Running a pellet stove on solar power

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My home's heating system runs on town natural gas. I have a generator as a back up if I lose power and a pellet stove. I typically have a year supply of pellets on site. I was curious about the ability to run the pellet stove on solar power. I am clueless on what to purchase or how I would set this up and whether or not it is feasible. Any one with any ideas?
 

Uzi2

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Theres three choices

DC blower motor and auger motor ( would require replacement of existing motors)

AC blower and auger motors using an inverter connected to batteries that are solar charged.

AC blower and auger motors running straight from AC generator.
 

pastera

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Ive run my wood insert fans off a small 7 Amp/Hr battery and a 250 watt inverter.

The pellet stove will run but will need more like 4-500 watts - If running for 24 hrs, you'll need 10-12 kwhrs of storage (battery), about 2.5kw of panels, charge controller and inverter - not a cheap system
 

Uzi2

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Ive run my wood insert fans off a small 7 Amp/Hr battery and a 250 watt inverter.

The pellet stove will run but will need more like 4-500 watts - If running for 24 hrs, you'll need 10-12 kwhrs of storage (battery), about 2.5kw of panels, charge controller and inverter - not a cheap system

Hence, the reason why I use wood stoves......you open the door and toss in wood......and can cook on them if need be.
 

pastera

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A free standing stove is awesome if you have a home setup for it - I had a prefab fireplace so I could only choose from a very small subset of inserts.
I also have two pellet stoves but don't run themuch given oil is almost the same price.
 

Uzi2

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A free standing stove is awesome if you have a home setup for it - I had a prefab fireplace so I could only choose from a very small subset of inserts.
I also have two pellet stoves but don't run themuch given oil is almost the same price.

Wood is free here ( well almost free, gas, oil and a little labor). I've got 110 mostly wooded acres so there's always stuff blowing down here or on neighbors property.....free for the labor to cut split and stack. There's two large oak blow downs and a couple of maples right now that will be put in the wood shed for winter 2021 or 2022,
To date this winter I've burned about 1 1/4 cords....much less than I thought I would.

There is a pellet factory a few miles from here on my way to town and Kingsford Charcoal is about 22 miles away. Both places receive a lot of ground up scrap from several pallet mills and sawmills in the area.
 

cockpitbob

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View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nfd8-bC6ebA


So this video shows a back up battery system. What would I need for solar power to charge these batteries?
I like the simple set-up. Simple = reliable and easy to install and fix. Sorry to go nerd on you, but here's my thoughts. If you assume the worst case of 3 straight days of snow in December it gets expensive to run his stove.

You'll need a LOT more battery. He said his 35Ahr battery lasted about 6hrs. The ham radio guys that put repeaters on mountains with solar will size the batteries to last around 3 days. With his setup 3 days of battery is 420AmpHrs. That's going to be over 200lbs of batteries and upwards of $1K.

Now for the solar panels: Even if you keep the snow off they'll generate very little power during the storm. The heavy clouds will block 75% to 90% of the sun's energy. Plus, days are short, the sun is at a low angle. One good source (pvwatts.nrel.gov) says around here in December you average 40% of what you get in July.

To re-charge a 400Ahr battery in 1 sunny December day will take about 1kW from the solar panels. The problem is the panels seem to get their ratings while operating in south Arizona, on a sunny day, at noon on the summer solstice. Being this far north we get 75% compared to Arizona(see map). Add summer-winter change and a 1kW panel in December will put out 1kW * 75% * 40% = 380W. So, for the worst case you'll need about 2.5kW of panels. If you want to use your generator during the few really bad times then you can scale things back quite a bit, but you'll want at least 24hrs of battery.

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bottle-cap

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Don’t forget, solar arrays require line voltage to run the inverters too. No power = no solar, even in bright sunny day. Built in safety so that line crews can get zapped from your array if they are working in area.
honestly, your best bet in my opinion would be to just use your generator on the rare occasion power is out. You will spend less on generator gas than you would on a battery bank and associated wiring etc.
I have full roof top array and many neighbors think I have power during storm outages. Nope. Just fire up generator for a while.
 
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(Just saw a video, where it also does hot water!)


View: https://www.amazon.com/US-Stove-GW1949-Wiseway-Non-Electric/dp/B01CT69R5Q/ref=asc_df_B01CT69R5Q/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=167146990738&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=136862903783505824&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9001793&hvtargid=aud-829758849484:pla-274165679723&psc=1


71y4LrKx0jL._SL1500_.jpg
 
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bottle-cap

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Like I said, array, batteries, and other equip will be expensive. Many storm situations when power goes out means there is good chance you have cloudy days, dark nights, and Snow on the panels. When your expensive batteries run down, you could very well not be able to recharge and will be shit outa luck! I would hook your home furnace up to generator, and just indoor camp for a while. No biggie. Run a while, warm up house, shut down for a while, repeat!
 
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Wickedcoolname

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I just worry about not having a large supply of gas long term
During the 2008 ice storm I lost power for 11 days. The generator ran 24/7 the whole time. I was working the 3-11 shift at the time and I would top off the generator when I left for work around 2:00 and it was still running when I got back home at 11:45 when I'd refill the tank. If I remember correctly I used somewhere around 10 gallons a day. Not the most efficient I guess, but the whole house had power for 11 straight days. Since then we haven't lost power here for more than a couple of hours.
 
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I have generator and plenty of preserved fuel but also put up panels to charge batteries for use by the pellet stove at night... charge by day, run by night when we want it to be quiet. Obviously we can also charge them with the generator but I wanted that secondary means of charging. The big thing that I recall was that the pellet stove has circuit boards that could be damaged by the cheaper non-sine wave inverters (or something along those lines).
 

KBCraig

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Pellet stoves don't consume a huge amount of electricity compared to other heat sources. A small bank (2-4) of 12V batteries and an inverter will keep it going for days.

How you recharge those batteries is up to you. You could use solar. You could use your car. You could use a generator (there are some small 2 cycle generators that output 12V just for camping and RVs).
 

Prepper

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I have a Honda EU2000I that I use to power the pellet stove during blackouts. It works great, have used it a couple times for blackouts so far. It also powers my fridge and chargers for electronics and a lamp... nothing fancy, just running extension cords across the house. It will use 1 gallon in 12 hours, so 2 gallons a day. You can easily store several day's worth in 2 5 gallon containers. If the power is out for longer than that, it is extremely unlikely that there won't at least be power at a nearby gas station to fill up, so just do that. During that October surprise ice storm 10 or so years ago when I lost power for a week, the town had one gas station that somehow had power (generator?) Regardless, nearly towns had some power and would also have had working gas stations. Unless an EMP goes off, there's gonna be gas somewhere in the area if what you store runs out. These things require an oil change ever 25 hours of use though (seems absurd to me), so don't forget to store a bunch of quarts of oil.
 

namedpipes

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I came here to mention that stove. Don't have one, maybe one day. Interesting concept.


Pellet stoves don't consume a huge amount of electricity compared to other heat sources. A small bank (2-4) of 12V batteries and an inverter will keep it going for days.

How you recharge those batteries is up to you. You could use solar. You could use your car. You could use a generator (there are some small 2 cycle generators that output 12V just for camping and RVs).

And this. The electricity just runs a couple of blower fans.

Some use a UPS and signal the stove to shutdown on a power failure (which takes around ten minutes). Rigging some batteries is completely possible.
 

42!

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I wonder if you could build a thermopile array to power the stove and charge a standby battery. If you could get sufficient current it would be free, just uses waste heat. And it wouldn't suffer on cloudy days. Not enough power for much, but maybe enough for the stove.
 

namedpipes

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I wonder if you could build a thermopile array to power the stove and charge a standby battery. If you could get sufficient current it would be free, just uses waste heat. And it wouldn't suffer on cloudy days. Not enough power for much, but maybe enough for the stove.

Add a water circuit to heat water instead of using an electric or gas water heater. Crack a little bit of the water into hydrogen and pass that in turn through a fuel cell. The waste heat just adds to the stove's output, the water is dispersed into the warm air being put into the room to combat the "dry air" effect and the electricity operates the stove and charges the batteries.

Free hot water and a stove that doesn't require any household electricity.
 

cockpitbob

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These have been around a while. About 10 years ago I saw one being demonstrated at an outdoor festival. It seemed to be well thought out and built. Me being me, I liked the simplicity of the design.
 
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Add a water circuit to heat water instead of using an electric or gas water heater. Crack a little bit of the water into hydrogen and pass that in turn through a fuel cell. The waste heat just adds to the stove's output, the water is dispersed into the warm air being put into the room to combat the "dry air" effect and the electricity operates the stove and charges the batteries.

Free hot water and a stove that doesn't require any household electricity.
I always thought a steam system would be good. Steam distributes itself, and also provides a little humidity. If you wanted, you could probably figure out a small steam powered generator for the pellets/fan, but with this system, it seems gravity handles that.

Or you could just take the idea of a coal boiler from the olde days, and use pellets instead. Heck, why not coal?
 
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Buy a honda generator or get a wood stove.

The reality is a pellet stove is only good for short term power outages and you better have an alternative heat source beyond that
 
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View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nfd8-bC6ebA


So this video shows a back up battery system. What would I need for solar power to charge these batteries?

That was outstanding God-bless you sir I have the same stove And in Washington State we constantly lose power. I am getting on Amazon right now to purchase Your recommended materials And 2 marine batteries..
 

clampett

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I have a wood burning stove so I don't have to worry about power outages.
However I do have to worry about freezing my pipes when using my wood stove when the temps get down to the mid teens or lower.
I have a split entry ranch, and I put the wood stove in the living room on the top floor. It does such a great job of heating the top floor, the furnace never comes on, and my pipes downstairs will freeze if the temp outside drops down into the teens.
Some day I will relocate the wood stove to the 1st floor.

Moral of my story- be careful where you locate your wood or pellet stove.
 
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