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david willis

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since Apr 01, 2013
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Recent posts by david willis

Do they still make those 'coolant filters'. That would be nice to run inline, and if it was clear, you could see when it was gone. I still need to get something in place, but have not had time to get it in place yet.

I did however remove the top and side firebrick (because they fell out due to my temporary saggy metal). Anyway, I found it works fine without it, and lets me put in more wood, which lasts up to 24 hours. I also did a video of me cleaning the ashes out. I would like a tray, but for now this is not too bad.

10 years ago
I like your sacrificial anode idea, and have heard about it, but am not very familiar with it.

Are you saying I could get a chunk of 'sacrificial anode', and throw it in my boiler, and it would corrode away instead of my steel boiler and water pumps?

I am very curious about how long the boiler will last due to high heat and water. I know there is some rust, because it was rusty inside even before I put the water in, due to snow, and rain while I was finishing it up. I can only imagine what it looks like inside now after having that hot water in there for months... All internal steel (firebox, pipes, etc) are made of 1/4" steel, and the outside water jacket is made of 10 gauge. I also have a copper heat exchanger in there. I know they make some stuff to put in boilers to reduce corrosion (a water treatment), which I have been thinking about getting. But currently I am just using water from my tap (soft water, which may even be worse because of salt). I plan on flushing it out in the spring....
10 years ago
Thanks James. I looked at that thread, but I don't really know enough about the stove to have any good comments, and It looks like they have it working. But I still don't know what they did to fix it..? I would think they would need a taller insulated chimneyt to pull a stronger draft. All I know is my chimneys are not tall enough to pull a draft, especially since the exaust hast to go down first before it goes up.

Anyway, I took some chimney temperature readings to see how hot the burn is, and how much of that heat is used to heat the water.

I found the hottest part of the pipe after it leaves the boiler is under 300 deg F, and it looks like my secondary burn is probalby over 2000 deg. Maybe I am wrong though...

Assuming the burn temperature is 2000 Deg, and my water temperatue is 160 deg (that is the temparture of the water when I took the video), At 100%, I could cool the air down to 160 deg (or lower it 1840 deg). If I lowerd it down 1700 deg (2000-300), then it is converting 92
% of the heat to the water.... Not bad!
10 years ago
haha... that is funny, I have already been poring my used motor oil over my pile of wood. I don't know if it helps the burn, but it can't hurt. I like the idea of a dripper to feed that right into the second burn chamber, but I suspect bacon grease would harden up when it is -10 deg out... we would need to put it someplace warm....

I have always been afraid to use a used propane tank, because I am afraid it would blow up when I try to cut it, and they are kind of expensive.... I will have to think some more on that, but I do like the arch idea.
10 years ago
I will definitely start a new thread when I start working on the second boiler. I have a lot of thoughts on what to do, but for sure I need a better way to hold up the firebricks. Those strips of metal get hot, expand, then warp, or crack the welds (they were just a quick fix to see if keeping the heat in the primary burn are would help, which it did). I really like the idea of a dome top... I wonder what I could use for the steel on the dome???

I also like my cyclone mixer, I think it did give a little better burn, but this new design works well, and is so simple. When I get a chance I will draw up my current thoughts into some plans, and start a new thread on it.

I also plan on doing some modifications to my boiler this summer, but yes, I do think the second version will be nicer and bigger. I can currently almost get 24 hours out of one fill (unless the temperature gets too low), and this is using wood that has not cured. I think with a few modifications and good wood (I am going to fill my wood shed in the spring, and let it cure all summer) I will be fine with my old boiler too.

Thanks for your comments, I always look forward to your ideas.

10 years ago
Good to hear from you again James.

Yes that is actually very accurate. The only thing that is a little different it that the blower splits the air into the primary and secondary sooner than you have, and I do have ball valves to adjust the amount of air for each.

I attached a picture of how it I have it connected.

Other than that you have it.

I am still planning my second boiler for my friend (he wants the new version with a larger primary burn box). I want to make it so it is easier to clean and can run a 24 hour burn... When I have some plans I will post them.
10 years ago
sorry, for some reason youtube thinks that video contains copy write material. I uploaded it again, and now they like it.

10 years ago
I am not sure if I have explained how the secondary burn tunnel is setup or not, but I cleaned out my stove today, and made a video of it.
10 years ago
I hope this is the correct section to put this in, but it looks good to me. I am working on getting our home setup to be energy independent (meaning it won't have any energy costs). I have been working on this goal for a couple years now, and have just made a video of my progress so far.


I also have a website that describes what I am doing

Plans I have beyond what I have done so far is to put up hot water solar panels to heat my hot water during the summer, add a second array of grid tie panels with battery backup, add an attached green house onto my house so I can have fresh vegetables year around, and grow trees around my property to supply my wood for my wood boiler (I plan on growing 3-4 rows poplars close together around the boarder of my property). I think this should be enough wood to keep me in supply...

Some other thought I have been considering in the future for fun:

1- replace my wood boiler with a true wood gasifier that runs a gen set to produce power. The waste heat from the water cooled engine and exhaust will be used to heat the hot water.

2- I would like to see if I can make a digester to produce methane, and convert my electric range and dryer over to running on methane.

So far what I have done is very exciting and has been working extremely well. My power bill has gone down from $200-300 per month to $30-$50 per month, and should be down to zero or even getting paid by the power company when I am done. I have received a lot of help on these forums while building my wood boiler, so I would like to share what I have done here and would like to know if anyone had any suggestions or thoughts on what I am doing.

Thanks for reading.

10 years ago
The boiler was put to the test the last couple of weeks. One morning it was -19, and our house was nice and warm. The only thing I need to improve on is the removal of the ash. I only clean it out once a week, but it would be nice to have a tray or something a little easier.

I also thought I would post how this has reduced my power consumption.... The last two months on the attached image shows you the last two years. As you can see Nov and Dec would normally be way higher, and this December has been extra cold, so it would be very high.

10 years ago