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Has anyone experienced problems with either their plants or fish heating with a wood stove?  I was wondering if there would be any fumes from the wood fire?

 

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Well, it's certainly possible with a well installed stove.  I've lived in homes that were entirely heated by wood stoves- it meant getting used to a house that was 45-50 degrees when the temp. really dropped as well as getting up once or twice a night to stoke it, but not really a problem.  I know the stoves they make now are much better. . . .

 

When I lived in China, the locals would grow year round (Northern China, so cold!) in burmed, split bamboo greenhouses heated with small coal stoves, so I know it's possible.  They were doing cold-season crops and it worked quite well.  They would use straw blankets rolled down over the covering to hold in the heat at night.  It managed to work when the weather dipped down below -20F. . .

 

I'm putting in a greenhouse using a wood boiler with a hydronic heat system.  If you can do it yourself it's cheap, otherwise it can be a bit pricey.

A lot of it depends on the size of the greenhouse.  First, I hope you are planning on exhausting the chimney to the outside...you will certainly be announced on the Darwin Awards if you don't. 

 

If it's a small greenhouse, you will need to have some form of fresh air intake otherwise you will consume the O2...extinguishing the fire and perhaps yourself.  The larger greenhouses tend to leak enough where this isn't a problem.  It's a common problem with the small greenhouses and gas heaters where the O2 sensor will shut off the heater, then freeze your plants because they won't start on their own.

 

How large of an area are you trying to heat?

Have you considered rocket mass heater ?  Try  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtFvdMk3eLM  The book associated with it is very good also. It heats the cob, which can be either seating bench, or as in video, just floor itself if you can retrofit. Exhaust will go outside of green house of course. 

Clifford

 

Good suggestion Clifford....  I forgot to mention that!  I have that book and it's very good.  My new greenhouse will have a rocket mass heater in it.  I fired up an early prototype this summer.  I was convinced it was the way to heat!  Rob's RMH

 

Hi guys, I've been looking at RMHs and I'd really like to use one but am having a hard time figuring out how to integrate one efficiently into my greenhouse- any ideas?  I'm thinking about having one handy for emergency heating, but they're bulky enough that I don't really want one in the way that much. . . 

You probably could still to a RMH but skip the zig-zagging of the exhaust through the mass and vent vertically.  You would lose a bit of efficiency, but it will save a ton of space.  To grab some of the heat,  I've been thinking about coiling a bunch of copper tubing inside the 55 gal drum and pumping the water into the fish tank (via a heat exchanger)

I'm just about done putting the polycarb on my greenhouse and the next step is to start working on the RMH....looking forward to it!

Under the floor, if you can retrofit, would be the best.  In my green house it has concrete floor already so I'm making clay bench that will support fish tank on top of it. It's only 18 inch high or so but that gives me plenty of mass for heat retention. Also, I'm using 6" pipes since my green house would not be that big (I'm worry about the overeheating - the heat output was tremendous when I fired up my pilot system outside). This system has only 1.5 ft by 2 ft foot print (the height is about 3.5 ft. I got all of my duct work from homedepot and some local recycling center.  

It does create a lot of heat around the heater itself. Make sure you insulate around the heater. Lumber and others can catch fire even from feet away if you don't insulate the burner.  About 6 ft - 8 ft of 2X4 scrap lasted about 3 hours. I'm calculating this would be enough heat (once the heat mass is heated up) to keep the space warm at least half day. 

Cliff

I am heating with a pellet stove refitted with a waterheating coil.  So far, with glass, single glazing, I am maintaining a twenty degree difference in temperature from outside (average is 40s GH is 60s) Water temp is a steady 75degrees.  Cost so far is about $4-$5 a day for pellets, and of course the power to run the stove.

We will be double glazing the GH soon, to increase the R-value, and putting a more effecient fan between the mechanical room and the GH.  Temps in the mechanical room stay at about 90 degrees.  I dont have enought CFM with the fan and duct I am currently using to transfer and distribute the heat.  We should then be able to run the stove on low (currently on med.) and 1/2 the pellet usage.

We will soon have a pellet fired heater/water heater available.

Rick, would you tell us more about your pellet stove heating system? What materials are you using? Do you circulate system water through the coil or do you use a separate working fluid? If you use a separate working fluid how do you transfer the heat to your fish tank? 

Rick Stillwagon said:

I am heating with a pellet stove refitted with a waterheating coil.  So far, with glass, single glazing, I am maintaining a twenty degree difference in temperature from outside (average is 40s GH is 60s) Water temp is a steady 75degrees.  Cost so far is about $4-$5 a day for pellets, and of course the power to run the stove.

We will be double glazing the GH soon, to increase the R-value, and putting a more effecient fan between the mechanical room and the GH.  Temps in the mechanical room stay at about 90 degrees.  I dont have enought CFM with the fan and duct I am currently using to transfer and distribute the heat.  We should then be able to run the stove on low (currently on med.) and 1/2 the pellet usage.

We will soon have a pellet fired heater/water heater available.

I wish members would post more pics!!

I have been heating our gh with wood thru some very cold (20F) nights with my home made woodstove for close to a month now. I have a 6 ft x 3/4"SS loop that heats the sump water and will install another on the other side soon to heat a hot tub. The more thermal mass the better. I am now running about 1800 gal and I can raise that about 10F in 24hrs so maintaining Trout temps at 50 - 60 has been easy. Here is an old PIC!! I'll try to get some current ones today. (That's AP for ya. A 30 day old pic is already way out of date:-)

Also wanted to mention a great way to monitor your GH temps from your house. I use an extra (actually 2. One in the LR and one in the BR) Sams Club (about 25.00). digital clock and outdoor temp guage. You must mate them both up to an outdoor sensor that you then place in your GH. Excellent for mon. your wood heat out there. As I write this I can see the GH temp is at 94F right here from my easy chair. Anyone else notice that GH temps can be at 104F and NOTHING wilts?

Also I have now installed a dig control on the heater's blower and that worked perfectly last night.

  Jim you mentioned  using a stainless steel loop. How many times do you loop it and is it looped around the stove or  the stove pipe in the back? My husband and I had discussed looping stainless steel around our but we thought it would be  too difficult to loop around the stove pipe, since stainless is difficult to  bend. Copper is not good for the fish so I just bought an electric heater for the water, but I would like to utilize the heat from the wood stove if it is possible...

  Also it does not look like you have much humidity in in your green house at least I do no see any condensation on the plastic- How are you keeping the humidity levels down?

 Thanks


Jim Fisk said:

I wish members would post more pics!!

I have been heating our gh with wood thru some very cold (20F) nights with my home made woodstove for close to a month now. I have a 6 ft x 3/4"SS loop that heats the sump water and will install another on the other side soon to heat a hot tub. The more thermal mass the better. I am now running about 1800 gal and I can raise that about 10F in 24hrs so maintaining Trout temps at 50 - 60 has been easy. Here is an old PIC!! I'll try to get some current ones today. (That's AP for ya. A 30 day old pic is already way out of date:-)

Also wanted to mention a great way to monitor your GH temps from your house. I use an extra (actually 2. One in the LR and one in the BR) Sams Club (about 25.00). digital clock and outdoor temp guage. You must mate them both up to an outdoor sensor that you then place in your GH. Excellent for mon. your wood heat out there. As I write this I can see the GH temp is at 94F right here from my easy chair. Anyone else notice that GH temps can be at 104F and NOTHING wilts?

Also I have now installed a dig control on the heater's blower and that worked perfectly last night.

Hi Shelia, Here is a pic of the coil and bending.

As you can see it is just in and out. BUT I have the advantage of using my own stove design so it is very easy and it holds 12 hrs. worth of wood AND is a wood gasifier design that burns very efficiently. Below bending the ss pipe: (no easy task but doable with patience)

Threading ends:

The enter and exits:

And here it enters the 1 1/2" drain under the GBs headed back to sump. I only rase the temp about 10 deg so as not to create creosote in woodstove. Bypass water enters the LOWER end of loop and the "T" is vented on top so no pressure can ever build. I also drop the temp gauge in at the vent pipe to mon temp out.
Here is the stove:

The humidity question I answered on your other post. Hope this helps.
Shelia Hoyt said:

  Jim you mentioned  using a stainless steel loop. How many times do you loop it and is it looped around the stove or  the stove pipe in the back? My husband and I had discussed looping stainless steel around our but we thought it would be  too difficult to loop around the stove pipe, since stainless is difficult to  bend. Copper is not good for the fish so I just bought an electric heater for the water, but I would like to utilize the heat from the wood stove if it is possible...

  Also it does not look like you have much humidity in in your green house at least I do no see any condensation on the plastic- How are you keeping the humidity levels down?

 Thanks


Jim Fisk said:

I wish members would post more pics!!

I have been heating our gh with wood thru some very cold (20F) nights with my home made woodstove for close to a month now. I have a 6 ft x 3/4"SS loop that heats the sump water and will install another on the other side soon to heat a hot tub. The more thermal mass the better. I am now running about 1800 gal and I can raise that about 10F in 24hrs so maintaining Trout temps at 50 - 60 has been easy. Here is an old PIC!! I'll try to get some current ones today. (That's AP for ya. A 30 day old pic is already way out of date:-)

Also wanted to mention a great way to monitor your GH temps from your house. I use an extra (actually 2. One in the LR and one in the BR) Sams Club (about 25.00). digital clock and outdoor temp guage. You must mate them both up to an outdoor sensor that you then place in your GH. Excellent for mon. your wood heat out there. As I write this I can see the GH temp is at 94F right here from my easy chair. Anyone else notice that GH temps can be at 104F and NOTHING wilts?

Also I have now installed a dig control on the heater's blower and that worked perfectly last night.

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