new to side - coal boiler for new construction

Re: new to side - coal boiler for new construction

PostBy: Short Bus On: Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:26 am

I was told a 3" (trade size) pipe with an auger would not work, 4" minimum, 40 tons later, no broken sheer pins, with my 3" pipe.

You might try http://www.northpolecoal.net/ they are the retailer for Usibeli coal mine in Healy, they are located in North Pole.

If possible seeing other instalations might be a good sourse of information, you can come by and see mine in Cantwell, nothing fancy here, but all equipment is over 40 years old. My stoker is similar to this
http://www.willburt.com/cm/productCoalStokers.asp
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
but it makes clinkers and I don't think you can automate the removal of clinkers.

Jeff King, the dog musher, has a Homesteader with coal feeder for sale, he wants 15,000$ and the unit seams big for residental use, this is the homsteader website, http://www.heatinnovations.com/homesteader.html
I haven't noticed his flyer on the bulletin board latly maybe it sold. That unit has a modern big rotating ring burner, that makes a ash that probaly could be augered out of the fire box.

I think, I E-Mailed with somone on here that has a unit from http://www.coalandheat.com/.
Enjoy

The two biggest problems with coal heat as I see it are,
1. Intial investment.
2. Time to service once set up.
You can minimize the second problem with more of problem number one.

If you are building new with a bank loan, maybe you should see your loan officer, for the bank's opinion on coal heat.
If it was as easy as burning oil, everyone would do it.
I just ran the numbers with .21 cents for KWH and 5.02$ for one gallon of propane delivered, electricity is better. Summer propane is cheaper.
Last edited by Short Bus on Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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: new to side - coal boiler for new construction

PostBy: murphyslaw On: Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:22 am

Sounds like you met Rick Dilly. The guy is a joke!!!

He is the reason I asked you who you were talking to, wanted to make sure it wasn't Ak Cozy Coal...
murphyslaw
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: Model 82

Re: new to side - coal boiler for new construction

PostBy: Sting On: Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:29 am

pura vida wrote:so i called one of the local coal and stove suppliers. he pretty much told me the complete opposite to what i have heard and read everywhere else.


OMG what a prevarication - this guy should get the award for slick salesman of the month - he only wants to sell what he has on the floor plan so everything else is bad????

I think you should post names
Sting
 
Other Heating: BurnHAM=NG-gas


Re: new to side - coal boiler for new construction

PostBy: murphyslaw On: Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:43 pm

Sting wrote:
pura vida wrote:so i called one of the local coal and stove suppliers. he pretty much told me the complete opposite to what i have heard and read everywhere else.


OMG what a prevarication - this guy should get the award for slick salesman of the month - he only wants to sell what he has on the floor plan so everything else is bad????

I think you should post names



His name is Rick dilly and runs/owns Ak Cozy Coal in wasilla Ak.

He charges an arm and a leg for hitzers and has his own stove made in house that is still over priced. He used to sell coal for 180/ton until he got some competition, then it quickly dropped to 150. And he called it a SALE!!!!!

He does not really know how to work coal, and last time I was out there he told me he does not have a stove at his home.

He tried to corner a market in an area that had no clue. And has since been shown he is a fool.

His website is http://www.akcozycoal.com
murphyslaw
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: Model 82

Re: new to side - coal boiler for new construction

PostBy: Berlin On: Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:54 am

sounds like this guy doesn't know what he's talking about. If you're going to sell someone else coal and stoves you'd better know your products and you ought to be using it yourself.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: new to side - coal boiler for new construction

PostBy: Short Bus On: Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:37 am

In March of 2009 Valley Trash mentions paying 190$ per Ton, in this thread Sub-bituminous coal
This coal all comes form Healy, 200 miles north of wasilla, available on weekends only, in the winter for 65$ per ton, summer availability is maybe one weekend per month.
It looks like the price has been steadilly declining in the valley.
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: new to side - coal boiler for new construction

PostBy: Zeph On: Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:30 pm

[quote="pura vida"]so i called one of the local coal and stove suppliers. he pretty much told me the complete opposite to what i have heard and read everywhere else.
...
i don't want to put in-floor radiant heat in my house. not very efficient.
with today's oil prices electric heat is less expensive and probably my best bet.

****************************************************************************************************

He may not be off base on two points:
1.) Heat in the floor is a great idea, unless you are trying to make the hot water with a stove that is in the middle of a room. A coil in a stove, either wood stove, coal or other is just not very efficient.

2.) Electric Heat compared to Oils is actually cheaper, Currently $35 per million BTU for Electric (from MEA) and $40 per million BTU for #1 Diesel (which we burn up here). I ran some numbers from http://nepacrossroads.com/fuel-comparis ... ulator.php and I am throwing out the coal idea and will look at a Open system Ground Source Heat Pump.

The deal for electric from my electric provider is currently sweeter as there is an Off Peak Electric Tariff from MEA, but that rate may be going away in a month. Your electric utility will vary. Please run your own numbers.

Brian
Zeph
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Englander
Stove/Furnace Model: 30NC with HW Coil

Re: new to side - coal boiler for new construction

PostBy: Short Bus On: Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:56 pm

Zeph,
I'm paying 21 cents per KWH working out to about 61$ per million BTU.
I buy form GVA, Golden Valley electric Association, who is MEA?
A hot water coil in a stove will not collect enoughf BTU to heat a slab, the surface area on a coil just won't pass enoughf BTU to heat a building.
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: new to side - coal boiler for new construction

PostBy: Short Bus On: Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:03 pm

Be sure when using the fuel cost calculator a the top of the forum to use 7650 BTU/pound or 15,300,000 BTU/ton these numbers come form
http://www.usibelli.com/Coal_data.asp
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
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: new to side - coal boiler for new construction

PostBy: murphyslaw On: Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:39 pm

MEA is matanuska electric association.

I am an MEA customer. Not sure where the off peak thing came from but I get charged a steady rate of $0.133892/kwh for the first 13000kwh. With a monthly service fee of 5bucks on that plus a few more bucks for having underground service lines.

I have run the numbers for my home. Even being in town with natural gas. The numbers come in close but coal is still cheaper. I burn about 120 a month in coal and it has dropped my nat gas bill 170 a month. Not to mention being more comfortable. As the homes heating system will only keep this place at 66 when it's under 20*F. With the stove the boiler stays off and the house runs at 72*F.
murphyslaw
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: Model 82

Re: new to side - coal boiler for new construction

PostBy: Zeph On: Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:36 pm

MEA is Matanuska Electric Association (Another Touchstone COOP, as is Golden Valley Electric. At least MEA Was a Touchstone Coop. I just checked Touchstones' website and MEA is listed as included as a Touchstone Coop Maybe there is news that I m not aware of) (Oh, if you want some entertainment, look at the golden parachutes that recently fired execs at MEA were given, over $600,000 each)

Since MEA, GVE and others in AK have recently signed agreements for a Smart Grid, perhaps we shall see some efficiencies of scale and the price per KW will decrease. As you know, even though we are in the largest state of the Union, our energy companies counted all together do not measure up to the big ones in the lower 48.

Currently there is an off peak tariff (which requires Off Peak Thermal Storage). The tariff is roughly just less than $.08 cents KW, but the utility wants to phase it out soon, as in 2011. The off peak rate is little advertised and MEA is said to want to discontinue it as there are not enough customers using it :D Consider going to the RCA and review the issue if you are in the MEA area, folks.
So, depending on where you live and what incentives there are for your various fuels, well, it depends, but electric heat can work, numbers wise.

So, back to the thread: I would still compare Fuels.

My MEA bill electric rate after the facility charge and regulatory charges is $0.139

For me, within the driving distance to Healy, with my old slope rig one ton and my 5 ton trailer, maybe I could get back home with 9 tons if the dispatcher will overload me ;) (OK maybe not): Coal is not a bad deal to buy it. But it requires a lot of capital costs to get setup...and yes, our coal at Healy has a relatively lower BTU/Ton.

I think even using resistance heating in the slab works out numbers wise, compared to #1 Diesel, or Propane, if the rate per KW is low enough. Radiant in floor heated, wood-fired and radiant in floor can work, but I would be aware of another capital intensive deal. It would take the right equipment. It just isn't possible to heat up enough water with a 'parlor' stove. I have a coil in my wood stove and it helps heat my domestic water just a little bit.

For in floor heat, You could do something like the Romans did with their baths. Have you seen hypocasts? That is creative. We do not usually do things like that around here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypocaust (Another capital intensive deal :D )

I am seeing a nice ground source heat pump,heating up my infloor radiant heat. But geothermal ground source heat pumps may not work efficiently where you are, unless you have warmer soil temps. my latitude is 61 What are your ground temps at your location.

If I went to coal, I think I would have a huge water storage, a gassifer in a separate building and covered, easily accessible outdoor coal shed with feed to the boiler, Electrostatic Precipitator, and in floor heat (don't forget the underslab insulation)...
Zeph
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Englander
Stove/Furnace Model: 30NC with HW Coil

Re: new to side - coal boiler for new construction

PostBy: Zeph On: Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:38 pm

murphyslaw wrote:
I burn about 120 a month in coal and it has dropped my nat gas bill 170 a month. Not to mention being more comfortable. As the homes heating system will only keep this place at 66 when it's under 20*F. With the stove the boiler stays off and the house runs at 72*F.


What is your cost per therm for Natural gas?
Zeph
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Englander
Stove/Furnace Model: 30NC with HW Coil

Re: new to side - coal boiler for new construction

PostBy: pura vida On: Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:43 pm

thanks for all the info and links. i have see a couple of them but need to call a few people to get more info. i wasn't going to post his name just b/c i didn't feel the need. i guess maybe i wasn't clear enough before. i don't want a coal fired stove, i am looking for a coal fired boiler specifically to heat the radiant floor heating water and my DW. actually after talking to a few people he may have a point with electricity. it's not nearly as expensive as it was when oil was "cheap", well i guess a more accurate statement would be it hasn't become as expensive as oil has. plus i have heard of new electric heaters that are fairly efficient and do a good job but i have yet to check them out. actually i have also been meaning to look into solar tubes. have heard good things about them also but haven't had the time to do the research. i also looked at geo thermal heat pumps but good god are they expensive. $30-40K from what i saw/heard. plus there is no guarantee that it will work or continue to work for long periods of time. the biggest problem is if enough heat is not returned to the ground during the summer months. if this happens over time you can end up with a permafrost situation. which would be bad, and not efficient for a heat pump. also they work best when the ground is wet (ie, a lake) and i am 350 feet above the matanuska with very dry gravel. for me i discounted geo thermal but i may work for others. it would be awesome if it did.
pura vida
 

Re: new to side - coal boiler for new construction

PostBy: pura vida On: Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:48 pm

fwiw, i also have a buddy that i'm pretty sure i could get to deliver coal to me either in his end or side dump. i'd just have to pay his fuel bill for the truck. but i'm trying to run my numbers at $150/ton since that is the higher number that i have seen for delivery.

short bus, i may take you up on your offer as i tend to ride up there on a regular basis. thanks for the links, btw. going to call tomorrow/tues
pura vida
 

Re: new to side - coal boiler for new construction

PostBy: flynfish On: Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:03 am

I have been using a Flame King 170 (170,000 BTU) boiler with the Usibelli coal for about 4 years now. I go through between 18 and 20 tons a season. I built an outdoor shed for the boiler and it sits right next to my coal bunker. The coal is stoker fed out of a hopper that sits next too it. Even at sub-zero temps I can go a couple of days on a hopper full of coal. Two things I'd change about my installation: 1) Some way to feed the coal from the bunker to the hopper (right now it's buckets so I get some winter-time exercise), 2) An ash auger which the unit can use but I don't have. With those two additions the boiler would run for days between cleaning of the tubes and such. I get no smoke or smell around the house during the winter. In the spring when it's warmer during the day I get a little odor outside but not so much that my neighbors were aware I am burning coal. I like the set-up I have in general as I get no ash, smoke etc. in the house. It's take care of it and then let it do it's thing.

I may get one or two rocks a year that stop the auger so make sure you include a method of blocking off your hopper flow to easily disconnect the auger from the bottom of it. I have a sliding metal plate that is above the auger feed hole that serves this purpose.

Make sure you have some method of agitating your hopper to breakup any bridging that will starve the boiler of coal, usually about 2am. I have a drill with a 30in bit stuck into the middle of the hopper that is on a timer relay. Whenever the boiler is firing the relay will open when the boiler first comes on and then every 10min for 10sec to agitate the bed and breakup any bridges. Since I installed it I haven't had any issue with bridging.
flynfish
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Flame King
Stove/Furnace Model: 170


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