Archive for November, 2008

Phase 1 energy upgrade complete

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

FOM Systems, Inc. is happy to announce that the first phase of our energy upgrade is complete.  Our wood gassification boiler is up and running, and working like a charm!  We had a late Indian summer this year which lasted until all the pipework and post installation operations were completed, with time to spare.  So far we seem to be using about the same amount of wood daily as we had previously when we were simply firing a wood stove, but now the entire house is warm, not just the downstairs, plus we have a virtually unlimited supply of domestic hot water.  We are still experimenting with the boiler firing rate, and yes, it is possible to put too much wood in at one time, as well as too little it seems.

So, how does one move a 1700 pound piece of machinery up one and down 16 steps through a narrow stairway and into the basement?  Very carefully!  Step one is to gather the right equipment.  Russ brought his forklift with an extension beam on it.

Using a forklift with extendable beam

Using a forklift with extendable beam

At the distance we needed the moment arm was calculated to be able to lift about 3100 pounds so we decided this was the best option to use to get the boiler downstairs.

Ready to start the long descent

Ready to start the long descent

Once we were all done measuring things and got the boiler unbolted from its pallet, everything was fairly straightforward, until we got to the bottom of the stairwell…

Can we get it through the door???

Can we get it through the door???

With a bit of head scratching, adjusting the beam, and a change of the clevis securing the lifting ring of the boiler to the beam, we were able to get the boiler through the door and set it flat on the basement floor, with essentially no room to spare up and down. There was plenty of side clearance to get through the door.

Boiler just barely fits through the door, with the beam attached.

Boiler just barely fits through the door, with the beam attached.

Once we were able to get the boiler sitting on the floor inside the door, moving it around inside the basement was simple using a couple of skates and a Johnson bar. But anyway, that was the end of the most exciting part of the whole affair. We still had a lot of plumbing ahead to connect the boiler to the new storage tank and the existing radiant system.