One gal.of #2 fuel oil is about 133k btus. So if you have a nozzle that is .84 gph your rate at about 112kbtus. input
Thanks for the numbers...I stand corrected! An 'old timer' once told me 1 gallon equated to 100kbtu after everything was taken into account (efficiency, this that the other,etc so that's why I qouted those #'s)
Ian...Thank you very much!...I got the copies you sent...glad you did so now I have some "paperwork" on the boiler. Let me know if/how I can return the favor...The info answered the question on the baffle plates...required with wood...optional with coal...but on the advice from everyone who was kind enough to post I think they will stay in all the time.
All in all it might be an "opera" on coal...but I'm confident with a little more firing experience....coal will fit right into the picture (especially in the milder weather). One thing I have been trying (with some success) is switching between coal and wood. I 'cold start' when needed on wood, then transition into coal. The other night I kindled the fire and loaded it twice with wood while introducing coal...even though the fire was going 'decently' I threw a few pieces of pallet wood on top of the fire (with minimal overfire air...) figuring it would create a stronger draft through the coal bed...it worked pretty nice (minimal smoke...while increasing heat transfer). Since pallet wood burns to a bed of coals quickly it blanketed the coal just right...I might experiment with this a little more in the future.
The fact it is hand-fired and natural draft may "leave something to be desired" but firing that boiler is almost like a hobby...and the great part is this hobby...saves money.