Looking for General Stoker Advise

Looking for General Stoker Advise

PostBy: Cigar_Smoker On: Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:14 pm

Hey guys, My name is Al and obviously new to the site. I realized as soon as I had registered here that I dropped the ball on my user name and should have made it Cigar_Stoke as apposed to Cigar_Smoke but what's done is done so on to the reason for my joining this great forum. My brother has bought an old nursing home in rural central Illinois and seeing as I have a background in HVAC and maintaining mechanical system I am tasked with among other things figuring out the best, essayist, cheapest way to heat the place, design, build and install the system and have it working by the start of the 09/10 heating season. He wants to use wood as do I but I am also trying to convince him that coal would be a great tool to add to the heating arsenal. The building is about 20,000 sq/ft but he only plans on heating about 7,000 to 8,000 sq/ft at this time.

I am currently what is termed an operating engineer, basically a stationary engineer that work on and maintains the equipment that we operate, boilers, air compressor, chillers, hvac equipment etc. The boilers that I currently fire are Cleaver Brooks Natural gas fire tube boilers. One 200 hp and one 400 hp. So naturally I have always wanted to fire a coal powered boiler and I think I see my chance to do so now :) I am open to all conversation relating to this and looking for advise on what the best boiler for the job will be. I have not yet but plan to check with the Elkart Mine, not to far south of us to see what coal they have available and what the price per ton would be. If any one know please fill me in. Also wondering if there is any used equipment available in this area that could be had for a good price and how to go about finding such a thing. All help is welcome and appreciated. Thanks, Al
Cigar_Smoker
 
Stove/Furnace Make: None Yet
Stove/Furnace Model: None Yet

Re: Looking for General Stoker Advise

PostBy: Rick 386 On: Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:27 pm

Elkhart is a bituminous or soft coal mine.

Most stokers use anthracite or hard coal.
Rick 386
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 260 heating both sides of twin farmhouse
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Hyfire II w/ coaltrol in garage
Coal Size/Type: Pea in AA 260, Rice in LL Hyfire II
Other Heating: Gas fired infared at work

Re: Looking for General Stoker Advise

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:32 pm

Welcome, Cigar Smoker..

First, what type of heating system does the place have now?? Hot water? Steam?? Hot air??

The coal that most of us burn is Anthracite coal, which is hard coal.. The coal in Illinois is Bituminous which is soft coal.. Soft coal is very different from Antharacite.

Most of the stoker boilers and furnaces you can purchase are meant to burn hard coal. The EFM company is testing a Bituminous version of their boiler.. When it may be offered for sale is not known.

Read our Bituminous forum for specifics about soft coal.

I'm moving this thread to the Bituminous Coal forum.

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


Re: Looking for General Stoker Advise

PostBy: Berlin On: Sun Feb 22, 2009 11:29 pm

congratulations, you are near some of the best bituminous stoker coal in the world (southern illinois/kentucky stoker). you'll probably want to go with a stoker fired boiler; wil-burt is one of the few stoker mfg's left:
http://cm.willburt.com/productsStokerIndBinFeed.asp
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.


contact them for more detailed information or what kind of setup they reccomend. I would highly suggest using an underfed coal stoker over any kind of wood heating plant; transporting wood chips any distance is not cost effective because of the low btu density, heating with cordwood or logs is fine if you don't mind the work to supply all those btu's and the low efficiency and contstant attention that is characteristic of batch-fed appliances. with an underfed stoker it's a 24/7 heat source requiring only periodic ash removal, and if not a bin-fed stoker, you'll need to fill the hopper every few days/week; no cutting/stacking/storing large amounts of wood, no creosote, virtually smoke-free operation and very inexpensive heat.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: Looking for General Stoker Advise

PostBy: Cigar_Smoker On: Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:22 am

LsFarm wrote:Welcome, Cigar Smoker..

First, what type of heating system does the place have now?? Hot water? Steam?? Hot air??

Greg L


Originally the entire building was heated with a Propane fired water boiler. Unfortunately some one removed the boiler and some of the piping and some of the wall mount fan coil units. I think there is enough of the old system left that we can at least work with it. The place is currently heated with several PTAC units using electric resistance heat so you can see why he wants to get something else going asap. We did install a wood burning stove as a temp stopgap measure to help to use less electricity and it is working well. We had thought about a wood or coal furnace but there is not a lot of room to run duct work, thought it would be doable in some of the areas just not everywhere.
Cigar_Smoker
 
Stove/Furnace Make: None Yet
Stove/Furnace Model: None Yet

Re: Looking for General Stoker Advise

PostBy: Cigar_Smoker On: Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:35 am

Berlin wrote:congratulations, you are near some of the best bituminous stoker coal in the world (southern illinois/kentucky stoker). you'll probably want to go with a stoker fired boiler; wil-burt is one of the few stoker mfg's left:
http://cm.willburt.com/productsStokerIndBinFeed.asp
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.


contact them for more detailed information or what kind of setup they reccomend. I would highly suggest using an underfed coal stoker over any kind of wood heating plant; transporting wood chips any distance is not cost effective because of the low btu density, heating with cordwood or logs is fine if you don't mind the work to supply all those btu's and the low efficiency and contstant attention that is characteristic of batch-fed appliances. with an underfed stoker it's a 24/7 heat source requiring only periodic ash removal, and if not a bin-fed stoker, you'll need to fill the hopper every few days/week; no cutting/stacking/storing large amounts of wood, no creosote, virtually smoke-free operation and very inexpensive heat.


Ahh this sounds like good news! So you think that even though the local coal is soft there may still be a chance that it will be burnable in a stoker? Thank you for the link, I will check there pages out. Yes any wood that he would use will be cord wood. (say that 10 times fast) Thats old hat for us thought you are rite it is a lot of work. Even if I can connivence him to go with coal I think he will most likely still want to supplement with wood whenever some one is there to tend to the fire.
Cigar_Smoker
 
Stove/Furnace Make: None Yet
Stove/Furnace Model: None Yet

Re: Looking for General Stoker Advise

PostBy: Putt On: Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:36 am

1. Is this place out in the country??
2. If it is going to be used for "commercial use", you may want to check
the EPA rules in regards to stack emissions... Anth. would not probably be a problem,
but Bit. might raise a stink, so to speak...

Oh, and there are a LOT of Bit stokers in use..
Of course most of them are in commercial power plants..
Our company used what was a huge steel/iron conveyor belt that moved the coal
from the coal hoppers to the opposite side of the boilers where the belt doubled
back on itself and dumped the ash into a pit for disposal..

Putt...
Putt
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Countryside/ corn/pellet
Stove/Furnace Model: Vogelsang pot-bellied

Re: Looking for General Stoker Advise

PostBy: Berlin On: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:19 am

"So you think that even though the local coal is soft there may still be a chance that it will be burnable in a stoker?"

by far most "stokers" in this country and in the world use "soft" coal, not anthracite.

unless your firing a couple million btu's/hour there are really no environmental laws to worry about, some states differ, but illinois is more relaxed than many.

as far as supplimenting with cordwood, i'm not sure why someone would do that, sure, you may get your wood free, but with all the work that's involved, the extremely low cost of bituminous coal and most importantly the lack of any way to effectively setup a system that would efficiently burn both cord wood and coal heating 5000+ sqft, I would reccoment highly against it. if you want to use wood in some wood-stoves etc. throughout the shop for whatever reason occasionally, then by all means do it, if you want a system that's designed to be a constant, proper, permanant heat source, then a coal stoker fired boiler is really the only way to go. i'm not sure you realize this, but when coal can be had in your area for around $60/ton, why would you want to suppliment with wood? if you paid someone minimum wage, by the time they finished cutting, splitting and stacking the amount of wood that would equal the btu's in a ton of coal it would be MORE than the cost of the coal, so unless this guy likes to waste much time when he's home at night cutting/splitting wood himself it is really not likely to save him money over coal.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: Looking for General Stoker Advise

PostBy: Cigar_Smoker On: Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:27 am

Putt wrote:1. Is this place out in the country??
2. If it is going to be used for "commercial use", you may want to check
the EPA rules in regards to stack emissions... Anth. would not probably be a problem,
but Bit. might raise a stink, so to speak...

Oh, and there are a LOT of Bit stokers in use..
Of course most of them are in commercial power plants..
Our company used what was a huge steel/iron conveyor belt that moved the coal
from the coal hoppers to the opposite side of the boilers where the belt doubled
back on itself and dumped the ash into a pit for disposal..

Putt...


Yes it is out in the country in the middle of a 6.5 acer lot though there are a few houses not to far away. There are no plans at this time to use it for any thing that would be considered commercial use. Would a after burn chamber and secondary combustion air ahead of the boiler help to reduce the smell and emissions or can a unit be setup to be efficient enough that that would not be needed? That boiler setup with the iron conveyor sounds like a slick operation. Would love to see something like that run some day.
Cigar_Smoker
 
Stove/Furnace Make: None Yet
Stove/Furnace Model: None Yet

Re: Looking for General Stoker Advise

PostBy: Cigar_Smoker On: Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:45 am

Berlin wrote:"So you think that even though the local coal is soft there may still be a chance that it will be burnable in a stoker?"

by far most "stokers" in this country and in the world use "soft" coal, not anthracite.

unless your firing a couple million btu's/hour there are really no environmental laws to worry about, some states differ, but illinois is more relaxed than many.

as far as supplimenting with cordwood, i'm not sure why someone would do that, sure, you may get your wood free, but with all the work that's involved, the extremely low cost of bituminous coal and most importantly the lack of any way to effectively setup a system that would efficiently burn both cord wood and coal heating 5000+ sqft, I would reccoment highly against it. if you want to use wood in some wood-stoves etc. throughout the shop for whatever reason occasionally, then by all means do it, if you want a system that's designed to be a constant, proper, permanant heat source, then a coal stoker fired boiler is really the only way to go. i'm not sure you realize this, but when coal can be had in your area for around $60/ton, why would you want to suppliment with wood? if you paid someone minimum wage, by the time they finished cutting, splitting and stacking the amount of wood that would equal the btu's in a ton of coal it would be MORE than the cost of the coal, so unless this guy likes to waste much time when he's home at night cutting/splitting wood himself it is really not likely to save him money over coal.


Splitting fire wood is therapeutic....lol Seriously though, I see it being something like you suggest where he would have a coal fired boiler for the main heat source and a wood stove or two around in different areas like the shop and in the area that we already have installed a stove. The stoves are free and the wood is free, it will be hard for me to convince him not to use them. But I do totally see your point about the labor. As I see it, thought I don't really mind splitting fire wood all that much my time could be better spent doing something else like relaxing and smoking cigars....lol
Cigar_Smoker
 
Stove/Furnace Make: None Yet
Stove/Furnace Model: None Yet

Re: Looking for General Stoker Advise

PostBy: WNY On: Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:30 pm

"Would a after burn chamber and secondary combustion air ahead of the boiler help to reduce the smell and emissions or can a unit be setup to be efficient enough that that would not be needed?"

Coal usually doesn't need these things, once burnt, there is nothing else to burn, (unlike wood) maybe in a commercial environment, scubbers or something? most of us just have a chimney with nothing else on them except the Baro Damper to maintain proper draft on the unit.
WNY
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon

Re: Looking for General Stoker Advise

PostBy: Sting On: Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:16 pm

One boiler horsepower equals 33,480 Btu/hr output in steam.

I still have an (almost) complete Iron fireman under boiler stoker with under bin feed system for a million BTU in boiler

I am Interested in offers and only 6 hours away! :)
Sting
 
Other Heating: BurnHAM=NG-gas

Re: Looking for General Stoker Advise

PostBy: Cigar_Smoker On: Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:09 am

Sting wrote:One boiler horsepower equals 33,480 Btu/hr output in steam.

I still have an (almost) complete Iron fireman under boiler stoker with under bin feed system for a million BTU in boiler

I am Interested in offers and only 6 hours away! :)


Nice! This is the burner and feed system only with with out a boiler? Is there a mod# that could be used to look up just what this thing is? What parts are missing? What it the minimum out put of this burner? I'm thinking it may be a little bigger that what we need but depending on boiler efficiency and if it can be slowed down maybe it would work. Thanks
Cigar_Smoker
 
Stove/Furnace Make: None Yet
Stove/Furnace Model: None Yet

Re: Looking for General Stoker Advise

PostBy: Sting On: Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:17 am

Sorry -- boiler is land locked in the basement boiler room - it was lowered into the basement and the building was built around it :cry:

Cutting torch is the only way out for that bad boy
Sting
 
Other Heating: BurnHAM=NG-gas

Re: Looking for General Stoker Advise

PostBy: Cigar_Smoker On: Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:55 am

Ok, I have a line on what I am told is an Iron Fireman model 30. I haven't seen it yet but I was told that it is complete but the tuyeres are burnt out. Any one know if replacements for these can be found? Any other info about this burner would be greatly appreciated as well, max and min feed rate etc. Thanks again every one!
Cigar_Smoker
 
Stove/Furnace Make: None Yet
Stove/Furnace Model: None Yet