Newbie coal burner

Re: Newbie coal burner

PostBy: imaddicted2u On: Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:53 am

Hey Berlin, thanks for the reply. The original smoke pipe adapter was 9" it was adapted down to match the 6" thimble into the chimney. The chimney is 6" X6". Do you think there is any point going to an 8" pipe on that size chimney?
I brushed out the heat exchanger and flue pipe yesterday, there was quite a bit of soot in the heat exchanger, and about 3/8" on the MPD and stove pipe. My stove pipe is only 17" long and goes straight from the back of the boiler into the chimney. I clamp my brush on a broom handle and clean it out through the heat exchanger door without needing to take the pipe apart. I can even brush off the MPD.
I never burn wood and bit together, it's one or the other. I'm only burning wood because I have it, next season it's going to be all coal. I've cleaned my chimney a couple of times and have not had any creosote and only a cup or two of soot. I tried to burn the stuff I collected with a torch and all it didn't light. I find that when I burn wood the creosote condenses on the firebox walls, flakes off and burns. I think it's because my boiler temp runs so low. It's 72 in here, the boiler water is 112 and it's 10 and windy outside. Gotta love gravity feed, no pumps, no power, nothing to fail.
I came across the rating for my boiler in the Beacon boiler reference handbook but I'm not sure how it equates to btu/hr. The rating is listed as 725. I think that number is square feet of radiation, do you have any idea how to convert it?
I didn't realize how much air was leaking around the ash pit door. These old boilers didn't have any seals at all. I ran a bead of hi-temp silicone around the door's mating surface and put plastic wrap on the boiler side so the silicone wouldn't stick to it, closed the door and let it set up. Man what a difference, I have low end control like I never had before.
I'm in Cape Breton, Canada. coal selection is limited as all the mines have been closed. The coal I can get is not screened and dug from the surface. It has everything from lumps to powder to rocks and mud in it.
imaddicted2u
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: American Standard Severn (1957) on bituminous
Coal Size/Type: Unscreened-Fist sized lump to powder-Bituminous

Re: Newbie coal burner

PostBy: McGiever On: Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:47 am

Canada...WOW!
I understand about your coal choices there.

Sounds like all your improvements have been very big. It is great you now have the range of control that was lacking before. :)
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: Newbie coal burner

PostBy: imaddicted2u On: Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:14 pm

I went over every crack, crevice and seam on the boiler. I used a lit bbq lighter. If the flame got sucked in, I plugged it. The only places this baby is gonna suck any air if from where it's supposed to.
I'm switching back to coal right now but I couldn't believe the difference when burning wood. The wood lasted much longer since I could now reduce the draft and I could put more in to extend the burn.
imaddicted2u
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: American Standard Severn (1957) on bituminous
Coal Size/Type: Unscreened-Fist sized lump to powder-Bituminous


Re: Newbie coal burner

PostBy: imaddicted2u On: Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:07 pm

Well, well, much to my surprise I was able to start and fill the firebox and got literally no puff back. I hope that trend continues. I could even hold the door open and watch the smoke get pulled away from the door.
imaddicted2u
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: American Standard Severn (1957) on bituminous
Coal Size/Type: Unscreened-Fist sized lump to powder-Bituminous

Re: Newbie coal burner

PostBy: imaddicted2u On: Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:58 pm

14 degrees outside, 72.6 inside, Boiler water=111 Stack temp=315 and the blue ladies are dancin'
imaddicted2u
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: American Standard Severn (1957) on bituminous
Coal Size/Type: Unscreened-Fist sized lump to powder-Bituminous

Re: Newbie coal burner

PostBy: imaddicted2u On: Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:00 pm

What determines the right time to shake and reload? I shook the grates too soon I think because I got a shower of hot embers. The firebox level has dropped by about half after 6 hours of burning.
imaddicted2u
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: American Standard Severn (1957) on bituminous
Coal Size/Type: Unscreened-Fist sized lump to powder-Bituminous

Re: Newbie coal burner

PostBy: carlherrnstein On: Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:58 am

When I had a hand a fired I would shake the ashes before I added new coal and I would shake till there were red ambers in the pan.
carlherrnstein
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: combustioneer model 77B
Coal Size/Type: pea stoker/Ohio bituminous

Re: Newbie coal burner

PostBy: imaddicted2u On: Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:12 am

Thanks carlherrnstein
imaddicted2u
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: American Standard Severn (1957) on bituminous
Coal Size/Type: Unscreened-Fist sized lump to powder-Bituminous

Re: Newbie coal burner

PostBy: titleist1 On: Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:30 am

imaddicted2u wrote:What determines the right time to shake and reload?


Its a little bit trial and error along with input from others that have a similar stove . The generality is to have a lively fire going when you shake down after X hours of burn and shake until you see the embers dropping into the ash pan across most of the grate area. You will learn the X hours that is best for your set up under different conditions. Coal size and quality along with firebox capacity will also have an effect. Colder temps will require shaking more often. Maybe start at 8 hours and adjust from there to longer or shorter depending on how long it takes the fire to recover and provide consistent heat after a shake down.

For me, 12 hours between tending worked and I would liven the fire up by opening ash door or the under fire air control for a few minutes prior to shaking, then close the ash door while shaking so dust wouldn't come out there.
titleist1
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman Mag Stoker (old style) one in basement, one in workshop
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III on standby for long power outages
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite; Nut/Anthracite

Re: Newbie coal burner

PostBy: imaddicted2u On: Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:33 pm

Thanks titleist1
I reloaded after 12 hours last night.
imaddicted2u
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: American Standard Severn (1957) on bituminous
Coal Size/Type: Unscreened-Fist sized lump to powder-Bituminous

Re: Newbie coal burner

PostBy: imaddicted2u On: Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:51 pm

I'm totally amazed at the improvement in this boiler since I plugged all the air leaks. The puff back is almost gone. Before I could get about 6 hours out of a full fire pot. Now at the same outside temp I get at least 12 hours. I filled it at 1 am this morning, woke up to a house temp of 76.5. I set the boiler to idle. Now, 12 hours later it's 72.5 in the house and I'm warming up the boiler a little. There is still 2/3 of the firebox full of coal. This is great.
Thanks everyone for your thoughts and advice.
imaddicted2u
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: American Standard Severn (1957) on bituminous
Coal Size/Type: Unscreened-Fist sized lump to powder-Bituminous

Re: Newbie coal burner

PostBy: imaddicted2u On: Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:04 am

Burning wood in the boiler this morning.
Boiler water=95F Flue temp=320F Outside temp=35.6F Inside temp=73.5F
An hour and a half later:
Boiler water=98F Flue temp=310F Outside temp=35.6F Inside temp=74.4F
imaddicted2u
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: American Standard Severn (1957) on bituminous
Coal Size/Type: Unscreened-Fist sized lump to powder-Bituminous

Re: Newbie coal burner

PostBy: titleist1 On: Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:08 pm

It's interesting to compare your temps wood vs. coal. your stack temp is about the same between coal and wood yet your water temp is lower with the wood fire. i would have thought the water temp would be higher thinking that the wood fire would be hotter than coal. Although one sample of each is kinda small to draw any conclusions from!
titleist1
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman Mag Stoker (old style) one in basement, one in workshop
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III on standby for long power outages
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite; Nut/Anthracite

Re: Newbie coal burner

PostBy: imaddicted2u On: Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:41 pm

It could be because on coal the bed of hot coals is in direct contact with the wall of the boiler promoting better heat transfer. I find that in order to get the same water temp with wood I need to run a higher stack temp and I have to close the manual damper to get the draft down around 0.01"-0.02" to keep the heat in the boiler, within minutes of closing the damper I see the water temp begin to rise. While on coal I keep it at 0.04".
imaddicted2u
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: American Standard Severn (1957) on bituminous
Coal Size/Type: Unscreened-Fist sized lump to powder-Bituminous

Re: Newbie coal burner

PostBy: imaddicted2u On: Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:53 am

Man are there ever a lot of volatiles in this coal. This video is about 40 minutes into burning them off after refueling. 10 minutes later I was able to close the over fire draft in the door down some and the blue ladies decided to come callin' :D
Since I cut 4.5" off the size of the firebox the volatiles light off faster/better than they used to and I'm getting better turn down for milder weather.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RezYGyk5ZEs&feature=youtu.be
imaddicted2u
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: American Standard Severn (1957) on bituminous
Coal Size/Type: Unscreened-Fist sized lump to powder-Bituminous