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 12-14-2003, 14:57 Post: 71144
Peters

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Has anyone else played with pellet stoves? I bought a new/slighty used Whitfield Optima 30 a few years back. I experimented with burning corn in it but found that the corn local does not get to low enough mosture levels. I have to burn wood and corn mix.
The last two winters I have been burning only the wood pellets. We have been buying direct from the manufacturer therefore we have been less than 140/ton. I burn a little over a ton a year. The house is fairly efficient (4K sq ft) and we have a heat pump so I burn the stove and suppliment with the pump and allow it to move the air.
My question to anyone that has experimented with them is that my stove does not seem as efficient as the newer one. I burn about 60 lb/day if on full. I have only 6 air channels does anyone have a new Whitfield?






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 12-15-2003, 09:04 Post: 71208
Murf

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Why don't you try a simple drying unit, force a small amount of the hot dry air coming off the stove up through a hopper of corn similar to the conventional setup we use in an Ag. operation.

If you're only using 60 lbs. a day, you would only need to dry a fairly small amount per day.

Besides during heating season you probably could stand a little extra humididty in the house anyway.

I used to have a corn stove in the shop, it was a Canadian built unit which had a dryer built in, the corn at the bottom of the hopper was dried before the auger could get it to the firebox.

The pellet stove is run on pure wood pelets, we get them a little cheaper than you guys south of us, at the price they are here it's not worth fussing with corn any more. Presently we are paying C$125/ton delivered, that is about US$92.50/ton.

Best of luck.






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 12-16-2003, 14:02 Post: 71369
Peters

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Murf;
At that price we may need to look into importing. We are purchasing at semi load quanities anyways. Who are you purchasing from?
I was curious about suppling bulk pellets. The reusable folding plastic gaylords are a little over $100 dollars each. With a plastic liner, lids and fold down sides it would allow you to scoop your pellets and the gaylord could sit outside. I am curious what it could do to price.
I am not sure that I could easily dry pellets. with my stove. At present it sits in the family room with gold trim so?
I guess I could set up an out side dryer of some sort? I have a old feed hopper. Again I am not sure it is work it. We are already far lower than conventional heating costs.






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 12-16-2003, 15:11 Post: 71380
Murf

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There is a local company who produce pellets, they also supply shavings and sawdust in bulk or bagged form to the local horse and dairy operations, etc. for bedding material.

I'm told they have some deal with a big company in a major city whereby they take scrap wood (pallets, crates, etc.) out of the conventional waste stream and divert it to their own use. They grind the scrap wood, pass it under an electro-magnet to remove metal and then convert it to pellets, thereby passing the savings on. One man's waste is another man's heating source, Laughing out loud. They package the pellets in old feed sacks, but could put it anything I suppose.

How is it you buy semi loads, do you buy as part of a co-operative or something?

I don't know about availability down there but up here we can gewt add-on units which stand next to a forced air furnace and dump their heat directly into the plenum for distribution as central heating, the oil or whatever else would then just be back-up or supplemental heat. One of these units would be ideal for a drying setup. If you have an outdoor feed bin almost any farm should be able to sell you dried corn for a good price.

Best of luck.






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 12-18-2003, 15:36 Post: 71619
Peters

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I believe the source we are using in AR is also using waste wood.

I am hooked up with my Mennonite friends that also have pellet stoves. I made a run last year with the trailer and truck. This year we had enough for a semi.

I have seen the units you are talking about and priced them. The units I looked at are from B.C. They are about the same price as the floor units.

The corn here does not dry well enough in the field as the humidity in the air keeps it high despite the heat. I would need to dry it even from the bin. Not sure the price is any cheaper though.






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 12-18-2003, 16:04 Post: 71626
Murf

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Talk to the nice people at your local feed mill, if they sell bulk corn it HAS to have been dried, they can't put anything too wet in the bins or it will go mouldy and be garbage as feed.

There is another type of stove called a side-draft style multi-fuel stove which will burn wood, pellets, chips, corn kernels or even cobs, or almost anything else flammable which will fit in it for that matter.

The trick to these units is that the fuel is gravity fed from a hopper above the firebox, the fire burns sideways because of the air feed. This means that once you have a fire burning you can put fresh cut green wood into it, the heat of the fire will have dried it BEFORE it gets to the fire, likewise, you can load it with corn straight from the field.

They make free-standing 'stoves' as well as 'furnaces', they even have a water heating jacket option I think, prices run from about US$750 to US$1850 depnding on model.

Have a look at the link.

Best of luck.






Link:   Sedore multi-fuel stoves 

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 12-20-2003, 11:45 Post: 71768
Peters

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Murf;
I looked at the stoves, it is a pretty sketchy description on the web. I asked them to send some literature.
My mennonite friends have a cabinette shop so it might be ideal for them.
Peters






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