Harman VF 3000 Boiler

Harman VF 3000 Boiler

PostBy: equipmint On: Sat Jan 26, 2008 8:46 am

Hi guys im a nubie 1st year with any coal experience. I removed my oil fired boiler 3 section about 85000btu output and installed a Harman VF 3000 I also purchased the additional oil burner option. Ive been up and running on coal since November 07, house is approx 1800sq ft 10 years old I have 4zones, 1 pump, one of my zones serves a indirect 40 gallon water heater. i live in the hudson valley NY area. I have 2 questions the first one i would like to know if you think that my coal usage is in the ball park with people of similar situation I find that on days that dont break the upper 30 degrees that my usage is about 60-80lbs and on a milder day say 38- 43 degree day that 40lbs handles it. I have programable stats keep house about 62 degrees during the day and about 66 degrees in the evening.

My second question is I purchased my harman from a dealer who never sold a boiler before very nice people but i was on my own with the installation and the setup especially with any questions dealing with the oilburner option. I would like to know if i was to operate the boiler on oil if there are any concerns with the coal hopper should it be empty or not. When i first installed it the first week i operated on oil till i purchased some bagged rice when i operated on oil i stuffed the bottom of the coal bin with some boiler chamber fire resistent blanlet I thought there might be draft leakage if i didnt do anything.

Thanks Curt
equipmint
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman VF3000

Re: Harman VF 3000 Boiler

PostBy: coalkirk On: Sat Jan 26, 2008 2:56 pm

Your coal usage sounds good. I don't have the oil burner option but if it were me, I wouldn't burn it with coal in the hopper. Not because of any fire concern but potential for flue gas leakage. Stuffing the area above the pusher block with a material like you did before would be wise. Wisest of all, don't use oil!! :D
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Re: Harman VF 3000 Boiler

PostBy: gaw On: Sat Jan 26, 2008 3:29 pm

I do not have a Harman, I have a Keystoker which is of similar design and probably similar efficiency. Based on what you posted about your house I have to agree with coalkirk, your coal consumption seems to be in line with what I would expect. As far as the oil burner option I have no experience with dual fuel boilers of any manufacture, so no help there.
coalkirk wrote:Wisest of all, don't use oil!! :D
I can agree with that
gaw
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice from Schuylkill County

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Re: Harman VF 3000 Boiler

PostBy: e.alleg On: Sat Jan 26, 2008 3:49 pm

Sounds like good usage to me. Check the stack temperature, if it's too hot put in a barometric damper and get it set right and you'll save even more.
e.alleg
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520

Re: Harman VF 3000 Boiler

PostBy: beatle78 On: Sat Jan 26, 2008 4:23 pm

Welcome, this forum is priceless!!

Also, what do you have the high low temps set too. There is one guy on here that lowered the high temp to ~150 during warm periods and he claims to save a lot of coal. Of course, don't forget to raise it back to 180 when the colder weather sets in.

P.S. I'm looking to get rid of my Harman Magnum stoker and replace it with a boiler. How do you like the VF3000?

Feel free to post your answer here to keep this all in one thread.... Upgrading my Magnum Stoker to a Stoker Boiler

thanks,
Jeremy
beatle78
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker KA-4

Re: Harman VF 3000 Boiler

PostBy: coalkirk On: Sat Jan 26, 2008 5:02 pm

I keep my water temp at 140 unless we get realy cold weather. Then I bump it up to 150-155. It works well for my application and does save considerable coal. The first year I had it, I ran it at 180 like my oil boiler was always set at. Used alot more coal.

I also agree to check your stack temperature. Mine was over 300 degrees. I had a baro but never set it properly. Now that its set, my stack is around 238. Use a probe type thermometer, not a magnetic stick on type.
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Re: Harman VF 3000 Boiler

PostBy: equipmint On: Sat Jan 26, 2008 6:43 pm

Question to Coalkirk Im curious about getting away with 140 degree setting unless colder conditions exist? Do you have zones? Im thinking that you dont set back your tstats, you maintain a constant temp throughout the season or am i wrong?

Also another member told me in a earlier post that in the summer he maintains his domestic hot water using about 12lbs a day Do you do about the same usage he also like myself uses a indirect water heater?
equipmint
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman VF3000

Re: Harman VF 3000 Boiler

PostBy: coalkirk On: Sat Jan 26, 2008 8:03 pm

My system is kind of unique. I run the 140 degree water from the coal boiler through my oil boiler. The oil burner is shut off. My zones come off of the oil boiler. I have two hot water baseboard zones which I rarely use. I have another zone which feeds a water to air coil in a duct work system that feeds all levels of my home. I temper that water, usually to about 100 degrees and the air handler fan runs constantly. I control the house temperature by adjusting the tempering valve if I need to. The house stays a very even temperature throughout. I don't use the coal boiler in the summer time.
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Re: Harman VF 3000 Boiler

PostBy: sandman On: Sat Jan 26, 2008 9:54 pm

i'll be installing my vf 3000 next week.

has anyone installed a heat reclaimer on there flue pipe? i figure every little bit helps.

whats the thing called you hook up to the aquastat with a outside thermometer so it automatically raises or lowers your set points based on the outside tempetures?

to me this seems like it would be more efficient than trying to manually raise and lower the set points.

jim
sandman
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harman
Stove/Furnace Model: VF3000, mark III sf150&250

Re: Harman VF 3000 Boiler

PostBy: e.alleg On: Sun Jan 27, 2008 2:08 am

I run mine at 140 max during the summer/fall to heat the domestic hot water when the heat is on only occasionally, I like it to be 180-190 during the winter. When there is a call for heat and I'm using hot water the circulator starts and the heat comes on and the boiler might drop down to 140, if it's at 140 to begin with it will dip to 100 and the showers get a little luke warm. My advice is to run it as low a temperature that still provides good heat and hw, the lower the temp the less losses you are paying for and the less coal you'll use. If it has an adjustable feed set that so on the coldest days it is working nearly 100% to keep up, otherwise you will be probably overfiring it and wasting coal. I still haven't gotten mine completely figured out yet but every baby step tweak reduces the coal I use.
e.alleg
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520

Re: Harman VF 3000 Boiler

PostBy: Highlander On: Sun Jan 27, 2008 9:02 am

Curt
I have a similar setup to yours, a VF3K with 3 zones, one of them a fan coil in a propane hot air furnace. I heat my hot water with a coil installed in the Harman. I heat about 2000 sq ft in a moderately insulated house.
We are in about the same climate, I'm right next to Warwick NY, so average daily temps are about the same.

For the last 20 days I've averaged about 50# per day, so your useage certainly seems within the ball park. I run with lower water temps too, averaging 140 to 150 deg, and have had no problems keeping up with the single digit days.

As far as the oil burner goes, I think having rice coal in the hopper would help to make sure that you don't have any flue gas leakage back through the hopper when the oil gun fires. I would make sure to clean all the fly ash out of the boiler before switching it to oil because burning oil will produce water vapor, and you may get some condensation on cooler sections of the boiler, and damp ash is somewhat corrosive.

How do you like the oil gun option? I have considered it as a backup fuel as well as propane, but since I don't currently have a tank, it would cost me at least $1000, to get a tank installed and purchase the oil kit. Given the price of oil and propane these days, neither seems like a viable alternative to coal.
Highlander
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000 Sold
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Castings Resolute
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: VF3000 Stoker Boiler

Re: Harman VF 3000 Boiler

PostBy: coalkirk On: Sun Jan 27, 2008 10:29 am

I don't experience a big drop in coal boiler temp because I have a constant low demand. I take the 140* water, temper it to say 95* and I'm only taking 5* off of that water as it passes through my water to air coil and it returns to the boiler at 90*.
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Those pics were from more moderate weather. Right now I'm running it slightly hotter due to cold temps. I'm sending 110* water to the coil. It's not a typical setup but it works well for me.
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coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Re: Harman VF 3000 Boiler

PostBy: beatle78 On: Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:04 am

sandman wrote:i'll be installing my vf 3000 next week.

has anyone installed a heat reclaimer on there flue pipe? i figure every little bit helps.

whats the thing called you hook up to the aquastat with a outside thermometer so it automatically raises or lowers your set points based on the outside tempetures?

to me this seems like it would be more efficient than trying to manually raise and lower the set points.

jim


I think that's what the Tekmar 265 controller does.

I was reading up on it yesterday and it measures the outside temperature and that determines how hot the boiler water should be.

I didn't get into the techy stuff on how is controls the aquastats, but it was mentioned in another post that I should get the Tekmar 265 controller when using 2 boilers (oil and coal).

I'm sure there are cheapers ones that can be used to do this as well....
beatle78
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker KA-4

Re: Harman VF 3000 Boiler

PostBy: U235a4 On: Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:24 am

beatle78 wrote:
sandman wrote:i'll be installing my vf 3000 next week.

has anyone installed a heat reclaimer on there flue pipe? i figure every little bit helps.

whats the thing called you hook up to the aquastat with a outside thermometer so it automatically raises or lowers your set points based on the outside tempetures?

to me this seems like it would be more efficient than trying to manually raise and lower the set points.

jim


I think that's what the Tekmar 265 controller does.

I was reading up on it yesterday and it measures the outside temperature and that determines how hot the boiler water should be.

I didn't get into the techy stuff on how is controls the aquastats, but it was mentioned in another post that I should get the Tekmar 265 controller when using 2 boilers (oil and coal).

I'm sure there are cheapers ones that can be used to do this as well....


there are a lot of different control most of which I've looked at or worked on. it all depends on what you have for a setup and what features you would like.
U235a4
 
Stove/Furnace Make: 1958 Axeman-Anderson
Stove/Furnace Model: 260M

Re: Harman VF 3000 Boiler

PostBy: sandman On: Sun Jan 27, 2008 1:27 pm

U235a4 wrote:
beatle78 wrote:
sandman wrote:i'll be installing my vf 3000 next week.

has anyone installed a heat reclaimer on there flue pipe? i figure every little bit helps.

whats the thing called you hook up to the aquastat with a outside thermometer so it automatically raises or lowers your set points based on the outside tempetures?

to me this seems like it would be more efficient than trying to manually raise and lower the set points.

jim


I think that's what the Tekmar 265 controller does.

I was reading up on it yesterday and it measures the outside temperature and that determines how hot the boiler water should be.

I didn't get into the techy stuff on how is controls the aquastats, but it was mentioned in another post that I should get the Tekmar 265 controller when using 2 boilers (oil and coal).

I'm sure there are cheapers ones that can be used to do this as well....


there are a lot of different control most of which I've looked at or worked on. it all depends on what you have for a setup and what features you would like.



i've got a fwh boiler with 4 zones and a oil fired hot water heater.

i'm getting the hot water coil for the vf which i plan on hooking up with a hot water tempering valve and shuting off the oil fired hot water heater untill it gets warm.

i was going to hook up the vf in parallel with the fwh boiler and leave the circulator pump on 24-7.

i'll set the fwh boilers set points far enough below the vf's so that the only time it should ever come on is if the vf goes out.

i figured a set back controler for the vf would be a good addion.

seeing as the tekmar 265 is close to 1/2 as much as the boiler i cant see getting one of those.

what would be a good option for the vf? maybe a tekmar 256 ?

http://www.blueridgecompany.com/documents/Tekmar-256.pdf
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.



is there anything i should do different?

let me know
thanks
jim
sandman
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harman
Stove/Furnace Model: VF3000, mark III sf150&250

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