Ready to switch to coal

Ready to switch to coal

PostBy: GoodProphets On: Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:24 pm

Hello to all.
New to the forum here, and also to coal.

Been reading for a few days here and this is a super place, and I would like to thank everyone now and hope to return the pleasure to another from posting.

Just purchased my first home in Ephrata, Lanc Co.
Originally built in the 1830s so no guessing why I am here, lol.
Around the 4000 sf and not insulated with original windows, etc.
We have 3 traditional fireplaces that I decided to supplement with, so I bought about 10 cords of wood.
being traditional fp, went through 5 cords and pretty much just for fun.
The circa 1900 coal converted into oil boiler used over $5k of oil last season by previous owner, and this season,
we have already used over 500 gallons...I knew this coming in and was planning on waiting until spring/summer to replace
with a new oil furnace.
Well plans have changed!!!!
Found this forum after finding AHS boilers.
i was stuck with the conception that coal was dirty and etc.
I also had the ease of buying pre-split and seasoned wood ***cheaper than oil*** knowledge.
So I thought the AHS Woodgun would have been the choice, but now after reading and gaining knowledge on the Coal Gun,
I think I have made my decision.

COAL

i just need some help on the model, as I am borderline on the S130 and the S260 as for btu range.
I would like to be comfy and also have the option to place heat in the attic or addition if/when that time comes
Also have a 2 car detached garage that could use some heat in the future possible.

We live in the boro, so we are planning on basement install.
I will be getting a quote from local company that deals with AHS.
If it wont be but a few grand to install, etc than I may go with pro install,
but obvious if cost is ridiculous, we will do it ourselves.

The only problem I see is the puffbacks, which sounds like they are not too serious or dangerous, but
I thought of installing a vent system that can easily remove the basement air/smoke in minutes....
that the lady can flip the switch when I am not home.
I know that they are rare and since I am a tinker, I should have it dialed in and should not have problems.

Thanks again, I will be reading and posting!!!!

Rob
GoodProphets
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: Anthra Rice
Other Heating: 3 Fireplaces

Re: Ready to switch to coal

PostBy: ValterBorges On: Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:30 pm

Lancaster County Pa?
How accessible is the basement? Not sure about S130 but S260 was like 1200lbs used a skid steer and then an engine hoist to get in place.

There is also AHS WC multiboilers that can do coal/wood. Variety of coal sizes.

The Efms especially refurbs are also something to consider.
Probably the easiest to control on btu range, year round burning (pool, dhw), are you planning a bin since youre so close to bulk, the efm auger is much smaller than ahs or aa because its rice not pea.
Last edited by ValterBorges on Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ValterBorges
 
Stove/Furnace Make: AHS
Stove/Furnace Model: S260

Re: Ready to switch to coal

PostBy: GoodProphets On: Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:39 pm

Yes Lancaster County PA

2 hours drive to AHS
GoodProphets
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: Anthra Rice
Other Heating: 3 Fireplaces


Re: Ready to switch to coal

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:14 pm

With your square feet of floor space, and the age of the home, and the fact that it is uninsulated, in my opinion you would be within the ballpark for an AHS S260, and an S130 would not be large enough. This would be particularly more true if you also intend to supply the homes hot water via the boiler.

My first guesstimate (based on the assumption of a 12.5 Watts per square foot requirement for the electric baseboard heating of an uninsulated old home) is that on the coldest few days of the year just to heat the house you will need an "output" of at least 170,600 BTU's. At a real world assumption of 70% efficiency for a coal boiler, this would require a boiler with a rated input of 243,750 BTU's. The S260 has rated input of 260,000 BTU's.
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (if I ever get it fixed)

Re: Ready to switch to coal

PostBy: Coalfire On: Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:23 pm

GP check your PM's little envolope at the top of the page




Eric
Coalfire
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 96K btu Circulator
Coal Size/Type: Nut

Re: Ready to switch to coal

PostBy: GoodProphets On: Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:38 pm

Hey, after seeing the savings, I was ready to rip up nice inlaid hardwood flooring to get the sucker in.
But luckily the old steps to the basement are still manageable sort of.

Right now, the side porch (many additions on this place) has a 30 inch wide trap door that I could rip the stairs out of and hoist down the unit.
But there is another 18-24 inch that was walled off and flagstone was put on top.
I plan on ripping up the flagstone and re-doing in the future, so I can easily rip that up to get about a 40x50 hole to bring it down.
Just need to pull out steps (hopefully the ground/walls behind steps is straight down and not angled behind the steps)

Either way, I will get one down there, haha

My first instinct was the WOC multifuel, but Ben at AHS said since it accepts both wood and coal, it is less eff than Wood gun or Coal gun.
SO I thought about Wood Gun, then settled on Coal Gun, being in PA and prices etc.
GoodProphets
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: Anthra Rice
Other Heating: 3 Fireplaces

Re: Ready to switch to coal

PostBy: ValterBorges On: Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:41 pm

I know the efms come in two pieces, i think i remember reading that ahs may also be able to if you request it.
ValterBorges
 
Stove/Furnace Make: AHS
Stove/Furnace Model: S260

Re: Ready to switch to coal

PostBy: GoodProphets On: Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:46 pm

lsayre, I was thinking the same.
DHW is for sure

auger is not necessary, but with the basement, we have to coal shoot doors on the side (neighbors driveway side, but should not be a problem)
One in the boiler room and one in another room at bottom of stairs.
I would expect myself to get tired of filling hopper every week and possibly everyday during that cold streak in dead winter.
So options would come for an auger.

I only have .3 acre so I would prob get bulk, to fill basement, but if prices got high, I would get a TT load in a jiffy.
GoodProphets
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: Anthra Rice
Other Heating: 3 Fireplaces

Re: Ready to switch to coal

PostBy: GoodProphets On: Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:48 pm

Yes, some models of AHS do come apart, but not the woodgun.

I read just today that the Coal gun has two parts (base/stand being 600 lbs) but I dont know how
old of a model that was.

Size/weight is not an issue that I foresee. Anything is possible.
GoodProphets
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: Anthra Rice
Other Heating: 3 Fireplaces

Re: Ready to switch to coal

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:22 pm

Be prepared to go through perhaps 10 - 12 tons of coal annually.

500 gallons of #2 heating oil is about 3 tons of coal (give or take, depending upon which is burning more efficiently).
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (if I ever get it fixed)

Re: Ready to switch to coal

PostBy: GoodProphets On: Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:33 pm

lsayre wrote:Be prepared to go through perhaps 10 - 12 tons of coal annually.

500 gallons of #2 heating oil is about 3 tons of coal (give or take, depending upon which is burning more efficiently).


I wasnt that far into my estimating of coal, but that sounds reasonable.
The oil boiler now can go thru 60 gallons in 3 days, I just experienced it!
the eff is not good, 50% is my guess with this converted crap boiler

I was contemplating if oversizing with the 260 would burn more coal on warmer days or during summer with DHW
than with the 130.
I dont see the 130 being able to do it without supplement, but just digging deeper to make sure.
But getting a 130 to find out I need a second or an upgrade, is not part of my plans.
GoodProphets
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: Anthra Rice
Other Heating: 3 Fireplaces

Re: Ready to switch to coal

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:51 pm

If your old oil boiler is that horribly inefficient, then coal will replace it at closer to about 2 tons per 500 gallons.
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (if I ever get it fixed)

Re: Ready to switch to coal

PostBy: Dennis On: Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:29 pm

GoodProphets wrote:The oil boiler now can go thru 60 gallons in 3 days, I just experienced it!
the eff is not good, 50% is my guess with this converted crap boiler


with that amount of oil,you could pay the new boiler off in 2 to 3 years easy. :dancing:
Dennis
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: AHS/WOC55-multi-fuel/wood,oil,coal
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/stove size

Re: Ready to switch to coal

PostBy: GoodProphets On: Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:27 pm

Dennis wrote:
with that amount of oil,you could pay the new boiler off in 2 to 3 years easy. :dancing:


Yes, indeed

How do you like the multi fuel?
Do you ever use all coal in a season?
DO you know how efficient one or the other is?
I do have access to some free wood, so the WOC is still in my sights if the eff is up there.
GoodProphets
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: Anthra Rice
Other Heating: 3 Fireplaces

Re: Ready to switch to coal

PostBy: Dennis On: Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:42 pm

I'm very pleased with my woc55/225k btu. Easy to control,shake down,load,ashes.

I have only used nut anthricite and burns coal excelent, i never burnt wood

I was told from AHS- wood/185k btu @ 55%, Coal/225k btu @ 70%, oil/225k btu @88% effiency.

There is a used wc55 for sale from member dgipe454
In the spring a used wc70 for sale from member phil may

any other questions just ask. Dennis
Dennis
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: AHS/WOC55-multi-fuel/wood,oil,coal
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/stove size