My Windhager BioWin 100/150 Install Thread

  • 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.

BoilerBob

Burning Hunk
Jan 14, 2011
142
SW Nova
good luck :)
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,816
Nova Scotia
Yes, filling everything up with water is nitty gritty nervous time.

Every little noise sounds like a drip or squirt - even noises coming from outside.

Good luck.
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,091
Sand Lake, NY
Well, there are two serious leaks. One at the 1.5"/1.25" copper threaded adapter at the BOTTOM of the tank. A 1.5" plug leaked as well, but that just required more torque. Memo to me: don't be shy with the torque on 1.5" fittings. The other problem leak is nearby on the return manifold leading to the tank: a sweat coupling is leaking.

It's too tight to cut the pipe at the bottom on the tank with a pipe cutter. I might go out now and get a better hacksaw. Coul;d I use my jigsaw with a metal blade? I suppose square ends are desireable. I might even try to melt the solder at the coupling at one end of the pipe and crank it down with a wrench on the other. Not sure if I can get a good drain out of the pipe though-can't see it.

The foam insulation on the Energy Tank got wet at the leak. (It consist of 4" of flexible foam covered by a flexible plastic wrap). Not sure what to do about that.

Right now the tank is draining its 110 gallons. I wanted to do that anyway.
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,091
Sand Lake, NY
System filled to 12 psi. No leaks, knock on wood. Had to refill zones (drained by mistake); took a lot of running the water before bubbles left, and not sure if they all left.
Next up, a couple of loose plumbing ends and then on to electrical!
 

Luvmesomesamples

Burning Hunk
Oct 3, 2013
114
Cambridge NY
Any update? It's getting cooler outside. Btw I just got done installing my fill and vent pipes and the ground wire is buried on the inside. My installer recommended carefully pulling about 3 inches of wire out and folding it under there fill kit ends in each side to eliminate static. I did but agree probably not necessary. My system we firing up for the first time on Tuesday. Can't wait!
 

Luvmesomesamples

Burning Hunk
Oct 3, 2013
114
Cambridge NY
b415e3afdab3fdeb9c4467b82d976855.jpg
96d662b8bfa756266c3a45fec4b9bad5.jpg
 

Luvmesomesamples

Burning Hunk
Oct 3, 2013
114
Cambridge NY
eaa2a046dd4efc63f0f14ae3d5d3af3e.jpg


Disregard the pic of my daughter, ha.
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,091
Sand Lake, NY
That's awesome! Where are you getting your bulk pellets? Vincents out of Russia, NY, near Utica I think, said they'd deliver down to me. I don't think I'll be putting in, or at least filling, the bag this year though.

I'm trying to figure out the electrical and how to lay it out. I'm making progress. The wood insert is keeping things cozy.
 

Luvmesomesamples

Burning Hunk
Oct 3, 2013
114
Cambridge NY
Vermont renewable fuels delivering out of the Rutland mill. What pellets were thinking? Pellet quality makes a huge difference.
 

Luvmesomesamples

Burning Hunk
Oct 3, 2013
114
Cambridge NY
7dcb2e6f32621e620decd572cf896716.jpg
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,091
Sand Lake, NY
I forget what kind. He told me they were the same as at Home Depot near me last winter. I don't think the type of pellets are that critical with this boiler.
I see the wire. The hose I got for the bag load does not have a wire; the vacuum hose to the boiler does.
 

Luvmesomesamples

Burning Hunk
Oct 3, 2013
114
Cambridge NY
Yea I forgot you have self cleaning with the biowin. I had an accentra insert with an accordion heat exchanger this past year and pellet quality made a huge diff. I would lose a lot of btu after a few days with lower quality pellets due to the Ash acting like insulation on the exchanger.
I am sure it will be great!
 

Dana B

Feeling the Heat
Mar 17, 2013
434
So. New Hampshire
I forget what kind. He told me they were the same as at Home Depot near me last winter. I don't think the type of pellets are that critical with this boiler.
I see the wire. The hose I got for the bag load does not have a wire; the vacuum hose to the boiler does.


I burned mostly MWP pellets and Fireside Ultra last year but also a few bags of other brands such as NEWP, Vermont, Boundary Bay, and a few others. The Biowin seems to treat them all the same and I did not have any issues with a particular brand nor did any one brand significantly outperform the others. Right now I have seven tons in the basement for this season. I have 5 tons of MWP, 1 ton of NEWP and 1 ton of Fireside Ultra.
 
  • Like
Reactions: velvetfoot

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,091
Sand Lake, NY
I'm testing the controls on the kitchen counter; so far, so good.
I took some photos of the piping. Yes, I still have to put in a pipe to the floor for the pressure relief valve, and my sweated joints are very globby.

There was some discussion over where to put the supply connection on the tank. I made an executive decision to put it on top to maximize storage, (even though it is only a buffer tank); decreased domestic water capacity might be a result, but I can heat the water with the Nyletherm if it becomes an issue.

You can see the inline check valve on the boiler supplies, but there is also a redundant check valve in the B&B flextrol valve on the discharge side of the pellet boiler circ pump. I initially got flextrols for both pellet and oil boiler pumps, but then it wouldn't fit on the oil boiler supply, and THEN I thought about ghost flows, so I put in the check valves closer to the supply manifold; hopefully it'll flow okay.

You can see the Caleffi anti scald valve, mixing valve, and strainer. I left the air scoop in-thought it might have been an issue changing it out, and got tired of piping-oh well.

The circ pumps, as well as the zone circs, are B&G Ecocirc Varios.

The floor standing expansion tank, I think 32 gal total, is peeking out from behind the Energy Tank in the last picture; it is connected to the return header, near the buffer tank.

The boiler drain valve at the top of the Energy Tank proved useful during flushing and filling; I put a Hy Vent up there as well.

The shiny dryer pipe is for the radon fan.

We'll see if it works, at some point! Back to the electrical...



IMGP3617.JPG IMGP3615.JPG IMGP3614.JPG
 

JAF

New Member
Sep 24, 2014
2
NH
Are you doing your install yourself?

My install only took two days and it was up and running but the legwork/homework prior to that actually took quite a bit of time. i had to have a SS liner dropped down one of the flues in my chimney. Finding the right guy to do that and have it done took a few weeks. Then I had to find a decent plumber who was going to do a quality job without screwing me on the price. I had to call at least 15 - 20 different plumber sin my area and there were quite a few jokers out there. The plumber I settled on and had do the job turned out to be a great plumber and I got the job done at a very reasonable price. Marc met the plumber during the install/commissioning and commented on how knowledgeable he was and that I had picked the right guy to do the job. My install was the first Biowin he did but I'm pretty sure he's done a few more since mine. It's too bad you don't live in NH because I'd give you his name.

Anyhow it's looking like the heating season might be wrapping up in the next 2-3 weeks (finally.) I'm at slightly under 5 tons burned in a 2400 square foot home so I'll probably end up burning about 5.5 tons give or take a few bags. I have a spreadsheet I created of my oil use for the past five years and I will probably save somewhere between 35 - 50% over oil this year, most likely somewhere in the middle of that range but I'll know for sure when I'm done heating.

I am looking for a decent plumber and do live in NH --Can you give me the name. I am having trouble getting quotes and always try to get at least 3 quotes. I am considering BioWin, Ketel etc, but it seems the installers are costly and far between for pellet boilers in the Keene area, looking at the Froling etc.
 

Dana B

Feeling the Heat
Mar 17, 2013
434
So. New Hampshire
I am looking for a decent plumber and do live in NH --Can you give me the name. I am having trouble getting quotes and always try to get at least 3 quotes. I am considering BioWin, Ketel etc, but it seems the installers are costly and far between for pellet boilers in the Keene area, looking at the Froling etc.


I know my plumber won't go to the Keen area because he is in eastern NH.
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,091
Sand Lake, NY
I noticed a problem with the Froling Energy Tank while I was installing the sensors on the sensor bar. You have to unzip the cover, which is a plastic of some sort, covering a flexible foam insulation(I don't know the right term, it's like a sponge). Turns out the foam is all squished to one side underneath the tank. I must have done that when moving it, but I hadn't noticed, and now it seems to be too late. My current plan is to blow some great stuff rigid foam under there. That might be better than the original, but I don't think I'm going to try to take it out. Maybe look for similar foam, but don't know where. Maybe a craft store. :)

Maybe I'll just stuff some fiberglass in there.
 
Last edited:

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,091
Sand Lake, NY
I've been testing the "controls" and it looks like it will work. Here are some pictures. I will write up what they're supposed to do.

IMGP3622.JPG IMGP3623.JPG
 

mustash29

Minister of Fire
Feb 6, 2012
701
SE CT
I like your labeling. That definatley deserves an adult beverage (aka wobbly pop) type of pat on the back.
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,091
Sand Lake, NY
The tank temperature control uses a latching relay scheme as described by ewdudley to make more use of the buffer tank's stored heat and its stratifying potential. When the tank's bottom controller AND the top controller hit their setpoints - differentials, I'm going to say 155F, a call for heat goes out. BOTH tanks setpoints, say, 175F, have to be satisfied to stop the call for heat.

The pellet boiler will start, but the pellet circ pump won't start up until the pellet boiler reaches, say, 130F.

When the pellet boiler shuts down, the pellet boiler circ will continue to run for approximately 10 minutes to drain (I call it purge) the heat from the boiler to the buffer tank.

To test If the pellet boiler doesn't start up, like if it ran out of pellets, using a scheme suggested by Dzl_Damon, it will wait about 15 minutes for the pellet boiler to reach, say, 130F. If it doesn't, it will start the oil boiler and its circ pump.

The water from the manifold, fed by either boiler, will recirculate through the 130F Caleffi 280 ThermoMix valve and then onward to the tank and/or zone circs, if there is a demand for heat.

The zone circs won't start up unless the top of the tank is a certain temp, say, 130F.

I think that's about it. After I tie up some loose ends, I'll see how the oil burner heats things up and then it'll be on to the pellet boiler. That's the plan anyway. :)
 
The tank temperature control uses a latching relay scheme as described by ewdudley to make more use of the buffer tank's stored heat and its stratifying potential. When the tank's bottom controller AND the top controller hit their setpoints - differentials, I'm going to say 155F, a call for heat goes out. BOTH tanks setpoints, say, 175F, have to be satisfied to stop the call for heat.

The pellet boiler will start, but the pellet circ pump won't start up until the pellet boiler reaches, say, 130F.

When the pellet boiler shuts down, the pellet boiler circ will continue to run for approximately 10 minutes to drain (I call it purge) the heat from the boiler to the buffer tank.

To test If the pellet boiler doesn't start up, like if it ran out of pellets, using a scheme suggested by Dzl_Damon, it will wait about 15 minutes for the pellet boiler to reach, say, 130F. If it doesn't, it will start the oil boiler and its circ pump.

The water from the manifold, fed by either boiler, will recirculate through the 130F Caleffi 280 ThermoMix valve and then onward to the tank and/or zone circs, if there is a demand for heat.

The zone circs won't start up unless the top of the tank is a certain temp, say, 130F.

I think that's about it. After I tie up some loose ends, I'll see how the oil burner heats things up and then it'll be on to the pellet boiler. That's the plan anyway. :)

Looks great!

Just one question:
what will happen if the pellet boiler temperature drops back under 130F again (at start-up) ?
What is the differential to cut the circulator?

Looking forward to come over and do the commissioning.
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,091
Sand Lake, NY
what will happen if the pellet boiler temperature drops back under 130F again (at start-up) ?
If the pellet boiler drops back under 130F, its circ pump won't be allowed to come back on again until the pellet boiler is again above 130. That Ranco controller, is two stage and there is a timer for each stage. Stage 1 is the test for if the pellet boiler is indeed cold with a call for heat, and stage 2 only allows the boiler pump to come on if it's more than 130F and then keeps it running for 10 minutes or so after the call for heat is over. The sensor for that Ranco controller is located in the thermowell, which I've sealed with a little electrical penetration sealer putty (clay), but I might change that.

What is the differential to cut the circulator?
1 degree F. The controller, stage 2 as noted above, is set at 130, Cooling, Normally Open, with a differential of 1. So, when it gets to 130, it will close, allow the pellet pump to run, and then when it drops to 129 the contacts will open.

Looking forward to come over and do the commissioning.
Me too. I don't think I'll have time to mess with the bin this year, so taking off the vacuum feeder is also on the list. I will read the install manual first and take pictures of the way it currently is, so I don't forget, lol.