Orlan 60 Gasification

nckennedy

New Member
Feb 15, 2020
8
Central New York State
We built a new house over the last two years. Just now getting Orlan 60 hooked up once again. This time we put it outside. It interfaces with a propane boiler in the basement. The interface is working so so, trying to raise the water temp of the Orlan enough to satisfy the demand for heat so propane will run less.. Still runs too much. In working around the Orlan the last few days and then looking at some of posts in this forum I am thinking our Orlan 60 is NOT working correctly. I do not think the gasification function is working at all. I really do not understand much about that part of the system works. Are there jets through which the gas passes from the upper chamber to the lower that can be plugged? I am keeping the two passages open at the bottom of the fire box, so coals can fall down on to the ceramic. But I am not getting the hight temp burn that I have seen in the videos on this site. Any suggestions and insight on this would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Craig
 

TCaldwell

Minister of Fire
Have you checked your wood with a moisture meter, gasification needs dry wood.
If your not positive on this, try mixing in some dimensional wood to the batch.
There are probably primary and secondary air settings with which to start from in the manual.
When was the last time this boiler was cleaned, hx tubes ect.
Is there a stuck flue bypass damper, have you checked the chimney draft?
Hopefully someone with a orlan can chime in about specifics, however poor or no gasification is usually one or many of the above
 

Woodman1

Burning Hunk
Jan 15, 2018
124
Michigan
The most basic thing to check for is make sure when you close the bypass it is sealed closed. When every thing is cooled down you can put your fingers down the nozzles and with the blower on you should feel some air from the holes in the sides of them. This is what it should look like during a burn
 
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Hydronics

Feeling the Heat
Dec 3, 2008
382
Northern CT
There definitely is an issue. I run my 60 on 1 fan with 1 nozzle blocked - never needed the btu's of both. Dry wood is very important. The holes you see on each side of the nozzles are for secondary air only, primary air is from the positive fan pressure in the upper chamber.

Depending on what you mean here, this could be your problem: "I am keeping the two passages open at the bottom of the fire box, so coals can fall down on to the ceramic. But I am not getting the hight temp burn that I have seen in the videos on this site. "
The nozzles must be covered with red hot coals. When the wood gas passes through them and the hot refractory they get burned.
It is an operating issue. I suggest reading the EKO sticky at the top of the forum. You will learn from everyone's experience.
Good luck.
 

nckennedy

New Member
Feb 15, 2020
8
Central New York State
Yea I seem to be forming nice coals at the bottom of primary chamber, intact, so many form that I have to poke them down through the two wholes at the bottom of the primary chamber to the lower chamber. So I am thinking that the air is not getting to the two openings (nozzles) and thus cannot burn the wood gas. Just goes up through the flues and then chimney as smoke? Thanks I will do some more reading from the earlier threads of the blog. Craig
 

Fred61

Minister of Fire
Nov 26, 2008
2,443
Southeastern Vt.
I have several years experience operating these gasifiers and had some initial thoughts to contribute but I thought I would hold back until the questions that TCaldwell asked were addressed but that hasn't happened . Moisture of the wood should be he first check then on to the other questions he asked.
I don't know what your past experience is but it's clear to me that you have not grasped the science of wood gasification. In a perfectly tuned gasifier the process is as follows: Log burns at a particular rate releasing just the right amount of coals over the nozzles, air passing from the upper chamber releases gas from the coals and it rapidly burns in the throat of the nozzle with the addition of secondary air sending the hot gasses through the heat exchanger to the chimney.
Pushing the coals into the lower chamber interrupts the gassing. In fact if the unit is perfectly tuned those coals that get blown into the lower chamber. will actually not burn except those that are not blown away from the area just beneath the nozzle because the oxygen should be depleted by the blaze at the outlet of the nozzle. The bottom of the lower chamber is where I used to gather my standby supply of charcoal for restarting those times that I burned too long and burned up the coals in the upper chamber.

So I suggest getting the most obvious questions answered and continue from there.
 

nckennedy

New Member
Feb 15, 2020
8
Central New York State
Hi Guys,
Happy Fall!
I discovered that the flues in the back of the boiler are frozen in place. Can't move the damper handle at all. Wife forget to move it back and forth at the end of the season. So I guess I will have to take it all part, remove the handle shaft and disassemble probably all 12 flue rods from the two horizontal rods and remove them. I will have to make or buy a flue brush, never came with it when it was new. Does that sound about right? Can any one recommend something to pour into the top of the flues to loosen them up a bit before we try to pull them up and out. I guess we will need a lot head room also to get the rods out.
Craig
 

3fordasho

Minister of Fire
Jul 20, 2007
895
South Central Minnesota
Hi Guys,
Happy Fall!
I discovered that the flues in the back of the boiler are frozen in place. Can't move the damper handle at all. Wife forget to move it back and forth at the end of the season. So I guess I will have to take it all part, remove the handle shaft and disassemble probably all 12 flue rods from the two horizontal rods and remove them. I will have to make or buy a flue brush, never came with it when it was new. Does that sound about right? Can any one recommend something to pour into the top of the flues to loosen them up a bit before we try to pull them up and out. I guess we will need a lot head room also to get the rods out.
Craig
Locked up turbulators is a sign your wood is too high a moisture content or some other operator error. It is possible they locked up if the lever was not moved for quite a while - with my dry wood and boiler I think that would take a long time. Do a search for cleaning heat exchanger tubes, I think somebody used oven cleaner of some sort but I could be mistaken.

In a gasifier you want a good coal bed over the nozzle, in fact it's the first thing I do to fire the boiler- clean out the fine ash and place a mound of of charcoal right over the top of the nozzle. Some guys have even made nozzle protection plates that help prevent the smaller coals from falling through to the lower chamber where they don't do much good. If you are clearing the coals over the nozzle the boiler will not gasify properly and maybe why your exchanger tubes are gunked up ( or more likely your wood is too high in moisture content)
 

nckennedy

New Member
Feb 15, 2020
8
Central New York State
Thanks Tim,
Appreciate your explanations, I had failed to understand how the gasification works. I removed six of the flue spiral rods, this afternoon. Really a big job, had to use a turnbuckle fastened to the roof to pull the rods out. I will try to find a brush tomorrow that will fit tight in the tubes. Do you use the regular fiberglass gasket on the upper door or the special silicon sold by Orlan suppliers?
Take Care,
Craig
 

3fordasho

Minister of Fire
Jul 20, 2007
895
South Central Minnesota
Thanks Tim,
Appreciate your explanations, I had failed to understand how the gasification works. I removed six of the flue spiral rods, this afternoon. Really a big job, had to use a turnbuckle fastened to the roof to pull the rods out. I will try to find a brush tomorrow that will fit tight in the tubes. Do you use the regular fiberglass gasket on the upper door or the special silicon sold by Orlan suppliers?
Take Care,
Craig
My Attack boiler appears to use standard fiberglass gasket but I haven’t had to replace it yet. I would check with Zenon at new horizon as he can supply EKO parts in North America.
 

3fordasho

Minister of Fire
Jul 20, 2007
895
South Central Minnesota
Thanks Tim,
Appreciate your explanations, I had failed to understand how the gasification works. I removed six of the flue spiral rods, this afternoon. Really a big job, had to use a turnbuckle fastened to the roof to pull the rods out. I will try to find a brush tomorrow that will fit tight in the tubes. Do you use the regular fiberglass gasket on the upper door or the special silicon sold by Orlan suppliers?
Take Care,
Craig
I forgot to ask- are you running any thermal storage?
 

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,126
Northern Canada
Good luck with a brush...
You will need something better than a brush.I tried a brush on tubes that just needed cleaning and it basically did nothing.I tried a cleaner from McMaster Carr that was mentioned,it didn't work.
I have 2" tubes and mad a tool that works good out of metal banding.But if you are having to forcefully pull out your turbs you will need a auger of some type to get you close to your tubes.
 
Feb 2, 2016
111
central iowa
@salecker I agree, my metal banding too works pretty good but if he had to pull the turbs with something other than his hands I think he is in for a fight, maybe needs to find some actual auger fliting (not sure of spelling) that will fit tight and make a tool.
 

3fordasho

Minister of Fire
Jul 20, 2007
895
South Central Minnesota
Good luck with a brush...
You will need something better than a brush.I tried a brush on tubes that just needed cleaning and it basically did nothing.I tried a cleaner from McMaster Carr that was mentioned,it didn't work.
I have 2" tubes and mad a tool that works good out of metal banding.But if you are having to forcefully pull out your turbs you will need a auger of some type to get you close to your tubes.
Some pics of the tool you made might help the original poster, found them here: https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/cleaning-econoburn-200-flue-tubes.115539/
 

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,126
Northern Canada
If you can find some pipe that fits inside your flue tubes you can make an auger out of it.
A friend of mine has a boiler where his horizontal tubes got plugged,he was trying all sorts to get it cleaned out.Tough job once they are that full.
 

3fordasho

Minister of Fire
Jul 20, 2007
895
South Central Minnesota
Gunked up heat exchanger tubes can also be caused by the boiler going into idle mode too much. Hence my question about thermal storage. These gasifiers like to run wide open, they get dirty if they have to idle. My Attack never idles as I have 1000 gallons of thermal storage to heat and the exchanger tubes only get light fly ash in them that a bristle brush cleans right out and I only do that about once a year. (I do operate the turbulator handle several times each burn)