My Varm project...

maple1 Posted By maple1, Sep 20, 2012 at 12:41 PM

  1. Clarkbug

    Clarkbug
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    I have three short turbs that sit horizontally at the very top of the boiler. They run from the small chamber where the bypass flap is to back where my fan is. I also have two long curved turbs that fit in the two tubes that go from the bypass chamber down to the back of the combustion tunnel.

    For my cold start I pulled the three short turbs out completely until I had burned through a few loads of pine that I had. That dried out my ceramic and I got most of the moisture out of my boiler and chimney that way. After that, I just threw the turbs back in and have been burning as per the normal routine when I needed it (a few nights a week). I did change things up some this season, and I am using 1/4 of a super cedar as a fire starter instead of the paper/cardboard that I was using last year. That was giving me a lot of fly ash that I didnt really like, and the super cedars work really well.

    I havent cleaned my tubes yet, but I probably will this weekend just to be sure everything is going well. I now have a good bed of ash on the ceramic in the main chamber, and Ill leave that there until it really builds up in the corners.
     
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  2. maple1

    maple1
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    Sounds like I have one more long tube than you do - I didn't pick up on that in the literature. And I'm guessing I don't have short turbs for my top tubes simply because it would be better to have nothing blocking the draft through the sort tubes on a cold start when the bypass is open, with no fan to help get things going up the chimney. I think I've been cleaning my tubes quite a bit more than I have to - likely every 3 or 4 burns. But it's so easy to do I've just been doing it. Think I'll ease off on that, don't want to wear my brush out.
     
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  3. dzook

    dzook
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    Here are some thoughts about some differences you will see when comparing a natural draft Varmebaronen boilers to their draft fan models.

    The Vedolux natural draft boilers , like maple1's unit and the induced draft fan models like Clarkbug's have different target points for flue gas temp. Usually all the turbulators are used in the induced draft fan boilers at all times unless as it was noted in a Clarkbugs post, some should be removed in the first fire of a season and during initial startup with very cold accumulator tanks.

    A turbulated draft fan model usually runs at 350F range +- 25F. The natural draft will usually operate best approximately 100F higher than the draft fan boiler.

    The natural draft turbulators are used or not used depending on what flue temps are observed near the exit point of the boiler. The natural draft boiler operates very well with an intense flame at around 400-475F. Because the intensity of the flame in the natural draft is related to the velocity achieved up the stack, a higher temperature is required and is specified than what is typically seen in the draft fan unit. If the flue temps are above the specified range it then is good to begin to add turbulators, maybe if you regularly see above 475F.

    Every chimney seems to draft differently so with a Vedolux natural draft boiler you can have the same level of efficiency with no turbulators as maybe a boiler using all or just some of them, providing the stack temps are the same. If too many turbulators are used in a natural draft unit to lower the flue temperature range to what you would think would give a better efficiency, it may give diminishing results because the velocity slows to a point the boiler is out of its sweet spot in temperature range.

    From experience in operating a natural draft Vedolux boiler for a few years, I have found that by cutting the long turbulators in half it gave the most flue gas dampening options, if you need two long turbulators in two tubes to achieve a desired flue temp, then cutting them in half and placing in 4 tubes gives a more equal velocity distribution to the individual boiler tubes. If your chimney drafts perfectly in keeping flue temps in the specified range without turbulators, hurray, no need to remove a turbulator to do the cleaning, plus a quicker lighting can be accomplished. Additionally the natural draft boiler has a flue gas damper that can be adjusted to achieve proper flue temps. Dean
     
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  4. Clarkbug

    Clarkbug
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    Thanks for the info Dean! I didnt realize that they would make different target temps for the induced draft vs. natural draft. But that makes perfect sense based on your explanation.
     
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  5. Gasifier

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    Congratulations Maple1! Nice job on doing the install. Good pics and details. Anything new in the last few days? How are you going to permanently insulate your tanks? Have you considered spray foaming them? Enjoy that new boiler. :cool:
     
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  6. Digger79

    Digger79
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    wow awesome build. Thats a butt load of hot water!! nice!
     
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  7. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot
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    Just re-read the thread. Nice! I'm envious of what-looks-like garage door access to the basement.
     
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  8. maple1

    maple1
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    Thanks.

    Yes, it's a garage door to the basement. Not a very big one, but big enough for what goes in & out of there. Makes the wood handling easier to handle.

    I should re-read it too when I get a chance. Might be more to update on it. Can't believe it was that long ago. Or that I came through it all in one piece.
     
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  9. Coal Reaper

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    Haha! I couldnt even tell you how many times i read this thread back when i was getting ready to do mine. I got mine going the following spring. Seems like forever dont it maple?
     
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  10. shelster0805

    shelster0805
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  11. SteveJ

    SteveJ
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    Awesome job maple1. thanks for the details throughout!
    Thanks for the clarification dzook on the natural draft and induction models!

    Great job and makes my decision a little clearer ;)
     
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  12. SpaceBus

    SpaceBus
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    Finally got around to reading this whole thread! Our house is fairly small at 1200 sqft, so a boiler is totally overkill for us. Still, If I ever needed a boiler, this is the route I'd go. We are planning a large-ish Barn/workshop, but even then a boiler is probably way too much.

    This is a really neat setup and it seems like you could get by even without electricity, if I read this all correctly.
     
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  13. maple1

    maple1
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    Yes, it can heat without electricity. But I have to watch it close when I do. That usually means small fires, and/or maybe manually closing the draft damper a bit, and manually opening all my zone valves. It can overheat things with a decent fire.
     
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  14. SpaceBus

    SpaceBus
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    Still better than being in a real pinch if there's no power or backup power.
     
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