Anyone burning coal in a Biasi 3 Wood/Coal

Re: Anyone burning coal in a Biasi 3 Wood/Coal

PostBy: Timster On: Mon Dec 26, 2011 4:26 pm

Thanks everyone for the help.
I also have the small Biasi and I have it piped in sieries with my Smith oil boiler wich heats my hot water and the house.
I'll just wait till it gets colder and keep playing with it!! It hasn't been very cold here yet.And yes this boiler does creasote up using just
wood ,I've cleaned it twice this year.
Timster
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Biasi
Stove/Furnace Model: 3 wood

Re: Anyone burning coal in a Biasi 3 Wood/Coal

PostBy: Bob B On: Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:13 pm

:junmp: Finally! My chimney was cleaned this morning and I just got finished installing the barometric damper. Just in time for the next few frigid days comming up. According to the instructions, I have to wait an hour or so for the sealant on the flue to set up before I can light up. I am going to use this waiting time to review all your posts & make sure I have my settings correct and everything covered. Thanks again for all your input and help. :bighug:
Bob B
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Biasi
Stove/Furnace Model: 3wood6

Re: Anyone burning coal in a Biasi 3 Wood/Coal

PostBy: l40knocker On: Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:14 pm

Make sure the CO detector is working just in case!!
l40knocker
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Biasi 3 Wood/Co
Coal Size/Type: anthracite nut
Other Heating: oil fired hydro air system
Stove/Furnace Model: 3 Wood/Coal

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Re: Anyone burning coal in a Biasi 3 Wood/Coal

PostBy: Bob B On: Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:19 am

Allrighty then. It started out pretty good. I got a kindling fire going as you suggested, then I built it up with larger pieces of wood until I got a decent bed of embers going. I added coal a little at a time until I had a 40lb bag in there. It was going good with a nice looking coal fire. The circulator kicked in, sending the hot water from the Biasi to the boiler at about 140°. The water temperature went up to a high of around 190° at one point when the overheat sent some hot water to the dump zone and cooled it off. After watching it for about 3 hours in the 160°-175° with a couple of cycles of the thermostat calling for heat, I was pooped out and hit the bed around midnight.
At 6 am I went down to see what was going on. To my dissapointment, the oil burner was burning and the Baisi was down to about 110°. :flush:
When I opened the door the coals were burning nice and red in the center of the stove. I think the problem was that I just didn't put enough coal in to keep it rolling. In the morning after all the wood burnt off there was about a 2"-3" layer of coal on the grate. Not exactly the deep bed of coal that you talk about here. Another thing that I noticed is that the coals around the edges of the stove never lit. I'll have to try again this evening and see what happens. I was a little afraid to load it up, but I guess that's what I'll try tonight.
Bob B
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Biasi
Stove/Furnace Model: 3wood6

Re: Anyone burning coal in a Biasi 3 Wood/Coal

PostBy: l40knocker On: Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:01 pm

I usually stuff so much coal in the boiler that it is rolling out when I go to close the door. You are on the right track, if the boiler stays at about 180 - 190 and it has a nice deep bed of coals it will keep up with the load. What size unit do you have?? Mine is the smallest one which is a 3Wood 4 section. I just fit 40lbs of coal in on top of a nice coal bed. If you have a 5 or 6 section, you will definitely have to put more coal in that firebox. Do you have shaker grates?? They really don't work well but they do give you more air space under the coal bed to keep it going.
l40knocker
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Biasi 3 Wood/Co
Coal Size/Type: anthracite nut
Other Heating: oil fired hydro air system
Stove/Furnace Model: 3 Wood/Coal

Re: Anyone burning coal in a Biasi 3 Wood/Coal

PostBy: Bob B On: Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:35 pm

Best that I can tell from the measurements of the fire box is that I have a 3wood 6. Does that mean that it should have 6 sections? I did not know that that is what the 6 meant (if it does). I'll check that out when I go down in a few minutes to clean it out and try again. I don't have the shaker grates and don't know where to get them either. I can't even find a picture of them online to know what they look like. If anyone knows where that can be found please let me know. On the first page of this thread there are some pictures posted by "dperg" of a stove with the grates. I see now what you mean that it allows more air under the coals. If they are $400 like I have read here, I think I would rather just buy a couple of tons of coal instead and improvise on the shaking. I saw some grates on clearance at Tractor Supply that I was thinking of shoving in there. But I am getting ahead of myself again. Let me see if I can operate this thing successfully first. I'm going down right now to see if I can get a good fire going for the expected 10°forcast for here in the Hudson Valley tonight.
Bob B
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Biasi
Stove/Furnace Model: 3wood6

Re: Anyone burning coal in a Biasi 3 Wood/Coal

PostBy: franco b On: Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:34 pm

This thread is way too long because the boiler was not designed to burn anything well.

The boiler has no combustion chamber, it just has a place where you can throw fuel and hope for the best. To compound the stupidity it even has water cooled grates. American boilers have been doing the same dumb things for 100 years also.

To burn any solid fuel efficiently you need heat and to provide that heat a chamber must be provided that keeps to a minimum any heat loss from that combustion area. Where the fuel is burning has to be insulated as much as possible from any heat exchange. Lacking that, a fire can be sustained only by using excess air and keeping a fire much larger than need be. Very inefficient and wasteful.

It would be pointless and foolish to point out these things without suggesting a remedy. The boiler appears to be well made, so it would be worth it to correct the bad features.

You must construct a combustion chamber of fire brick, probably full thickness brick on edge two brick high. Don't worry about making it too small. With a proper fire it will throw more heat than before. I would like to see a flat cast iron grate above those water cooled grates upon which you build the fire box. Clear the ash by the use of a flat poker slid just above the grate through slots provided in the front. Seal everything beyond the fire brick so air can only enter from below.

It will be a project and might have to be altered for best results but in the end it will work as you expected it to.
franco b
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: V ermont Castings 2310, Franco Belge 262
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Modern Oak 114
Coal Size/Type: nut and pea

Re: Anyone burning coal in a Biasi 3 Wood/Coal

PostBy: wsherrick On: Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:39 pm

franco b wrote:This thread is way too long because the boiler was not designed to burn anything well.

The boiler has no combustion chamber, it just has a place where you can throw fuel and hope for the best. To compound the stupidity it even has water cooled grates. American boilers have been doing the same dumb things for 100 years also.

To burn any solid fuel efficiently you need heat and to provide that heat a chamber must be provided that keeps to a minimum any heat loss from that combustion area. Where the fuel is burning has to be insulated as much as possible from any heat exchange. Lacking that, a fire can be sustained only by using excess air and keeping a fire much larger than need be. Very inefficient and wasteful.

It would be pointless and foolish to point out these things without suggesting a remedy. The boiler appears to be well made, so it would be worth it to correct the bad features.

You must construct a combustion chamber of fire brick, probably full thickness brick on edge two brick high. Don't worry about making it too small. With a proper fire it will throw more heat than before. I would like to see a flat cast iron grate above those water cooled grates upon which you build the fire box. Clear the ash by the use of a flat poker slid just above the grate through slots provided in the front. Seal everything beyond the fire brick so air can only enter from below.

It will be a project and might have to be altered for best results but in the end it will work as you expected it to.


Thanks franco, the facts are sometimes the best remedy, even though it might be a bitter pill to swallow sometimes.
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: Anyone burning coal in a Biasi 3 Wood/Coal

PostBy: spidy67 On: Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:19 pm

I agree its not perfect for either wood or coal but i prefer to use coal in mine unless you want creasote running out everywhere and replacing gaskets everytime one sticks to the stove. Sometimes you just have to do the best with what you have. It can be done with some experience. I wish i had known about this site prior to my purchase.
spidy67
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Biasi
Stove/Furnace Model: 3wood5

Re: Anyone burning coal in a Biasi 3 Wood/Coal

PostBy: franco b On: Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:26 pm

spidy67 wrote: Sometimes you just have to do the best with what you have.

You have it and have gone through buying it and installing it. The hardest part is over.

Improving it might not be that hard and certainly not expensive.

Keep your eye open for a grate that you can alter, maybe made for a fireplace, but with smaller openings than the usual. Fire brick are cheap too.
franco b
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: V ermont Castings 2310, Franco Belge 262
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Modern Oak 114
Coal Size/Type: nut and pea

Re: Anyone burning coal in a Biasi 3 Wood/Coal

PostBy: Bob B On: Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:30 pm

It's 10° outside and a controlled 72° in my living room with all the hot water my wife could possibly drain into our septic system. This stove seems to be working okay for me considering this is the second time I have attempted to use it. Working out the bugs and improving on it any way I can would be great (grate :) ), especially as you say I already own it. You certainly have my attention. I understand what you are suggesting about the flat grate on top of the water cooled grates. I do not get the part about building a combustion chamber out of fire brick. Could you elaborate a bit at the risk of making the thread a little longer?

Anyway, from what I can tell my stove has 4 sections but has the dimensions described in the instruction book as the 3wood6.

I got it lit and piled in about almost 2 - 40lb bags of coal. That filled it to just above the level of the bottom of the door. It's hummin' now, even though I have the front draft control almost completely closed and the rear damper almost 80% closed. With no call for heat or hot water it got up to 200° before the dump zone kicked in to cool it down. When there is a demand for heat or hot water it seems to run around 160°, then rises when the demand is met. I am very happy with tonight's results so far. As I said, it is 10° now and dropping. I am afraid that when the weather is not this cold that the stove may run too hot.
Bob B
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Biasi
Stove/Furnace Model: 3wood6

Re: Anyone burning coal in a Biasi 3 Wood/Coal

PostBy: franco b On: Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:29 pm

You must keep the burning coal from losing heat to the boiler water jacket.The heat exchange part of the boiler is for that purpose. The purpose of a combustion chamber is to provide ideal conditions for the combustion of the coal or at least as close to those conditions as you can get. By lining the walls of the boiler with fire brick it will slow down considerably the transfer of heat out of the burning coal mass. This in turn results in a hotter fire with less air needed and lower stack temperature. This is so because any excess air carries heat up the chimney and a cooler fire requires more air. Combustion will be more complete with less CO generated and more of it burned. There will be much less half burned coal at the edges, maybe none. Temperature throughout the burning coal mass will be more uniform, not just hot in the center. Just as those cooler walls encouraged creosote with wood they will encourage CO with coal if allowed to sap the heat out of the burning coal. The flue gas will have a higher percentage of CO2 indicating more complete combustion with a good combustion chamber. A lower fire with less output will also be easier to maintain.

The boiler will absorb the radiant heat and the heat from the hot flue gas in the heat exchange area. Without the separation of the two functions of a stove or boiler, namely combustion and heat exchange, it is like driving a car with the brakes on. That boiler looks to have done a good job on the heat exchange part while ignoring combustion. Some of the antique stoves that William likes so much went to a great deal of trouble to address that problem with considerable success in a compact package which makes it a lot harder to do.

Any further questions I will be glad to answer.
franco b
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: V ermont Castings 2310, Franco Belge 262
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Modern Oak 114
Coal Size/Type: nut and pea

Re: Anyone burning coal in a Biasi 3 Wood/Coal

PostBy: Timster On: Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:04 am

Franco B what you are saying sure does make alot of sence,,not to sure how to hold fire bricks inside the Biasi. :?
Bob B were are you in the hudson Valley?
Timster
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Biasi
Stove/Furnace Model: 3 wood

Re: Anyone burning coal in a Biasi 3 Wood/Coal

PostBy: l40knocker On: Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:06 am

Mine seems to work fantastic. I think sizing the boiler is very important. The btu rating is 75kbtu which heats the 2200 ft2 house to 72 and makes hot showers for me, my wife and 2 teenage boys. I am sure if I had a 6 section I would have overheating problems too. If it were me I would master the art of burning coal in what you have and then maybe tweek the boilers insides when you have the coal burning process down. If I was to build a firebox in my boiler I would not have enough room to fit enough coal for a 12 hr burn like I do now.
l40knocker
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Biasi 3 Wood/Co
Coal Size/Type: anthracite nut
Other Heating: oil fired hydro air system
Stove/Furnace Model: 3 Wood/Coal

Re: Anyone burning coal in a Biasi 3 Wood/Coal

PostBy: Bob B On: Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:49 am

Timster, I'm located in Gardiner, NY which is just west of New Paltz.
l40knocker, I totally agree. If this thing work like it's going right now I will be a happy camper as well,... as is. Let's see how it goes in the morning when I go down to see if it's still lit and the how the ash shakedown goes.

My oil burner has a digital electronic aquastat installed on it. It gives a digital readout of the water temperature every couple of seconds. I love it and it eliminated all guessing at what settings the other aquastats are set at. I just have to pay attention to when they click on & off and note the temperature. I am also thinking of installing some type of indicator lights or LEDs on my aquastats or circulators so I can see when they are on. Now I just feel the circulators to see if they are running.
I also have (somewhere) an old cheap security camera that I am going to hook up to my TV so I can monitor that temperature display without running down the basement every 10 minutes.
Bob B
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Biasi
Stove/Furnace Model: 3wood6

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