Newbie coal burner

Re: Newbie coal burner

PostBy: imaddicted2u On: Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:36 am

The volatiles from one shovel full put on a hot fire...I have the door open an inch in an effort to keep enough air going in to keep them lit. You can hear the click when I shut the fire door, the fire goes out...Proof...fire needs oxygen... :lol:
http://youtu.be/Mt5uRGnuPvQ
Here's, a "bit" later, with the fire door still open, It's kind of hard to tell in the video but the combustion chamber is full of a white fog of vapor off the coal, you can see the clouds of coal gas rising and the fire struggling to get enough air.
http://youtu.be/d-GzoFkSC0Q
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 6:40 pm

casino_boy wrote:/when you go a shake down the stove open the ash door damper for a few minutes to living up the fire then shake it you will find you will have less ash in your pan.Then add your coal as you have been doing and shut the ash door damper to were you had it set.
See if this dont help with less ash.

Thanks a lot for this piece of advice. I've been doing it and I'm getting a whole lot less ashes by doing this and it's much finer ash.
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: Berlin On: Wed Jan 22, 2014 6:46 pm

That's not that bad at all as far as volatiles go. There's nothing "starving for oxygen" there, what you have is a cool fuel bed and firebox temps lower than the ignition temp of the smoke. Have you been banking the fire and raking the coals front to back or back to front before reloading? When I ran my hand-fired, I set the secondary air and forget it, I don't adjust it during the fuel's burn.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal


Re: Newbie coal burner

PostBy: imaddicted2u On: Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:37 pm

Berlin wrote:That's not that bad at all as far as volatiles go. There's nothing "starving for oxygen" there, what you have is a cool fuel bed and firebox temps lower than the ignition temp of the smoke. Have you been banking the fire and raking the coals front to back or back to front before reloading? When I ran my hand-fired, I set the secondary air and forget it, I don't adjust it during the fuel's burn.

Yep, been meticulous at doing all of the above to a good hot fire.
With a full load of fresh fuel, If I let nature take it's course and don't open the secondary wide and open the door a crack the volatiles initially ignite but as the new coal warms up and releases its gasses they form a thick white cloud in the firebox and any fire is extinguished, until the gas warms up enough to reach ignition temp, usually with a big puff out the door. In the meantime there is a plume of white vapor filling the neighborhood from the chimney.
As you could see in the video, with the secondary wide open and the door open an inch. Simply closing the door is enough to kill the fire dead, open the door and the coals banked at the back reignites, I assume, as soon as the fresh air rushes in.
I find that if I add half a shovel of fuel at a time to a hot banked fire the volatiles light off right away, stay lit and roar away like a blow torch for at least 15 minutes. I wait until they burn off before adding more. It just takes a lot longer to fill it this way. Maybe this stuff is closer to sub-bituminous than it is bituminous.
Here are pics of the coal:
Image
Image
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: Duengeon master On: Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:10 pm

Judging what I see is that Berlin is correct, your fire is not hot enough before adding coal. Another problem I see is the size of your coal. It looks like all fines and pieces too small to get proper air flow through the fire. Do you have access to larger lumps such as the size of your fist or bigger? If so, then you will have better results.
Duengeon master
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harmon Mark III
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite pea and nut mix. Bituminous lump

Re: Newbie coal burner

PostBy: imaddicted2u On: Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:40 pm

Man, I can't possibly get the fire any hotter before I add fuel. Perhaps the fire is being smothered due to the size of the fuel.
No, as posted earlier, we have to take what we can get for coal around here. Selection is not an option.
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: LsFarm On: Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:04 am

I'm pretty sure you are smothering the fire with the fines in the coal.
Get a fine-toothed pitchfork to pick up only the larger pieces of coal, at least 1" diameter.

The fines remaining can be put in paper shopping bags, the bag rolled up like a small log. These 'logs' of coal will burn well if one or two are placed on the hot fire.
But tossing in a shovel full will act like a blanket and block the air flow through the coal bed..

This is the same problem I had with the first coal I tried to burn.. it was 50% fines and would just about put out any fire. I had to load like you are, one shovel full at a time..

I think the Tractor Supply stores or a good hardware store or Horse feed store would have a pitch fork with narrow spacing between the tines.

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: Newbie coal burner

PostBy: imaddicted2u On: Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:56 pm

LsFarm wrote:I'm pretty sure you are smothering the fire with the fines in the coal.
Get a fine-toothed pitchfork to pick up only the larger pieces of coal, at least 1" diameter.

The fines remaining can be put in paper shopping bags, the bag rolled up like a small log. These 'logs' of coal will burn well if one or two are placed on the hot fire.
But tossing in a shovel full will act like a blanket and block the air flow through the coal bed..

This is the same problem I had with the first coal I tried to burn.. it was 50% fines and would just about put out any fire. I had to load like you are, one shovel full at a time..

I think the Tractor Supply stores or a good hardware store or Horse feed store would have a pitch fork with narrow spacing between the tines.

Greg L


I screened some of the coal as you suggested. So far, it has made a tremendous difference. Thanks. :D
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: LsFarm On: Sat Feb 15, 2014 5:58 pm

Any update on the performance of your boiler on the 'screened' coal?? I burnt my fines by rolling them in a paper grocery bag and putting them in the center of a hot bed of coals.

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: Newbie coal burner

PostBy: wsherrick On: Sat Feb 15, 2014 6:03 pm

There's too many fines in the coal. If the coal is a caking coal the fines will fuse all together and make a solid mass. Attempt to break some open spaces in the fire with a poker. You must have fist sized lumps or larger in a naturally aspirated furnace.
wsherrick
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Glenwood Base Heater, Crawford Base Heater
Baseburners & Antiques: Crawford Base Heater, Glenwood, Stanley Argand
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut, Stove Size