Ravelli RDS - manual version.

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Jan 22, 2014
106
France
For some reason ( like I was the other side of the pond at the time ) I forgot my 'in depth' annual clean last year.
The consequences you all know so well !
To compensate I 'added air' - you can choose a figure between -5 and +5 . These are not percents : +5 means around +18%.
This way I was hoping I would last out the season.
I failed by about a week. Murphy at work !

The RDS system , which I have not got , would have tried to do this automatically.
Trying to keep the airflow to the burnpot at the correct level , where my stove just keeps the exhaust fan at an 'appropriate' power level.
As the air passages silt up the airflow lessens . ( in my extreme case to the point where the airflow around the igniter is not enough to set the pellets on fire )

So when I was cleaning it ( and I have never seen those air passages so clogged up ) I changed the programmed exhaust fan settings to reflect the situation before I was forced to clean everything. I then changed the conpensation back to '-5' : so I'm back where I started.
The stove will last over 5 days in this very clean state.
However , when the stove start to need cleaning more often , I can change the compensation to ' -4' .
And so on , during the next season.

Will this work ? Or will Muphy win again ?
 
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Jan 22, 2014
106
France
coachK :
The question is not whether I am/have been happy with my Ecoteck /Ravelli but whether I think you would be !
This stove has taught me a lot : this means that it is not plug and play.
Its main problem is that it needs systematic cleaning : and I am not a systematic person.
I would like a stove where you press the button and then do nothing except add pellets every few days and empty the ash out at the end of the season.
This stove , to my knowledge , does not exist.
Cleaning , as you will find out from this forum , is the basis of happiness with pellet stoves.

I suspect , and other more experienced contributers might chip in here , that running the stove at its most efficient mode will increase the risk of the burn pot clogging up. The pellet feed , unlike gas fuel etc , is not strickly constant : so the ideal air requirements are dynamic. But too little air will inevitably clog up the burn pot. The pragmatic solution is to run the stove less efficiently by adding more air .

The question I would ask when looking for a stove is " how long between burnpot de-clogging ? "
Some stoves do this automatically : some elegantly , some crudely.

Hope this helps you.
 
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Pelleting In NJ

Minister of Fire
Sep 26, 2011
618
Central NJ
You can compensate for the increasing exhaust restriction by increasing the combustion fan speed (with the air trim settings), but eventually you will need to clean the stove. Doing this will extend the time between cleanings. What you are doing is like a crude "manual RDS" system.

Concerning my experience with my Ecoteck/Ravelli Elena (not RDS), I have been using it for the last 8 years, burning 2 to 3 tons of pellets a year. I like the stove, I don't think it needs much tinkering, but certainly it needs general cleaning every 6 to 10 bags of pellets (depends how ashy they are), and a "deep" cleaning, including the flue pipe and the internal back exhaust passages, every ton of pellets. All pellet stoves need regular cleanings.

Over these 8 years, I have replaced the burn-pot once, the flame trap plate once, the auger motor once (noisy bearings), and the room fan once (noisy bearings). The ignitor and combustion fan/motor are still original. I have burned hardwood and softwood pellets in my stove, it does not seem to make any difference, the ash level of the particular pellet you use is the most important selection factor. I would buy another one, but an RDS model, which I think is a great idea.
 
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Jan 22, 2014
106
France
My stove , which I acquired in 2013 , has had the exhaust fan replaced and all the parameters re-entered after an accidental factory reset which rendered the stove unuseable. It is four years now that I have been expecting the Igniter to fail . The stove is easy to work on .
Annual cleaning is best done with compressed air as not all the passages are easily accessable.

I would agree with Pelleting that the concept behind the RDS is very seductive , but from postings on this forum , this feature would not appear to be very well implemented.
From a posting by "Joe into Physics" in Nov. 2017 one could deduce that the passive sensors in the inlet tube are the sum total of the hardware. The more usual self-compensating bridge configeration not being used.
We read in the same thread ( and others) of unseen dirt causing the readings to be incorrect.
In another thread we read of the sensor being charred : another concequence of this shoe-string implementation ?
In consequence , I have shelved my plans to buy an RDS model.


Meanwhile I have purchased a "wind sensor" from Modern Devices with which I hope to study the air flow in the inlet tube as the stove silts up with ash.
This study might suggest that my "manual" RDS is adequate : if this is not so , I am playing with the idea of replacing the CPU on the mother board with an Arduino programmed by me to avoid all the inconveniences of the present firmware.