Wood Heating
System Design
Control Logic
Software Design
Electrical Schematic
Simple system w/ storage
Domestic Hot Water
Heat Storage
Solar Hot Water
System Components
User Guide
Programming Guide
Failsafe Design
Sample Application
LM35 Sensor Assembly
Pinout Info
Poor Man's VS Circ
Plastic Pipe Collector
Forum Solar-TodayWood-TodayBurn Planner

The purpose of this site is to chronicle and share experience in developing a residential energy management system. This project started out as the simple addition of a wood boiler, but quickly grew into the design of a multisource (wood/oil/solar/heat storage) heating system. A major part of the project was the development of control system hardware and software to manage energy across all subsystems. This control system became known as the 'NoFossil Control System' (NFCS) which has been used all across the northern United States and Canada. It has now been relaunched as a commercial product by Vermont Energy Control Systems LLC - the Vesta controller.

The hope is that this site will evolve into a helpful resource for others who are undertaking similar projects. Welcome, and please feel free to contribute, ask questions, or just poke around. You may contact us by email at .

This site espouses no particular social or political agenda, other than a belief in the idea that it's good for people to be able to take control of meeting their own needs.

The focus is practical solutions to design and management of energy for residential space and water heating. The information here is based on our needs and experience, and may not represent the best approach in this or any other situation. This site is not intended to replace the advice of professionals. In particular, code and insurance requirements vary by locale.

The original system documented here consists of an Orlan EKO 25 wood gasification boiler, a heat storage tank, a traditional oil boiler, solar hot water panels, an indirect domestic hot water tank, a hot tub, and a home-brewed controller.

Top Menu Bar

Forum: There is a forum on this site, primarily for sharing information on use of the NoFossil Control System.

Solar-Today: This displays a graph of solar panel performance for the current day.

Wood-Today: This displays a graph of wood boiler performance for the current day.

Burn Planner: This tool looks up NOAA forecast data and estimates heat load for the next 48 hours in three hour increments.

Search Search the site.

The cartoon is by Rex May (Baloo). I identify with the caveman. I was just having fun and it somehow turned out to be useful.

Site Organization

This site is organized by topic. Major topics are listed as links on the left side, and some topic pages contain links to additional details.

  • Introduction & Data
    • Home This page. General welcome and introduction.
    • Wood Heating A short discussion of factors and issues associated with the decision to heat with wood.
    • Choices A more detailed discussion of key decisions that are involved in planning for wood heat.
    • Data Live and archived system performance data.
  • Design
  • Subsystems
    • Domestic Hot Water Evolution of the system solution for providing domestic hot water for both winter and summer seasons.
    • Heat Storage Our approach to heat storage and heat exchangers.
    • Solar Hot Water Evolution, design, and performance of our solar hot water panels.
  • NoFossil Control System
  • Projects
    • Poor Man's VS Circulator Variable speed circulators cost hundreds of dollars. Here's how to modify an inexpensive circulator.
    • Journal Some notes about living with the system.
    • Plastic Pipe Collector Ultimate low budget approach - my brother's black plastic pipe solar collector, with design and performance data.
    • Thermistors Dealing with thermistors as temperature sensors.