Barometric damper, my initial impression of its potential to save coal

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lsayre
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Post By: lsayre » Tue. Dec. 05, 2017 11:36 am

Due to my former Type-M Barometric Damper occasionally sticking open, I often left it covered over with aluminum foil, or alternately had it set to crack open only when massive winds hit. For the most part it was often not doing much of anything.

Enter the Type R/C Barometric Damper, which I installed in early October, and which is functioning perfectly to maintain 0.045" of water column draft.

It is still early, but before I switch to my new coal, and while I'm still burning last seasons remaining coal, I have been monitoring coal consumption vs. HDD's, and my preliminary assessment is that my properly functioning barometric damper has not budged my pounds of coal consumed per HDD at all. Bottom line (so far) is that the R/C is not doing anything to benefit (or to hinder) coal consumption.


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Post By: warminmn » Tue. Dec. 05, 2017 11:53 am

Oh oh, your opening a can of worms here :lol: I'll sit back and mostly just read the posts.

It may change when cold air hits as you have likely been idling along. Or it may not matter with your setup. Thats about all I can add.

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Post By: freetown fred » Tue. Dec. 05, 2017 11:55 am

Holy crap!! We agree on something Larry!! LOL I still contend that a properly functioning set-up does not need a bunch of gadgets to increase performance. If a Baro is needed, I'm all for it.

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Post By: Lightning » Tue. Dec. 05, 2017 12:27 pm

I've never claimed a baro would reduce coal consumption, Only that it will hold a stove temp steady on a hand fed. As a matter of fact, it would make sense to me that it didn't reduce coal usage. If so much secondary air is blowing thru the stove due to high draft that it's hauling a substantial amount of heat with it, it's time to fix that. As for a high draft causing more primary air to enter, that'll just make the stove run hotter. Nothin to see here lol.

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Post By: Rob R. » Tue. Dec. 05, 2017 12:41 pm

I am pretty sure the AA manual suggests a baro only if you have problems with temperature overshoots. I do not see why an AHS would be any different.

I would just remove or cover the baro and monitor the boiler on the next few windy days. If the baro is not helping anything, it is just an extra thing to go wrong (such as stick open).

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Post By: windyhill4.2 » Tue. Dec. 05, 2017 12:44 pm

A stoker/boiler will likely not be affected like a hand fed stove by the baro. A stoker/boiler will just not fire as soon if the draft has been pulling harder & keeping the idle fire a bit higher than is usual. A hand fed stove will benefit greatly by the baro holding the fire at a consistent temp. A hand fed stove with the bi-metal t-stat maintains a much more consistent fire temp & a hand fed stove without the bi-metal t-stat will likewise benefit from the baro keeping the fire temp consistent.

It is note worthy that even back in the good old days,they put a baro on oil burners & the vented kero heaters to maintain a consistent draft.

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Post By: Lightning » Tue. Dec. 05, 2017 3:04 pm

There are only two respects where I could see that a baro would save coal.

First case would be with a stove that has leakage above the fuel bed, such as a loose load door. Extra air driven by draft pressure and not contributing to combustion would carry BTUs with it up the chimney. Also, a stove with fixed secondary air or an air wash system for the viewing glass. Excessive draft would induce excessive secondary air. Controlling the draft would net some savings in coal usage.

Case number two, a stove with a manual primary air control. The savings would occur if the baro simply prevented the house from over heating.

A tight stove with a thermostat controlled primary air I believe would see very little (immeasurable) if any coal savings with a baro.

And I would say all those things also hold true with a manual pipe damper.

As to how that would relate to your stove Larry, my speculation is that a controlled draft would prevent excessive combustion air from being induced.

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Post By: corey » Tue. Dec. 05, 2017 5:31 pm

I'm currently waiting on my baro to arrive good reading here. What made my decision on the baro was having to monkey with my mpd especially at night.


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Post By: hotblast1357 » Tue. Dec. 05, 2017 5:35 pm

IF ANYTHING, I would say that the baro-no baro situation is going to keep the fire cooler at idle, when the site flap is hung open, with no draft control and a strong windy day, I could see the chimney pulling a lot of air over the fire and in theory cooling it down quicker, but u haven’t seen any difference in coal consumption so I don’t know Lol

Wether a draft at .01 or .10 I don’t think it’s going to effect the firing due to the massive combustion fan these have and the large amount of air they move, I think draft is only going to effect an idle fire like I mentioned above, UNLESS the draft is so strong it sucks the site door shut and pulls air through the fire bed, but I don’t think anyone has a draft near that strength!

Now with all that being said, a baro was a must on my hotblast furnace and New Yorker boiler, and I even used one on baseburner along with a MPD (which didn’t do a damn thing by the way!) but these AA,AHS boilers are a whole complete separate animal due to there extremely unique design!

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Post By: Pacowy » Wed. Dec. 06, 2017 10:09 am

If it's true that "these AA,AHS boilers are a whole complete separate animal due to there extremely unique design", then it seems like Larry may be overreaching a little if he's is trying to state a broader conclusion about baros from his AHS data. They are widely referenced in installation manuals - EFM, for example, says "(w)here fluctuating draft conditions are present, it is advisable to install a Barometric Draft control". By their action they generally promote efficiency by protecting against the introduction of either cooling overfire air or unneeded underfire air, and enabling the draft to be stabilized around the level the mfgr has set for the unit. With all of the forum threads and posts about draft issues and manometers, it seems like baros could become the subject of the next LifeLock commercial, where some people are willing to monitor a potential problem but not do anything about it. I don't recall ever seeing a claim of specific savings for baros, but then I haven't seen one for boiler putty either. If the number is small it may well be hard to measure with aggregate data, especially where the M may have been partially effective, we aren't yet even at the time of year when most of the coal actually gets used, and relevant variables - like actual fluctuations in draft conditions - have been omitted. If admire Larry's monitoring program and his frequent analyses of the data it produces, but this one seems kind of limited in the conclusions it can support.

Mike

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Post By: Rob R. » Wed. Dec. 06, 2017 10:54 am

I was under the impression this assessment was only for AA design units. Those are unique with their over fire draft break when sitting idle.

If I cover the baro on my EFM on a day like yesterday (warm and windy) will burn all of the coal in the pot and go out. I imagine the same is true for a Keystoker.

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Post By: McGiever » Wed. Dec. 06, 2017 11:04 am

IMHO: A baro is a convience tool more so than a fuel saver.
It is a lot nicer to have automatic draft regulation, if/where needed, than to have to have constant human intervention in order to adjust for all draft fluctuations.
Fuel savings, if any, are just a by-product of automatic draft regulation.
Last edited by McGiever on Wed. Dec. 06, 2017 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post By: lsayre » Wed. Dec. 06, 2017 11:10 am

I hope I didn't mistakenly imply that my observation would apply universally to all coal stoves/boilers/furnaces. I merely intended to let others know what I'm observing for my boiler.

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Post By: Pacowy » Wed. Dec. 06, 2017 11:11 am

Good point McG.

Rob and Larry, I didn't see any AA/AHS limitation in the title or the original post, and people running other units were responding as if this was opening the whole baro "can of worms", so making that limitation clear seems important. In addition I think there are methodological issues as outlined that make it hard here to distinguish the undoubtedly small from the potentially nonexistent.

Mike

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Post By: hotblast1357 » Wed. Dec. 06, 2017 11:20 am

Mike even if it this would have been clearly labeled a aa/ahs thread, the people still would of commented that have other types of appliances opening the can of worms!


Lately it seems like we need a “flame suit” for the aa/ahs threads lol


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