1992 - Volume #16, Issue #5, Page #28[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Totally automatic self stoking boiler"You can heat with wood or paper pellets for less than half the cost of propane or natural gas," says Howard Johnson, Johnson Mfg. & Sales, Inc., manufacturer of a new self-stoking hot water furnace that's got a new-style auger-feed system that's totally automatic and even cleans out the ash automatically.
The new pellet-stoking system is matched up with an Aqua Therm outside wood burning furnace. Aqua Therm wood burners consist of a firebox surrounded by a boiler water jacket and a pump that sends hot water through underground pipes to radiator units in the house. (If the house has a forced air furnace, a radiator unit is placed inside the plenum of the existing furnace).
To use, you just fill the hopper, set the thermostat and the furnace takes over from there. When water in the water jacket reaches the temperature you've set, the forced draft fan shuts off and the pellet-feeding auger stops. When the thermostat calls for more heat, the fan and auger start up again, creating a hot fire for as long as needed. When no heat is called for, a timer starts the fan and auger periodically so the fire will not go out.
The stoker has three augers, all driven by a single 1/4-hp. heavy duty gear motor through a unique drive system. A 3-in. auger brings pellets out of the hopper and drops them into a 3-in. auger that feeds the fire. A 2-in. auger pulls ash out of the bottom of the firebox. Auger speed can be easily adjusted to adapt to whatever type of fuel is being used.
"Wood and paper pellets are becoming much more widely available and they're very cheap. Once you fire up this furnace, it'll run all winter without any maintenance other than filling it with pellets," says Johnson, noting that the 7 cu. ft. capacity of the pellet hopper can be increased by building extensions onto it. Johnson doesn't recommend burning straight corn in the furnace, because of problems with "clinkers" that form in the ash, but says it can be mixed in with paper or wood pellets which prevents formation of clinkers.
Sells for $3,500.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Johnson Mfg. & Sales, Inc., N5499 Cty. E., Ogdensburg, Wis. 54962 (ph 414 244-7581; fax 414 244-7580).
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