First bulk pellet delivery. Does this make me a pellet pig?

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bdud

Burning Hunk
Sep 19, 2013
170
Franklin, MA
Had our first bulk pellet delivery. Other than setup and taking down the pipes, which took maybe 10 minutes, filling with 3.3 tons of New England Pellets, took about 30 mins.
Certainly not as quick as filling an oil tank. The pipes on the pellet truck were also not long enough to reach where the oil tanker would have had no problems.
We stopped the filling at about 1.5 tons to see how the silo was filling up, and the pellets were nicely bunched at the far end and as a result my silo is completely full, check out the pictures. I had estimated the silo would hold ~3.2 tons, so this worked out great.
The worst thing though is the dust and I mean a lot of dust!!
I have a "sock" or vent filter on the silo and the inside was really choked.
The plug on the vent hose, which is next to the fill nozzle was removed and the a lot of dust streamed out.
After a while the driver put a hose on to direct the dust further away.
The picture of the "dusted-up" viewing window, was during the fill. You could see only about 2 feet inside the silo with a flashlight during the fill because of the dust.
A lot of dust escaped from little holes that I did not know existed from the silo.
When I had put the silo together I used metal duct caulk on each joint, obviously not thorough enough.
Hopefully enough pellets for quite a while. IMG_0969.JPG IMG_0967.jpg IMG_0968.jpg IMG_0970.jpg
The Windhager is working out great. Used about 0.9 tons so far.
 

altmartion

Feeling the Heat
Nov 8, 2013
388
pulaski ny
i didn't even know this was an option. is it considerably cheaper? did you build the silo? was it a kit or your design? i am impressed. i just have never heard of bulk pellets before.
 

bdud

Burning Hunk
Sep 19, 2013
170
Franklin, MA
It was not cheap to build the silo. I had it made to fit exactly the little nock in my basement where my old oil tank was. I worked with Vermont Renewable Fuels for the details.
I wanted at least 3 tons and to make the whole operation/boiler with as little intervention as possible. I am pretty happy how it has worked out.
A ton of pellets worked out at $290 which is expensive for New England Pellets but I had a stiff delivery charge because I was ~95 miles away.
Now if more local firms would offer bulk delivery....
The delivery driver said he mostly delivers to businesses, schools etc.
 

flyingcow

Minister of Fire
Jun 4, 2008
2,549
northern-half of maine
If you put a big shop vac or a fan of some sort on your vent just when the pellets are delivered, would it help blow/suck the dust out? Basically putting a bit of negative pressure on your silo when loading. These trucks are basically a grain truck used to deliver pellet feed to farms. It's air driven to move the pellets thru the delivery tube thus pressurizes the silo.
 

altmartion

Feeling the Heat
Nov 8, 2013
388
pulaski ny
It was not cheap to build the silo. I had it made to fit exactly the little nock in my basement where my old oil tank was. I worked with Vermont Renewable Fuels for the details.
I wanted at least 3 tons and to make the whole operation/boiler with as little intervention as possible. I am pretty happy how it has worked out.
A ton of pellets worked out at $290 which is expensive for New England Pellets but I had a stiff delivery charge because I was ~95 miles away.
Now if more local firms would offer bulk delivery....
The delivery driver said he mostly delivers to businesses, schools etc.
now this brings up my next question. why do it if it cost more for the pellets and the cost of the silo? to save room? we are lilmited on pellet selection here and I have been running mostly curan pellets. they seem to work good with my new stove and they are $219 a ton. I am very interested in bulk delivery now.
 

bdud

Burning Hunk
Sep 19, 2013
170
Franklin, MA
now this brings up my next question. why do it if it cost more for the pellets and the cost of the silo? to save room? we are lilmited on pellet selection here and I have been running mostly curan pellets. they seem to work good with my new stove and they are $219 a ton. I am very interested in bulk delivery now.
For the convenience. It was not so bad to either collect pellets or unloading them into my basement when just using them for the stove, maybe 3 tons a year. However with the pellet boiler I expect to use more and stacking pellets is not something I wanted to deal with. If it did not have the bulk storage / delivery and the automated boiler cleaning, I would not have purchased this solution at all and just replaced my existing oil furnace with a more modern oil unit and continue to rely heavily on my Harman insert for heat like I have done for quite a few years. The unfinished part of my basement is not large, I have never got more than 2 tons down there when the oil furnace was there and to cram the pellet storage in the little space where my oil tank was and get 3.3 tons in there, is a great win.
The New England pellets from Sandri are $244 a ton bagged and $215 a ton bulk so there are some savings to be made if bulk suppliers are available.
Royal Fireside in Mendon, MA have applied for the grant to get bulk delivery in place. I used to pick up or get my pellets delivered from them so I really hope that happens.
 
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bdud

Burning Hunk
Sep 19, 2013
170
Franklin, MA
If you put a big shop vac or a fan of some sort on your vent just when the pellets are delivered, would it help blow/suck the dust out? Basically putting a bit of negative pressure on your silo when loading. These trucks are basically a grain truck used to deliver pellet feed to farms. It's air driven to move the pellets thru the delivery tube thus pressurizes the silo.
I think this is something I will have to look at doing. The pressure though coming out of that vent hose was very high and I am not sure if a shop vac could cope with that.
I do have a fitting on the top of my silo that has a "filter sock". I think I will try attaching a shop vac to that and see if that will help.
 

bdud

Burning Hunk
Sep 19, 2013
170
Franklin, MA
I got my second bulk delivery today. Completely empty silo, I have repaired some parts of the silo were the seems were not completely tight, used a leaf blower with a mulching / suction attachment and my wife held it close to the vent pipe. The result was 3.4 tons of pellets now in my silo and no dust in my basement. It was still a bit of a mess on my patio out back from the dust, the dust came through the mulching bag as expected. The vent sock for the silo also had a lot of dust but I was able to see the pellets blowing into the silo through its window which never happened last time, obscured to much by dust. 40 min from delivery truck drive up to drive away.
This time it worked out so well. Maybe next time extend the vent hose so it goes onto my grassed area so I don't have to clear up so much. It will be great if only have to fill up once a year..
 

NHcpa

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
592
Honyock NH
Had our first bulk pellet delivery. Other than setup and taking down the pipes, which took maybe 10 minutes, filling with 3.3 tons of New England Pellets, took about 30 mins.
Certainly not as quick as filling an oil tank. The pipes on the pellet truck were also not long enough to reach where the oil tanker would have had no problems.
We stopped the filling at about 1.5 tons to see how the silo was filling up, and the pellets were nicely bunched at the far end and as a result my silo is completely full, check out the pictures. I had estimated the silo would hold ~3.2 tons, so this worked out great.
The worst thing though is the dust and I mean a lot of dust!!
I have a "sock" or vent filter on the silo and the inside was really choked.
The plug on the vent hose, which is next to the fill nozzle was removed and the a lot of dust streamed out.
After a while the driver put a hose on to direct the dust further away.
The picture of the "dusted-up" viewing window, was during the fill. You could see only about 2 feet inside the silo with a flashlight during the fill because of the dust.
A lot of dust escaped from little holes that I did not know existed from the silo.
When I had put the silo together I used metal duct caulk on each joint, obviously not thorough enough.
Hopefully enough pellets for quite a while. View attachment 120540 View attachment 120541 View attachment 120542 View attachment 120543
The Windhager is working out great. Used about 0.9 tons so far.
So when the pellet guy shows up, does he use the door knocker? Guessing that use to be your front door and you upgraded (did the same thing). Impressive set up!
 

chken

Minister of Fire
Dec 7, 2013
1,136
Maine
I got my second bulk delivery today. Completely empty silo, I have repaired some parts of the silo were the seems were not completely tight, used a leaf blower with a mulching / suction attachment and my wife held it close to the vent pipe. The result was 3.4 tons of pellets now in my silo and no dust in my basement. It was still a bit of a mess on my patio out back from the dust, the dust came through the mulching bag as expected. The vent sock for the silo also had a lot of dust but I was able to see the pellets blowing into the silo through its window which never happened last time, obscured to much by dust. 40 min from delivery truck drive up to drive away.
This time it worked out so well. Maybe next time extend the vent hose so it goes onto my grassed area so I don't have to clear up so much. It will be great if only have to fill up once a year..
Nice, so you only used 3.2tons in 4 months this Winter. Not bad, you must have gotten the smallest Windhager? I was thinking that you might try a leaf blower, after reading about the dust issue on your first delivery. Glad you got it to work. So, when you say the dust came thru your mulching bag, you mean you attached the catch bag? So, like the leaf blower trick, but with the bag, and the dust blew right thru the bag.
 

bdud

Burning Hunk
Sep 19, 2013
170
Franklin, MA
I had about 1.1 tons of bagged pellets that I put in the silo at the beginning of the heating season, so about 4.3 tons, really worked out well, 5 adults as well. I got the largest Windhager. 2 are moving out soon and I might look into changing some settings in the Windhager to tell it is a smaller model.
Yes I used the mulcher bag and it really only got dusty near the end. There was quite a lot of dust in there, it most likely overwhelmed the bag and dust then started coming out of a vent that was built into the end of the bag. Maybe add or get a bigger bag. A shop vac I don't think would last because of the volume of fine dust and the pressure from the pellet truck.
 
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Willman

Minister of Fire
Jan 15, 2008
670
Sabattus Maine
How do you get pellets from bulk storage to the side hopper?
 

JustWood

Minister of Fire
Aug 14, 2007
3,596
Arrow Bridge,NY
I had about 1.1 tons of bagged pellets that I put in the silo at the beginning of the heating season, so about 4.3 tons, really worked out well, 5 adults as well. I got the largest Windhager. 2 are moving out soon and I might look into changing some settings in the Windhager to tell it is a smaller model.
Yes I used the mulcher bag and it really only got dusty near the end. There was quite a lot of dust in there, it most likely overwhelmed the bag and dust then started coming out of a vent that was built into the end of the bag. Maybe add or get a bigger bag. A shop vac I don't think would last because of the volume of fine dust and the pressure from the pellet truck.
I'd try a nylon feed bag or burlap bag zip tied over the end of that vent hose. Maybe even wet it down with a garden hose once the filling starts.
 
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