SubBituminous Coal in Alaska - A little help

SubBituminous Coal in Alaska - A little help

PostBy: TZieli22 On: Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:33 am

New to this forum and only looked for a bit so if there is another thread on this my apologies. Long story short, I have been hauling my fathers Stratford SC 100 coal stove from Pennsylvania, to Oklahoma, to Colorado, to Alaska over the last 12 plus years. Finally installed it last year using double wall black pipe on the inside with 24' of 6" double wall Excel stainless pipe on the outside. I have no damper installed on the black pipe and for the most part I am incredibly pleased with my performance. Last winter I reduced my gas bill from $700 per month down to no more than $200 per month. Went through about 4 ton's of Sub-bituminous coal (the only coal available here in Alaska) for about the third the cost of my monthly gas bill of years past.

My problem is the smoke I create for my neighbors until I have a good burn going. This can sometimes take 30 to 45 minutes and towards the end of last year, one of neighbors came to me complaining of the smell and smoke from the stove. And when I looked outside in fact the smoke was thick white smoke and I guess the barometric inversion pushing down caused it (so to speak) to go right over to my neighbors house.

My normal process is to light my stove using wood until I get a good bed of red coals and then I would put anywhere from 1 to 2 buckets of coal on and then let it cook from the bottom up if you will until all the coal has ignited and then I close is all down and I get a 12 to 16 great burn.

My question is, should I slowly add the coal a little at a time and make sure each time I have a good burn before I add more coal? Thanks for the help. I have also included pictures of the stove only for reference.

Tony
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TZieli22
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Stratford
Stove/Furnace Model: SC 100

Re: SubBituminous Coal in Alaska - A little help

PostBy: Sting On: Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:28 pm

I cannot tell you a darn thing about stoves -- but I am a fan of AK and North Pole

maybe this thread will give you an inspiration

Barmometric damper when using bituminous coal?

Stratford SC75 design questions.

found with the search tool looking for the term "bank" and "Stratford"

Kind Regards
Sting
Sting
 
Other Heating: OBSO Lennox Pulse "Air Scorcher" burning NG

Re: SubBituminous Coal in Alaska - A little help

PostBy: rockwood On: Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:17 pm

Sting wrote:but I am a fan of AK and North Pole

Me too!
TZieli22 wrote:I would put anywhere from 1 to 2 buckets of coal

What size coal are you using? If it's small (baseball size and smaller with fines) it will make lots of smoke if you're covering the entire hot coal bed with fresh coal and if the coal bed is thin/weak it will be even worse and could "puffback". I don't know your coal but I have better success using larger/lump coal in handfed stoves however there will always be some smoke when using bituminous coal in a hand fed appliance. If you don't have larger coal, use what you have but leave an exposed area of live burning coal when loading the stove to help burn off volatile matter/smoke and be sure coal bed is revved up nice and hot before loading. You should be able to limit the smoke this way but don't know if the neighbor will be satisfied because while you may be able to limit the smoke, there will be some smell.
Just curious...how far away is this neighbor?
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: Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:46 pm

Well, the coal we get up here comes from only one source and it’s for the most part is about baseball size or a bit smaller(not pellet size though), with some the size of a softball. But unlike Pennsylvania Anthracite coal, this stuff here is pretty soft. I have had some puffback fun when I first started out but I think I have that all figured out. My biggest issue I think is if I let it “take off” if you will to get a good burn going and then try to dampen it down, I can’t. It’ll get so hot in my family room, it is almost a sauna. Not bad if you’re not sitting in there but if you are, you’re sweating a bunch.

As for my neighbors, we all have 1.5 to 2 acre lots or so. My next door neighbors oddly enough are all from PA and actually enjoy the smell but the neighbors across Street (which are lower than my house) are the ones that have complained. My neighborhood consists of about 15 homes and we are in a very large valley and we are all are on one side with a state park being across the street. And at its worse (the smoke and smell) the house directly across the street from mine seemed like they had a giant vacuum out of there roof and almost my entire smoke/smell loomed over there home. Had that been my house I too would have been upset. But this was really not the norm. We usually have a slight breeze and this usually is enough to move the smoke out until I have a good fire going.

I think I was really just wondering if the technology has come around to help reduce the smoke output on a fire that is getting filled up. Once all the smoke burns off this coal, you really can’t hardly smell it or see it. And I usually get about 12 to 16 hours out of a full stove. Thanks for the input.
TZieli22
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Stratford
Stove/Furnace Model: SC 100

Re: SubBituminous Coal in Alaska - A little help

PostBy: TZieli22 On: Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:01 pm

I failed to say how close my neighbors are. The two that have commented are below my home about 100' and one is about 200 yards away and the other is about 300 yards away, so pretty far. As I said about my next door neighbors, they are only about 100' or so.
TZieli22
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Stratford
Stove/Furnace Model: SC 100

Re: SubBituminous Coal in Alaska - A little help

PostBy: Short Bus On: Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:12 am

I've burned several had fed tons of Alaska Bit, it give off a white smoke with a strong oder when the coal is warming up, I never cured it with a hand fed fire. I now have a Will-Burt style stoker in the garage and have never seen the white smoke again. If you can simulate a stoker by adding small amounts of coal frequently the smoke will be less, Maybe get a wind direction indicator for Christmas and try to be more carfull on days the wind is wrong?
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: rockwood On: Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:06 am

TZieli22 wrote:I think I was really just wondering if the technology has come around to help reduce the smoke output on a fire that is getting filled up.

A stoker may be the answer for you like shortbus suggested. Stokers using bituminous smoke very little but that would mean replacing your stove. I have a stokermatic coal furnace and it makes very little smoke but they don't look anything like your stove and some people don't like the looks of them sitting in the living room. Another issue is availability, these furnaces are not in production any more and can be hard to find in some areas. Here in Utah they can still be found but are becoming rare as time goes on. These heaters require electricity to run and use stoker size coal.
Here is a link showing what these furnaces look like.
http://www.peasefeedandcoal.com/Mountain-Man-85.html
If you are interested in finding a furnace like this watch craigslist/local ads ect. for them....stokermatic, firetender and combustioneer are the most common models.
Are you getting your coal at Healy?
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: Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:39 am

Thanks for the help. I don't think I want to replace the stove at this time so I will try just feeling it a bit slower. I think a little bit everyone 20 minutes of so will reduce the smoke.

As for were I get my coal, Healy is the originating source but they don't like to sell direct these day's. We have a guy in Wasilla that is proud of his healy coal that I purchased once, but Healy hauls 98% of its coal to Seward and then ships it over to Japan, so I run to Seward and since I have a boat there, I check that too. They sell it for $80 a ton which is a pretty good deal I think. At least for up here.

Thanks again for the input.

Tony
TZieli22
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Stratford
Stove/Furnace Model: SC 100

Re: SubBituminous Coal in Alaska - A little help

PostBy: Short Bus On: Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:17 am

You can pick up coal in Healy on Saturday and somtimes on Friday, call North Pole gravel for best times, 488-4823 65$/ton.
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: flynfish On: Fri Oct 15, 2010 5:07 pm

If you go to Healy as mentioned below you can request stoker, lump or fines. A buddy who lives in Willow has better luck burning Lump in his stove. I have a stoker boiler and use the stoker coal. Never let your fire go out and feed it periodically and it will keep the smoke level down considerably. The hot coal will light the new coal faster than the wood will, further reducing the smoke level. I never have any smoke unless I'm lighting off the boiler and even then I get very little. My neighbors didn't know i was burning coal until I told them and the closest neighbor lives 150yds away.
I go directly to Healy and pick up my coal. The fella in Houston doesn't keep his coal clean enough for a stoker and the one or two times I've purchased any from him I've had repeated issues with rocks and pebbles in the coal which means way to much tearing my feed chute apart, tearing the auger apart and getting the pebbles out. I hate doing that at 2am. The pebbles get stuck in the shaker grates too and have to be cleaned out if burning in a stove.
There may be someone in Sutton who is starting to sell some coal. He was up in Healy last weekend with two belly dump trailers loading up. Might ask around.
flynfish
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Flame King
Stove/Furnace Model: 170

Re: SubBituminous Coal in Alaska - A little help

PostBy: freetown fred On: Fri Oct 15, 2010 5:18 pm

I'd try the slower loading concept for a start :)
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix

Re: SubBituminous Coal in Alaska - A little help

PostBy: valley trash On: Fri Oct 15, 2010 7:02 pm

Just saw this yesterday.


http://anchorage.craigslist.org/for/2005335185.html
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.


Heres their website.

http://southcentralcoalsales.com/
valley trash
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Romax 2000

Re: SubBituminous Coal in Alaska - A little help

PostBy: Sting On: Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:26 pm

now

if there were just some available appliances to burn it in up there
Sting
 
Other Heating: OBSO Lennox Pulse "Air Scorcher" burning NG

Re: SubBituminous Coal in Alaska - A little help

PostBy: TZieli22 On: Sat Oct 16, 2010 11:13 am

Thanks,
I picked up there flier this week to, but haven't called them yet. I'll have to see how there coal is. I went to Seward for my coal and get it for $80 per ton. Now that we are starting to see cooler weather I started my stove. Adding a little at a time seems to be working out okay, although I am sure my neighbors aren't thrilled about it, the smoke level is a lot less and once fired, I have no smoke.

I'll be curious if they get the new Sutton operation underway, might mean cheaper coal but I don't see it coming out soon.

Sting, we have a few appliances up here. 5 or 6 I think, but I am sure it's not like the availability in the Lower 48.

Thanks,

Tony
TZieli22
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Stratford
Stove/Furnace Model: SC 100

Re: SubBituminous Coal in Alaska - A little help

PostBy: Sting On: Sat Oct 16, 2010 11:25 am

I need one for a place in North Pole - house and a garage - prefer a boiler with an appropriate auto feed stoker like a Combustioner or an Iron Fireman - but the OWB's that are available locally are just too big and now somewhat not wanted by the neighbors so I need an indoor unit for a ready boiler room.

Thoughts

Others have cast doubt on the local availability of used equipment but willing to travel to Anchorage for the right pcs.
Sting
 
Other Heating: OBSO Lennox Pulse "Air Scorcher" burning NG