Merry Christmas All!!
Anyone familiar with the Benjamin combination oil/wood boiler manufactured in Nova Scotia??
So far, it's either the Benjamin or Murphy's...
Where did 2009 go??
I didn't know a wood ,HHO combo existed. I know there are furnace add-ons,but not a single unit like the benjie. Plus it does domestic hot water. That's OK.
That Benjie does look like a nice unit, be considerably more expensive than building a Murphy's Machines one, but then you have to be talented enough to do the building (which I am not).
Thanks for the link.
The wood /oil combo units work just fine if wood is used most of the time. They will eat a lot of oil if you don't keep them feed with wood.
They can be tempermental on straight wvo, the cad cell has trouble seeing the light wvo makes, they are in no way shape or form low maintenance, depending on the nozzle used they will burn up to .75 gallons per hour, as a general rule a wvo/wmo boiler will burn around ten gallons of oil per day to heat a house.
So then a Murphy's machine one would be better ? Figure it is concepted to burn properly ect.
Yes definitely. Every wood-oil combo furnace I've seen couldn't burn wood or oil very efficiently.
I am just going on what thing look like on the surface. If one system is a PITA on maintenance and costs a bundle and there is an alternative that incurs less cost, and the person has the talent to build, then it seems that would be the logial choice, without knowing any of the real world machinations of how these things work.
Using those criteria it's Murph hands down, no question.
Me too. These were very popular for a spell when I lived up north. They needed to make a compromise for a dual fuel setup. Needless to say we never changed out a dual for a dual it was always a dual for an oil or propane furnace. The fire boxes in the units up north where huge (dont remember the make but they were all orange and built by the same manufacturer) and you could pack enough wood in em for a full day and had a pretty slick automatic damper for the wood fire too but they were also a bltch to clean as well as being less than efficient...
I'm getting all the main players here responding today!!
Benjamin claim an 85% efficiency rate in HHO and it sure seems to be a good compromise to be able to burn biodiesel, wood and waste glycerin...
I can get this unit at $3600 wholesale with controls...
And the wholesaler does indicate many sales in Northern Ontario...
But then again...they might not say any different...
And yes, I have seen many people get frustrated with the inefficiency of huge outdoor wood boilers and the abundance of fuel to feed them...
I wonder what Murphy thinks...
Hey I didnt even notice that you are from up north, where are ya at?
There is nothing wrong with 85% efficiency!
The units we were swapping out is going back 20 years or so and they were toast then, obviously why we were changing them out... Burners have come along way since then.
A Riello burner in a new furnace/boiler with a clean heat exchanger might make that. As soon as the heat exchanger gets gunked up with wood and WVO residue the efficiency will plummet. Same observation, never seen one installed as a replacement. The creosote deposits also corroded the heat exchanger, limiting the useful life. In every case they were replaced with separate wood and petro fuel or electric units. Where the grid is hydroelectricity, a high efficiency gassifying wood stove like the Pacific Energy Summit with an electric furnace for air circulation and freeze protection back-up is the best combination in a low energy house.
As soon as the heat exchanger gets gunked up with wood and WVO residue the efficiency will plummet.
I didn't realize this John...
So these boilers become very inefficient in time?
Are yearly maintenance cleanings and regular periodic hot fires sufficient to drastically change their increased fuel requirements with creosote buildups?
Would the heat exchanger similarly get gunked up on bio?
Are there any solutions to make these worthwhile?
My application involves sending hot water to heat 3 separate buildings...
Burning wood, waste glycerin and biodiesel in a Becket burner seems to be a worthwhile combination to mostly eliminate a $5000 yearly gas bill...
I thought you would love this boiler John since you burn your waste glycerin...
Hey I didnt even notice that you are from up north, where are ya at
I'm in the Valley, just north of Sudbury...
A convenient stop on the way to Nairn...
From Val Caron, it's only a small detour through Chelmsford and back to the 17 West...
For lunch...or dinner...
You've helped me before Jon...Thanks again...
And I already owe you a fresh chicken...Remember
You guys in Ontario should also know that now is a good time to consider grid-tied solar and wind electricity generation with an $0.80 per Kwhr rebate from Mother Hydro for 20 years...
This program started in Oct/09...
So, a $30,000 5000W solar system could theoretically generate $400 to $500 per month payback before usage...
Kind of makes you want to consider mortgaging the farm!!!
Nice country up there! My mom and dad live right on the Vermilion river just east of Nairn... Wish I was there now!
Actually its 80.2 cents for solar and only 13.5 cents for wind. I am looking into biomass (WVO or biodiesel) and its at 13.8 cents, but you also have to claim it as income which will drop that rate in half likely by the time you pay the man. I may just go with strait net metering but we shall see how it all turns out...
Here is the latest overview of the microFit program including the fees.
Nope I must have been imbibing heavily!
This should be another post!! LOL
Are you evaluating an electrical grid-tied solar installation Jon?
Please elaborate on this biomass idea?
Nope, no solar for this guy. I have 2 old antique Ruston and Hornesby air cooled diesel generators at 6kw each. I am going to restore the engines this winter (time permitting) and burn biodiesel and or WVO in them. Grid tied on either a net metering or microFIT setup depending which way the wind is blowing...
I wont make any money either way but I will at least be able to offset my electrical bill and reduce my carbon foot print even more while doing something I enjoy!
It seems to me that even a small PV installation would compliment self electricity generation...
With a satisfactory return on investment...payback...
And possibly contribute to this enjoyment...
we're still in the inbibing season!!!
I think I get really turned off by the high prices of manufactured units. To compound that problem, they build them as cheaply as they can for profit and then screw you on the cost of wear and repair parts.
In the end, I believe that most folks with basic metal working skills are better off building their own units (wood or oil)for a lot less money while being able to retain complete control over quality and workmanship.
Wood burners have their faults but so do oil burners. A cord of high quality wood equals roughly two 55 gallon drums of used oil. The oil seems to be a lot less hassle to transport but wood is more carbon neutral unless you're using veg oil.
As for my home made outdoor boiler, so far I am very happy with it. I burn 3 to 4 gallons of oil per day (Michigan around 15 to 25 degrees lately) and I keep my home at whatever temperature I want it to be. (The wife likes 68 degrees most of the time).
Its also heating my domestic hot water tank which means we get to take much longer showers without having to worry about a shortage of hot water or the cost incurred for the luxury.
The oil has been very easy to find for free in relatively large quantities.
My boilers efficiency is probably around 65% to 70% and it can run as high as 150,000 btu's/hr but I keep it tuned down to about 80,000 because I don't require that much power.
My boiler design is not quite perfect but its getting there. One of the faults I am learning about is fuel viscosity. If I crank up the internal heaters to decrease viscosity, then the unit gets cranky if I fill it with cold oil. If I turn down the internal heaters, it has less of a problem with cold fuel but it becomes sensitive to changing viscosity due to different waste oils being fed to it. (IE: Motor oil from a motorcycle is going to be thinner than motor oil from a semi truck).
Its worth noting that the fuel issue I just mentioned can easily be solved with a simple positive displacement pump like an electronic metering pump or gear pump. I've been using a cheap-o $30 fuel pump because I wanted to keep costs as low as I could.
After 3 months of running on used motor oil, maintenance has been limited to filling the fuel tank with oil and replenishing the water jacket with new water every now and then. I also have to make a small air/fuel ratio adjustment when I change fuel types.
All in all, I would say that the project is well worth the effort to build. It is really not that hard of a task. My home has never been so comfortable because I could never stomach the high heating bills.
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