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EllisWyatt
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Posted: 11/8/2012 6:38:16 PM
My primary heat source is a US Stove 6041 multi-fuel pellet stove. We burn corn, pellets and a 50/50 blend depending on ambient temp. Heating about
1400 squre feet, 2 floors and keep the house generally in the 62-65 degree range. The following is specific to this environment.
Corn burns about 27 degrees hotter at the stove vent than pellets. Duct temp for pellets is about 104 with pellets or a blend raising accordingly
within the 27 degrees depending on the blend. Average day say at 15 degrees outside I'll burn about 80 pounds of fuel in 24 hours. Stove needs to
be loaded in 12 hour intervals. BTU output comparisons can be found at http://iburncorn.com.
Corn I get as payment for the neighbor for him planting crops on a 6 acre plot I own. He rotates the crops on that land and pays me annually by
filling a 200 bushel gravity box out of the corn drier for my corn stove it needs to be at most 15% moisture content and he usually drys to 14%. I
have yet to use the entire 200 bushels in a heating season. His yield is in the 150 bushel an acre range so it costs him about 1/3 of his yield on
that plot to rent it.

Pellet stove:
Pros: Heat source capable of leveraging renewable fuels. Relatively simple installation and venting. Good market availability as well as repair
parts. Constant heat as with any wood burner. Some higher end models are self lighting but I prefer constant heat. Can be vented out sidewall.

Cons: Noisy but after a few weeks I don't hear it anymore. Needs electricity but only a small load. 12 hour maint interval with bi-weekly cleaning including chimney
sweeping. Need to add calcium carbonate (chicken scratch) daily to manage clinkers.

Corn
Pros: Burns hottest of all fuels for me, it's cheap (in my situation) and easy to handle in bulk. readily accessible and easier to obtain than
firewood. Very low ash output can push out cleaning and maint 2 two week intervals if I'm diligent on daily maint.

Cons: Vermin. Can be inconsistent and dirt is abrasive to moving parts. Corn has a high acidity when burned that will shorten the life of the
venting. All combustible products create clinkers, corn cab be especially high in producing clinkers and you need to keep up with the calcium
carbonate (chicken scratch) to prevent them from building up. Needs to burn at higher intensity for a proper burn so you don't really want to burn
them in moderate temps.

Pellets
Pro's: Store easily. Very consistent, lower moisture content. Readily available in single bags, 1 ton pallets or semi loads. If you are careful
about what your burning can be pretty low on the ash output but 2 weeks between cleanings is rare. bags are 40 pounds and conmvenient to handle.
Several days of fuel can be stored near the stove without taking much space. In WI I have no problem finding neighbors to split a 22 ton load
with.

Cons:
Lots of fuel choices and some can be extremely poor quality or not designed for heating. Pellet cook stoves and barbeque's have molasses binders
and are not good for moving parts. Homework necessary. Preseason bulk buying almost required. Many suppliers run out early and supply demand
economics are prevalent with suppliers stock all season long. Moving 1 ton pallets requires equipment or bag by bag handling.


Put her in 4-lo. Point it in the direction you want to go. Step on it.
die-tryin
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Posted: 11/8/2012 6:52:49 PM
Thanks, that is exactly what I was looking for, this will help greatly with the Heater 101 FAQ
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EllisWyatt
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Posted: 11/8/2012 7:01:47 PM
Hit me a the right time, I was doing a write up for a project at work..
Put her in 4-lo. Point it in the direction you want to go. Step on it.
blackdog911
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Posted: 11/9/2012 11:39:30 AM
[Last Edit: 11/9/2012 12:57:34 PM by blackdog911]
Great information any issues with power surge or outage?


Will the house fill with smoke in a power outage? Such as dampers closing not to concerned about the fire going out just the smoke issue.
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Feral

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Posted: 11/9/2012 12:04:31 PM
There's one other con that's worth mentioning. Like any other electro-mechanical device pellets stoves will inevitably at some point break and require parts. This could be a big deal depending on parts availability and availability of someone comfortable working on the stove.
R2point0
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Posted: 11/9/2012 2:00:47 PM
Question: Clean chimney every 2 weeks? That doesn't sound right. And if it is, and it's SOP for these stoves, definitely a con.
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Posted: 11/9/2012 2:13:40 PM
Originally Posted By Feral:
There's one other con that's worth mentioning. Like any other electro-mechanical device pellets stoves will inevitably at some point break and require parts. This could be a big deal depending on parts availability and availability of someone comfortable working on the stove.


Unless I missed it there is another con as well. Susceptible to fuel supply interruptions unless you have your own pellet-mill in your back-yard.

Of course that isn't a major issue for everyday life, but in SHTF it may become a big issue.

For me I went with cord-wood stove that doesn't require any electricity. I heat my entire 4,000 sf house with cord-wood. Running fans does help keep the heat circulated but I can still heat the place to a reasonable level in a power outage. Fuel is readily abundant round me I just have to cut/split it (my chainsaws will run for a couple years on my stocked gas supply).
EllisWyatt
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Posted: 11/9/2012 5:21:23 PM
Originally Posted By R2point0:
Question: Clean chimney every 2 weeks? That doesn't sound right. And if it is, and it's SOP for these stoves, definitely a con.


Not necessary but it's more consistent over the long term if I keep it clean.

Put her in 4-lo. Point it in the direction you want to go. Step on it.
EllisWyatt
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Posted: 11/9/2012 5:24:13 PM
Originally Posted By blackdog911:
Great information any issues with power surge or outage?


Will the house fill with smoke in a power outage? Such as dampers closing not to concerned about the fire going out just the smoke issue.


I have it attached to a ups that will keep it running long enough for the genny to start. I'm end of the line for power grid so I have a line conditioner on the transformer. And no if the power drops this thing snuffs out quickly in less than 2 minutes. Even if I have it really cranking the firebox is only the size of a 3 pound coffee can.

Put her in 4-lo. Point it in the direction you want to go. Step on it.
EllisWyatt
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Posted: 11/9/2012 5:26:24 PM
Originally Posted By Feral:
There's one other con that's worth mentioning. Like any other electro-mechanical device pellets stoves will inevitably at some point break and require parts. This could be a big deal depending on parts availability and availability of someone comfortable working on the stove.


Correct I bought spares with it and US stove is pretty common to see parts in the local farm stores in my AO. I have several alternates if necessary including a wood fired kitchen range.

Put her in 4-lo. Point it in the direction you want to go. Step on it.