Originally Posted by gotmuddy
Outside wood furnaces are the most efficient way to heat a home here. You load it with wood twice a day, compared to the regular wood stove in my house 4 times a day, 5-6 if its really cold
The main reason I want it is to save space in the cab and keep the wood outside. I dont care if its raining or whatever when I load it. We are using this bus for going to 4-wheeler rides so hopefully it wont be raining too much.
i respectfully disagree! Outdoor wood boilers have advantages....epecially when it comes to heating multiple buildings, but outdoor boilers are probably the least efficient wood heating device when it comes to heating a single space ie: a house or a bus. Their efficiency numbers are not good at all. This guy http://www.woodheat.org/technology/outbobpen2.htm
claims to get 22% net delivered efficiency with his outdoor wood boiler. That pretty much means that for ever 4.4 pieces of wood he loads into the boiler, only 1 of them actually heats his house, the rest are wasted as unused heat. Having a wood stove in the same room you are heating is much superior when it comes to efficiency.
Another reason wood boilers are not efficient is that the fire box never gets that hot because it's surrounded by water and a cold fire box makes for inefficient burning, and they also tend to make a ton of smoke compared to a typical woodstove
i'm not at all opposed to a diy outdoor boiler for a bus, but it'll use a ton of wood for the amount of heat it produces.
I actually made a small boiler a few years back for heating jacuzzi water. I should take some photo's of it. It's a little too small for a good wood fire. I used a 500K btu propane burner in it, but it was basically just a scaled down model of your typical outdoor boiler.
i think a small household fuel oil boiler is an excellent idea for heating a bus. You can get nozzles that are rated for less than 0.5 gallons per hour of continuous operation. you can suck the fuel right out of the buses fuel tank. It wouldn't run all the time, so you would use a pretty small quantity of of fuel in a day. Heated floors would rock! I found a great boiler on craigslist for cheap. i also found 3 broken ones for free and was able to make one usable boiler from the parts. It's my favorite way to heat jacuzzi water when the engine is not running.
Don't let any of us tell that you can't do somehing. if you want to build a wood boiler, i think that finding two cylinders, one that fit's inside the other would be a good place to start. Perhaps mounting a 30 gallon drum inside of a 55 gallon drum, or using a 100 pound propane cylinder mounted inside a 30 gallon drum. The outer drum could hold water, and the inner one could be the firebox. You'd need to weld a chimney and a door into the contraption, and insulate the outer water jacket....i think you could build one for pretty cheap out of scavenged materials. Take lots of photos and let us know how it turns out.