Dickson Unit and Burning Coal outside

Dickson Unit and Burning Coal outside

PostBy: ScottWoh On: Sun Feb 11, 2007 2:09 pm

I have two questions that I would like to ask as a new member to this forum.

First, does any one have any info or links or personal experience on a coal furnace named "Dickson Unit" I have one currently in my garage that was used to heat my house at one time and point(It's equiped with an hydronic loop) I have not fired it up as the current chimney araingment is inadiquite.

Second, I do burn coal in my house, but just a small stoker (Alaska I) in my sunroom. The rest of the house has a forced hot air furnace. I'm in the process of placing radient floor heating in and plan to go to a hydronic heating system. I have approx 6 tons of coal in 2 to 3 foot diam chunks left in the yard from the previous owner. I was thinking of taking the Dickson Unit, (It seems to be well taken care of and in good shape) and placing it into a well insulated out building, then use heat pex to bring the hydronic heat into the house. Kind of like the outdoor wood boilers (See CentralBoiler.com) I like the idea of keeping the Coal, the Ash and the Burner all outside as It seems to me to be a counter productive task of bringing in coal, and taking out coal ash. Anyone done this? This for me would be a use in the dead of winter option and rely on the convience of my boiler for the milder temps.

Thanks in advance for you advice and criticisms.

Scott
ScottWoh
 

PostBy: Yanche On: Sun Feb 11, 2007 3:01 pm

Yes several of us have boilers in out buildings that are not part of our homes. Mine is in a garage/shop. Before you purchase anything like the CentralBoiler.com products take a look at http://www.alternateheatingsystems.com/ ... urnace.htm

Outdoor boilers have a very controversial history. Build your own building and buy the best coal boiler you can afford. There are hand fired or stoker units from several manufacturers.

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

clairification

PostBy: ScottWoh On: Sun Feb 11, 2007 3:30 pm

I have experience with central boilers, we have one at my work, it's an industrial pallet burner, hooked to a 1 million btu carrier heat exchanger inside the building. I installed a watlow controller and a abb drive on the fan and a industrial grundfos pump (crn series) I was using central boiler more as an example of the type of outdoor heat idea i was thinking of. This would not be a garage, it would be but the heat plant outside and bring the heat in via hydronics.

Scott
ScottWoh
 


PostBy: ktm rider On: Sun Feb 11, 2007 3:38 pm

I have a coal boiler in my garage for the exact same reason you mention. No mess in the house. I don't see why your boiler would not work inside a small shed. You might lose some heat from the extreme cold but I would think as long as you keep the wind off of it the loss should be minimal I would think.

Yanche,

I don't think AHS makes the outdoor unit any longer. Maybe a special order if someone really wanted one.

Even if they did, i think i would go with your suggestion and still buy the indoor boiler, buy a Home Depot shed to put it in and still have less money in it than buying an OWB.
ktm rider
 
Stove/Furnace Make: AHS Multifuel
Stove/Furnace Model: CO 55 with oil backup

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:37 am

Hello Scott, welcome to the forum. I too have a coal burning boiler in an outbuilding. I used Pex-Al-Pex tubing to bring the water into the house. I use water/water plate heat exchangers to tranfer the heated, non pressurized, water/glycol mix to the house's hot water baseboard system and then to another heat exchanger for the domestic hot water.

I have several links to suppliers of tubing, exchangers, fittings etc if you want them.

I think the links are listed on another tread, I'll try to find them and link to it.

I totally agree with keeping the dirt, dust, ashes etc outside the house. Another often overlooked plus is that without any chimneys or vents pulling air out of the house, the house has less cold air infiltration, and feels warmer because of fewer drafts around windows and doors.

Take care, 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

PostBy: Yanche On: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:07 am

ktm rider wrote: I don't think AHS makes the outdoor unit any longer. Maybe a special order if someone really wanted one.

That's true but the referenced page also has links to all the things wrong with the boilers called, "outdoor furnaces". Including law suits from neighbors about the smoke and air polution issues. Interesting reading and something to consider if you live in a populated area and are intending to burn a smokey grade of coal. The "outdoor furnaces" are outlawed in some states.

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

PostBy: ScottWoh On: Mon Feb 12, 2007 8:15 pm

Yanche,

I don't think you get my intent. What is the difference in burning coal inside or outside? if you have clean burning coal and your coal boiler is in a insulated room with a properly sized chimney and as coal is clean burning why would it compare to a in efficient outdoor wood boiler? Perhaps you could site examples.

I would like to use the efficiency of a coal stove using a hydronic loop and just place the source of the heat outside of my house. As I have stated I don't want to bring the fuel and the exhaust (dust, ash) in my dwelling. I;m not talking a wood outside boiler with all it's smoke and probems. I'm just tinking of putting a efficient coal stove out side of the house and bringing the heat in.

Scott
ScottWoh
 

your idea of out/in

PostBy: keyman512us On: Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:12 pm

Hi Scott.
Welcome to the forum. I know exactly what you are trying to say. Because the point you are at...is where I was 3 years ago. It sounds like your main reason is the same as mine. I too wanted all the mess, space consuming items (boiler, fuel, ash) all outside my dwelling. I also wanted options. My boiler is coal or wood. Recently I have started to burn coal, the #1 reason is no smoke. What you are contemplating is costly, time consuming, and a lot of work, both in research and actual hands on construction...but well worth it speaking from my own experiance. I have had my boiler running for 3 years...but have yet to build a "suitable" building to enclose it. It works just fine. If you live in the country, free from page after page of local ordinances, building codes, permits and the like...you should find the process easy. If you live in more of an urban setting you may run into problems. Everyone here in this forum is just trying to offer suggestion, advice and two cents worth from their own experiences. If you are interested in "proof of concept"(or anyone else want to checkout my setup)...feel free to PM me and I will provide a link.
...Scott if you have specific questions feel free to contact me.
This is a great forum and everyone here gladly helps one another.
keyman512us
 

PostBy: keyman512us On: Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:36 pm

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 7:15 pm Post subject:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yanche,

I don't think you get my intent. What is the difference in burning coal inside or outside? if you have clean burning coal and your coal boiler is in a insulated room with a properly sized chimney and as coal is clean burning why would it compare to a in efficient outdoor wood boiler? Perhaps you could site examples.


As of today there is not much of a difference...depending on where you live. What applies is Federal, State, Local laws, ordinances and covenants. You have to 'do some homework' about your local area. When I put mine in (very similiar situation to what you propose) I met all stipulations...period. I checked with the local board of health, no requirements, the local building inspector "ohh...it's an outdoor boiler? We don't even have a permit process for those...Have a ball kid!"
3 years later (today)...It's the hot button topic, board of health is drafting rules and regs, holding public hearings, indirectly citing my installation in the paper, news paper is blowing everything out of proportion, etc etc etc.
So you think 'grandfathering' is the end of it? WRONG!
The 'Czar' of our local board of health is proposing, that if enacted "existing instasllations shall apply for a permit within sixty days of passage or cease operation.." What worries me is the proposed wording of what constitutes a stove, boiler, exempt or permitted installation. "...any solid fuel heating appliance installed within a building or structure designed for human or animal habitation...all other installation are prohibeted unless approved by special permision..."
...My point is this: You asked the question "what is the difference?" probably not too much today. 3 years from now? Who can really say? If current trends continue anything outside the home that heats it will probably need an EPA "air permit". (I hope not).
Sorry for rambling...hope this provides a little insight for you Scott.

...If you think it sounds far fetched...think again. Just becuase we know in America it is an un-written rule that "man a has basic right to heat his home how he so chooses" that tide is slowly turning.
.... Unfortunately, America is a different country in the 21st century.
keyman512us
 

PostBy: Yanche On: Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:15 pm

ScottWoh wrote:I don't think you get my intent. What is the difference in burning coal inside or outside? if you have clean burning coal and your coal boiler is in a insulated room with a properly sized chimney and as coal is clean burning why would it compare to a in efficient outdoor wood boiler?
Scott, I know exactly what you mean. My intent in referencing the AHS site was to point out the problems with solid fuel outdoor building as seen from the public and government views. Yes, these are mostly wood fuel boilers, not coal and particularly not Anthracite coal boilers, but they are bad as far as the public knows. Unfortunately the residential building and fire codes lump all coal combustion in the "solid fuel" designation. So coal combustion products get painted with the same brush. There are very efficient coal boilers that have no visible smoke. Two of the very best are the AHS "coal gun" and the Axeman-Andersen "anthratube". Both burn Anthracite with 84% combustion efficiency. They are both 50 year old designs manufactured today with modern motors and controls. But there are no modern day environmental certifications on these boilers. Unlike stoves they don't meet EPA solid fuel environmental regulations. Why because they don't have to. Central heating boilers are EPA exempt. But times are changing, in NY state the high profile Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer, has petitioned the EPA to regulate outdoor WOOD fueled boilers. Let's hope coal fired boilers especially Anthracite coal fire units are not included or banned. If they are regulated, the price of the boilers will increase substantially because the manufactures will have to recoup the costs of testing.

You are correct about using a water loop to get the heat into your home. It's the only practical way. The largest sized PEX commonly available is one inch. This is a marginal size for moving the required BTUs for a large house. Existing heating systems can be a seasonal switch, an automatic backup or supplemental additional heat depending on the sophistication of the control system.

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

PostBy: mjb On: Tue Feb 13, 2007 12:06 pm

From an article in the Feb 8th addition of the Long Island Advance. Legislator Eddington pushes to ban outdoor wood burners. Thirty five New York state municipalities in upstate counties such as Oneida, St. Lawrnce, Saratoga and others have banned OWB's outright, including the town of Brookhaven. Twenty two others have specific restrictions.
mjb
 

PostBy: bksaun On: Tue Feb 13, 2007 1:19 pm

My God,I am glad I live in the South! Just south of the Ohio River seems to be a different world sometimes.

We Have a lot of outdoor woodburners around here, and nobody cares.

BK
bksaun
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Hybrid, Gentleman Janitor GJ-6RSU/ EFM 700
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 503
Coal Size/Type: Pea Stoker/Bit, Pea or Nut Anthracite
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer/ EFM-Gentleman Janitor
Stove/Furnace Model: 503 Insert/ 700/GJ-62

Dickson Unit

PostBy: JET On: Sun Apr 01, 2007 1:08 am

I have a Dickson Unit and ironically live in Dickson City, PA (where it was made). The company, like many other regional stove makers, went out of busines years ago. I've been using it in my garage for some years and found that chesnut burns well in it. Stove pipe vents it straight up through the roof. I can keep it going continuously if I dampen it off at night, but it keeps the garage very warm. The garage is a separate uninsulated block construction structure, which has several single pane windows. I am happy with it, although I am a little spoiled with my Reading Stoker in the house.
JET