). It's also not legal to drive 70 in a 65, or wear slippers in public past 10 pm. Shall we discuss? The question at hand though, regarded the concept of storage, and why I can't just put a giant tank in my loop from the wood boiler to the lp boiler and just heat more water to temperature without all the complicated additions in all of these systems I see.
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,799
Nova Scotia
Just plumbing in line could be disadvantageous. It should be plumbed so all the WG heat output could go to storage if the rest of your system is satisfied and there is no call for heat, and usually a 'typical' 'conventional' system can't pull heat out of the boiler near as fast as a gasifying boiler can make it. Said without full understanding of your full system flow capabilities and control scheme. Plus there would likelybe a return temperature protection concern.
 
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sickduck8

New Member
Jul 25, 2021
4
North Country, NY
Thanks for the replies thus far. If you replace my LP boiler with a storage tank, it's pretty close to most designs I see. It is really that simple, a single circulator to heat 2 zones, and a circulator to the BoilerMate. My wood boiler literally cycles through the LP boiler, which acts as the main control but only 'fires' if the temperature drops to the low setting. My wood boiler already provides 100% of the heat, it just cycles every hour or two and that bugs the heck out of me.
 

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maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,799
Nova Scotia
Thanks for the replies thus far. If you replace my LP boiler with a storage tank, it's pretty close to most designs I see. It is really that simple, a single circulator to heat 2 zones, and a circulator to the BoilerMate. My wood boiler literally cycles through the LP boiler, which acts as the main control but only 'fires' if the temperature drops to the low setting. My wood boiler already provides 100% of the heat, it just cycles every hour or two and that bugs the heck out of me.

Yes, but the LP boiler has very little volume. To optimize storage you want to heat the storage all up then your fires goes out . You light it again when the storage temp drops to where it isnt heating the house good enough. Then it heats it all up again. Which means you have a real big volume of cold water to heat up, and your wood boiler needs inlet temps of min. 140 all the time. That is the main issue to avoid when using storage - you need at least 140°f water coming into your boiler.
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,737
Northern Maine
You should not be running wood boiler water thru your LP boiler.
 
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Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,737
Northern Maine
Lower temps can condensate in the chamber and it is a waste heating up a boiler than isn't running.
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,799
Nova Scotia
Lower temps can condensate in the chamber and it is a waste heating up a boiler than isn't running.

My thought was it would have so little volume and the incoming water would be hot most the time (and more or less normal the rest of the time) so those wouldn't be factors. Although, I have an electric boiler in my system and water only goes through it when it needs to heat. Except maybe for a little bit of ghost flow.
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,737
Northern Maine
My thought was it would have so little volume and the incoming water would be hot most the time (and more or less normal the rest of the time) so those wouldn't be factors. Although, I have an electric boiler in my system and water only goes through it when it needs to heat. Except maybe for a little bit of ghost flow.
When my wood boiler takes over the heating load it closes a zone valve preventing any flow thru the LP boiler in addition to closely spaced tees.
Before the upcoming heating season we are taking the DHW off the wood boiler and putting it back on LP. I’ll end up with a tiny bit of crossover but the zone valve will remain.
My basement is very dry but I’m just in that mindset of not needlessly running water thru anything unless needed.