Coal boiler in Alaska

Coal boiler in Alaska

PostBy: Sting On: Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:52 am

Has there been any new news about the possible ban on residential coal use in the Fairbanks / North Pole Alaska air district? Apparently the smoke dragon out door wood boilers have incited the natives to a fever pitch and coal burning is in the line of fire too. Some say wood pellet fueled appliances will not be in harms way - yet I wonder!
Sting
 
Other Heating: BurnHAM=NG-gas

Re: Coal boiler in Alaska

PostBy: Short Bus On: Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:49 am

I think the battle rages on.

Fairbanks has an air inversion, ice fog, problem, I've been in town when you couldn't read the street signs while sitting at a stop light, they can go weeks without a breath of wind, just sitting in a basin full of cold stagnant bad air, compounded by a 12 megawatt power plant. I don't fully understand the problem, and just to make it strainger the EPA lifted the auto emissions testing program. Summer is short here and I understand that fire wood may not dry sitting in the sun for a summer, don't know, never tried it. The goverment in Fairbanks was at one point looking for test houses to monitor emissions from, while supplying dry and wet wood, the assumpsion being that most wood burned is wet, and that is probably true. The outdoor boiler sales up here where amazing two summers ago and when you get one hot and pile on the Bituminous coal, it puts out a blanket of smoke, I love the smell, takes me back to the mine and the boiler I stoked for showers and laundry, it was the only thing as a kid I was in charge of, people came fome six miles away just for showers.

Whenever I get a chance I suggest an exemption for solid fuel burners with regulated feed and adjustable blowers, this would allow controlled combustion to continue, but it's not my fight.

I live on the side of the Alaskan range on a pass between the coastal and interrior weather, the air is always changing here and Fairbanks is about 150 miles away.
Short Bus
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Kewanee boiler with Anchor stoker
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut / Sub-bituminous C
Other Heating: Propane wall furnace back up only

Re: Coal boiler in Alaska

PostBy: Short Bus On: Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:07 am

Oh, and by the way, it's still winter.

The world ice carving contest is still on display outside in fairbanks.

The Frozengore.com is still frozen, click on the picture of the ice Al Gore at the bottom of the page, even frozen he looks unhappy.

The Nenana ice classic is still on and waiting for ice to go out in the river so they can start barging fuel and food to the villages. nenanaakiceclassic.com The tower is set up on the ice early March and we all buy lottery tickets to guess the minute it goes out, funds support the school.

Snowmobile season is just getting going since it is not teeth crack'in cold out, and being on the pass between Fairbanks and Anchorage and at 2000ft we are the spot.

Tip one for me Sting
Short Bus
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Kewanee boiler with Anchor stoker
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut / Sub-bituminous C
Other Heating: Propane wall furnace back up only


Re: Coal boiler in Alaska

PostBy: Sting On: Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:18 am

Short Bus (and others)....

Thanks for the reply.

So what am I going to tell the kid to buy for a heating appliance? He is signing this week on a house that is currently heated with two Toyo K1 heaters that only consumed 500 gallon so far this heating season. The property has an 1800 sq foot unfinished (I mean no doors and exposed OSB - its new construction last fall) garage that is fitted with infloor heat and an MT boiler room. The previous owner had intended to put something in a boiler room already built in there to heat both buildings but I wonder

It may/ will be far be cheaper and simpler - and give a much quicker payback if he installed a flame modulating condensing wall hung LP boiler in the house crawl space. --->NOT put in the trench loop to the boiler room, and add a simple oil fired water heater to heat the pex floor in the garage.

UNLESS he can be sure that 65.oo a ton coal will be not be socialized our of reach, Because making cheep BTUs with Bit coal well - just like the NEPA folks - he could waste a lot of energy in transmission loops and still heat for less.

Yes I know your just in the snow machine season - He has an exceptional Mountain Cat and a huge Blazer for seasonal toys.
Sting
 
Other Heating: BurnHAM=NG-gas

Re: Coal boiler in Alaska

PostBy: Berlin On: Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:44 pm

he'll be fine if he goes with a stoker boiler. the big target there now is OWB owners burning green conifers in their boilers. coal in a stoker or otherwise is still significantly less common there than wood as an alternative heat source. I haven't heard much on coal, but it's possible.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: Coal boiler in Alaska

PostBy: Short Bus On: Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:02 pm

EFM has been working on a rotationg ring stoker that will, I think handle our Chestnut 7/8 - 1 1/2 coal. Portage and Main, and Coalman are the other two and I think they are in the 250,000 BTU range. The other option is a Will-Burt stoker with a Burnham series 4N boiler, some assembly required, this is basicaly what I have with an old Kewanee boiler. I scan Craigslist daily for old units from Prill and others with no results over the last year plus, I've almost gone door to door in the old part of Fairbanks.

I'm trying to solve the large coal issue by making rice coal and bagging it, but I have some small mountains to climb, EFM has helped by test burning Alaskan rice sized coal in a "standard" EFM stoker, with favorable results, see post in EFM manufactures section.

North pole gravel (907-488-8550) has the retail distribution for Usibelli Coal, they load me on Fridays and Saturdays in Healy, 65$/ton, this price has held very steady for a few years. North Pole gravel also has a yard in North Pole and sells for 115$/ton, chestnut or lump no difference, 45lb sacks are 7.00$, pallet of 25 sacks is 175.00$. I think North Pole Gravel represents a burner line and has one heaing thier building. I have no affiliation with North Pole gravel and I doubt they know I exist, other than I have coal account with them.

I would put in heat with oil "liquid death as my grandfather called it" this is practical for resale value and such, also important to have a back up heat system if your primary is coal, as we know it can go down, and in this climate that's not good.

Meanwhile I'm working on getting rice size coal to open up our heating options in Alaska, if you read manufactures web sites from anthicite country, bituminous coal is not compatable with all stokers, getting rice coal and rice coal stokers to hit the market at the same time is problematic
Short Bus
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Kewanee boiler with Anchor stoker
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut / Sub-bituminous C
Other Heating: Propane wall furnace back up only

Re: Coal boiler in Alaska

PostBy: Sting On: Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:41 pm

yes
North Pole gravel has outdoor stokers in stock - but they start in size 3 time too large.

Finding an acceptably sized coal burning appliance to make wet energy is going to be the rub in Squarebanks.

but its worth a try
if the dwelling took 500 gallon of K1 at 3 bucks a gallon = 1500.00
5 ton or Healy coal at 90 a ton ( I am figuring a cost in to go pick it up in Healy) = 450.00

Hummm making BTU's for a third the cost -- tempting isn't it????

but the payback on the infrastructure ( an acceptable boiler and stoker yet to be found) will determine if a payback can be accomplished.

My first thought also was to install a correctly sized small
http://www.slantfin.com/product-eutectic-10.html
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
oil boiler in the crawl space and be done with it.
Sting
 
Other Heating: BurnHAM=NG-gas

Re: Coal boiler in Alaska

PostBy: Short Bus On: Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:07 am

Just remebered, Peasefeedandcoal.com, in Wyoming I think, 307-754-3757, good luck :)
Short Bus
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Kewanee boiler with Anchor stoker
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut / Sub-bituminous C
Other Heating: Propane wall furnace back up only

Re: Coal boiler in Alaska

PostBy: Berlin On: Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:23 am

A good efficient oil boiler would be the way to go if he's not looking to spend the $$ on coal or do the work for coal. While oil is expensive, outside of NG it's the lowest cost conventional form of heat, it will almost always beat propane $$per btu, even considering the lower efficiency of an oil boiler over a high efficiency condensing propane boiler.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: Coal boiler in Alaska

PostBy: Sting On: Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:15 am

Thank-you Berlin for the clear advice. While it would be nice to have it -and he is willing to install and tend it - it should be cost effective and not decrease the home value in the end.
Sting
 
Other Heating: BurnHAM=NG-gas

Re: Coal boiler in Alaska

PostBy: stoker-man On: Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:19 am

efm has recently introduced a condensing, 90.2%, oil fired boiler. It qualifies for the $1500 tax rebate. It's of very simple construction, using minimal and common electronics, easy to clean and service and far less expensive than its few competitors. So, there is something else to compete with LP and NG if you desire coal heat in Alaska.
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: Coal boiler in Alaska

PostBy: Sting On: Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:47 pm

Thank-you Stokerman

We will have to relax on that for a bit until he moves in and can do a heat loss calculation so we know how large of an oil appliance to install. Will this new model fit in a crawl space and power vent? Whats it input? Do you have a dealer in Fairbanks?
Sting
 
Other Heating: BurnHAM=NG-gas

Re: Coal boiler in Alaska

PostBy: stoker-man On: Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:34 pm

I'll have to check the input range. It's pretty wide. I'm thinking 130-180K It's meant to direct vent, no PV needed, but chimney vent is OK.
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