Antique stove efficiency

Re: Antique stove efficiency

PostBy: wsherrick On: Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:51 am

New stoves need gaskets because of the lack of refinement in the castings.
Modern box stoves are nothing but revamped versions of the 1970's box wood stove with a grate and some fire bricks thrown in them.
A Turn Of The Century high end Base Heater is a marvel of applied science, engineering and art.
I would say that a typical base heater burns 1/2 to 2/3 LESS coal to produce equal heat to a box stove.
They maximize both combustion efficiency as well as thermal efficiency in a capacity that is light years beyond any simple, direct draft box stove.
If you like your box stove, that's fine. If you got a Glenwood 111 or a Crawford to test in comparison. I promise the box stove would be up for sale. :)
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

Re: Antique stove efficiency

PostBy: Lightning On: Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:05 am

I agree William, If he were to study the make up of an antique he would realize that the modern box stoves aren't even in the same league.. There is too much "rocket science" in an antique stove ;)
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Stove Size Mix

Re: Antique stove efficiency

PostBy: coalcracker On: Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:19 am

are you ready fo rsome tough love ? you're mistaken there....new stoves have gaskets, because they are striving to be truly AIRTIGHT, moreso than the older stoves are.

I have spoken in length about this to antique stove repair companies, such as Stove Doctor, about these antique stoves. He told me this, my Lehigh Oak stove, if all drafts are closed, and flue pipe damper closed, it was designed that would be the lowest possible setting and would continue burning.

if they were airtight, then why wouldn't the fire just go out.

answer- because they aren't airtight. They weren't ever designed to be. They were designed to keep on burning even when all the drafts were closed, at a low simmer- provided the chimney had enough draft. The flue pipe damper was only to be used in extreme cases of very high unusual draft, like a stormy night, etc. When the flue pipe damper was closed, it opened partially to the room and drew room air up the chimney- who would want to let heated air go up the chimney from the room ? Over time, people got in the habit of always closing the pipe dampers on any stove, thinking it will give off more heat. It will marginally, but what it does with wood stoves, is creosote up the chimney faster. With a coal stove, it increases the risk of CO gases backing into the house, because a damper basically blocks the chimney partially.

Some heat simply must be sacrificed up the chimney with a wood stove, to keep the chimney hot enough, so it doesn't get plugged up with creosote. Also to keep the draft strong enough on a coal stove, so it can never back up into the house, being it's deadly CO gas.

My newer Harman I, on the other hand- with no flue pipe damper, a chimney draft like a freight train at wide open- if I close the front draft control more than 3/8 open- the fire goes out.

Why ?

Because it's gasketed and is truly airtight, the fire gets no air at all from the bottom, when the door and draft are closed fully. The auxiliary glass vents keep feeding the chimney draft, over the top of the coal fire, but not stoking the fire. This allows the coal fire to go out.

The reason a Harman says right in the owners manual, not to use a flue pipe damper, is because the stove does direct the smoke DOWNWARD in the back of the stove for about 8", to the stove pipe outlet. When a stove directs smoke downward for any distance, it should not have a flue pipe damper fully closed- because it needs the strong draft to help prevent backdrafting/cooling of the chimney- by design. It doesn't need a flue pipe damper, because basically at that point, it's internally dampened and baffled already.

Looking inside the top roof of a Harman I, the flue pipe opening is not even visible, instead there is a narrow 2" opening across the top front of the stove. It's like having a flue pipe dampener partially closed at all times. The last thing you'd want to do, it put another one in the pipe further up the chimney. The flue pipe exit is actually slightly BELOW the firebox and fire level, in the back of the stove.

The gases flow in a Harman, much like a Franklin stove, in an upside down "U" shape- but it doesnt' use a damper, so it works quite well, with strong draft.
coalcracker
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Standard sealed hot water boiler, hand fed
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark I Magnafire
Baseburners & Antiques: Lehigh Oak 18, Washington potbelly, Sears Roebuck parlor cabinet, PIttston 6 lid cook stove, vintage combo gas/coal cook stove 4 lid
Coal Size/Type: nut
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark I Magnafire


Re: Antique stove efficiency

PostBy: lsayre On: Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:24 am

I have to disagree with the science aspect of this. The science to design an efficient coal burning stove at affordable cost for home use hardly (if at all) exists today, and certainly didn't exist back when the baseburners were popular. I'm sure that a lot of trial and error and commendable effort overall went into finding out what worked best and what didn't, but can this properly be defined as science?

Quoting Thomas Edison: "Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety nine percent perspiration."

I would also contend that at best a baseburner might be perhaps 10% better than a typical box stove as to efficiency. If a modern box-type hand fired stove is 65% or so efficient, and the best coal stoves on earth (the ones at modern coal fired power-plants) are about 92% efficient, then the maximum efficiency to be gained between them is only 27%.
Last edited by lsayre on Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:35 am, edited 2 times in total.
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (It has been fixed!)

Re: Antique stove efficiency

PostBy: coalcracker On: Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:26 am

Lightning wrote:I agree William, If he were to study the make up of an antique he would realize that the modern box stoves aren't even in the same league.. There is too much "rocket science" in an antique stove ;)



My modern box stove heats my house with 2 tons of coal all year, for $400, and I've been burning coal for most of my life, and in this particular house for 20 years. From Nov. to March my baseboard heat is SHUT OFF. It's been 30 below here a few times over the past 20 years, with several feet of snow. I've lived in NEPA for 51 years, born/raised, and my family has lived here for over 100 years, 5 generations. I've stoked 9 stoves in 4 different homes, my grandfathers were coal miners and had black lung, and deep mined the anthracite from NEPA for 50 years until the mines closed. I probably forgot more about coal burning for heat, then you'll ever know. Not only can we heat with coal, we knew how to mine it. I can walk 1/2 mile from my house and pick enough coal off the creekbed here, to heat my house for days or weeks, and have done so a few times.

One year I heated the house with one ton of coal, during a mild winter. That's heat all year for $200.

Try that with your antique. My grandmother had to burn 6 tons of coal in 2 old stoves, to heat her house. They aren't as efficient. The fireboxes are too big.

I have another friend who heats his house with a modern "coal jet" boiler, 2300 square foot home, also heats his hot water, burns one 5 gallon bucket of small buckwheat coal per day.

That's $4 a day to heat a house with 5 people and hot water.

Wake up fellas, the new stoves are way more efficient. No comparison.

Having said that I own many old stoves and really like them, but none of them would heat my existing home as good, as this Harman I. I'd burn a lot more coal with an old stove, and would lack the control this stove has.
Last edited by coalcracker on Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
coalcracker
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Standard sealed hot water boiler, hand fed
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark I Magnafire
Baseburners & Antiques: Lehigh Oak 18, Washington potbelly, Sears Roebuck parlor cabinet, PIttston 6 lid cook stove, vintage combo gas/coal cook stove 4 lid
Coal Size/Type: nut
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark I Magnafire

Re: Antique stove efficiency

PostBy: Lightning On: Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:28 am

@Coalcracker - You have a great start but, there is much to learn oh young Skywalker. Use the force Luke,,,, use the force..... 8-)

Larry, my reference to the rocket science was metaphoric meaning exactly what you stated :D
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Stove Size Mix

Re: Antique stove efficiency

PostBy: wsherrick On: Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:45 am

I guess when I close the dampers on the Glenwood and the fire goes out. I guess I should tell it that it's not supposed to do that because it is old and it doesn't have any gaskets.
I guess I should also tell it that when I am running it a 650 degrees on the stove surface and the stack temperature is only 110 two feet away from the exhaust collar and you can hold your hand on the pipe, that it just shouldn't be that efficient because it is old.
I should also be upset with the Crawford 40 that I have because it can burn 25 pounds of coal for 30 plus hours and maintain a constant temperature of 375 degrees on the barrel.
I should also be disappointed because there is never any unburned chunks or bits of coal in the ash. All the coal is completely consumed down to a fine powder.
The fact that the grates never jamb, there is never any ash spillage, there are never dead corners in the fire because of an inferior shallow square fire box design should greatly disturb me.
I never have to slice, poke or do anything except gently shake the grates to maintain the fire and that the stove can be serviced with it all closed up so the dust and ash goes up the chimney and not in the house. That's all bad.
I guess I can't control the old crummy stove either. That's why I'm imagining things when I can put 10 pounds of coal in it and it will maintain that tiny fire without going out before all the coal is consumed or I can fill it up with 40 pounds of coal and operate it at 200 degrees and not tend the fire for two days or so.

Okay, you've convinced me.
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

Re: Antique stove efficiency

PostBy: lsayre On: Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:51 am

We should all rejoice in the fact that the difference in efficiency between a common box stove and the pinnacle of coal burning rocket science is only about 27%. That means that by burning only about 40% more of the inexpensive fire-rocks than is theoretically achievable by the best of science today, we can all achieve the same BTU output.
Last edited by lsayre on Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (It has been fixed!)

Re: Antique stove efficiency

PostBy: nortcan On: Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:54 am

Coalcracker, not wanting a home debat, but I wrote many times on the forum that my house is 29 Yrs old super insulated, 2,200 Sq ft. I'm in the Province of Québec.
Now I use a Baltimore Heater /Sunnyside from 1874. If I use it, William is the coupable :D :lol: because before the switch to an antique stove it was: a radical NO_NO for an antique stove, I was using only new modern stoves.
About the home V/S anthr. burned every days, I can challenge anybody, and any modern stove against my antique 1874 stove. My anthr consumption is less than what you said for your friend having the new house, and having about the same size as mine 2,300 V/S 2,200 SQ ft.
No words like: about this or about that, only real affirmations. Since I use anthr I record everything about the daily burning, even the lbs dumped at 8 Am and at 8 Pm, outs./ins. temp., stove's temp.... are written in the book.
New stove are OK for those wanting a new stove and antique stoves are for those wanting something different, a sort of PLUS in all the heating aspects.
Attachments
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New antique from 1874
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nortcan
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Stuart,Peterson/ Grander
Stove/Furnace Model: Sunnyside/ Golden Bride

Re: Antique stove efficiency

PostBy: Lightning On: Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:59 am

Nortcan, what a masterpiece. :D
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Stove Size Mix

Re: Antique stove efficiency

PostBy: nortcan On: Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:14 pm

Lightning wrote:Nortcan, what a masterpiece. :D


Thanks Lightning, the old timers were real artists on their work. They made nice and durable things with very few and basic tools.
Forgot about less air tight doors discussion...for antique stoves. If having not very air tight doors, always possible to use ""modern rope gaskets"" to make the doors air tight. :lol:
nortcan
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Stuart,Peterson/ Grander
Stove/Furnace Model: Sunnyside/ Golden Bride

Re: Antique stove efficiency

PostBy: wsherrick On: Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:28 pm

lsayre wrote:I have to disagree with the science aspect of this. The science to design an efficient coal burning stove at affordable cost for home use hardly (if at all) exists today, and certainly didn't exist back when the baseburners were popular. I'm sure that a lot of trial and error and commendable effort overall went into finding out what worked best and what didn't, but can this properly be defined as science?

Quoting Thomas Edison: "Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety nine percent perspiration."

I would also contend that at best a baseburner might be perhaps 10% better than a typical box stove as to efficiency. If a modern box-type hand fired stove is 65% or so efficient, and the best coal stoves on earth (the ones at modern coal fired power-plants) are about 92% efficient, then the maximum efficiency to be gained between them is only 27%.


They were quite scientific. I have some reference material concerning this. I have to find these again where ever I have stuffed them.
Anyway, according to one article from 1912, it stated that the AVERAGE efficiency of coal stoves was around 75%. This was averaging both the superior ones and the cheap ones.
There is another study that was done by the Detroit Stove Works in 1909-1910 in which three base burner designs were examined. They used thermocouples, measured gas content, exhaust temps and the whole nine yards to see which one was the best and to see the effects of excessive air leaks. The best design had an overall efficiency rating of around 85%, the leaky stove still was pretty good at around 73%. The flaw in the leaky stove was a loose fitting check damper.
So they did apply science to the design of these stoves, plus I'm sure there was a good share of trial and error as well. One way or another they created these master pieces which worked so well.
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

Re: Antique stove efficiency- manual stove pipe dampers

PostBy: coalcracker On: Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:11 pm

http://hearthnhome.com/downloads/instal ... II_III.pdf

click on link above, it's the owners manual for a Harman Mark I or Mark III coal stove. When you click on it, wait until the PDF file opens, then scroll down to page 7, section 3.1

here's what it says:

[size=200]UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD A MANUAL FLUE DAMPER BE INSTALLED IN THE SMOKE PIPE BETWEEN THE STOVE AND THE CHIMNEY.[/size]

that's the final say in stove pipe dampers of any kind, including baro dampers, on any antique or modern stove, using a recirculating type exhaust design, to extract more heat from the stove. Stoves of this type are already internally baffled and dampened. Putting another damper in the stove pipe on such stoves, risks death from CO backing up into the room and home.

having said that, relying on a damper as such, to get "efficiency" from a stove made in the 1920's, is risking your life and your family's life. We've learned a little since then. These recirculating exhaust stoves should not have a damper in the stovepipe. That's why the OP in this thread, has smoke backing up into his house, from a wood fire in his stove. How airtight could it be, if it leaked from every orifice smoke into his home ? Saying a stove without a gasket is "airtight" is just silly and naive.

Only use a stovepipe damper on a wood stove, or very cautiously on a coal stove, providing the coal stove is not internally baffled already. There are differences between manual damper design for coal and wood stoves. A coal stove damper has holes drilled in the middle and will still pass 20% of total volume when fully closed. A wood stove damper will have no holes in the middle.

Ask yourself why those holes are in the middle of the damper, for the coal stove. Because the CO gases from coal, are deadly.

That's playing with fire, literally. I sleep very well knowing there's no manual damper on the flue pipe of my Harman I. Flue pipe damper SPRINGS do wear out from heat, and then the damper becomes loose and doesn't hold it's adjustment. This $6 hardware store mechanism can kill you, if it blocks the stove pipe on a coal stove, that's internally baffled. Never install a solid damper on a coal stove. The risk is not not worth any amount of efficiency or money you may save.

These tall free standing "oak" style vintage stoves of the recirculating design, fall into this category. Proceed with caution.
Last edited by coalcracker on Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
coalcracker
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Standard sealed hot water boiler, hand fed
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark I Magnafire
Baseburners & Antiques: Lehigh Oak 18, Washington potbelly, Sears Roebuck parlor cabinet, PIttston 6 lid cook stove, vintage combo gas/coal cook stove 4 lid
Coal Size/Type: nut
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark I Magnafire

Re: Antique stove efficiency

PostBy: Lightning On: Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:20 pm

I question if the people that write the manuals actually use the appliance.

They are forced to print that. What would happen if somebody did a shoddy installation and there was a problem because they suggested a manual damper?

They are covering their asses.
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Stove Size Mix

Re: Antique stove efficiency

PostBy: coalcracker On: Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:23 pm

Lightning wrote:I question if the people that write the manuals actually use the appliance.

They are forced to print that. What would happen if somebody did a shoddy installation and there was a problem because they suggested a manual damper?

They are covering their asses.




The companies that make those stoves, have more time, money, and expertise, than you or I will ever have. They can pay an engineering dept. salaries, to stoke coal stoves and take measurements for years, and tweak a design.

You and I can't afford that.

Don't be naive- that's like saying you doubt the people at GM, ever really drive their cars. In reality they have huge test tracks where they put a million miles on a test car, before they put it into production. My God man, where's your brains ? Manufacturing companies don't work that way.
coalcracker
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Standard sealed hot water boiler, hand fed
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark I Magnafire
Baseburners & Antiques: Lehigh Oak 18, Washington potbelly, Sears Roebuck parlor cabinet, PIttston 6 lid cook stove, vintage combo gas/coal cook stove 4 lid
Coal Size/Type: nut
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark I Magnafire