Adventures with Sub-Bit

Re: Adventures with Sub-Bit

PostBy: Sting On: Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:18 am

Kielanders wrote: The efficiency of our hydronic system when up and running should be around 86%.

What will you be using to burn Healy coal and power the wet system?

Inquiring minds want to know -- I have a son near Fairbanks who needs a stoker / boiler.
Sting
 
Other Heating: OBSO Lennox Pulse "Air Scorcher" burning NG

Re: Adventures with Sub-Bit

PostBy: Kielanders On: Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:19 pm

The original plan is to use a fuel oil unit that we already have. But I'm really interested in finding a coal stoker that would work. Does your son have a link to the unit he is looking at?
Kielanders
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman & Warm Morning
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000, SF-250, WM843

Re: Adventures with Sub-Bit

PostBy: Short Bus On: Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:29 pm

Are they screening out "Stoker Coal" at Seward?
I haven't seen any indoor stoker boiler packages with an ASME boiler marketed in Alaska.
I'm not saying things can't be pieced together.
It would be nice if there was a unit with a dealer standing behind it saying " buy this use Healy Coal, and you will have success"
http://www.coalandheat.com/ has the reminants of the Coal King and Flame King stoker brands but he has them made when somone orders one, and for boilers I think he just has somone weld one up, not exactly a packaged unit with a track record.
The Bunham series 4N boiler would probalby mate well with the coal king stoker but it is at least 10K, when I did finally get a price, and Burnham is not eager to sell boilers to unlicenced installers.
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: Adventures with Sub-Bit

PostBy: Kielanders On: Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:39 pm

Short Bus wrote:Are they screening out "Stoker Coal" at Seward?
I haven't seen any indoor stoker boiler packages with an ASME boiler marketed in Alaska.
I'm not saying things can't be pieced together.
It would be nice if there was a unit with a dealer standing behind it saying " buy this use Healy Coal, and you will have success"
http://www.coalandheat.com/ has the reminants of the Coal King and Flame King stoker brands but he has them made when somone orders one, and for boilers I think he just has somone weld one up, not exactly a packaged unit with a track record.
The Bunham series 4N boiler would probalby mate well with the coal king stoker but it is at least 10K, when I did finally get a price, and Burnham is not eager to sell boilers to unlicenced installers.


You know, I'm flipping around terms like I know what I'm talking about, which I don't. I've talked with my dad who grew-up in Philadelphia, and he said it sounds like we have stove coal, which I assumed refers to a size and shape. Presumably stoker coal is a reference to something like that? I thought a stoker was just a feeder, which may or may not be sized for a particular type of coal.

A quick conversation at the coal yard here only referenced that they try and screen-out the fines for us, but that's about it. Obviously, their yard is setup to fill 1000' coal ships and not to load my pick-up - they were really nice there, but it's clear with their operation, they're selling it just to be helpful to the community.

To be honest, while all the dealers I've spoken with have been nice, I'm surprised at how few coal stoves are sold up here, and that the dealers aren't more plugged-in to tapping into this potential market by improving their knowledge base. The Healy coal, while low quality, to me, is easier to monitor, manage and use than cutting, stacking, and drying cords and cords of mixed wood every winter - and cheaper as well.

...just my initial thoughts my first weeks of burning.
Kielanders
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman & Warm Morning
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000, SF-250, WM843

Re: Adventures with Sub-Bit

PostBy: murphyslaw On: Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:57 pm

Yes, most people still look at coal as a hassle and dirty. But I think its cleaner then wood. A lot less work then wood, cheaper then wood. yet "wood is better"????? Most of the dealers up here sell what the people want. and that is low maint easy to use push button nat gas equipment. most dealers dont even know jack about there own wood stoves. let along an oddity like coal. This all comes down to an informed consumer. Such as us....

Stove coal is largely un-screened. With the majority of sizes form 2"-7". with stoker coal being much smaller so that a tube auger and pusher plate can move the material. And keep control of intake air and drafts.

You can get "stoker" coal from the breaker in Healy. But for you its quite the drive. Would be a good drive for me too. And even at $65 a ton, I would have to get 4 tons at a time to see any savings in that trip.

Any coal appliance you see will most likely be rated for Anth. Coal. at 17,000 some BTU's not our 8kBtu soft coal. That is the key word when looking of an appliance that will work up here. "SOFT COAL"

I am sure you will enjoy running the stove, and even at 1.5 tons a month, you will be saving money over PetroStar. Even if you need to use the oil furnace as supplemental heat.

Remember your stove will work best when full and clean. so don't let it get full of ash, shake it often as we have a high ash coal. And keep that pile high...

In the future you may consider moving that beautiful unit to a different part of the house, and getting another.

I would entertain recessing a hole just big enough at the end of a hallway and install a pipe to heat the back bedrooms and end of the hall, you know the pesky spots....

Funny you should say you wont say where you bought it from. The reason I asked was not cause I wanted to be little them. But I know of no Harmon dealers in Alaska..... Unless it was a by order sorta thing, my best bet would have been "Alaska fireplace". And again, 97% of stove dealers only know nat. gas stoves. and wood is not well understood, and coal is a mystery of the 50's
murphyslaw
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: Model 82

Re: Adventures with Sub-Bit

PostBy: Kielanders On: Sun Oct 09, 2011 9:47 pm

murphyslaw wrote: Funny you should say you wont say where you bought it from. The reason I asked was not cause I wanted to be little them. But I know of no Harmon dealers in Alaska..... Unless it was a by order sorta thing, my best bet would have been "Alaska fireplace". And again, 97% of stove dealers only know nat. gas stoves. and wood is not well understood, and coal is a mystery of the 50's


Yes, fuel oil is very pricey. We're above $4/gallon for sure right now.

I didn't mean to infer that you wanted to rip on the dealer. It's just that posting this stuff, I didn't want them to get a lot of bad blowback, when I knew from life experience that I probably should have done more research on my own. Of the 3 dealers listed on the Harman website, our dealer is one of them.

Nice folks, but I called with some technical questions after we bought it and were burning, the rep said, 'that's a good question, I don't know the answer, and I'd love to hear what your trial and error results are when you figure it out'. I just assumed they'd be all over the coal thing when we bought - and didn't find out I'd be figuring things out on my own after I bought. That being said, prior to my purchase, I had spoken with all of the listed dealers and a number of others, and my memory tells me they were all a little out of their comfort zone when discussing coal. I'm glad forums like this are here, this has been great.

Our thermometer went to the high 20s last night. The stove was chugging quietly in the basement with a 3/4 load and 80% dampered, and we did just fine. It's just my wife and I and the pets. We're comfortable with it around 62 degrees, and throw a sweatshirt on if needed - so we're not too ambitious with the heat. I'm cautiously hopeful that we'll do okay until we're ready for another unit - one better suited as our core unit, and move the Harman to the 1st floor living room for supplementary heat only.

Any recommendations for a core unit that will live in the basement, is built to burn, has a rock solid ash pan setup that doesn't spill to the side when rocked, and has a nice burn time on our coal?
Last edited by Kielanders on Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Kielanders
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman & Warm Morning
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000, SF-250, WM843

Re: Adventures with Sub-Bit

PostBy: murphyslaw On: Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:38 pm

I have a Hitzer model 82 on the way. Its the largest hand fired stove they make, and from the reading I have done, will burn soft coal well. It is rated for 100,000 BTU. But remember that's with 17k Btu hard coal. So I am expecting Half of that out of this unit. I expect it to do a very good job heating my home. When I get home in a few weeks, I will make sure everyone here knows how it goes..... I also expect to only have to tend the stove twice a day. Figure a 5g bucket in the morning, and one more at night.. That was about what I was getting with my basterdized wood stove.
murphyslaw
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: Model 82

Re: Adventures with Sub-Bit

PostBy: murphyslaw On: Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:41 pm

Not to mention, That TLC2000 belongs on the main floor, where its good looks can be enjoyed...
murphyslaw
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: Model 82

Re: Adventures with Sub-Bit

PostBy: Berlin On: Mon Oct 10, 2011 12:34 am

No hard coal is 17,000BTU/lb anthracite averages 12,500btu/lb with little variation. good bituminous coal will be around that same btu and often higher, the highest btu coal is bituminous from certain locations in eastern KY and West Virginia and can exceed 15,500btu/lb.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: Adventures with Sub-Bit

PostBy: Short Bus On: Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:01 am

In Healy they screen out a product they call Chesnut. This seams to run in most "soft coal" stokers, I doubt they screen that size at the port
Coal comes in sizes with names like Lump, Chestnut, Pea, Barly, and more, you can probably find the dimentions using the search box in the upper right, or maybe in the knowledge base in the upper left.
Maybe when you master burning this stuff you should become a stove dealer, compitent questions and reasonable coments about your results may get dealerships offered to you.
Leisure Line has Dealer in Wyoming and I think that is soft coal country, I may need to buy one used just to try it out, but I will also need to set up screen.
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: Adventures with Sub-Bit

PostBy: murphyslaw On: Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:48 am

Berlin wrote:No hard coal is 17,000BTU/lb anthracite averages 12,500btu/lb with little variation. good bituminous coal will be around that same btu and often higher, the highest btu coal is bituminous from certain locations in eastern KY and West Virginia and can exceed 15,500btu/lb.


Thank you Berlin.

I notice most mfg. dont state where they get there BTU rating from. Is it from Hard coal or Anthracite or some other calculator crud?
murphyslaw
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: Model 82

Re: Adventures with Sub-Bit

PostBy: Kielanders On: Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:54 am

murphyslaw wrote:Not to mention, That TLC2000 belongs on the main floor, where its good looks can be enjoyed...


Now that I've hit middle-age, I'm not so much about the looks anymore - I happy with a big girl that can take charge and knows how to throw some heat.

:)
Kielanders
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman & Warm Morning
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000, SF-250, WM843

Re: Adventures with Sub-Bit

PostBy: fyrewerks On: Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:40 pm

My Sub-Bit C (Alberta coal) crumbled a bit being stored under a tarp. Most of the crumbling occurred in the spring with the high humidity, snow melting off the tarp and freeze-thawing. This year I got one of those cheapo tarp-garage things for my coal pile. We get LOTS of snow so I'll have to watch it carefully but it should be better than shovelling off and rooting under the tarp for wet coal every time it snows.
fyrewerks
 

Re: Adventures with Sub-Bit

PostBy: Kielanders On: Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:20 am

We've got Sub-Bit C as well, thanks for the info - we've finally had a 5 day dry patch, and the coal pile is pretty dry, and I've already noticed a positive difference in the burn. I'm going to go ahead and double tarp it over the winter, thanks again.
Kielanders
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman & Warm Morning
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000, SF-250, WM843

Re: Adventures with Sub-Bit

PostBy: ontheroad On: Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:37 pm

Kielanders wrote:
Short Bus wrote:Running it hard probably makes it burn better, and possibly more efficient, less vaporization of fuel before combustion.
I have a 40 year old automated stoker under a boiler in the garage, keeps the ash out of the house.
You are going to burn a lot of coal, 25 pounds of coal for every gallon of diesel you replace.
If your old furnace burned half a gallon every hour you now need to move at least 12 pounds of coal every hour, coal can become a material handling problem.
And that assumes you get the rated BTU from the coal in your stove. :)


We ARE burning a lot of coal, and have been for 10 days. We probably average 120 lbs a day, keeping the home at around 62. We're fine with that temp, but it being only October, we're going to need another dump truck load to get us through the winter. I've already tightened-up the home and insulated, and I've been working with the stove settings to try and optimize the burn.

I'm getting fairly nice stove temps with low chimney pipe temps, so what BTUs are available from the Sub-Bit are going into the home. We'll probably get a 2nd stove down the road. It's just the wife and I, so if we have to shut off the upstairs to get us through, no big deal. Still, at these prices and, it makes sense over fuel oil.

Murphyslaw: It was $80/Ton 2.5 Weeks ago, they said there was going to be a price increase soon, but didn't say when or how much.

Did I understand you correctly, that you got 72 degree temps in a 2400 sq/ft space burning only 3 tons in a wood stove with a modified grate? Was that in Alaska, burning Healy Coal? Dude, I have got to talk to you and get some advice!
ontheroad
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman TLC 2000