Help needed on coal to propane conversion

Help needed on coal to propane conversion

PostBy: DAKOTA SHOPPER On: Thu Nov 28, 2013 12:36 am

Elderly parents live in a very isolated area of North Dakota. Their earthen rammed house is heated with a coal-fired hot water system. Dad is no longer able to shovel coal and is not willing to move. Is it possible - costly - difficult to convert such a system to propane? The folks already have propane on the place for bronze casting. Would they have to install a new furnace?
Thanks for any suggestions or links.
DAKOTA SHOPPER
DAKOTA SHOPPER
 

Re: Help needed on coal to propane conversion

PostBy: SMITTY On: Thu Nov 28, 2013 12:46 am

Don't know what you've got for prices out that way, but around here, it would be cheaper to burn oil than propane. Oil's got way more BTU's per gallon, and the price of propane around here isn't much less than oil. :shock:

If you can get natty gas in there, that's the route I'd take. If not, oil would be second.
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

Re: Help needed on coal to propane conversion

PostBy: DAKOTA SHOPPER On: Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:01 am

We thought propane just because it is already delivered to the place for the foundry. The tough question for me is can one convert a system from coal to either oil or propane and what would it cost in your neck of the woods.
Thanks so much for your thoughts and have a BOUNTIFUL THANKSGIVING.
DAKOTA SHOPPER
 

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Re: Help needed on coal to propane conversion

PostBy: SMITTY On: Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:07 am

I've seen many converted to oil, but none to propane around here. Cost wise I couldn't help you on that - I just don't know. Converting to oil ... "should" ... be as simple as fabricating a mount for a Beckett (or brand of your choice) burner, and calculating what size nozzle/fuel pressure you need to run to achieve the correct BTU output ... but I've been around long enough to know that things like this are always easier SAID than DONE.

Wish I could be more help to ya. Thanks for the Thanksgiving wishes - same to you and yours :cheers: - and good luck on your solution. Someone with more experience on this will chime in eventually. Might be a bit slow around here due to the holiday, but they'll come. ;)
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

Re: Help needed on coal to propane conversion

PostBy: DAKOTA SHOPPER On: Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:16 am

Thanks again. That was not even easily said! Might be much tougher to do :)
Time to hit the rack so that I get my fork arm rested up for tomorrow.
DAKOTA SHOPPER
 

Re: Help needed on coal to propane conversion

PostBy: blrman07 On: Thu Nov 28, 2013 4:07 am

First off what kind of boiler do they have?
blrman07
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Bucket a Day
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Leisure Line Econo 1 stove
Coal Size/Type: Rice in the LL and anything that will fit in the Bucket a Day. It's not fussy.

Re: Help needed on coal to propane conversion

PostBy: DAKOTA SHOPPER On: Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:38 am

I will ask - sorry I should know that.
Thank you for any help.
Have a great Feast today and be thankful you can get Hard Coal - these folks live in lignite coal country - it lays out on top of the ground.
DAKOTA SHOPPER
 

Re: Help needed on coal to propane conversion

PostBy: McGiever On: Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:48 am

Try a Search of older posts <Convert Wood/Coal Furnace to Natural Gas>
McGiever
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: HARMAN MAGNUM
Hand Fed Coal Stove: RADIANT HOME AIR BLAST
Baseburners & Antiques: OUR GLENWOOD 111 BASEBURNER "1908"
Coal Size/Type: PEA / ANTHRACITE, NUT-STOVE / ANTHRACITE
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Hydro Heat /Mega Tek

Re: Help needed on coal to propane conversion

PostBy: Rob R. On: Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:50 am

Generally speaking, any boiler that was designed to burn coal will be horribly inefficient when fired with propane.

In my opinion, if you are trying to do this inexpensively I would look for a good used oil boiler that could be fitted with a conversion burner. HB Smith Series 8, Weil McLain Gold, etc.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: Rice/buck
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Help needed on coal to propane conversion

PostBy: DAKOTA SHOPPER On: Thu Nov 28, 2013 10:38 am

I do appreciate the replies. I thought I would tell you a story about lignite coal as found out here in North Dakota:
A man comes into town in the spring after being blocked in all winter. A lady in a store asks him how his wife is doing. He replies that he does not know as he had not seen her all winter. When asked to explain he said that as he was hauling coal in she was hauling ashes out so they just never met up!
As I am sure you folks on the anthracite list serve know, you get more ash than heat from lignite.
DAKOTA SHOPPER
 

Re: Help needed on coal to propane conversion

PostBy: tsb On: Thu Nov 28, 2013 10:45 am

I can't imagine why your propane dealer can't fit a burner in the loading door.
If you using propane for a foundry, the little bit of loss for heating parents
wouldn't even be noticed.
tsb
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Binford 2000
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Pioneer top vent
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Saey Hanover II

Re: Help needed on coal to propane conversion

PostBy: DAKOTA SHOPPER On: Thu Nov 28, 2013 10:53 am

Perhaps I should not have used the word "foundry" Dad is an artist who makes beautiful western bronze pieces and also casts for other artists. Your idea seems reasonable.
I followed the search suggested above and found this link <http://nepacrossroads.com/post339585.html?hilit=convert%20wood%20coal%20furnace%20to%20natural%20gas%20Convert%20Wood%20Coal%20Furnace%20Natural%20Gas#p339585> It is a conversion from coal to natural gas - looks like a huge undertaking. Made me think they should bite the bullet and go with a new unit.
This is a more complex subject than I ever imagined.
Thanks again for all of the suggestions and replies.
DAKOTA SHOPPER
 

Re: Help needed on coal to propane conversion

PostBy: tsb On: Thu Nov 28, 2013 12:01 pm

If you have the $$$, go for a new gas boiler. Very efficient.
tsb
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Binford 2000
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Pioneer top vent
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Saey Hanover II

Re: Help needed on coal to propane conversion

PostBy: Rick 386 On: Thu Nov 28, 2013 4:51 pm

Would it be possible for him to get some sort of auger fed coal unit ?? Would eliminate the shoveling. He'd just have to deal with the ash.




Rick
Rick 386
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 260 heating both sides of twin farmhouse
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Hyfire II w/ coaltrol in garage
Coal Size/Type: Pea in AA 260, Rice in LL Hyfire II
Other Heating: Gas fired infared at work

Re: Help needed on coal to propane conversion

PostBy: DAKOTA SHOPPER On: Thu Nov 28, 2013 5:10 pm

I don 't think they deliver so shoveling remains a problem.
DAKOTA SHOPPER
 

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