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How are you, Aquapons, heating your water?

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I don't know the details about how it's done but I do know that there are greenhouses out there with wood burning stoves in them.

Joe Bifano said:

Hi thanks for the info on Aqualogic.  I emailed them about their heat exchangers.

 

New question does anybody know if I put my 55 gallon wood stove boiler in the greenhouse would I have a problem? I am not sure how hard it would be to keep the smoke completely out of the greenhouse every time you open the door to load it. Or just load it one time and then mabe if it is completely sealed I would not have to worry. 

 

Any thoughts?

The smoke may lessen the lifespan of your plastic and then limit the suns rays from getting trough to your plants.  Have you thought of building an outside wood / biomass furnace?  This would eliminate the smoke, free up floor space and reduce the issue of a building fire.


On a side note, we were looking at pellet / corn stoves to heat our greenhouses but after talking with other growers who are or have used them, plus we are using one for our home, the units and function seems to be too unreliable, especially if you are talking about keeping fish alive.


Joe Bifano said:

Hi thanks for the info on Aqualogic.  I emailed them about their heat exchangers.

 

New question does anybody know if I put my 55 gallon wood stove boiler in the greenhouse would I have a problem? I am not sure how hard it would be to keep the smoke completely out of the greenhouse every time you open the door to load it. Or just load it one time and then mabe if it is completely sealed I would not have to worry. 

 

Any thoughts?

Two Jay would the boiler inside the greenhouse have smoke escaping or can they be made to not escape smoke. If they have smoke then the outside wood / biomass furnace is the answer.

 

I am not sure on exactly what you mean by wood / biomass furnace?  Do you have any links on them? Are they reasonable to make?

 

I thought of the Maxim Pellet stove but it is expensive and if they are not reliable then why bother. I wanted to get one to heat the water with a heat exchanger when I could afford one and use it for the air as well.  I also wanted to learn more about making my own pellets to keep the costs down. 

Two Jay said:

The smoke may lessen the lifespan of your plastic and then limit the suns rays from getting trough to your plants.  Have you thought of building an outside wood / biomass furnace?  This would eliminate the smoke, free up floor space and reduce the issue of a building fire.


On a side note, we were looking at pellet / corn stoves to heat our greenhouses but after talking with other growers who are or have used them, plus we are using one for our home, the units and function seems to be too unreliable, especially if you are talking about keeping fish alive.



I haven't heated yet, just insulated tanks with burlap, but did lose a small amount of fish (handful of the little ones) with the last freezing temps here in FL. Someone may be giving me some solar panels this week to help heat the water..hopefully it will help a bit.,

Joe Bifano said:

Two Jay would the boiler inside the greenhouse have smoke escaping or can they be made to not escape smoke. If they have smoke then the outside wood / biomass furnace is the answer.

 

I am not sure on exactly what you mean by wood / biomass furnace?  Do you have any links on them? Are they reasonable to make?

 

I thought of the Maxim Pellet stove but it is expensive and if they are not reliable then why bother. I wanted to get one to heat the water with a heat exchanger when I could afford one and use it for the air as well.  I also wanted to learn more about making my own pellets to keep the costs down. 

Two Jay said:

The smoke may lessen the lifespan of your plastic and then limit the suns rays from getting trough to your plants.  Have you thought of building an outside wood / biomass furnace?  This would eliminate the smoke, free up floor space and reduce the issue of a building fire.


On a side note, we were looking at pellet / corn stoves to heat our greenhouses but after talking with other growers who are or have used them, plus we are using one for our home, the units and function seems to be too unreliable, especially if you are talking about keeping fish alive.



Joe,

Bio mass would include things like, wood pellets, cherry pits, whole corn kernels, barley etc. We currently burn a combination of pellets and cherry pits right now, partly because they were cheaper than corn this year but they also are easier to maintain the stove. This is for our home which is helping heat about 3000 sq. ft.

Regarding a boiler, the unit really needs to be placed outside your greenhouse, unless it is a bio mass vs. a wood burning unit. Wood burners need to be loaded at least 2 if not more times every day where as a large hopper can be hooked up to a bio mass furnace that would only require to be filled 1 - 2 times a month or less. ( :

Regarding making your own pellets, we have looked into this as well, you can buy a hammer mill. They can run on electric, gas, diesel or off of a PTO of a tractor. Not only would the mill make your own fuel pellets but it would also come in handy when making your own fish food as they use a screen or a die that creates a predetermined sized pellet which would give you control over how fast they burned or how fast your fishies chowed them down. The nice thing about this, too, is that you can feed your fish only what you want them to have, not only what is available. This goes for all farm animals... just imagine making and feeding your goats, chickens, cows etc. a healthy balanced diet that you created from only the best ingredients.

As far as making a biomass burning unit, especially a boiler type, I do not have any links off hand. I am not particularly handy, especially compared to many people on this forum, so I tend to look for tools, equipment, systems that I know work and work well.

On a similar note, I am hoping to build a second greenhouse, before we put up the next 30 x 96, in which we plan on using a rocket stove type heater along with solar panels for both electrical & heating needs. This is will be a test, or research, greenhouse for Aquaponics and similar farming technologies. The rocket stove would be built to hold a lot of radiant heat gathered from the fire within, possibly the solar panel and the suns rays coming through the plastic.
Anybody have a pellet boiler by MAXIM? Or know someone that does?  They are having a pretty good sale and we would like to get one for the greenhouse.  It puts out 175,000 BTU and costs about 5K. You can burn corn and wood pellets and I am trying to find out if I can burn other pellets.

CHP or combined heat and power. We are developing one that burns biomass (woodchips) at All Power Labs. A university aquaponics research program just bought one. Basic inline heat exchangers can help out they are cheapish like 100.00. I am thinking of developing something for this task, anyone want to talk?

 

On the dyi front we scrapped a few tankless water heaters and just put them right into a 900+c flare and heated quite a bit of water real quick. If you stored that in a insulated tank and cycled that through a heat exchanger... you could raise the fish tanks at a reasonable rate so as not to shock the fish.

 

 

 

 

We just got a price for a pellet boiler and it came in at $8k.  We like the idea of just adding pellets every week or 2 and letting the thermostats kick in and tell the pellet stove when to fire up so it is more automatic.  I received a quote on a wood burning boiler from the same company but it was about $9k. With the wood boiler you have to start it up once a day or load it and do not have to do that with the pellet boiler. The cost for wood is me cutting wood. There is not a lot just cleaning up woods all around me maybe 10 to 20 trees I can have then purchase fire wood after that. We are looking at making our own pellets out of branches, pine cones and pine needles and anything else we can use.

 

If anybody has a way to do this cheaper and still do something more automatic let me know.  Or if anyone has a pellet boiler let me know your experiences. The Maxum is the one we are looking at. It is their 250 model. We will be able to burn corn, pellets and cherry pits. We will, if we get the pellet mill, make just about any pellet that will burn as well.

 

Nathaniel Do you have this set up know where you heat a insulated tank and then take from the tank to heat the fish?  Or are you just looking into it.

Hey everyone,


Came across these two items in a trade magazine I received today.  They are Heat and Power cogeneration systems.  I have not had a chance to do any investigation on these units, maybe something to look into. 

First site has a unit called Hydronic Freewatt CHP at www.freewatt.com

Other unit is called Sunmachine Wood Pellet CHP at www.powergenworldwide.com.

Hope the info is helpful.

Joe Bifano said:

We just got a price for a pellet boiler and it came in at $8k.  We like the idea of just adding pellets every week or 2 and letting the thermostats kick in and tell the pellet stove when to fire up so it is more automatic.  I received a quote on a wood burning boiler from the same company but it was about $9k. With the wood boiler you have to start it up once a day or load it and do not have to do that with the pellet boiler. The cost for wood is me cutting wood. There is not a lot just cleaning up woods all around me maybe 10 to 20 trees I can have then purchase fire wood after that. We are looking at making our own pellets out of branches, pine cones and pine needles and anything else we can use.

 

If anybody has a way to do this cheaper and still do something more automatic let me know.  Or if anyone has a pellet boiler let me know your experiences. The Maxum is the one we are looking at. It is their 250 model. We will be able to burn corn, pellets and cherry pits. We will, if we get the pellet mill, make just about any pellet that will burn as well.

 

Nathaniel Do you have this set up know where you heat a insulated tank and then take from the tank to heat the fish?  Or are you just looking into it.


On the second link do you have the exact article.  I was not able to find it.


k edmonds said:

Hey everyone,


Came across these two items in a trade magazine I received today.  They are Heat and Power cogeneration systems.  I have not had a chance to do any investigation on these units, maybe something to look into. 

First site has a unit called Hydronic Freewatt CHP at www.freewatt.com

Other unit is called Sunmachine Wood Pellet CHP at www.powergenworldwide.com.

Hope the info is helpful.

 

I should have read a little further. This was in Feb 2011 issue of Green Builder Magazine "Hot 50 Products".  "The SunMachine, a wood pellet CHP from Germany has mysteriously disappeared from online listings, but industry sources say they sold several hundred units in 2008(in Europe).  We include it here as evidence that a pellet powered home-sized CHP exists.  The unit's 1-cylinder Stirling produces about 3kW of electricity and 10.5kW of thermal output, with an efficiency of 90%.  The pellets can be supplied through an automatic silo feeder or added by hand." 

It would be nice if they had done a little investigation as to why it is not being sold or if there were problems with it.


www.Greenbuildermag.com
Joe Bifano said:


On the second link do you have the exact article.  I was not able to find it.


k edmonds said:

Hey everyone,


Came across these two items in a trade magazine I received today.  They are Heat and Power cogeneration systems.  I have not had a chance to do any investigation on these units, maybe something to look into. 

First site has a unit called Hydronic Freewatt CHP at www.freewatt.com

Other unit is called Sunmachine Wood Pellet CHP at www.powergenworldwide.com.

Hope the info is helpful.

 

I have looked at doing this another way possibly using a tank-less hot water heater.  I have been looking into using PEX under the troughs and PEX in the fish tank.  Anyone doing this now that could shed some light on this.  I just talked to a radiant heat company that said that someone in Boulder CO was doing this exact same thing and wondering if anyone knew who this was and if I can contact them I would love too. They sold them all of the equipment and said it works great. It would be several thousand dollars less than the pellet stove I was looking at getting.

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