Wednesday, December 1, 2010

First Filling of our Wood Pellet Silo Using a Vacuum Delivery Truck

This summer we added a vacuum fill tube and vent. Our silo can now be filled with an auger or
vacuum type delivery truck.  Our first delivery using a vacuum truck went without a hitch.
The delivery took only about 30 minutes.
A quick video showing the filling of the silo. Notice fill tube on the right and venting
on the top left of the silo.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Information and Tips from the Pioneering Biomass Boiler

Logo Fröling_cmyk

ORF - Information and tips from the pioneering biomass boiler
Friday 29 October 2010 
Information and advice from the biomass boiler company Fröling. Pioneer on the subject of conscious heating - away from fossil to renewable energy. In the three-part series of consumer service program "specifically - information and advice, " said company president Dr. Ernst Hutterites and other specialized managers the benefits of the new, comfortable biomass heating systems.

(Sorry-the Videos are in German)

Here is the link to the Video and News article.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Pictures of Froling FHG Wood Boiler Gasification

Here are some cool shots of the gasification flame of a Froling FHG wood boiler. The pictures were taken by Duane Pearl at Hillside Energy; our dealer in Cochranton, PA.
1 (1)
                                                                      15 minutes into the burn
                                                                        45 minutes into the burn
                                                                            2 hours into the burn

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Featured Installation: Froling FHG 40/50 Wood Boiler

Installed by: CNY Pipeworx, Barneveld, NY, (315) 534-1074 www.
Completion Date: January 2009
Goal: To heat their home with the most efficient wood boiler on the market.
House Specifications Type of Heat: Radiant
New Renewable System Installed Wood Gasification Boiler: Froling FHG 40/50 170,000Btuh with 3 220 gallon pressurized storage tanks.
Froling Ccomm Froling Ccomm2

Featured Wood Boiler Installation: Solo Plus 60

Installed by: John Abbott Enterprises, Inc, Center Barnstead, NH (603) 269-2843
Completion Date: December 2008
Goal: To heat a large commercial space with wood utilizing larger storage tank.
New Renewable System Installed Wood Gasification Boiler: Scandtec Solo Plus 60 with 1000 gallons of storage.
IMG_1625 IMG_1634
IMG_1635 IMG_1665

Monday, August 30, 2010

Featured Pellet Boiler Installation: Fröling P4 20/25

Installed by: Collette Plumbing and Heating, Orleans VT (802) 754-6984
Completion Date: August 2010
Goal: Customer wanted to switch from burning cordwood/propane to a more user friendly biomass fuel.
House Specifications House Size: 2,000-2,200 sq. ft.
Type of Heat: FHW Baseboard
Fuel Consumption Average propane consumption: 1,400 gallons
Average wood consumption: 6-8 full cords
New Renewable System Installed Pellet Boiler: Froling P4 20/25 85,400Btuh with one 1-220 gallon buffer tank.
Pellet Fuel Storage: 4 ton metal storage bin integrated with single Froling probe.
Existing Renewable System Installed Solar thermal for domestic hot water.
Froling P4 Orleans 1 Froling P4 Orleans 3
Froling P4 Orleans 4
Froling P4 Orleans 5 Froling P4 Orleans 6
froling P4 Orleans 7   Froling P4 Orleans 9
Froling P4 Orleans 10   Froling P4 Orleans 11

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Featured Installation: Froling P4 48/60

Installed by: Integrated Solar, Brattleboro, VT (802) 257-7493
Completion Date: August 2010
Goal: To make the home’s heating and electrical needs Net Zero.

House Specifications
House Size: 6,500 sq. ft over 4 levels.
Pool Wing: 2,500 sq. ft/16,000 gallon pool.

Fuel/Electrical Consumption
Before                              After (Conservation Measures Taken)
6,400 Gallons              3,700 Gallons
56,600kW                      50,000kW

New Renewable Systems Installed
Pellet Boiler: Froling P4 48/60 198,000Btuh with 2- 220 gallon buffer tanks insulated to R40.
Pellet Fuel Storage: 14 ton storage room above garage with Komfort Box System-pneumatic delivery.

Solar Thermal: 12-4’ x 10’ flat plate collectors, ground mounted (pool heating and DHW production).
Solar PV: 192-215W panels, ground mounted; 41.28kW; designed for 100% of the demand.
Froling P4 ISolar 1  Froling P4 ISolar 2 Froling P4 ISolar 4Froling P4 ISolar 5  Froling P4 ISolar 6                              Froling P4 ISolar 7      Froling P4 Fuel Store Door Froling P4 ISolar 8  Froling P4 Store Room Connections          DSC00868 
 Froling P4 ISolar 2   Froling P4 ISolar 7      
Froling P4 ISolar 9    Froling P4 Isolar 10

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

New Froling P4 Maintenance Video

We have put together a video to demonstrate how to clean and perform the annual maintenance on the Froling P4 boiler.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

New P4 Pellet Boiler Video from Froling

Froling has just released this great short video on the Froling P4 boiler. The video gives an overview of features, benefits, system operations, storage concepts, and boiler accessories.

Check it out!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wood Heat Poster Raises Funds for Charity

The best photographs from our “Show Us Your Woodpile” contest are now featured in a poster! The 20 x 24 poster is available for $10.00 plus $3.00 for postage. All sale proceeds are being donated to the Vermont-based non-profit group Silent Heat, which distributes cord wood to families who cannot afford to heat their homes. 


If you would like a poster and at the same time help out a worthy cause please make checks payable to Tarm USA and send to:

Tarm USA
PO Box 285
Lyme, NH 03768
Or call 800-782-9927

The poster can also be purchased through the Alliance for Green Heat. Please make checks payable to Alliance for Green Heat and send to:

John Ackerly
6930 Carrroll Ave, Suite 407
Takoma Park, MD 20912

Tarm Biomass Dealer Advanced Radiant Design, Wins Two RPA Awards


For More information on the Monastery Project, click here.
For More information on the Snow Melt Project, click here.

A Beautiful Panoramic Picture from the Top of Mt Mansfield, VT

Scott Gates from our sales/technical staff, took this picture from the top of Mt Mansfield last weekend.IMG_0243_stitch

Click Picture for full size.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

P4 Pellet Boiler Cascade Control

With the cascade control, up to four P4 pellet boilers can be cascaded together. This gives you the ability to handle heating loads of up to 800,000Btuh. This is great for larger buildings and offers the flexibility of having redundant boiler systems and having multiple boilers to satisfy a larger load instead of one larger boiler to handle both the high and low demands of the heating season.
The control has the following features:
  • Cycles boilers automatically by service hours.
  • Will cycle automatically to the next boiler if there is a malfunction.
  • Boilers monitor storage tank with 4 sensors for accurate and precise operation.
  • All sensors and controls are connected to the master boiler which saves time in wiring.
  • If master boiler fails, an emergency program is activated to maintain a slave boiler at a constant output until the master boiler is reactivated.

Monday, June 7, 2010

DOE will now allow non-US manufactured Pellet Boilers

The U.S. Department of Energy will now allow non-US manufactured commercial fully-automatic wood pellet boiler systems and small district wood pellet and chip boiler furnaces. This means that municipal and state buildings, public universities and community colleges, etc. are now able to use American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA ) funds to purchase our fully automatic Froling P4 pellet boiler.

More information can be found here.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

New Pellet Planning Document


Please click on the image above for our new complete planning guide for switching
your home over to a wood pellet boiler.

The document contains:
-Basic information about pellets.
-Feature and Benefits on the P4 Pellet Boiler.
-How to plan-out and design a pellet store room.
-Different types of pellet feed systems.
-Components needed.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Heating the Northeast with Renewable Biomass Conference Follow-Up

Heating the Northeast conference was a huge success. Hundreds of attendees and speakers from across the country, Canada,  and Europe attended the event. There were two days of  presentations on retail, policy, and technology subjects and over 45 vendors related to the biomass industry showed off their wares.

BioHeatUSA BoothHeatNE

A View of the BioHeatUSA booth. 

The biggest news from the conference was their BOLD VISION for 2025. In a nut shell (or pellet) the five proposing organizations, call for an American Revolution to domestically produce the thermal energy consumed in the six New England states and New York. 

Click Here for Vision Summary                Click Here for Full Report

Vision Summary                                                   Full Report 

The Vision…

We Propose that 25% of all thermal energy requirements in the Northeast are met with  renewable energy resources by the year 2025.

We call for three quarters of the renewable energy to come from sustainably produced biomass from forest and farm resources transformed into heat with clean and efficient technology. 

Key Findings and Conclusions

  • Supply 19 million green tons of sustainable biomass for thermal energy available annually from forest and farm sources.
  • Achieve 25% of all thermal energy from renewable resources by 2025.
  • Achieve 75% of thermal renewable energy from biomass by 2025.
  • Convert 1.38 million households in the seven states to biomass for thermal needs.
  • Reduce 1.14 billion gallons of heating oil annually.
  • Reinvest $4.5 billion in resulting economic wealth in the Northeast economy.
  • Create 140,200 jobs.
  • Healthier communities-Improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gasses and build healthier communities.

Please click on the links above for more information.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Pleasant Street Apartments in Enosburg Falls, VT is Nearing Completion

The renovation of the Pleasant Street apartments should be completed by the fall. Pleasant Street apartments provide 24 apartments which 20 are available to families making 50 to 60 percent of the median income. The apartments have gone through a total overhaul which includes new insulation, siding, and heating systems. They have gone green by installing three Froling P4 Pellet boilers, and solar hot water panels.



Picture Showing Pellet Silo and One of three boiler rooms.


Froling P4 20/25 boiler.


Bottom of silo.


Second boiler/utility room nearing completion.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Cautionary Male

A Poem by Ann Kyle

I knew a man who burnt green wood,

A few sticks at a time.

He chopped and and lugged

And split and groaned,

Kicked in the door to bring it home,

Dropped his load upon the floor,

Then went back out to fetch some more.


His wife

(She’d been a lovely girl)

Stayed close to home to stoke.

Bent before that greenwood fire

Filled with passionate desire

She blew and blew and poked.


Never did a gentleman work so hard

To prove his worth for love.

One day, burdened, tired, sore,

He kicked the weather-beaten door

To find he had a wife no more.


She’d met a man who burnt dry oak,

Which left him time to tell a joke

Which kept his wee wife warm and cheer,

And winter…but three months a year.


Two gentlemen both with equal land,

Equal brawn and cleft of chin,

Equal depth of well and bin,

But one could not enjoy his life

And so the other won his wife,

And non e’er burnt greenwood again.


Poem reprinted with permission from Ann Kyle. The poem was printed in the winter edition of  Green Living Journal

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Biomass for your home?

There is a lot of talk and publicity around biomass these days. Much of the discussion centers around ethanol production or utility scale woodchip-fired electrical generation. What, however, do we mean when we are talking about residential biomass? Well, for the most part, we are talking about good old firewood! The second most common biomass used by homeowners is wood pellets. Firewood and pellets are most commonly burned in free-standing stoves, but can also be burned in central heating boilers or furnaces (boilers produce hot water and furnaces produce hot air).

If you are in a cold climate, as most readers of this publication are, and you are considering an alternative energy source for your home, a central biomass boiler is well worth considering. A boiler is more versatile than a furnace in that it can easily be tied into most any type of heating distribution system (hot water baseboard, radiant floor, forced hot air, etc.) and can easily be made to produce domestic hot water too. As well, no other alternative energy source has the ability to practically, and cost effectively, produce one hundred percent of your space heating and domestic hot water needs.

Now I know that is a provocative thing to say and before you fire up emails to the editor, give me a chance to explain the statement. The more high profile alternative energy technologies of photovoltaics, solar thermal and small scale wind have improved significantly over the last generation and the current state and federal incentives make all of these well worth considering. However, no one would suggest that the electricity produced from PV or a residential scale wind turbine should be used for the production of domestic hot water or space heating, and in cold climate regions like New England, the vast majority of our household energy needs are for space and water heating. Likewise, while solar thermal is a great way to produce a high percentage of your domestic hot water, a typical residential scale collector array will not gather enough energy to provide a significant amount of space heating in anything but the smallest, most energy efficient home. If you were to tell me that a very well insulated, passive solar home, with excellent solar gain, radiant floor heat and an oversized solar thermal array COULD be heated with solar only, I would certainly agree with you. However, most people who are considering alternative energy are looking for options for the less than optimized home they already live in and that is where a wood or pellet boiler really shines.

But doesn’t burning wood create pollution? Well, it certainly can. During the woodstove boom of the 1970’s a haze of wood smoke lying in the valleys on a cold winter morning was a common sight. Today the countryside is dotted with outdoor wood boilers slowly spewing smoke whether winter or summer. By 1990 the US EPA had developed rules regulating the emissions of woodstoves and today’s appliances are very efficient and clean burning. In the last few years the EPA has developed additional standards that are improving the performance of outdoor boilers. Within the next couple of years the EPA will have in place long overdue, new, stricter emissions regulations that will apply to all solid fuel burners. Welcome news to be sure, but what do we do in the meantime?

Wood pellet burning appliances are a good option for many people. Bagged fuel for a freestanding stove, or even automatically feeding fuel from a bulk bin of loose pellets to a boiler, makes fuel handling much easier than firewood. Also, because of the very consistent nature of the fuel (homogeneous and very dry), it is easy to design a clean burning, highly efficient pellet stove or boiler. So why burn anything else? In rural areas, firewood is often significantly less expensive than wood pellets, and the appliances are normally less expensive too. Further, many people have access to their own woodlot further reducing fuel costs. By being able to cut your own, or buy from a neighbor, firewood offers independence and a measure of self-sufficiency that any fuel that must be processed and delivered does not. Make no mistake though, firewood is a lifestyle choice and requires a pretty big commitment of time and effort. Pellets offer a huge convenience and long burn times, and if you are in a more suburban area, pellets and firewood may be comparably priced, so for many people pellets are the right choice.

As I mentioned above, pollution from pellet burning appliances is not a big concern. Firewood, however, can be a concern. Some of the pollution created by wood burning today is simply a result of poor practice and some the result of inherently inefficient appliances like the traditional outdoor wood boiler. There are ways to burn wood efficiently and cleanly, and there are appliances that operate on those same principles.

The first thing to do to maximize the efficiency of wood burning is to make sure that the firewood is dry. A year of stacked, covered, outdoor storage should yield a supply of mixed hardwood with a moisture content of around 20%. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to turn water into steam. For example, firewood at 20% moisture content has approximately twice the energy available to heat your home as green firewood. As well, wet wood tends to smolder producing smoke and creosote; think of the last time you tried to burn a brush pile or camp fire when the wood was too wet. Regardless of what you burn it in, dry firewood will provide more heat and create less smoke and creosote than wet wood.

In addition to WHAT you burn, it is also important to consider HOW you burn. In order to burn wood most efficiently and most cleanly, it must be burned hot and fast. You may have experienced the smoking brush fire mentioned above and observed how the smoke disappears when the wind comes up and the fire really roars. As this experienced suggests, in addition to dry wood, the key to an efficient wood fire is lots of air. Large amounts of air assure a high primary burn rate and, very importantly, sufficient excess air (oxygen) to allow for complete secondary combustion. Secondary combustion is the burning of the smoke and creosote vapor (together referred to as wood gas) that is not consumed in the primary combustion process taking place immediately in and around the fuel load. Modern woodstoves accomplish secondary combustion by introducing fresh air into the top of the firebox. Next time you get a chance, look up at the top of the inside of the firebox of a running woodstove and you will see this secondary combustion in action. For the ultimate in clean burning and high efficiency, firewood can be burned in a downdraft gasification boiler.

Instead of relying on the natural draft of a woodstove or traditional wood boiler to move air through the boiler, a gasification boiler relies on a motorized fan to move air through the boiler (remember the wind in the brush pile). Additionally, the secondary combustion happens in a separate, refractory lined, burn chamber. The wood gas that is produced in the primary firebox is forced by the fan down into this second chamber. As this hot, smoky, oxygen-starved gas is forced into the secondary combustion chamber, a stream of fresh combustion air is injected into it and the wood gas lights off like a torch. This torch-like flame fires into the refractory lined chamber where temperatures may reach as high as 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. Only at these high temperatures can all the smoke and creosote left over from the primary fire be consumed. As a result of this very complete combustion, not only does a gasification boiler dramatically reduce emissions, but instead of sending all the energy that is contained in the creosote up the chimney, it is used to heat your home. In other words, with a downdraft gasification boiler, not only do you burn much more cleanly, but you also burn less wood.

So, now we have loaded our downdraft gasification wood boiler with nice dry firewood, the fan is forcing air through the primary and secondary combustion chambers, and we have achieved the hot, fast, clean –burning, efficient fire we are looking for. But wait, what to do with all that heat? Sure, the house will use some of that heat, but what about when the house is up to temperature and the thermostats are not calling for heat? With a fossil fuel boiler, when the thermostats stop calling for heat, the temperature of the water in the boiler rises until it hits a set point where the burner simply shuts off. When there is a new call from the room thermostat, heat is pumped away from the boiler and the boiler water temperature begins to drop. Once the boiler temperature falls to a low set point, the burner turns on and the boiler is brought back up to temperature. The very same thing happens with a pellet boiler, however, with a wood boiler you cannot simply turn off a wood fire. So, instead of turning off a burner when the high temperature set point is reached in a gasification boiler, we simply turn off the fan that moves combustion air through the boiler. This does not completely extinguish the fire, but it does dampen it down to a very low burn rate. It is completely acceptable to have a wood boiler sit in this idle mode for short periods of time between calls for heat; however, you do not want to allow excessive idling. Idling is the opposite of the hot, fast fire we are looking for and produces significant amounts of smoke and creosote. When a gasification boiler is in idle mode, this smoke and creosote is contained in the primary firebox (it does not go up the chimney), but that smoke and creosote vapor will condense and build up on the inside of the firebox. Excessive amounts of creosote are corrosive and will prematurely rot your boiler from the inside out.

There are two ways to avoid this build up of excessive creosote on the inside of the primary firebox: one is to only burn the boiler when there is sufficient load (cold outside) – say from Thanksgiving to the first of March. This does a good job of minimizing idling and you simply burn fossil fuel in the transition seasons of spring and fall.

Another way to address the idling issue is to present the boiler with an artificial load by means of a large volume of thermal storage. Thermal storage takes the form of a tank, or tanks, typically holding 500 – 1000 gallons of water. When the boiler is running at maximum output and efficiency and the house no longer calls for heat, instead of shutting off the fan and going into idle mode, the boiler is able to continue to burn hot and fast with the extra heat being generated dumped into the thermal storage. Think of these tanks as large heat batteries. Now, when the wood boiler runs out of wood and goes cold, the heating system recognizes that and starts to pull stored heat from the tanks. During the spring and fall you may only have to burn your wood boiler once every day or two to heat your home. In the summer, you may only need to run the wood boiler once or twice a week to produce and store enough energy to heat your domestic hot water.

Adding thermal storage will improve the operation of any wood boiler, so even if you already have a non-gasifying traditional wood boiler and would like to increase its efficiency, make it easier to use, use it more of the year AND reduce the amount of wood you burn and the amount of creosote you are producing, you may want to consider adding storage to your existing system. Then when the current wood boiler needs to be replaced, you are all set up to install a modern gasifying boiler in an optimized configuration.

Another benefit of storage is that it can provide a convenient and cost effective way to integrate solar hot water with a wood boiler heating system. The two systems are brought together at the thermal storage tank giving you what some might describe as the ultimate home heating system.

One thing that is important to make clear is that if your wood boiler has gone cold AND your thermal storage has been depleted, your back-up fossil fuel boiler will kick in automatically. If you are running a wood boiler without thermal storage, then the fossil fuel boiler will take over as soon as the wood boiler has gone cold. The system is set up in such a way that you do not need to worry about switching between systems, it is all done automatically.

Many of us feel an urgent need to pursue alternative means of providing energy for our homes. Personal and national independence, pollution and carbon output reduction and reducing costs are all powerful motivators. The choices can be bewildering; I hope this article has been helpful in enabling you to evaluate the residential biomass option. Additional online resources you may wish to consult are:

Friday, February 12, 2010

Table on the State of New Hampshire Oil Heat Expenditures

Here is some amazing(shocking) data on the state of New Hampshire’s oil consumption and costs.
Year (1) Amt. NH
Consumption of #2
heating oil
Gallons (2)
Average Price $/Gallon (3) Total Expenditures $ Amt. of Expenditure Exported out of NH/US Economy $ (4)
FY2005 354,238,300 1.958 $693,598,591 $554,878,873
FY2006 307,871,200 2.446 $753,052,955 $602,442,364
FY2007 315,039,689 2.461 $775,312,674 $620,250,139
FY2008 283,687,796 3.328 $944,112,985 $755,290,388
FY2009 274,210,417 2.936 $805,081,784 $644,065,427
TOTALS 1,535,047,402   $3,971,158,989 $3,176,927,191 (5)


  1. Fiscal year runs July 1-June 30
  2. Source: NH Dept. of Environmental Services
  3. Source: NH Office of Energy and Planning
  4. 80 cents of every dollar leaves NH economy; Source: USDOE Energy Information Agency
  5. =$11,428 average expenditure per household in which oil is primary heating fuel (278,000 households per US Census Bureau American Community Survey 2006 data)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Simplified Pipe/Pump Sizing Chart (Copper Tubing)

Pipe Size


Friction Head Feet 100’ (straight pipe)

Friction Head Feet 100’ (allowance for fittings and boiler)

Gallons per Minute (GPM) at 20 degree Delta T














































In order for a pump to obtain the above GPM, the pump must be sized properly to overcome the friction head of 4.2-6 feet per 100’ of copper pipe.

Example: For water to move 7.1 gallons per minute through a 1” pipe that is 200’, the pump must be able to overcome the friction loss of 4.2’-6.0’ per 100’ (4.2’-6.0’ x 2=8.4-12.0 feet). The pump will need to be able to move 7.1 GPM with a 8.4-12 friction head.

Friday, January 8, 2010

New Solo Plus/Excel Start-Up Video

A quick video showing how easy it is to start a Solo Plus video. This video could also be used to start the Excel Multi-fuel boiler.

Which would you choose?