Vigilant II is just humming along!!!

Vigilant II is just humming along!!!

PostBy: vmi1983 On: Sat Dec 31, 2011 12:18 pm

Hi Folks,

First everybody have a Happy New year :D

This is my first few months of using the Vigilant II. (The stove is the old enamel type, and I think I am the third owner.) The stove has been firing continuously
about two months now. It came with every option available except for the bottom heat-shield, which I got now. The bottom shield totally deflects the heat away from the floor which gives me piece of mind.

I used VigII Pea Burner's videos to help me learn the process of charging the stove. That's a big help for this new-be! Thanks!

I did not have the angle fire brick so at the suggestion of my friend, an experienced coal burner, he suggested, I make the box deeper by cementing fire bicks
(specially cut) on to the ledge (where the angle brick should be). Now the box is a bit narrower in width. Not sure if this is an improvement, so I can always go back
to the original design. I AM WONDERING IF DECREASING THE SIZE OF THE BOX, I WILL NEVER GET the 24 HOUR BURN? When I do the clean-out next month I will probably take out the extra bricks and replace it with the angle brick. I have a hunch the original design is the way to go.


I am using Blaschak coal, nut and pea.

I really like the pea/nut as the fire lasts much longer. Generally, I use pea to build up the fire and then throw (in the morning) nut on top. I also use the pea to
bank the fire. At night, I will drop in some nut and then layer and bank it with pea. This might be a new-be thing... not sure...


Thanks,

Matt
vmi1983
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Godin Large Round/ La Belle Epoque
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Anthracite

Re: Vigilant II is just humming along!!!

PostBy: SteveZee On: Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:22 am

Matt, welcome to the site and good luck with your stove. There is a lot of info on this site by several knowledgeable users of this design. Pierre (Nortcan) is a great source of info on these stoves also. He has modified his from a decent into a very effective unit by making a few mods. Your on the right rack with VigII peaburner, Nortcan and a few others. Read everything they have offered on this stove and you'll be right on top of the game.
SteveZee
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Glenwood Modern Oak 116 & Glenwood 208 C Range

Re: Vigilant II is just humming along!!!

PostBy: Vinmaker On: Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:25 am

Happy New years to you too. :)

Sounds like it is working out nice for you. Fantastic!

Enjoy.
Vin.
Vinmaker
 
Stove/Furnace Make: HARMAN
Stove/Furnace Model: SF-250

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Re: Vigilant II is just humming along!!!

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Sun Jan 01, 2012 12:44 pm

Matt - glad to hear you are doing well running your stove. I'm also glad to hear that those old videos help you out :)

About the little wedge bricks on the sides - placing bricks vertically on the cast iron ledges straightens out the fire box. This eliminates a place for ash to hang up as it does with the angled brick in that space. Your friend gave you good advice when he suggested you put full brick (~2.25"x4.5"x9") on each ledge. Do you find that you have any ash building up on the sides with your current set up? You shouldn't have to poke in from the front at the bottom of the fire along the sides of the stove. Shaking should do a fairly thorough job of ash removal. I still have the angled brick wedges in my stove (although they're in pieces and they've been cemented together a few times). To do a good job of removing ashes, I have to open the front doors and use the flat stock slicer that came with my stove an push the ash down to the ash pan along the front edge of the wedge pieces on each side. This is a PIA! It's the only way to keep ash from building up on the sides as it will if I only shake down without the side poking process. The ash just hangs up above the wedges along the side. The fettle still has to be manually cleared of ash with ether set up. To do away with that you'll need to do the front modification that Nortcan did to his Vigilant.

The only reason I can see that VC used the wedged bricks was to enlarge the volume of the firebox. I did a calculation of the volume the bricks occupy as you have your stove set up. Keep in mind the following BTU calculations are based on maximum output or to put it plainly, running flat out - full bore.
  • If you took them out, you could fit another 5-5.5 Lbs of anthracite in the space. I refill the Vigilant twice a day so roughly double that weight to 10 -11 Lbs per day through the firebox. That calculates roughly to another 130,000 - 143,000 BTU per day. Break that down to hourly and you'll gain 5,400-6,000 BTU per hour.
  • VC rates this stove at 50,000 BTU per hour with the wedge bricks. You can calculate that in your set up, you've got ~10% less heat available. If you are happy with the heating capacity for your house, I wouldn't change to the wedge brick to gain that capacity back.
Referring to your statement of a 24 hour burn and you can calculate roughly how much extra heat you'll get. A 24 hour burn is rare for me, 14-18 hours isn't. A 24 hr. burn time will only happen when it's not too cold outside at night, sunny days and it stays in the high 40s-60's. When the winter weather is here, I run at max burn 24x7 and I do put close to 90 Lbs a day through the firebox. I need the BTUs so I'll poke ash to remain as close to 50,000 BTU per hours. You'll find out what you need as soon as we start to get real winter weather ;)

Have fun and enjoy the radiant heat from your stove. It's a great heater with a lot of utility built into the design :)
VigIIPeaBurner
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace

Re: Vigilant II is just humming along!!!

PostBy: nortcan On: Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:28 pm

The VigII has the best SB (side back)gasses long flow path you can find in an anthracite stove. Plus no need for a MPD or baro. The look is one of the most beautilull in the ""modern"" ones. The swing out ash pan is a very good idea. Top loading is good on it.
That said. it's a shame that V.C. didn't improve that stove to the point of making the best anthracite burning stove. For them, it would have been so simple...

If the angle bricks are lost or not good anymore, you can have some made from S.S. Before removing them and making some playing with the stove, I asked to a metal worker to make 2 angle S.S. like the fire brick ones but unbreakable. Having the ends not capped, air could circulates in them and help to prevent the burn out of them.
Good luck
nortcan
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Stuart,Peterson/ Grander
Stove/Furnace Model: Sunnyside/ Golden Bride

Re: Vigilant II is just humming along!!!

PostBy: vmi1983 On: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:51 pm

Hi VigII and Nortcam and everyone else!

Thanks for the comments and the help. With the standard firebrick on the side ledges, there is no ash build up so no maintenance is required there. While the stove produces
nice heat at 650 F, using nut burns too quickly... I think... I don't have the experience yet to see how long the coal will burn steadily until I have to absolutely
recharge the stove. I discovered that Pea burns much slower and is excellent for milder days. I use nut when I need more immediate heat, but in all cases, I have to bank the rear and sides with pea coal. This so the fire burns slower and more evenly... I think....

The original size fire box has to provide longer burn time... right now I can burn 8-10 hours... but since I am inexperienced, I have not let the fire burn too low.
When I see the coal at the middle level of the fettle, I recharge it... Blue ladies seem to last forever... that's a good thing I am told....

VigII thanks for the help on the firebox size, (I am thinking) the wider fire box (original design) might be more important than then straight side as the coal would naturally bank the sides and I would get more heat...and a longer burn time. I suspect with a larger box, I could reduce the opening of the rear inlet, right now I have to set the air intake where the edge of the flap is parallel to the lower stove "lip" ( 2"? ) this will give 700 F using nut/pea and based on the weather conditions. About an inch or less the stove cooks at 650 F. and so on.

That secondary air port on the side of the stove is always closed. I placed a lit candle to the front glass and there is plenty of air entering the front and some of that has to rise above the fire box for secondary combustion. Also the fire burns more evenly with that port closed.

Now with the deep firebox, I have resisted the urge to slice in between the grates. All I do is gently shake the grates until some flecks of embers drop in the ash pan. I try to keep the ash level 3" or less. The fire seems to burn better...I think.... when I clean off the ash on the fettle, the stove burns hotter...

The stove is placed at 45 degree angle to the corner, it comes out into the room, and there is nearly 8 feet of double walled pipe. The pipe leads to the exterior chimney which is an easy 16 + feet, higher than standard code... and the chimney is capped. Draft is I think is pretty good considering... if the pipe went straight up I have a hunch the air inlet opening would be around 1/8th of an inch or so... I think... not sure... any rate, I am really enjoying the stove and so is the family! I think the main thing is to have patience, make some observations, and eventually the light bulb might come-on. I have not had any "moments of clarity"
and don't expect any soon. So I'll just trudge the path and hopefully I'll get more consistent and really know the capabilities of the stove.

BTW... I have had no explosions or puff backs.. if run right, I think this stove is idiot proof. :shock:

Thanks,

Matt
vmi1983
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Godin Large Round/ La Belle Epoque
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Anthracite

Re: Vigilant II is just humming along!!!

PostBy: vmi1983 On: Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:52 pm

nortcan wrote:The VigII has the best SB (side back)gasses long flow path you can find in an anthracite stove. Plus no need for a MPD or baro. The look is one of the most beautilull in the ""modern"" ones. The swing out ash pan is a very good idea. Top loading is good on it.
That said. it's a shame that V.C. didn't improve that stove to the point of making the best anthracite burning stove. For them, it would have been so simple...

If the angle bricks are lost or not good anymore, you can have some made from S.S. Before removing them and making some playing with the stove, I asked to a metal worker to make 2 angle S.S. like the fire brick ones but unbreakable. Having the ends not capped, air could circulates in them and help to prevent the burn out of them.
Good luck



That's interesting Nortcam.... Thanks for the tip.

Matt
vmi1983
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Godin Large Round/ La Belle Epoque
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Anthracite

Re: Vigilant II is just humming along!!!

PostBy: vmi1983 On: Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:06 pm

VigIIPeaBurner wrote:
The only reason I can see that VC used the wedged bricks was to enlarge the volume of the firebox. I did a calculation of the volume the bricks occupy as you have your stove set up. Keep in mind the following BTU calculations are based on maximum output or to put it plainly, running flat out - full bore.
  • If you took them out, you could fit another 5-5.5 Lbs of anthracite in the space. I refill the Vigilant twice a day so roughly double that weight to 10 -11 Lbs per day through the firebox. That calculates roughly to another 130,000 - 143,000 BTU per day. Break that down to hourly and you'll gain 5,400-6,000 BTU per hour.
  • VC rates this stove at 50,000 BTU per hour with the wedge bricks. You can calculate that in your set up, you've got ~10% less heat available. If you are happy with the heating capacity for your house, I wouldn't change to the wedge brick to gain that capacity back.
Referring to your statement of a 24 hour burn and you can calculate roughly how much extra heat you'll get. A 24 hour burn is rare for me, 14-18 hours isn't. A 24 hr. burn time will only happen when it's not too cold outside at night, sunny days and it stays in the high 40s-60's. When the winter weather is here, I run at max burn 24x7 and I do put close to 90 Lbs a day through the firebox. I need the BTUs so I'll poke ash to remain as close to 50,000 BTU per hours. You'll find out what you need as soon as we start to get real winter weather


Hey VigIIPB,

Extra volume means another 130,000 to 143,00o per day which equals a longer burn time of that amount, right? But the BTUs per hour depend on airflow,
like keeping the air inlet opening wider, right? I am confused, somewhat.

Thanks,

matt
vmi1983
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Godin Large Round/ La Belle Epoque
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Anthracite

Re: Vigilant II is just humming along!!!

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:28 pm

Yes, you have it correctly. The BTU numbers were calculated at max burn. With less air fed to the fire, the ~135kBTUs are spread out over a longer time period so therefore a longer burn time on a given charge of coal.

Coal heat output (and therefore burn time) is regulated by how much air reaches the burning coal. Less air, less heat output and longer burn time. More air, more heat output and shorter burn time. You can open the air feed too much and blow the heat right up and out the chimney. There's a balancing act here. The 2310 manual stated a 700*F max temperature measured on the middle of the cast iron griddle top. Mine runs right about there most of the time when it's cold outside. I have run it hotter and VC says you can but not for extended periods of time. Define 'extended period' and ...

On your first post you spoke about pea and nut. If you use pea, the air spaces between the coal pieces are smaller and there are more of them when compared to the same size load of nut. Pea will have the same amount of heat but will burn more slowly yielding smaller amounts of BTU per hour over a longer period of time. Nut will burn a little faster and therefore hotter because more air is reaching the burning nut surfaces. the same size load of pea and nut will get equally as hot but nut will get there quicker.
VigIIPeaBurner
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace

Re: Vigilant II is just humming along!!!

PostBy: vmi1983 On: Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:59 pm

VigIIPeaBurner wrote:Coal heat output (and therefore burn time) is regulated by how much air reaches the burning coal. Less air, less heat output and longer burn time. More air, more heat output and shorter burn time. You can open the air feed too much and blow the heat right up and out the chimney. There's a balancing act here. The 2310 manual stated a 700*F max temperature measured on the middle of the cast iron griddle top. Mine runs right about there most of the time when it's cold outside. I have run it hotter and VC says you can but not for extended periods of time. Define 'extended period' and ...



Thanks... Learning the balancing act under continuos cold weather will be a big help.... temps are dropping tonight to 6F and tomorrow will be a HIGH
of 8F and a LOW of -3. This will be my first trial by fire! I never thought I would be excited to have such cold weather :?

Thanks,

Matt
vmi1983
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Godin Large Round/ La Belle Epoque
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Anthracite

Re: Vigilant II is just humming along!!!

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:39 pm

vmi1983 wrote:..8<... Learning the balancing act under continuos cold weather will be a big help.... temps are dropping tonight to 6F and tomorrow will be a HIGH
of 8F and a LOW of -3. This will be my first trial by fire! I never thought I would be excited to have such cold weather :?

Thanks,

Matt


At those temperatures, the Vigilant in your house,will be doing a whole lot more than humming along ... it'll be screaming :D Count on the oil burner to help it along - that's my bet! Keep the griddle in the low 700s and that'll be all it can give you. I put nearly 90 Lbs of coal a day thru running it like this. Have fun and hang onto your hat :lol:
VigIIPeaBurner
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace

Re: Vigilant II is just humming along!!!

PostBy: vmi1983 On: Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:41 am

At those temperatures, the Vigilant in your house,will be doing a whole lot more than humming along ... it'll be screaming :D Count on the oil burner to help it along - that's my bet! Keep the griddle in the low 700s and that'll be all it can give you. I put nearly 90 Lbs of coal a day thru running it like this. Have fun and hang onto your hat :lol:[/quote]

Oh I see...3 F right now .... got up before the family... stove was at 650F...the Ecofans are kicking heat... loaded it with nut and edged the bed with pea. Oh yeah, I shook down
the stove last night... and a little this morning... fettle is clean...oil burner did not kick on last night... but it will today I reckon..... heats coming back up :D

What a nice brain-damage-free stove :lol:
vmi1983
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Godin Large Round/ La Belle Epoque
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Anthracite

Re: Vigilant II is just humming along!!!

PostBy: spiker On: Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:36 am

At those temperatures, the Vigilant in your house,will be doing a whole lot more than humming along ... it'll be screaming :D Count on the oil burner to help it along - that's my bet! Keep the griddle in the low 700s and that'll be all it can give you. I put nearly 90 Lbs of coal a day thru running it like this. Have fun and hang onto your hat :lol:


Wow, that's a lot hotter than I want to run my stove. And 90 # a day! I don't think I break 500 F / 50# in the worst weather. How big is your house?
spiker
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Salvo
Stove/Furnace Model: Citation

Re: Vigilant II is just humming along!!!

PostBy: Rob R. On: Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:42 am

spiker wrote:
Wow, that's a lot hotter than I want to run my stove. And 90 # a day! I don't think I break 500 F / 50# in the worst weather. How big is your house?


The house size is one thing, the location is another. What is the "worst weather" you normally encounter? I see that you live in RI, and near the ocean.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Vigilant II is just humming along!!!

PostBy: spiker On: Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:52 am

Good point about the location, but VigIIPB is in NJ, so he shouldn't have it any worse than me. My worst would be 0 F with wind, but that would not last long. The ocean does help and my house is small.

I'm sure Northern NY is a challenge. Rob, do you burn 90# /day?
spiker
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Salvo
Stove/Furnace Model: Citation

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