Coal comparisons. Advice?

Coal comparisons. Advice?

PostBy: CoalisCoolxWarm On: Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:59 am

I'm looking to try some different coal in my hand fired Bit Coal furnace and am asking some advice on some "local" options.

The main problem (subject of a previous thread) is the amount of baby sitting it takes. The coal I have now is very cokey and crusts over easily. It burns well (I guess) when it is burning hot, but it's tough to burn it lower for any extended period. Burning hot uses up the coal fast.

All this means lots of tending- maybe 8-10 times a day.

It's been suggested I try different coal that won't crust up as much, as well as larger coal. An underfed unit was discussed, but it's well beyond my budget for now. Sounds elegant and the option is appreciated, but not in the cards for now.

So here are my options.

1. Same local coal yard (Challenger @ Mill Creek in Seward, PA). Cokey coal, size varies, and after about early fall it has a lot of fines in it. I've also gotten some loads with a lot of rock in it, which is why my round shaker grate is broken :( But it is close and the cheapest @ $95/ton for nut. $80/ton for strip/run of mine. EPA lists them as also having lignite, so I think it is really low end coal?

2. Harper and Gallo in Ebensburg. They have Kentucky Lump/Nut, about baseball size, described as a "sooty" coal. $120/ton. Described as about the same as the Challenger coal (?)

3. Harper also has Bender Nut. Described as egg sized, not as smokey as Kentucky, some coking, good BTUs, lower ash than Kentucky for $115/ton

4. Somerset nut. About 1" or so, smaller than it used to be, with some pea size mixed in. Cleanest coal and high BTUs for $140/ton

5. Anthracite, any size for $225/ton. Not for me, but in case anyone else is looking ;)

Hauling is a challenge right now. Always lent/borrowed equip, but the guy with the heavy dump has it off the road right now, so need to find someone to haul it- about 3-5 tons for now.

I'm looking for some input and suggestions here...

Thanks!

FYI. About 1940-1950's era restored 18" round firebox, about 14" deep.
CoalisCoolxWarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA6
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: old Sears rebuilt, bituminous
Coal Size/Type: Kittanning Seam, Stove size
Stove/Furnace Make: old handfired bituminous

Re: Coal comparisons. Advice?

PostBy: CoalisCoolxWarm On: Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:36 pm

6. Valier has their Freeport and Kittanning seam coal (I don't know anything about this), not Pitts seam, and I can get 1-1/2 x 6" lump @ $85/ton. Triaxle delivery charge est is $200-250 to me (will have to get exact mileage) regardless of amount, up to 20 tons.

I may run up to Valier and get a couple of bags of this coal to try out. Anyone know this seam?

Search feature :oops:

Phone: 814-938-5171

Kittaning coal, very good, high vol (30%+), 10% ash, 13,500btu/lb, very high ash fusion temp (won't even fuse in my stoker) mid swelling index... won't stick together very badly during combustion.
CoalisCoolxWarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA6
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: old Sears rebuilt, bituminous
Coal Size/Type: Kittanning Seam, Stove size
Stove/Furnace Make: old handfired bituminous

Re: Coal comparisons. Advice?

PostBy: Berlin On: Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:16 pm

Most good Kentucky coal is going to be a higher volatile coal (30-35%) which, depending on the source, may translate to a coal that produces a lot of soot; however, A good KY coal's other properties such as high ash fusion (no clinkers), very low or no coke button (free-burning, does not stick together at all) and high btu/low ash more than compensate for the propensity of some KY coals to produce more soot.

It's not uncommon for coal to be misrepresented as good eastern KY bit. People historically know KY coal is very good bit and will tend to buy from someone who labels their coal as such whether or not it's true. The KY bit coal that H&C carry is supposed to be "sooty" with "coking tendencies?" This doesn't sound like a good KY bit coal, if it was, they would have given it a "glowing" recommendation as have I. I don't believe anyone could have a decent KY lump delivered to Pennsylvania and still charge around $120/ton. That's about what a good KY lump coal starts at @ the mine.

The valier coal does have small coking tendencies, but I've NEVER had to babysit it. It will start to stick together but will usually break back apart on it's own. It is a coal that I like. It IS a sooty coal. I would recommend trying out a few buckets before committing to that much coal. If you had access to good KY coal, I could recommend that without trying it, but, unfortunately, you don't.

I would be inclined to give the "bender" coal a try, it sounds like a good large size which should help minimize it's small coking tendency and it has low ash, high BTU's and less smoke. - I would definitely be giving that and valier coal a try before I purchased a truckload.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal


Re: Coal comparisons. Advice?

PostBy: CoalisCoolxWarm On: Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:41 pm

Thanks for the advice!

I'll see about visiting one or both places next week and see how it works out. Good caution about the KY lump. I would have thought it was the same as you like and come back with the impression you were nuts ;)

I'll let you know how it works out.
CoalisCoolxWarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA6
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: old Sears rebuilt, bituminous
Coal Size/Type: Kittanning Seam, Stove size
Stove/Furnace Make: old handfired bituminous

Re: Coal comparisons. Advice?

PostBy: CoalisCoolxWarm On: Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:26 pm

A quick follow up...

I picked up a little over a ton today (whatever fit in the pickup dump bed) at Valier Coal Yard. It is their "lump" coal.

TREMENDOUS difference!!!

On warmer days like today we have had to fight to keep the fire hot enough to keep a decent draft and keep the fire producing heat for the house.

Well, after adding this coal to the furnace this afternoon, I am pleased to report that so far it is VERY HOT and isn't coking up like the other stuff we were using.

I fired the furnace up hot and now am cutting it back as far as it goes to see how long it will maintain reasonable heat output.

I am not worried about it staying too hot. If I can't cut it back any further and it stays very hot, I will be able to finally add that barometric damper ;)

For others in the same boat, keep in mind that I was ready to add forced air either via a ducted (via pipe) intake from underneath, or via a draft inducer fan to get decent heat.

We are in the middle of a long remodel, so our house varies from time to time in its draftiness.

Thanks for the excellent advice. It was definitely worth the ~ 1 hr each way with the pickup.

Cost: $ 138

2300 lbs @ $ 98
Gas in borrowed truck $ 40 (only needed $30, but I am a 'good' borrower)

If all goes well, I'll make a trip in about a month with the bigger truck and get about 3- 3.5 tons for about $40- $50 gas. 8-)
CoalisCoolxWarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA6
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: old Sears rebuilt, bituminous
Coal Size/Type: Kittanning Seam, Stove size
Stove/Furnace Make: old handfired bituminous

Re: Coal comparisons. Advice?

PostBy: LDPosse On: Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:46 pm

The Valier seems to be some pretty good stuff. I'm tried their nut last year, and it tended to clump together, but the lump size I got yesterday is great in a hand fired stove. I would like to try some KY lump too, but I don't know if a trip to KY is in the cards before spring :lol:
LDPosse
 
Stove/Furnace Make: DS Machine, Warm Morning
Stove/Furnace Model: DS1500, Heatrola

Re: Coal comparisons. Advice?

PostBy: CoalisCoolxWarm On: Sat Oct 26, 2013 1:13 pm

Thanks for the input on this. As I search for other items, I realize how nice it is to read a follow-up to the advice requested and given, so I have updated my coal burning adventure in my other thread, here: School me! Furnace not working properly- What should I do?
CoalisCoolxWarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA6
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: old Sears rebuilt, bituminous
Coal Size/Type: Kittanning Seam, Stove size
Stove/Furnace Make: old handfired bituminous