A Quote I Found: I DO NOT KNOW THIS PERSON!
"A co-worker of mine put a heat exchanger in his furnace firebox. Without proper controls he quickly made high pressure steam and soon solder joints were failing and the system came apart in what sounded like several small explosions. His solution? Weld the damn thing together the next time. It held together, but it back-fed steam all the way to his artesian well and he had a nice geyser out back. True story."
In this case the pressure had somewhere to go. Without a place to expand the resulting explosion could cause injury or death.
I am very interested in heating hot water using wood as a fuel source. I want to do this safely and efficiently. What are some general considerations before I even begin to discuss specific ones? I have 2 good engineering schools neary to me, and both do work on alternative energy. I may be contacting them, but I wanted the opinion of you pros first.
The biggest obstacle to adding DHW systems to wood stoves is that EPA emissions certification virtually eliminates the possibility of taking heat directly from the stove. Any DHW collector that robs heat from the combustion process would almost certainly create a dirty burn that would fail the stove. That is why manufacturers of EPA certified wood stoves don't offer DHW collectors as optional accessories. There may be one or two available, but we are aware of none at all.