EFM 520 Install with skid/bulk bags feed

Re: EFM 520 Install with skid/bulk bags feed

PostBy: vermontday On: Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:14 am

Just an update. It is now March 28, the coal feed has been running flawlessly without attendance for one month. Again, this is heating a 4,200 sq ft house with a family of five. There was still enough coal in it to go another 4-5 days.

As we want to use up our bagged coal and have not built the next 3 skids yet, we refilled it today from the 50 lb bags. We put in 36 bags and could have fit more easily.

We did have our first outfires during this month. We had a couple of warm days and twice the fire went out. It was not due to any lack of coal feed. In each case the outfire aquastat did it's job with only a small amount of raw coal in the ash can.

I was running 3 teeth with a low of 150F and a high of 180F, with the outfire timer at 3-1/2 minutes every 1/2 hour. Apparently that was not enough to keep the fire going when it was sitting there with no call for heat.

After I changed it to 5 teeth with a low of 150F and a high of 195F, with the outfire timer at 5 minutes every 1/2 hour, we have had no problems. I think I can probably back the outfire timer back down to 3-1/2 minutes, the key seems to be the wider spread with more burn when it is on.

I have recieved the steel for the discharge gates for the next three skids I am going to build. I am toying with not even putting the bolt for the handle in each one as they open and close easily even with a full load of coal above them.

As I am still using up the bagged coal, I won't need the other skids done until fall, so I may wait until then to take a day to build them. That way they won't be in the way in my cellar.

Again, moving the skids one at a time under my cellar window and having coal truck chute the bulk coal into each skid bulk bag should work well. Our experience filling the bulk bag by hand is as long as you keep the bag from getting a side fold in it as you load it, it loads up fine. Suspending the bag straps with bungies as the coal truck chutes into it will keep the side walls from having any side slack.

Thanks
vermontday
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520

Re: EFM 520 Install with skid/bulk bags feed

PostBy: vermontday On: Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:09 pm

I just finished making 4 more skids and am getting 4 tons of bulk coal delivered tomorrow.

I changed the skid design slightly;

1. Beefed up the support rails. Used 2 - 2x10's for each support rail with 1/2" plywood glued between them.
2. Simplified the gate slide support by replacing the 12" long 1" wide flatstock wear plate with a 1" round "Magic Slider" furniture pad screwed to the lift rail.
3. Opened up the skid plywood deck hole for the coal to go from the bag to the auger box by replacing the 14" diameter round hole with a 14" x 15" rectangular hole. This allows more coal to flow into the auger box when the coal level in the bag gets low.
4. Sandwiched the bottom of the bulk bag to the skid plywood deck with a 24" x 24" - 1/2" piece of plywood with a rectangular inner cut hole sized at a 15" x 16" rectangular hole. This allows a stepped angle into the hole, which again lets more coal in. Both this and the above step exposes more than the width of the 14" slide gates. That's OK, it is the steel slide plates that set the actual hole size into the 13" x 16" auger box. Again, by stepping back the plywood layers above, it allows more angle for the coal to reach the hole.
5. After sandwiching the bag bottom between the skid plywood and the centered 24" x24" playwood, I screwed the top plywood down and then cut the bag to the opening. This gets rid of the 12" bag spout restriction and illiminates the worry of fraying the cut spout, as the new bag edge is sandwiched between the plywood.

I will try to attach a few pictures and provide more pictures later.
6. The other change I did was to use non-pressure treated except for the 4" x 6" lift rails. If I were to build more skids, I think I would use pressure treated plywood for the 24" x 24" - 1/2" plywood screwed inside the bag, and pressure treated 3/4" plywood for the skid deck and pressure treated 2 x 4's for the first two 2 x 4's that the slide gate steel rails are screwed to. Then all surfaces that wet coal may come in contact with would be pressure treated.
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vermontday
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520

Re: EFM 520 Install with skid/bulk bags feed

PostBy: vermontday On: Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:14 pm

More pictures.
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vermontday
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520

Re: EFM 520 Install with skid/bulk bags feed

PostBy: vermontday On: Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:23 pm

Still more pictures. You can lubricate the steel gate slide rails with an oiled rag to reduce rusting.
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vermontday
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520

Re: EFM 520 Install with skid/bulk bags feed

PostBy: vermontday On: Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:31 pm

Above picture is empty skid ready for loading from coal chute through window and 3 more skids ready to move into loading position.

Bag in loading position under window has bungies to ceiling to keep bag walls from wrinkling while filling.
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vermontday
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520

Re: EFM 520 Install with skid/bulk bags feed

PostBy: coal berner On: Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:30 am

vermontday wrote:Just an update. It is now March 28, the coal feed has been running flawlessly without attendance for one month. Again, this is heating a 4,200 sq ft house with a family of five. There was still enough coal in it to go another 4-5 days.

As we want to use up our bagged coal and have not built the next 3 skids yet, we refilled it today from the 50 lb bags. We put in 36 bags and could have fit more easily.

We did have our first outfires during this month. We had a couple of warm days and twice the fire went out. It was not due to any lack of coal feed. In each case the outfire aquastat did it's job with only a small amount of raw coal in the ash can.

I was running 3 teeth with a low of 150F and a high of 180F, with the outfire timer at 3-1/2 minutes every 1/2 hour. Apparently that was not enough to keep the fire going when it was sitting there with no call for heat.

After I changed it to 5 teeth with a low of 150F and a high of 195F, with the outfire timer at 5 minutes every 1/2 hour, we have had no problems. I think I can probably back the outfire timer back down to 3-1/2 minutes, the key seems to be the wider spread with more burn when it is on.

I have recieved the steel for the discharge gates for the next three skids I am going to build. I am toying with not even putting the bolt for the handle in each one as they open and close easily even with a full load of coal above them.

As I am still using up the bagged coal, I won't need the other skids done until fall, so I may wait until then to take a day to build them. That way they won't be in the way in my cellar.

Again, moving the skids one at a time under my cellar window and having coal truck chute the bulk coal into each skid bulk bag should work well. Our experience filling the bulk bag by hand is as long as you keep the bag from getting a side fold in it as you load it, it loads up fine. Suspending the bag straps with bungies as the coal truck chutes into it will keep the side walls from having any side slack.

Thanks

Should be able to run the timer every hr instead of every half hour Run mine 2.5 minutes every hr summer time setting
150 L 200 H 10 diff feed rate 2 teeth winter setting 3 teeth 170L 200H 10 diff Timer 1.5 Minutes every hr Just burned 1089lbs in 105 days
coal berner
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1986 Electric Furnace Man 520 DF
Stove/Furnace Make: Electric Furnace Man
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520

Re: EFM 520 Install with skid/bulk bags feed

PostBy: stoker-man On: Sat Sep 11, 2010 7:54 am

I love how projects go. Always tinkering with unique ideas and changing to make them better.
stoker-man
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: 1981 efm wcb-24 in use 365 days a year
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Chestnut
Other Heating: Hearthstone wood stove

Re: EFM 520 Install with skid/bulk bags feed

PostBy: vermontday On: Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:43 pm

The unloading of 4 tons of bulk rice went beautifully.

The coal truck chute could be left in one position and the whole bag filled. The last of the 4 bags emptied the truck and was still only 2/3 full.

Despite over twice the square area opening pressing on the steel slide gates with the new design, there is no bowing or other signs of pressure on the gates. Not a single piece of coal under the skids.

The coal was fresh from Hoosac Coal and Grain, they had just recieved it from the breaker the day before, so it was still wet with no dust.

Here are some pictures. Should be set for the winter now.
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vermontday
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520

Re: EFM 520 Install with skid/bulk bags feed

PostBy: vermontday On: Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:49 pm

More pictures.
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vermontday
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520

Re: EFM 520 Install with skid/bulk bags feed

PostBy: vermontday On: Sat Sep 11, 2010 1:15 pm

Thanks for the advice Coal Berner. I may try your settings this fall.

I have burned oil in my Buderus boiler /Super-store for hot water for the summer.

My last settings for last spring were, 150L, 200H, 10 dif, 3-1/2 min every 30 min on the outfire timer, with 3 teeth and 3-1/4 air.

When I put the boiler together, I used a thin bead of high temp silicone caulk on the base joints before putting them together. I wonder now if I sealed the base up too well and it is only getting oxygen from the auger/feed bag when the blower is not on.

It wasn't a problem until the very warm weather, at which time I switched to oil for the summer anyway. This was much to the disapointment of my daughter. She was making a killing getting paid $3/day to take the ashes out, which took her all of 5 minutes.

More pictures.
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vermontday
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520

Re: EFM 520 Install with skid/bulk bags feed

PostBy: coal berner On: Sat Sep 11, 2010 3:11 pm

No such thing as to much seal you need to seal all three side plates. boiler to base should be sealed good inside & out
Auger tube going out threw base needs a gasket around the Auger tube plate.
You do not want any outside air coming in to the unit should be air tight unit.

When unit is at idle the draft from chimney keeps the fire going as well as the timer does.
Changing ash every day in not normal you must be using some pretty high ash content coal.
Check your feed rate might be set higher then you think it is .
In summertime I go 24 to 28 days before I Have to change ash tub.That's with 4 people in house .

I use # 1 Sq tubs not # 1 bushel round ones . In winter I go 14 to 18 days with the same tub.
Round # 1 bushel tubs 9 to 14 days.

I burn buckwheat size so my air is set higher 2 teeth feed 4 lbs per hr air is 6. Winter setting is 3 teeth 5 to 5.5 air being the unit fires more often you can cut back on air setting because the stoker fires & burns more often instead of sitting in the pot all day like in Summertime. In winter the stoker fires to make heat 3 to 4 Times in 24 hr 40 to 45 Minutes each cycle. Buckwheat feed rate is 2 lbs per hr per tooth Rice is 2.5 lbs per hr Per tooth .
coal berner
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1986 Electric Furnace Man 520 DF
Stove/Furnace Make: Electric Furnace Man
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520

Re: EFM 520 Install with skid/bulk bags feed

PostBy: vermontday On: Sat Sep 11, 2010 8:35 pm

Wow!

Thats great news, sounds like I have some tweaking to do this heating season!

We can already go a month per bulk bag/skid auger system, if we can go 18 days or more on ash takeout, it would be like having an oil burner (except at 1/2 the oil cost).

The coal looked good, it was rice packaged at Cornwall. We can go a couple of days on the round ash can in the winter, but we prefer to have my daughter do it daily as it less apt to be forgotten and the tub is lighter for her.

Sounds like I need to try higher ratios of air, or get my 3 daughters to take shorter showers.

Thanks for the info, I look forward to experimenting with it, although this may make my daughter's dreams of buying an electric guitar take a little longer!
vermontday
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520

Re: EFM 520 Install with skid/bulk bags feed

PostBy: coal berner On: Sun Sep 12, 2010 1:17 pm

vermontday wrote:Wow!

Thats great news, sounds like I have some tweaking to do this heating season!

We can already go a month per bulk bag/skid auger system, if we can go 18 days or more on ash takeout, it would be like having an oil burner (except at 1/2 the oil cost).

The coal looked good, it was rice packaged at Cornwall. We can go a couple of days on the round ash can in the winter, but we prefer to have my daughter do it daily as it less apt to be forgotten and the tub is lighter for her.

Sounds like I need to try higher ratios of air, or get my 3 daughters to take shorter showers.

Thanks for the info, I look forward to experimenting with it, although this may make my daughter's dreams of buying an electric guitar take a little longer!

As far as Air setting you always need to change or readjust it every time you change coal brand or even new loads from the same supplier you never know if the coal is coming out of the same vein of coal also adjust for size not all coal burns the same some need more air other's need less for a complete burn with no waste max out the btu value in the coal
coal berner
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1986 Electric Furnace Man 520 DF
Stove/Furnace Make: Electric Furnace Man
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520

Re: EFM 520 Install with skid/bulk bags feed

PostBy: vermontday On: Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:53 pm

What is the best method to adjust for air?

Is it to look for the ash ring size around the burner just after the blower shuts off?

What is the downside of having too much air? Will it start burning too low in the pot?

Appreciate any tips.

Thanks
vermontday
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520

Re: EFM 520 Install with skid/bulk bags feed

PostBy: stoker-man On: Sun Sep 12, 2010 6:58 pm

Here is what can happen if your air and feed ratio are off too much:

Pictures of a burned pipe and worm due to improper feed/air

When the stoker has been running hard for 30 minutes or more, look for a small dark spot in the center of the pot. It can range from black unburned coal or a black/red spot in the center. The ash ring should also be about 1 1/2" to 2" wide around the ring at this time. That would be considered ideal.
stoker-man
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: 1981 efm wcb-24 in use 365 days a year
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Chestnut
Other Heating: Hearthstone wood stove