R-value of Coal.

R-value of Coal.

PostBy: EarthWindandFire On: Thu May 03, 2012 1:59 pm

I need to build a coal bin in my basement and was thinking that if I built it right, maybe it could add some R-value to my basement?

I have a 23' long x 7' tall basement side wall that I could build a coal bin against. Not sure how deep, but if the bin was just 2' feet deep that would yield about 8 tons of coal.

What insulating value does coal have? For example, would it have an R-value similar to concrete or vermiculite?

Assuming the lower value of concrete, the R-value would be (0.08) nearly zero. But, if the value was closer to vermiculite's (2.13) then I would have a substantial thermal barrier on one side of the basement.

A 24" inch thick wall of coal either provides an R-value of 1.92 or a much higher 51.12 R-value. :!:

Has anyone thought about this or have an opinion?
EarthWindandFire
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Leisure Line Lil' Heater.
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer model 75.
Other Heating: Oil and Natural Gas.

Re: R-value of Coal.

PostBy: mozz On: Thu May 03, 2012 4:59 pm

Don't know about coal, but ash thrown on top of a snow pile in the winter will keep that frozen till well after the rest of the snow has melted!
I'm sure it will have some insulating properties, maybe more as a thermal mass than insulation.
mozz
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 1982 AA-130 Steam

Re: R-value of Coal.

PostBy: rberq On: Thu May 03, 2012 7:02 pm

Opinions or thoughts you want?

Opinion first: Put about 4 inches of blue-board against the wall and seal around the edges to prevent convection air movement along the surface of the concrete and out into the air of the cellar. Then build your bin against that.

Thoughts second: The coal would provide some insulation, probably not much, because there are partially-trapped air pockets between the pieces of coal. If not trapped, at least air movement would be slower. The smaller the coal pieces, the more entrapment. But as you draw down the level of coal in the bin you will have less and less insulation.

Guesses third: The wood you use to construct the coal bin will provide more insulation than the coal. You will get more insulation at the bottom 2 feet of the wall, if the bin is 2 feet deep. But that's the part of the wall that is below grade and not exposed to the cold outside air the way the top of the wall is.

Disclaimer last: I don't know if it is proper to put blue-board against the concrete, or whether that will cause moisture problems. Having rough field stone cellar walls myself, it's a question I never had to face.
rberq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 1300
Coal Size/Type: Nut -- Kimmel/Blaschak/Reading
Other Heating: Oil hot water radiators, propane


Re: R-value of Coal.

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Thu May 03, 2012 8:28 pm

EarthWindandFire wrote:What insulating value does coal have? For example, would it have an R-value similar to concrete or vermiculite?

Carbon has the same thermal conductivity as stone, 1.7. Not sure what the actual R value is but it next to nothing.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: R-value of Coal.

PostBy: Freddy On: Fri May 04, 2012 3:14 am

coaledsweat wrote:Not sure what the actual R value is but it next to nothing.


I'm thinking the same thing. Concrete and rock both have R-value's of .08 per inch. So a foot thick is less than R-1. Last I knew coal was a stone! A dead air space is R-1 so a one inch dead air space will give more insulation than a foot of coal.
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: R-value of Coal.

PostBy: whistlenut On: Fri May 04, 2012 6:52 am

I think you guys are reaching for straws......or moonbeams! Holy horse-poop, guys. Don't 'Over-Analize' everything.

I would LOVE to know the thermal potential of "Stitching a Fart to a Moon-Beam", but unless there are 2547 posts and endless time spent on this potential earth saving idea, I'll bet I will die still wondering........

Did the entire "Common Sense Freight Train" spill nothing on the sharp curves in you part of the world?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

It's Black Rock.....does anyone use 'rock' as an insulator?
By the way, that Styrofoam addition is a great idea, AND if it were on the outside of the foundation (not practical in most older home situations), think of the thermal mass you could add to your home.

Anyone who has an ICF foundation; they are some smart and lucky folks, AND the insulation is already done...... :idea: :idea:
Last edited by whistlenut on Fri May 04, 2012 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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: R-value of Coal.

PostBy: steamup On: Fri May 04, 2012 9:03 am

I'm with Whistlenut. Don't count on it. If you need insulation, do it properly. Any insulation value you get from the coal is just a bonus, but probably not very much.
steamup
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman-Anderson AA-130, Keystoker K-6
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: HS Tarm 502 Wood/Coal/Oil
Coal Size/Type: pea, buck, rice

Re: R-value of Coal.

PostBy: EarthWindandFire On: Fri May 04, 2012 9:07 am

Doug,

I have visited this board everyday for nearly two years. Based on the posts I've read, my question is not out of line by any means. As for over analyzing the minutiae, that's the type of person I am. And since I promised my wife a toasty warm house this winter which never materialized because I failed to over analyze my situation, I need to think about everything from now on in great detail.

My sister was the proud owner of a brand new house with an ICF foundation. I can remember visiting and being excited from an engineering standpoint over such a foundation. Well, just a few years later, after exhausting all of their money fighting the builder in court over faulty construction methods, they had to abandon their brand new home and rent a house elsewhere.
EarthWindandFire
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Leisure Line Lil' Heater.
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer model 75.
Other Heating: Oil and Natural Gas.

Re: R-value of Coal.

PostBy: Coalfire On: Fri May 04, 2012 9:46 am

EarthWindandFire wrote:


My sister was the proud owner of a brand new house with an ICF foundation. I can remember visiting and being excited from an engineering standpoint over such a foundation. Well, just a few years later, after exhausting all of their money fighting the builder in court over faulty construction methods, they had to abandon their brand new home and rent a house elsewhere.





Abandon? Was the house un livable, did it have to be tore down?


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

Re: R-value of Coal.

PostBy: steamup On: Fri May 04, 2012 1:01 pm

Coal as far as I know has no published "R" or any other thermal resistance value. The main reason being is it is not a material you construct buildings out of.

The purpose of insulation is to trap air in minute quanities. That is what makes insulation effective. If crush coal was used, in a wall cavity, it would have some "R" value, probably more than stone but much less than a material used for insulation.

The real question is, are you using the coal for insulation or for heat. You can't have both. When you start using the coal for heat, and the level of the coal goes down, the insulation value becomes useless. A partially insulated wall is not very effective.
steamup
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman-Anderson AA-130, Keystoker K-6
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: HS Tarm 502 Wood/Coal/Oil
Coal Size/Type: pea, buck, rice

Re: R-value of Coal.

PostBy: whistlenut On: Fri May 04, 2012 7:20 pm

I guess a raw nerve was exposed, and for that I'm sorry. I understand the implications of what has happened to you and your family. I have a VERY cost effective solution to all this 'green' need: I'll get you a bigger boiler AND you can heat the entire neighborhood. Folks are so GD worried about the cost of a BTU that they lose sight of the forest, the damned trees are in the way!!!!!!! I have watched folks drop 250K into rehabbing an old farm house, and STILL it costs a fortune to heat it...ventilate it.....nurture it.

Spray foam R 52, ......blower door test that finds a mouse fart to be too much air movement.......BUT we have an Air to Air exchanger...kids are sick....progress they call it......not always.

Heat it with coal as a cost effective, comfortable way to live. 43 years for me now, and NEVER a cold complaint from anyone. The entire envelop is comfortable, not just the 'conditioned space'.
Over 2000 tons of' Black Gold' for one person seems to be a very small thing to do to support the coal industry, but another 25 tons are rolling right now.....from NEPA to NH, with love! Thanks Tom!

Sorry to hear the story about your sister, and I personally know of one like it that involved 1.5 million and is STILL in litigation( 6 years now). (We went to sort out the mess......there should be a bounty on incompetent builders, just incompetent anyone!), but heck we still have politicians who lie better than anything know to man! In November, please stoke up the fire early, and then go exercise your right to make a difference..PLEASE1
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: R-value of Coal.

PostBy: Rob R. On: Fri May 04, 2012 9:15 pm

Hi Mark, my opinion is that you should build the coal bin in a spot that is handy, and use foam board or fiberglass for insulation on the wall in question. Get yourself a big bad coal boiler and you will be able to keep that promise to your wife.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy