Trying the Bitty Coal Again

Trying the Bitty Coal Again

PostBy: Lightning On: Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:18 pm

Last year I got low on Anthracite towards the end of the heating season.. When I went to my dealer for more he only had bags of soft coal which I was told by a member here could have been blacksmith coal. I had a tough time with it, only burned about a 100 pounds of the 400 pounds that I bought. It would puff back horribly and I had no control over it. It would melt into a solid crispy mass that I would have to break apart and it reeked like tires burning.. I finally got to the point of figuring it out somewhat. I found it just needed more over the fire air and a lot less primary air..

Today, I'm trying it again.. I want to burn it up instead of throwing it over the bank. Hopefully I can learn to burn this stuff with more predictable and consistent burns. After all its pretty cheap and easy heat. Easy if I can figure out the beast anyway hahaha.. This time I took what I learned from last year and applied it. I had to unmodify my secondary draft on the load door to feed it over the fire air. After shaking down the anthracite bed, I put two shovels on the back side only. After it was burning good I added two more shovels towards the front. SO far so good. No bad puffs and I'm doing good at controlling heat output :D

The sizing is quite miscellaneous..
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And the smoke is dense and pungent unlike the clean anthracite coal..
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It sure does look perty burning though :D
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Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut Size / White Ash

Re: Trying the Bitty Coal Again

PostBy: LDPosse On: Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:05 am

Nice!

You can get the smoke output to drop considerably once you get the primary / secondary air controls fine-tuned. Have you tried letting it burn without breaking the fused together coal up a few hours in? I was initially afraid that the fire would go out after the coal fused together, but that didn't happen. It just ended up being a giant glowing mass of coke. After burning for 10-12 hours, the large mass breaks up easily into stove-sized pieces and is ready to be banked, and a fresh load of coal added!
LDPosse
 
Stove/Furnace Make: DS Machine, Warm Morning
Stove/Furnace Model: DS1500, Heatrola

Re: Trying the Bitty Coal Again

PostBy: Lightning On: Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:17 am

LD :D ... THanks for the advise man! Actually, last night I worried the unbroken mass would smother the fire so I broke it into 4 big chunks and "fluffed" it up a bit. The fire instantly started to rage so I throttled back the combustion air feeds to resume control.. It did maintain a steady heat output all night. Today, I'll leave it alone like you suggested! As long as I can mange it without it puffing back, I'll be thrilled lol.. So far, so good! This is wicked stuff man :lol:

I shook and reloaded the fire this morning. The method of putting two scoops in the back, let it get burning, then two in the front seems to be working good. Keeping a flame is the key to no puffing. This stuff is extremely sensitive to secondary air. Small adjustments have a huge effect on heat output. I have the primary cut down to a sliver. This stuff burns hot! The baro is flopping like a fish out of water telling me things are pretty unstable in there. Its not slamming shut though (slamming shut is usually a sign of imminent puff back flash).. At a $100 a ton, my savings on the electric bill (water coils) would actually make me money thru the winter but I would never give up anthracite. Ant has much better stability 8-)
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut Size / White Ash


Re: Trying the Bitty Coal Again

PostBy: carlherrnstein On: Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:56 am

Before you add more coal on a bed of coke open the ash door up and let the coke get going good and hot then add your coal, keep the ash door open till the flames stay lit once you close the ash door or else you will have a(many) puffback(s) till they can stay lit.
carlherrnstein
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: combustioneer model 77B
Coal Size/Type: pea stoker/Ohio bituminous

Re: Trying the Bitty Coal Again

PostBy: Lightning On: Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:11 am

carlherrnstein wrote:Before you add more coal on a bed of coke open the ash door up and let the coke get going good and hot then add your coal, keep the ash door open till the flames stay lit once you close the ash door or else you will have a(many) puffback(s) till they can stay lit.


Awesome thank you for the tip!! I'll try it this evening when I fuel it for her night shift :D
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut Size / White Ash

Re: Trying the Bitty Coal Again

PostBy: LDPosse On: Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:13 am

Lightning wrote:LD :D ... THanks for the advise man! Actually, last night I worried the unbroken mass would smother the fire so I broke it into 4 big chunks and "fluffed" it up a bit. The fire instantly started to rage so I throttled back the combustion air feeds to resume control.. It did maintain a steady heat output all night. Today, I'll leave it alone like you suggested! As long as I can mange it without it puffing back, I'll be thrilled lol.. So far, so good! This is wicked stuff man :lol:

I shook and reloaded the fire this morning. The method of putting two scoops in the back, let it get burning, then two in the front seems to be working good. Keeping a flame is the key to no puffing. This stuff is extremely sensitive to secondary air. Small adjustments have a huge effect on heat output. I have the primary cut down to a sliver. This stuff burns hot! The baro is flopping like a fish out of water telling me things are pretty unstable in there. Its not slamming shut though (slamming shut is usually a sign of imminent puff back flash).. At a $100 a ton, my savings on the electric bill (water coils) would actually make me money thru the winter but I would never give up anthracite. Ant has much better stability 8-)


Yeah the bit takes a while to get the hang of, especially high vol bit. I've tried low vol bit, it is alot easier to control in a hand fired, and it only makes noticeable smoke during the early part of the burn.

It sounds like you have high vol, based on the way it rages when you stoke the fire. I agree it is nice to have ant available for a hand fired. I'm back to burning ant now, with the DS it's easy to throttle it back to almost nothing, and it will just simmer all day. The bit works great in the middle of winter when you want to crank out serious heat!
LDPosse
 
Stove/Furnace Make: DS Machine, Warm Morning
Stove/Furnace Model: DS1500, Heatrola

Re: Trying the Bitty Coal Again

PostBy: Lightning On: Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:26 am

LDPosse wrote:The bit works great in the middle of winter when you want to crank out serious heat!

I was just thinking to myself the same thing :lol:
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut Size / White Ash

Re: Trying the Bitty Coal Again

PostBy: Lightning On: Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:35 pm

I left the crispy solid mass alone this time and waited till reloading time to break it up into chunks. The pic below is what it looked like after an 11 hour burn. It broke up easy enough and began burning pretty good. I also let it rev up a little before adding coal. I then added 3 scoops to the back leaving the front few inches uncovered. After that got burning good I put one scoop up front. I left the ash pan door open while I watched and waited. As the pipe passed 320 degrees I closed the ash pan door, and kept the secondary on the load door wide open. The pipe temp continued to climb. I closed the secondary half way. The pipe temp sailed on by 350. I closed the secondary more - I'm gettin nervous, shes goin nuclear :o ... The pipe temp cruised by 380 like it wasn't even there :shock: ... I attempted to close the secondary more, now its getting very unstable due to lack of oxygen.. At 399 on the pipe it finally plateaued.. This stuff just doesn't wanna be controlled at all.. I had 460 on the front of the furnace, 399 on the pipe, 140 blowin thru the warm air ducts!

That charade lasted about 45 minutes. All is well now, got toasty in here quick. I should have some of this stuff during those wicked cold spells... I think I need to close the ash pan door a little earlier to prevent a coaclear meltdown :lol:
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Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut Size / White Ash

Re: Trying the Bitty Coal Again

PostBy: LDPosse On: Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:58 pm

High vol bit doesn't need much time with the ash pan door open to get revved up. As long as you have some flames coming up through the coal bed, you should be ok to close the ashpan door. Trying to slow down a bit fire that's gotten away from you can be a white knuckle experience!
LDPosse
 
Stove/Furnace Make: DS Machine, Warm Morning
Stove/Furnace Model: DS1500, Heatrola

Re: Trying the Bitty Coal Again

PostBy: blrman07 On: Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:01 pm

Lightning wrote: I think I need to close the ash pan door a little earlier to prevent a coaclear meltdown :lol:


coaclear meltdown....

I LOVE IT :D
blrman07
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Bucket a Day
Hand Fed Coal Stove: installing a VC 2310 this summer
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Wood in the VC and anything that will fit in the Bucket a Day. It's not fussy.

Re: Trying the Bitty Coal Again

PostBy: Lightning On: Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:10 pm

Holy sh** you ain't kidding! I was starting to panic. When the temp did break, it fell like a brick. About an hour later I had to give her more air. I'm getting a good heat output and I think she'll hold steady for the night now :-)
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut Size / White Ash

Re: Trying the Bitty Coal Again

PostBy: Lightning On: Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:46 am

Better control this morning on the reload so far. I busted up the crispy mass and shook it. I only left the ash pan door open long enough to shake and dump ashes. Three scoops of coal towards the back till it was burning good and then one more in the front. Opened the secondary air and I see the temp is rising now.. Time to slow her down a bit :) Its all about trail and error 8-)
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut Size / White Ash

Re: Trying the Bitty Coal Again

PostBy: Lightning On: Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:55 am

coaclear meltdown - noun, a condition of which the control of a coal fire has been lost and the operator has huddled himself into a corner of the basement assuming a fetal position :lol:
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut Size / White Ash

Re: Trying the Bitty Coal Again

PostBy: Op4_camper On: Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:15 am

I always have a bucket of ash sitting by the stove. The fastest way to slow down bit.
Op4_camper
 
Stove/Furnace Make: hot blast burning hard nut.
Stove/Furnace Model: us stove

Re: Trying the Bitty Coal Again

PostBy: Lightning On: Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:38 am

Op4_camper wrote:I always have a bucket of ash sitting by the stove. The fastest way to slow down bit.

Oh good.. Now I know what to do in a coaclear meltdown situation 8-)
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut Size / White Ash