Specific to boilers...

Specific to boilers...

PostBy: keyman512us On: Tue Feb 06, 2007 6:18 am

Hi all! I am just curious how many people here operate boilers, versus warm/hot air furnaces, and stoves. And more importantly, the rate they fire at. I run a coal/wood Burnham SFB101 (85,000btu's hour gross output). Past experience is mostly with wood...but I am looking to use coal primarily in the future.

(any input/guidance from moderators would greatly be apreciated)

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:53 am

I run a hand fired boiler. I used wood for years, low output, short time between feedings and a lot of creosote and work. Never again.
As for the firing rate, the controls on the boiler take care of it. My drafty old house on oil is cold, on coal I'm warm as toast at the same settings. And it's cheap.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

PostBy: Yanche On: Tue Feb 06, 2007 10:15 am

I have the Alternate Heating Systems S-130 130,000 BTU Anthracite only stoker boiler. Love it. I'm on my forth heating season. Highly recommended. If you have Anthracite availability at an affordable price it's the way to go. Bituminous is often cheaper but more finicky to burn. Check out the AHS web site for boilers using different fuel types. http://www.alternateheatingsystems.com/

Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

PostBy: LsFarm On: Tue Feb 06, 2007 11:03 am

Hi Dustin, as you know I have a self designed boiler. It was/is hand feed. I've successfully used an antique 1930's IronFireman stoker in it lately. Right now, February 6th, I'm back to a hand feed fire to burn up my remaining large size anthracite coal and make room in the coal bin for 5+ tons of Rice or Buckwheat coal.

I think that because of the heat-storing ability of a boiler, it is the most practical way to use coal as the primary fuel to heat a home. Stoves in a living room can heat the whole house, but often a stove is a supplimental heat rather than the sole heat source.

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

PostBy: coalkirk On: Tue Feb 06, 2007 1:39 pm

Hey Dustin,

I use a Harman VF3000 stoker boiler. This unit burns rice anthracite coal and the burn rate is variable from 5K to 95K+. The unit adjusts automatically depending on demand. I'm in my fourth heating season and love it. The first 3 heating seasons, I was kind of still using the oil boiler on a lower aquastat setting so that it would kick on if my boiler temperature dropped. This year, oil boiler has been off all year. Started burning in October and been going strong ever since. It was about 3 degrees here this morning and house was cozy warm from top to bottom. Oh yea, it also supplies my domestic hot water also. This is a very nice unit for the money. If money is not a huge factor for you, the AHS boilers are probably the best but the Harman unit is more than adequate. Weather like we're having now, it is burning about 85# to 100# per day.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Specific to boilers...

PostBy: keyman512us On: Wed Feb 07, 2007 2:35 am

Thanks to all that replied to this post. I'm interested in discussions with other boiler owners.
In this day and age thankfully, between 'good ole American Ingenuity' and technology we have options on how we heat our homes. And options in the future are going to be important.
To anyone new to this site or just thumbing through Welcome! Everyone here is echo-ing my thoughts on stove vs furnace vs boilers. I've used a variety of stoves over the years, thought of "furnace style", but I've gotta say a boiler is the way to go! Like LsFarm said, a stove heats a room, but can leave the house cold. A furnace heats the whole house (air wise), but a boiler, now you are talking heat! That was the biggest reason I chose a boiler, whole house-even heat. Does anyone have a coal fired boiler for radiant and conventional heat? Radiant is real nice...all around beautifull heat! Anyone use a hydronic heat storage system(like from HS Tarm)?
Here is how I would describe my setup:
...House is 106 years old 2-family, 1800sf/"living",1800/sf "other"(basement,attic utility/workshop), 160sf(outbuilding workshop,360lf radiant tubing yet to be hooked up). Primary heat is oil by a Peerless WB04 firing @84,000btu's/hr. Coal/wood boiler is a BurnhamSFB101 add on boiler with 85,000btu's gross rating. Main boiler (water)roughly 12 gallons, add on 17 gallons, with 120 gallons as an accumulator/buffer. Recently I added a coil set-up for a "dump zone".
This is my third season with the add-on boiler (and my first month firing with coal which is a learning curve!) I've experimented with this thing six ways to Sunday and it has been quite the education. I should hire out as a consultant because I have encountered many different and educational experiences. I plan to use (anthracite) coal because of two reasons: #1 Clean burn, #2 long burn time.
The biggest reason for going through all this with the boiler (and why I'm discussing it here) is to have an "experimental platform". As I said before, here in the USA we thankfully have options, unfortunately we are "light years" behind some other areas of the world. Take the Scandanavien countries for example. While "outdoor wood boilers" are the rage here, in Findland they make "boiler packages" (small heat plants fired by everything from peat moss to woodchips) that are small outbuildings with hinged roofs so you can load your fuel with a farm tractor! (I don't have a good link for this anymore but if you do a google search on "agricont" you might be surprised!)
Something I have tried working with in the past is to use wood chips as fuel. Very tricky though considering the moisture content. I figure if I can master firing with coal, I'l be ready to tackle wood chips! As someone who cuts a lot of wood, and produces a lot of wood chips, I'm not gonna completely shy away from burning wood.
Does anyone "blend" their burning(wood and coal)? I'm interested in everyone's thoughts on this topic. Mostly because of the variety of units out there that can burn both. Maybe I should start "splitting" my posts....thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for any input.

boilers...heat storage

PostBy: keyman512us On: Wed Feb 07, 2007 3:22 am

Although the long even heat with coal makes this idea not that atractive, combo users might find this interesting:

This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.

Even though this might seem "off topic"...it's good research for anyone who might want to incorporate "radiant" heat into their setup. Idea is simple but effective...just like coal!