Pellet stove for off grid

Does anyone know of a pellet stove that will work off grid. It seems that a lot of them are power hogs and can use upwards of 100kwh per month. Should I just stick with my wood stove with propane backup. I can get pellets for a very good price from a local mill.

Comments

  • tmarchtmarch Posts: 142Solar Expert
    Re: Pellet stove for off grid

    There will be some additional power use with a pellet stove over a conventional wood stove. Auger fans etc, but for me it's worth it for the convenience and the amount of heat they produce.
    NOT going to start mine at 90 plus degrees to measure the amount of watts with my meter today tho.:p
    One thing to consider is the manufacturer, I use only Harman stoves, we clean them once a month or so whether they need it or not, others require daily cleaning.
  • mike95490mike95490 Posts: 6,512Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Pellet stove for off grid

    some of the pellet stoves use a big glow coil to insure the pellets lite off. the little auger motor and fan likely don't use much power.
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  • BilljustBillBilljustBill Posts: 209Solar Expert ✭✭
    Re: Pellet stove for off grid
    tmarch wrote: »
    There will be some additional power use with a pellet stove over a conventional wood stove. Auger fans etc, but for me it's worth it for the convenience and the amount of heat they produce.
    NOT going to start mine at 90 plus degrees to measure the amount of watts with my meter today tho.:p
    One thing to consider is the manufacturer, I use only Harman stoves, we clean them once a month or so whether they need it or not, others require daily cleaning.

    I'd bet there will some help at this site:

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewforum/22/

    Bill
  • snuffysnuffy Posts: 72Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Pellet stove for off grid

    Had a pellet stove once and it didn't use much power as long as I lit it with a propane torch. The little ignitor rods use a lot until they burn out which was often in my case. Got rid of the stove and went to a soapstone stove. Hated the blower running all the time on the pellet stove and the dust it stirred up. Love the soapstone stove. Of course the firewood is free. :D
  • AltnrgyAltnrgy Posts: 6Registered Users
    Re: Pellet stove for off grid

    Other have spoke about energy but I would suggest you also research compatibility while you're at it.

    I would make sure the stove worked on your inverter before you purchased either one. Sounds like already have the inverter though. The sensitive electronics and variable speed drives of pellet stoves are not always compatible with inverters, especially mod sine wave.

    Best. Altnrgy
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Posts: 3,009Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Pellet stove for off grid

    Anyone considering a pellet stove, should be very sure they can get a long term supply of pallets at a reasonable price. About 3 years ago in these parts, at the height of winter when people needed them the most, pellets were not available at any price, there just weren't any to be had. There would be rumors of this store, or that store possibly receiving a shipment the next day, and come morning, there would be big lineups hoping to stock up, but alas it often turned out to be all talk. Last year there didn't seem to be a problem, but now one of the biggest pallet makers in the Province has just gone out of business. We'll see what that brings to this winter. Heat pumps are looking better all the time. What to do, what to do. I can't find a dealer for the Sanyo mini-split in Canada.
    By the way, re auger power use, I had heard horror stories of the augers sucking back 500 watts more or less, so had a chance to investigate one on active display last year. Was quite surprised, The auger motor was the size of a small fan motor and the electronics would supply it with short power bursts, to "bump" the motor a few turns every few seconds. The motor was chain driven to the auger, which turned much slower than the motor. The motor was the typical size of a small fan motor as mentioned, and it's consumption, while it was being "bumped" ahead, would be less than 100 watts, and since it only got "bumped" for approx 1/2 second roughly every 10 seconds (depending on how much heat was required) it's average consumption I would expect to be less than 10 watts. The blower motors however would be a whole different thing, constantly working hard to force air under some pressure into the burner, and the other blower circulating air around the outside of the heat exchanger.
  • icarusicarus Posts: 5,070Solar Expert
    Re: Pellet stove for off grid

    Do a calc figuring net BTUs into the room. Depending on what you pay for pellets, and if you have other optiions ( especially nat gas) you might actually be surprised.

    Wood heat isn't always the bargain we think it is, if you have to buy and/or transport wood!

    Tony
  • keyturbocarskeyturbocars Posts: 375Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Pellet stove for off grid

    It's been a while since I tested this, but these numbers should be very close.

    Starting pellet stove (highest fan): ~550W
    Running pellet stove with highest fan speed: ~125W

    I have a thermostat wired into my pellet stove to control the temperature more precisely, but this means that the stove has to shut off and restart periodically. If the grid was down and I was running off grid, then I'd peg out the thermostat control to the highest temp possible and just run the stove at the lower heat setting (pellet feed rate) and the highest fan setting. I figure that this should help maximize the heat extracted from the pellets, and also prevent the stove from having to constantly restart and use the coils to ignite the pellets. That's what really draws the power. It can take quite a while for the coil to heat up enough to ignite the pellets, so it's a big waste of power. I'd guess that it can take at least a minute if the stove is cooled down.

    As someone else said, it's too hot (90+F) out for me to even think about firing up the pellet stove and test this again.

    Edward
  • techntrektechntrek Posts: 1,357Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Pellet stove for off grid
    If the grid was down and I was running off grid, then I'd peg out the thermostat control to the highest temp possible and just run the stove at the lower heat setting (pellet feed rate) and the highest fan setting. I figure that this should help maximize the heat extracted from the pellets...

    Yes, slower burn = more total BTUs from the same amount of wood. Your stragegy sounds good.
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • mikeomikeo Posts: 383Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Pellet stove for off grid
    Wood heat isn't always the bargain we think it is, if you have to buy and/or transport wood!
    Anyone with 10 acres or more of woods should have a sustainable supply of fire wood from downed and thinned trees as long as there is a healthy enough person in the family to cut it. I have a Harmon wood stove and love it. I need to empty the ash pan a couple time a month, it is top loading and burns wood very efficiently. This supplies most of my winter heating with about a 2 cords of wood per year.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Posts: 17,615Banned ✭✭
    Re: Pellet stove for off grid
    mikeo wrote: »
    Anyone with 10 acres or more of woods should have a sustainable supply of fire wood from downed and thinned trees as long as there is a healthy enough person in the family to cut it. I have a Harmon wood stove and love it. I need to empty the ash pan a couple time a month, it is top loading and burns wood very efficiently. This supplies most of my winter heating with about a 2 cords of wood per year.

    Yes, but; how do you get the kids to do the work? :p

    (In fairness Our Chris has my new chainsaw and has probably cut a huge number of rounds. I'll still have to split and stack it though. :cry: )
  • techntrektechntrek Posts: 1,357Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Pellet stove for off grid

    I much prefer splitting and stacking vs. sectioning and hauling.
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • solar_davesolar_dave Posts: 2,280Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Pellet stove for off grid
    techntrek wrote: »
    I much prefer splitting and stacking vs. sectioning and hauling.

    I much prefer no requirement for wood burning, i.e. glorious winters! Minimal heat pump please.
  • mikeomikeo Posts: 383Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Pellet stove for off grid
    I much prefer no requirement for wood burning, i.e. glorious winters! Minimal heat pump please.
    Me too if I had an unlimited supply of money. Unfortunately I don't and last winter it got down to or near 0F for over a month here in Arkansas and heat pumps don't work much below 30F and then you end up using resistance heating which cost lots of bucks. With 20$ worth of fuel I can cut a winters worth of wood which warms me twice, once while I'm cutting and splitting it and again when burning it.
  • solar_davesolar_dave Posts: 2,280Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Pellet stove for off grid
    mikeo wrote: »
    Me too if I had an unlimited supply of money. Unfortunately I don't and last winter it got down to or near 0F for over a month here in Arkansas and heat pumps don't work much below 30F and then you end up using resistance heating which cost lots of bucks. With 20$ worth of fuel I can cut a winters worth of wood which warms me twice, once while I'm cutting and splitting it and again when burning it.

    I hear ya, but you have to empathize with me on the AC usage in the summer months. Just got the second bill of the year this time for $115 for off peak night time usage not covered on the TOU plan. BUT I still have over 1800 kWh on the on peak kWh bank, certainly going to look hard at this TOU plan once the cooling season is over. A different plan is available noon to 7PM Mon-Fri. rates are higher but we aren't using all on peak with a 9-9 plan.
  • mikeomikeo Posts: 383Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Pellet stove for off grid
    I hear ya, but you have to empathize with me on the AC usage in the summer months.
    I certainly do, July and August was murder this year, literally with many deaths in the state, Daily temps peaking at over 100F for most of 6 weeks with heat index's approaching 120F on many days. My electric bill was 109 dollars the previous month and 96 last month. Hopefully it will get down below 50 a month now that it has stared cooling off. If I could justify cutting wood for cooling at about the same cost, I would cut another 2 cords of wood a year.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Pellet stove for off grid

    I have two gravity feed pellet stoves and they roast me out of the house...

    much like this one http://www.clarrypelletstove.com/pages/rocky.html no power required...works great with a corn/pellet mix

    A neighbor of mine has this one http://www.walltentshop.com/RileyPellet.html but he says it doesn't hold enough pellets (built a much larger hopper for it) and doesn't like corn at all

    David
  • arghhharghhh Posts: 18Registered Users
    Re: Pellet stove for off grid
    offgrid me wrote: »
    Does anyone know of a pellet stove that will work off grid. It seems that a lot of them are power hogs and can use upwards of 100kwh per month. Should I just stick with my wood stove with propane backup. I can get pellets for a very good price from a local mill.

    I used a kill-a-watt on my stove for about 2 weeks. The igniter coil uses about 400 watts on mine for the first 3 minutes of operation plus about 80 watts for the blower and auger. I turn mine on and leave it on for about a week at a time, cleaning it out every weekend. Doing the math from my sample I think mine is about 8kWH / month. The only issue is mine has electronics and motors so I would be hesitant to run it off a MSW inverter.

    I have 2 kozi stoves, one upstairs and one down. http://www.kozistoves.com/Baywin.html

    It will heat me out of the house set any higher than 3 of 5.
  • tmarchtmarch Posts: 142Solar Expert
    Re: Pellet stove for off grid

    Started mine his morning, low 40s. Auto lite used 500 watts for a few minutes, has ran steady for an hour now and using roughly 100 watts with the fan going and total for the first hour is .19 KWH.
    Guess I'll keep it.
  • snickssnicks Posts: 2Registered Users
    Re: Pellet stove for off grid

    I have been off grid for around 15 years. Have been burning wood pellets for around 8 years now. the first pellet stove I had. I had modified it to run on 12 volts the blower motor,draft fan and the auger motor and a new timer trip board that i also made(this unit did not have auto light). For the past 3 heating seasons I have been running a brand new stove avent wood pellet stove. This unit comes with 12 volt dc motors installed and needs no ac power what so ever to run. And mine draws less then 2.5 dc amps to run at full speed. (The Avent pellet stove is designed to operate on a 12 volt DC battery system for extended back-up periods. This system may also be used in conjunction with 12 volt solar systems) the stove uses 18 gauge wire and a 4 amp fuse off the batter bank to run. I also run a sundanzer freezer off my off grid system along with an ice box that i use 2 liter pop bottles filled with frozen water for refrigeration. If any one needs any help with the off grid life give me a shout.
  • snickssnicks Posts: 2Registered Users
    Re: Pellet stove for off grid

    sorry forgot to say thank you lol
  • techntrektechntrek Posts: 1,357Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Pellet stove for off grid

    Welcome. .
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • Sun DogSun Dog Posts: 115Solar Expert ✭✭
    Re: Pellet stove for off grid

    I don't know if the previously mentioned Avent pellet stove is still available but three years ago when I was setting up my system I looked at some of the pellet stoves from Thelin. Their Tiburon is said to run at 35 watts but at the time I heard that the air wash over the front glass was insufficient and that it would soot up within a day or so. I chose to go with some Toyotomi oil stoves and while pellets are significantly cheaper/BTU than oil where I live, I have had zero maintenance (knock on wood) and I don't have to store or carry bags of pellets.

    http://thelinco.com/product/tiburon-pellet-stove/
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