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Home-Built Heat Exchanger

Roger Foster, Tower Hill, Ill., has used a home-built wood burner to heat his shop for years. It always bothered him that so much heat went up the flue so he recently added a heat exchanger made from an old propane gas tank.
  First he made certain the tank was clear of any old gas. Then he removed all the valves and gauges, closed off all the openings, and installed six 3-in. dia. horizontal pipes inside the tank, through which hot air is blown. He used a torch to cut openings in the end of the tank for the pipes.
  He used a short, heavy wall 8-in. dia. steel pipe to connect the wood burner to the heat exchanger. To push air through, he then installed a 10-in. dia., variable speed squirrel cage fan at one end of the tank. The fan pushes air through the pipes and out the other end of the tank.
  The last step was to weld a flue pipe to the top of the tank.
   "It works great and provides maximum use of the heat generated, so I don't lose as much heat out the flue," says Foster. "The pipes really heat up quick û once I start the fire and turn on the fan I can't hold my hands near the ports for very long. Before I mounted the heat exchanger, I had hung a fan on a beam above the wood burner tank, but it wasn't nearly as efficient. Since the photo was taken I have added a metal deflector with vanes that lets me direct heated air left, right, up or down."  
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Roger Foster, Rt. 1, Box 108, Tower Hill, Ill. 62571 (ph 217 567-3417).


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2005 - Volume #29, Issue #4