Wood fired steam boiler?

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Re: Wood fired steam boiler?

Postby Prairiepiss » Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:16 pm

Stupid forum rotated the pics. They aren't sideways until I upload them here.
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Re: Wood fired steam boiler?

Postby jedneck » Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:20 pm

Mr Piss do you have a stream near where your gonna run at. If so look at a ram pump. viewtopic.php?f=1&t=53272 here is a link to a steam thread you might get a few idears from.
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Re: Wood fired steam boiler?

Postby Appalachia-Shiner » Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:47 pm

I don't see the problem with making a Traditional Still Furnace out of Rocks and Mud. You are trying to live off grid...this would be a pretty good way to further that lifestyle. It was done around here for Years and Years...then folks got Civilized? and started using Propane. I remember when old folks would cut Mulberry trees cause Mulberry doesn't make much smoke...hence the law wouldn't see you as easy.
Cooling?? It depends on factors you haven't specified...It's pretty dry a lot of places out there on the prairie. Also, it gets so hot in the Summer, it might be hard to reuse and recool used condenser water.
Congratulations of your lifestyle. A lot of Amish folks around here are living off the grid right now. Good Luck
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Re: Wood fired steam boiler?

Postby robb » Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:14 pm

Mr P. My gut tells me with the rims you will be constraining yourself with the firebox size. You need something big enough to shove big junks into with draft and flue to burn hot. 1/2 to 3/4 Rick for a run?. I do like the the rim with the top cut out so the keg just sets into it stability and heat is all around the bottom. I've heard of old stillers having a still built into their fireplace. Just personal use size. Just my .02.
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Re: Wood fired steam boiler?

Postby shadylane » Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:26 pm

I was thinking about a firebox made out of 2 barrels. With 2 dampers to control the fire and the heat getting to the keg.
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Re: Wood fired steam boiler?

Postby Prairiepiss » Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:29 pm

I don't have the flow and or drop needed for a ram pump. Or I would already have one built. Lol

On my land I have two valleys with kinda creeks in them. The water flow here is different to say the least. Everything here is headwaters. Springs everywhere. But also the creeks don't flow the whole length of the creek all the time. You might have 20 foot of running water. Then it is dry for the next 10 to 30 foot. Then it pops back out of the ground and flows on top for a bit. Then back in the ground. I have a good spring but it only flows Octoberish to July Augustish. And when it flows it goes off my property about 40 foot down stream. And back on a hundred yards down. Just to cross back off.

I do have access to a whole lot of other springs that flow year round. But I have to truck the water in from them.

I have a hand dug well. That I dug last year. It's only 4 foot deep. And only provides enough water for the animals when we run the tanks dry. And it's 100 yards or so away too.

I want to build a spring house over our spring. This is where I really would like to put the still. But it's not going to happen anytime soon. And it is at least 200 yards from the living area. And even further to the build site. Eventually I will pump from it to a cistern up on the hill. But again not soon enough.

What I have. A tote on a trailer to haul in water. Two totes on the ground in the living area for storage to supply us and the animals. I have numerous 55 gal drums. Both plastic and metal. And buckets lots and lots of buckets.
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Re: Wood fired steam boiler?

Postby Prairiepiss » Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:33 pm

Now you are getting too specific. I am wanting to use the burner stove thing for other purposes. There will actually be two of them next to each other.
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Re: Wood fired steam boiler?

Postby shadylane » Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:44 pm

Sorry, just brain-storming on how to heat a keg with wood, using readily available and cheap junk. :oops:
The idea would make it easy to control the fire and the amount of heat getting to the keg boiler.
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Re: Wood fired steam boiler?

Postby raketemensch » Mon Dec 21, 2015 9:30 pm

Prairiepiss wrote:I want to build a spring house over our spring. This is where I really would like to put the still. But it's not going to happen anytime soon. And it is at least 200 yards from the living area. And even further to the build site. Eventually I will pump from it to a cistern up on the hill. But again not soon enough.


Hmmm, then you're also going to need an ATV :think:
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Re: Wood fired steam boiler?

Postby Prairiepiss » Wed Dec 23, 2015 7:23 pm

We started building one of these at work today.
Three brake drums and some rolled steel.
We are gona build his as a prototype. And I will build one making changes if we need too. See what we can learn about using brake drums for wood heat.
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Re: Wood fired steam boiler?

Postby rad14701 » Wed Dec 23, 2015 8:38 pm

Prairiepiss wrote:We started building one of these at work today.
Three brake drums and some rolled steel.
We are gona build his as a prototype. And I will build one making changes if we need too. See what we can learn about using brake drums for wood heat.

Keep us posted... I was just researching that design the other night... I'd want to integrate secondary burn heat tubes as well... Vertical or horizontal works for me...
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Re: Wood fired steam boiler?

Postby Prairiepiss » Wed Dec 23, 2015 10:34 pm

rad14701 wrote:
Prairiepiss wrote:We started building one of these at work today.
Three brake drums and some rolled steel.
We are gona build his as a prototype. And I will build one making changes if we need too. See what we can learn about using brake drums for wood heat.

Keep us posted... I was just researching that design the other night... I'd want to integrate secondary burn heat tubes as well... Vertical or horizontal works for me...


That's what I want to do. He isn't interested in it. Which is cool. Because if we build them pretty close to the same size. And I add heat tubes to feed secondary burn. We will be able to compare the difference.

I've also been thinking about adding them to our wood stove I just restored.
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Re: Wood fired steam boiler?

Postby rad14701 » Wed Dec 23, 2015 11:13 pm

I have a King 628 sitting at the wayside waiting for secondary burn conversion... May use that to heat my pool house... I may live in the sticks but I have an indoor pool and an elevator... And a sweet SOH... :ewink:
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Re: Wood fired steam boiler?

Postby Prairiepiss » Thu Dec 24, 2015 7:13 am

Here is our stove I restored. It will go in our house whenever I get it built.

I am thinking about adding a baffle to it. I've seen people add secondary burn tubes to the exterior. Bu I don't like how they look. I'm thinking about drilling holes in the bottom. At the bottom front corners. And bring pipes in through them. Then up and across the front around the angled area. Like a loop. Drill holes in the pipe that goes across the top. And put valves on the pipes on the outside. Either run the pipes underneath to the back and have the valves there. Or just put them on the bottom there in front. I would rather not take away from the looks of it.

Also thinking about adding a water heating loop in it. Let it feed a old insulated water heater tank. Use convection to move the water.

Lol indoor pool. I just got this mental pic of the guy in your avitar sitting next to an indoor concrete pond.
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Re: Wood fired steam boiler?

Postby Prairiepiss » Thu Dec 24, 2015 7:50 am

Ok for the wood fired boiler I am thinking something along the lines of this.

Two drums in a cob structure so it would have two burners. Why two? Because like I said I want it to be multi functional. So it can also be used for two burners for our big cast iron Dutch ovens. And I will also be building a griddle to fit over the top of the two of them. The griddle will raise up towards the back on hinges. And act as a wind break when needed. Thinking the drums will be setup as burners. And then cob around it. The cob will add insulation so not so much heat will be felt by whoever is cooking. And send more heat to the burner area. The drum will retain and release a lot of heat to the burner also. I am now thinking of going something like the stove we are building. Adding a piece of rolled steel under the drum to raise it up. And cut it out for the opening. And adding some sort of door to the opening. With dampers on it to control the burn.
It would be all part of our outdoor kitchen. Along with a cob pizza oven, a cob enclosed oven and a cod smoker. And whatever else I can throw in there.

This pic is the best one I could find of a cob burner setup. So something similar to this.
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Re: Wood fired steam boiler?

Postby jedneck » Sat Dec 26, 2015 9:13 pm

Soon as I get an unmolested keg I I'll be joining the wood fired steamer club.
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Re: Wood fired steam boiler?

Postby FuelMaker » Fri Jan 01, 2016 12:56 pm

How firmly are you attached to using a keg boiler for your steam generation? The wet steam a keg boiler would produce doesn't carry as much heat as steam can - and it adds more extra water to the still boiler.

Have you considered using a monotube boiler? With a monotube boiler you get on-demand steam without a warmup period.

For controllability you could have a dump valve diverting excess steam into your steam generator water feed tank. That way you recover both the BTUs used to generate it and the water content of the steam. Your steam generator could be fed by a small 40W pump or you could gravity feed if your raised the feed tank up high enough (about 6-8 feet).

I don't think you'll be able to get away from using a pump for your product and reflux condensers. I spent an awful lot of time, skull sweat, and crunched a bunch of numbers trying to figure out how to use convection thermosyphon flow. FWIW my conclusion was that its doable - but you need a BIG (=expensive) copper water-to-air cooling heat exchanger of 13.6 square meters of surface area for convection flow @ 8000W heat input and 1 inch copper pipes. Don't trust those numbers though - I made so many assumptions and WAGs on the variables it's probably worthless.

An idea for evaporative cooling a closed loop system for the hot water coming off the RC and PCs; maybe you could use a 20ish foot loop of 3/4" copper pipe wrapped thinly in cotton w/ a soaker hose zip tied to the top of it to keep the cotton moist. It shouldn't use much water. 3/4" copper pipe is kind of spendy though.
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Re: Wood fired steam boiler?

Postby Haus » Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:18 pm

Might be far fetched but over in the fishing isle there are little pumps for aeration of cooler live wells (johnboat live wells as I call them) or sump pumps that run off deep cycle batteries. Those deep cycle batteries last quite a while properly maintained. I used to get 8 to 10 hours running a trolling motor and live well.
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Re: Wood fired steam boiler?

Postby Secale » Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:59 am

I saw this picture online and all I can't think of is somebody using something like this to make moonshine while heating a dwelling as well :clap:
If it's on YouTube. It has to be real. LOLZ

http://homedistiller.org/intro
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Re: Wood fired steam boiler?

Postby Jolly_Roger » Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:34 am

Here is an interesting video of a bio gas plant 3rd world style.
Not really an answer to your problem, however we are looking into it as an option for a gas motor to drive a water pump.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoJTlhfjpXQ
All grain goodness without the nasty fibre
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Re: Wood fired steam boiler?

Postby hawgwrench » Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:19 pm

I've used a flake stand sittin in a 55 gallon plastic barrel (the 10 dollar ones on craigs) for years and it works good. 25 feet of half inch keeps output cold, and if I drag a$$ around and run four or five hours only about the top 8 or 10 inches of water get warm (not hot). I add about 5 gallons back to it every month or so...if it was outdoors the rain would take care of that. That cast iron drum will hold the heat well, what if ya block (brick, rock whatever) up a "furnace" of sorts an set the rotor on top? Aint gotta be very high, an that would give ya a spell more room for a fire. Recall from childhood seeing the fire handled a couple ways. Build a fire close at hand an shovel coals into the furnace (long day) or feed in longer 8' foot stuff. Seems like that worked better as I can remember now and again seeing them pull a stick OUT as it was getting too hot. Wanted to try wood fired for ages...sorta nervous bout getting out in the open as the drug 'copter still fly's about pretty often :shifty: .
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