If you have not read about getting Essential power off the grid, please read it first here.
First of all I want to start by explaining what a outdoor wood boiler is, and what it will do. Simply put, a wood boiler is a fireplace surounded by a water jacket. Since it is surrounded by water, the heat from the fire is absorbed into the water very efficiently with very llittle heat loss. For my wood boiler I have also designed it to force all the unburned smoke through a second high temperature burn to get all the energy from the wood.
Once you have hot water, it can be used to heat your house via in floor heating, a heat exchanger in your central air, or radiators. I also installed heat exchangers inside my wood boiler so I can pump my house water up through that to heat my water instead of using a conventional water heater.
Building a wood boiler
Even though I give a lot of information here on my website, I have had several people that wanted more detailed plans of my Wood Boiler. Because of the detail and the time this has taken me (several months drawing up CAD drawings), I am going to have to charge for these. However I think it is well worth the small price. In fact If I could have found some plans like this before I started building my boiler it would have saved me way more than the cost in plans (due to changes I had to make to get it to work how I wanted it to work). These instructions are 46 pages of step by step instructions on how to Build a very effective and efficinent wood boiler with gassification, incuding 62 high quality CAD drawings like these:
What it involves
To get this all setup and working we will need to do a few things. (links to come later)
1- The wood boiler – I have broken this down into two sub areas
- The steel firebox with a waterjacket around it, and heat exchangers (for houshold hot water). Here are the instructions on how to build it.
- The control system. Here are the instructions on how to build it.
2- Cement pad with underground insulated water lines: this is needed to put the boiler on, and efficiently transfer your hot water to your house. Here is how to do it.
3- An insulated shed to put the boiler in. This is really pretty easy. You will just neet to wrap the entire boiler (except the doors which are already insulated) in insulation and build a shed around it. Here is a picture of mine.
4- plumbing to transfer the hot water to heat the house, and heat the hot water (for showers, etc). See more details here
5- Enjoy nearly unlimited hot water, and a nice warm house, while saving a lot of money in energy costs.
Update: I have been using the boiler in my home for about 2 months now. This last month has been very cold (down to -19 deg F) But our house has been warm, and we have had all the hot water we could use. Also, check out the reduction on my power bill!
As you can see these last two months have been much lower than any other year. This is saving me around $100-$150 per month in electricity.