New to this help me decide

New to this help me decide

PostBy: easterman On: Mon May 26, 2008 4:17 pm

Hello,
I'm new to this coal thing and would love some input. I have a limited amount of space in which to locate a boiler in my basement. I was looking at the AHS 130 Boiler. Looks like an efficient boiler to me, but what do I know!!! That’s why I'm asking. One of the things that I like about it is it has a hopper which I need due to lack of space. One fill up and you’re good for a week. Also it burns pea coal or buckwheat. Which I can get locally if I need. Which one to buy is the question? Is pea coal better or is Buckwheat? I read that the stack temp is 350 degrees that sounds high to me.
I will be running this in series with my oil burner. Any advise here would be great, how to?

I will be ordering my coal this week 24 tons bulk @ $207 a ton delivered.

Thanks for your input.
Bob
easterman
 
Stove/Furnace Make: AHS Coal Stocker Boiler

Re: New to this help me decide

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon May 26, 2008 5:43 pm

Hello Bob,, The AHS 130 boiler is very efficient, I think you made a good choice.. You said you have limited space for a boiler,, just make sure you have enough ceiling height above the hopper for clearance when loading it up. Depending on the weather, your insulation and size of house, domestic hot ater use,, a hopper full of coal will last from three days to over a week..

Pea size coal works best in the AHS and AA boilers,, Buckwheat works as well, but sometimes you get 'puff-backs' [minor explosions] from the volitile gasses burning suddenly when buckwheat coal is used..

Make sure the coal you are buying is from either Superior, UAE, Calvin Lenigs, or other deep mined sources.. You don't want to buy a semi-load of poor quality coal.. One member here bought 30 tons of high-ash coal,, so high ash that he stopped buring it, and is burning Superior and UAE, letting the poorer stuff sit. He was having to empty the ashpans twice as offten as with good coal.

Hope this helps.. 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: New to this help me decide

PostBy: easterman On: Mon May 26, 2008 6:00 pm

Thanks Greg.

Yes, I will be getting my coal from Superior. I've read that they have the best coal. I will make my order tomorrow for 24 tons of pea coal. Not a bad price considering it's coming to Maine.

The space concerns I have in not with the height,I have 8 foot ceilings, it's with the floor space. I need to keep my oil boiler in the mix. Any helpful hints as to how to hook my coal boiler to my oil one? I would like the oil to come on only if the coal boil shuts down.

Thanks again for your feedback,

Bob
easterman
 
Stove/Furnace Make: AHS Coal Stocker Boiler

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

Re: New to this help me decide

PostBy: Yanche On: Mon May 26, 2008 6:34 pm

When you specify your AHS coalgun be sure to specify where you might want additional boiler tappings, especially if you don't get the domestic coil option and might want to add it later. One forum member tried to add a domestic coil after initial purchase and couldn't. I'm very happy with my AHS coalgun. Knowing what I know today I would try to buy without any aquastat or fan motor. I'd add my own variable speed fan motor and a indoor-outdoor reset aquastat. I'd add a tapping for a second aquastat measurement well. I'd also buy a second ash tub, they are hard to find locally.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Re: New to this help me decide

PostBy: coal berner On: Mon May 26, 2008 7:11 pm

Yanche wrote:When you specify your AHS coalgun be sure to specify where you might want additional boiler tappings, especially if you don't get the domestic coil option and might want to add it later. One forum member tried to add a domestic coil after initial purchase and couldn't. I'm very happy with my AHS coalgun. Knowing what I know today I would try to buy without any aquastat or fan motor. I'd add my own variable speed fan motor and a indoor-outdoor reset aquastat. I'd add a tapping for a second aquastat measurement well. I'd also buy a second ash tub, they are hard to find locally.

Yanche The Next Time you come up I will take you for Ash tubs 19.99 to 24.99 depending on size Sq tubs # 1 2 or 3 size
or one bushel Round ones
coal berner
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1986 Electric Furnace Man 520 DF
Stove/Furnace Make: Electric Furnace Man
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520

Re: New to this help me decide

PostBy: easterman On: Mon May 26, 2008 7:12 pm

"additional boiler tappings" ? could you explain a little more, I don't need the coil. I have Super Store tank.

"I would try to buy without any aquastat or fan motor." why would you do that? I was going to go with the Belt Drive Option and Thermo Ash-Monitoring Control Option. It this a good idea?

"indoor-outdoor reset aquastat." would this work with my oil boiler connect to the system? Where would I get one and how do I connect it?

As I said I'm new to this and I thank you for all your help. I want to get it right the first time.
easterman
 
Stove/Furnace Make: AHS Coal Stocker Boiler

Re: New to this help me decide

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon May 26, 2008 9:38 pm

HI Bob,, Yanche is a do-it-yourselfer,, with a large amount of highly technical engineer added.. So he has several ideas on how to further improve the AHS beyond the factory's setup. included in Yanche's ideas are a variable speed combustion fan, and more automatic control of the boiler water temp based on outdoor temperatures, and therefore BTU needs.

For you, I'd stick with the factory setup..it is a proven system with factory support..

Maybe Yanche can recommend where to have an extra tapping for a future extra aquastat..

There are several threads on hooking up a boiler in series.. This is how I set up my system.. I have a manifold for the returns from the baseboard loops. This manifold originally returned the cold water to the propane boiler for heating.. I rerouted the manifold to get heated by the coal boiler, then back to the propane boiler.. I set the water temp from the propane boiler about 30* lower than the coal boiler temp.. This way the propane will kick in if the coal boiler is unable to keep the water hot.

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: New to this help me decide

PostBy: Yanche On: Tue May 27, 2008 8:15 am

Greg has me pegged. :-) The variable speed motor would be to more accurately match the combustion air to burning coal rates. The standard fixed speed standard factory selected speed will work just fine. My comment about tappings is indeed for an additional boiler water temperature well. I've got a indoor-outdoor reset aquastat (Honeywell AQ475A) that adjusts the boiler water temperature as a function of outdoor temperature. The boiler water sensor can strapped to the supply pipe or in a well. The well is better, but you need a spare tapping. It should be on the top of the boiler.

The Eshland (predecessor company to AHS) spec sheet for the boilers had choices for tappings. I assume for piping location options and steam operation which requires additional accessories like low water cut off. My boiler isn't like many cast iron boilers that have all the tapping drilled, tapped and then plugged. They are just not there. Again the standard factory choices will work just fine.

The belt drive option is a good one because it eliminates the conducted heat path to the motor bearings. Others have the cost for the option is not worth the cost. They reason it's cheap to change a heat damaged motor bearing. My boiler has the belt option.

My boiler has the standard grate timer. It works fine. The thermo ash monitoring was not available at the time. It's an improvement, but an expensive one. For those on a budget buy the timer and upgrade to thermocouple controller later. The factory uses Fuji brand, other brands are much less expensive. Retrofitting requires some mechanical and wiring skills.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Re: New to this help me decide

PostBy: easterman On: Tue May 27, 2008 12:36 pm

Thanks guys for all your in put so far. I'm just starting to understand what I need to do. I'm sure I'll have many more questions as I move forward.

Yanche,
Do you have a stand alone boiler or are you running it in series with another boiler? I have a Buderus oil boiler with a Logamatic 2107 control. The control has an outside temp sensor which regulates the boiler temp based on outside temp with DHW Priority. Could I use this control to regulate the coal boiler temp as well? I need to keep my oil boiler running just incase for some reason the coal boiler goes out, but only if the coal goes out would I want the oil boiler to take over.
I will have an extra port installed on the boiler. Would you have any idea what size the well should be and where I would need it placed on the boiler?
Thanks again,

Bob L
easterman
 
Stove/Furnace Make: AHS Coal Stocker Boiler

Re: New to this help me decide

PostBy: Freddy On: Tue May 27, 2008 1:33 pm

Easterman,

I sent you a PM (private message). See if you can find it...top of page, "new messages"
Fred
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: New to this help me decide

PostBy: easterman On: Tue May 27, 2008 1:39 pm

I DID IT !!! :yes: I called in my order for 24 tons of Pea coal. Will be deliverd to me in Lebanon, Maine June 3rd.

Now I'm comitted. With help from all of you fine people I'm sure I will make this all work out, I HOPE !!!
easterman
 
Stove/Furnace Make: AHS Coal Stocker Boiler

Re: New to this help me decide

PostBy: easterman On: Tue May 27, 2008 6:12 pm

Fred,

I sent you a private response.
easterman
 
Stove/Furnace Make: AHS Coal Stocker Boiler

Re: New to this help me decide

PostBy: Yanche On: Thu May 29, 2008 9:09 pm

easterman wrote:Thanks guys for all your in put so far. I'm just starting to understand what I need to do. I'm sure I'll have many more questions as I move forward.

Yanche,
Do you have a stand alone boiler or are you running it in series with another boiler? I have a Buderus oil boiler with a Logamatic 2107 control. The control has an outside temp sensor which regulates the boiler temp based on outside temp with DHW Priority. Could I use this control to regulate the coal boiler temp as well? I need to keep my oil boiler running just incase for some reason the coal boiler goes out, but only if the coal goes out would I want the oil boiler to take over.
I will have an extra port installed on the boiler. Would you have any idea what size the well should be and where I would need it placed on the boiler?
Thanks again,

Bob L
Sorry it's taken my so long to respond. My oil and AHS coal boilers are in series, but I also have isolation valves that allow the coal boiler to be completely removed from the water flow path.

I looked over the Logamatic 2107 installation manual. While I'm not familiar with it, it does look like a nice controller. You could use it to also control second boiler. What I would suggest to keep everything in place as it is now and install a second boiler water temperature sensor in the coal boiler. A manual switch would select which boiler is used as the control. The temperature sensor is usually a 10K ohm NTC thermistor which will be relatively inexpensive. You could even use a relay in place of the switch and with the relay coil wired such that if the coal fire goes out the switch back to oil control is automatic. The additional tapping on the top of the AHS boiler would be where the additional thermistor is installed. Look at the tapping on your oil boiler for the size. If you can't tell a 3/4 inch NPT tapping should be sufficient.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Visit Lehigh Anthracite