First Burn as a boiler

Prototype burn mode

Limited success, the temperature in the tank did rise quickly and peaked at approx. 90°F before I shut the boiler feed off.  The water in the boiler started at 56°F.  The boiler smoked excessively and I think the top exhaust fan needs to be more robust.  At present the bottom draft feed fans are approx. 1/3 more cfm than the top fan.  To induce some negative pressure and reduce the smoking issues the top fan needs to increase.  The other issue is the auger feed.  The motor had a few issues with binding, The motor may have to be more powerful as well.  I will take apart the feed tomorrow and hopefully determine where it was binding up.  With luck there was a misaligned bearing or some other explanation.  Otherwise I am a little at a loss.  Over the weekend the piping got run with help.  I mounted the 3/4″ copper on Unistrut this  connected to the oil fired hot water boiler.   A nice neat job if I say so myself.  The 4″ .125 wall tube I used for an exhaust pipe seemed to work fine and stay cool in the 1/2 hour I ran the boiler.  I still had some issues with the LCD screen however I am now convinced that this problem will fix it self with a separate power supply for the relays.

I wrote a very simple program this morning for the boiler control.  No frills at all, and there were minor LCD issues.  I think the LCD is very susceptible to voltage fluctuations.  I will test this theory tomorrow as well.


Feed test

Hopper with pellets

The chain arrived from McMaster-Carr last night so today a friend and I hooked up the drive motor for the auger and we did a timing test.  The assumption is the pellets will yeild approx. 5000 BTU’s per pound.  So after running the auger for a minute we weighed the sample and with the weight we calculated the feed rate at approx. 30 secs every 2.5 minutes.  We will have to adjust the rate as needed for the test.  I got a great email from a friend with some useful suggestions for the code which is still having issues.  I incorporated all the suggestions  and look forward to more useful suggestions.

Auger Motor