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"X" Furnace Burns Crop Fuel
After years of chucking wood into his home-built double barrel stove, Tim Myers decided he wanted to burn farm fuels in it - such as corn, oats, wheat, soybeans, wood pellets and pellets made from switchgrass - because they're cheaper and he wanted an automatic fuel-feeding system.
  So he rebuilt the stove, adding a homemade 4-in. dia. burn pot equipped with a built-in agitator, an electric-operated automatic feed conveyor system, and a timer to control burn time. Crop material is conveyed from a 2-bu. metal hopper to the burn pot. Three small electric motors mounted below the hopper are used to operate the blower, agitator, and conveyor.
  The rebuilt stove worked so well he decided to build a commercial unit that's even more efficient. The "X" furnace, as he calls it, has the burn pot and agitator located in the bottom half of an X-shaped metal firebox. The top half is divided into four baffled chambers that serve as heat exchangers. "The addition of the baffles results in more heated surface area than the barrels could provide," says Myers.
  "The heated air circulates from chamber to chamber. The longer you make the heat travel, and the more metal there is to absorb the heat, the more efficiently the system dissipates heat."
  A rectangular container positioned next to the X furnace serves two purposes. The top half is used to store crop material and is manually filled by removing the lid. Crop material is automatically conveyed through a tube and into the X furnace. The bottom half of the container houses the electric motors.
  "It lets you heat an entire home for a fraction of the cost of other stoves on the market," says Myers. "I've used it to burn a wide variety of crop materials including corn, oats, wheat, soybeans, wood pellets and switch grass pellets. I like to use corn as a base fuel and mix the others in a 50-50 mix. However, I can also burn straight corn if we want. I figure that 90 bu. of corn and 90 bu. of oats will easily get me through an entire winter.
  "It saves money because crop materials are usually cheaper than wood. The three motors, when they're operating, consume no more electricity than a 100-watt bulb.
  "This stove's burn pot creates a smaller but much more intense fire than a conventional burn pot. Most commercial multi-fuel stoves control the intensity of the burn by adjusting how much air is introduced into the burn pot. However, when you're working with a small fire you need an extremely accurate fuel feeding system.
  "The timer offers four different settings - six minutes on, 8 minutes on, 10 minutes on, and a steady burn. You can regulate the conveyor's speed to further control the temperature."
  Myers is looking for a manufacturer for the X furnace. He expects that if it was manufactured it would sell for just over $1,000.
  He also plans to offer a kit for anyone who wants to put together their own double barrel stove kit, or convert an existing barrel stove. The kit includes the burn pot, agitator, blower, conveyor, electric motors, and plumbing to go from the hopper into the burn pot through the side of the barrel. The kit will sell for less than $500.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Tim Myers, 10059 Rt. 536, Punxsutawney, Penn. 15767 (ph/fax 814 856-2793).

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2008 - Volume #32, Issue #6