Jump to content
Crusty

Gas VS Electric Kiln

Recommended Posts

Per pound the softwood may have more BTU's, but we don't measure wood by the pound. By volume the hardwoods have more. A cord of dense hardwood will get you more heat than a cord of softwood simply because there's more mass in the hardwood. If you want more heat with fewer logs, then you need hardwood. Having fired wood kilns with both, the hardwoods are less work.

I don't the the temp of the outside air matters because the air is slightly preheated by the heat coming off the kiln, and it's further preheated as it's drawn over the coal bed before it ever gets to the wood.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, neilestrick said:

Per pound the softwood may have more BTU's, but we don't measure wood by the pound. By volume the hardwoods have more. A cord of dense hardwood will get you more heat than a cord of softwood simply because there's more mass in the hardwood. If you want more heat with fewer logs, then you need hardwood. Having fired wood kilns with both, the hardwoods are less work.

I don't the the temp of the outside air matters because the air is slightly preheated by the heat coming off the kiln, and it's further preheated as it's drawn over the coal bed before it ever gets to the wood.

Yeah, I’ll buy the easy factor using more dense wood  and ease of loading  so by the chord idea is fine with me for what it is.  Physics says you  will need more btu when it’s cold (Hard, Soft, gas, oil and coke) even when the losses of the kiln are preheating you’re air some way else we are making energy and eligible for a Nobel prize.

The point  was when it’s cold out, it will cost you more energy to heat. Not sure how that can change really.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Bill Kielb said:

The point  was when it’s cold out, it will cost you more energy to heat. Not sure how that can change really.

I don't disagree that it takes more energy, I just don't think it's enough to be noticeable in a wood kiln. It would be interesting to see the cost difference between firing an electric kiln in a garage in the coldest part of the winter vs the summer. Somebody on this forum has to have a controller with cost calculator on their garage kiln. My bet is that it would be negligible, and difficult to quantify given all the other variables. Element age is probably a much bigger factor. I just don't think the exterior temp has that much of an effect on what's going on inside a kiln during heating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven’t done a lot of wood firing, but I was always taught that soft wood released its energy hot and fast, sort of like sugars or simple carbs, and hardwood was a slower more even energy release, more like proteins. Thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, neilestrick said:

I don't disagree that it takes more energy, I just don't think it's enough to be noticeable in a wood kiln. It would be interesting to see the cost difference between firing an electric kiln in a garage in the coldest part of the winter vs the summer. Somebody on this forum has to have a controller with cost calculator on their garage kiln. My bet is that it would be negligible, and difficult to quantify given all the other variables. Element age is probably a much bigger factor. I just don't think the exterior temp has that much of an effect on what's going on inside a kiln during heating.

 I can already tell you the difference, and it's a difference in time.  Takes a while longer because the initial climb to 200 is at 60f/hr, so that 30 degree difference between winter and summer takes an extra 30 minutes.  It takes a negligible amount of energy to actually heat those 30 degrees up, it's just limited by the preheat rate climb.  

Now when I was gas firing, it did take longer in the winter and used more fuel, and it also caused the tanks to freeze more frequently so it was really a huge pain in the butt and I'd rather not do it again even though it heated up my entire carport.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Callie Beller Diesel said:

I haven’t done a lot of wood firing, but I was always taught that soft wood released its energy hot and fast, sort of like sugars or simple carbs, and hardwood was a slower more even energy release, more like proteins. Thoughts?

MAkes sense. The resin in soft woods is full of hydrocarbons and it's less dense so it will burn hotter and faster.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, liambesaw said:

 I can already tell you the difference, and it's a difference in time.  Takes a while longer because the initial climb to 200 is at 60f/hr, so that 30 degree difference between winter and summer takes an extra 30 minutes.  It takes a negligible amount of energy to actually heat those 30 degrees up, it's just limited by the preheat rate climb.  

Now when I was gas firing, it did take longer in the winter and used more fuel, and it also caused the tanks to freeze more frequently so it was really a huge pain in the butt and I'd rather not do it again even though it heated up my entire carport.

That makes sense, but I wonder if there is a measurable difference in energy usage after that. And without a preheat the initial time difference would be even less.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, neilestrick said:

That makes sense, but I wonder if there is a measurable difference in energy usage after that. And without a preheat the initial time difference would be even less.

Here's my thought on that, the insulation doesn't decrease in effectiveness depending on ambient temperature, so no.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, liambesaw said:

Here's my thought on that, the insulation doesn't decrease in effectiveness depending on ambient temperature, so no.

10% increase in insulation results in 10% less losses at temperature. 10% colder outside results in 10% more energy needed in your house. If ya got plenty to spare, no issues. At some point when you open the patio door, your furnace says I give. You  will you need more energy at the top end, no doubt. Will your elements run longer, no doubt. How much?  It goes back to basic energy. 70 degrees is a big change for humans. 70 (it’s zero outside) on 2000  plus degrees? A few percent. Unconditioned air entering your combustion cycle? Probably more significant but still small on a relative basis. I’ll run some numbers on 1 million BTU  just for snicks. Not sure what it amounts to actually so it will be fun.

peoples perceptions? Energy is pretty cheap and available throughout the globe.  If not, I suspect we would have 20 mil for the 20 mil trees already. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Crusty, have you figured this out yet? Does it really cost you $150 for the 2 firings or is something else going on? Just calculated my last oval bisque firing (8cf) and with all the taxes and fees is 10.2 cents KWH in Texas and came in at about $6.83.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the company could not read the mete this could be the prob.

My power doubled when  I was flooded in!

Think it was a guess by company.

Had to fight long and hard to get a credit.

The meter readings on next quarter backed me up...a bit...

So Crusty question this bill if not your "norm"

Come to Aus for the highest rates. One of the drawcards you don't see advertised:-)))

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

got the new elements in today.. the old ones literally fell apart in my hands..  the kiln is a 2002 and we got it in 2014 and it was new in the wrap still on the skid. no kiln wash on the shelves and came with a Shimpo wheel... gotta love Craigslist

Edited by Crusty
typo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/15/2019 at 3:25 PM, Stephen said:

Hey Crusty, have you figured this out yet? Does it really cost you $150 for the 2 firings or is something else going on? Just calculated my last oval bisque firing (8cf) and with all the taxes and fees is 10.2 cents KWH in Texas and came in at about $6.83.  

yea the electric company pro rated my bill the month before due to my dogs being out when the meter man was here, our meter is in our back yard.. plus our elements were shot and im sure it added to the bill as well...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Crusty said:

I have used the famous Emon systems over the years to sub meter and site read, and later remote read  submetered consumption.  Mostly for reading kWh but this appears to have many options plus a free cloud account (one time registration fee 30.00)  for access anywhere internet is available. Not sure what your intention is but this appears super economical with lots of options. The old Emons did a great job for what I used them for which was to totalize or sub meter to be able to bill for usage.

Watching their install video, I would not place in a  weathertight box with a clear front door and zero ventilation unless I knew this thing would never overheat from direct sun. I also would generally not be allowed to place in a non rated enclosure (Plastic / non metal) and tandem attachment through an existing breaker for the reference lines  would probably not be allowed as shown as well. Lastly I would need to debate the use of their data push module and decide how I want to secure this on my network.

Having said all that, the video seemed scaled for the homeowner installation but the product looked excellent for the money. My Emon monitors were triple this cost and had  less capability.

I was not overly impressed with their RS 485 based wireless radios as well but that they are available is huge. I would guess that one could run the 485 communications line to the push module or use the usb  adapter.

overall it looks great, likely will need to try one. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And, don't forget, not all "hardwoods" are born equal.  Some give out more heat than others.  I won't burn English Oak in my wood burner, even if it's free.  I can get warmer by running up and down the stairs than by sitting in front of an Oak fire!

 

;)

Edited by Chilly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

White Oak, Maple, Blue Beech aka Ironwood,Ash...  if i were to fire a wood kiln those woods would be used..  all are tight grain, low sap, long burning and you will use less of those woods compared to any soft wood.. soft woods like pine will darken your pots due to the high sap content.. the soot produced by pine is the nastiest and hardest to clean off of a glass door..  i scrubbed my grand parents for hours trying to get it off, last time they ever burnt Pine..  so no matter what stage your in its going to stick to your pots,its in the air as it burns... i think i would want the air as clean as possible..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Crusty said:

White Oak, Maple, Blue Beech aka Ironwood,Ash...  if i were to fire a wood kiln those woods would be used..  all are tight grain, low sap, long burning and you will use less of those woods compared to any soft wood.. soft woods like pine will darken your pots due to the high sap content.. the soot produced by pine is the nastiest and hardest to clean off of a glass door..  i scrubbed my grand parents for hours trying to get it off, last time they ever burnt Pine..  so no matter what stage your in its going to stick to your pots,its in the air as it burns... i think i would want the air as clean as possible..

At the high temps of wood kilns soot/creosote is not an issue. It all burns away, no matter how much sap is in the wood. You will see differences in the color of the ash from wood to wood, but dark or light would be more from what type of kiln you have and how you fire it- how much air flow you have. When I was wood firing in grad school we only used softwoods, because that's what we had available to us out west. Lots of pine, and even willow (which is a bear to split, and very difficult to get much heat from).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, neilestrick said:

At the high temps of wood kilns soot/creosote is not an issue. It all burns away, no matter how much sap is in the wood. You will see differences in the color of the ash from wood to wood, but dark or light would be more from what type of kiln you have and how you fire it- how much air flow you have. When I was wood firing in grad school we only used softwoods, because that's what we had available to us out west. Lots of pine, and even willow (which is a bear to split, and very difficult to get much heat from).

Pine around here is a no no,LOL knowone will cut it  - I did see some folks using it along with other woods and their pots were nice.. .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.