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Old July 14th, 2015, 08:36 AM
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Default Vacuum cleaner for AOF blower

Hi,
I have a 2x6 arch with a preheater. My first year I ran it naturally aspirated and boiled about 25gph. Last year I added AUF by using a Beckett Oil Burner stripped down to just the fan. It hooks up to a 4" pipe that blows a lot of air under the fire and my gph rate went up to about 33-34.
This year I want to add AOF but the proper blower has me baffled. I took apart a Hoover upright vacuum cleaner to scavenge the motor/blower out of that. It does seem to move a lot of air at high velocity out of a 2 inch exhaust. So my question is has anyone else tried a vacuum cleaner motor for AOF and will it work?
Pat
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Old July 15th, 2015, 10:32 PM
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Hey welcome to SBI Pat! Interesting idea give it a try, you have nothing to loose unless your spouse go's out and buys a Dyson vacuum when they cant find the old one.
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Old July 15th, 2015, 11:50 PM
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I know this much when your out RV camping and you plug in the old 1/8th HP leaf blower and direct it right into the bed of coals you can make a smoldering pile of crap turn into a jet engine with after burners on. I would think any air into the combustion chamber is a good thing UNLESS it blows all the heat away from the pans.

Welcome to the site and keep the questions coming.
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Old July 16th, 2015, 07:38 AM
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Turn and burn, but make sure you have some way of dampening it down in case you want to let's say open the door to add more fuel. I used a blower similar to your Beckett for both AUF and AOF, this year I hope to add a separate one for AOF. From what has been posted here and on the research papers a little pressure really helps with AOF. Sorta like building horsepower in engines, more air to burn the fuel = more power
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Old July 16th, 2015, 07:39 AM
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Thanks for the words of encouragement.
From what I've read it looks like I want high velocity not high volume for the AOF segment. This motor definitely produces high velocity like a leaf blower but it is also very loud. So loud I may put it outside in an insulated box. Also I thought of putting it on a rheostat to adjust the speed. I tried covering part of the intake to control the flow but that seems to make it work harder and louder.
I suppose plumbing the jets into the firebox and trying it is nothing lost. If this doesn't work I still have the jets in place.
Anyone have any experience on what I might expect for increased gph on my 2x6?
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Old July 16th, 2015, 07:51 AM
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My set-up is a 3foot flue with 4.5 inch Vs and a 4foot syrup pan. With the AUF I noticed the fire burned quicker, when AOF flow was added it seemed to burn the gasses above the fire more. When up to temp and feeding every 15min. I measured 35 gallons an hour boil off, not bad for small flue. Once I add some pressure I will measure boil rate again and re-post. I think I was throwing a good amount of heat up the stack which could be used by a longer flue if needed. At 90 taps I don't need more yet!
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Old July 16th, 2015, 07:57 AM
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I noticed that when adding AOF the stack colour cleared up quickly, less unburnt gases I believe. A blast gate would probably control flow easier, I will let Hanes type more about this as I think he uses them.

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Old July 16th, 2015, 08:33 AM
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A blast gate may be the way I have to go as I believe some electric motors don't last long when hooked up to a rheostat.
The first year I boiled I stepped outside one night and the amount of sparks coming out of the chimney scared me to death! Embers were landing all over the place. I put a screen in the base of the chimney to break up the big embers which helped. AUF also seems to help. I understand AOF is the real key to this problem.
My chimney stack temps are running about 450f which I know is not much from what I've read in other posts.
We add wood about every 4-5 minutes, any longer and it is gone. We use Hemlock split to 2"-3".
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Old July 16th, 2015, 01:35 PM
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putting the screen at the base is risky because of clogging. I would do it at the stack so the embers burn all the way up the flue stack making them smaller and cooler. I also know that the spark issue is a big one.

fellow producer who went from natural draft to forced air nearly durned down his barn twice with the sparks so be careful of that issue.

As far as blast gates I used them on a wood stove and on blacksmithing forge and when it comes to instant on and of off air for firing its the best I have seen. Many pumps and blowers run better with some resistance so dont be afraid to block the exhaust. Some vacuum motors get there cooling from the air that it sucks thru the unit so restricting that can lead to premature failure.

I think anyone making a permanent blower system for their evap and want quiet would do well to do a remote blower. Yes I know people have blowers on rigs with skirting but not everyone has it.

the noise from a high pressure blower can come back out of the piping and blower intake so keeping it a sealed unit helps.

Last edited by Haynes Forest Products; July 17th, 2015 at 08:51 AM.
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Old July 17th, 2015, 07:18 AM
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The screen I used is called hardware cloth. I'd guess the openings are about 1/4". I did check it at the end of the season half expecting it to have the center burned out but it has held up so far and appears to be free of any restrictions.
A larger producer/ restaurant near here had an ember burn down part of his sugarhouse last season so I'm very conscious of it as I don't have a water source at my sugarhouse other than condensate and sap. So I keep a couple 5 gal. pails of water with a little non-toxic antifreeze in them for fire suppression if the need arises.
I do want to keep the sugarhouse as quiet as possible and blowers are noisy. So the AUF blower is getting a soundproofing box this year and AOF is getting the same but outside.
It does seem that the squirrel cage blower reacts differently than the paddle type blower in the vacuum motor to restriction. The squirrel cage seems to work less if the intake is restricted while the paddle works harder if restricted at either end.
Pat
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