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Running Radiators off woodburners?


Lee&Nik

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hello all.

does anyone here run heating radiators off their woodburners?   i have been looking at UK websites and they have burners with back boilers wich will run up to 8 radiators!

this must be the best use of a burner, like a turbo on a car, use the exhausted heat to reheat other parts of the house!  win win surely?

 

im thinking would the system need a pump or would the heated fluid move using thermo syphon action? and would that travel up stairs??

 

thanks

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We did have this system in the UK (heat exchanger on three sides of the woodburner) and yes, a pump was needed but only for the rads on the same level as or below the boiler (physics takes care of those above).  Great idea but it does rely on your being able to keep the woodburner stoked up so can be a right pain in the b*m if you're out a lot.
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at our last French house we had a Rayburn, with four good sized radiators running of it although it had capacity for six.  The French plumber who installed it had trouble with the instructions but between us - him with his technical terms and us with our dodgy French - he put in a good quality system that really kept the house warm.  A pump was installed, just next to the Rayburn, to push the water around but also with a valve so that you could allocate between hot water/central heating or both.

It was a good economical system and absolutely reliable, especially if there were power cuts that meant that other people didn't have any electric heating.  Even if the power was off, the water would work its way around the system (my husband has explained how this happens but it was too technikcal - whoof! itwent right over my head!).  The downside, well you had to stoke it up last thing at night and it wouldn't really last until the morning, unless you got up at 6am to put on another few logs.  We put coal in it and that didn't make much difference to how long it lasted.  But I'd recommend it and we are looking to get another wood-burner for our new house but, this time, we shall buy a French one to make installation and servicing easier.

 

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My brother-in-law is looking to sort something along these lines for next winter.

They already have an oil-fired boiler that works their radiators. His plan is to tap into the heating circuit and plumb his wood-burner into it as well. When stoked up, this will provide the majority of heat for the system, and the oil burner will not fire up as the system temp will be above whatever its thermostat is set to, but if they go away, or dont use the wood stove for a few days, the oil burner will kick in and keep the rads hot.

He plans to make the stove himself, based on this design...

http://www.poelebruno.com/index.htm

He has already made a small prototype which they are using this winter (without the water connection though) and its fantastic.

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