Drawbacks to stoker stoves?

Re: Drawbacks to stoker stoves?

PostBy: Flyer5 On: Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:57 am

blrman07 wrote:For every fuel system you have trade offs. I'll go down the list and try and point out some of the tradeoffs.

Nat Gas hard piped in and you don't have to monitor any fuel levels. A true set it and forget it type of fuel. Was expensive, now in some areas cheaper than coal. Requires electricity to operate.

Propane hard piped in from the tank but you do have to monitor fuel levels and order fill ups or go on a contract with auto fill ups. Cha ching cha ching expensive. Requires electricity to operate.

Fuel oil tank in the basement (common in NE USA) monitor fuel levels, put up with random fuel oil smells. Rivels gasoline in cost. Triple cha ching cha ching Requires electricity to operate.

Gravity Fed whole house size kerosene heaters. ( common in the Southern USA) External tank usually 55 gallon drum on a stand. Hard piped to stove. Does have slight kerosene smell. Fuel is more expensive than gasoline in most areas. cha ching cha ching No electricity required to operate.

Coal Stoker stove or boiler burning rice coal. Medium to large Storage area required. Have to monitor coal supplies and order in advance to ensure delivery. In some Anthracite cost may be prohibitive making NG, Oil, or Propane more cost effective. In most areas of NE USA one of cheapest fuels going. Can be obtained in bulk or bags.
Coal Can be messy and dusty, if not handled properly but very versatile. Hand disposal of ash in some areas could be a problem. Requires electricity to operate.

Trade offs. Do you want convenience or savings? Willing to invest some hand labor to save $$? Your choice but there is no one perfect setup because it can change from house to house, town to town, region to region, country to country. You just have to research and decide what you want to do.


Coal Hand fired stove or Boiler burning coal ranging in size from Buckwheat to Stove. Again medium to large storage area required. Monitor coal supplies. Can be obtained in bulk or bags. Can be messy and dusty if not handled properly. May require more frequent tending depending on installation and usage factors. Many stoves burn any type of coal from Anthracite to Bit with few changes in setup. Very versatile. Hand operation requires a learning curve to operate the stove or boiler but is doable with persistence. Does not require electricity to operate

Wood burning stove or boiler. Very large storage areas needed for year round operation. Can get expensive if you do not have your own tree/wood supply with costs similar to coal. Wood requires cutting, splitting, stacking, hauling. Very labor intensive and can get expensive once you factor in all the intagible costs such as chain saws, splitters, fuel costs to run the equipment, your time. (Doesn't your time have a $$ value?) Does not require electricity to operate.



Very informative post. Thanks
Flyer5
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Pioneer

Re: Drawbacks to stoker stoves?

PostBy: coalkirk On: Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:50 pm

I save about 3k per heating season using coal instead of oil. So to save $500.00 per month on heat, I can spend $10.00 in electric.
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Re: Drawbacks to stoker stoves?

PostBy: EarthWindandFire On: Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:26 pm

I can understand the logic behind Doug's post. However, the very fan that consumes ten dollars worth of electricity may in fact save more than that amount in coal.

For example, if I run a 70k btu electric coal stoker with a 265 cfm convection fan to move the warmed air, I may actually need a 100k btu hand-fired coal stove to heat the same space which obviously comsumes more coal per day.

So, does the stoker with electric convection fan cost more to run or does the hand fired stove?

The true comparison could only be calculated in a test facility or using two identical buildings running each stove.
EarthWindandFire
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Leisure Line Lil' Heater.
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer model 75. (sold)
Other Heating: Oil Furnace and Kerosene Heaters.

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

Re: Drawbacks to stoker stoves?

PostBy: dcrane On: Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:00 am

mozz wrote:Having had a stoker stove my electric went up $40-50/month, includes running a power vent. My bill is normally $50-60/month for the entire house. Real life situation, not figured out on a piece of paper based on wattage and kilowatt pricing. One drawback is trying to get all rooms in the house to heat evenly. You have to load the coal and remove the ashes so room placement might make your wife mad. Spending $2000-4000 on a new stoker takes a bit to pay back. One drawback is this, when you sell the stoker and put in a coal boiler,(happens a lot) you will lose some money selling the stoker. If that might be your situation, skip buying the stoker and go direct to a used coal boiler. If you just want to save a little money and help reduce your heating bills, buy a handfed stove. Also, stokers don't work when you lose power, they also aren't maintenance free, i'm sure there are other drawbacks.
Rant off, thanks for listening. :mad: :mad:


Mahahhaa! finally a real person who has experienced the same real life situations as I. I know im not an electrical engineer and im sure #'s can be swayed for any conditions on any variety of products (perfect example is that my 40 mpg subaru gets about 28 MPG). I do feel that those who's purpose and intent is to save money on fuel, want security and independence, have the ability to load a stove once in the morn and once at night would do well to follow the advise listed above^^^. If however your purpose is to see the glow of a fire in a living room stoker and you like turning dials then maybe a stoker is best (you still have to load the fuel, i personally just assume load the fuel directly into the combustion chamber instead of having machines do it after i load it into a hopper, machines tend to require more maintenance, more costs and simply aren't as reliable as me. I will however keep an open mind and try to learn more on the subject.

another question came to mind: I would love to see a hopper made which holds 1-2 ton of coal which gravity feeds a stoker (now that would interest me)! load that biatch up in Oct. and reload in Jan. and done! seems with all of todays high grade plastics this could be built very inexpensively and housed outside or just inside basement with a loading chute outside? I know your probably all laughing at me but I HAVE A DREAM... HAHAA
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

Re: Drawbacks to stoker stoves?

PostBy: Richard S. On: Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:32 am

dcrane wrote:
mozz wrote:Having had a stoker stove my electric went up $40-50/month, includes running a power vent. :


Mahahhaa! finally a real person who has experienced the same real life situations as I.


Note he has a power vent. ;)
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Drawbacks to stoker stoves?

PostBy: Flyer5 On: Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:30 am

Richard S. wrote:
dcrane wrote:
mozz wrote:Having had a stoker stove my electric went up $40-50/month, includes running a power vent. :


Mahahhaa! finally a real person who has experienced the same real life situations as I.


Note he has a power vent. ;)



Power vent should still not be that much. What are the electric rates/ KWH? I admit I am not a big supporter of PVs unless no other options because of the noise and electricity usage and maintenance, But they are a great alternative to someone who just cant put up a chimney. Since we started with the AF series PVs I like them a lot more. We went a whole season without cleaning one with no issues. I wouldn't recommend it without at least inspecting it but ours did perform well all season.
With that even if it costs me $50/month I wouldn't go without the convenience of a stoker. My wife can maintain it when I am out on road trips and she can even light it if she has to.
Dave
Flyer5
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Pioneer

Re: Drawbacks to stoker stoves?

PostBy: coalnewbie On: Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:41 pm

The main stoker advantage to me is heat transfer capability, if you don't need it then don't go there it's an unneeded expense. Most people can't get the warmth distribution they need from a POH device period. So if you have to move heat around it's water or air. Water is better at that but I like air as I can make it move well and I can filter and condition the airstream AND I saved a bunch. People talk about a few dollars a month savings on power with a chimney but fail to cash flow the capital cost of a chimney install and/or a chimney maintain. Those numbers are very real but get conveniently forgotten. The new PV series - yowee - sounds great - I'm sold for next winter. My chimney will see serious use this winter as a Xmas wreath hanger and house holder together in high winds. Product of a bygone age and mine are staying capped. NO rusted stoves, stinkbugs and pests etc.
coalnewbie
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL AnthraKing 180K, Pocono110K,KStokr 90K, DVC
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93,
Baseburners & Antiques: Invader 2 Wings Best, Glenwood #8 + Herald 116x
Coal Size/Type: Rice, Chestnut
Other Heating: Heating Oil CH, Toyotomi OM 22

Re: Drawbacks to stoker stoves?

PostBy: Bratkinson On: Tue May 01, 2012 12:31 am

This past January, I was paying $0.137982/kwh here in Western MA (all delivery charges included).

My Alaska Channing III stoker has several motors. Based on several days using a Kilo-Watt meter on each motor, I came up with the following costs:

Combustion fan: 0.07/day
2 405 CFM convection fans 0.29/day each (custom installation)
Stoker motor 0.01/day
Total electrical cost/day $0.66/day = $20.15/mo.

I have the stove ducted into my NG forced-air furnace plenum to circulate the warmed air throughout my 1500 sq ft Cape-Cod style home.

Advantages of coal? Constant temperature. I can feel the 3-degree temperature 'range' maintained by the gas furnace, and don't like it at all. With coal, I use the 'set it and forget it' methodology. No Coaltrol, yet. Temperature stays constant at whatever burn rate I set it to.

Advantage #2 - The Alaska stoker uses 110v AC electricity. We had a major wet-snow caused power outage here on Oct 30, for 5-9 days. After 3 days, I bought a Honda generator and with a little work, had my coal stove circulating heat throughout the house! Getting a monster-generator and tapping it in to my gas furnace 220v would be a job and a half, and lots more $$$.

Disadvantage? On a per million BTU cost basis, NG is now slightly lower than coal was this winter here in Western MA. I'm hoping the cost of antracite will fall a bit, with demand dropping stateside. But then, overseas demand may keep prices high. It's wait and see time. As long as prices next fall keep coal within $200-300 of NG, I'll burn the coal. The added comfort is worth the extra money, in my book!

At a minimum, I'll keep a couple of tons of coal on hand, for when the lights go out...again.
Bratkinson
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Channing III
Other Heating: Gas FA
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing III

Re: Drawbacks to stoker stoves?

PostBy: daveincny On: Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:40 pm

Also, realize that whatever electricity is used running the stove is directly radiated as heat as well, at 99+% efficiency. More expensive heat than coal, by 2-4 times, but my point is that the electricity is not all "extra" cost. If a stoker stove uses $10/month of electricity to operate, it'll use $3-5/month less coal than a hand fed, because of the heat value of the electricity, depending on the price of the coal and electric rates. The net monthly increase in cost is really $5-7, not $10.
daveincny
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Hearth

Re: Drawbacks to stoker stoves?

PostBy: coalnewbie On: Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:05 pm

Err, no one seems to care about heat transfer efficiency which is usually of a magnitude greater with stokers. That is where the savings are really felt. If your stove room is 90F to get enough heat elsewhere then there are additional heat losses to the outside. A lot of people need at least a stoker or boiler to move that heat around the house. If you don't then you are in the minority and you don't need the expanse or complexity of anything else other than a hand fed. The $10/20 a month is neither here or there. It not about expense it's different strokes for different folks.
coalnewbie
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL AnthraKing 180K, Pocono110K,KStokr 90K, DVC
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93,
Baseburners & Antiques: Invader 2 Wings Best, Glenwood #8 + Herald 116x
Coal Size/Type: Rice, Chestnut
Other Heating: Heating Oil CH, Toyotomi OM 22

Re: Drawbacks to stoker stoves?

PostBy: Uglysquirrel On: Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:08 pm

Here's the data for LL....

Liesure line Pocono at mid speed (40%) convection ( 2-265cfm plus a combustion ) is 160-170 watts. This is where I run 30-45 lbs a day all season.

Liesure Line Pocono at 90% convection same fans as above is 240-250 watts. This is pretty much at 90K-100K output per hr, big time coal use per day

Add 17 watts (yes, seventeen) watts for the ocassional feed motor that goes on 20 seconds every 100 seconds of operation.

Pioneer will be minus a 265 cfm convection so subtract ~65 watts. Same 17 watts for feeder.

Believe Lil Heater is same as Pioneer.

#'s certified by a Kill- A- Watt

You do the 24 hr a day cost assessment with your KWHr cost .

Like to see what people come up with ..

Ug

Ug
Uglysquirrel
 
Stove/Furnace Model: Pocono

Re: Drawbacks to stoker stoves?

PostBy: wsherrick On: Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:30 pm

They require electricity and when it seems we have a giant storm every year or so to knock it out. That should speak for itself. And you might say, oh; I've got a generator. That's good as long as you have fuel to put in it. My power just came back on after almost four days without it. It's still out in most places. Unless you stocked up on fuel well ahead of time. You can't get any gas for your generator either where I live, there is no gasoline or diesel for miles. Those that had it, are now out of it until further notice. No thanks. No gas, no generator, no power, no stoker means no heat.
wsherrick
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Glenwood Base Heater, Crawford Base Heater
Baseburners & Antiques: Crawford Base Heater, Glenwood, Stanley Argand
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut, Stove Size

Re: Drawbacks to stoker stoves?

PostBy: buffalo bob On: Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:14 pm

i wonder how many of them n.j. people would rush out and by a stoker??? luv the old simple way i am warm!!!!!
buffalo bob
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: hitzer 354
Coal Size/Type: anthracite nut

Re: Drawbacks to stoker stoves?

PostBy: coalnewbie On: Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:15 pm

As usual William you are right on the money for your situation. My situation is different, large Victorian overtaxed leakbox. My Anthraking does a fabulous job when the power runs. When it does not I have installed as a little Jotul 507 with two tons of nut for emergencies. I also have a generator for the fridge but the main backup for the 9 months a year that I need heat supplementation is the Jotul/Hitzer hand fed. My gas supplies may only last a few days at best if the emergency is fast to hit me (Sandy gave us all plenty of time) but my Jotul can help out more than somewhat. I keep warm, hot water, boiling water, even cooking and my fuel is in the shed, I love that stove but it no way is a substitute for the AnthraKIng "fire breather" as my wife calls it. Flashlights won't cut for regular room lighting either. Today it may have saved my life as the crowds as Florida (NY village of) Quikcheck were REALLY ugly and stretched for miles. State Police present guns drawn. The local libs don't like it when the Beemers are running on fumes.
coalnewbie
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL AnthraKing 180K, Pocono110K,KStokr 90K, DVC
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93,
Baseburners & Antiques: Invader 2 Wings Best, Glenwood #8 + Herald 116x
Coal Size/Type: Rice, Chestnut
Other Heating: Heating Oil CH, Toyotomi OM 22

Re: Drawbacks to stoker stoves?

PostBy: wsherrick On: Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:20 pm

coalnewbie wrote:As usual William you are right on the money for your situation. My situation is different, large Victorian overtaxed leakbox. My Anthraking does a fabulous job when the power runs. When it does not I have installed as a little Jotul 507 with two tons of nut for emergencies. I also have a generator for the fridge but the main backup for the 9 months a year that I need heat supplementation is the Jotul/Hitzer hand fed. My gas supplies may only last a few days at best if the emergency is fast to hit me (Sandy gave us all plenty of time) but my Jotul can help out more than somewhat. I keep warm, hot water, boiling water, even cooking and my fuel is in the shed, I love that stove but it no way is a substitute for the AnthraKIng "fire breather" as my wife calls it. Flashlights won't cut for regular room lighting either. Today it may have saved my life as the crowds as Florida (NY village of) Quikcheck were REALLY ugly and stretched for miles. State Police present guns drawn. The local libs don't like it when the Beemers are running on fumes.


Two quick questions. When your house was new, how was it lighted and heated?
wsherrick
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Glenwood Base Heater, Crawford Base Heater
Baseburners & Antiques: Crawford Base Heater, Glenwood, Stanley Argand
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut, Stove Size

Visit Lehigh Anthracite