What would be the "perfect" hot water system?

What would be the "perfect" hot water system?

PostBy: europachris On: Fri Jan 11, 2008 2:40 pm

What would be *your* idea of a "perfect" hot water system? Specifically, given a coal stoker boiler, how would you set it up with controls, circulators, plumbing, outdoor reset, etc? Also, what type of radiation would you install? Iron or fin tube baseboard, old fashioned radiators, underfloor radiant (and what type)? Pex or Copper?

Specific questions would be Honeywell or Bell & Gossett hardware and circulators (or Taco)? Really complex control system like U235's Honeywell AQ2000 series controls? Zone with valves or zone with circulators?

I'm at the point where I can start planning my 'dream system' as both my wife and I agree we want to custom build a home on some decent acreage with detached shop/hangar, etc. I will NOT put in scorched air heat. It's going to be hot water with a separate, dedicated A/C system. We have ceramic tile in our house now in the bathrooms, and a lot of Wilsonart laminate downstairs, and it's always freezing cold, even when the air temp in the house is nice and warm. So, hard flooring will get the underfloor radiant. The home would be in the 3000 sq.ft. range, maybe a little larger, 3 car garage (heated), and 2000 - 2500 sq.ft. shop (heated).

Pretty much my idea would be to have 1940's coal technology meet current-day controls technology. A person could go really nuts and use industrial PLC controls with touch screen displays, PID controllers, etc. but the cost rapidly escalates and you need to be a good programmer (which I'm not). It would be neat, though.

Ideas? Thoughts?
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

Re: What would be the "perfect" hot water system?

PostBy: Richard S. On: Fri Jan 11, 2008 3:46 pm

First I would adequately plan where I was going to install the furnace and the bin. This will save you an enormous amount of work in the future. My cousin probably had the perfect set up for this but never used it for that but I'll describe it anyway. His house sits on incline, so you can walk into the front door ground level or go around the back and walk into the basement ground level.

On the front is large porch, probably 12 ft wide 30 or 40 feet long. Under the porch is room that has been separated from the main basement completely. On one end its level with the driveway with a window at the top and on the other end is door going out the back. I think the ceilings were 10 ft. but I'd go 12 myself. So here is what we have so far.

    1. A window for the coal bin that is ground level accessible from the driveway that you could even use a regular dump to fill.
    2. A ground level door to get the ashes out.
    3. The furnace and coal is separated from the house so dust is no longer a problem.
    4. Assuming an auger fed furnace: We have a very high basement, therefore we can build a hopper instead of bin. The biggest issue with trying to automate the task of getting the coal onto the auger in most basements is they don't have enough space going up. You simply don't have enough room to build a big enough hopper. 12 ft should give you enough space for a years worth easily. You'll never have to put coal on the furnace ever.

The next thing to consider is the furnace, I would build this up on two or three courses of cinderblocks. The very bottms of the furnaces are generally open so I would weld some rails in place where the ground would have been to slide the coal ash tubs in an out. This extra height will provide two things. First our ash tub is now raised so its much easier to get it out, you don't have to bend over for it. Secondly this additional space in the bottom of the bin will allow for an overflow of ashes. Need to go way for the weekend? So what, you got plenty of space, probably more than enough for week and since our coal supply is limitless the furnace is now self reliant for at least a week.

As far how to distribute the heat I'd probably go radiant, too many pluses not too. It works great and it s out of sight and not taking up precious floor space neither do you have worry about cleaning it.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: What would be the "perfect" hot water system?

PostBy: e.alleg On: Fri Jan 11, 2008 4:23 pm

I like coal because it is cheap heat. If money was no object I would have a full radiant floor system with an electric boiler with some type of solar/wind generator. For ambiance I'd have a nice fieldstone fireplace. I think the best coal system would be to build an outdoor underground bin that holds 30 ton with a hydraulic system to keep the coal over the auger.
e.alleg
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520


Re: What would be the "perfect" hot water system?

PostBy: LsFarm On: Fri Jan 11, 2008 5:41 pm

Use either a Gravity hopper feed or a standard screw type auger. The hollow flight auger used in the AA boilers is noisy, would drive you nuts in an otherwise quiet setting.
The specifics of the boiler controls I'm not well versed on. You could use one of the fancy outdoor temp anticipator setback water temp control aquastats, but the savings I think would be minimal. Neat feature though.

I really like the ideas that Richard posted, pretty much covers it all. Radiant floor heat is a real luxury, and separate ducting for A/C, that's the way to do it. Too bad you want to locate next to an airfield and have a hangar for your planes :D .. The wind generator idea and a 100% effecient electric boiler is appealing.. but would probably be too much of an obstical at and airfield.

If you build the house RIGHT with lots of insulation, and excellent windows, your BTU needs won't be that high. Especially with hot water heated 'hard floors'. Would you heat the hangar floor too??

Lots of neat ideas for building a good hangar or shop available. What a project...

Take care, Greg
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: What would be the "perfect" hot water system?

PostBy: europachris On: Fri Jan 11, 2008 5:51 pm

The idea is to MAKE our land the airfield, with an aircraft population of 1 (or maybe 2). Just a nice, flat (which is everything out here in Illinois) strip of grass about 1500 to 2000 feet long.

Hangar floor would DEFINITELY be heated, pretty much like your shop. The current hangar we rent at our local airport is 40x50 or so, insulated, with one of those natural gas overhead radiant tube heaters. It works fine, but you toast when under it and freeze anywhere else in the hangar. It's response time to heat the whole shop is so slow as to be useless. It has to heat the floor below it before the floor can heat the rest of the hangar. Gimme a big Modine any day..... Underfloor would still be slow in response, but a warm floor will make up for cold air temps, as you well know from your shop.

I'd also build a nice loft at the back of the hangar, put in a pool table, wet bar, big screen TV, etc. and have a little "manly man" hangout (or a place I can scream at the TV football games and not drive the wife nuts).
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

Re: What would be the "perfect" hot water system?

PostBy: Yanche On: Fri Jan 11, 2008 7:43 pm

In no particular order:

1. AHS boiler with custom helicoid flighting auger to fill the hopper. Auger only runs to fill the hopper.
2. Radiant floor heat radiation plus Hydro coil water to air units to control (increase wintertime) humidity.
3. Multiple zones as necessary.
4. Indirect hot water heater.
5. Taco variable speed injector pump system with optional outdoor sensor.
6. Custom ash removal system based on cyclone vacuum principles.
7. Zoned A/C chilled water system feeding cold water to the Hydro coil units.
8. Ground sourced A/C chilled water system with variable speed compressors.
9. Lots of insulation, including argon filled multi-paned windows.
10. Inlet/exhaust air system to exhaust humid air and bring in fresh.
11. PEX and copper heating plumbing. Research the PEX to copper connection method for reliability well.
12. De-superheater on the A/C compressors to recover summertime heat for domestic hot water.
13. Whole house backup generator system using a fuel that has some other use so it's not stale when you need it.
14. An in ground coal bin designed to also be part of the tornado cellar. Use the coal mass in some beneficial way.
15. PVC and CPVC piping for potable water plumbing.
16. CPVC piping fire sprinkler system. In my county all new construction including residential single family homes requires sprinkler systems. This is a county with only volunteer fire companies and many homes on well and septic systems. It's reaching the crisis point in finding volunteers and water as growth continues.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Re: What would be the "perfect" hot water system?

PostBy: gaw On: Fri Jan 11, 2008 9:34 pm

If I were building new I would most likely go with a radiant in floor heating system. I would consider a boiler room out in the shop and pipe the hot water over to the house. While spending YOUR money, not mine, I would consider heating pipes in the driveway to melt the ice off.
gaw
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice from Schuylkill County

Re: What would be the "perfect" hot water system?

PostBy: billw On: Sat Jan 12, 2008 12:34 pm

Great info on this thread. It's given me some additional ideas for this summer. One thing I was curious about that hasn't been addressed. Is it possible to heat a hot tub using a boiler? I'm thinking of something like an indirect water heater but not sure if I can by-pass the electric heater in the tub. Not sure if it's economically viable either. It costs about 40.00 a month in electricity to run the hot tub but that's not all just for heat. I'm sure dual speed pump is sucking up the juice.
billw
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 520
Stove/Furnace Model: GOODBYE OIL COMPANY

Re: What would be the "perfect" hot water system?

PostBy: Richard S. On: Sat Jan 12, 2008 12:51 pm

Sure can if you ran it through a domestic hot water coil, not sure if there is any concerns if there is chemicals in the water. This may actually pose a danger though because it will be very hot. If you simply circulated it though the coil constantly you'll eventually have hot enough water to cook people. :P If you fill it up every time you use it heating it beforehand would be very easy.

There's a good thread here on the subject of Domestic hot water: EFM Boiler Cold Water in Shower

Here's an image I made up for that thread on the basics for creating a loop through a hot water heater that will naturally circulate, this would also be aprt of dream system. Most likely with a insulated stainless steel tank instead of a hot water heater.

Image
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: What would be the "perfect" hot water system?

PostBy: U235a4 On: Sun Jan 13, 2008 8:57 pm

LsFarm wrote:The hollow flight auger used in the AA boilers is noisy, would drive you nuts in an otherwise quiet setting.
Take care, Greg


This statement just amazes me because I have my aa260 right under my parlor room and when I'm in that room I can't hear the coal moving up the auger tube..... Now what I do hear almost anywhere in the house is the rumble from combustion/flue noise... but I don't mind that, it's when I don't hear that I worry
U235a4
 
Stove/Furnace Make: 1958 Axeman-Anderson
Stove/Furnace Model: 260M

Re: What would be the "perfect" hot water system?

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sun Jan 13, 2008 10:11 pm

Zach, have you had your hearing checked?? :D :lol: :) :? .

I can hear the constant 'tinkle' of the anthracite tumbling back down the auger's center from in my kitchen. Now understand that the kitchen is 100' away from the boiler building, and I have very good high frequency hearing.
So I can hear the auger from 100' through the closed kitchen window and the not-very-substantial roof and wall of the boiler building.

When i walk out of the door of the shop I can hear the auger almost like I'm at the door of the boiler building.

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: What would be the "perfect" hot water system?

PostBy: U235a4 On: Sun Jan 13, 2008 11:13 pm

LsFarm wrote:Zach, have you had your hearing checked?? :D :lol: :) :? .

I can hear the constant 'tinkle' of the anthracite tumbling back down the auger's center from in my kitchen. Now understand that the kitchen is 100' away from the boiler building, and I have very good high frequency hearing.
So I can hear the auger from 100' through the closed kitchen window and the not-very-substantial roof and wall of the boiler building.

When i walk out of the door of the shop I can hear the auger almost like I'm at the door of the boiler building.

Greg L.



Sheese how big are your ears :jawdrop: :rofl:

If I'm in the boiler room it is loud and I can hear it across my basement and outside my cellar doors but I can't really hear it in the room right above the boiler. so I guess the 12" american chestnut log beams, oak blank floor 2" gap then oak hard wood floor are good for something.
U235a4
 
Stove/Furnace Make: 1958 Axeman-Anderson
Stove/Furnace Model: 260M

Re: What would be the "perfect" hot water system?

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sun Jan 13, 2008 11:57 pm

Is that your house or a wood bomb shelter you are talking about?? :roll: :D
Greg
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: What would be the "perfect" hot water system?

PostBy: U235a4 On: Mon Jan 14, 2008 12:03 am

LsFarm wrote:Is that your house or a wood bomb shelter you are talking about?? :roll: :D
Greg


what can I say it was built by german slaves owned by Major James Calmont: indian fighter, major general, judge, one of the men that ratified the constitution..... what more would you expect
U235a4
 
Stove/Furnace Make: 1958 Axeman-Anderson
Stove/Furnace Model: 260M

Re: What would be the "perfect" hot water system?

PostBy: billw On: Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:04 am

Thantks Richard,
How do you control the temp in the hot water heater? Looks like that would keep the water in the water heater about the same temp as the boiler.
billw
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 520
Stove/Furnace Model: GOODBYE OIL COMPANY