SubBituminous Coal in Alaska - A little help

Re: SubBituminous Coal in Alaska - A little help

PostBy: Short Bus On: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:25 pm

I realize week is a long time but with neighbor visists reduced to yes it is still running, not ash and coal handeling, it might be possible.

I have two nonelectric propane direct vent wall furnaces for backup
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: SubBituminous Coal in Alaska - A little help

PostBy: TZieli22 On: Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:26 pm

Well, I picked up 120lbs of wood pellets today to try out. I also like this idea so I thought I would give it a try. We really haven't had too much cold weather here yet so not sure how well I'll be able to test it out but we'll see and I will let you all know.
TZieli22
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Stratford
Stove/Furnace Model: SC 100

Re: SubBituminous Coal in Alaska - A little help

PostBy: rockwood On: Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:54 am

Are these wood pellets regular sized (approx 1/4" diameter)? If so, how will you keep them from falling through the grates to the ash pit?
rockwood
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Stokermatic coal furnace
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Rockwood Stoveworks Circulator
Baseburners & Antiques: Malleable/Monarch Range
Coal Size/Type: Soft coal: Lump and stoker (slack coal)


Re: SubBituminous Coal in Alaska - A little help

PostBy: TZieli22 On: Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:24 pm

Rockwood,
Yep, these are the standard size pellets. Turns out Home Depot is no longer selling them so I had to go to Lowes, and I am told some of the wood/coal stove suppliers up here sell them as well. As for how am I going to keep them from falling through... I am sure some will fall through but in general they should mix in with the coal, wood embers, and ash in general.

This morning I went ahead and gave it a small try, I threw about 10lbs of coal in my bucket and then threw a small shovel full of pellets in and just did a quick mix of it and threw it into the box. Only saw of few pellets drop into the ash pan and the pellets did seem to take off pretty good also reducing some of the smoke/smell. So maybe in theory this might work. Almost can't wait for the real cold weather to come.

As a side story on the same subject of smell, I had another neighbor (next to the other guy that complained to me) stop by this past weekend to introduce himself too. And quickly followed up with "and I want to formally complain to you about your coal stove and smell." A little startled, I replied, well its a pleasure to meet you too. He went to say he was a doctor and he has tried everything to try and stop the smell from getting in his house; even went as far to say he put a filter on his fresh air intake on his furnace. Scratching my head I ask, "wow, I have never seen a fresh air intake on a gas furnace and I asked if I could see it some time." He said maybe sometime sure. Then he went on to say, "can't you smell that now" (I had a little smoke from my chimney) and I said yes I do, does that bother you too? Because I am only burning wood right now and no coal - hasn't been cold enough really this season. Flustered, he said, well it must be residual from when you did burn coal. Now I was getting pissed - looked at him and said, you know, I am not a doctor, but I have to believe with all the schooling you have been to, your smarter than that...

I ended my discussion saying look, I want to be neighborly, but I also want to be warm and to also be able to afford to do other things besides support my local utility companies. Then said, I have about 3 ton of coal and 4 cords of wood for this year. If you and the others don't want to smell it, then let me know who to collect money from to pay my utilities, otherwise, I would recommend you get your stories straight and deal with it. Your welcome to file a complaint with our city, and here is the number (I had in my phone from when I called.) And they can tell you the same thing I just did. Then I said all the local hardware stores sell respirators so I would recommend he get one. Or a check every month will be fine, and I walked away.

I really don't like being like this but my two next door neighbors (one is a retired pilot, and other is also a doctor) both have told me they have no issues with the smell. Sure sometimes it's stronger than other times, but in general no issue. So the saga continues I guess. Maybe with all the homework and feedback from here and the local shops I may have done all I can. We will see. ;)
TZieli22
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Stratford
Stove/Furnace Model: SC 100

Re: SubBituminous Coal in Alaska - A little help

PostBy: Sting On: Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:43 pm

Can you put another 20 feet on the stack?
or

would that be like admitting there was an issue?
Sting
 
Other Heating: BurnHAM=NG-gas

Re: SubBituminous Coal in Alaska - A little help

PostBy: TZieli22 On: Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:34 pm

No I could but wow 20' that's a heck of lot of stack, when I already have 24'. I was told by the pro's that as long as your 18" to 24" above the highest point on the roof you will gain nothing by adding more, and I am about 36" above my peak. You tell me, do I need it and will that really work?

And as for an issue, I am not disputing they have an issue with the smell of coal, but I think, (along with many others) the smell is short lived if managed and from what I am hearing from the so called experts, coal is cleaner burning than wood, not to mention cheaper and a lot less work.
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TZieli22
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Stratford
Stove/Furnace Model: SC 100

Re: SubBituminous Coal in Alaska - A little help

PostBy: TZieli22 On: Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:48 pm

Update...
Well after a weekend of temps around 15 to 35 I finally fired up the stove using coal with no wood and am pleased with the result's. It seems if I only load about half a coal bucket at a time (after I got a good bed of hot coals going) and add maybe a cup or two of wood pellets I have stemmed my smoke/smell issue by 60% or so. Seems like if I let it fire up if you will for 15 to 20 minutes in between the loadings I had no real issue. I didn't check with my neighbors yet but they didn't come out complaining so I give the wood pellet theory :up: .

Thanks to this forum and for the tips.
Last edited by TZieli22 on Mon Nov 01, 2010 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
TZieli22
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Stratford
Stove/Furnace Model: SC 100

Re: SubBituminous Coal in Alaska - A little help

PostBy: Sting On: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:51 pm

I have read a lot re the air quality and the new rules that apply to outhouse wood boilers in Fairbanks - North Pole

are you close to that?
Sting
 
Other Heating: BurnHAM=NG-gas

Re: SubBituminous Coal in Alaska - A little help

PostBy: rockwood On: Mon Nov 01, 2010 6:10 pm

I think he's near Anchorage but I could be wrong.

I've never burned wood pellets mixed with coal in a hand fed stove but I'm curious so I think I'll try it. ;)
rockwood
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Stokermatic coal furnace
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Rockwood Stoveworks Circulator
Baseburners & Antiques: Malleable/Monarch Range
Coal Size/Type: Soft coal: Lump and stoker (slack coal)

Re: SubBituminous Coal in Alaska - A little help

PostBy: TZieli22 On: Mon Nov 01, 2010 7:15 pm

Rockwood is correct, I am in the Anchorage bowl area (15 miles outside of downtown Anchorage anyway.) But it seems with the wood pellets it helps ignite the coal gases a little quicker anyway. I also after about 5 to 10 minutes stirred up the coal a little to help get the gasses burned off. All in all, it seems to have worked okay.
TZieli22
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Stratford
Stove/Furnace Model: SC 100