Thursday, December 08, 2011
Troy was tired of running the woodstove and having to adjust the damper. Since we burn glycerin (which burns very quick and hot), we really needed to make sure the fire didn't overheat or get out of control. Troy had already installed a heat sensor with an alarm that would go off if it got too hot. (That's the lower bar extended from the wall to the pipe.)
But the alarm only works if you can hear it. I.e. if you're in the house paying attention. And then even it if works, it means you have to drop whatever you are doing and run to the living room to close the damper and shut the alarm off.
So with the thought that there "has to be a better way," Troy started to research. What you see in the above picture is the result. [ETA: Troy did extensive research but did not find a single example of this type of system. He had to design it himself.]
We've had it installed for about two weeks now. And I have to say, for a new installation there was very little adjustment needed. It worked pretty much right from the get-go. And despite being what I might charitably call "visually obnoxious," it really does work and make life much easier around here.
We can load up a normal amount of wood/glycerin and when the temperature sensor knows that it's too hot, the big orange box will close the damper. When it cools off some, it opens it again. Those are the only options it has: open or shut. The temperature sensor is smart enough to measure rate of change as well, so if the temperature is changing quickly, it will shut the damper sooner. It has worked great.
Although it looks awful (Troy says it'll be much better when he neatens up the cords--what?), I do not at all mind it in my "pre-improved" living room. I am somewhat concerned about how to integrate this into a living room wherein I am actually responsible for its fashion sense. Bright orange box in my kitchen--that might actually fit in. In my living room? Not so much.
Well, until that is actually an issue, I'll just enjoy the extra freedom and safety that the appliance provides. In the meantime, if you have any ideas, please let me know.
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