Harman DVC 500 experiences?

Harman DVC 500 experiences?

PostBy: chrisplaner On: Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:00 am

Hello,

I am new to this forum and was wondering if anyone has any experience with a Harman DVC 500? I currently heat my 2200 square foot home with oil/hot water and would like to install a coal stove in my finished basement. My winter oil bills are averaging over 500 dollars and I want to install a coal stove. I did some investigative work and think that the Harman DVC 500 would work best for my application. I live in the Reading, PA area and decided that I want to burn coal since I am only a few miles from Reading Anthracite. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Chris
chrisplaner
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer

Re: Harman DVC 500 experiences?

PostBy: beatle78 On: Wed Feb 27, 2008 12:36 pm

My father and Uncle have heated their houses with the DVC-500 for the past 10 years. It throws off a LOT of heat.

My parents house is is 2 story ~1900 ft^2 late 1800's house.

Although I would NEVER buy one b/c my father has to empty his ashes TWICE a day when it's cold out. In my opinion it's a poor design on Harman's part. The ash bin must be too small for the amount of BTU's it puts out.

My Harman Magnum can be emptied once a day when it's cold out. I bet my ash bin has at least 1.5 times the capacity of my father's.

If it's a direct vent you are looking for, I would check out some of the other lines of stokers.

Perhaps some of the guys here can chime in with their experiences.
beatle78
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker KA-4

Re: Harman DVC 500 experiences?

PostBy: chrisplaner On: Wed Feb 27, 2008 12:55 pm

Thanks for the response. I was also looking at the Leisure Line Pioneer LE Top Vent. I also saw some good comments about the coal-trol mechanism.

When I called the stove dealers in the Reading area, they all push the Harman DVC-500 and didn't know anything about the Coal-Trol.

I'm not in a real hurry, since I just filled my tank two days ago and we are already at the end of February, but I would purchase one in the next few weeks if the price was right. After doing a little more investigation I find that Leisure Line offers a very nice stove.
chrisplaner
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer

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Re: Harman DVC 500 experiences?

PostBy: jpen1 On: Wed Feb 27, 2008 9:42 pm

Youe can get a leisure line pioneer bottom vent or top vent with an swg power venter for hundreds less than a harman dvc-500. I have never used a dvc but I have friend that has one it works well but I don't like any vent system that doesn't include a barometric damper to prevent overdraft which can cause hopper fires and much heat wasted to the great oudoors. I have now added the coaltrol to my alaska and I wonder why I didn't do it sooner. It keeps the room +/- .5* compared to =/- 2.5* with alska's thermostat. Your also going to get much better factory customer service from leisure as harman's support is non existent.
jpen1
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: 110 Boiler

Re: Harman DVC 500 experiences?

PostBy: CoalBin On: Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:52 pm

I have no problems with my DVC & would recommend it if it meets your specific needs. ( i.e. set it & forget it, factory direct vent ) Beetle78 - your dad must be kick'n out some serious heat, in this weather I run around a spackle bucket a day , I run three spackle buckets through before I need to empty the ashes ( about 140lbs of coal ?)

The reason you will never see a DVC with a barometric damper is that the DVC is a totally controlled burn situation - combustion blower and exhaust blower work with each other to control burn and keep negative pressure in the burn chamber. (it controls its draft itself) If the stove controller detects a problem that results in the loss of negative pressure (hopper, ash or front door left open) the combustion blower stops - If the controller detects a burn back starting, it pushes more coal until the back of coal bed temp drops, If the temp does not drop, the DVC will continue to push coal until the hopper is empty - the result is a stove running through its coal - avoiding a hopper fire. ( it may also shut down the combustion blower - but I have not confirmed this )

Pros - DVC is like an appliance, plug it in, set the thermostat, feed it & change its diaper & forget you even have a coal stove (just kidding, coal is a daily word here) Direct vent

Cons - expensive, needs power to run, has blowers which make noise.

I'ts supplied 100% of my heat for two seasons now - 3600 sqft ranch (daylight basement & upstairs) Looks like I'll run 3 tons through it this season (if I'm lucky :D ) I have nothing bad to say about it - but as everyone else said, I would also shop other models & brands & see what fits be$t.
CoalBin
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: DVC-500

Re: Harman DVC 500 experiences?

PostBy: LsFarm On: Thu Feb 28, 2008 11:53 am

Since you have an oil-fired hot water system, spend a few more dollars and put in a central coal fired boiler in tandem with your current oil boiler...
You will have all the benefits of coal heat and central heat, and coal heated domestic hot water... The pay back will be quicker, and you will have the 'cadillac' of heating systems..

Depending on your BTU requirements. A keystoker KA2, a Harman 3000, or a similar small boiler will do the job, around $4-4800 I'd guess. Or An AHS S130, AA130M, EFM 520,, all depends on your total BTU needs.

Hope this helps.. Greg
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: Harman DVC 500 experiences?

PostBy: beatle78 On: Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:46 pm

CoalBin wrote:I have no problems with my DVC & would recommend it if it meets your specific needs. ( i.e. set it & forget it, factory direct vent ) Beetle78 - your dad must be kick'n out some serious heat, in this weather I run around a spackle bucket a day , I run three spackle buckets through before I need to empty the ashes ( about 140lbs of coal ?)

The reason you will never see a DVC with a barometric damper is that the DVC is a totally controlled burn situation - combustion blower and exhaust blower work with each other to control burn and keep negative pressure in the burn chamber. (it controls its draft itself) If the stove controller detects a problem that results in the loss of negative pressure (hopper, ash or front door left open) the combustion blower stops - If the controller detects a burn back starting, it pushes more coal until the back of coal bed temp drops, If the temp does not drop, the DVC will continue to push coal until the hopper is empty - the result is a stove running through its coal - avoiding a hopper fire. ( it may also shut down the combustion blower - but I have not confirmed this )

Pros - DVC is like an appliance, plug it in, set the thermostat, feed it & change its diaper & forget you even have a coal stove (just kidding, coal is a daily word here) Direct vent

Cons - expensive, needs power to run, has blowers which make noise.

I'ts supplied 100% of my heat for two seasons now - 3600 sqft ranch (daylight basement & upstairs) Looks like I'll run 3 tons through it this season (if I'm lucky :D ) I have nothing bad to say about it - but as everyone else said, I would also shop other models & brands & see what fits be$t.


140lbs? that's CRAZY! I don't know what else could be different b/c it's a direct vent so all the settings are automagic.

People seem to concur that our coal around here seems to have a lot of ash. Maybe that's the reason. But isn't the hopper only ~80lbs or so on the DVC. I can't believe the ash bin can't handle that. :(

I have a 4 bags of Blashak at home. Maybe I'll give them to my dad to try.

This has been his biggest complaint with the stove. it does throw off a lot of heat when needed.

I'm gonna get more specifics from him and see if I can get more information.
beatle78
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker KA-4

Re: Harman DVC 500 experiences?

PostBy: CoalBin On: Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:34 pm

beatle78 wrote:
140lbs? that's CRAZY! I don't know what else could be different b/c it's a direct vent so all the settings are automagic.

People seem to concur that our coal around here seems to have a lot of ash. Maybe that's the reason. But isn't the hopper only ~80lbs or so on the DVC. I can't believe the ash bin can't handle that. :(



paste from the DVC Manual :
"With a big 93 pound hopper capacity, this unit can burn on high approximately 16 hours or
extend for over 96 hours on low. The ash pan is large enough to hold the ash from one hopper full of coal at any setting."

For me the ash situation is a bit better - I run a hopper full of coal plus one spackle bucket full before needing to empty the ash - a total of around 130-140lbs - so I think I could run flat out close to 24 hrs before the ash bin is full. Around 4 days on lowest setting.

Your Dad must be running the unit flat out - or ? maybe the coal he is burning is the red ash they speak about in the manual being more ashy & less btus :o My ash looks kind of white w/ some darker chunks.
CoalBin
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: DVC-500

Re: Harman DVC 500 experiences?

PostBy: beatle78 On: Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:14 pm

yah, a lot of time it's running flat out, like this cold spell in the single digits we're having.

No, we def don't have the red ash.

I guess, in my opinion anything I have to tend to twice a day is unacceptable. Once a day is fine.... BUT next year with a coal boiler every 2-3 days would be nice :D
beatle78
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker KA-4

Re: Harman DVC 500 experiences?

PostBy: TCOAL On: Fri Feb 29, 2008 7:43 am

I bought a dvc in November. Love it. Highest gas bill this year was $80.00. Heating a 2 story with 1900 sq. feet.
In regard to ashes, I only empty my ashes once a day. Operation of stove is very easy. I bought 4 ton of rice and will
make it to the end of March with coal.
Can't say anything negative about dvc.
On warm days (not that we had many) you set the temperature 0n 50, and it maintains a very small fire.
In the evening just turn it up and the stove responds.
A little expensive but well worth every penny.
TCOAL
 
Stove/Furnace Make: dvc-500

Re: Harman DVC 500 experiences?

PostBy: PelletstoCoal On: Sat Mar 01, 2008 5:08 pm

Just installed a DVC-500, nice plug-n-play unit, but having some issues with combustion blower function. according to specs. the combustion blower is supposed to vary ( hi/low). When my stove is at idle 7-8,000 btu range the combustiion blower is still screaming. When i am pushing 40,000 btu's or so the combustion blower is at hi speed, then the stove backs off to an idle and the blower does not lower. I put an amp meter on it and on high it pulls 1.4 amps and never changes. According to specs. in the "ash out" mode the distrib. blower drops to low, draft motor increases, and combustion blower shuts down, but with my unit the draft motor does increase, distrib. blower does drop to low, but the combustion blower stops then reverses rotation while drawing 0.7 amps. I watched the motor shaft stop then reverse to a lower rpm while still drawing current. The stove is under warranty so not too worried about fixing as the dealer will take care of that (in process now)It seems to me all that combustion air constantly injected makes the fire burn faster and hang to the rear of the grate (by throat). Anybody out there have this issue, or does your stove 's combustion blower idle back on low setting?

As with my pellet stove (9 years burning pellets replaced by stoker) I do understand that these type stoves do make noise, but at idle all other stoves i looked at were quiter than during full blast.

By the way remember to DRY coal, sealed hopper does not let any air in, so a little moisture immediately shows up.

Happy with the unit, it fit the bill for me (direct vent) just want the noise level to be reduced during idle.

Any thoughts.
PelletstoCoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman DVC-500

Re: Harman DVC 500 experiences?

PostBy: CoalBin On: Sat Mar 01, 2008 11:40 pm

PelletstoCoal wrote: the combustion blower stops then reverses rotation while drawing 0.7 amps. I watched the motor shaft stop then reverse to a lower rpm while still drawing current. Any thoughts.


Weird - that must be with all the doors closed & perhaps the exhaust blower is causing the combustion blower to spin backwards - Its a plain jane two wire Fasco AC blower motor ???? - they don't electrically reverse.

Take a look at this post & see if it helps - I think the concensus is not to reduce the combustion blower - the burn is less efficient.

Harman DVC-500 Problems with Combustion Fan

I notice that the distribution blower speed seems to increase as the stove burns hotter.

I need to take my unit's brain apart and see what kind of micro - if any they use to control it. At the very least I would like to totalize stoker motor run time & get a thermostat set point indicator going - sure beats counting buckets !
CoalBin
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: DVC-500

Re: Harman DVC 500 experiences?

PostBy: PelletstoCoal On: Sun Mar 02, 2008 9:53 am

have thought about the possibility of the draft motor causing an increased draft, resulting on the combustion blower reversing, very possible. But all in all i am a little annoyed about the fact that as per manufacturer's literature the stove motors are supposed to operate in a certain manner and it does not. During "test mode" the specs say all motors run at full for 2 mintes, then run on low and the distrib. blower will cycle up an down to remind you that you are in test mode, but my test mode starts all on high, 10-15 seconds later distrib. blower is cycling up/down. Not as per mfg.. Perhaps i expected more, being that the stove is computer controled. Is seems as if my stove is just on, not being constantally updated/adjusted via tha control board as per outside conditions. Simple analog controls can do the same job, so why waste the electronics. thats all
PelletstoCoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman DVC-500

Re: Harman DVC 500 experiences?

PostBy: WIcoal On: Wed Mar 05, 2008 2:33 am

CoalBin wrote:I have no problems with my DVC & would recommend it if it meets your specific needs. ( i.e. set it & forget it, factory direct vent )
The reason you will never see a DVC with a barometric damper is that the DVC is a totally controlled burn situation - combustion blower and exhaust blower work with each other to control burn and keep negative pressure in the burn chamber. (it controls its draft itself) If the stove controller detects a problem that results in the loss of negative pressure (hopper, ash or front door left open) the combustion blower stops - If the controller detects a burn back starting, it pushes more coal until the back of coal bed temp drops, If the temp does not drop, the DVC will continue to push coal until the hopper is empty - the result is a stove running through its coal - avoiding a hopper fire. ( it may also shut down the combustion blower - but I have not confirmed this )
What other brands have this same baro free, controlled burn system? I wish that Harman would make a furnace, with this same controlled burn. Is there an industry wide name for this controlled burn system?
WIcoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Lamppa Kuuma wood furnace
Stove/Furnace Model: Rika Austroflamm pellet stove

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