WoodMinder Wood Boiler Monitor- Anyone familiar with it?

Patti Posted By Patti, Apr 14, 2017 at 11:20 PM

  1. Patti

    Patti
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    Mar 4, 2013
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    Hi all,
    Just wondering if anyone has ever tried this product I found on ebay, called a WoodMinder Wood Boiler Monitor? If so, I would appreciate feedback about it.
    If not, does anyone know of similar products?
    I have a wood boiler in my shop with a heat exchanger in the house, and I am about to install a propane boiler in the basement to use in the summer and as a back up heat source.
    This is exactly the kind of device I am looking for that will turn the propane on if it is needed, and will allow me to monitor the boiler (and reduce the amount of time I spend trudging back and forth through all that lovely white stuff!!)
    I know nothing about electronics.....does this appear to be a legitimate product that could do what it says?
    Any information you can offer would be appreciated!
    Thanks!
    Patti


    Here is the link for it:
    http://www.ebay.ca/itm/WoodMinder-Wood-Boiler-Monitoring-System-Wired-/191454406735?hash=item2c9392684f:m:m8yeRu2zICw0p0GGXeoHf6w

    Below are pictures, installation diagram, and description from the ebay listing.

    $%28KGrHqN,%21k0E+1li8MSQBQN%21UHqtFQ%7E%7E60_57.JPG
    $%28KGrHqR,%21qgFCr,u9TqBBQ6ytMr9fg%7E%7E60_57.JPG

    The WoodMinder TWC is the perfect accessory for your outside or inside wood boiler. It won't put wood in the boiler for you, but it’s the next best thing!

    This is why you should own one:

    • Safety - The WoodMinder let's you know if your wood boiler is approaching a dangerously high temperature. The visual and audible alarm is preset at 200 Degrees Fahrenheit.
    • Convenience - The WoodMinder brings the status of your Wood Boiler into the comfort of your home. You don't need to make repeated trips out into the cold to check on the wood boiler. The WoodMinder’s patent pending design lets you know how much wood is remaining in the boiler and when you need to refill with wood. The WoodMinder has a Fan LED that lights when the Boiler’s Forced Air Draft Fan is cycling; displays the Boiler water temperature and the ON/OFF status of the Gas Valve Relay.
    • Peace of Mind - The WoodMinder will do the minding for you by letting you know if the wood boiler needs attention. You don't need to wonder what is going on with your wood boiler any more.
    • Economy - The WoodMinder eliminates the need to purchase a Gas Valve control Aquastat and saves $$ by eliminating your back-up furnace from coming on when the wood boiler is above the desired temperature.
    • Vacation Mode allows you to fill the wood boiler before leaving for an extended period of time. The WoodMinder will automatically turn on the gas furnace when the wood boiler temperature drops below a user changeable cutoff temperature and turns the power off to your wood boiler after a user defined vacation time delay period after it falls below the cutoff temperature.
    • Flexibility - The WoodMinder is user adjustable to the size of your wood boiler and the way you fill it with wood. It has a user changeable gas valve cutoff temperature and it displays the temperature in either Fahrenheit or Centigrade.
    • Styling - Handcrafted solid oak case with a brushed stainless steel faceplate is about the size of a small alarm clock (7"w X 4.5"h X 4"d).
    • Functional Design - Intuitive controls and displays, Easy to read boiler water temperature, Boiler Fan Status Indicator, Wood Consumption Status in 25% increments, Gas Valve Indicator, Switchable Audible Alarm.
    • Easy to install - The WoodMinder is as easy to install as a thermostat and comes with clearly labeled connections and instructions. The WoodMinder TWC requires low voltage wiring (not included) between the Base/Display Unit and the Wood Boiler and gas furnace.
    • 90 Day replacement warrantee.
    If interested I can send you additional product information, including installation instructions and operation manual.
     
  2. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu
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    I don't have any experience with this unit...it sounds pretty good though.
    Where are you located that you need to run the propane boiler in the summer time?
    As far as needing something to turn on the propane boiler...wouldn't setting the Tstat for the propane boiler a couple degrees behind the wood boiler Tstat accomplish the same thing?
     
  3. Patti

    Patti
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    Hi! I live in Midwestern Ontario (Hanover) which is located in the snow belt, but there are a couple of reasons why I am going to use the propane. I have a lot of problems with my lungs, so in the Spring, Fall and Summer when the boiler isn't running at full capacity there is a lot of smouldering. I live in a valley, so all the smoke sits on my property (and actually, all of my neighbour's smoke drifts down and visibly sits here too). I spend most of my time outside with my horses or working, year round, so breathing in all that smoke isn't helping my lungs (or the horse's), which is why I decided to use the propane during those times of the year when I wouldn't be running the boiler at full tilt. I haven't hooked up my domestic hot water to the boiler(s) yet, (still electric), but with the Hydro rates we pay, I am trying to save any way I can, so I am going to get an indirect water heater. Since the wood boiler won't be running year round, hot water supply is another reason why I am adding the propane.
    Hmmm....I don't know all the details of the plumbing system....so I'm not really sure if setting the propane tstat would work or not.
    It makes sense that it would, but I'd have to ask my Plumber/HVAC guy...it might have something to do with the circulating pumps on the system, or....who knows!! But I will mention it to him. Thanks for the suggestion! Patti
     
  4. peakbagger

    peakbagger
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    An appropriately designed hot water storage system with proper high efficiency wood boiler would cure a lot of your air quality issues, this system will not. It may be a nice monitoring product with some basic control functions that is of value but it doesn't cure the fundamental issue that a wood boiler only burns efficiently at full load.

    You didn't mention the type of boiler you own but I am guessing its an Outdoor Wood Boiler that was installed in a building for convenience. If you look at the typically European indoor wood boilers they are specifically designed to operate with hot water storage to the point that most companies will not warranty an installation without storage. Unlike a pellet boiler that can control its output by introducing more or less pellets, the wood boiler is stuck with a full load of wood in the firebox, if the amount of heat you are using equals the boilers rated output everything is fine, the problem is when the amount of heat you are using is less than the rated capacity of the boiler, there is no way to take wood out of the firebox so the only way to reduce the heat output is to starve the boiler for air by closing the inlet air damper. When that happens, you go from relatively clean combustion to incomplete combustion which puts out a large assortment of very nasty chemicals that are going to potentially make you and anyone (or any other creature) in the area sick. Some folks and animals can tolerate it better than others but ultimately its an unhealthful situation. What makes it even worse is that climatic conditions that can cause a local temperature inversion where the smoke sticks around frequently lines up with part load operation.

    If on the other hand, you put in a thermal storage system, the fundamental problem of part load operation is substantially eliminated except for start up cycles. How this works is you install a much smaller more efficient wood boiler usually equipped with a catalytic combustor which raises the efficiency of the boiler and reduces emissions. Once the boiler is up to temperature, the only substantial thing coming out of the stack is water vapor. In addition to the boiler, you have a large insulated steel tank which has to be sized for the size of your heating load and the size of your boiler. These two components work in tandem, the house is heated with hot water from the tank. It should be sized for a minimum of 12 hours storage for the coldest normal temperatures. When the tank temps start to get down too low, the wood boiler is started up and then run at full load for long enough to heat the tank back up to high temperature. During this time you will need to feed the boiler a couple of times as it most likely will have a small firebox but the big benefit is the boiler is running at full load and its not generating all the incomplete combustion gases and particles. Once you get used to it you will be able to time when to put in the last load so that the boiler runs out of wood before the temperature is up to storage. As the weather warms up you may only need to run the boiler once a day or maybe every other day. At some point it may not make sense to run it during warm weather but you can easily stretch out a tank for several days if its only hot water you need.

    Its pretty easy to set up this type of arrangement to keep the propane boiler as a backup. What usually is done is the propane boiler senses the temperature in the hot water tank if the temperature is over a preset low temperature the propane boiler is prevented from running, if the temperature in the hot water tank is below that preset temperature, the propane boiler turns on until the tank is above the setting. I have the same setup for my oil boiler, when I head out in cold weather I run the wood boiler to heat up the tank and then go on my trip, at some point the tank goes below setpoint and my oil boiler takes over. There are a bunch of secondary controls that improve the operation of the system but any qualified installer will take care of these details.

    Along with vastly improved air quality around your farm, you get big side benefit, the amount of wood you use is going to drop by typically 1/3rd. All those nasty pollutants in the air are mostly unburnt gases. With a good indoor wood boiler those gases get burned and turned into heat. I do need to warn you about a trade off that you already may be making. Wet wood burns cooler with a much higher potential for creosote and air pollution. An outdoor wood boiler is designed to burn wet wood but lots more of it and it can do it fairly cleanly at full output but the second the air damper closes due to lack of heat demand the volume of creosote and air pollutants increase substantially over dry wood. Modern indoor wood boilers aren't intended or designed to run on wet wood, they just wont run. Therefore you need to cut wood and dry it a minimum of one entire year and with many hardwood species like oak two years. This is pain initially for a new boiler owner as they need to cut and stack twice as much wood that first year or two but once over that hurdle the reduced work for supplying 2/3rd as much wood from then on makes up for it. By the way this also works to lesser extent for an outdoor wood boiler, properly seasoned wood is going to cut down on air pollution and wood used to lesser extent.

    If you have read this and understand why hot water storage is so much better than an outdoor boiler you will probably ask why didn't you hear about this before is that a properly designed indoor wood boiler with storage is an integrated system that has to be designed and installed by someone who knows what they are doing and you typical propane dealer is most likely not qualified. These system are not inexpensive figure a minimum of 15K to 25K. The outdoor wood boiler folks offer the quick fix and the dealers work on hefty commissions. They are long gone before the owner realizes that they have voluntarily decided to gas themselves with all sorts of nasty pollutants for much of the year. If they are in area with neighbors, they also are subjecting them to the same issues. This is why many US states have effectively banned or restricted the use of outdoor wood boilers.

    I have skipped over one other option which typically is for very large heat users like commercial farms, if you are over 20 cords a year you may want to look into a Garn, this is somewhere between an outdoor wood boiler and the indoor system I discussed. It is effectively an outdoor wood boiler with a very large water tank around the firebox. It is far more tolerate to wet wood but the large water tank means it rarely needs to run with the air damper shut. This option is even more expensive to install.
     
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  5. Patti

    Patti
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    Hi Peakbagger! Thank you SO much for your detailed response. I really appreciate you taking the time to write this.
    I will share it with my Plumber/HVAC guy and we will discuss things.
    I will give you a little more information.
    This is a learning curve for me, so please bear with me if I say things that don't make sense!:)
    My plumber/HVAC guy has installed a number of indoor and outdoor wood boilers and is familiar with radiant heating etc. etc.
    He is pretty knowledgeable and everyone around here uses him. I have visited lots of people he has done installs for, and looked at their systems, and I am confident he knows what he is doing. However, boilers continue to evolve, so there may be things we need to change.

    The boiler I installed this Fall is a Benjamin (used) and it's actually an indoor wood boiler (although I would never put it inside my house). It is suggested that it be used in conjunction with another heat source, and from what I have discovered, because of some of the features it is lacking, they suggest it be used as back-up and not a primary heat source, so that could be part of the problem. We have made some modifications on it though, and overall, I don't think it is too bad....but it could be better.

    However....having said that, the reason I wanted to try it before trying an actual Outdoor boiler was because of my concerns about the smoke inside my shop. I thought this one might be better since it is designed specifically for indoor use. After sinking money into a Woodpecker pellet boiler for a few years, I decided to change to wood because it was costing me way too much for pellets, and I couldn't get the computer to sync up with the thermocoupler in the water storage tank, so it meant that the boiler was running constantly- totally defeating the purpose of a 600 gallon insulated water storage tank!!
    The Benjamin has a draft door on the front, and then we installed a damper on the back of it, as well as a draft regulator on the pipe. I play around with these in different combinations depending on the weather, but since this is my first year, I expected to be doing some tweaking. I think I am getting better at it- finding my groove- to keep it burning hot without smoke, but I'm just not sure about a couple of things.
    I am burning well-seasoned hardwood, so at least that helps!

    The pex tubing from the shop to the house is about 100' so there is some heat loss there, but generally it is pretty good.
    One of the issues for me is the amount of time that I spend stoking it- especially on cold days. I had to stoke it every 3 hours (at least) to keep the heat up. We were lucky this year with milder than normal temps, but if it had been like previous years where we consistently had -20 to -30 C for weeks on end, I wouldn't have been a happy camper. I keep my wood/splits as large as I can but one problem with the boiler is that the door is SO small- I bet it's not more than 14" x 14"! I want something I can throw honkin' big hunks into!!
    It was taking forever to get it up to 170, but it is getting faster as I play around with it. Once it is up there, it stays there for quite awhile. But, I am limiting the air for the simple reason that if I don't burn it slower, it is just wasting the heat and I end up stoking it for nothing.
    I am still not making the best use of this 600 gallon storage tank either because of the small amount of wood the boiler holds, unless I am out in the shop continually stoking it, the circulator pump only gets to run for a short time, so the water never gets heated. Have to play with this some more (or get rid of it altogether.)

    My next option is to remove the Benjamin and install an Outdoor Wood boiler (but put it inside my shop). There is a guy near us who builds these, and I have seen two of them in use (both installed inside buildings) and people are thrilled with them. They are very well designed, and can hold a LOT more wood than the Benjamin- and they cost the same as I paid for that one- about $2000. The one key thing that the Benjamin doesn't have is the fan to induce burning. The damper door on the front is automatically controlled and it opens and closes slightly, but that's it.
    The one thing I thought about doing is putting a vented fan (like a range hood) above the boiler (but not so close as to draw smoke out). I might vent it to outside, or I might just try and charcoal filter one. Do other people use these? Any in particular that seem to work well?
    When I saw the amount that people were burning a day in their boilers, compared to what I went through, it seemed like they were burning a lot less, (but maybe not???). What I DID like was that one guy put two big pieces in (maybe 18-20" x 18-20" ) and he said that that was enough to heat his old stone farmhouse (he just added some insulation in the roof a few weeks ago but stone is still pretty tough to heat) to 70F for a good 12 hours and when he came home it would still be burning.
    I have a 2500sq foot 1857 log cabin, with 5 inches of foam insulation in the ceilings, but the windows need to be replaced, so I know I have some heat loss there. I close the loft, so I am only really heating about 1900sq feet. I have infloor heating in the stone floor of the kitchen, which helps heat everything of course. I keep that at about 70 and I usually keep the thermostat for the rest of the house at 65-67, which is really very comfortable in here, even on the coldest days.
    I think my issues are due to the fact that this isn't really the appropriate boiler I should be using for this situation...but hey...everybody has to learn somehow!;lol
    My plumber and I were both looking at the boilers, so I bought the Benjamin and he bought one the guy built, but we might trade because he has a tiny house and we both think it would be ideal for that. I mean- it is able to heat mine no problem, but as I said, I am not into running out and baby-sitting it every two hours!!
    If we trade and I put the bigger boiler in, I might just take out the 600 gallon water storage tank altogether.
    I don't know....what are your thoughts about that?
    I haven't bought one yet, but I am planning on getting an indirect water heater for my domestic hot water as well, and the plumbing is in place, but not hooked up, to heat my indoor hot tub too, (and eventually a pool in the summer).

    I would LOVE to be able to afford to buy a brand new Garn or Froling, or maybe a Polar (do you have those? they are indoor/outdoor boilers but I think they might only be up here in Canada right now), but unfortunately, due to a number of things, I just don't have the money right now. Down the road though....!!

    I 'think" you are referring to Gassification Boilers above? Yes I agree....that is my dream machine! (lol) but not in the budget for awhile.

    Apparently this WoodMinder gives you a percentage of wood that is remaining in the boiler, so that alone might be handy to have, simply because I HATE winter and I hate trudging over to the shop to check the boiler only to find out it is still full (or empty!). With this boiler especially, it will be nice to have the propane boiler hooked up that will kick in if the wood boiler isn't generating enough heat (it is a nice model- Lochinvar) because even if I stoke it at 1:00 or 2:00 am in the winter, it doesn't last much past 7:00.
    Anyways, thanks again for your input. I will share with my plumber and keep messin' around with things until I find something that works for me, but at this point, I think the bigger boiler is my first step.
    Patti
     
  6. maple1

    maple1
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    That Benjamin is a very inefficient boiler. That's problem 1, and there is not much you can do to make it work better. A great deal of your heat is going right up your chimney. It is what it is, unfortunately. I would also bet you are losing more heat than you think to the ground.
     
  7. Fred61

    Fred61
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    I think the first order of business is to find out where all that heat is going. Foam insulation in the attic doesn't change much if the wind is blowing through the walls as with most log homes. Infiltration is the worst on the list of heat losses. You shouldn't be guessing how much loss you're getting in the underground run. Even a one degree loss at typical flow rates could equal many btu s.
    Changing heat sources won't change the heat load. You may save money by burning wood vs pellets if you have a cheap fuel source but you're still going to be feeding an equivalent amount of fuel in to the boiler.
     
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  8. Patti

    Patti
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    Yes....I think that is the case unfortunately. I wish I could afford a new gassification unit....but I'll have to make do with what I've got until that day comes.
     
  9. Patti

    Patti
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    Well actually, I don't have much heat loss through the walls believe it or not. They are a minimum of 12" x 12" hemlock, and some of the beams are 16"-20" thick, and it's pretty well-chinked. The house heats up quickly and stays warm for quite awhile, and stays nice and cool in the summer. As I said, the windows need replacing, so that's next on the 'to-do' list. But, I think the problem is that I am not using the Benjamin in the way that it is intended.
    Even when I was using the pellet boiler, I was losing very little heat to the ground. Water would be leaving my shop at 160 and coming back at 158 - (even after pulling heat off at the house!) so I'm not too concerned about that. And, as I said, the house warms up quickly and stays pretty warm (the infloor heating in the stone floor in the kitchen definitely helps), but I want something I can stoke once or twice a day rather than every couple of hours!

    As to my original post.....has anyone ever had any experience using this 'WoodMinder'? I'd like to hear your thoughts and opinions if so! Thanks! Patti
     
  10. Fred61

    Fred61
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    I now nothing about your wood boilers and know very little about the Woodpecker but something doesn't add up. Unless your boiler only holds a couple sticks of wood, you shouldn't need to feed it every 2 hours if your living space is so easy to heat with literally no loss to the ground and 600 gallons of storage.

    I burn one fire for 3 to 4 hours per day to charge 500 gallons and heat from storage for the remaining 20 hours. If you're only pulling a couple degrees from your water, perhaps you should slow the flow to increase efficiency.
     
  11. Patti

    Patti
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    Hi! Just to clarify- I HAD a 25kW Woodpecker Pellet boiler, but this fall I took it out because I couldn't get the boiler to communicate with the water storage tank. This Fall, I put the Benjamin Wood boiler in, but I think it is really meant to be used more as a 'back-up' source of heat.
    I am thinking about putting in another outdoor wood boiler (independently manufactured).
    I noticed that you have an EKO 25kW....so I had a brief look at it. I have to do more research, but I was really surprised at the price. I thought that gassification units ran about $10,000. UGGHHH. This is so confusing. It seems like you guys in the States are LIGHT YEARS ahead of what happens up here in Canada. I don't even know where I could go to get a heat calculation done. I'm sure that the only way a company would do it up here would be if you were committing to buying one of their products- that's just the way they roll up here. Anyone know where I could find someone to do one in Midwestern Ontario? I would like to have an 'independent' simply because I don't want the 'calculations' based on a certain company's products, nor do I want to be pressured into buying a certain product. Thanks for any info you can offer! Patti
     
  12. maple1

    maple1
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    There are on-line heat loss calculators. I haven't used them, don't have links, but someone else here likely does. Or Google should find something.

    You are right about Canada being behind. I ordered my boiler from south of the border, sight unseen. No regrets though.

    Assuming you have things plumbed properly, you should have half the battle won since you already have storage. I had a Benjamin for 17 years, I simply don't think you will get much satisfaction with yours. I was a slave to mine. Yes they are mainly suited to backup or light duty use - they have very small heat output. I had to put the coals to mine, so to speak, 24/7 - with my new one & storage, I only actually have a fire burning maybe 6 hours per day average thru the winter. Extrapolating what my new one is rated for, I don't think the Benjamin is good for much more than 30,000 btu/hr (they don't have any ratings published that I could find). Storage would have been useless with mine - it just didn't have any extra heat to send to storage. A simple water jacketed design like that will send heat straight up your chimney, it's a simple basic design characteristic, no way around it.

    Not knowing your budget & assuming it's not much, I would maybe look around for another indoor boiler with better heat output. Something with tubes inside for heat exchanging. There seem to be quite a few used ones around here for sale, from people moving to mini-splits & getting away from wood. Although I haven't looked for a while. Going to an OWB will introduce other things, like needing to change plumbing some to accomodate an open boiler (will need to add heat exchangers - or at least one) - whereas replacing the Benjamin with something similar but more efficient should be a more straightforward install. My father has an older Kerr with tubes, it would benefit from storage. But since it doesn't gasify, it would need a bit more work in keeping the tubes clean.

    I still think your underground piping is losing heat. Do you know exactly what kind it is? How old? Pics? Unless it is the best (spray foam insulated type like Thermopex), it will likely send BTUs to the ground. Accurate temp measuring of that kind of thing is sometimes overlooked.

    I can't help with the original question on the gadget, first time I've heard of it. But pretty sure it won't improve on the boiler issues, and a simple aquastat should handle the backup call.
     
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  13. Patti

    Patti
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    Hi Maple 1! Yes, you hit the nail on the head about the Benjamin! Exactly what is happening. I didn't realize the output was that low, but again, that's my fault for not knowing that. The water storage system I have now is non-pressurized (it's a 600 gallon insulated, stainless steel former milk storage tank) but when my plumber put a pressure test on it, it started to give, so we had to go with un-pressurized.

    The outdoor wood boiler that I am thinking about putting in is much larger, has a large water jacket around it, as well as induction fans etc. so it is better suited to my needs. The man building them charges $2000, but is putting the price up to $3000 next winter. They are well made, and the people I know who have installed them had the insurance companies inspect them and they were given the okay- and they are in rooms attached directly to their houses, which mine isn't so I figure if two different insurance companies say they comply, then I'm happy with that! (because it's so RARE that ANYTHING gets approved these days in Ontario....we are so over-regulated it's sickening....)

    My pex tubing is three years old- yes- it is inside the spray foam, inside the big O- buried 5 feet down.
    I already have a good heat exchanger in my basement, so it's just a matter of hooking up the other wood boiler.
    I'm just going back and forth with the whole storage tank thing, because, in principle, I think it is exactly what I want, but I keep wondering if it is worth keeping it- ie. am I going to have enough 'excess heat' to heat it up and make use of it.....or will I just end up burning more wood for very little gain.
    THIS is the QUESTION I am trying to find the answer to!!!
    Because of where it is located in my shop right now, if I put the other wood boiler in and leave the water storage tank, it is going to mean a LOT of replumbing and/or chimney work....NEITHER of which my Plumber and I want to get into.

    I saw that the EKO 25kW was ('only') about $3600 U.S....but there is that HUGE benefit of gassification- especially considering the health issues I have with my lungs (and what I am exposing my horses to).
    I don't know if that size of unit would be large enough or not....that is something I would have to look into.
    The forced air propane furnace that was in the house when I bought it in 2002 was 85,000 BTU, but now I will also have to take into account that the boiler is located in the shop and comes through100' of pex to my house.

    I haven't looked at gassification boilers at all - not because I didn't want one- but simply because I thought they were all in the the $10,000 range, so I am going to look into that further. Maybe I can find a used one to try out....(I just hate putting good money after bad...and my last two boiler attempts haven't been very successful!!). Just 'roughly' for a 2500 sq foot 1 and a half storey log house (with boiler in the shop & 100' of pex to the house), can anyone hazard a 'guess' at what the smallest size of gassification boiler would be that I would start looking at? I am purely speculating here- but I am guessing about 40kW. If I have a starting point, then I can figure out the heat calculations and go from there!
    I would like to hear your opinions about the unit you are using Maple 1.
    Do you like your Varmebaronen UB40? Is it in a separate building? How much square footage do you heat? Any idea roughly how many cords you go through a year? I see you live in Nova Scotia, but you said you ordered it from the States? Do you know if there are retailers here now? Any idea (just rough) of what they are going for? (Are you allowed to say where you purchased it?) Boy- sight unseen- you are braver than I am!!! I am glad you are happy with it though!
    I'd love any input- good and bad- about indoor AND outdoor wood boilers that people are using, and any information about gassification boilers would be really helpful as well!
    Thank you everyone for taking the time to share your knowledge and answer my questions!! I have read a number of the forums on thehearth for a long time, and it never ceases to amaze me what a vast amount of knowledge there is here! Keep that info comin'! I appreciate it! Patti :)
     
  14. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu
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    Don't have boiler myself, but researched it extensively at one point, storage is absolutely worth it...it will allow your boiler to burn its load at maximum efficiency (wide open) instead of sometimes spending hours "idling" which is basically burning wood just to "maintain a pilot flame"...not to mention how much less smoke there will be this way too
     
  15. maple1

    maple1
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    Nova Scotia
    I'm not sure how well your storage would match up to an OWB. Most of the efficiency gained with storage comes from batch burning. I.e., you burn until your storage is charged then you let the fire go out until you need heat again. OWBs usually aren't batch burners.

    I got mine from Smokeless Heat. Site advertiser here, watch for the banner ad & click on it. Sole seller of Varm in North America, as far as I know. I think prices are on their site - but the $$ exchange & freight/customs will be a hit. Mine is in my basement. 2700 square foot 2 story over 1500 unfinished basement. Between 5 & 6 cords per year, I think. Love the boiler, almost done year 5 with the only maintenance being brushing tubes once a week (takes 10 minutes, easiest tubes on the market to brush if I do say so myself), and pulling ash out of the smoke pipe once a year. And no chimney sweeping, at all, in those 5 years.

    I am thinking a 40kw would be a fair match for your setup - but a 25kw gasser should put out more than 2x what that Benjamin is doing. If that is an indication. Varm has a 30kw model.

    Have you checked the classified section on this site? Someone posted an Eko 60 not long ago. No idea where though and I haven't been in that section for quite a while. There may be others.
     
  16. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Aug 21, 2013
    2,487
    664
    Loc:
    NE Ohio
  17. maple1

    maple1
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Sep 15, 2011
    7,302
    1,260
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    That looks like a decent setup.
     

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