People think I'm crazy to switch to coal

Re: People think I'm crazy to switch to coal

PostBy: Richard S. On: Wed Aug 20, 2008 5:32 am

His math is off a little but not by much. According to the fuel calculator here: http://nepacrossroads.com/download/file.php?id=5404

Using a figure of $245 for coal and $268 for pellets (note I adjusted the efficiency rating for coal to 85%, I believe thats near/is the stated efficiency of the boiler Freddy has):


Fuel Cost Per Million Btu (dollars)


Pellets: $20.30
Coal: $11.57

So its a few points shy of 90%, no Voodoo economics involved. Of course you're going to have different ratings for different boilers and stoves. The coal itself can have more or less BTU's per ton and the same is true of pellets and pellet stoves... The one he has is exceptionally efficient. Most are going to hover in the 75% to 80% range. Ideaaly you'd want the exact BTU content of the fuel and the exact efficiency of the burning appliance if you want to compare apples to apples.

One thing I will note is coal historicallyup to this point has never had the wild fluctuations in prices other fuels have experienced. Didn't pellets go up 100% after Katrina? As I've posted before locally its the same cost now as it was in the 80's adjusted for inflation. Hopefully by the end of this winter I'll be able to say the same thing.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: People think I'm crazy to switch to coal

PostBy: Freddy On: Wed Aug 20, 2008 8:05 am

My crack pipe smoldered out days before I did the math & my blood tested clear. I stand behind my numbers! I figured the pellet stove at 80% efficient and the coal boiler at 90%. Richards numbers are a bit lower as he figured the coal at 85%, but even his math shows pellets at those prices to be over 75% more money. Feel free to go back to thinking I'm a lucrative poster. :)

Math is an odd sport...if you go backwards using Richards numbers coal is *only* 43% cheaper.
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: People think I'm crazy to switch to coal

PostBy: rberq On: Wed Aug 20, 2008 8:31 am

Freddy wrote:rberq wrote: pellets may be cheaper because it costs so much to ship the coal here from PA.
Freddy wrote:How do you figure? According to my Fuel calculator program with coal at $350 a ton and pellets at $268,


Freddy, you quoted somebody else's quote of my quote from back in April, when I was quoting prices of $200 for pellets, and anywhere from $280 to $320 for bagged coal. At those prices, and I quote, "pellets may be cheaper". At today's prices, I agree coal has the edge.

I like to put in a plug for pellets when I can, because it makes so many coal burners see red. Kind of like going into a bar and starting an argument, then sneaking off to the side to watch the other guys fight. And if you are done with that crack pipe, would you pass it over here, please?
rberq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 1300
Coal Size/Type: Nut -- Kimmel/Blaschak/Reading
Other Heating: Oil hot water radiators, propane


Re: People think I'm crazy to switch to coal

PostBy: Sting On: Wed Aug 20, 2008 8:32 am

Richard S. wrote:His math is off a little but not by much. According to the fuel calculator here: http://nepacrossroads.com/download/file.php?id=5404

Using a figure of $245 for coal and $268 for pellets (note I adjusted the efficiency rating for coal to 85%, I believe thats near/is the stated efficiency of the boiler Freddy has):


Fuel Cost Per Million Btu (dollars)


Pellets: $20.30
Coal: $11.57

So its a few points shy of 90%, no Voodoo economics involved. Of course you're going to have different ratings for different boilers and stoves. The coal itself can have more or less BTU's per ton and the same is true of pellets and pellet stoves... The one he has is exceptionally efficient. Most are going to hover in the 75% to 80% range. Ideaaly you'd want the exact BTU content of the fuel and the exact efficiency of the burning appliance if you want to compare apples to apples.

One thing I will note is coal historicallyup to this point has never had the wild fluctuations in prices other fuels have experienced. Didn't pellets go up 100% after Katrina? As I've posted before locally its the same cost now as it was in the 80's adjusted for inflation. Hopefully by the end of this winter I'll be able to say the same thing.


NO pellets did not go up 100% after Katrina -- in all areas - yes I am sure there was a bit of profit taking going on somewhere -- odd fact of life isn't that. Pellet fuel has not had the wild fluctuations claimed when plotted historically. But thats not the case with no. 2 dented corn seed fuel now is it?

ok -- now run these figures

pellets are 156 a ton out of my shed and coal (anthracite bagged) is 350 (or more) per ton from the local and non local vendors. We are exploring another source of pellet fuel at 150 a ton in another thread below. That in my shed will likely figure about 160.00 to my appliance bin.

But to make a blanket statement that fuel A is 90% more expensive pre BTU than Fuel B on an open forum without an area constraint is a bit over the top for me. :cry:
Sting
 
Other Heating: OBSO Lennox Pulse "Air Scorcher" burning NG

Re: People think I'm crazy to switch to coal

PostBy: Richard S. On: Wed Aug 20, 2008 8:46 am

Freddy wrote:
Math is an odd sport...if you go backwards using Richards numbers coal is *only* 43% cheaper.


:lol: True but I'm going by coal being 100%.

But to make a blanket statement that fuel A is 90% more expensive pre BTU than Fuel B on an open forum without an area constraint is a bit over the top for me.


Agreed as the coal would be about 200% cheaper where I live. :P
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: People think I'm crazy to switch to coal

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Wed Aug 20, 2008 8:54 am

The devil is always in the details.
CapeCoaler
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove

Re: People think I'm crazy to switch to coal

PostBy: traderfjp On: Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:31 am

When we bought our coal stove we were shown a few pellet stoves and it's a good heat source but it didn't seem to throw off enough heat on the high setting to do a whole house. The one nice thing about pellets is that you can go a really long time before u have to empty out the ashes. Aside from that there seems to be much more maintenance involved, less heat for more dollars and storage issues. I guess if u had a garage you could always keep a ton or two in there. I wonder how bags of pellets would hold up in in my hot humid garage over the summer. OK enough of that.
traderfjp
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing 3

Re: People think I'm crazy to switch to coal

PostBy: Adamiscold On: Wed Aug 20, 2008 11:09 am

The one thing that bothered me about pellets is reading in the online manuals of how often the fans needed to be cleaned out. It just seemed like you had to turn the stove off and vacuum it out way to much. The whole purpose of having a stove is to heat the house not to have to keep turning it off and waiting for it to cool down so it can be cleaned.
Adamiscold
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Chubby Sr. Old School

Re: People think I'm crazy to switch to coal

PostBy: Devil505 On: Wed Aug 20, 2008 11:12 am

CapeCoaler wrote:The devil is always in the details.



No......I'm usually in the basement on my computer!! :P :devil:
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: People think I'm crazy to switch to coal

PostBy: traderfjp On: Wed Aug 20, 2008 12:00 pm

Adam - I agree!
traderfjp
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing 3

Re: People think I'm crazy to switch to coal

PostBy: Freddy On: Wed Aug 20, 2008 3:30 pm

Rberq...sorry if I misquoted you. Just the other day I realized that if you snag a guote that has been quoted, it assigns the wrong name and must be changed manually. Duck tape me to the wall & throw apples! :)

Sting wrote:to make a blanket statement that fuel A is 90% more expensive pre BTU than Fuel B on an open forum without an area constraint is a bit over the top


Who did that? I mentioned 90% but certainly the constraints were there as I said "At these prices". Yes, I failed to mention the efficiencies I figured, but that facts are the facts. At todays prices, here, coal is far cheaper than pellets. :jawdrop: It has surprised me that pellets have gone up so much. When I decided to burn a solid fuel I looked hard at pellets and it was close to a toss up, but now my wallet is glad that I decided on coal.
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: People think I'm crazy to switch to coal

PostBy: Richard S. On: Wed Aug 20, 2008 6:01 pm

Hmmm? They get nested like this


Freddy wrote:Rberq...sorry if I misquoted you. Just the other day I realized that if you snag a guote that has been quoted, it assigns the wrong name and must be changed manually. Duck tape me to the wall & throw apples! :)

Sting wrote:to make a blanket statement that fuel A is 90% more expensive pre BTU than Fuel B on an open forum without an area constraint is a bit over the top

Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: People think I'm crazy to switch to coal

PostBy: traderfjp On: Wed Aug 20, 2008 6:23 pm

I'd be afraid to throw apples with that killer dog on your lap. :crutch:
traderfjp
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing 3

Re: People think I'm crazy to switch to coal

PostBy: LsFarm On: Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:04 pm

My favorite thing about pellets is the volume,, it takes twice the cubic area to store a ton of pellets compared to coal, and of course the Btu is about 2/3 that of coal. So if you want to store the equivalent BTUs of 4 tons of coal, you need to use half of your two car garage for the bags.

I just called my local TSC, They want $269/ton for pellets

Glad I'm stocked up on coal !! I'd have to use my hay barn for pellet storage, and the raccons and mice would love to dig into those bags, and make a real mess.

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: People think I'm crazy to switch to coal

PostBy: SMITTY On: Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:15 pm

3 weeks ago, when I walked into my coal dealer's store, they had a giant sign on the front door: SORRY - WE ARE OUT OF PELLETS

& I drove away with 2.5 tons of coal........& returned 45 minutes later & drove away with another 2.5 tons :rockon: :dancing:
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler