Using a AHS 130 or 260

Using a AHS 130 or 260

PostBy: lzaharis On: Sun Mar 25, 2007 10:06 pm

:?: greetings board members I am new to the forum a forme hard rock miner in salt country and have plans to replace a 25 year old Sweitzer (cww 100,000 BTU)coal wood boiler-hot water and domestic loop.


I am looking intently at a number of coal stoker brands and I have settled on the AHS 130 or 260 for a number of reasons; overall size of the unit old converted school house and my gettiing older being the major factor-makes me wish I had purchased the "Van Wert Anthratherm" 26 years ago and elimated the oil burner.

Currently using hydronic heat and will be switching to steam in the near future in different housing: how difficult is it to move steam on a horizontal set up? is it even possible with a one pipe or two pipe system- I have really gotten to hate hydronic baseboard heat.



Onward to my horror story;

Having burned soft wood, hardwood, chestnut and stove coal in this boiler since 1982 with varying results (burns great with a windstorm etc.-not helping matters is a 18 foot 8 by 12 block chimney with a clay flue liner etc.with a grand fathered oil boiler in a second entrance point with a barometric damper for the oil burner which is a 19 year old Buderus.

The fire box in the swietzer is 12 by 24 with two grates so it has its moments of feast or famine.


The Buderus replaced a 35 year old "Avco Lycoming boiler" in 1988.

(my luck the Reillo oil burner I had which replaced an original equipment burner in the old avco lycoming boiler in 1983 was so old I could not get parts for it in 1999 -ouch-take that you stupid consumer!! (the old boiler which I was told leaked, by a dishonest plumber did not-after finding out it did not leak by a friend who took it off my hands) the old chimney will go of course etc.

The "Buderus Logana" will stay with separate chimney in the same garage as back up to make steam.



So anyway;

I have a few questions.

If I want to use an auger or preferably a "Little Giant" elevator with a recieving hopper to feed the stoker from a bin rather than using a gravity fed hopper after reading the forum.



1. How do I start a fire in the AHS stoker-kerosene with a soaked rag?


2. How does it (the auger/elevator) know when to start and stop?

3. Can I use wood pellets if I so wish with a lesser burn etc.



Well enough with putting up with me on my first posting.

I look forward to your responses.

Many thanks.


Leon
lzaharis
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Switzer
Stove/Furnace Model: CWW100 100,000 btu

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Mon Mar 26, 2007 10:41 am

Excellent choice for a boiler for starters.

1. Place the rag on the burner and cover it almost completly with coal and light it. Some people prefer a small torch, others wood kindling. Stokers start pretty easy as the coal is very small compared to a hand fired unit. They can be a real treat.

2. It has a proximity detector to stop it when the hopper is full, I believe.

3. No, you cannot use anything but anthracite. Don't even try to burn pellets in it.

Steam will move in any direction, it's the condensate that will cause trouble. You may want to avoid steam w/coal, it will complicate things and add a lot of cost to the project and have operation problems (you'll get chilled waiting for the steam).
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Mar 26, 2007 10:52 am

Hello Izaharis, welcome to the forum.

There is a thread on here about steam heat, I personally would never go with steam unless coal quantity used and availability is not an issue. Steam will use more coal/oil/gas than hot water unless the system is running continously.

Here is the thread: http://nepacrossroads.com/viewtopic.php?t=1603

I don't know what you dislike about hot water baseboard, but if installed correctly, or better yet if you are building a new house, use hot water heated floors, then there is no better heat. I've tried to help sort out steam heat issues/ fuel bills, etc, water is much better.

Steam is an antique sytem, and steam pipefitters, valves, boilers, water level devices, etc are getting very hard to find, and expensive.

I'd check with AHS about using the 130 or 260 for steam, I'm not sure it is set up for making steam, the original tests were with hot water.

EFM makes boilers that could be used in a steam system.

Anyway with a sophistcated boiler like the AHS or EFM ONLY anthracite should be used. Even changing from rice/buck/pea requires adjustments or compromises.

Hope this helps. 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

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Mon Mar 26, 2007 11:07 am

You ask good questions, so I called AHS. Yes, they will make a steam boiler for you and it will run up to 15#. It will add $1800 to the cost and if you want an ASME approved steam boiler make that $4300. So add that to the $5500 an AHS-130 costs. Also the boiler will need to be 20% larger than a hot water boilers size to accomplish this.

The auger is controlled by a proximity sensor in the hopper.

Greg is right, you don't want the grief, and the floor heat is the way to go- nothing better (you'll know when your barefoot how great it really is).
If it's the noise from the baseboard you find annoying, use a modulating system instead of normal zone valves. It is completly quite and is more reliable (the pump is always running, it blends hot and return), and has more stable temperatures leaving you more comfy.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

PostBy: Yanche On: Mon Mar 26, 2007 1:04 pm

I agree with the others that steam is not the way to go. If you are determined to use steam look at my post on the thread referenced. Buy the steam books I suggest. I've very happy with my AHS S-130. If you live in very large house or one without any insulation it unlikely you will need the larger AHS 260. At least using how water. Be sure to do a home heat loss analysis. An oversized boiler has a lot of standby loss. If indeed you need all the BTU's consider two S130s. My AHS hopper is manually feed. It's not a major issue but I would like the convenience of an auger. I believe what makes sense for getting coal into the AHS hopper is not a screw auger but "Helicoid Flighting". That's what the A-A boiler uses. Do a web search and you will find lots of companies that make custom designs. Here's one: http://www.falconindustries.com/.
Flighting would allow you have an open design that would be easy to remove items that would stop an enclosed screw auger.

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

PostBy: jpen1 On: Mon Mar 26, 2007 8:00 pm

Izaharis does this new housing already have steam heat as its central heating system. If not go with the floor radiant hot water stay away from steam at all costs. I have steam and it is a major pain in the neck as I have siad many times before. I agree with Greg and coalsweat the boilers are much more expensive to buy , run and maintain. Also the life span of the boiler will be much shorter in general. Ahs and Efm are the cadillacs of the coal boiler world. Keystoker makes some nice boilers as well and are much cheaper but theu don't have as many bell and whistles as the aforementioned units.
jpen1
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: 110 Boiler

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Mon Mar 26, 2007 8:50 pm

jpen1 wrote:I agree with Greg and coalsweat the boilers are much more expensive to buy , run and maintain. Also the life span of the boiler will be much shorter in general. Ahs and Efm are the cadillacs of the coal boiler world. Keystoker makes some nice boilers as well and are much cheaper but theu don't have as many bell and whistles as the aforementioned units.


Yup, AHS and EFM are Caddys alright, but the Axeman-Anderson is the Rolls Royce!
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

PostBy: bksaun On: Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:20 pm

I have a question,just for future reference,are all boilers you guys talk about here for steam or hot water heating? After reading some of these post I am a little confused

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

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:40 pm

Hi BK, actually most boilers can be set up to provide either hot water or steam.

If a boiler is going to create steam, it must have a water level maintaining device added to the boiler. This device keeps the water level at a level below full so there is a boiling surface giving off steam. The boiler tends to collect sludge from the water boiling off. This sludge is made up of rust, calcium, lime and whatever is in the water after the pure water is boiled away.

A steam boiler will operate at much higher temperatures. They boiler requires weekly or at least monthly maintenance because the sludge must be drained off out of the boiler or it will make the boiler heat slower.


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: bksaun On: Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:55 pm

OK, so most of the boilers folks use are for hot water into some sort of a heat exchanger ie, baseboards,radiators,floor heating or an exchanger in a forced air system. Right!

I guess the biggest benifit is controlling where and how much heat goes to different area's. And it is probably more efficient than radiant heat off the stove? Plus domestic hot water to boot!

I may be building a new house in the future and would like to put some thought in it ahead of time.

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

PostBy: LsFarm On: Tue Mar 27, 2007 7:51 am

BK, if you are building a new house, the ONLY way to go for heat is hot water floor heat. The most comfortable system there is.

However in your area, air conditioning is a must, so you would have to run ductwork for central air as well, which will add to your costs, although ductwork is not that expensive, especially if you do it yourself.

Hot water ceramic tile in bathrooms, entryways, heated wood floors, it is really a luxury.

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: Tue Mar 27, 2007 10:21 am

In new construction or in retrofits with large capital budgets there is an alternate. Widely used in high end commercial office application are free standing room convectors. These are room sized water to air heat exchangers that are fed hot water in the heating season and cold water in the A/C season. Cost will make this impractical for most residential applications. However for a new home needing both an independent heating system and A/C system I'd consider it.

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

Water to Air Convectors

PostBy: BigBarney On: Tue Mar 27, 2007 12:49 pm

I have lived in several buildings that had this type of heat/airconditioning

And it worked real well for both,we had convector units in each room and

they supplied either hot or cold air depending on the season.They were

mounted in the wall studs and had a thermostat on each one so room by

room temp could be varied.The newer systems have 4 pipe systems with

both hot and cold were available at all times,may be needed in the early

spring and fall with wild temp swings.They would be good to install with a

coal boiler to distribute the heat throughout the house.Hot air is very

inefficient because you have no storage between heat demands and air

is the best insulator so why try to heat with a medium of such poor heat

transfer? With any type of solid fuel you always have a supply when no

heat is needed so you need a storage medium to save that heat for the

next demand for heat.

The floor heat is an ideal place to store the excess heat because even a

large amount of BTU's can be directed to the slab and only raise the room

a degree or so.The boiler could be run at the most efficient mode and the

heat stored in a tank till demand is called for then the excess BTU"s are

circulated to the slab or convector for the heating.

In the hot months a chiller can cool the water to provide A/C to the

convectors.The convectors have drains on them so the humidity is cont-

rolled for summer comfort.

Steam is very impracticle for residential use mainly because even a small

call for heat means the boiler has to heat to steam before any heat is

delivered to the living space then it cools down and the cycle starts again

with all the loses associated with this process.Hot water even at cooler

temps will stilll give some heat sometimes enough to satisfy the

thermostat without even more fuel being consumed.



ted BigBarney
BigBarney
 

PostBy: Yanche On: Tue Mar 27, 2007 8:12 pm

I've never lived in a home with convector systems, but I have worked in offices and labs with these systems. Excellent temperature control, particularly in lab space where the heat load would vary widely depending on the equipment being tested. One day we would need heat then next day we would need A/C.

There are some interesting new twists on an old idea the "monoflow" pipe tee. The house is piped with a single pipe loop to each convector. A special tee at each convector is both the supply and return tap. There is a single primary pump and secondary pumps at each convector. Details are here: http://www.taco-hvac.com/uploads/FileLi ... 00-6.8.pdf
What's interesting in Taco's implementation is the primary pump completely reverses periodically. This overcomes the problem of the convector's at the end of the primary water getting the coldest water. The hottest and coldest ends periodically reverse. A clever solution made possible by modern electronics.

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

Monoflow Piping

PostBy: BigBarney On: Tue Mar 27, 2007 11:14 pm

Yanche

I have seen this monoflow piping in England & Germany for the hot water

heat systems in old buildings without using the special fitting that Taco uses

in their systems.The plumbers putting in these systems had to be very

careful in how the pipe was run because they didn't use any pumps so all the

flow had to be by gravity.It was a real art to get them to work correctly.

It would seem that they are really a blended flow in the primary loop and

as long as you keep adding heat to that loop the secondaries will deliver

heat to the living space.The reversing is to reblend the water flow loop.


The convectors we had in Cleveland OH were made by Iron Fireman Co

and didn't have any electric to run the fan to circulate the air over the coils

they used a motor that ran off the hydraulic pressure of the water to turn

the fan,the higher you set the heat level the faster the fan ran. The coil

had a drain pan under it and a filter to clean the air.



These convectors work well with off peak power to do the cooling of a tank

of water at the low night time rate and run just the circulator during the

day time.The tank has to be sized to the heat gain of the house with the

ability to produce enough cold water to get to the off peak time to be re-

charged,also in the heating season you could run at full boiler output at

the most efficiency in the available time after work or whenever.



Ted BigBarney
BigBarney
 

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