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Wood Stove Vs. Pellet Stove

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Old 06-13-2017, 02:21 AM   #1
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Default Wood stove vs. Pellet Stove

Hey everyone, thank for accepting my registration onto your lovely forum. I am learning alot about sustainable living and how I can one day live in my own Yurt. Until then however, I have lots of questions

I might end up going to Antartica some time this year to help at an all year round camp. Talking with the Superintendent he said that if I can find something better for living out there than an insulated and expensive SeaCan then they will look into getting it for me, so I am trying to find out all I can. I already found a really good Yurt for colder areas, but something I am thinking about it

heating

. I would prefer to use a solid heat source to gas or propane, and electric is expensive out there. Wood stoves seem good, but I don't know how well the wood would keep there. Anyone have experience using pellet stoves instead? Thanks in advance everyone!

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Old 06-13-2017, 05:51 AM   #2
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Default Re: Wood stove vs. Pellet Stove

I have a pellet stove in my home and a wood stove in my yurt. I can't imagine a pellet stove would work as good as a wood stove namely because pellet stoves are generally a forced air

heating

system. Yurts breath quite a bit. That hot air leaks out constantly. A radiant heat source will work better and most of the

insulation

you find for yurts these days (reflective) take advantage of radiant heat.

Now I have heard of people using them successfully, but there were in much warmer climes. Keep in mind also that most pellet stoves require electricity to run. It powers the two fans (combustion and forced air) and also there is a heating element that ignites the pellets on most of these stoves these days. The element uses a lot of wattage (think toaster or hair dryer).

Is there wood in Antarctica? It sounds to me like a natural gas or propane radiant heat source would be the best or am I wrong? What are the funds like for this yurt? Would you be able to afford a radiant floor heat source instead?
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Old 06-14-2017, 03:24 AM   #3
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Default Re: Wood stove vs. Pellet Stove

Thanks for the quick and thorough reply Jafo. I didn't even think of all the energy needed for the pellet stove, that would definitely cross it off the list. The issue with wood is there is no wood there so anything must be shipped in on boats and occasionally planes, then it must be stored somewhere to stay dry.

A radiant floor heat source is something I will have to look into. I persuaded the SuperInt. to let me plan out my living there, including heating and all that so if the numbers I give him are not too high (I don't really know what high means to them) then it will be okay. I will start looking into that, as well as propane and gas heating. Thanks!
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Old 06-14-2017, 05:27 AM   #4
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Default Re: Wood stove vs. Pellet Stove

No problem. With weight most likely being a rather large issue (hardwood is heavy after all), my guess is the most green solution would be natural gas followed by propane. The amount of oil it takes to transport the wood + the fact that it doesn't burn as efficiently, will actually be less green than the other two fuels.

If you were in a forest somewhere, where you could process the wood yourself, I think I would recommend it, but let's face it, the Antarctica is a rather unique setting.
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Old 06-14-2017, 08:52 AM   #5
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Default Re: Wood stove vs. Pellet Stove

Antarctica? Wow, that's a first on the yurt forum. lol

Having to ship in firewood would immediately preclude it in an ice cap scenario. lol. Pellet stove fuel can be bought for reasonable price by the pallet, but frankly I have zero interest in pellet stoves in a yurt. In a very well sealed structure designed to hold in every btu of heat generated, then I'd say OK. Clearly in Antarctica. Gas or propane is the way to go imo. Good luck and enjoy that lonesome wild place.
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Old 06-14-2017, 10:16 PM   #6
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Default Re: Wood stove vs. Pellet Stove

If it were somewhere near the Arctic, getting some natural gas from relatively-close oil fields might be better :P

I would consider a kerosene heater in such a situation. The ships run off diesel, the generators likely run off diesel, etc--use the fuel that's already there (penguin guano?). Diesel is pretty similar to kerosene and can usually be burned as a heating oil--I'm reading up on adding isopropyl alcohol for a cleaner burn tonight though. Of course, depends on the diesel (older stuff had higher sulfur & would stink nasty from my reading) and the particular heater. Given that yurts are generally drafty a non-vented version might be alright, but an arctic yurt might be a bit better sealed.

By SeaCan do you mean an insulated shipping container? Just the container usually isn't expensive (2-3k USD used), but shipping (ironically) might be spendy and insulating it would cost some. A yurt setup for the arctic might be around 20-30k USD...
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Old 06-15-2017, 03:31 AM   #7
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Default Re: Wood stove vs. Pellet Stove

Quote:
Originally Posted by hierony View Post
If it were somewhere near the Arctic, getting some natural gas from relatively-close oil fields might be better :P

I would consider a kerosene heater in such a situation. The ships run off diesel, the generators likely run off diesel, etc--use the fuel that's already there (penguin guano?). Diesel is pretty similar to kerosene and can usually be burned as a heating oil--I'm reading up on adding isopropyl alcohol for a cleaner burn tonight though. Of course, depends on the diesel (older stuff had higher sulfur & would stink nasty from my reading) and the particular heater. Given that yurts are generally drafty a non-vented version might be alright, but an arctic yurt might be a bit better sealed.

By SeaCan do you mean an insulated shipping container? Just the container usually isn't expensive (2-3k USD used), but shipping (ironically) might be spendy and insulating it would cost some. A yurt setup for the arctic might be around 20-30k USD...
I am thinking that a gas stove will have to be the way forward, kerosene or propane could work depending in the efficiency as they are always there. There should be plenty of other fuel available, although I think most of it is fairly dirty and wouldn't burn very clean. I know when my Dad worked on the other Pole he used Nav Gas(airplane fuel) for fire sometimes but that has to be mixed with stuff to titrate it a little.

The SeaCans are all form some company, and they do the shipping and install plus sale for around $60,000 AUS which is bloody ridiculous, but I think there might have been some collusion that was happening between our company and theirs (and I think it is souring due to the fact they are asking me to look at other options). I think for anyone having to stay in camp for an extra long period (6+ months) would enjoy the privacy that they would have in their own Yurt as well.
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Old 06-15-2017, 03:34 AM   #8
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Default Re: Wood stove vs. Pellet Stove

Thanks for all the advice everyone, I am no longer looking at solid fuel but instead looking at liquid and gas options such as kerosene and propane etc. I will be doing lots of research in the next week to see what kind of heaters I can get (even a kerosene space heater would work depending on the efficiency of the unit) and then send that off to the company and hope they sign off on it. Hopefully later this year I can give you all some updates!
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Old 06-17-2017, 07:54 AM   #9
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Default Re: Wood stove vs. Pellet Stove

I tried to look at some propane and kerosene heaters around me, but most of the guys working in the shops are brand new and don't have a lick of a clue about them. I talked with a mate about it and he pointed me towards http://www.used.forsale/australia where I found lots of people selling used heaters that I could actually talk with and find out what their likes and dislikes of the heaters were. All and all a good experience, and I have to thank you guys all again for pointing me in the right direction to start with. Hopefully I will have a real update for you soon!
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