buying a hand fed stove with sub-bit in mind

buying a hand fed stove with sub-bit in mind

PostBy: AKShadow On: Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:52 pm

So I am going to replace my old woodstove with a hand fed coal unit, and the only coal we have access to in Alaska is sub-bituminous from the Usibelli coal mine in Healy. Granted it seems to be rather good quality for what it is, but it seems there is a lot of skepticism on performance in a anthracite-designed hand fed stove. Since there really isnt any new stoves out there that are designed for bituminous anymore, the anthracites are my only option. Keeping in mind I don't want to go to a furnace or boiler and antique stoves are near nonexistent around here.

The question is, who has experience burning in a modern hand fed device with good success using bituminous andh which stove are they using? I have some things I am looking for in a stove as well:

hand fed with blower option
-top loaded (however, after doing research and hearing comments it seems this is not even possible to use because of smoking out the top so this need is negligable - Unless of course someone has some insight into the use of a top-loaded coal stove w/out hopper that doesn't smoke out the top)
-somewhere in 100,000BTU range
-big enough firebox to throw the occaisonal log in
-able to install water jacket for domestic hot water
-will be burning Alaskan sub-bituminous coal

Thoughts? Opinions? I am somewhere in a shootout between the DS circulators, Hitzer 354, and possibly the Alaskan Kodiak.
AKShadow
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Warm Morning 523
Coal Size/Type: Sub-bituminous, stove

Re: buying a hand fed stove with sub-bit in mind

PostBy: AKShadow On: Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:11 pm

by the way, I made a similar post in the hand fed section but no one seemed to have real experience with bituminous in these hand feds
AKShadow
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Warm Morning 523
Coal Size/Type: Sub-bituminous, stove

Re: buying a hand fed stove with sub-bit in mind

PostBy: SMITTY On: Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:23 pm

I burned regular bit in mine very briefly. Forum member Dungeon Master gave me a bag full of bitty when he was in the area for his job at the time.

I don't see any reason why you couldn't do it in a hand fired - they aren't very picky about fuel .... although I'm a long ways from being a vet bit burner.
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler


Re: buying a hand fed stove with sub-bit in mind

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:38 pm

Maybe you should try linknig this post to a post in the bituminous fourm. You migt get a more infromed responce from there even though it's nearing the end of the season.

That's a good list you've got. Well thought out. My stove comes set up to burn bit although I've never use any bit. The Vigilant doesn't meet your needs. There was one fellow in WY Powder Basin that was using Powder Basin bit in a Vigilant but the stove is rated at 50,000 btu.
VigIIPeaBurner
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace

Re: buying a hand fed stove with sub-bit in mind

PostBy: Berlin On: Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:17 am

top loading is the way to go. be sure to use an 8" chimney and build it tall and you'll have no smoke coming out when loading. I used a top loading stove I built myself for years (in fact, i'm using it right now) because i'm not going to play around shoveling coal into the stove and make a mess in my house, I dump a bucket or a few lumps and close it up, that's it.

Bear in mind a few things that are important about your AK coal. It has a high ash content, so stoves with a small ashpan will require more frequent maintenance. The btu ratings of any stove rated for anthracite are going to be substantially less fired on AK coal. Ideally you will find one with good secondary air inlets and an 8" flue outlet. The flue size is important, if you're starting from scratch (new chimney etc.) you will be kicking youself if you waste your money with a 6" flue; having a larger flue means no smoke/smell/soot seepage in the home when reloading.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: buying a hand fed stove with sub-bit in mind

PostBy: AKShadow On: Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:32 am

I appreciate all the replies, I feel a little more confident now.

VigIIPeaBurner - the stove I have now is a vigilant and I feel I need about double that possible heat output so like you said, probably wouldnt meet my needs. but I have a friend down the road that has one and burns our sub-bit quite well

Berlin - What Im doing at the moment with my Vigilant wood stove is get a good log fire going and then dump a bucket in through the top griddle, no smoke, virtually no mess. My chimney is 8" and runs about 30' straight up no bends. Seems to have pretty good draw. Im really glad to get your opinion on this, since everyone in the hand fired seemed to think if I bought a top loaded stove that I would be eating smoke. Seems like most have a 6" outlet, do you think it would affect the draw to much to run a 6" to 8" adapter so that I can hook to my existing chimney?
AKShadow
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Warm Morning 523
Coal Size/Type: Sub-bituminous, stove

Re: buying a hand fed stove with sub-bit in mind

PostBy: Berlin On: Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:53 am

I don't know whether or not the 6" collar will cause you smoke problems, but I do know that with a good-drafting stack and an 8" collar it won't. It's too bad so many stoves are supplied wth 6" flue outlets; mfg'rs do this with wood furnaces too which is why you see so many "clayton" and "hot blast" style furnaces with big black streaks going from the loading door to the supply plenum.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: buying a hand fed stove with sub-bit in mind

PostBy: flynfish On: Fri Apr 01, 2011 2:30 am

Have a friend who has a hand-fed top-loading stove that he burns Usibelli coal in. Uses it to heat most of his home and it works very well for him. He's had to replace the grates a time or two when he's left the air open a bit too far and it's got a little warm. Typically loads it with a 5 gallon bucket. It smolders for a couple of minutes after dumping the coal on some hot coals then starts to burn nicely. I believe it's a Vermont Castings Vigilant II that he's been using it for about 4 years now. Doesn't have a water jacket nor provision for it. It's about 50K BTU. He leaves the damper open when reloading and doesn't have a lot of issue with smoke in the house.
flynfish
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Flame King
Stove/Furnace Model: 170

Re: buying a hand fed stove with sub-bit in mind

PostBy: freetown fred On: Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:51 am

That will work just fine. It's an immediate adaptation & you'll have the immediate draw of the 8"--I did it with my wood burning beast & it worked & still works well :) You're going to put the adapter right on the stove collar YES ??
AKShadow wrote:I appreciate all the replies, I feel a little more confident now.

VigIIPeaBurner - the stove I have now is a vigilant and I feel I need about double that possible heat output so like you said, probably wouldnt meet my needs. but I have a friend down the road that has one and burns our sub-bit quite well

Berlin - What Im doing at the moment with my Vigilant wood stove is get a good log fire going and then dump a bucket in through the top griddle, no smoke, virtually no mess. My chimney is 8" and runs about 30' straight up no bends. Seems to have pretty good draw. Im really glad to get your opinion on this, since everyone in the hand fired seemed to think if I bought a top loaded stove that I would be eating smoke. Seems like most have a 6" outlet, do you think it would affect the draw to much to run a 6" to 8" adapter so that I can hook to my existing chimney?
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix