Friday, November 20, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
The Froling FHG is not only one of the most technologically advanced boilers, but is also one of the easiest boilers to start.
Here is a quick video on how to start a Froling FHG.
For more information on the Froling FHG, please click here.
The first Froling P4 Pellet Boiler installed in the USA has begun its first heating season.
The Froling P4 48/60 installed
Pellets being delivered to 15 ton silo.
After three weeks of operation very little ash in the two ash bins
For more information on the Froling P4 pellet boiler, please click here.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
I’m about to fill my oil tank again. This will be the fourth filling in 11 years. The idea of calling the oil company fills me with dread. At the rate I’ve been using fuel, about 1/10th of a gallon per day, that new 200 gallons of oil will only last until about 2014 and then I’ll have to call the oil company again. Adding insult to injury, I’ll crawl out on a limb and guess that oil will be more expensive in 2014. I just can’t win!
Dad taught me that wood is good so last November we installed the new Froling FHG wood boiler in our house. We’ve been using gasifying wood boilers in our home basically since it was built in 1997, but in an effort to take our wood burning to the next level, the Froling was the only way to step up. We are using the boiler in conjunction with thermal storage. It provides heat to the home through the same baseboard convectors and radiant floor heat that the oil boiler uses. The FHG also heats our domestic hot water during all seasons. By now you are probably wondering what FHG stands for, right? Beats me too, but so far there isn’t another residential boiler on the market with any sort of name that can match the FHG.
I’m not the most experienced wood burner as I wasn’t born with a match in my hand like all those folks I speak to that have been burning wood their whole lives, but I’ve run a few wood boilers. To me the FHG represents a sea change in wood boiler technology available in the US. More importantly, talk about a sea change, my wife doesn’t mind filling and lighting this boiler. Now, my wife is no prissy, but she’s a busy woman and frankly, she was intimidated by the steps required for lighting the other boilers we’d used in the past. You see, the FHG has a unique fire ignition port that allows us to fill the boiler with all of the wood we need, no kindling required, and by using paper only, with zero smoke roll out, light the boiler, and walk away in a couple minutes. The result is that this whole new lighting process is going to save me another few gallons of oil because the wood boiler is running even when I’m away. I haven’t had the guts to ask my mother in law to light the boiler when we’re all away yet, but…awe, never mind that idea.
Hang on, you won’t believe this: The FHG splits your wood for you too! That’s actually a lie, but it does have a smoke extraction passage to keep smoke in the boiler during loading. It also has a handy external heat exchange tube cleaning lever. Unlike most other wood boilers, this boiler only needs tube brushing once a year! For the air quality regulator in your life, the FHG offers the most precise combustion technology of any residential wood burning boiler in the US. It uses an oxygen sensor and thermometer to measure the exhaust and adjust the combustion air mixture automatically. Sound complicated? To you and me it is, but not to the engineers who built it. It works flawlessly and requires no intervention at all. With this boiler it doesn’t matter if you’re burning your kid’s broken balsa wood glider or an 8” round piece of oak, the FHG will burn with virtually laboratory accurate combustion. That doesn’t mean you can start burning old tires. The boiler still burns best with relatively dry split wood. However, it does mean that given any sort of reasonable wood for fuel, this boiler does a great job keeping the air clean and wringing every last British Thermal Unit out of the fuel.
With the Froling FHG I’m feeling good about wood!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Below is a step by step video for programming the Multi-Heat Pellet Boiler.
Below is a step by step video for starting and cleaning the Multi-Heat boiler.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Here is a link to Alliance For Green Heat’s first profile for their Green Heat Heroes. A great read.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Submit a Photo of your Woodpile for a Chance to Win!
First Place: HS-Tarm Solo Innova Wood Gasification Boiler ($8200.00 Value).
Second Place: Three winners will receive a Loveless Ash Vacuum ($235.00 Value).
Third Place: Five winners will receive a Moisture Meter ($125.00 Value)
First 50 Entries will receive a free woodpile poster from submitted woodpile photographs.
Photographs submitted will be used to create a poster. This poster will be sold with all of the proceeds donated to a Fuel Assistance Program
The Show Us Your Woodpile Contest runs July 1, 2009 thru April 15, 2010. Winners will be notified on Earth Day April 22, 2010.
Please click here for contest entry form and contest rules.
Please click here for downloadable contest flyer.
Some woodpile examples:
Seasonal Sculpture by Alastair Heseltine
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Letter written to the editor of Hearth and Home from Jon Strimling-President of PelletSales.com
To the Editor:
As state and federal policymakers work to stimulate jobs in renewable energy and give the economy a much-needed boost, we would be wise to heed the lesson of Germany. After substantial investment in wind and solar energy, Germany actually created more jobs in biomass than in either solar or wind.
According to a recent Heinrich Boll Foundation study, Germany created 75,000 jobs in solar photovoltaic, 84,000 jobs in wind and 96,000 jobs in biomass - with fewer public funds invested in biomass than in either solar or wind. German policymakers focused on using biomass as efficiently as possible - for the greatest measures of carbon emissions reduction, for energy independence and economic growth. By any of these metrics, using biomass as a heating fuel provides greater returns than electricity generation or transportation.
Installing a biomass heating system grows perennial jobs and infrastructure. Unlike solar or wind energy, the energy in biomass is harvested and transported by Americans year after year. However, we must be careful to use biomass in the most efficient manner. Using biomass fuels, such as wood pellets, for heat is 85-92% efficient, while using it for electrical generation is only 25-35% efficient.
Despite that, the Markey-Waxman Renewable Electricity Standards Bill (RES), which Congress is currently debating, would provide incentives to use biomass for electricity rather than its ideal use: heat. That can actually be counter-productive by depressing the adoption of more efficient biomass heating systems.
Fortunately, awareness of this issue is mounting. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) have each introduced new legislation which recognizes the benefits of using biomass to generate heat - and American jobs. Victories here will help biomass fuel manufacturers keep their feed stock pricing from increasing, strengthening the economic and environmental advantages of hearth appliances.
So jobs in our industry do grow on trees - but how we harvest those jobs is worthy of careful consideration.
Co-Chairman, Biomass Thermal Energy Council
President & CEO PelletSales.com
84 Daniel Plummer Road, Goffstown NH
Lambda controlled combustion in wood burning boilers combines modern computer processing and control with the ancient use of wood as fuel.
The problem: A traditional problem with wood burning is the emission of unburned, yet energy rich gasses as smoke. Burning smoke enhances efficiency and decreases harmful emissions. If wood is heated and turned into charcoal without active flame, about ½ of the energy content in the wood will be released as smoke. The combustion of wood involves three phases- drying (evaporation of water), smoke production, and charcoal. All three phases are taking place to some degree simultaneously, however the bulk of a load of wood in a combustion chamber will generally be in one phase or another depending upon how long the wood has been exposed to high temperatures/fire. Combustion of wood smoke is only achieved at very high temperature and with proper combustion air mixing. Because wood is changing phases as it is heated/burned and because wood is an irregular fuel by shape, species, moisture content, age, etc. regulation of combustion air in order to optimize combustion and to minimize emissions of smoke is very difficult to maintain manually.
The solution: Wood gasification boilers typically burn wood in an upper (primary) combustion/wood storage area. This combustion zone is relatively low in temperature and is quite large. The primary combustion chamber is generally supplied by air at the base of the base of the primary combustion chamber. Below the primary combustion chamber there is a secondary combustion zone generally consisting of a ceramic refractory chamber with injected combustion air. The secondary chamber is designed for high turbulence, high temperature and high residence time of the combustible gasses. A lambda control system automatically adjusts primary and secondary combustion air through independent air controls, optimizing combustion as the wood burns. The lambda control system monitors excess oxygen and the temperature of the exhaust, feeds this information to the processor, and adjusts air damper servo motors appropriately. Combustion air is adjusted to automatically match the composition of the wood fuel at any stage of combustion, and for any variation in the wood fuel. Harmful emissions are reduced and efficiency increases.
|2.||Lambdatronic S3200 Control|
|4.||Server-Controlled primary and Secondary Air Dampers|
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Recently, we have seen a trend toward locating boilers in locations remote from the buildings they will be heating. Outdoor water stoves, which demand remote locations due to their tendency to smoke profusely, have popularized the use of PEX tubing buried underground between the heat source and the heat load. While the use of PEX tubing for remote, underground applications has become commonplace, information about properly sizing the tubing to adequately meet heating demands is not readily available. We are concerned that many customers are burying tubing, at a sizeable expense that may be too small to carry an adequate volume of hot water to properly meet their heating needs. Undersized tubing can often be compensated for by very large circulators, but this can lead to piping noise, high electric bills, and premature erosion of plumbing components.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that most of the underground PEX tubing that is now being installed, whether pre-insulated or not, is 1” in diameter. It is not clear whether cost, availability, or marketing is more influential, but 1” underground PEX tubing has become “the pipe to use” despite its limitations. Tarm USA wants its customers to understand these limitations prior to installing the wrong size tubing.
In order to avoid complications due to undersized tubing when installing a Tarm USA wood burning boiler remotely, generally the following tubing sizes should be used between the boiler and the heat source:
|Category||Tarm USA Boiler Models||One way Pipe Length||Use “X” Diameter Tubing|
|1||Solo Plus 30/Excel 2000/Solo Innova 30/ FrÖling 20/30||<50’||1”|
|1||Solo Plus 30/Excel 2000/Solo Innova 30/ FrÖling 20/30||>50’/<100’||1”|
|1||Solo Plus 30/Excel 2000/Solo Innova 30/ FrÖling 20/30||>100’/<150’||1¼”|
|1||Solo Plus 30/Excel 2000/Solo Innova 30/ FrÖling 20/30||>150’/<200’||1½”|
|1||Solo Plus 30/Excel 2000/Solo Innova 30/ FrÖling 20/30||>200’/<250’||1½”|
|2||Solo Plus 40/Excel 2200/FrÖling 40||<50’||1¼”|
|2||Solo Plus 40/Excel 2200/FrÖling 40||>50’/<100’||1½”|
|2||Solo Plus 40/Excel 2200/FrÖling 40||>100’/<150’||1½”|
|2||Solo Plus 40/Excel 2200/FrÖling 40||>150’||AVOID|
|3||Solo Innova 50/ FrÖling 50||<50’||1¼”|
|3||Solo Innova 50/ FrÖling 50||>50’/<100’||1½”|
|3||Solo Innova 50/ FrÖling 50||>100’||AVOID|
|4||Solo Plus 60||<50’||1¼”|
|4||Solo Plus 60||>50’/<100’||1½”|
|4||Solo Plus 60||>100’||AVOID|
These suggested tubing sizes are based on a 20 degree temperature drop using a 50/50 water/glycol blend. Flow rates are assumed to be 10 gpm for the category 1 boilers, 14 gpm for the category 2 boilers, 18 gpm for the category 3 boilers, and 20 gpm for the category 4 boilers (See the formula at the end of this document to see how these flow rates are derived). In all cases these recommendations enable the use of readily available and reasonably sized circulators such as the Grundfos 15-58 Superbrute (3 speed) or the Taco 0014 by keeping head losses below 20 feet through the tubing itself. Of course there are other sources for head loss such as flat plate heat exchangers, fittings, and/or fan coils. These other sources for head loss are not inconsequential and should always be considered when calculating head loss.
By increasing temperature drop to 40 degrees, flow rates can be cut in half, which reduces head loss by a power of 1.75. So if flow is cut from 20 gpm to 10 gpm head loss is found by multiplying the head loss at 20gpm X .5 1.75. Some applications will be acceptable with a 40 degree drop, others such as fan coils may not. When a larger temperature drop is not possible, it is possible to increase flow rates through undersized tubing to improve heat transfer, however, as flow rates increase past 20 gallons/ minute head loss begins to increase dramatically. Keep in mind that if a person is planning to connect a remote wood boiler to a storage tank in another location, high head losses may be encountered. As head losses increase, flows will decrease. When the temperature differential between the boiler and tank is high the tank will still absorb all of the heat the boiler can make. However, as boiler and tank temperatures get with 15 degrees of one another for instance, it may be impossible to add any more heat to the tank. Consider the following example:
A Solo Plus 60 is installed in a shed 100’ from a home and a 20 degree temperature drop is required. A 50/50 glycol/water mix will be used. A 20 gpm flow is required. One inch PEX is the tubing. Head loss is 47.94’ through the tubing alone. Two Grundfos UP 43-70 F circulators will almost provide the necessary performance, 44’ of head @ 20 gpm (by placing identical circulators in series we can double the head produced at each flow rate). There is simply not a good “single circulator” solution for this amount of head loss as circulators that can handle these head loss conditions provide enormously high flow rates. For demonstration purposes only, these circulators draw 6.8 amps together (800Watts). Assuming that electricity costs $0.10 per Kw/hr. and that the circulators will operate 3000 hours/year, total electrical costs not adding for inflation will be $4,800.00 over a 20 yr period.
If we took the same example, but now used 1 ½” tubing, we could use two Grundfos UP 26-64F circulators. These circulators draw a total of 3.4 amps (370 Watts). Electrical costs over 20 years with this arrangement would be $2,220.00. The larger pipe in this example saves only $2,580.00 over 20 years.
Below you will find similar electricity cost scenarios, but in table format. The following examples involve a 50/50 water/glycol mix and 20 degree temperature drop:
|Flow||Pipe Length||Pipe Diameter||Head Loss||Circulator||20Year Power $|
|14||100’||1”||36.4||UP 26-99F x 2||$2,940.00|
HEAD LOSSES AT VARIOUS FLOW RATES, PIPE LENGTHS, PIPE DIAMETERS, AND ANTIFREEZE MIXTURES
|Flow (Gal/Min)||Temperature||Water Mix||Pipe Dia.||Pipe Length||Head Loss|
Above data courtesy of Wirsbo, Inc. Pressure loss for hePEX and AQUAPEX were converted to head loss by multiplying by 2.37.
H= head added or lost from the liquid
ΔP= pressure change
D= density of the liquid at its current temperature (approximately 60.75lbs/ft3 @180deg.)
In piping, as flow rates increase, head loss increases by a factor of 1.75. This means that if we double flow rates, head loss increases by 3.36 times (H X 2 1.75). If we triple flow rates, head loss increases by 6.84 times (HX 3 1.75). Using the Solo Plus 60 example from above: We have a Solo Plus 60 installed in a shed 100’ from a home. A 20 degree temperature drop is necessary. A 50/50 water/glycol mix will be used to prevent freezing. One inch PEX will be used between the buildings. Because we have a supply and return we are faced with 200’ of tubing overall. Head loss for 1” pipe at 10gpm is 14.64. If we double the flow rate to 20 gpm head loss becomes 49.19. IT IS NOT A LINEAR RELATIONSHIP!
Flow requirements can be calculated with a simple formula:
q= rate of heat output in BTUs
k= a constant based on the concentration of antifreeze
ΔT= temperature drop of the loop in degrees F.
k factors to be used in the above equation:
100% water = 500
70% water, 30% propylene glycol = 477
60% water, 40% propylene glycol = 465
50% water, 50% propylene glycol = 449
These k factors courtesy of Ipex “Manual of Modern Hydronics 3rd Edition”
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Background(for the technical savvy):
For an energy conversion device like a boiler the thermal efficiency is:
So, for a boiler that produces 30KW (100,000 Btu/h) output for each 40KW (140,000 Btu/h) heat-equivalent input, its thermal efficiency (n) is 30/40=0.75, or 75%. This means that 25% of the energy is lost to the environment.
Fuel Heating Values and Efficiency
In Europe the usable energy content of fuel is typically calculated using lower heating value (LHV) of that fuel, i.e. the heat obtained by fuel combustion (oxidation), measured so that the water vapor produced remains gaseous, and is not condensed to liquid water. In North America, the higher heating value (HHV) is used, which includes the latent heat for condensing the water vapor.
Definition of Fuel Heating Values
The lower heating value (LHV) of a fuel is defined as the amount of heat released by combusting a specified quantity (initially at 25 degrees Celsius or another reference state) and returning the temperature of the combustion products to 150 degrees Celsius.
The LHV assumes that the latent heat of vaporization of water in the reaction products is not recovered. It is useful in comparing fuels where condensation of the combustion products is impractical, or heat at a temperature below 150 degrees Celsius cannot be put to use.
By contrast, the higher heating value (HHV) includes the heat of condensation of water in the combustion products but primarily not on the moisture content of the fuel.
Relation Between Higher and Lower Heating Value
The difference between the two heating values depends on the chemical composition of the fuel (dry basis). For example, with hydrocarbons the difference depends on the hydrogen content of the fuel. For gasoline and diesel the higher heating value exceeds the lower heating value by about 10% and 7%, respectively, for natural gas about 11%.
The source of the text above was condensed from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/energy_conversion_efficiency Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Fuel Heating Values for Firewood
Chemically analyzed wood (dry mass) is a “hydrocarbon oxide”, as its major contents are carbon, oxygen and hydrogen with small variations of concentration. Higher concentrations of hydrogen content increases the heating values.
Typical heating values for wood fuel, based on dry mass (w=0%):
Hardwood (EU): LHV (dry) = 18 MJ/Kg (7756 Btu’s/lb) HHV (dry) = 19.3 MJ/Kg (8316 Btu’s/lb)
Coniferous wood (EU): LHV (dry) = 19 MJ/Kg (8187 Btu’s/lb) HHV (dry) = 20.4 MJ/Kg (8790 Btu’s/lb)
Lower heating value LHV can be calculated from higher heating value HHV if hydrogen content of fuel is known, as follows:
LHV (dry mass) = HHV (dry mass) – 0.22 * h
where: LHV, HHV = Heating Values in MJ/Kg, h = Hydrogen content in dry mass in %, 0.22 = Heat of vaporization of combustion products and stoichiometric factors in MJ/Kg
Water Content and Moisture Content in Fuel
Water content “w” is defined as amount of water mass in relation to total mass of fuel, given in %. Water content primarily is used in EU standards.
Moisture content “u” is defined as amount of water mass in relation to dry mass of fuel, given in %. Moisture content primarily is used in US standards.
Influence of water Content to Heating Values
Depending on water content “w” the both heating values are decreasing as follows:
The source of the text above: European testing material standards, especially Austrian standard ÖNorm M 7132
Influence of Heating Values used to Boiler Efficiency
At same heat output Qout the figure Qin in efficiency quotation at top of this document is calculated differently between EU and US standards.
Efficiency calculation in Europe:
Efficiency calculation in the United States:
Ratio between US and European Boiler Efficiency:
U.S. Efficiency Ratings Based on Moisture Content and Grain Derived from European Test Data
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Here is a link to common Tax Credit Frequently Asked Questions http://hpba.org/government-affairs/issues-legislation/economic-stimulus-bill-promotes-renewable-energy.
Monday, June 8, 2009
On June 1, 2009, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) finally issued its guidance for the 30% consumer tax credit (up to $1500) for the purchase and installation of a 75-percent efficient biomass-burning stove.
In a letter to the IRS in February 2009, HPBA asked for specific guidance on a number of issues, but we are confident that this minimal guidance is sufficient. We understand that the IRS is not asking for further testing if a stove manufacturer has already self-certified using valid test data.
Some important points of the tax credit are:
- To be considered, a stove must use the burning of biomass fuel to heat a dwelling unit or to heat water for use in such a dwelling unit, and have a thermal efficiency rating of at least 75% as measured using a lower heating value;
- Installation is covered, as long as it is a requirement for the stove's proper and safe functioning;
- This consumer tax credit is 30% (up to $1500) for the purchase and installation of a 75% efficient stove, and is available in both 2009 and 2010;
- The tax credit is an aggregate, i.e., the total $1500 can include other energy efficient items. For instance, if a consumer claims $900 on a new stove, then he will have $600 to purchase additional energy saving products in the same tax year;
- If a taxpayer uses the entire $1500 tax credit on a competing product then they cannot use it for a biomass stove in that same tax year;
- This credit applies only to existing principle residences;
- Manufacturers must provide a certificate of qualification for each product as required in the guidance which can be obtained for the customer to use;
- Taxpayers must retain the certification statement for tax recordkeeping purposes, but the certification is not required to be attached to the tax return;
- Prior purchases made between January 1, 2009, and June 1, 2009 are covered if the manufacturer offers a certificate of qualification for the product;
- If a manufacturer has documentation that a stove has already achieved the required efficiency rating, no further testing is required;
- The IRS has not stated that inserts are covered, or are not covered, but based on EPA's practice of treating inserts and freestanding biomass stoves in a similar fashion, manufacturers may choose to include inserts.
Overall, this tax credit is an outstanding achievement for the biomass stove industry and will clearly increase demand for the products. Please consult your tax advisor if you have ANY questions about how this measure applies to your particular circumstance. More information on this tax credit will be made available as it is learned.
June 3, 2009
W. Allan Cagnoli
Director, Government Affairs
H P B A
Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association
1901 North Moore Street, Suite 600
Arlington, VA 22209-1728
(703) 522-0086 x138 fax (703) 522-0548
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Many people throughout the country have a real concern for our economic and environmental future. The decisions we make regarding energy may well be the key to our success. For thirty years Tarm USA has been a part of this discussion and continues to be committed to advancing public understanding of the role that biomass can play as part of a well rounded national and personal energy strategy.
Debate about renewable energy production is often dominated by discussions about solar, wind and ethanol. In our daily lives we also tend to think a lot about gas mileage and electrical consumption. Thermal use of energy (space heating and domestic hot water production) represents 1/3 of the energy used in this country. In northern climates, space heating and hot water production represent 75% of our total residential energy use. While solar, wind and ethanol have their place and must be included as crucial components of our energy strategy going forward, biomass is often not mentioned as a real answer to reducing our oil addiction, carbon emissions and energy costs. Wood and pellet boilers may not be getting the press or have the prestige of a Photovoltaic (PV) array, or wind turbine in the front yard, but the use of biomass will far outpace these other sources when it comes to the amount of fossil fuel saved and reduced carbon output per dollar spent.
Comparing different types of renewable energy can be difficult because cost and output can vary widely. We have created the graph below to help. The graph shows examples of different alternative energy systems with cost of installation, amount of energy generated annually, amount of oil offset, and resulting fossilized carbon dioxide offset.
These are examples of some simple residential installations that add perspective to a purchasing decision by illustrating the true amount of energy savings, and therefore economic savings, that each type of system can generate annually. While the first three examples are relatively passive and require very little interaction from the homeowner, they cannot compete when it comes to overall reduction in fossil fuel use and carbon emissions. The use of biomass boilers with a heat storage system will not only reduce your dependence on fossil fuel for space heating and domestic hot water production, it has the potential to eliminate it completely.
The use of biomass boilers sold by BioHeatUSA has helped our customers reduce fossil fuel use by the equivalent of over 33,000 barrels of oil. The amount of CO2 produced for every pound of fossil fuel combusted is 3.15 pounds. This means that our boilers have reduced CO2 emissions by 165 tons in the last three years. BioHeatUSA/Tarm USA has been importing, distributing, and supporting the use of biomass boilers throughout the U.S. and Canada for more than 30 years, and will remain committed to supplying technologically advanced boilers with innovative heating solutions far into the future. We hope you take this option into consideration as you make your own energy choices and we would be pleased to answer any questions you may have.