New boiler build for new steam system.

New boiler build for new steam system.

PostBy: unhippy On: Sun Aug 09, 2015 8:01 am

I thought that people on here might find my latest evil scheme to heat my house.....a little interesting and a little different

As the title says i'm beginning to build a new coal boiler for a steam heating system that is unlike almost all residential steam setups that people on here may be familiar with.

The boiler itself a pretty conventional design with a single vertical hung baffle a'la EFM .... but with a wet bottom that is vee'd to allow an ash screw to remove ash automatically.....boiler will be very heavily insulated and in a weatherproof enclosure as it will be outside....think OWB type thing.....operating pressure, 0.5 psi cut out

I'm currently in the process of trying to get a 15 to 25 kw underfeed stoker that is designed to burn all sizes of coal from 0 to 1-1/4 inch.... the stoker is made in Poland....this one http://www.kotly-witkowski.pl/en/palnik ... gia....the person I am in contact with at the factory is finding out if I can buy one direct from the factory or if I have to go thru a distributor.

i've been in contact with one person that uses one in Ireland, she likes it because it runs quite happily on the waste fines/dross coal that her local coal yard would normally dump....she is literally paying a carton of beer per ton of "waste" coal :lol:

So thats the stoker I want.....if I can't, for some reason get hold of that one I will build another flatbed stoker altho i'd far prefer an underfeed due to less cold air bypassing the fire when the boiler starts its firing cycle....plus the underfeed will hold a fire far longer between cycles without the aid of a holdfire timer

I've got a 5psi safety valve and a boiler rated float type low water cut-off switch that will be used to activate the boiler feed pump relay....still hunting down a vaporstat (finding an online supplier that will ship outside of USA has become rather difficult recently)....and a sightglass set....altho I might be able to find the sightglass set locally.

The cool part of the system is that all the pipe work is copper of small diameters, 3/4" pipe main and 3/8" tube feeds to the radiators in my case, and fact that all condensate returns to a vacuum receiver tank that is set to 6"-8"Hg vacuum, a shurflow diaphragm pump transfer's condensate from this tank back into the boiler via a check valve .......so its a sealed system(no corrosion) with a 4.5psi pressure differential.
Once the steam leaves the boiler it rockets around the system at about 50 mph, with all the lines being insulated that means very little heat "line loss"......the losses are so low that its recommended that no "pick up factor" is calculated into sizing the boiler

The condensate returns are 3/8" tube from each radiator

Its a system developed by Iron Fireman called the Selectemp system, otherwise known as the steam mini-tube system, the original system had little turbine driven fan convectors,really cool little units..... think wall mounted fan heater but all run off steam instead of electric.....i have a complete installation manual from the late 50's- early 60's scanned in PDF format that was printed by the Turbonics Inc company who bought the rights to the system from Iron Fireman....i dunno about what the rules are here about posting stuff that old...but if the mod's ok it, I can put it up

The boiler cycles on pressure all the time so there is always steam, hence the huge amount of boiler insulating i'm planning on....i plan on using flat panel steel radiators with TRV's to control output and thermostatic radiator traps to keep steam in the radiators .....I'd love cast iron rads.....but just don't have the room for them to stick 6 or 8 inch's out from the walls

DHW will be heated by a 3/4" steam filled coil in the tank with a thermostatic trap on the outlet.....this will be where the steam main terminates so it acts as the condensate drain for the main as well.

I found out about this system sort of by accident when I found the page of a plumber in Chicago called Gerry Gill......he has fitted out his house with the first new mini-tube in about 50 years.....the "Strictly Steam" subforum of the HeatingHelp forum has accounts from several plumbers knowledgeable about steam heating that have seen his setup in operation.....all have been hugely impressed with its efficiency.....he's down fired his gas boiler to 46'000btu and that is holding his house at 72f all winter....house is a 1200sqft 1920's job with only roof insulation.....he reckons that if Iron Fireman had come up with the system 15 years before it did, steam would probably be the standard heating system across america.....

I dunno about that but its interesting enough that i'm going to give it a lap and see how it goes.....its not like its going to cost me any more than a hotwater system would.

Pics, diagrams and other assorted eye candy will be forthcoming as I get to the stage of actually building stuff

Callum
unhippy
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Homemade Thermo Carbon Reactor
Stove/Furnace Model: MK1 #2

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Re: New boiler build for new steam system.

PostBy: McGiever On: Sun Aug 09, 2015 8:32 am

Most interesting project.
I, for one, will be very interested to follow your trek through this entire project..

I had seen the Polish stokers and boilers of this mfg'r online previously and have admired them.
Have occasionally seen very similar european designed stoker boiler listed for sale at US ebay.
Some of these I posted links to, the ebay links can expire and are no longer valid, however most of the website links do stay valid.
McGiever
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Coal Size/Type: PEA / ANTHRACITE
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Hydro Heat /Mega Tek

Re: New boiler build for new steam system.

PostBy: StokerDon On: Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:30 am

This is a very interesting science project you are undertaking here! A sealed steam system, that will be very interesting. That is the main thing that keeps me away from a steam setup, rust and corrosion from an open steam system.

I have not looked too closely at the Polish stokers. I hope they work out for you. I would like to see something different in action.

-Don
StokerDon
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: BairMatic BMC-500 with Van Wert VA400 Stoker, Gentleman Janitor GJ-671/EFM S-15 stoker, Van Wert VA-600
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood

Re: New boiler build for new steam system.

PostBy: lzaharis On: Sun Aug 09, 2015 12:59 pm

Have you looked at the Keystokers???
lzaharis
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KAA-4-1 dual fuel boiler
Coal Size/Type: rice
Other Heating: kerosene for dual fuel Keystoker

Re: New boiler build for new steam system.

PostBy: StokerDon On: Sun Aug 09, 2015 2:47 pm

lzaharis wrote:Have you looked at the Keystokers???

I don't think he wants to ship a Keystoker half way around the world. Might be a little costly.

-Don
StokerDon
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: BairMatic BMC-500 with Van Wert VA400 Stoker, Gentleman Janitor GJ-671/EFM S-15 stoker, Van Wert VA-600
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood

Re: New boiler build for new steam system.

PostBy: unhippy On: Sun Aug 09, 2015 3:36 pm

StokerDon wrote:. Might be a little costly.

-Don


You sir...are the master of understatement :D
unhippy
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Homemade Thermo Carbon Reactor
Stove/Furnace Model: MK1 #2

Re: New boiler build for new steam system.

PostBy: waldo lemieux On: Sun Aug 09, 2015 3:55 pm

:?: Dont polish stokers only work in the summertime.... :bag:
waldo lemieux
 
Stove/Furnace Make: efm
Stove/Furnace Model: s-20

Re: New boiler build for new steam system.

PostBy: confedsailor On: Mon Aug 10, 2015 1:17 am

HayO, I was wondering how long till a polack joke struck.

That steam turbine fan concept is pretty slick, what pressure is it supposed to run at?
confedsailor
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: 130 KBtu Chappee, to be installed.
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac 513
Other Heating: Oil Fired 1950"s American Standard Arcoliner 132K BTU

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Re: New boiler build for new steam system.

PostBy: unhippy On: Mon Aug 10, 2015 1:54 am

The info I have gives output for the turbine convector's to 10 psi.......altho it recommends spec'ing heater's on 7 psi

If your not trying to drive a turbine the system will operate quite happily on 2 psi as has been found in Chicago
unhippy
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Homemade Thermo Carbon Reactor
Stove/Furnace Model: MK1 #2

Re: New boiler build for new steam system.

PostBy: unhippy On: Mon Aug 10, 2015 2:13 am

waldo lemieux wrote::?: Dont polish stokers only work in the summertime.... :bag:


Well as long as it works in YOUR summer i'm all sorted :D
unhippy
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Homemade Thermo Carbon Reactor
Stove/Furnace Model: MK1 #2

Re: New boiler build for new steam system.

PostBy: confedsailor On: Mon Aug 10, 2015 4:26 am

10 pound, not too bad, certainly doesnt take much hp to spin a wee fan. I know the gripe with steam systems revolves around the lower overall thermal efficiency with heating the water up so much hotter than a hydronics system. But if you could combine a little forced air convection with radiation, that would certainly make a big difference. actually... with 10 pound steam you could almost run a Lithium-bromide chiller and have A/C for a hot day. :D
confedsailor
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: 130 KBtu Chappee, to be installed.
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac 513
Other Heating: Oil Fired 1950"s American Standard Arcoliner 132K BTU

Re: New boiler build for new steam system.

PostBy: unhippy On: Mon Aug 10, 2015 5:01 am

TABLE I
UNIT BTUH OUTPUT (65° INLET AIR)
MODEL
STEAM PRESSURE AT UNIT - LBS. PER SQ. IN.
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
H-6 2,100 2.900 3.700 4.200 4,900 5.300 5,600 5.900 6,150
H-12 4,000 5.850 7.500 8,750 9.700 10.550 11,300 11,850 12,300
H-18 6.600 9,100 11,200 13.050 14.600 15,850 17.000 17.850 18.600

Thats the table of outputs of the 3 size's of fan convectors

sorry about the layout.....computers aren't my strong point
unhippy
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Homemade Thermo Carbon Reactor
Stove/Furnace Model: MK1 #2

Re: New boiler build for new steam system.

PostBy: confedsailor On: Mon Aug 10, 2015 5:15 am

That's pretty slick.
confedsailor
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: 130 KBtu Chappee, to be installed.
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac 513
Other Heating: Oil Fired 1950"s American Standard Arcoliner 132K BTU

Re: New boiler build for new steam system.

PostBy: lzaharis On: Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:50 am

StokerDon wrote:
lzaharis wrote:Have you looked at the Keystokers???

I don't think he wants to ship a Keystoker half way around the world. Might be a little costly.

-Don

=================================================================================================

I would not hazard a guess which one would be worse Don.
I think its an either or proposition.

Ones shipping a boiler from Poland to Greece ,then through the Suez Canal,
on to the Red Sea, then south across the Western Pacific through the
Mallaca straights to New Zealand as compared to shipping it across the continent
in a container with mixed frieght bound for the west coast, then transferred to a
container that would end up in Northern Austrailia then on to New Zealand in
another 20 foot mixed frieght container.

I guess if he has the money to spend on an experiment and acccess to the
mechanical engineering expertise needed..........................................
lzaharis
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KAA-4-1 dual fuel boiler
Coal Size/Type: rice
Other Heating: kerosene for dual fuel Keystoker

Re: New boiler build for new steam system.

PostBy: Pacowy On: Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:27 pm

As an old guy running an even older 2-pipe steam system, I'm confused by a few things in this thread. In no particular order -

- If the boiler shuts off at 0.5 lb of pressure and has a safety at 5 lb, why is there any reference to operating the heat exchangers at 7-10 psi?

- Steam moves fast even in big pipes; it doesn't seem like a reason to leave out the pickup factor. If anything, the heat transfer properties of copper would seem to make distribution losses and pickup a bigger issue than with iron pipe.

- How do you get it to stop making heat when the demand is satisfied? Various posts make it sound like a closed system that runs continuously and that seems like it would cause a lot of open windows and potential inefficiency.

- Whether or not it runs all of the time, I don't follow how it could have an efficiency advantage relative to a hydronic system with equal gross output and insulation. It still is running at a higher temperature differential.

- What is the advantage of the described DHW arrangement relative to a coil installed below the water line?

- One of the important functions in ash removal is grinding/cutting any clinkers. Old-school stokers with rotating pots generally were designed to grind the clinkers, and even the ones with stationary pots often had ash cutters. The V-shape isn't really needed, since the ash will tend to "fill in" any space not reached, but the ash removal function may not work well if the coal you use tends to clinker.

- I agree the underfeed stokers generally can burn a range of fuels. If you really are trying to burn fines you probably should check the ease with which accumulated fines can be removed from the air chamber. Also, AFAIK beer is legal tender in Ireland, and you likely will need to pay $ even for junky coal because it still contains btu's. That said, the quality of the burn depends to a considerable degree on the uniformity of coal sizing, cleanliness and reasonable dryness. Sizing largely determines optimal feed/air settings, and pieces that are too big or too small tend not to burn properly. Drawing in wet fines or foreign objects is also to be avoided with most/all underfeed stokers I know of.

Sorry to sound negative, because your project has some interesting features, but I'm concerned that if some of the above have been overlooked some further consideration might be appropriate before anybody here jumps into building one of these for themselves.

Mike
Pacowy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/anthracite

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