EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: dave brode On: Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:00 am

Chris,

Oldtimers told me to use grade #2 steel bolts for pins. I don't know what was correct. Fwiw, I would let the ash/clinker build up 8-10", and see if you have enough air. When mine acted up and I had unburned stuff, I'd throw the black stuff back through. When all was right, there was nothing left that looked like it would even begin to burn. After cleaning, mine didn't burn/clinker well again until it had a good cover over the pot. If I was lazy, it would be 12-14" deep, and still burn well down at the pot. I would usually clean one side out well using a narrow shovel to scoop any fine ash up, and then pull most of what was left from the other side over the pot. Fine ash and all.

Then again, our coal might be much different and have different wants.

Dave
dave brode
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KAA-2
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: used to have a 5 section Red Square
Coal Size/Type: rice anthracite

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:05 am

Chris, it sounds like it's working good.. A 100-150# for the initial warm up and first 24 hours isn't bad at all. plus that Bit is only $80/ton..

One thing for sure, that stoker and boiler will be able to keep up with your heating demands. It's on it's lowest settings right now, and the weather and temps there are not exactly 'balmy'..

You can install insulation boards around the boiler if you want to cut down the radiated heat from the boiler. I have some aluminum coated foam that I use on the top and one side of the AA, Of course it would be a shame to cover up that instalation..

Yep those clinkers look familiar.. :D

The shear pin in my Iron Fireman is a soft steel pin, like Dave said, probably a cheap steel bolt would work..

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: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: dave brode On: Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:17 pm

Chris,

Please take what I say in perspective, as just because guys around here do it a certain way doesn't mean it's the right way. ["what do ya mean? That's the way we've always done it"] Example - nobody monitors draft. Although it may not work on every intall, I've not seen many with a damper in the flue. [My yearly coal usage went up 1.5 to 2 tons when I went from hand fired to stoker fired, btw].

Fyi, when I set my old 5 section up, I used two 1" layers of duct liner [black semi rigid stuff, available at most bigger duct shops]. I wired it into place and covered it with a 24ga galv skin [embossed alum would be nicer looking]. Years later, when the cement between the boiler sections needed renewed, I chopped the skin off and never replaced it or the insulation. The temp change in the boiler room was huge, although it wasn't an issue for me, as the heat kept the garage above it warmer. The foil faced "ductboard" would work too imo, perhaps even without a tin jacket, although the tape used on it might not live well with the heat it would see.

Fwiw, mine didn't clinker well in mild temps. Running it hard made a big difference. Sometimes, the clinkers would be so big that I would have to bust them up to get them out. Imo, a temp control that would allow a wider temp differential might help it clinker, as that would increase run time.

Dave
dave brode
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KAA-2
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: used to have a 5 section Red Square
Coal Size/Type: rice anthracite

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: europachris On: Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:02 pm

Thanks, Dave. I have a roll of foil-faced 1" fiberglass duct insulation from another project that I was going to try out and see how that affects the garage temps. There is also a lot of heat radiating off the boiler base since the pot sits so low compared to how it sits in an EFM anthracite setup.

One interesting item to try would be painting the base high temp silver rather than the current black (and maybe the stovepipe, too). Silver color radiates much less heat than flat black. It's very noticeable because even at 180F I don't feel heat radiating from the boiler itself but the black pipe and base radiate very noticeable heat, even at similar temperatures.

Right now the garage is maintaining right around 68 to 70 degrees, still keeping a window open 1" to 2". I'm going to make a screened grille (like a soffit vent) and install that into the window opening (like a tiny window A/C unit) and screw it in place. That will keep rain/snow out and add a bit of security. I'm hoping as the weather warms and the boiler runs less, the lower heat output will match the lower heat loss from the garage.

Last night was "only" 15 degrees, and I found very few clinkers this morning. Looks like I'll have to shovel some loose ash out tonight. I pushed what I could toward the pot from around the edges to assist the clinkering process. I'm also still fine-tuning the air setting. It is still making a lot of coke although it is burning very clean.

I'll have to give the mine a call and see if they have a coke button and AFT analysis for the coal. According to Homer at the mine, "this coal shouldn't be here". I read that this particular (Murphysboro seam) coal was used for coke production in the past due to the low sulfur and ash content. Unfortunately, it has largely been mined-out as there is not much of it and it is in high demand.
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: MoBe On: Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:01 pm

Dave, I was always under the impression that when you fired with a stoker you used less coal then you would by hand firing... I dont claim to know anything, its just what I have heard...


I must also say, Chris you did an excellent job with that referb and install!
MoBe
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 130, Stokol Stoker, Gentleman Janitor
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: American Standard, National, Burnham, US National
Stove/Furnace Make: American Standard
Stove/Furnace Model: Red Flash #3-9, Red Flash #2-7

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: dave brode On: Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:25 pm

MoBe wrote:Dave, I was always under the impression that when you fired with a stoker you used less coal then you would by hand firing... I dont claim to know anything, its just what I have heard...


I must also say, Chris you did an excellent job with that referb and install!



Ditto you on his install, MoBe. Superb work.

Folks that I talk to around here, mostly oldtimers say that you'll use more coal with a bit stoker. They blame it on being force fed, and blowing heat up the flue. Then again, as I said, I've never heard of anyone measuring draft, or dampering the flue. Everyone around here that I've asked about their volumeter gizmo said that it did not work.

Maybe too much air is why mine would sometimes make a clinker the size and shape of the firebox, and several inches thick! [too much air?, although I might try more air first, if I were unable to get good clinkers]

Dave
dave brode
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KAA-2
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: used to have a 5 section Red Square
Coal Size/Type: rice anthracite

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: europachris On: Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:19 am

dave brode wrote:Everyone around here that I've asked about their volumeter gizmo said that it did not work.

Maybe too much air is why mine would sometimes make a clinker the size and shape of the firebox, and several inches thick! [too much air?, although I might try more air first, if I were unable to get good clinkers]
Dave


My volumeter works quite well, actually! (aside from the fact that it barely needs to crack open the damper from the idle fire position). If I manually open the damper I can almost blow the fire right up and out of the pot! The volumeter requires that all the pivot points be free and lubricated otherwise it definitely won't work. The whole thing is really a very clever arrangement and it is quite sensitive. I was awestruck that the rubber diaphragm was still flexible and in perfect condition when I had it apart.
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: europachris On: Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:24 am

This is fun! The fire has settled down into it's steady-state form now - all I do is check it in the morning, knocking down any coke formations as needed, and then clean it in the evening and fill the hopper. After pulling out the clinkers I push the loose ash from the sides of the firebox up to the pot and rake up any pieces of coke on top of the fire. It's like playing with my own little volcano!

I weighed a bucket of coal and it is about 30 pounds net. That correlates well since I've burned about 10 buckets in 30 hours of stoker operation as of last night at the low feed rate which is 10~12 lb./hr. I burned a little over 40# last night (12 hours) with temps in the low teens.

I also insulated the boiler last night with a roll of foil faced fiberglass duct wrap I had when I found the garage at 76 degrees after the boiler had been busy bringing the house up from the daytime setback (only 2 or 3 degrees). The boiler looks a bit like it is wearing a space suit now, but this morning the garage was only 67 degrees. It made a big difference. Looks like I'll be making a sheet metal jacket for it. Wasting heat doesn't sit well with me no matter how cheap the source.
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: europachris On: Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:35 pm

Tonight is gonna be THE test! It's already down to 5 degrees and 20 mph winds from the WNW, on the way to 10 below and winds carrying through the night. So far it's handling the load just fine. I'm sure the hopper will be around 120# lighter tomorrow evening, though. She's really chugging through the coal this week (about 500# since Saturday morning start-up) but temperatures haven't cracked the low 20s during the day and low teens at night. After tomorrow's balmy high of 5 degrees things should moderate a bit.

I did add just a tad more air this morning and it seemed burn a little cleaner (I noticed the gray fly ash this evening - that's new), but still formed about as much coke. I did some research and some of the Illinois coals are strongly coking and were used for steel production, blending with Eastern coals to get the needed coke properties. I do not know how the Murphysboro seam coal I am burning rates, but it sure does make some coke! It is some beautiful burning coal, though, and very little smoke or smell.

Got some new pictures to post:
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Clinkers from today (morning and evening) - about 5 or 6 pounds worth.
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Closeup - some of the clinker is really fused like glass, the rest is similar to an anthracite clinker.
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Clinker tongs courtesy of LsFarm. Thanks, Greg!
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The business end.
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Taken shortly after the stoker started up after cleaning the fire. Fire is about 8" deep over the whole hearth (firebrick is 9" tall).
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Fly ash buildup after 500#.
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Maybe 1/16" of soot buildup
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europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: Berlin On: Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:22 am

with that much soot buildup after 500lbs you need more air. There is also some coke in that clinker, more than you might think; to solve this you need more heat reflection on the fuelbed- this will also prevent soot buildup in the boiler. The key with a clinkering type stoker is to reflect as much heat into the fuelbed as you can - the more heat reflection the less air you'll need to achieve a reduction in coke and soot production and you'll get significantly more dense clinkers. This is why, although you did a great job with your setup, I was encouraging you to extend the base by another 10" or so and add some ceramic fiberboard.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: rockwood On: Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:40 am

Curious to know how many "stoker hours" you've recorded and what the average running time per day is?
rockwood
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Stokermatic coal furnace
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Rockwood Stoveworks Circulator
Baseburners & Antiques: Malleable/Monarch Range
Coal Size/Type: Soft coal: Lump and stoker (slack coal)

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: europachris On: Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:39 am

Berlin wrote:with that much soot buildup after 500lbs you need more air. There is also some coke in that clinker, more than you might think; to solve this you need more heat reflection on the fuelbed- this will also prevent soot buildup in the boiler. The key with a clinkering type stoker is to reflect as much heat into the fuelbed as you can - the more heat reflection the less air you'll need to achieve a reduction in coke and soot production and you'll get significantly more dense clinkers. This is why, although you did a great job with your setup, I was encouraging you to extend the base by another 10" or so and add some ceramic fiberboard.


You are absolutely correct, Dr. Berlin! :) With the added air from yesterday, the soot production turned into fly ash, and it did reduce the amount of coke and improved the clinker density. I am still looking for a source of ceramic board material that won't bankrupt me so I can hang a 12~14" diameter piece over the fire pot and possibly add a strip around the boiler above the firebrick.

I am also evaluating my options for extending the base height, partly due to your comments and experience, and also Coal Berner stating that the cleanout door should be larger. Another 6 to 8 inches on the base height along with moving the door up 4" or 5" and giving the other few inches to the door height would help. Mostly the door is to low once the fire bed has built up. If I was a hot-shot welder/fabricator I'd try to convert the round door to the square door style boiler (or just start looking for a square door boiler top - assuming it will fit my current base sized for the 350). Either way the boiler has to come off the base.....

My original intent was to keep the base as short as possible and keep the firepot as close to the bottom of the boiler as possible so the heat went into the boiler and not into the surrounding base (and into the garage). However, with the current base dimensions, I have enough room to fit a layer of ceramic blanket behind the firebrick.
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: europachris On: Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:00 am

rockwood wrote:Curious to know how many "stoker hours" you've recorded and what the average running time per day is?


It had 48 hours of run time as of 7pm last night from 11am Saturday. I've not looked at it yet this morning, but at -11F, it's been running pretty hard. It seems to be about 8 hours/day for the slightly milder days last week (still only in the low-mid 20's), and closer to 10 hours/day when it's only in the teens. The correlation between buckets of coal, hours of operation, and feed rate seem to work out pretty well.
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sun Jan 23, 2011 4:58 pm

Any new news or updates on the Hybrid boiler's performance ??

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: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: europachris On: Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:32 pm

LsFarm wrote:Any new news or updates on the Hybrid boiler's performance ??

Greg L


Well, not a whole lot of news. I did brush down the firebox and tubes today and removed about 1/8" of soot/fly ash. It was fairly easy and with the cleanout door opposite the flue outlet, all the really fine ash and soot got sucked up the stack rather than into my face. The rest I just shoveled out of the base. I let the fire die down and went excavating in the firepot to see if I had any blocked tuyere openings or clinker stuck in there as it had been burning "funny" the last day or two. I didn't find anything with my limited search and just removed some of the loose ash from the firebox.

I did learn that I was messing around with the fire too much when I cleaned it. I'd remove the clinker which only took a few moments and then I'd continue to futz with it, pushing ash around, herding up little pieces of coke, and digging for gold nuggets around the firepot. :P I read you are supposed to push the loose ash up towards the firepot so it would clinker. Towards is the key word - not over the fire. The next time the stoker would run, the loose ash would fuse and form a clinker right over the pot that would grow quite quickly.

I definitely will be adding a ceramic board reflector of some sort ASAP - it will be necessary especially when the weather warms and the stoker cycles less often and for shorter periods. I also think that coal with smaller overall size would burn better. This coal does tend to coke and stick together a bit more than I expected, but hopefully a heat reflector and additional air might help.

It is not as "set and forget" as anthracite burning, but once I get on the level part of the learning curve, it won't be much more work, just different. I make more work for myself because I can't leave well enough alone! :oops:
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

Visit Lehigh Anthracite