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Author Topic: Burning Corn  (Read 3553 times)

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Offline D._Frederick

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Burning Corn
« on: March 20, 2005, 10:33:51 am »
With the price of furnace/diesel fuel at $2.20 a gallon, I am thing about buying a stove that burns corn to heat my house with. Anybody know anything about using corn to heat with?

Offline Frank_Pender

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Re: Burning Corn
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2005, 10:40:23 am »
Yep, Don, I do.  Well, at least I remember the stories from my grandmother who was raise in the plains of Nebraska.  They use to hall wagon loads of cobs from the elevators and store it for Winter heat.  My wife and her family did the same in Iowa in the late 40s and 50s.
 
  Out here I know the canaries chop all the remains for cattle and hog food.  I suppose you could conttact with them to have them save out the cobs and dry them in our short summer months, for Winter fuel.
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Offline Paschale

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Re: Burning Corn
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2005, 11:58:05 am »
My brother heats his rural house with woodstoves.  He tried the corn thing, but was very disappointed, so much so that he returned the stove and went with wood.  It could have been the particular stove, but he was disappointed enough that he didn't go that route.   :-\  Just a second hand experience...I guess what I'd say is do a lot of research about specific brands/types of stoves to make sure they'll do the job for you.
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Offline Roxie

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Re: Burning Corn
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2005, 11:59:51 am »
We've got a friend that uses a corn heater to heat his home.  The first time I walked into the place I wondered what the corn bin was doing in the kitchen!   :D  His place is warm.  I don't know much about how it works, but I could ask him for ya.  
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Offline Corley5

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Re: Burning Corn
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2005, 12:07:04 pm »
An aquaintence of mine heats with a corn stove and loves it.  He's told me what brand it is but it went in one ear and out the other.  He grows his own corn and has a dryer so that's a plus for him.  I think it has to be at 14% MC to burn.  He also burns rye and wheat in it and has tried beans but the oil content is too high.  Most of what he burns is his own or from one of his neighbors who scorched their grain when they were drying it.  Some wood pellet stoves will also burn corn as well a cherry pits
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom

Offline farmerdoug

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Re: Burning Corn
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2005, 01:28:36 pm »
My cousin bought one last fall and he said it paid for itself already this winter in propane he saved.  I do not know what make it is though.
I found a company that makes corn fired boilers that can go inside or outside also.  A search on the internet should turn it up.
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Offline Faron

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Re: Burning Corn
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2005, 09:15:24 pm »
From the information I have gathered so far, Corley 5 has mentioned the key to using a corn stove.  Corn is normally marketed at about 15% MC.  Corn for burning needs to be about 13%.  Apparently the wetter corn makes clinkers that interfer with combustion.
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Offline Corley5

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Re: Burning Corn
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2005, 09:25:25 pm »
I've heard of people burning ear corn in outdoor furnaces.  I've heard it burns about like coal but a little faster ???  I guess you start your fire with wood and after it's going good start shoveling in the ears 
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom

Offline Don_Papenburg

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Re: Burning Corn
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2005, 09:28:06 pm »
Cousin uses corn to make his maple syrip. Said that it burns at a steady rate unlike the wood that he used before .every time that you fire up the evaporator the temp would go down for a while then get hot and then start to coolagain  . Now he has constant heat all the time and boils out syrip faster.
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Offline CHARLIE

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Re: Burning Corn
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2005, 11:11:59 pm »
I read an article in the St Paul Pioneer Press a few days ago about a man that installed a corn stove in his home.  It was a little spendy putting it in but said it paid back itself fairly quickly.  He could not put it in his home as the primary heat source because of insurance reasons but said that his gas furnace rarely kicks on.  He buys his corn from a neighbor farmer but found out the hard way that the corn has to be very dry.  One year he was burning corn kernals that were too wet and people thought his house was on fire. Plus the smoke stained his siding.  He and his wife said they were very happy with their corn kernal burning stove.

First thing that came to my mind was.........does his house always smell like popcorn? :D ::)
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Offline Quartlow

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Re: Burning Corn
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2005, 07:50:59 am »
My nephew put in a corn furnace last year due to the fact of rising fuel cost and his old oild furnace was junk, he spent around $5000 on it. It works great efficiant also since you can lay your hand on the flue pipe, its warm but not enough to burn you.

Corn does have to be dry though, He has an old new idea picker. He worked out a deal with his neighbor where he opens up fields for him since their big combine makes a mess doing it. He ges the corn cheaper this way and they get less waste.

He stored all the corn picked last fall in a corn crib. will shell it and store it in a small grain bin next year. Air dried corn if left on the cob should get down to 10 or 12% moisture easily in a year.
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Offline oakiemac

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Re: Burning Corn
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2005, 08:35:09 am »
We have a corn stove in the living room. We bought it to suppliment our forced air/propane system since the price of propane is so high. We have had it for 3 winters now and I would say that overall I really like it.
We have to buy the corn so the overall savings I would put at about 20%. The reason we went with corn instead of wood is that we have no chimmeny in the house and to add one on was going to be very expensive. The corn stove vents out the side just like a clothes dryer so it needs no chimmeny or expensive installation.
Our unit is a Snowflame-I believe they have a website. We bought the smaller unit and it keeps the entire upper part of our house warm. We moved the thermostat into the basement and set it at 60 degrees. So our furnace still runs but not that often.

The downsides of the stove are: you have to have clean corn with few fines and dust or it will clog the chute up and you spend most of the time unclogging it. We just bought some corn that we have to sift or it will clog up the system. Most of the time, however we  haven't had to do this. Another down side is that it doesn't put out tremendous amounts of heat.  Once it is fired up it will take 1/2 to hour to heat up the living room. They are best when they have been run all the time vs trying to heat up a cold room. A wood stove puts out a lot of heat in short order and the metal gets real hot but our corn stove you can touch the metal except of the glass front and you won't get burned.
Anymore questions on them, let me know. I did a lot of research 3 years ago before I bought this stove. I think we paid $1300 for it. We are eventually going to buy an outdoor wood stove but the $6000-7000 price tag is still a little too steep.
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Offline D._Frederick

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Re: Burning Corn
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2005, 10:43:19 am »
We have an oil fired hot water boiler in our house and what I was thinking about is getting a boiler that burns corn that I could valve into are heating system.   The boiler that I have found on the web are made like the outside boilers that are not pressurized. The picture showns that they do not have any heat exchange, they look like a tank over a fire box.

Maybe with the high cost of oil, there will be better designs if I wait.

Offline Camp Run Farm

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Re: Burning Corn
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2005, 12:31:27 pm »
I sold oats to a guy that was going to burn them, I don't know what kind of stove or how it worked out.  The oats were 11% MC when combined last Aug.  Anything beats paying for gas, propane or oil.  Lucked out we have free gas.

Ed

Offline Jim_Wahl

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Re: Burning Corn
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2005, 12:52:04 pm »
Hi Folks,

One downside to these corn burners is that if the electric power goes out, it stops
dribbling the corn into the burner. This was important to me because when we first
moved into our present house (22 years ago), our power would go out every time
a cloud went over. It has gotten a whole lot better since then, but it always makes
me think twice about anything that depends on electricity to work.
You can't fix stupid, but stupid usually fixes itself.
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Offline oakiemac

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Re: Burning Corn
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2005, 08:09:15 pm »
Jim makes a good point. These stoves (and outdoor boilers) will only work with power. I suppose you could hook up a UPS system or have a back up generator.
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Offline Corley5

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Re: Burning Corn
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2005, 11:10:12 pm »
http://www.northlanddistrib.com/outdoor-corn-stove/outdoor-corn-stove.php
You could use one these and connect it to your existing pressure system with a brazed plate heat exchanger http://www.northlanddistrib.com/brazed-plate/brazed-plate.php .  In many, maybe most, cases that's how non-pressurized outdoor wood boilers are hooked up to existing pressurized systems.  Don't let them scare you off just because they aren't pressurized.
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom

Offline UNCLEBUCK

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Re: Burning Corn
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2005, 02:26:39 am »
Until I get my homemade outdoor wood boiler done I am using my new back up hydro-shark electric boiler 14kw to heat my shack and last months electric bill was almost 300 bucks.Next year it will be 20 bucks a month, in another month I wont need no heat till next fall thank god
UNCLEBUCK    bridge burner/bridge mender

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Burning Corn
« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2005, 06:15:45 pm »
I'm stickin with good 'ole wood. :D My power bill has been under $70 a month all winter and I have forced air wood and oil furnaces. This month I hardly burn any wood, just for 4 or 5 hours in the evening and it's good all night and the next day for heat. I've burned maybe 1/2 a tank of oil all winter, mostly when I'm away from home for a few days.

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

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