EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: Rob R. On: Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:56 am

I prefer MAPP for the bigger stuff, but your model torch should throw a lot of heat.

The 95/5 solder is definitely a lot less forgiving than 50/50. When I was sweating the fittings on my dad's EFM I got very frustrated with the lead-free solder and eco-friendly flux. I went and got a tub of Oatey No. 95 Tinning flux (my favorite), and found a roll of 50/50 Dutch Boy solder in my junk drawer. I zipped through the rest of the install with no problems, and did not have one leak. This weekend I will be sweating some pipes on my 520, and it will be nothing but 50/50 solder.

-Rob
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: europachris On: Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:54 am

What an adventure this has been - I'm exhausted, but it sure is worth it!

Took our Liberty CRD (finally glad I haven't sold it yet), towing a 6x12 U-haul utility trailer down to the Knight Hawk Creek Paum mine yesterday and picked up 3500 lbs. @ $80/ton. It's a little daunting when a guy drives up to your little rig with one BIG loader....please don't bury me, mister!!! Evidently they are one of the only mines that will sell to the "home" user, but it sounds like they get a lot of people from even farther than me buying coal. It was a long day of driving, about 6 hours each way, and was about the only time I've thanked this state for being flat. 18 mpg isn't bad either.

Unfortunately, I found out what wet coal, a long drive, below-freezing temps, and a metal trailer does. :mad: :oops: Most of the coal came off with a little breaking up, but there was a layer frozen to the trailer that wasn't coming off. Well, guess I'm not going to make the return time now..... I found the one garden hose that wasn't frozen and proceeded to use 50 degree well water to thaw out the frozen mess. Lemme tell you, that was a great time! It's 20 degrees out and snowing and I'm hosing around with cold water. Thankfully it worked and I filled up a wheelbarrow with what stuck to the bed. Next time I'll lay down some sheets of plywood or rent a dump trailer.

This morning I wired up the furnace and boiler and filled the system. I found a few more threaded connection leaks, two I was able to tighten and the others stopped when it heated up. I have it set up so the circulator turns on with the thermostat immediately and the furnace blower comes on 30 seconds later (I can adjust the time delay relay up to 60 seconds).

It was finally time to light it up. I'll admit I was a little apprehensive about firing it up - hoping it works as planned and I don't discover some bonehead error that requires serious rework or rebuilding. Fortunately, that was not the case and it did not take long before it was up to temp and I could engage the circulator relay and purge the rest of the air out of the lines.

I think the only thing I want to work on a little is the "Volumeter" damper - I had to replace the original damper because it had rusted apart after mice moved into the duct at some point. I had enough of it to see how it needed to work and the dimensions, but not how tight it fit when it was closed. I'd like to make it close tighter to bank the fire more aggressively when the stoker is off. I'm not having any overshoot during times when the fire is just idling, but it just seems to idle hotter than I'd expect.

Overfire draft is .04 to .05 whether stoker is running or idle. No baro is installed. Water temp. seems to hang around 160. I have the low limit at 140 and high limit at 180, but since I have a PLC handling the aquastat function, I cut the stoker off at 160 even if there is a call for heat. I may change it and maybe even run the stoker strictly on boiler temp and not fire it in conjunction with the circulator so it stokes less often but for longer periods.

Sitting in the house, the heating cycles seem very similar in length to the gas furnace. I am using the gas furnace thermostat for the boiler currently, but tomorrow I will install a separate thermostat for the boiler and let the gas be backup. Temperature delta of the water through the heat exchanger is between 17 and 20 degrees. I need to measure plenum temp after the heat exchanger and also flue temps. The stove pipe is too hot to hold during full fire but not burning skin hot. Overall, it is keeping a well insulated 16x20 garage at 68 degrees with a window open an inch or two (smelly new paint). I think most of the heat is coming off the 8 feet of stovepipe (10 foot ceiling).

Hopefully Berlin will chime in, as I have some questions as to "normal" fire appearance and amount of coke being produced. The coal is low in sulfur (1.3%) for Illinois and low in ash (5.5%). I do not know the coke button value, but it does tend to form quite a bit of coke in the pot, fusing into large clumps. My concern is to not run too much air and burn it down too far and damage the tuyeres, but the fire's appearance tells me the air setting is OK, maybe even a little low.

A few pictures and then it's bedtime.
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Houston, we are go.
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The "wet spots" are rust preventative oil, not water.
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Looking through the lower cleanout door.
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Looking out of the house at the garage - stoker is running. Light smoke visible but camera doesn't pick it up well.
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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: LsFarm On: Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:32 am

Hey Chris, glad you made that pilgramage for the coal safely.

The boiler and stoker sound like they are working out well. The photos of the fire burning, is this with the fan/stoker running? or is that the fire idling?? The fire appears to be burning off a lot of volitiles..

My guess, and it's a guess would be to put the belt on the stoker on the lowest pulley and increase the air, but what do I know??? Berlin is the guy to give some help..

My compliments on your workmanship. It's quite impressive..

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

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: Yanche On: Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:34 am

Congratulations! A job well done. A bit of tuning and you will soon be enjoying all the benefits of your hard work. Outstanding design, workmanship and attention to detail.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: Hambden Bob On: Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:10 am

Damn ! Who needs Disney or NASA when you've got posts like this to view ! Fantastic and Clean! I'm thinking these kind of pics of your project inspire others to do better on their install's. I am impressed and love the Outbuilding set-up.
Hambden Bob
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman 1998 Magnum Stoker
Coal Size/Type: Rice-A-Roni !

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: europachris On: Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:25 am

Thanks for the compliments! 5 degrees outside and the boiler is handling it just fine. I think if it were any colder or windy, I'd definitely adjust the program logic to let the stoker run up to the high limit with call for heat and let the water temperature ride closer to 180. It's easy enough to do.

Greg - the stoker is currently set to the low feed rate ~10lbs/hr. With 38% volatile content, it's pretty much going to have bright flames at all times while feeding coal, burning off the volatiles in a controlled manner. My only question is how much air should I add (if any). I think I'm running too little air, but do not want to add too much, either. I'm sitting here in the kitchen with my espresso, watching the garage, and see nothing but heat waves from the stack - whether the stoker is running or not.

I need to get out there and look at the fire and clean it - which will show me what sort of tools I need to fabricate today. I've got your "clinker picker" ready, Greg! I'll need a small hoe and a hook tool, I think.

As a side note, driving home with a trailer full of "nasty, dirty coal", and pulling it with a diesel, I passed a Prius and started laughing my butt off. I really felt like Gru from "Despicable Me" driving his huge polluting "vehicle". Image :smoke:

Oh yeah - one more thing - anybody want to buy a really clean Keystoker 90 DV?
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: tsb On: Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:53 am

Nice job. Plumbing is always an adventure.
I hope you have a supplier for coal and a large bin.
6 hours each way is going to get old quick.

I also hope you don't have any neighbors that are " allergic "
" Honey what's that smell ?"
tsb
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Binford 2000
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Pioneer top vent
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Saey Hanover II

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: Sting On: Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:06 am

europachris wrote: I'm sitting here in the kitchen with my espresso, watching the garage, and see nothing but heat waves from the stack - whether the stoker is running or not.


Image



----> Major Jealous, reporting in from Wisconsin - drooling in my porridge this morning.

What would it cost to hire a quad axle dump truck to pick up fuel for you -- you know, when some independent guy needs a day of work? Just a thought
Sting
 
Other Heating: BurnHAM=NG-gas

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: europachris On: Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:08 pm

Sting wrote:What would it cost to hire a quad axle dump truck to pick up fuel for you -- you know, when some independent guy needs a day of work? Just a thought

I don't mind the trip to get coal - it's a very nice drive, actually. Much of it is interstate and the rest is state 2 lane highway. Loaded or not it's about the same - straight and flat. I only wanted to pick up a light load to start with and gauge how much I'll burn the rest of the winter before determining what I'll need for next year. I have a friend with a 3/4 ton pickup that I could borrow, rent a dump trailer and come back with 4 or 5 tons next time.

I haven't looked into other methods of hauling my coal yet, but when I was talking to Homer at the mine (yes, Homer, and not Simpson) he mentioned a trucking company down that way that covers a 4 or 5 state region around here and would likely be quite easy to arrange a load up this way. Where 'bouts you at? I'm a stone's throw from I-39/I-90 north of Rockford.

I'd have to split the load with someone else (or two) - I have no place to put 22 tons of coal discretely. 4 or 5 tons would be all I could handle at one time. With the location of the garage in relation to my neighbors, I am lucky that the normal winter prevailing wind (north to northwest) carries the fumes away from any of my neighbors. Therefore they really wouldn't have a clue I'm burning coal and don't want to call attention to myself with a huge pile of it.

Although, if natural gas hits $1.30/therm again, I won't care! Back up the tractor/trailer and let 'er loose! :poke:

Shoot! I think I see Al Gore in a helicopter circling overhead.....
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:12 pm

Very nice job, Chris. It's always nice when a project actually works as intended.
Wood'nCoal
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: dave brode On: Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:14 pm

Chris,

Very nice job!

Fwiw, 2 cents worth. At least around here, what they call "pea stoker" is most commonly used, and it is much smaller than what you have. Some stoker coal here is almost as small as rice size anth. I tried bigger "nut" coal sized similar to what you have in my Iron fireman, and I broke 4 shear pins with that load [never broke any with pea]. Any rocks in the load are usually no bigger than the coal is sized.

smaller coal = much less crunching and grinding noises.

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: Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:51 pm

Hey Chris: how did the first 24 hours go? Were you able to get the coal to clinker so you could remove a solid clinker instead of loose ash??
Are you going to let the ash build up 5-6" deep so it clinkers around the fire?

Do you have any idea how much coal you used in the first 24 hours?

How's the heat output? if you were happy with the duct air temps at 160* water, won't it just cycle the furnace fan less often if you increase the water temp and therefore the duct air temp? Wouldn't this create greater temperature swings in the house??

How warm is the radiant keeping the shop/garage with the 5* outside temperatures??

I was going to ask if I gave you the clinker tongs. I didn't remember what happened to them.. glad they went to a good home. :lol:

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: tsb On: Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:55 pm

Clinker tongs ??????
tsb
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Binford 2000
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Pioneer top vent
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Saey Hanover II

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:44 pm

Yep, clinker tongs.. they look like a 1930's version of those 'reach extender' grippers you can get to grab something off a high shelf.. Like a very long pair of pliers..

The clinker tongs I gave Chris were about 4' long, with two fingers opposed by one, and handles at the other end to bring the fingers together. Reach into the stove, open the fingers, drop over the clinker, close the fingers and remove from the firebox.. the tongs were steel tubes and the fingers cast iron..

Maybe Chris will post us a photo of the tongs with his first extracted clinker ??

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 16, 2011 11:21 pm

Fwiw, 2 cents worth. At least around here, what they call "pea stoker" is most commonly used, and it is much smaller than what you have. Some stoker coal here is almost as small as rice size anth. I tried bigger "nut" coal sized similar to what you have in my Iron fireman, and I broke 4 shear pins with that load [never broke any with pea]. Any rocks in the load are usually no bigger than the coal is sized.


Dave: I was thinking the same thing. Most of the coal is much smaller sized, however. I think the last bucket I dumped in was from the side of the trailer where all the larger pieces had "vibrated" down off the pile during transit. I do get the occasional crunching, though. Speaking of shear pins - what are they made of? Steel? Brass? I have what appears to be a steel pin, and no idea if it's original, a proper replacement, or something stuck in there that doesn't belong. It certainly looks like a proper part, though.

Greg: So far I've pulled a few small clinkers out and some pieces of coke that I thought were clinker. It's pretty obvious to me now.... The clinker forms right next to the outside of the tuyeres. It actually looks very much like an anthracite clinker from your A-A 260. It works best to plan ahead and shut off the stoker 20 minutes before cleaning the fire. Otherwise it's a hot job and you can't tell clinker from coal. I'll get a pic of those tongs next time I've got the camera out there.

I'm guessing I've burned 100-120 lbs. the first 24 hours, including heating up the system. As of a few hours ago, I had 14 hours on the stoker. Since it's rated 10 to 12 lbs. an hour, that would be around 150 lbs. so far. I haven't weighed a 5 gal. bucket full yet, but it feels to be 30~35 lbs. (it's lighter than a 40lb. bag of Blaschak) and I have added 5 buckets since the initial hopper fill and lighting.

Indeed, the entire area around the tuyeres is anywhere from 5" to 8" deep with a bed of coal, coke, and ash. The fire is actually burning cleaner with a big bed of coke around it. I've adjusted the air up a little bit to get the "clear yellow flame".

I've left the temp settings alone for now - it seems to run well where it's at. We'll see what happens later this week when it's supposed to be below zero at night and single digit highs. I measured the plenum temp and saw 132 degrees with 78 degrees on the input side (the humidifier warms up the return air a bit), giving a 54 degree rise running about 160-165 degree water - compared to a 60 degree rise when running the furnace itself (same blower speed). I'm very pleased with that sort of performance!

I also measured the stack temperature about 18" up from the flue exit using the same K-type thermocouple bead probe on my Fluke 52 I've used for all the other measurements. Full fire runs between 575 and 600 degrees (center of stovepipe). Once the stoker shuts down, it rapidly drops down to 250-275. I'm surprised at the high flue gas temperature when stoking, but it is only a single pass boiler after all. I wonder if it would be worthwhile to add an "economizer"? I could route the return water through a coil of some sort in the smokebox section of the base and then route it into the boiler returns. I might recover a good bit of heat. It also might make cleaning difficult....

Lastly, the boiler is keeping the garage/shop at a consistent 68-72 degrees and I still have the window next to it open about an inch to assure enough air for the fire and draft. Hopefully the heat radiated by the boiler become less as the weather warms and the demand goes down. Otherwise that garage is going to get uncomfortably warm.
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My first clinker.
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europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

Visit Lehigh Anthracite