Automated Wood Briquette Feed System for a GARN® Wood Fired Hydronic Furnace

Jared Baker, University of Wyoming
Jeffrey Baumann, University of Wyoming
Michael Leriger, University of Wyoming
Andrew Morrison, University of Wyoming
Brandon Schulte, University of Wyoming

Poster Presentation, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Description

GARN® Wood Fired Hydronic Furnaces are currently used at the Ucross Foundation near Ucross, Wyoming. These GARN® units burn wood to heat a water reservoir, which through a heat exchanger, heats a water-glycol mixture then used to heat the Ucross Foundation buildings. Currently the GARN® heaters must be manually loaded with split wood as often as every 90 minutes to maintain a water temperature above 120˚F; otherwise a backup propane heating system starts. Our senior design project involved designing an automated wood fuel feed system for the GARN® furnaces which will drastically reduce the number of labor hours currently needed to stoke the stove. This project includes a storage container for wood briquettes of various sizes which will automatically be transported and launched into the GARN® combustion chamber through an automated door. Our automated feed system will run unattended for the desired run time of 96 hours while maintaining the water reservoir temperature above 120˚F to minimize or eliminate the use of the backup propane heating system.

 

Automated Wood Briquette Feed System for a GARN® Wood Fired Hydronic Furnace

GARN® Wood Fired Hydronic Furnaces are currently used at the Ucross Foundation near Ucross, Wyoming. These GARN® units burn wood to heat a water reservoir, which through a heat exchanger, heats a water-glycol mixture then used to heat the Ucross Foundation buildings. Currently the GARN® heaters must be manually loaded with split wood as often as every 90 minutes to maintain a water temperature above 120˚F; otherwise a backup propane heating system starts. Our senior design project involved designing an automated wood fuel feed system for the GARN® furnaces which will drastically reduce the number of labor hours currently needed to stoke the stove. This project includes a storage container for wood briquettes of various sizes which will automatically be transported and launched into the GARN® combustion chamber through an automated door. Our automated feed system will run unattended for the desired run time of 96 hours while maintaining the water reservoir temperature above 120˚F to minimize or eliminate the use of the backup propane heating system.