System Temperatures

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Launch Day

I started the fill when I got up at 5:30AM, and let it run for about three hours, and then went out and checked the sight gauge, and we were about 6 inches from the crown of the boiler. I stopped filling, expecting to get some expansion when we heated the water, and I don't want any overflow.

One of the benefits of filling the GARN through the supply and return line of the house is that the air was already bled out of most of the circuit, so pump start up was real easy. Also the water is filtered as required by the manufacture, and we also soften the water. I got the house pump going, then let it run for four hours to circulate the chemicals, flush any remaining air in the lines.

The water temp after the fill was around 50F, a long way from where we need it to be for BTU extraction, so I was faced with trying to warm the H2O with the back up heating element I installed, or start a fire. We know I am dying to start a fire, but I thought I would try the element route just to test it out, and see what the rate heating might be. So, I flipped the 30amp breaker, and let it go for a bit. I let it run for 8 hours, and I got the temp up to 54F. Just not happening, So.............

At 5:00PM, we filled the GARN with the first load, and lit the match. The water temp was 54F, and we are aiming for 180F for starters, quite a delta-T. I have read on various forums, and from the GARN installation manual that when the water temp is below 120F, the GARN will condense any moisture in the exhaust, and deposit the water in the exhaust flue, and the result can be quite a mess. So, I set aside some very dry firewood, kept it inside, and used it to load the GARN on these initial burns. It worked out very good, and we had a minimal amount of condensation.
By 10:00PM, we were up over 150F, so we were heating the water at a rate of roughly 20F/hour. So, I decided to switch OFF the oil boiler, and start heating the house with the GARN. IT WAS TIME! Currently, I have a manual switch over wired in for the system, and that worked just fine. We were about 28F outside, and in was around 10:30PM, so I had zones calling for heat. Everything seemed to start-up fine, but my FANCY,NEW FANGLED TACO 008-VDT pump on the injection loop would only go through its start-up sequence, then throttle back to a mere trickle of flow. So first I thought, well I have the temp sensors placed incorrectly, so I fooled around with that for a bit, no better. So then, I thought maybe the dip switch settings were set incorrectly, and I spent some time reviewing the instructions to no avail. Then I thought well maybe the temperature differential was set wrong...nope. So, it was getting a little late, around 11:30PM, and I decided to give-in, and not heat with the GARN on the first night. So I switched back to the Saudi Oil conversion device, and bagged it until I could start fresh in the morning. Just an interesting side note. I got the GARN up to 156F at around 10:30PM, and for the must part I didn't take any HEAT(BTUs) off, since the injection pump wouldn't operate properly. The next morning at 6:00AM, the temp was 150F. That is only a 6F stand-by loss drop over 81/2 hours, and I still don't have the front face of the GARN insulated. Not so bad!

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