At this point the boiler has been working for a day and based on last years experience I see no reason why I would need to shut down for a week. Yesterday we brought two tons of pellets into the shop knowing snow and rain mix was in the forecast. Yesterday was a pleasant 40°F day with full sunshine a great day to move a little fuel. I believe we are on a two bag a day pace so with luck I won’t have to worry about moving pellets again until nearly February. We have chairs set up by the boiler and it is a pleasant place to sit and talk in lieu of sitting in front of a woodstove.
So..what’s next on the list. 1) Software improvements, to be able to adapt to pellets or chips will take a more dynamic software approach. The software should be able to adapt automatically to varying energy densities. 2) Faster and easier maintenance. More over center latches to be able to easily take apart the chimney for cleaning and a removable top to the boiler to easily clean the tank tubes. 3) Testing with various materials, chips being at the top of the list. 4) Building a chip dryer. 5) Adding more sensors, I am definitely going to add a fire eye to confirm fire. I would like to monitor the temperature of the feed motor and the fan motor. It would be helpful to add a relay for the fan motor so that is controlled by the Arduino. 6) I have tried the self start but it is not in the software yet, that would be a great leap forward especially for March and April when daytime heat is often not required but nighttime heat and hot water are needed. Automatic starting would be great and would save a lot of fuel. 7) Improving the CNC Plasma cutter, there is still some chatter in the Y axis and if I can fix that, it would be great and would probably speed the CNC up significantly cutting down on the dross or slag produced when it is cutting. Cutting down on the slag is a major priority since it is time consuming to grind this off and I am sure part of the development will include trying different burner designs. 8) Taking a Design of Experiments statistical approach to the burner design to optimize for efficiency. I gave myself a pretty good list back in September and I have whittled it down to completion so I know it is all possible and fun, I just need to get started. Tomorrow probably, today I am just going to sit by the fire and enjoy a Sunday.