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Thread: Anyone utilizing a wood chip boiler in their sugaring operation?

  1. #21
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    It is impossible to burn a pan or syrup with steam. I suspect MapleFlats had a typo there. I think for large producers steam makes a lot of sense if done correctly. I was involved for several years with an operation using steam. We were using waste oil which made it tricky sometimes to keep the burner going. Chips would be a good fuel with a boiler and steam pans.

    The disadvantage to steam is it is way more complicated and more parts and pieces that can break, and you need a good water supply at 30+ PSI to be safe.
    About 750 taps on High Vac.
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  2. #22
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    upper michigan, Wilson
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    Mark, have you checked out RMG's operation in Rudyard? I believe their finishing pan is run on steam.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by S&STappers View Post
    Mark, have you checked out RMG's operation in Rudyard? I believe their finishing pan is run on steam.
    No I have not, I would like to run the whole thing on steam and burn chips. If you were going to do just a finisher a small oil fired boiler would be a lot easier. The boilers that I have seen for finishers don't look much bigger than a water heater.

  4. #24
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    So I purchased the chip burning unit that I'd like to bolt to the front of my evaporator. The price was very reasonable and I believe the unit is well built. The burner is a chiptec B2 which I think is only a 200,000 BTU unit. I have a 30" X 8' inferno arch and I have to believe the combination of wood and air is burning hotter than 200,000 BTUs?
    Also, the hopper is made of heavy gauge stainless steel and when I opened the lid used to fill the hopper ( which is held shut with two cam type locks) and the inside of the hopper has a coating of creosote over it. So..... I'm guessing the hopper is actually part of the burn chamber? The chips must start to gasify in the hopper then the gasses are burned along with the chips through the burn process?
    I figured whether or not I end up using it with my evaporator I will utilize it somewhere

  5. #25
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    I think for a 30 x 8 you would like to have closer to 600-700,000 BTUs an hour. my pellet rig runs around 100 lbs. of pellets an hour, and pellets average around 7500-8500 btus per pound.
    Eric Johnson
    Tucker Mountain Maple Co-op
    1400 taps in 2013
    2.5 x 8 CDL pellet arch and Smokey Lake pans
    Lapierre 600 RO
    Member of Andover/Salisbury Maplehaulics anonymous
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    pALS

  6. #26
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    Green chips are around 4,300 BTUs. For me it really makes a difference in performance if the chips are dry or not and free of fines.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    Green chips are around 4,300 BTUs. For me it really makes a difference in performance if the chips are dry or not and free of fines.
    So the chips quality/moisture content play a bigger role in the BTU output than the actual size of the boiler or combustion chamber?

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ball Brook Maple View Post
    So the chips quality/moisture content play a bigger role in the BTU output than the actual size of the boiler or combustion chamber?
    Both do, but if the volume of chips is limited try different chips. Get a temp probe and experiment to find out what works best. When we start back up after a pan change the arch is still warm so we load some poor chips to keep the heat down on the first draw off.
    Last edited by Mark; 05-21-2014 at 08:50 PM.

  9. #29
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    I am no expert, but I think even with the perfect chip (dryness, uniform, no fines) you would be hard pressed to generate enough BTUs with a burner rated at 200K for a 2.5 x 8 evaporator. Not trying to discourage expermentation and advancement, just thinking that BTUs are BTUs...
    Perhaps Sam from CDL can chime in?

    -E
    Eric Johnson
    Tucker Mountain Maple Co-op
    1400 taps in 2013
    2.5 x 8 CDL pellet arch and Smokey Lake pans
    Lapierre 600 RO
    Member of Andover/Salisbury Maplehaulics anonymous
    www.tuckermtn.com
    pALS

  10. #30
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    How big is the grate area? Do you have any pictures?
    Last edited by Mark; 05-21-2014 at 10:35 PM.

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