Opinions of Two 1000 Gal Propane Storage Tanks for new DIY build

landrand Posted By landrand, Nov 5, 2018 at 11:25 AM

  1. stee6043

    stee6043
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    I don't disagree, Boiled Over, and I haven't soured! Someday I'll return to wood heating. I do miss it. Someday.....:)

    I just think going through this work for an unoccupied building is a lot. I recall fondly how piss poor my system would run when the temps dropped below 140. I also spend a lot of time in my garage. I am merely projecting (perhaps wrongly) how frustrated I'd personally be if I went out to the workshop to enjoy a day of working and I had to spend a considerable amount of time getting the system up to speed again.

    If the OP goes all-out on insulation maybe this frustration can be avoided? I'm just picturing the UP of Michigan...a metal building...and marginal insulation. With this setup could the system shed 10,000 btu per hour when not in use? Maybe, Maybe not? But if it does...he's dropping 20 +/- degrees a day on those tanks. Two consecutive days of not using the workshop in the dead of winter and he's drifting into "I wish I could just start a fire and start working on cool stuff" territory.
     
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  2. stee6043

    stee6043
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    And for the record...I'm suggesting the OP use his gasser with water/air direct HX's. I'm merely debating the benefit/use-case of storage.

    I envision the process being 1.) OP goes to workshop, lights fire in gasser, returns to house for coffee. 2.) 30 minutes later OP returns to workshop, fire is ready, he flips the switch on the Modine's. Presto...a full day of wood heat using an uber efficient boiler, sans some of the pains of dealing with storage.


    Perhaps when I used the term Modine I created confusion. They make non-fossil fuel units which is what I was referencing:

    http://www.modinehvac.com/web/products/residential-gashydronic-unit-heaters-hotdawg/hot-dawg-h2o-low-profile-horizontal.htm
     
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  3. landrand

    landrand
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    This is awesome feedback, thank you. Couple of points about my objective:

    1. I bought the Tarm Solo Plus 60 boiler last week. It's an older model Tarm but has never been used. I planned to use this in a house I would someday build, but that's not going to happen for a few years. Since I have the boiler, I thought about using it in my steel building.

    2. I have NOT purchased the 1000 gal storage tanks yet. I wanted to get your feedback first about my idea of using the Tarm boiler in the steel building and the possibility of using two 1000 gal tanks for storage. I found a source where I could buy a 1000 gal tank for $750 which seems like a pretty good deal and they have two tanks for sale. I might be able to get them at a cheaper price if I buy both.

    3. I have a used propane boiler sitting idle in my garage that I thought I could use as a secondary/auxillary boiler.

    4. I own 25 acres on a lake where I plan to someday build my house. A 1/2 mile away, on a separate 10 acres I have a 50x100' steel building. With my sawmill, I have milled a bunch of 8x10" timbers that I plan to build a house with. Most of the work on the timbers would be done in the steel building. It will be much more enjoyable to have a heated area in the building to work on these timbers. Heck, I'd be happy to keep the workspace anywhere above 32 degrees F. I'm a finlander and my body is "plumbed" for and loves cold weather. Unfortunately, the weak link in my ability to withstand the cold is my nose, hands, and feet. When the outside temps dip below 20 degrees, spending all day in the building can be a bit problematic for these vulnerable areas.

    5. Maintaining the workshop areas above freezing when I'm not there would be very beneficial.
     
  4. maple1

    maple1
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    Just on expansion - you can put expansion tanks anywhere that pex will reach them. So if you tie them into the return & get them a fair distance away they shouldn't see real hot temps. But I don't know how warm is too warm for ordinary DHW pressure tank bladders. And are they really a lot cheaper for similar sizes? Metal pipe in between will shed even more heat before it gets to the expansion tanks - 1/2" black iron lengths should be pretty reasonably priced. You could also likely use a small LP tank for that, if you can get it elevated as much as possible (and also far away). To lessen chance of air infiltration to the system. I started out with that (100gal) but switched out to bladder.
     
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  5. BoiledOver

    BoiledOver
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    It sounds like your heating demand is actually on the lower end. Maintaining lowers temps out of the wind should not be much of a challenge compared to reheating each demand day. Another thought to simplify the system, place one tank in each partitioned space and use as your emitters. A wood frame enclosure will cost you nothing but your time and use either spray foam or rigid polyiso to insulate. Install a trap door to allow heat out when necessary, or a slider of sorts. A medium amount of insulation around the storage tank will allow some heat to leak into the area.
     
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  6. BoiledOver

    BoiledOver
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    Glad to hear you haven't gone to the other side. What are your thoughts for a future system?

    There are many ways to skin a cat for sure. Hopefully we have given good food for thought and landrand will have a warm retirement. For the record, I am not of Finnish ancestory (not known to me anyway) but I do enjoy winter over this passed hot summer we experienced in Michigan.
     
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  7. dogwood

    dogwood
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    Maple, I think Landrand should pose that question if the two types tanks are interchangable over on the Heating Help site. I was curious about that question and looked over there last night. I found one thread where a guy wanted to go the other direction and use a hydronic tank for a well water application. In that event the answer was you could, but the hydronic tank might not last nearly as long in that application, as potable water tanks had to have a coating on the inside that hydronic tanks didn't. Now whether that coating could hold up to the hot water in a hydronic system would be a good question for the Heating Help site experts. It sounded like the tanks were basically the same otherwise. You could call Amtrol too. They're pretty helfpul from my limited experience.

    Stee, are you aware of any sites for sizing a hydronic Modine to your space. I could probably search one out, but maybe you've already found and used a good one. Thanks. Don't mean to be hijacking your thread landrand. That might be good info for you too if you go that route.

    Landrand, I'd go for the two tanks if I were you. You'd have a considerably longer time between burns, once you got them heated up all the way. It would likely take two firebox loads in the winter to get them there from 140 degrees. One wheelbarrow load of mainly cherry and locust, and who knows what else, fills my Tarm Solo Innova's firebox, and raises one thousand gallons forty degrees from 140F to 180F. With your model you might be able to get your storage up to 200 degrees, which another site member mentioned being able to do with a newer Solo Plus 60 model. The newer 60 must have a higher upper set point.

    Mike
     
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  8. maple1

    maple1
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    The first bladder tank I got was a B&G, about 4 years ago. It had a sticker on the side that said basically that this tank will fail at some point in the future so be ready for it. That was encouraging. I got a second smaller one this summer (not a B&G) to add on but haven't taken it out of the box yet, not sure what it might be telling me.
     
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  9. dogwood

    dogwood
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    Maple, B&G must be manufacturing in China, although you usually can just assume Chinese products will fail without needing to be warned. Nice of them to add a sticker to let you know.

    Mike
     
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  10. gfirkus

    gfirkus
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    Give Switzer wood burning a call. Tell him what you have and he will build you the size expansion tank you need.
     

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