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Posted By Onfoot,
Dec 3, 2011 at 4:12 AM
I use a Modine garage heater for this purpose.
You should be able to capture quite a few extra BTUs from your generator enginge by installing a water cooled exhaust manifold.
It's on the 'someday' list to consider. But my genset only runs 500-600 hours a year, so have to figure out what makes the most sense (cents?) in terms of time and money invested. But I do spend time scratching my chin and reflecting on the heat that the genset loses to the atmosphere.
Will definitely give you a shout next time I'm through the Junction. Though no plans for the immediate future. When you get closer to a wind turbine decision, give me a shout. I would be happy to share my experience with my 2.5kW Proven. Can share about my solar thermal collector as well.
In fact I have a dump zone--about 20' of finned copper tubing in the garage. But would be relatively simple to make the loop longer, perhaps even adding a length that nips outdoors. As it is, if the heat sink is really hot (>160Â°F) and the genset starts, I will open the garage doors to help dump the excess heat in the genset cooling loop.
Ahh, but the Lister can be water cooled! Or at least thats what the web is telling me. (I admit, Im biased towards old iron, and the simplicity makes me want it)
But Ill cease and desist with the OT ramblings!
There are indeed water cooled listers, though they are predominantly air.
Listers are also good reliable simple engines, I have enjoyed the use of several.
Just so you know, my diesel genset has a naturaly aspirated Continental 4 cylinder engine, from the '50s.
Pretty simple, which is the main determining factor in my designs. I bought it as a Civil Defense take out, and it has 300 original hours.
I am very jealous. Someday, perhaps, Ill be able to find something as awesome.
I don't quite understand this, goosegunner. Would you mind explaining these two fans and why you'd prefer one over the other? Thanks.
Positive pressure fans are usually mounted on the front and blow air into the firebox. The firebox is slightly pressurized which can cause lots of smoke spillout when reloading.
Induced draft or negative draft fans are mounted on the back and suck air through the firebox. Which means less smoke on reloads. Downside is the fan blades are in the flue path and need to be cleaned/replaced occasionally.
Some boilers have both types. On my biomass the positive pressure fan shuts off when the door is open but negative draft fan stays on. Great for cleaning out the ashes or reloading when there are still coals.
Any reason you couldn't retrofit that induced draft fan (which I now realize is what was missing during the 20 years I ran my awful Memco boiler) to a boiler without one?
Any boiler with a positive pressure fan has the potential to leak smoke if the door seals aren't really good. The induced draft boiler owners don't seem to complain nearly as much.
Mine is fine where it is at in the shed along with all the mess of the wood, dust, ashes and dirt.
I plan on tryin to make a venturi draft like the jet stream used. Most users who have tried the draft inducers have said not to waste your money.
Like yourself, I too have gleaned alot of good information off this wonderful site. Guys that have been posting for a while include professionals in all walks of life. The technology has been improving on a very fast curve.This give us a unique perspective on how to approach the problems. My boiler life started with an American made gassifier that is no longer produced. After building a remote shed to put it in. I ran insulated underground pex to my residence. From there I created a primary secondary arrangement that contained a loop for aheat x changer in my plenum, a loop for indirect water heating, a loop for a 6 zone manifold to supply my underfloor pex installed in the aluminum plates. The first season was a disappointment to put it mildly- lots of wood burned in a mild winter, long idle times,lack of heat in the house. Generally an expensive failure. Although no storage was installed at this juncture, I kept studying the claims of some of the most experienced people on the site knowing that I had to make some changes. I deduced after ready Jebatty's posts on the Garn, Woodgun and Frohling and his own Tarm that the used gassifier that I had purchased, was not very efficient at turning wood energy into heated water. I ruled out the garn because of a lack of space. I ruled out the woodgun because of the smoke hood needed ( I had to install a 500 cfm fan just to load the beast that I owned). It ultimately came down to the Tarm, or the Frohling. I chose the Frohling 50, however I was intimidated about all of the bad press the high tech portion of the lambda controls presented. I could not be more pleased at the choice. Literally loading and lighting can be done in usually under three minutes with no kindling.Me and little woman rush home to be the first to fire it, its so easy. This year I added 1000 gallons pressurized storage by welding two 500 gallon propane tanks together and installing close to the boiler with a loading valve. The Frohling unit has performed flawlessly. There is no tweaking of primary secondary drafts, there is no creosote, there is plenty of heat in the house and more horsepower left in the boiler. To date in 2012-2013 season I have operated the unit mostly on one firing a day, usually a full load( about a 3 hr burn will charge my storage 45 degrees to 185 from 140. At 140 I still have radiant floor heat and hot water at the indirect. The house maintains constant temperature all day( no setbacks thermostats here).the standby loss on my tanks is about 1 degree an hour if no zones are calling for heat. If additional heat is needed my second thermostat to the heat exchanger can be set to override the floor heat.The floor heat gave me an immense amount of comfort in my otherwise drafty home. My residence is not exacly energy efficient. (1850's restored log house on a basement with cathedral ceilings and way too much southern glazing to capture my view.) The storage is a must in my view for convienience of firing, with low temp radiant being at the top of my comfort list. Thanks again to all the regular posters like Jebatty, Bob Rohr, Heaterman,No fossil, Taylor Sutherland, Steele, Goosegunner, E.Dudley,T. Caldwell, Flying cow, Mark at Ahona and the Tarm folks at Lyme New Hampshire just to name a few, You guys really make this an extraordinary site for all.
All the best,
I'm with tmudd.
It seems to me you have to burn soft wood fast and hot, which would necessitate storage. Storage would ideally be insulated and pressurized to maintain water quality. It would also be beneficial to store water at temperatures close to steam (with proper safety relief valves and high temperature protection).
One thing missing in many of the designs we review is the use of low-temperature emitters such as radiant floors, walls, ceiling or even over-sized European wall-hung radiators. If you can heat your house with 85° supply water the need to store 190° goes away or a least extends the run time of the storage tank.
I would look at the rest of the system before tossing the Tarm. You must also consider the cost of operating the oil backup on occasion vs. a new boiler. I like to operate my backup units on a regular basis if practicable.
glad to hear that your Solo Plus 40 has been serving you well. Despite what others are saying, I think you will be best served by keeping those tank temperatures low as you have been doing. By doing so, as you say, the liner will last a very long time. Sourdough Plumbing and Heating is our local dealer in Whitehorse. The owner, Werner, is heating his own home with the Fröling FHG-L 40/50 and I am sure he would be more than happy to have you take a look. As you may gather from the model number, this boiler can be run as a 40kW boiler (for longer run times) or a 50kW boiler (for higher peak output). I would also agree with tmudd that having the oil boiler kick in once in a while may not be the worst thing. Chris