Heating your swimming pool with coal???

Heating your swimming pool with coal???

PostBy: Gary in Pennsylvania On: Fri Apr 06, 2007 10:34 am

Wow! It's been a LOOOONG time since I've posted on the board! In fact....since my blower went down on my Harman hand-fired fireplace insert. All turned out OK though - I let 'er burn out a two weeks back or so.....but with this new cold snap, she'd burning blue again!

Anyhow - I have quite a few buddies with swimming pools. I also have a pool. Up here in north east PA, the above-ground pool reigns. And with our typically warm-not-sweltering days and sometimes cooler evenings....all my friends who have pool heaters shell out a bunch on money to heat the pools.

I don't have a heater (just a solar cover) and I have TALL trees around my house that block a lot of sun. Therefore, I don't reap the full potential of the solar cover. My buddies who have pool heaters (they cost $1000-$1400 installed) pay upwards of $100-$125 a month on propane....more often than not it's because the wife wants the pool at a constant 80 or-so degrees!

So....I've never heard of anyone trying it, but what about a used hand fired stove modified with water coils working on convection? You would sure as hell pay less for the coal needed than the propane (my assumption). And a fire-safe cubby would need to be built to protect the stove from the elements.

It's not that I'm going to try this....I am not mechanically inclined nor do I have excess disposable income.....but I wonder how warm a "medium burning" coal fire can heat a pool (I'm 15' x 30' x about 4.5' ). I wonder how possible this is?

What are your thoughts???? Am I nuts???
Gary in Pennsylvania
 

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Fri Apr 06, 2007 10:45 am

No, you aren't nuts. I have been thinking about this for years. I have the same situation. With 175' Tulip trees and some big Oaks and Maples, I get about 5-6 hours of direct sun a day. The real problem with heating a pool is the losses. I could probably hook up a heat exchanger on my filter and tie into the boiler easy as it is less than 25' from the boiler in the basement.
Tending a coal fire in 80+ degree weather may require frequent use of the pool however. :) :) :)

I don't think a stove with a water coil would be able to transfer enough heat to make an impact on a pool however.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Pool Heater

PostBy: BigBarney On: Fri Apr 06, 2007 11:58 am

Hi Gary in PA & Coaledsweat;

That is entirely possible but not with a stove coil you need a coal boiler.

The pool has about 130,000# of water so a boiler of that size at full fire

could raise the water temperature 1 degree,so from say 50 degrees to 80

degrees would take 30 hours,probably more like 48 hours continuous fire

because of the loses in that amount of time. Of course with a smaller

output and not 24hrs time would be extended.After the initial heating only

a catchup would be needed each day to keep the desired temperature.

This large reservoir for heat storage (pool) also lowers the standby heat

loss because even the small output at idle the pool absorbs instead of

venting up the stack.


This setup would also supply your house with limitless hot water.


Ted BigBarney
BigBarney
 


Re: Heating your swimming pool with coal???

PostBy: Bob On: Fri Apr 06, 2007 12:09 pm

Gary in Pennsylvania wrote:So....I've never heard of anyone trying it, but what about a used hand fired stove modified with water coils working on convection? You would sure as hell pay less for the coal needed than the propane (my assumption). And a fire-safe cubby would need to be built to protect the stove from the elements.

It's not that I'm going to try this....I am not mechanically inclined nor do I have excess disposable income.....but I wonder how warm a "medium burning" coal fire can heat a pool (I'm 15' x 30' x about 4.5' ). I wonder how possible this is?

What are your thoughts???? Am I nuts???


It is possible but not realistic without a heat exchanger and pumps on both the primary and secondary circuit.

A heat exchanger is necessary because pool water contains oxygen and, in most instances, chlorine. These will very quickly destroy anything but high grade stainless or titanium. That is where the heat exchanger comes in. The pool water gains heat from the heat exchanger which is fed with the boiler output. Stainless steel or titanium plates separate the fluids from each other.
Bob
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS 130
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Anthracite

PostBy: LsFarm On: Fri Apr 06, 2007 1:40 pm

Hi Gary, good to hear from you again, I was worried that you had frozen solid when the fan quit on the coal stove! :)

I'd keep an eye on Ebay, and your local papers for an inexpensive coal boiler. Heating the pool is definitely do-able. But as stated above you need a dedicated boiler to get enough BTUs.

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: coaledsweat On: Fri Apr 06, 2007 1:51 pm

OK, I've got the boiler. Where do I get a heat exchanger made of unobtainium? :shock: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

PostBy: MINO On: Fri Apr 06, 2007 3:11 pm

this is a good question? anybody dointg it? i plan on doing this next summer with a keystoker k-6. one of my friends has an outdoor woodburner-boiler(heatmor)with a stainless steel heat exhanger(tube style)and he is heating a 33 round pool wich gets pretty much sun all day and he chews through wood pretty good.
also another guy had an indooor pool and heated it with coal.he had a van wert piped together with a hand fired boiler in his garage(he pipes everything form the garage to the house)i forget what kind of exchanger he had but with both boilers running at full till would only raise the pool a degree per hour(26 round pool) and thats from a 60 degree or so starting point.
i imagine it is easier to raise the pool temp from say 60 to 70 quicker than 70 to 80.
for comparison my dad has solar mat heaters on his roof,two total they are 4ft by 20 ft and they claim they are good for 100,000btu a day.his pool is 12by 15 and in back to back hot days in the 90's or so he can get his pool hovering around 100 degreese. i know 100 degreese, but he is on bloodthinners and is always cold but loves to swim.
so he is using theoretically 200,000 btu per day so that is roughly a ton of coal every 2 months if ur calculating btu's per ton. if i'm wrong correct me.also weather fluctuations will also effect the heating properties of the pool.
MINO
 

PostBy: Bob On: Fri Apr 06, 2007 5:20 pm

coaledsweat wrote:OK, I've got the boiler. Where do I get a heat exchanger made of unobtainium? :shock: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$


Here is one E-bay seller. There are others. I bought mine from a local plumbing supply house.

http://stores.ebay.com/KJ-Motorsports-d ... idZ2QQtZkm
Last edited by Bob on Fri Apr 06, 2007 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Bob
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS 130
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Anthracite

PostBy: Bob On: Fri Apr 06, 2007 5:41 pm

MINO wrote:this is a good question? anybody dointg it? i plan on doing this next summer with a keystoker k-6. one of my friends has an outdoor woodburner-boiler(heatmor)with a stainless steel heat exhanger(tube style)and he is heating a 33 round pool wich gets pretty much sun all day and he chews through wood pretty good.


I have a small indoor lap pool ("Endless Pool") and heat it with my boiler using a heat exchanger. I have been very pleased with it. I use the same boiler that heats the house and provides hot water. I would think that using the same boiler for home heating and hot water and for a summer use only outdoor pool would also work well because the house generally doesn't require heat during the summer when you would be heating the pool.
If you live in an area that occasionally needs heat for the home during the summer you could install controls to provide priority to the house when both the house and pool thermostats are demanding heat.
Bob
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS 130
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Anthracite

PostBy: Yanche On: Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:47 pm

Put your heat exchanger in the pool. Get a used huge cast iron radiator, put it in the pool and pipe it to your boiler. Instant heat exchanger. Want to be really warm in the pool just stand by the radiator. Want better heat flow just flap your arms and legs by the radiator. By the time all the pool chemicals eat away all that cast iron you will not want the pool. Making a new in ground pool from concrete? Put pex tubing in the concrete and pipe to your coal boiler.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

PostBy: Yanche On: Fri Apr 06, 2007 10:20 pm

coaledsweat wrote:Tending a coal fire in 80+ degree weather may require frequent use of the pool however. :) :) :)
Just tell the wife the new A-A stoker boiler you really want is for heating the pool!
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

PostBy: Cap On: Sat Apr 07, 2007 5:51 am

Gary in PA. Invest in a mini nuclear power plant. Hot water would be a by-product and you sell electricity!. ':lol:' Sorry, had to do it! I hate pools in the NE. Water almost never gets over 80F. Kind of like swimming on the Jersey shore.
Cap
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Harman SF 250, domestic hot water loop, heat accumulator

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Sat Apr 07, 2007 8:57 am

Well I guess the boss is going to need a new Trantor S/S plate and frame heat exchanger at the discharge of our wastewater system. The old one is obviously shot. :) :lol:

Yanche- as much as I'd love to have an A-A, I just don't see myself robbing a bank.... and you can't tell my wife anything. :lol: :lol:
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

PostBy: Mike Wilson On: Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:26 am

Slight issue here... you're usually not interested in heating your pool in the winter, so, therefore, its going to generally be somewhat warm when you want to do this... think about that for a second... its warm outside... I want to heat up my pool with a coal boiler... but its warm outside... Hmmm.....

So... I'd imagine you'd want to make sure that you have a forced draft coal boiler.

-- Mike
Mike Wilson
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker 90 DV
Stove/Furnace Model: Jøtul Kennebec Wood Insert

PostBy: Matthaus On: Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:27 am

coaledsweat wrote:Well I guess the boss is going to need a new Trantor S/S plate and frame heat exchanger at the discharge of our wastewater system............


Ian now all you need to do is tell the boss that you need an A-A for backup heat (I'm sure your creative mind could find some place to use it) and then of course a spare to have at your house in case the other one breaks down! :lol: :lol:
Matthaus
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110 Dual Fuel, natural gas
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Lil' Heater (rental house)
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Buckwheat Anthracite