Aquaponic Gardening

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Aquaponics Greenhouse Woodstove Build Slideshow

This is a quick slideshow of my latest woodstove air/hot water heater build for our aquaponics greenhouse. I know some of you have been anxious to get this u...

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Comment by StevedNETN on November 12, 2015 at 5:04pm

Hi jim,  great build.  I live in kingsport ten not far from you.  Wondered if you would share how much you keep the heater going.  I am looking to heat my system through the winter but can't man it round the clock.  Do you start a fire and let it burn out or do you keep it going.  Thanks steve

Comment by Johan Prins on March 28, 2014 at 3:03pm

Your griddle looks good. I wonder though, how far the threaded rods will expand at max. temp, and if they would take any direct flame that way. I might go for a row of bricks laid flat in a recessed space with 1 in. holes cut into them with a diamond hole-saw., so no rods would be needed.

Anyhow, very inspiring to see your work. Unfortunately, I have not much time, being on my own account, where (a lot of) time is (not much) money. But ideas are what one needs, and I like what you post.

By the way, the photo of the firebrick lower box is from a Solarbayer boiler (made by Vigas to German specs), and I have one of 50kW running in a farmer's house. the metal box tends to warp over time, and the bricks erode from the permanent flame on them, but they hold up for quite some time (2 years on average).

Comment by Jim Fisk on March 28, 2014 at 12:55pm

Google brings up an amazing number of great photos on the Vigas HERE

And this screen shot makes me feel my design isn't all that wacked:I might be able to cut back on the size of the grate based upon the small size of theirs but I'll go with mine for now as I don't imagine any syngas getting thru that crucible chamber unburned when it is full of red hot coals. I'll try and get a drawing together of the final design to show you soon. I think they are still in the paper and pencil stage.

Comment by Jim Fisk on March 28, 2014 at 12:45pm

Well the BIG difference from the Vigas is that a handy person can make a gasifier boiler for under 200.00 using my design as opposed to thousands of dollars. I specialize in shoestring designs of many types of what would be very expensive otherwise.

Here is a pic of the assembled grate and lower crucible burn chamber (one brick broke during drilling as you can see):

2 threaded rods hold the grate together and that whole assembly will sit mostly under the barrel, just high enough to be level with the tops of the firebrick lining the barrel wood chamber. High temp firebrick are under 2.00us around here, barrels are 8.00us, so not much expense involved. I use my floor tile wet saw to cut them and a hammer drill to cut the holes. Pretty straight forward. Now I am anxious to get it burning and take a few temps and see just how much heat these Lowes firebrick can take. There are much higher temp bricks available and still in range dollar wise. Of course all this will be enclosed in steel and welded to the underside of the drums.

Comment by Johan Prins on March 28, 2014 at 12:12am

yes, my plaqma has a contact tip, so I can just slide it along on the metal without loss of arc: http://www.ebay.de/itm/INVERTER-PLASMASCHNEIDER-TECNICA-PLASMA-34-K...

This one, from Italy, probably made by the Chinese, is just good for thin metal, but came at a very good price with extra tips and nozzles as well as a circle cutting tool.

To make a good wood gasifier, just looking at the cutaway drawings of the Vigas boilers should be all you need for a plan for a good gasifying stove and water heater. You can buy the ceramic syngas nozzles as of around 30€, (this one is way overprices: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CERAMIC-NOZZLE-FOR-VIGAS-BIOMASS-BOILER-/... you can just as well make one yourself if you have refractory cement you can trust (just copy the trick with the removable conical block)  all the rest of the protections can be brick and ordinary refractory mortar: http://www.google.fr/imgres?imgurl=http://www.dunsterwoodboilers.co...

For a good welder it's feasible. Easiest would be to start from a big diameter 1/4 in. wall steel pipe cut-off, and make a lococmotive-boiler-like set-up for the air heating part in the top (I've seen a picture like that elsewhere here on the forum)

The vigas boilers van burn a cubic meter of wood slowly without going wild, and some of my customers can run 24 hours on a filling when it's not in the deepest of the winter.

Comment by Jim Fisk on March 27, 2014 at 4:27pm

I do love that old Millermatic mig of mine. I have built so many things from large 2 axle trailers to fine sheet metal repairs and it has a great spot weld function as well. I have a new tig but haven't set that up yet. What tip are you using on the plazma. I could not keep mine steady so I plan on getting a contact tip.
As to the sheet metal stoves I only have had a problem with a very cold water coil sweating and that made a few holes under the firebrick. My next build is in the works with a firebrick grate and syngas burn chamber underneath instead of in the firebox for more wood room. The 1800F exhaust will run up thru a ss flue inside a ss barrel full of water that will circ to 600gal storage tank and out to our radiators and baseboard heat as well as all our HW in Winter. I use replaceable heat shields at hot spots or firebrick so the steel sees very little high heat and a heavy barrel is cheap, cheap to replace and will last for many years.

Comment by Johan Prins on March 27, 2014 at 12:42pm

yeah, I am a bit concerned about the barrel's material thickness and the temperatures developing.. I've seen 1/4 in. steel stoves deform and lose material, just from natural air intake and nicely dried wood.

I'd maybe shift the air intake pipe a bit higher in your stove, so a row of bricks would fit under it, too.

Very nice job, by the way, especially the inward-folding trick for the door opening's edges.

Re. the plasma cutter, I found it a luxury until I started using one. No need for mickey-mousers, no broken or ruined saw blades, no really hot parts..

Am not rich enough to add a TIG-welder to that (yet) I do all my welding (but mainly brazing) with a torch for now, and hardly ever use the arc welder (good for hefty parts, not thin sheets). Automatic (MIG) welders unfortunately add metal all the time, even when you just need heat, so I think I'll wait and have a TIG welder instead.

Thanks for all the inspiration. This website and forum are great!

Johan

By the way, your surname means "fish" in several scandinavian languages - a nice coincidence :-)

Comment by Jim Fisk on March 27, 2014 at 8:12am

I have a plasma as well and built a great air dryer out of black iron pipe (3/4" as I recall) that is mounted on the concrete wall and I put a drain valve at the bottom of all 3 five foot loops and never find a drop in loop 3. Dry air is very important for plasma cutting as well as sand blasting and painting. Cost: 0.00. Unfortunately I have had no time to play with it (plazma c) yet. I generally use a good saber style saw to cut the sheet metal and an angle iron chopper for the bed iron and a 14" chop saw for Unistrut, pipe, etc..

Have you seen the one Vlad built from my plans? I don't seem to see my fav pics at his photo pages but a few are HERE

Comment by Johan Prins on March 27, 2014 at 6:50am

yay! I recently bought a plasma cutter with built-in compressor (for odd smoke-pipe feed-through plates and cones from stainless steel, etc.) For this kind of job it will come in very handy - also easier on the ears :-)

Comment by Jim Fisk on February 21, 2013 at 8:48am

Thanks m4gaujan

That is an "air dry the dishes" blower off of a junk dishwasher. It takes VERY little blow to create an inferno in short order. By Summer I plan to have these pics added to my set of plans I sell on ebay. Check out Vlad's pics for the stove he built from my plans. Awesome. He was just using a hair dryer last time we spoke as surplus items are a lot harder to find in Serbia. He went by the plans and my slideshow of this build and did great. My store is here: http://stores.ebay.com/Fisk-Farm?_rdc=1

when you're ready.

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