Wood Hot Water Boiler Systems

The entire time we lived in our Indiana house we heated with wood. We consider it a low energy, renewable system that balances its pollution potential. Dave also harvested dead trees from our property and cut and split them to burn. We had plenty of standing dead hardwood to heat with.
In Colorado our son-in-law uses purchased hardwood and a high quality fireplace insert to help heat his home.
Early in the process of planning for heating sources I decided to look for a wood burning boiler system. These are the resources I found for using wood to heat water for a radiant heating system.

Caleffi Wood idronics

Caleffi Wood idronics Appendices

I found a indoor wood burning boiler stove on Ebay. It is energy efficient with low emissions.

Spectra manual 2012 ENG

Today it would be difficult to find the same sort of stove because they have come under new EPA certification guidelines for wood boilers. At the time I purchased this stove, wood boilers were exempted from the emissions rules, although this one meets the criteria, it is a foreign certification.

European Stove Emission Standards

Cichewicz Stove Certification

Colorado Guidance on Residential Wood Stove Burning

EPA Rules for Wood Burning Stoves in Effect in 2011

Emissions from Combustion of Wood Lignate

The installation instructions called for an open vented hot water supply and overflow system. I did a lot of research about how to install one of these. After wrestling with how to install this type of venting system, I opted for a low pressure relief valve with a tank catchment system instead.

Open System Piping Explained

Open vented stored hot water systems

The wood boiler piping system is a little different from the gas boiler system. My system uses two aquastats.

Wood Boiler Aquastats

Honeywell Aquastat 6006

The boiler is constructed of sheet steel and I was not using any iron in the system due to our water quality. So I set up a system with a brazed plate heat exchanger to transfer the heat from storage to the water in the radiant pipes.

Heat Exchangers

Brazed Plate Heat Exchangers

BPX Brazed Plate Heat Exchangers

Purchased BPX Heat Exchanger

Brazed Plate Heat Exchanger For Chiller Systems

The two circulation pumps are Taco 006 stainless. But the storage system pump is a smaller E3 hot water recirculating pump from Laing.

Laing Pump Brochure

Laing Pump User Manual

I chose a Super Vent double walled chimney pipe for the exhaust system based on comparative cost and availability.

Super Vent Technical Guidelines

Super Vent Install Instructions

Every system needs on-going trouble-shooting and maintenance.

Troubleshooting and Startup Check List

Maintenance of Wood Boiler

Since the Spectra Install manual was translated from Polish, I also looked at other wood boiler install manuals.

Aquatherm Boiler Manual

Greenwood Boiler Manual

Greenwood Boiler Plumbing Systems