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Corn-Burning System Heats Home For $100
An Illinois farmer says he heats his house, office, and garage for only $100 per winter using discarded seed corn that he buys from local seed corn companies.
Don Magelitz, of Waverly, stores the corn in a pair of conventional bulk feed tanks and uses three flexible steel augers to deliver it into a pair of corn-burning furnaces - one to heat his detached garage and the other to heat his house and attached office. Each auger is powered by a 1/2-hp electric motor.
"It's a very flexible system that's clean, trouble-free, and about as convenient as you can get," says Magelitz. "I purchased the auger and other corn handling components from a local hog equipment dealer. All of the corn is moved either by electricity or by gravity. All I have to do is load it into the bigger of the two tanks.
"I pay 50 cents per bu. delivered or 35 cents per bu. if I pick it up. I find that with my system the economics of heating with corn are fantastic. Many people with houses like mine spend as much as $2,500 each win-ter for heat. I've used corn to heat my home for the past 10 years and, at $100 per winter, have saved at least $20,000."
Magelitz installed an "A-Maize-Ing Heat" corn-burning hot water furnace in the basement. Hot water flows from the boiler to baseboard heaters in the house.
The detached garage is heated by a Traeger corn-burning forced air furnace. Corn gravity-flows into it from a 1/2-ton hopper mounted in a room directly above the furnace.
Corn is stored in a 9 1/2-ton tank outside. From there it's augered to a 8 by 10-ft. metal building that houses a fan mill to clean the corn. From the fan mill, corn is augered either to a 3 1/2-ton tank that supplies corn to the boiler, or to the 1/2-ton hopper inside the garage.
"Both tanks hold enough corn to last all winter," says Magelitz. "The flexibility of my system is unreal. Using a switch box, I can deliver corn to either hopper from the fan mill or go directly from the bulk bin to the hop-pers. The A-Maize-ing Heat boiler burns up to 30 percent screenings and the Traeger furnace will handle 100 percent screenings. I use the fan because it removes fine screenings and cob chaff which makes the burners work better.
"I chose the A-Maize-ing Heat boiler be-cause at the time I bought it, it was the only one with a self-cleaning pot. That way I don't have to clean it out every two or three days like with some other models. I liked it so much that I became a dealer. The forced air furnace is made by Traeger Co. of Waco, Neb."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Don Magelitz, 13967 Thayer Rd. W., Waverly, Ill. 62692 (ph 217 435-9796; fax 9781) or visit his Web site at: www.donmagelitz.cncoffice.com

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1997 - Volume #21, Issue #6