Looking for an outdoor coal stoker

Re: Looking for an outdoor coal stoker

PostBy: john17751 On: Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:58 pm

Where the cottage sits I do get some odd winds. To the south it sits about 30' from a creek and to the north about 80' behind it is a semi-steep hill thats about 30' high. To the the east and west, its flat. The trees that are on the property are pine, oak and other type. The pines are at least 60' tall. I plan on cutting those down, mostly because I'm afraid they will fall either on the cottage or the main cables of the bridge. The cottage has a fireplace with a flue about 25' high. I sometimes think it doesn't have enough draft?

Thanks
John
john17751
 
Stove/Furnace Make: none

Re: Looking for an outdoor coal stoker

PostBy: john17751 On: Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:51 pm

Greg, you said you had floor radiant heat in your house. What size tubing did you use and did you use heat transfer plates? I also have an old 5 bedroom farm house that I'm in the slow process of renovating in addition to my other project (to many projects). The last season I heated it, cost around $8000 for oil. Is the AA260 the only heat you use for the house? I think you said you use about 200# of coal a day to heat.

Rob, you have an EFM and heat 3500 sq ft. Is your home well insulated. I see you burn an average of 8 or 9 ton.

Thanks
john17751
 
Stove/Furnace Make: none

Re: Looking for an outdoor coal stoker

PostBy: Rob R. On: Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:23 pm

john17751 wrote:Rob, you have an EFM and heat 3500 sq ft. Is your home well insulated. I see you burn an average of 8 or 9 ton.


I would rate the insulation as fair to good, some parts of the home are newer than others. What hurts me is the amount of air leaks and the wind exposure...my wife's preferred room temperature of 72 doesn't help either. :roll: The EFM also provides all of our domestic hot water.

john17751 wrote:I also have an old 5 bedroom farm house that I'm in the slow process of renovating in addition to my other project (to many projects). The last season I heated it, cost around $8000 for oil.


If you know how many gallons of fuel oil you burned, that is a much better indication of your home's heat load than using another house as a comparison. If you burned 2000 gallons of fuel, I expect you'd burn about 11 tons of coal. Your mileage may vary, but in my experience the fuel of 180 gallons to 1 ton of coal has been very close. If you are renovating the house and insulating/sealing drafts, the heat load should drop.

What kind of heating system is in the farm house? Hot air?
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

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Re: Looking for an outdoor coal stoker

PostBy: LsFarm On: Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:05 pm

Hi John, I have vertually every type of hydronic system available in use in my home and shop.

My AA260 can use as much as 200# per day but that only when it's below zero and the wind is howling.
On more normal 25* days I'd guess theuse is more like 100-120#, and that is heating not only the 4000sqft house, but the 2400 sqft poorly insulated and sealed shop, I jsut keep the floor at 50-55* and take whatever air temp that generates.. nothing sweats, rusts or freezes.. that's my target and I hit it perfectly.

In the house, which is part 1849, part 1880, and part 2009, I have an old 2" diverter tee zone heating the old section of the house, I don't occupy this much at all, so it's at about 55*
My master bedroom 'suite' has hot water floor heat in the bathroom [ceramic floor] as well as a section of finned baseboard tube behind the bathroom cabinets, which creates a very good baseboard system, and a section of baseboard in the bedroom and walkin closet.. This is zone #2,

The main lived in part of the house is the 'Huge Project' section, it is fed hot water via a primary loop with three secondary loops, one is staple up, under the plywood floor, this is in the second story, which is a library, exercise room and 2nd floor laundry.
The main floor is a 'suspended slab' it is 1.5 " of peagravel concrete poured on top of the extra rigid wood floor, with 1/2" pex burried i the concrete, and mostly slate tile over the concrete, there is about 300square of wood flooring over the concrete as well.
Then in the basement, is a heated slab on grade, insulate from the ground and perimeter, using 1/2" pex as well.

Each system is a secondary loop off the primary zone from the original propane boiler's system which is heated by water/water heat exchangers from the outdoor-located AA boiler.

If you look at my avitar, if it's painted white, I heat it.. the boiler buiding is on the right, with the tree hanging over it, this photo os from 1998 before I put a new roof on the old stone building,,
I'll try to find a newer photo of the boiler building.

Here's a better pic:
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nest to the fence adjacent to the garden is the old stone building, in this photo it has it's ancient cedar shake roof that is caving in, a few years after this photo, I installed rafters and ridgebeam, and steel and fiberglass roof panels, makning a 'greeen house' roof,
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Greg L
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: Looking for an outdoor coal stoker

PostBy: Townsend On: Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:46 pm

That's a nice looking spread Greg! That Loki is a lucky dog. :)
Townsend
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Coal Size/Type: Pea / Buck

Re: Looking for an outdoor coal stoker

PostBy: LsFarm On: Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:01 pm

There, I found a later photo of the boiler building, I'm burning Bit coal in the hand fed 'Big Bertha' boiler I built. That's why you see smoke from the chimney. I've since added another 4' or so to the chimney.

Greg

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Coal storage for a TT load of coal, just outside the door of the boiler's building. this bin is now 2x this size and has a roof over it.
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LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: Looking for an outdoor coal stoker

PostBy: Rob R. On: Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:26 pm

Greg, what was the boiler building used for originally?

I was wondering about the smoke...still pretty minor compared to my old wood boiler!

Image
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Looking for an outdoor coal stoker

PostBy: LsFarm On: Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:26 pm

Well, since it's over half burried in a north facing bank, I originally thought it was a small icehouse, or 'root cellar'.. But one of my neighbors told me that the last he knew it was a pig shelter !! That's a long way from an icehouse !! :o
So I really don't know, the original roof was resting right on the walls, so it was very short on headroom , I couldn't stand up inside, and it was a dirt floor.

I put in a lousy job of a concrete floor, and added the boilers.. it works.. If I really was ambitious i'd add some insulation, but during the daytime, I really like the natural lighting, it's nice to be able to see what i'm doing without adding lighting.

I don't know the age of the building, but my neighbor told me his grandparents knew of the outbuilding when they were young.. so around 1900 I'm guessing.
I sure wish i could find some old photos of this place,,
It's on the local historical record, that's how I know the 1849 date.. but this place has had more modiifications than a Honda Civic in 'Little Mexico'.. :lol:

Greg L
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: Looking for an outdoor coal stoker

PostBy: john17751 On: Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:17 am

Rob, thats a big house to heat. My farm house is 2 story and 2700 sq ft, didn't have any insulation until I started to fix it up. The first part of the house was one room log with a loft built in 1826. Then over the years they added sections on with the those wall made of 2 or 3" thick planks that run from the foundation thru the 2nd floor to the attic. Its built over a crawl space with dirt floor. The down stairs has a kitchen, dinning and living room, half bath, washer room and a bonus room. The second floor has 5 bedrooms and a bath. The parts of the house that had heat had what I guess would be stand up hotwater heaters??? They are about 2 feet high 3 feet long but have baseboard fins inside.

Of the rooms I have done so far I gutted them to the plank walls, (lots of horse hair plaster) studed them out with 2 X 6 with insultation, new wiring and new windows. In those I put in baseboard heat. The rest of the house I want to put in radiant floor heat. Even though I never had floor heat, it just seems to me the logical best heat?

If I could heat the house with 10 tons, WOW!!! what a cost savings. I believe hard coal around here is $250 a ton but not sure? Did I say I really dislike oil..lol

Greg, nice spread you have. I live on a small farm. I have and out building about 40' from the house which I think would make a great boiler room. Is the pex tubing you have underground the type that has the hot as well as the return line inside of an insulated bigger pipe?

Also a company called Radiant Tech gave me a verbal quote for doing the cottage on 3 zones (materials without a boiler or labor) for $3200 and is suppose to include everything. They are sending/emailing me the written qoute.

If I can find it I will post a picture of my place.

Thanks
john17751
 
Stove/Furnace Make: none

Re: Looking for an outdoor coal stoker

PostBy: Rob R. On: Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:48 am

john17751 wrote:They are about 2 feet high 3 feet long but have baseboard fins inside.


Those sound like "convectors".

I think baseboard heat in the upstairs bedrooms and radiant in the fist floor and bathrooms is a good compromise (or maybe just the kitchen and bathrooms). What kind of floors do you have in the farmhouse? Staple up radiant is an option, but it has its limits when the floors are really thick or if there is carpet installed. I know someone that used this system in a remodel: http://www.pexsupply.com/Wirsbo-Uponor- ... -500-sq-ft It is basically a subfloor with grooves for the tubing, and an aluminum backing plate to refect the heat upwards. If access from underneath is difficult, the Quik-Trak system might be a good option...especially if you are going a small space like a bathroom or kitchen.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Looking for an outdoor coal stoker

PostBy: john17751 On: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:54 am

Rob, that's what I have throughout the parts of the farm house that I haven't re-done. Thanks for the link also. The under floor radiant heat I've been looking at so far, you staple aluminum plates with the pex to the bottom side of the floor.

Greg, in the areas you put in the radiant heat (other than in concrete) did you use the heat transfer plates? Did you staple it? I worry about staples coming loose with the cycle of heating and cooling. Can you feed your AA from either side and you use pea coal, correct?

Rob, can you feed your EFM's from either side. What coal do you burn?

Also I have sent two emails to AA and havent heard a word back about thier boilers. I'm going to give them a call this coming week to get prices. I keep looking on this forum for used AA, EFM and AHS boilers. It is amazing to see how long these boilers last.

Thanks again.
john17751
 
Stove/Furnace Make: none

Re: Looking for an outdoor coal stoker

PostBy: whistlenut On: Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:11 am

John, I didn't know you could email Axeman Anderson....and I've had there products and support for over 40 years..... Your situation would work out well with a AA 260 loafing along or a AA 130 humming right along. They do not allow you to switch sides or positions for the feed auger, however you can mount the boiler in any convenient position for your situation and add another auger to redirect if you have special circumstances. If you choose a standard configuration, you will have no issues, and if you desire to have a separate structure to house the heat plant that is OK, however you will lose the radiant heating from the boiler. You can do more homework and relax a bit for this season if you like, or go nuts and fire up a boiler now.
If you need affordable heat in the short term, a stoker radiant heater will sure help out. Do not expect any fancy literature from AA, their boilers have an incredible reputation for reliability and forgiveness for 'inexperienced operators'.

PM me if you need more info, I've been burning in 130's and 260's for over 40 years now....also AHS 130's and 260's, Coal Jack, EFM's, Keystokers, GJ's, Van Wert, and a Yellow Flame or two and now an LL or two.....even a Sam Daniels...
whistlenut
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA130's,260's, AHS130&260's,EFM900,GJ&VanWert
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Franks Boiler,Itasca415,NYer130,Van Wert
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Yellow Flame
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska-4,Keystoker-2,
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Alaska,Gibraltor,Keystone,Vc Vigilant 2
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Van Wert, NYer's, Ford,Jensen.
Coal Size/Type: Rice,Buck,Pea,Nut&Stove
Other Heating: Oil HWBB

Re: Looking for an outdoor coal stoker

PostBy: john17751 On: Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:32 pm

Whistlenut, of the stokers you have used which one do you like most. Do you like top or bottom feed? Does one burn coal better or more efficient? Better at extracting the heat from the coal? Any with a better water jacket? Any less problematic? Hopper or auger? Any information would be great. Everyone on this forum has been a great wealth of information.

On AA's web site they gave 2 email addresses. One was for info and one was to P. Axeman. I just wanted to know prices as well as if they had any set up so I could look at them. The factory is only 1/2 hr or so from where I live.

I see there is a member that must refubish stokers here in Pa. I think his member name is stoker-man. I may contact him to see what he has.

John
john17751
 
Stove/Furnace Make: none

Re: Looking for an outdoor coal stoker

PostBy: Rob R. On: Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:27 pm

john17751 wrote:Rob, can you feed your EFM's from either side. What coal do you burn?


Yes, you can feed them from the left or the right side. The larger models also allow the stoker to be mounted on the front, but I would be very surprised if you needed anything more than a 520. I burn rice coal in the EFM's, but I have burned buck as well.

Last I checked "Stoker-man" didn't handle any used or refurbished equipment, but a quick call would confirm that.

All of the stoker boilers are pretty rugged and reliable. I think Axeman Anderson wins the prize for the great efficiency when run under constant load. With light loads such as summertime DHW, the inclined-bed (like Keystoker) or underfeed pot (EFM) design can usually get away with burning less coal.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Looking for an outdoor coal stoker

PostBy: john17751 On: Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:49 pm

My dad back in the 60's and 70' had a coal yard. I just looked at some papers he kept that had the prices he sold coal for. Pea coal delivered to your house went for $24.50 a ton in 1970. Coal has gone up over the years. Can't remember how much gas and oil was then before the oil crisis?

How much difference in size between rice, buck and pea (you would think I would know since my dad had a coal yard)? Can you burn either in your EFM? This might sound like a dumb question, but could you burn wood pelets in a coal stoker in a pinch if you couldn't get coal?
john17751
 
Stove/Furnace Make: none

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