alternate heating systems

alternate heating systems

PostBy: cArNaGe On: Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:16 am

Hey folks I have have been thinking about switching to coal from wood for the last year. Back surgery and Av8r telling me about this board have me really considering it. Right now I have a Heatmor outdoor wood burner. I have had it for 4 years and the man I bought it from had it for 12 years. It works great but is a bit undersized for my home. This thing loves wood. I burn three Triaxle loads of wood per winter. Thats alot of work of cutting and splitting. Hense the reason for thinking of converting to coal. My question is location. My woodburner sits 100 feet from my house next to my garage. I was wanting to add a room to the garage and install the boiler outside. Does anyone do this? The S500 model looks like the model I would need. My house is 4500 sq ft pluse the basement and I would like to heat the garage also. Its an old Victorian built in 1895 so it has alot of heat loss. I know there is one member on the board that uses the S130 and he likes it from the post I've read. I know nothing about burning coal. Any opinons on a stoker? I want to get away from a ton a maintaince. Twice a day would be great.
Any Idea how much coal that S500 would burn in a year?

Thanks.
cArNaGe
 

Re: alternate heating systems

PostBy: Richard S. On: Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:43 am

I don't see any reason you can't use the existing system to distrubute the heat assuming it's hot water.

My preference is to have it in the house, you're going to have a lot of residual heat loss. There's other benefits as well, I'm assuming that unit comes with a hot water coil? You can heat your hot water with it too. There's digram here that explains one of the ways you can do it:

http://nepacrossroads.com/download/file.php?id=1407

The hot water loops though the heater so it rarely comes on, basicallt it becomes a glorified storage tank. You can do this year round too as you will only burn about ton during the summer. Guess it depends on your situation. But we have ours in the basement and even covered with insulation it keeps it warm.

As far as the amount of coal a rough guesstimate is in the 20 ton a year range, that's assuming the house isn't insulated very well.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: alternate heating systems

PostBy: LsFarm On: Fri Dec 14, 2007 12:18 pm

cARNAge, Give AHS a call, ask for Jeff. He can answer your questions best.

I use an Axeman Anderson 260M which is pretty much the same as the AHS S260. My boilers are in an outbuilding, and I have Pex-AL-Pex tubing running in a double insulated tube into my house about 150' away. I use water to water plate type heat exchangers to transfer the heat from the coal boiler to the water in my baseboard system in my house as well to my domestic hot water. You can see my outbuilding in my avitar photo, it is the small buiding on the right side of the photo, about halfway between the white shop [pole barn] and the house.

You can get an enclosure for the AHS to reduce heat losses to your outbuilding, so standby losses will me fairly small. AS for sizing the boiler, talk this over with Jeff at AHS.

Be aware that the AHS design uses a big hopper attached to the top/side of their boiler. This hopper gravity feeds coal to the boiler. You will have to keep this hopper filled with coal. Lifting buckets of coal up to or above shoulder height might not be all that easy for you. You may want to look into a small grain auger used in the farm industry for feeding the hopper. AHS sells an automated auger but it is expensive.

My AxemanAnderson has it's own auger so it feeds from a floor level hopper, I used a 55 gallon drum for a few weeks as my coal hopper. It held about 2-3 days of coal, only the top half of the barrel was usable, the rest was below the auger inlet.

I'll be interested in finding out if an S260 or a S500 is recommended for your application.

Take care, and welcome to the forum
Greg L
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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

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

Re: alternate heating systems

PostBy: av8r On: Fri Dec 14, 2007 12:37 pm

This guy follows me everywhere....especially when snowmobiling...he's always behind...LOL

I'll say this, the wife and I couldn't be more pleased with the coal stoker so far. I had to empty the ash pan last night for the first time since I fired it up Tuesday afternoon. Other than filling the hopper and cleaning the glass this couldn't be less work. The heat is wonderful and cheap. Why not put the boiler in the basement of the house and pipe a circuit out to the barn/garage? You'd get all the residual heat from the boiler to stay in the house heating the basement and some of the first floor.

Welcome, buddy...remember...you're getting old now and splitting wood is for young guys with good backs....anyone can haul a bucket of coal.
av8r
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Leisure Line Hearth with twin turbos (sounds like it)
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Hearth model with twin turbos

Re: alternate heating systems

PostBy: e.alleg On: Fri Dec 14, 2007 1:01 pm

I figure a triaxle is 8 cords of wood, you are using 24 cords a year. Figure a ton of coal is roughly equal to a cord of wood then you would be at 24 ton a year if burned in your outdoor boiler. Like he said, stick a coal boiler in your basement and use the existing line to hook up to the garage and you will probably cut consumption in half, outdoor wood boilers in my research are only 20%-30% efficient once you add up how much wood is used compared to how much heat you get out of it actually in your house so you'll be very happy with coal and the best part is no smoke!
e.alleg
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520

Re: alternate heating systems

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Fri Dec 14, 2007 1:32 pm

e.alleg wrote: Figure a ton of coal is roughly equal to a cord of wood


I think a ton of coal is closer to a cord and a half of well seasoned wood.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: alternate heating systems

PostBy: mwcougar On: Fri Dec 14, 2007 1:50 pm

HI

right now i am heating 3700+ sf with my s130. this consist of a 2 story house and a small 100 year plus cottage.it makes domestic hot water for 8-10 people. i used between 4-6 ..275 gallon tanks of oil. now using between 8-10 ton of coal. this unit is in its own 12x12 shed. goes under ground to oil boiler room. circulates through the oil boiler for backup and uses the oil boilers domestic coil. so it always keeps the oil boiler hot. I like it in the shed.... keeps my 4 wheeler warm and dont have to worry about dirt or burps. they are a great unit.
mwcougar
 
Stove/Furnace Make: ahs 130 heating 3700sq ft

Re: alternate heating systems

PostBy: cArNaGe On: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:45 pm

So I called up AHS today and talked to Jerry. WOW these things are pricey. I thought Outdoor woodstoves were high. Anyway I'm currently at about 250K BTU right now with my woodburner. It's not enough and I want to add heat to the garage. I guess I need to do another heat analysis to double check but I think it would be the 500 monster. I want to put it outside because the 4th and final chimney in my house is falling apart. That was the Main reason getting an OWB to start with. The heat loss from sticking it outside would be ok because it would help heat the garage, since I plan to add the room to it. Plus my Old ford tractor could sit in there.
e.alleg : I know this monster isn't efficient at all. If I go outside on a cold night my stack is glowing! To much heat being lost there. But it smokes less than the Yukon combo furnace that was in the basement before. Really the only time it smokes is the first 5 minutes after loading it and for about 5 minutes when it shuts down. I try to only burn seasoned hardwood./

A guy I work with said he had a Simplex Stoker that ran a four unit apartment in Scranton back in the 30's. He used it in the 80's and said I could have it if I wanted. Anyone ever heard of these? I would be afraid of parts or lack of if something broke in the middle of winter.
cArNaGe
 

Re: alternate heating systems

PostBy: Bob On: Fri Dec 14, 2007 6:12 pm

I heat a 1600 square foot out building and a 5000 square foot house with an AHS S130 installed in the out building and have capacity to spare. I really find it hard to believe that you need the S500 unit. The AHS S500 is a BIG unit. I costs about twice as much as the AHS S260 which costs about 50% more than the S130. You could invest the difference in cost in insulation and come out way ahead in the long run. Alternatively, if careful heat loss calculations confirm you really need 300 or 400 K BTU you might consider two smaller units because you will only end up using the upper end of the capacity a few days a year. Running a smaller unit closer to its rated capacity will be more efficient than having a big unit barely idling most of the year.
Bob
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS 130
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Anthracite

Re: alternate heating systems

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Fri Dec 14, 2007 6:23 pm

cArNaGe wrote:So I called up AHS today and talked to Jerry. WOW these things are pricey.


Call Pete Axeman, you may need a triple by-pass. Both well worth the money as they will be churning out heat when we are all dead and gone. :)

Ditto on the twins, that is serious backup.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: alternate heating systems

PostBy: av8r On: Fri Dec 14, 2007 8:19 pm

cArNaGe wrote:A guy I work with said he had a Simplex Stoker that ran a four unit apartment in Scranton back in the 30's. He used it in the 80's and said I could have it if I wanted. Anyone ever heard of these? I would be afraid of parts or lack of if something broke in the middle of winter.


There isn't much to these things. I'll bet you could fab or get stuff fabbed up if something broke.
av8r
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Leisure Line Hearth with twin turbos (sounds like it)
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Hearth model with twin turbos

Re: alternate heating systems

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Fri Dec 14, 2007 9:14 pm

av8r wrote:
cArNaGe wrote:A guy I work with said he had a Simplex Stoker that ran a four unit apartment in Scranton back in the 30's. He used it in the 80's and said I could have it if I wanted. Anyone ever heard of these? I would be afraid of parts or lack of if something broke in the middle of winter.


There isn't much to these things. I'll bet you could fab or get stuff fabbed up if something broke.


If it survived 70+ years burning coal, I don't think it will give you much trouble.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: alternate heating systems

PostBy: ktm rider On: Sat Dec 15, 2007 1:27 am

I had an outdoor wood furnace for 3 years and hated every second of it. I also burned a boatload of wood. Atleast as much as you are burning. I finally sold that thing and got an AHS and stuck it in my garage. My burn times tripled and I only use around 7-9 ton a year. I have the Multi Fuel Boiler so I burn bituminous coal. I love it and you probably couldn't give me an outdoor wood eater now.
ktm rider
 
Stove/Furnace Make: AHS Multifuel
Stove/Furnace Model: CO 55 with oil backup

Re: alternate heating systems

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sat Dec 15, 2007 8:22 am

I'm heating a 4100 sqft drafty poorly insulated farmhouse with lousey windows and doors, AND a 2400 sqft shop with hot water heated floor.

My AxemanAnderson 260M is loafing to heat this at so far coldest night, about 4-5*F. The boiler ran about ten minutes on, ten off. so three times an hour.

I doubt very much that you need a S500, I'd go for the S260, or a pair of s130's. These boilers are amazingly effecient. YOur outdoor wood boiler is about 25-35% effecient the AHS around 80-85%. that's documented.

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: alternate heating systems

PostBy: av8r On: Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:53 pm

I'll bet you can get a decent price for the Heatmor also, carny. Should I fire up the mighty V10 to help you bring the new furnace home? Not sure that 7.3 is up to the task.....hehheheh
av8r
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Leisure Line Hearth with twin turbos (sounds like it)
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Hearth model with twin turbos

Visit Lehigh Anthracite