Posted by Harold Kestenholz - Hydronic Network on April 17, 2001 at 09:33:57:
In Reply to: alternative fuel/combo steam boilers posted by Brad on April 16, 2001 at 16:39:46:
Wood-oil boilers are available. A few are listed below. Residential sized wood/steam boilers are harder to find. Part of the problem in finding them is that EPA requirements mitigate against their use. Also it is not easy to make a solid-fuel boiler reach 78% AFUE efficiency as solid fuel passages through the boiler must be made wide open to permit ash to pass through or they will clog up in a day. This is not a problem for large industrial boilers as there is a full-time crew to clean them.
The price for putting a wood boiler and an oil boiler next to each other and piping them in parallel to reduce stand-by losses is fairly close to buying one specialized oil/steam/wood boiler. You might investigate finding a wood steam boiler to place next to the existing boiler.
Changing from steam piping to hot water piping to use the existing radiation is an option that brings fuel economy that may amortize the cost of the change.
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