The wood boiler weighs about 2,000 lbs without water and this particular model, is a Central Boiler eClassic 2300 and boy can it hold some wood! We will have to photograph that in the next couple days!
The wood boiler being very heavy, the fellows brought a real fancy flat bed truck complete with a hydraulic hoist, so the bioler could easily be lifted off the trailer and onto its concrete pad.
The farm is so muddy and wet that the guys couldn’t get their truck with the boiler close enough to the pad so Carl hooked the trailer with the boiler onto the tractor and was able to get it close enough to the pad for the fellows to back their truck up and use the hydraulic lift on their truck to set the boiler onto the pad.
In one of our greenhouses, the crew installed a radiator using the case and fan from our propane heater which was already hung but not being used because it is so EXPENSIVE to use propane. (The boiler is rather expensive also but hopefully we will be using it for years to come!)
In our other greenhouse, they simply bolted the radiator to a fan (we had the fan in storage and it was on one of the propane heaters when we purchased the greenhouses a few years back), then hung the fan/heater up so that it is off the ground. These fans blow the heat from the hot water in the radiator across the greenhouse just like our propane heater.
Carl hooked up a line voltage thermostat in each greenhouse so that the temperature is hovering around 40 degrees. The plants are now so happy! The thermostats also came with the greenhouses when we purchased them a few years ago. It is amazing all the parts that came with the greenhouses and we are using the majority of the parts.
The last couple of days we have now been burning a fire in the boiler, which heats the water in a 450 gallon tank to 185 degrees, then a pump circulates the hot water through the thermoPEX tubing distributing it to our two greenhouses at 8 gallons a minute. It is pretty cool and can save us money in the long run as long as we are willing to maintain a wood lot.
The thermoPEX is guaranteed to loose no more than 1 degree of heat over 100 feet!
We only have the thermoPEX running from the boiler to the greenhouse. Inside the greenhouse we have just regular PEX tubing. The fellows insulataed the PEX tubing running within the greehouse to help prevent heat loss.
The wood bolier was up and running the day after Jack Frost kissed our late crop of tomatoes goodbye. This fall has been unseasonably warm; however, we ran propane heat a few hours this year just to keep the greenhouse above freezing on the coldest nights this fall; however, the day before the wood boiler was installed we happened to sleep through the night because that morning weather underground forecasted a low of 40. We should have checked weather again before going to bed because the forecast changed during the day!