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  • 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.
    20 evergreen 210 XW 6048 XW 80 600 16 trojan T105 victron bm custom ground mount all the power we need to live a normal off grid life

  • #2

    Re: Pellet stove for off grid

    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.
    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.

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    • #3

      Re: Pellet stove for off grid

      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.
      http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
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      Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph # 214505 ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV
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      • #4

        Re: Pellet stove for off grid

        Re: Pellet stove for off grid

        Originally posted by tmarch View Post
        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.
        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.../viewforum/22/

        Bill

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        • #5

          Re: Pellet stove for off grid

          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.
          5 Evergreen ESA 210's mounted, 4 Evergreen ESA 215's in the closet, Outback FM80, Xantrex Prosine 2, 4 Sunextender 8D batteries. 1 TLG wind generator. WB8ZMY Kirk

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          • #6

            Re: Pellet stove for off grid

            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

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            • #7

              Re: Pellet stove for off grid

              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.
              Last edited by waynefromnscanada; August 29th, 2011, 19:23.
              1900 watts PV, (1000 watts PV feeding MidNite Classic 150; 900 watts PV + 160 watts micro hydro both feeding into a single shared Morningstar TS-MPPT-60) ; Xantrex Pure Sine 1800/12 for heavy loads; Xantrex Pure Sine 1000/12 on 24/7 for everything else; six Rolls Surrette 2 volt L16 @ 12 volts.
              Domestic hot water totally provided by the sun 8 months out of every year via thermal panel.

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              • #8

                Re: Pellet stove for off grid

                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
                Please note, being a moderator does not add any weight to my opinions 300 watts Siemens/BP panels,plus a Sun 90,, making ~400. ~30 amps into Rogue MPT-3024, 450 ah of Trojan T-105, Morningstar ts300 inverter, a Tri-Metric meter.a collection of antique generators, plus 2 Honda eu-1000i's (also a BS2512 IX controller) and assorted other stuff!

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                • #9

                  Re: Pellet stove for off grid

                  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
                  On-grid with RE backup power. HY-2000 2kW wind turbine charging 48V 600Ah Concorde Lifeline battery bank. Wind power diversion heats water in an auxilliary 80 gal hot water heater. 2.1kW Evergreen solar panels & TS-MPPT-45. XW6048 inverter, Onan 6kW 6DJE diesel generator, and Yanmar YDG3700 diesel gen as backup.

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                  • #10

                    Re: Pellet stove for off grid

                    Re: Pellet stove for off grid

                    Originally posted by keyturbocars View Post
                    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.
                    12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is, 4.2 kw APC UPS powered either by battery or a Prius. Really.

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                    • #11

                      Re: Pellet stove for off grid

                      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.
                      15 assorted solar panels 1800 watts
                      MX 60 charge controller
                      940 amp hour 2 X 6-100-13 DEKA batterys
                      TriMetric battery monitor
                      SW4024 inverter
                      Basic Stamp computer to control SW4024 from MX60

                      MikeO

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                      • #12

                        Re: Pellet stove for off grid

                        Re: Pellet stove for off grid

                        Originally posted by mikeo View Post
                        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?

                        (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. )

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                        • #13

                          Re: Pellet stove for off grid

                          Re: Pellet stove for off grid

                          I much prefer splitting and stacking vs. sectioning and hauling.
                          12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is, 4.2 kw APC UPS powered either by battery or a Prius. Really.

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                          • #14

                            Re: Pellet stove for off grid

                            Re: Pellet stove for off grid

                            Originally posted by techntrek View Post
                            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.
                            Sticking it to the power company one watt at a time!
                            60 Ningbo Electric 175 watt panels and 12 Canadian Solar 180 watt panels with 2 PVP 5200 Inverters

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                            • #15

                              Re: Pellet stove for off grid

                              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.
                              15 assorted solar panels 1800 watts
                              MX 60 charge controller
                              940 amp hour 2 X 6-100-13 DEKA batterys
                              TriMetric battery monitor
                              SW4024 inverter
                              Basic Stamp computer to control SW4024 from MX60

                              MikeO

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