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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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    I am going to install a wood burner, and have already installed a Dunsley Baker neutralizer so that I can plumb in a boiler integrated with the wood burner ( I already have a good new gas boiler running ).

    However, I am going off the idea of having a boiler on the wood burner:
    a) with a boiler, a wood burner burns the fuel at a lower temperature, and so is less efficient. Also, the wood burner with a boiler is more expensive.
    b) I have seen people reduced to slaves of their wood burners, feeding huge amounts of wood into the stove throughout the winter ( OK, so maybe they had an inefficient setup )
    c) I really want the wood burner to be an optional extra - to be fired up in the dead of winter. The quicker response in terms of space heating of a wood burner without a boiler is more attractive.

    As a compromise, I am thinking of putting a black-painted radiator on the wall behind the burner to absorb any heat that would otherwise be absorbed into the ( internal ) brick wall. I imagine that if the radiator was very close to the wood burner, it would collect quite a bit of heat - but the burner would still run at the higher temperature/greater efficiency of a wood burner without a boiler. I could easily plumb the radiator in as a leg of the solar heating circuit, so that heat is transferred to my cylinder via thermosyphon. If it works I could sell the neutraliser.

    It seems a simple setup, but haven't come across it before. Has anyone tried it? Any comments?

    • CommentAuthorchuckey
    • CommentTimeJul 16th 2007
    The wall behind my boiler is a single skin(9") of lime stone blocks. When I used my wood burner (3" from this wal) the outside of the wall got noticeably warm. I then put two layers of "baco" foil in this gap to cure this heat loss. What you are proposing will work, but will have a very low output in terms of heat because of the poor thermal transfer via the air gap between the back of the fire and the radiator. I believe that you must have metal-to-metal contact to make it a worthwhile proposition. A possible way of doing this would be to buy a radiator that has a face that is "flat" with indentations. Use flexible water connectors, prop the rad up against the back of the stove. Oh yes the back of the stove needs to be flat as well. Then use springs and foam so as to push the rad onto the back of the fire. If the gods are with you you may get adequate contact for the rad to heat a worthwhile amount of water.
    You will, of course be "cooling" your fire so your point 1 will become active.
    • CommentAuthorSolar bore
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2007
    Are you trying to heat the room fire is in ?

    If so I have a fan that sits on the fire multi-fuel burner, the fan gets its energy from the fire as the fire gets hotter so the fan speed increases.

    When It was first put into use my wife who loaded up the wood to its usual level to get sufficient heat to warm her up. Up to then the bedroom above was getting hot via the brickwork of the chimney (Victorian terrace)

    On this occasion she had to evacuate the room as it was to hot, needless to say we now use slightly less wood. these units are imported from Canada and are sold by canal boat chandlers they cost around £70 but what a piece of kit,
    Nice! Thanks for the tip. Here's a link to the device:


    Might be good for me, as there will a be a high ceiling in that room, and I was bothered about all the heat just going up.
    • CommentAuthortrekmate
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2007
    Sounds like a great product. We have a high ceiling too. Solar Bore, is it quiet in operation?
    • CommentAuthorptan
    • CommentTimeAug 2nd 2007

    I've just put in a woodburner with a boiler (and returned the Dunsley Baker neutraliser as I also didnt need it) but for the exact opposite reason.

    I already have central heating but had an original open fire which I didnt want to lose but it was so inefficient so I decided to replace it, but knowing how efficient modern woodburners could be I chose a boiler version so we didnt get driven out of the room when it was fired up. But having said that when I looked at the figures supplied by the manufacturer the non-boiler version is less efficient then the CH boiler version - I cant claim to understand the technical figures.
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