System Temperatures

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A lot of catching up.......

In the winter of 2007-2008, home heating oil sky rocketed to over $3.75/gallon in eastern Pennsylvania. That year we pre-bought our seasons worth of oil, but our supplier went bankrupt,and left us with-out oil in mid January. We then had to purchase oil at market rates, and our supplier had $2500 OF OUR PRE-BUY CASH! That began my search for a solution to break my dependence to the oil sheiks of Saudi Arabia, the Fat cats at Exxon, and become self-sustaining when it comes to heat and hot water.

We live on a small farm eastern pa, and have ample hardwoods to meet our heating needs. Of course the wood has to be cut,split,stacked and seasoned, but that is a lifestyle choice and another story. We have a 3000 sq foot house, and a 3000 sq foot outbuilding that we heat. Our goal was to find an efficient, clean, and practical system to meet our needs. The solution a GARN WHS 2000

The GARN WHS 2000 is a gasification wood boiler that stores the BTUs created in water. That water is then circulated to heat emiiters(Radient Tube and Base Board for our case) to heat the living space. You can think of the GARN as a heat battery that is charged by a fire in the firebox, and the charge is stored as hot water. Since the Boiler is a gasifier, it burns the gases emitted during the primary burn in a secondary burn chamber that can reach 2000F! The secondary burn results in a very effieciet and clean wood heating appliance.

We purchased our GARN from This Warm House in Mansfield,PA. The folks at TWH, Mark and Walt were great to deal with, and very helpful in the decision making process. Early June of 2009 our garn was delivered, and the fun began. As you can see from the photo, this is quite a large unit. The bulk of the size is dedicated to the integrated water storage......2000 gallons to be exact. That translates to 1.5 million BTUs of stored heat when the temperature of the water is raised from 120F to 200F!

The unit is 10 feet long, 6 feet wide, and weighs almost 2 Tons empty.

The manufacture requires the unit be housed and insulated, so we had some design choices to work through.
  • Would we install in our steel building?
  • Would we build a shed?
  • What was the best placement for running the supply and return lines?
All of these questions, and more required some careful thought, so the GARN was placed in the outbuilding until we could finalize some of our planning.

We decieded to centrally locate the boiler between the house, and our outbuilding. That would minimize the length of the underground run for the supply and return lines. It would also not consume any floor space in our outbuilding. The downside of this choice is we have to build a shed, or "GARN BARN" to house the unit. But in the end we felt this was the best route.

More later!