1987 - Volume #11, Issue #6, Page #24[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Corn Stove Stirs As It Burns"It a lot easier than burning wood and it's cheaper," says Jim Selle, farmer and sales representative for manufacturers of a new shelled corn furnace that's totally auto-mated for trouble-free and almost effortless home or shop heating.
Selle says that at S1.50 per bushel, corn used as fuel costs nearly 60% less than S.60 per gal. LP gas or S.75 per gal. fuel oil. Shelled corn costs about 55% less than wood pellets and is even cheaper than burning cord wood if you have to go out and buy it. "The great thing about this stove is that it makes corn just as easy or easier to use than any of those fuels, and it burns cleaner than wood with almost no ash," says Selle.
The Nordic shelled corn stove features a double-walled firebox and a pair of up-front heater blowers that pull room air down through the sidewall chambers and blow it out into the room so no combustion air or smoke enters the room. A 1-bu. rear-mounted hopper feeds corn to the firebox through a small, thermostatically-controlled feeder auger. When the thermostat calls for more corn, activating the auger, a combustion fan also turns on, feeding fresh air to the fire.
Key to success of the stove is a "stirrator" inside the fire ring that continually rakes through the kernel fuel that pushes up from the bottom of the stove. "It eliminates the hard clinkers that normally form when you burn corn and keeps the fire burning hot and evenly. Without this stirring action, the stove would not work," says Selle.
Air blows into the room through a grill located at the front of the stove beneath the see-through glass door. Blower fan speed at either side of the stove can be adjusted up or down as needed. Although the stove contains a total of three fans (including the combustion blower) and two motors (auger and stirrator), Selle says that in operation it uses little more electricity than a 100 watt lightbulb. He also notes that because all motors are muffled inside the body of the stove, there's very little noise.
Corn burns at a rate of 1/2 bu. to 3 bu. per day in the stove, supplying from 10,000 btu to 52,000 btu per hour. That's enough to heat a 3,000 sq. ft. home in many areas of the country, says Selle. The stove can burn corn up to 20% moisture and has been used to burn dirty corn with up to 50% fines. It can also be used to burn wood pellets and pellets made from crop residues such as cornstalks and straw. By changing the size of the fire ring, it'll also bum coal and it can be used to bum logs if you remove the fire ring and install a grate.
Burning at its highest combustion level the stove will burn unattended for up to 8 hrs. At a lower level, it'll run unattended on 1 bu. of corn for up to 32 hrs. Hopper extensions can be added to nearly double stove capacity, or you can tie it into a larger, stand-alone hopper. Then the only maintenance would be to clean out the ash every few days.
Selle says the stove meets all existing government emission standards. Sells for $1,895.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Nordic Stove Division, 4201 N. 26th St., Omaha, Neb. 68111 (ph toll-free 800 451-2575 or 402 451-2575).
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