Outdoor wood boilers

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  #1  
Old 02-24-06, 07:38 AM
highland
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Outdoor wood boilers

Iíve looked through the posts and have only seen a couple threads on this topic.

I am considering purchasing an out door wood boiler. I would like peopleís opinions, pro and con on this decision.

Just a little background. We have a 2400 sq ft house in upstate NY. It is heavily insulated equivalent of 14Ē fiberglass in the walls and 28Ē in the ceiling. We currently heat with a wood stove and have done so for 25 years. We cut wood off our property so supply is available for the cost of the labor. Going to a boiler involves the cost and labor of putting baseboard heat through the house. However the boiler would provide more even heat, would give us heat while away and would keep the mess of burning wood outside.

So good idea or bad?
 
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Old 02-24-06, 08:06 AM
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From what I have read, they tend to be very smoky so be careful where you place it. You will also need to think about some kind of heat storage buffer tank to try and even things out for the burn cycles. The outdoor wood boilers are often open atmospheric type systems and the indoor portion is often closed. With that in mind you'll need non-ferrous circs and componants for the outdoor side and a heat exchanger separating the water from the indoor side. With normally being an open system combined with the large temperature swings that the outdoor boilers won't last anywhere near as long as other boilers so I would try and keep that in mind when deciding whether to do it and also which boiler to use.

Most outdoor boilers manufacturers would have pretty good information. I think most people have more challenges with setting them up because they already have a boiler and then suddenly need the control logic and piping to handle the two different sources.

The lines between the boiler and the house should have minimal pumping and heat losses. Smaller circs are far cheaper than larger circs.

Hopefully, some people here will have much more experience to share than I do.
 
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Old 02-24-06, 10:49 AM
shoretyus
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Lots around me

I even have a friend that makes his own design.

They are smokey . The chimneys are at a lower level than a house, so they will blow smoke around the yard during windshifts. When a low pressure weather system moves in the smoke sits at ten feet rather than 20 ft .

As WHO says they are an open loop design (?). They way they are built they typically have a 2lb pressure release in the top. A closed loop system reaches up to 28 to 30 lbs pressure. At that pressure these things would expload.

They are really designed for retrofit situations with a heat exchanger in the plenum. But they are popular because people can run a line to their garage/ workshops as well. I know of one using a truck radiator and fan. Looks funky but works.

And they aren't cheap . 6k plus pad and piping . It would be real easy to do nothing in your situation.

If you want a boiler system, there are some real High Effiecency woodboilers built in your area that are probably be a better choice.
 
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Old 02-28-06, 08:33 AM
shocked
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I put one in this fall. I went with the WoodDoctor made up in Nova Scotia due to the smoke factor. Other brands are all over the area where I live (near Dayton, OH). I have been relatively pleased with mine. I am installing radiant flooring as a secondary heat source (steam is primary, hopefully that will switch next year). The outdoor circuit is open and needs to have chemicals added to minimize oxidation. What you do inside with piping is up to you. As was mentioned above, the inside circuits tend to be closed, mine isn't but I used PEX tubing with an O2 membrane.

As far as what I can burn...Pretty much any kind of wood. I live on the edge of a small town where the prevailing wind blows out of town. I have to be careful not to burn painted/varnished or green wood when the wind is blowing in from the east. Otherwise, it's ok. I know people who burn old pallets and slab wood in theirs. Pallets burn too quickly in mine. I haven't tried slab wood yet.

They are pricy, and as steel prices and demand continue to rise so will their prices. Stay with a name brand, there are like 6-8 of them unless you are handy with the tourch. Normal placement of the boilers range from a few feet from the house to as far as 300 feet. I think the heat loss through insulated 1" Pex is like 1 degree per 100 foot. Mine is about 150 foot of run from the house.

Hope this helps.
 
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Old 03-01-06, 09:14 AM
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What type of WoodDoctor

Originally Posted by shocked
I put one in this fall. I went with the WoodDoctor made up in Nova Scotia due to the smoke factor. Other brands are all over the area where I live (near Dayton, OH). I have been relatively pleased with mine. I am installing radiant flooring as a secondary heat source (steam is primary, hopefully that will switch next year). The outdoor circuit is open and needs to have chemicals added to minimize oxidation. What you do inside with piping is up to you. As was mentioned above, the inside circuits tend to be closed, mine isn't but I used PEX tubing with an O2 membrane.

As far as what I can burn...Pretty much any kind of wood. I live on the edge of a small town where the prevailing wind blows out of town. I have to be careful not to burn painted/varnished or green wood when the wind is blowing in from the east. Otherwise, it's ok. I know people who burn old pallets and slab wood in theirs. Pallets burn too quickly in mine. I haven't tried slab wood yet.

They are pricy, and as steel prices and demand continue to rise so will their prices. Stay with a name brand, there are like 6-8 of them unless you are handy with the tourch. Normal placement of the boilers range from a few feet from the house to as far as 300 feet. I think the heat loss through insulated 1" Pex is like 1 degree per 100 foot. Mine is about 150 foot of run from the house.

Hope this helps.
If you don't mind my asking what type of WoodDoctor did you get the "Converter" or the "Original" I'm considering installing one my to replace my aging indoor wood boiler. The Converter sounds interesting but the price premium is quite steep compared to the Original models.
 
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Old 03-01-06, 12:45 PM
shocked
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I got the original. I was really looking for something comparable to the converter but most other brands needed to have some sort of shelter. Quite frankly, the converter was much larger than I really needed. One size doesn't fit all.
 
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