520 Questions

520 Questions

PostBy: efm12 On: Fri Jan 11, 2008 9:39 pm

Just discovered this forum and have already learned a great deal about my stoker. I bought my house in 1996 and it had a 4 year old DF 520 as the heat source. I have been running it relatively trouble free ( a few fire outs here and there and I just replaced the timer this summer) since then. I clean it every fall, but am not sure I am doing a thorough job. I remove the flue pipe and brush down all of the heat exchanger fins that can be reached and remove all of the fly ash in that area. I also brush down all of the fly ash from inside the main chamber through the access door. Am I missing anything? Also, I grow corn, and I was wondering if anyone is burning alternative fuels in their EFM. I read that the amish are mixing coal and corn 50/50 and are successfully running their boiler w/o even changing the settings. I will probably be doing some trial burns later this winter when my corn dries a little more. Is there any reason that this is a real safety problem and shouldn't be attempted? The only problem I can envision is a fire back through the feed tube. From a performance perspective, I would also be worried about the corn gumming up the fire grates. Anyone out there with any experience?
efm12
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520

Re: 520 Questions

PostBy: stoker-man On: Sat Jan 12, 2008 7:54 am

A steel wire brush or scraper will get off the hard deposits inside the boiler. The fan housings tend to collect dust after many years which would affect the volume of your air.

50/50 corn/coal is used successfully as you suspect, without adjustments. In the '70's the lab stoker was run on 100% corn, but it had to be a 24/7 operation.
stoker-man
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: 1981 efm wcb-24 in use 365 days a year
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Chestnut
Other Heating: Hearthstone wood stove

Re: 520 Questions

PostBy: billw On: Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:45 am

Just being curious here. Coal is inexpensive and is a great source of heat. I'm planning on switching from oil to coal this summer. Why would you want to mix corn with the coal?
billw
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 520
Stove/Furnace Model: GOODBYE OIL COMPANY

Re: 520 Questions

PostBy: efm12 On: Sat Jan 12, 2008 11:01 am

stoker-man wrote:A steel wire brush or scraper will get off the hard deposits inside the boiler. The fan housings tend to collect dust after many years which would affect the volume of your air.

50/50 corn/coal is used successfully as you suspect, without adjustments. In the '70's the lab stoker was run on 100% corn, but it had to be a 24/7 operation.

Thanks stoker-man. I really appreciate all of the work and info you have put into this forum. EFM's are great units.
efm12
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520

Re: 520 Questions

PostBy: efm12 On: Sat Jan 12, 2008 11:09 am

billw wrote:Just being curious here. Coal is inexpensive and is a great source of heat. I'm planning on switching from oil to coal this summer. Why would you want to mix corn with the coal?


Basically because I have the corn and can grow it cheaper than I can buy coal. I would anticipate significantly less ash as well. Without getting into the whole global warming thing, I would also be reducing my net carbon emmissions. If the amish are doing it, it's got to be cheaper :D
efm12
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520

Re: 520 Questions

PostBy: stoker-man On: Sat Jan 12, 2008 12:01 pm

How about the other post about a farmer wanting to burn manure? In his case, he was heating 500,000 sq. ft. with natural gas. People will try anything to save money.
stoker-man
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: 1981 efm wcb-24 in use 365 days a year
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Chestnut
Other Heating: Hearthstone wood stove

Re: 520 Questions

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:47 pm

Burn corn in a boiler? Next thing you know, he'll want to run his car on the stuff. :)
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: 520 Questions

PostBy: mufwapo On: Sun Jan 13, 2008 2:25 am

If some of the stoker manufacturers could make a modification to burn 100% corn they could probably pick up a bigger customer base as I'm sure corn is available in the more central/midwest region for far less money than coal. I wonder if they've looked into that.
mufwapo
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: Boiler

Re: 520 Questions

PostBy: coal berner On: Sun Jan 13, 2008 2:54 am

There are several all corn furnace / boiler & stoves out there on the market already here are a few of them


http://www.americanroyal.net/page/page/3075421.htm



http://www.profab.org/home/
Last edited by Richard S. on Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:10 am, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: <removed dead link>
coal berner
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1986 Electric Furnace Man 520 DF
Stove/Furnace Make: Electric Furnace Man
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520

Re: 520 Questions

PostBy: e.alleg On: Mon Jan 14, 2008 12:57 am

hmm.. I'm not convinced that corn is the way to go. The advertisements say one thing but every place I asked corn costs $10-$11 per 100 pounds. That's $200-$220 per ton for about 50% less heat than coal. I know folks who use corn, they mix the corn with wood pellets for reasons I'm not sure of, I suspect the sugar gums up the mechanism with straight corn.
e.alleg
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520

Re: 520 Questions

PostBy: stoker-man On: Mon Jan 14, 2008 6:54 am

I think corn has a few more BTU than that, but here's a comparison chart between the fuels.

It won't upload here, so I will put it on the efm site.
stoker-man
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: 1981 efm wcb-24 in use 365 days a year
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Chestnut
Other Heating: Hearthstone wood stove

Re: 520 Questions

PostBy: efm12 On: Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:55 pm

http://energy.cas.psu.edu/burncorn/shellcorn.html

This site does a good job of comparing various fuel sources. I think it will confirm what we all know.
efm12
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520

Re: 520 Questions

PostBy: Matthaus On: Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:43 pm

Corn has around 6,810 btu per # (if you consider the energy required to deal with 15% moisture content). By my figuring that is about half the value of coal which averages around 13,000 btu per #. According to the professor sited in the link many stove companies exaggerate the energy output of burning corn. Besides cleaning and drying are large variables in the process so just like with coal you can have widely varying results.

I have looked at several corn furnaces in operation, don't like the carmelized mess that seems to accumulate in the burn pot. As another Forum member said, its a crime to burn something that you can drink (or something to that effect :lol: ). Buyer beware, with all the corn being used to make alternative fuel for cars, it is bound to go up at a rapid rate. 8-)
Matthaus
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110 Dual Fuel
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Lil' Heater (rental house)
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Buckwheat Anthracite

Re: 520 Questions

PostBy: mufwapo On: Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:07 am

I like the idea of someone with a corn burner just so I could throw a pile of popping corn into the mix and hope they wouldn't notice! :lol:
mufwapo
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: Boiler

Re: 520 Questions

PostBy: coal berner On: Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:52 am

e.alleg wrote:hmm.. I'm not convinced that corn is the way to go. The advertisements say one thing but every place I asked corn costs $10-$11 per 100 pounds. That's $200-$220 per ton for about 50% less heat than coal. I know folks who use corn, they mix the corn with wood pellets for reasons I'm not sure of, I suspect the sugar gums up the mechanism with straight corn.
Hey Ed. it is 125.00 a ton down here
coal berner
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1986 Electric Furnace Man 520 DF
Stove/Furnace Make: Electric Furnace Man
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520