Manufactured wood / Firelogs

olddawgsrule Posted By olddawgsrule, Nov 1, 2018 at 3:51 PM

  1. Tegbert

    Tegbert
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    I have used both and I prefer the NIELs more.

    NIELs you get 240 per pallet and I would use two each load (sometimes too much even on low) so about 120 loads worth.


    The homefires you get 380 on a pallet and I would have to use 4 to get the same heat output and time it seemed so about 95 loads worth.

    So in my setup (the lopi at the time) the NIELS were a better choice.

    I didn’t have an issue with lightning them but I used tons of kindling to get a coal base and roaring fire they definitely are a pain to light though otherwise. The homefire logs were easier to get going and the flat base was nice so they wouldn’t roll around.

    Either way you can’t go wrong with either one and they are definitely easy to store.


    Lopi Rockport
    Blaze King Ashford 25
     
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  2. olddawgsrule

    olddawgsrule
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    Thank you for this report. It's real world use!

    Best I can tell both the NIEL's and the HF's are not group package (I know the NIEL's are not, I saw the pallet). Just a large plastic cover.
    Are the HF's packed the same?
     
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  3. Tegbert

    Tegbert
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    Yes they are packaged pretty much the same as the NIELS on the pallet


    Lopi Rockport
    Blaze King Ashford 25
     
  4. BKVP

    BKVP
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    We have had both products, and several others, tested at labs with spectrum analyzers to determine content.

    We did so at the request of both consumers and the fuel manufacturers. The results, which are proprietary are quite interesting.

    The most critical component is feedstock. If the log/fuel manufacturer has control over feedstock, the quality is very high.

    Some fuels tested were higher in metals, salts and some had trace elements of melamine, OSB, MDF and other by products.

    Of course, as a manufacturer of catalytic stoves we were interested in possible cat/combustor contamination.

    We had three NW fuels tested as well as a couple of brick manufacturers tested.

    When we approached one log manufacturer in regards to their test results, they admitted some feedstock may come from rivers, coastal collections and pallet suppliers.

    So while performance attributes such as burn times, ease of starting are important, I suggest long term effect on the stoves is also important. So add the question of "where do you get your feedstock" to your list of questions.

    Also, our results were over the past 8 years, so we recognize things can and do change.

    If you look back in these forums you will find my comments on NIELS. The past 2 seasons I burned valley wood, maple, walnut, black locust and some pine. (Yes pine)

    I have decided to go back to NIELS for many reasons. Begreen, Higbeam and Tegbert hit the nail on the head. Little ash (less cleaning), stacked neatly on pallets (easy to store) but a big part is I travel 250+ days a year and my wife likes NIELS because I stack a bunch in the utility room and she does have to deal with bark, bugs and going outside.

    Of course you can get the same results with other manufactured fuels.

    Incidentally Highbeam I toured a manufacturers plant in AK and their logs did the snake effect. Turns out some logs do this because some are pressed while others are extruded. Moisture in feedstock determines how tightly the fibers can be compressed and limitations by equipment do as well. They are fun to watch burn, lots of flame, but very short on burn time due to so much exposed surface area.
     
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  5. olddawgsrule

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    Since I could not get to the HF supplier and found yet another to try, what the hey, why not.

    ECO-Energy Fuel Block
    Stated as a 7-8lb block and 8800 Btu's per lb, sounded interesting.
    Lowes sells them, so easy pickup.
    Let's give them a go.

    10am start from cold. Built a 1 brick lean-to with a split exposing most all the underside.
    1/2 stick of my Firestarter and two pieces of Fatwood. Nope..
    Few more pieces of Fatwood and another 1/2 stick of my starter, 2hrs later I have a fire.
    Door still cracked open.

    Shut the door at 125F in the flue. Not normal for me, but don't know these things. Wrong!
    Lost the fire.

    Couple more pieces of Fatwood with the door cracked open and I have fire. 3hrs in..

    4hrs and most all the product is gone and has fallen apart. Added the second piece.

    Second piece took off nicely! Closed the door and chocked back 1/2 way on the draft. I was at 225F on the flue.
    Killed the fire...
    Opened the draft backup and ran it up to 350F on the flue. Chocked back 1/2 way.
    Killed the fire.
    Open the draft (and door till I saw fire again) full and left it that way.

    350F on the flue is max as I see it.

    I am 6.5hrs into the burn. Flue is 250F and draft is wide open. Two bricks.

    I'll throw the 3rd on, just cause I have it, but don't expect any greater than the 350F I saw.

    Maybe me, maybe hw I'm used to burning, but the NEIL's did so much better..
    MHO and as how he burns and what he see's..
     
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  6. BKVP

    BKVP
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    So the way I use NIELS is build a coal bed in stove, throw in the logs and that way they just simmer. I'm not retired so watching flames not high on priority list, but my burn times can be enormous just letting them simmer.
     
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  7. Highbeam

    Highbeam
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    Here are some NIELS in my BK. I would use them if I had a problem getting dry cordwood for less money. They work fine.
    A guy could really pack a lot of fuel in a stove, by weight, which would mean a lot of potential energy. Be sure you have good combustion control.
     

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  8. weatherguy

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    Highbeam, if you filled your BK with NIEL's I assume you could control the burn but how long of a burn do you think you'd get?
     
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  9. olddawgsrule

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    I picked up the HF's yesterday and ran them. Very nice product!

    Started quicker from a cold stove, yet I did it differently and to be fair, I need to do the same with the NIEL's.
    Overall, on my 8hr burn test, I used less product (by weight) with the HF's.

    Here's the test:

    Start at 3:30pm. placed two SWI Bio-Bricks N/S with the HF E/W on top. 1/2 stick of starter and lite. Almost.. Added anther 1/2 stick with the door still wide open. Almost.. Pulled one Bio off the end and built a lean-to and moved the other behind. Ya, that did it. Next time use half Bio’s and start.. I am currently 1hr 45 minutes in. Door closed, chocked 3/4 and have a great secondary burn happening. 250F on the flue and producing heat! I am going to open the flue a tad and see if I can get 300F on a 1 log fire. I hit the 3hr mark (3hrs in) and have a 300F flue, chocked back to 60%. Have primary and good secondary. The Bio’s are depleted now, it’s all HF now. Minor curve in the HF (it is lean-to, so excepted) yet no break. Still a solid log. Nice 1 log fire! Very small primary, mainly secondary now. 5hrs in using the first log. Draft wide open, 275F added second log. 20 minutes later log ignited and chocked bask 1/2 way. Back to 300F. 8hrs in, draft back a bit more (not 3/4, but close) 350F and burning nicely. Maybe 3/4 of that log burned. 10hrs in, I'm losing the heat, draft to full, then back 1/4. flue to 275F. Next morning I have a glowing chunk in the stove, 100F on the flue.
     
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  10. olddawgsrule

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    I won't bore you with the test of the SWI Bio-Bricks except to say they are equal to the EZFirelogs, easy to start and will probably be part of my start-up procedure from a cold stove. They do not expand (like the EZFL) but do fall apart.

    Like the EZFL's, they're off the list for fuel.
     
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  11. olddawgsrule

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    I'm running my start-up theory on the NIEL to see if it works. Maybe I'm looking at this wrong, but I just can't use 3 pieces of this on start-up. Nor do I wish to build a cordwood fire to run them. I hope there's a better way. I'm trying here..
     
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  12. olddawgsrule

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    Second test on the HF's with my new start-up.

    The start-up: 1 block of Bio-brick broken in half. 1/2 as part of the the 'lean-to', 1/2 behind to assist start-up.
    This is working from a cold stove! I like!

    Next run on the HF was flue at 25F, same start-up and only a 1/4 starter. The Bio ignites quickly and hoped for the best..
    It worked.
    Yes open door to start, closed and cracked at 20 minutes and within 45 minutes closed with draft wide open.

    I'm at 200F on e flue, Eco-Fan running (slowly) and producing heat.

    At this point of testing, I'm giving the HF's the advantage over the NIEL's.

    First: I find the HF's easy to light from a cold stove.
    Next: Log to log, I find no difference in heat production, Think abut that as I did... 7lb log (NIEL) to 5lb log (HF).
    running the two logs is different, yet production of heat is not.
    Third: The HF left a coal behind in the morning that the NIEL did not. Reason, the HF stayed solid! Te NIEL did not.

    Cost for 1 log burn I give to HF.
    Ease of fire burn I give to HF.
    Ease of handling I give to HF.

    My choice is made.

    I won't bore you with the last test results, but you see where this went.

    Lastly, I do like the folks in MA I'm dealing with. The folks in Maine almost don't care (that carry the same product). I can say the same for the folks in NH that carry the NIEL's. If you're in the Nor'East and looking for a supplier I will recommend
    http://www.hearthwise.com/pricing.html

    Only debate now is 1 or 2 pallets...
     
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  13. weatherguy

    weatherguy
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    How much us a pallet of 240 NIEL's where you are? They went up to over $400, first year I got them I think I paid less than 350, they've gone up every year.
     
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  14. olddawgsrule

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    $399 picked up.
     
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  15. olddawgsrule

    olddawgsrule
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    Gray day today, rain about to start and I have some more of these ECO Energy Fuel Bricks from Lowes to burn off.

    Probably the worst I have run so far. By rating should be doing much better but so lightly compressed, they fall apart far to easy. I'll burn off the remainder I have and hope no one else even bothers with them.
    If you're in a jam and need to buy something, go to Ace and buy the SWI's they have. Burn the same and hold together.
    Otherwise, plan ahead and buy something better.

    I went HF's, Home Fire Prest Logs for my reasons. NIEL's, North Idaho Energy Logs are also a great choice.

    If you have, or would like me to run something else you like (or are looking at), let me know.
    I'm open to other choices!
     
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  16. Highbeam

    Highbeam
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    Good question. If you assume 80% efficiency, 8000 btu per lb input, 12000 btu per hour output for the princess, then all you need to know is how many lbs of fuel you can fit in the firebox. I never tried to fill it.

    I weighed my most recent load of red cedar at just under 40#. Can’t wait to finish the cedar and get back to denser woods. By the math above, the cedar should have lasted for 21 hours on low but it was below freezing last night and I only got about 16 hours.

    10 Niels should last for 40 hours! I’m certain I could fit more than 10 in the firebox.
     
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  17. BKVP

    BKVP
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    CAUTION!
     
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  18. Highbeam

    Highbeam
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    I’m sticking with stove loads of firewood myself. I can replicate the potential energy of 5-8 Niels at a time with local species. Much cheaper too!
     
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  19. BKVP

    BKVP
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    I just brought home 3 tons! Stacking for wife as I am headed to MT to see if I can keep those evil boy deer from harassing the ladies.
     
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  20. weatherguy

    weatherguy
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    How many logs do you put in per load? I know I'd be leery of loading my stove chock full with NIEL's, I always mix 50-50 with wood.
     
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  21. Highbeam

    Highbeam
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    I’m a firewood guy. Did some experiments a few years back using logs with two goals.

    1) Boy Scout type be prepared stuff in case firewood was unavailable or if the logs were significantly easier than firewood for the wife.

    2) smokeless burning. We have stupid burn bans here in Washington and I wanted to see if a more smoke free experience was available from the ultra dry logs. Stealth burning and clean burning are both valuable.

    For me, firewood is just as good and cheaper.
     
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  22. Tegbert

    Tegbert
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    When I ran NIELs in my rockport I felt that any more than 3 was pushing it. Combustor temp was always around 1300 or so for an hour or more and the flue temp (probe) was around 800. It was way too much heat on low even with 20° weather out.

    I know it doesn’t go as low as a bk and it doesn’t have a thermostat but knowing what I know about the ashford 25 it might handle 5 but I would still probably only use two at first and see how it goes. Once they are lit they take off.


    Lopi Rockport
    Blaze King Ashford 25
     
  23. Highbeam

    Highbeam
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    Imagine breaking a window or somehow loosing control of a firebox loaded with 20-8# logs. 160# at 8000 btu per lb. That’s 1,280,000 btu of energy just wanting to be unleashed and melt your face like some sort of Indiana jones movie.
     
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  24. olddawgsrule

    olddawgsrule
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    Though it seems my testing has end since I bought the HF's, it has not.

    Since the NIEL's will snake, I decided to try break them up and give another go.
    It's not if with the NIEL's,it's when and that as my issue with them, When they do, they burn immensely!
    So I broke them up before burning.
    What a burn! What a hot secondary burn!

    [​IMG]

    I love the het that comes from the NIEL's, just don't like how 'out-of-control' they can burn. Seems braking them up is the way to use them.

    Those that use?? You feel the same??

    I am going to buy some as a add on.
     
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  25. olddawgsrule

    olddawgsrule
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    Guess I forgot how to post a photo/video.. Love the burn I see!
     
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