Fine Tuning BioMass

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.

Salem Woods

New Member
Dec 20, 2011
8
Fairfield, CT
Thanks for the feed back Tennman & dpsfireman!
So what has been happening is when I close down the ball valve to the danfoss the biomass 60 will reach operating temp of 195 but my oil boiler drops to 113 to 120.
if I open the ball valve and let the danfoss do what it is suppose to my biomass stays at about 155 to 162 ( with a full load) and my oil boilerkeeps about 141-151.
I have a small 2400sf cape, so i would think that 205K btu the EKO would be reaching full temp real quick. I believe that if was working correctly that the eko would stay between 185 -195 and the inside boiler should be 175-185 allowing for heat loss in pipe run.
what is the benafit of a 4-way danfoss?
i know the eko is a little oversize for the SF but the plan is to add a heat exchanger and a snow melt system for the driveway and yard
eventually we will get it "fine tuned"
Thanks
 
M

mikefrommaine

Guest
Salem Woods said:
Thanks for the feed back Tennman & dpsfireman!
So what has been happening is when I close down the ball valve to the danfoss the biomass 60 will reach operating temp of 195 but my oil boiler drops to 113 to 120.
if I open the ball valve and let the danfoss do what it is suppose to my biomass stays at about 155 to 162 ( with a full load) and my oil boilerkeeps about 141-151.
I have a small 2400sf cape, so i would think that 205K btu the EKO would be reaching full temp real quick. I believe that if was working correctly that the eko would stay between 185 -195 and the inside boiler should be 175-185 allowing for heat loss in pipe run.
what is the benafit of a 4-way danfoss?
i know the eko is a little oversize for the SF but the plan is to add a heat exchanger and a snow melt system for the driveway and yard
eventually we will get it "fine tuned"
Thanks

Are you getting a good secondary burn with little smoke out the chimney? Or is the fire smoldering?

I know the first few times I fired mine I was suprised at how long it took to get the whole system up to temp. But if I leave the bypass at about 25% open things work as they should.
 

woodsmaster

Minister of Fire
Jan 25, 2010
2,878
N.W. Ohio
Cleaned the tubes at the rear of the boiler the other day. Probably have burned 8 - 10 cord since instalation aprox. 1 year ago. You obviously have to remove the turbulators to do this. Took about 2 - 2 1/2 houres total, but I also cleaned the fines beside the bottom chamber which I do every week or two and cleaned all ash from top, bottom chamber, and the clean out under the tubes.

I think I could do it twice as fast now. I didn't put the pins back in the rod for the handle cleaner. there is no need for them unless
you plan on putting putting your boiler on it's side or upside-down. I used the brush for the fines that came with the boiler. It was to small, but I made it work this time. I recomend buying a larger brush to fit the tubes (Forgot to measure them) and a longer rod for the brush hooked to a drill. I used my chimminey cleaning rod. It worked but didn't fit the brush exact. Had some build up on the tubes, not really creasote, more like caked on ash.

My exaust temps now run around 100 degress cooler !! Almost to cool sometimes at start up, takes a while to get above 300 F flue temp. Sorry no pictures can't find the file.
J.T.

Wanted to add. Very dirty job, would never want this mess in my house.
 

Tennman

Minister of Fire
Mar 4, 2009
985
Southern Tenn
OMG JT, Here I am half way thru my 3rd season and I've NEVER done this!! I've got an flue temp sensor (very nice battery powered thermocouple system from OMEGA) that tells me my flue temps are at 360-380F. I've removed the lower door, which I was just thinking I need to clean out but what your talking about must be somewhere else. Give me the basics. What sheet metal do you have to remove to get to the tubes your talking about. Both side covers will expose the tubes your talking about?? The only place I've run my brush is the fins on the sides of the lower chamber and what I could get to thru that little door on the bottom right side. I have about 3' between my boiler left side and the wall. Will that prevent me from getting to those tubes. I positioned my boiler per the envelop recommended by the manual. I don't even recall the manual I got mentioning what your talking about. I've heard the EKO guys discuss it I just never bothered to tackle the job on my boiler.
 

woodsmaster

Minister of Fire
Jan 25, 2010
2,878
N.W. Ohio
Tenn,
On the top of the boiler at the back there is a coveer with two screws. Remove them and there is a cover with 8 nuts.
remove those and take the cover off and you will see the tubes and turbulators. I had to remove 1 turbulater from the outside edge of the bar they are connected to in order to get the rest out as one assembly. I was getting flue temps up to 500 maybe 550
before I cleaned them measured by a candy termometer in the flue. Now It don't go over 425t the hottest part of the burn
with the fan on high.
 
M

mikefrommaine

Guest
Here is a pic of mine when it was new (with the cover off)
 

Attachments

  • DSCF1374.jpg
    DSCF1374.jpg
    24 KB · Views: 671

Salem Woods

New Member
Dec 20, 2011
8
Fairfield, CT
Cool! so thats what it is suppose to look like!
what caused you to take it apart when it was new?
I fiqured to do an breakdown and clean at the end of the season
did you have a lot of creosote build up? around the bypass damper?
 
M

mikefrommaine

Guest
Salem Woods said:
Cool! so thats what it is suppose to look like!
what caused you to take it apart when it was new?
I fiqured to do an breakdown and clean at the end of the season
did you have a lot of creosote build up? around the bypass damper?

That pic was taken after about two weeks of burning. The blades on the rear fan had fallen off, so I opened it up to check on things. There was some fly ash around the edges that I used my shopvac to clean up. No creosote.
 

Salem Woods

New Member
Dec 20, 2011
8
Fairfield, CT
I need to take the top off mine today
my stove pipe got red hot last night, 2nd time
I'll put up some photos so I can fiqure out whats going on
thanks
 

goodwood

Member
Jun 19, 2011
49
cny
took mine off today after 3 months of burning, no creosote just ash build up ,which i vacuumed out, when i was cleaning ash out of refractory i noticed on left top side of the refractory the gasket was almost gone ,thats going to leave a 1/2 inch gap on top, is that going to be a problem ? doesnt seem that should happen after 3 months of mild use. anybody else have this happen?
 

woodsmaster

Minister of Fire
Jan 25, 2010
2,878
N.W. Ohio
Salem Woods said:
I need to take the top off mine today
my stove pipe got red hot last night, 2nd time
I'll put up some photos so I can fiqure out whats going on
thanks


Sounds like the Bypass must not be closing all the way ? My stove pipe don't usually get over 350 F on the outside
unless the flap is open.
 

goodwood

Member
Jun 19, 2011
49
cny
i was referring to the gasket on top of the lower gassification ceramic , there is a gasket on top of the ceramic chamber on both sides ,one side is almost gone, my flap closes fine
 

Salem Woods

New Member
Dec 20, 2011
8
Fairfield, CT
it was right after i reloaded for the overnight, i let the new wood get a little burn
but it was as if a creasote build up caught on fire.
i got home late today from work , but a good cleaning is first on the agenda for saturday morning
good thing it is suppose to be about 54 degrees tomorrow
 

Salem Woods

New Member
Dec 20, 2011
8
Fairfield, CT
so i got a chance to open up the biomass 60
it seems like a lot of 'papery" ash above the turbulators and in the smoke pipe
I was not quite as ambitious as WoodMaster and did not remove the turbulators
It seems pretty dirty for only 4 weeks of running and a light cleaning in that period as well
also considerable creasote
I cleaned & Vacuumed out and started it will let you know how its working
 

Attachments

  • DSCN0117.jpg
    DSCN0117.jpg
    83.5 KB · Views: 709
  • DSCN0119.jpg
    DSCN0119.jpg
    33.8 KB · Views: 721
  • DSCN0134.jpg
    DSCN0134.jpg
    87.8 KB · Views: 727
  • DSCN0127.jpg
    DSCN0127.jpg
    91.3 KB · Views: 714
  • DSCN0131.jpg
    DSCN0131.jpg
    90.1 KB · Views: 699

woodsmaster

Minister of Fire
Jan 25, 2010
2,878
N.W. Ohio
Salem do you have storage ? That looks a little dirtier than mine did after 1 year. What kind of wood do you burn and is it dry?
 

Salem Woods

New Member
Dec 20, 2011
8
Fairfield, CT
Mostly maple, oak, and a little tulip, i just brought in a load of hickory that i was saving for my smoker and pizza oven, but i will try some of that and see if there is a difference
moisture meter reads 10% to 20%
no storage yet, I believe that may be the problem, to much idle time, i over sized the boiler a bit since i am planing to add a snow melt loop for patio and driveway
I need to run piping to my garage an put a tank in , as big as i can fit / afford
sometimes i dont get a good flame , other times i get a nice blue, white it is just inconsistant though
so after cleaning the vent pipe temp is around 130 to 100 degrees, it is a 5 foot run into clay tile with a vertical rise of about 16 feet
 

bstevens

New Member
Jan 2, 2011
10
Western CT
For anyone interested... I had quite a problem with steam coming out of my 28 foot cinder block and clay flue chimney. The chimney is 8 inch. I was running my exhaust pipe straight into it. I had plenty of draft but a very large plume which I thought might be smoke and steam, depending on the way the sun was hitting it. This was constant and very visible to all around. As it turns out, the fix was simple and cheap. I was going to buy a chimney liner and insulation blanket for 6-700 bucks but thought I'd try adding an elbow inside the flu first so as to point the exhaust upward rather than straight against the clay flue. Sure enough, I've got zero steam now and zero smoke. In fact, nothing's come out of the chimney now for two days. What a relief. I bought this thing to cut down on emissions, not the other way around.

Also, another thing I've done was to add a piece of fire place grate, cast iron, over the nozzle, about three or four bars worth, just enough to keep the coals from falling through. I don't have storage so I do like a bed of coals in the morning and this did the trick very nicely. I emailed Zenon about this and he said he'd put something similar into his at his house. Zenon has been very, very helpful about all of this, by the way.

Also, regarding the elusive blue flame, Zenon mentioned that you need some moisture in your wood to get that blue flame. I added a piece of dampish wood and I do have a bluish yellow flame.

Tremendously relieved about the steam issue since I have neighbors looking at me like I'm crazy, and one old codger, down the road here in the hollow, telling me that " where there is fire, there is smoke" and "to hell with youtube" and therefore I'd been sold a bill of goods. Touche, old man!
 

bstevens

New Member
Jan 2, 2011
10
Western CT
One other little trick with the biomass I've learned. If you load or poke at the fire frequently and want to avoid that little puff of the smoke that comes from opening the door. Open the bottom door a bit and then close it with your foot as you're opening the top door, if you play with the two, you can pretty much get a smoke free open and shut if done correctly. I have three smoke alarms three to four feet from the boiler because I've got my kids sleeping right above it. I can open and close this thing throughout the night without setting the alarms off.
 

Salem Woods

New Member
Dec 20, 2011
8
Fairfield, CT
i will have to try that 90o elboe in my flue as well
i seem to get too much smoke/steam as well
I get a lot of moisture at thetop of the chimney were it actually has dark stains down the side if the masonry
 

woodsmaster

Minister of Fire
Jan 25, 2010
2,878
N.W. Ohio
"Also, regarding the elusive blue flame, Zenon mentioned that you need some moisture in your wood to get that blue flame. I added a piece of dampish wood and I do have a bluish yellow flame."

I'm burning ash at 18% in the middle and get blue flame a lot. how dry does the wood have to be for the blue flame to go away ?
mine usually has a lot of blue flame the second half of the burn when it seems the moisture would be gone ?
 

bstevens

New Member
Jan 2, 2011
10
Western CT
That 18 percent sounds about right. Mine wood was 9-11, so I threw a few pieces in that were 23, at least according to the meter...
 

woodsmaster

Minister of Fire
Jan 25, 2010
2,878
N.W. Ohio
Smoked said:
That 18 percent sounds about right. Mine wood was 9-11, so I threw a few pieces in that were 23, at least according to the meter...

I don't think my wood would ever get that dry here.
 

jhunter19

Member
Feb 5, 2010
18
Central NY
I accidently posted outside of this Biomass topic. Please see my cry on the main board as "things just took a turn for the worse"
 

woodsmaster

Minister of Fire
Jan 25, 2010
2,878
N.W. Ohio
cleaning 5.jpg A few pictures from when I cleaned the boiler tubes. Had about 8 cord threw it in these pics. Middle picture middle row is after I cleaned it.
 

Attachments

  • clening 3.jpg
    clening 3.jpg
    140.5 KB · Views: 437
  • cleaning 4.jpg
    cleaning 4.jpg
    133.6 KB · Views: 443
  • cleaning 2.jpg
    cleaning 2.jpg
    164 KB · Views: 488
  • cleaning 1.jpg
    cleaning 1.jpg
    158.6 KB · Views: 444

Tennman

Minister of Fire
Mar 4, 2009
985
Southern Tenn
Thanks for the excellent pics JT. Back in Jan when you first mentioned this I opened that access panel for the first time in 3 seasons of burning. Good bit of soot piled around. Not really a terrible job. Once all the Spring chores get behind me I'm going to clean again and remove the turbulators this time. At the moment in full hunt mode trying to find a 1000 gal propane tank so I have storage for next year. Been a while since I've been here to the sticky and want to thank BStevens for his grate suggestion. That sounds like a "grate" idea to keep a good bed longer.