New Home in Colorado, Considering Coal for heat

New Home in Colorado, Considering Coal for heat

PostBy: Coal_Miner_76 On: Sun Jan 04, 2009 8:08 pm

Hello, I am new to the Coal Forum. I work as a mining engineer at a coal mine in Colorado. As an employee I am entitled to 10 tons of free stoker coal. (about 11,500-12,000 BTU coal). This spring I am planning on building a new home on 35 acres. I am planning on building a small 1500 sq ft home with possible additions in the future. The area is pretty rural and the majority of the homes use propane as the main heat source. I would like to take advantage of the free coal and try something different. My wife loves the idea of radiant heating. I have a few questions.

How much does a coal boiler cost? Is it better to have them inside or outside?

Is radiant heating a resonable way to heat a home?

How long can the boiler be left unattended?

How often does the ash need to be emptied?

Can the coal loading be completely automated?

How much coal does is take to heat a home for one year? (just an estimate)

I have a ton of questions so I'm sure I will be asking more but I think this is a good start. Thank you very much for sharing some coal boiler knowledge with me.

Thanks,

Parker
Coal_Miner_76
 

Re: New Home in Colorado, Considering Coal for heat

PostBy: av8r On: Sun Jan 04, 2009 8:17 pm

Just curious...where in CO are you? A buddy is looking at property near Lake City and would like to try coal.
av8r
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Leisure Line Hearth with twin turbos (sounds like it)
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Hearth model with twin turbos

Re: New Home in Colorado, Considering Coal for heat

PostBy: Coal_Miner_76 On: Sun Jan 04, 2009 8:31 pm

Northwest Colorado near Steamboat Springs.
Coal_Miner_76
 


Re: New Home in Colorado, Considering Coal for heat

PostBy: beatle78 On: Sun Jan 04, 2009 8:33 pm

Hi Parker,

Welcome! Do you have access to bituminous coal or anthracite coal?

If anthracite, then there are very automated possibilities(stoker or auger fed boilers). If it is bituminous, I think there MIGHT be a prototype auger boiler from EFM.

From what I've read, radiant heating is the premium way to heat a home. Second would be radiant baseboard, third would be forced hot air.

We are planning a big addition to our home this spring and we are doing 100% radiant heating!

Hope this helps a little.

~Jeremy
beatle78
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker KA-4

Re: New Home in Colorado, Considering Coal for heat

PostBy: Coal_Miner_76 On: Sun Jan 04, 2009 8:39 pm

Jeremy,
I have access to 10 tons of Bituminous coal. (11,500-12,000 BTU) Where can I find more info regarding a Bituminous coal boiler?
Thanks: Parker
Coal_Miner_76
 

Re: New Home in Colorado, Considering Coal for heat

PostBy: Flyer5 On: Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:17 pm

Coal_Miner_76 wrote:Jeremy,
I have access to 10 tons of Bituminous coal. (11,500-12,000 BTU) Where can I find more info regarding a Bituminous coal boiler?
Thanks: Parker




Go with in floor radiant heating .I have it and love it Tons of pros very few cons . Probably a hand fed would be the most reliable ,but you will have to load at least twice a day . There are some stokers out there but I don't have much info . Here's one . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcBHWH-Laa0
Flyer5
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Pioneer

Re: New Home in Colorado, Considering Coal for heat

PostBy: beatle78 On: Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:23 pm

Sorry, my knowledge about bituminous coal ended with that last post..... there is a Bituminous forum 1 or 2 links down from this forum.... here's the link Using Bituminous Coal
beatle78
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker KA-4

Re: New Home in Colorado, Considering Coal for heat

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:10 pm

Coal_Miner_76 wrote:Jeremy,
I have access to 10 tons of Bituminous coal. (11,500-12,000 BTU) Where can I find more info regarding a Bituminous coal boiler?
Thanks: Parker



Give this a little time, our bituminous experts are kind of like mountain men. They don't show up very often, but when they do it gets exciting. :D I believe you will get the answers you want from them. :idea:

Here is mine:
Boilers can run very cheap for used to pricey for new.
I prefer the unit in house, works well either way but costs a lot more detached.
Radiant hydronic heat is the best way to heat.
Some models can go 3-5 days with no attention. There are some custom installs that have totally automated the appliance.
Few units will have totally automated feed systems, most require service every few days depending on the setup.
10 tons will probably keep you warm about two years in a well insulated home in the 2500' range.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: New Home in Colorado, Considering Coal for heat

PostBy: Flyer5 On: Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:02 pm

coaledsweat wrote:
Coal_Miner_76 wrote:Jeremy,
I have access to 10 tons of Bituminous coal. (11,500-12,000 BTU) Where can I find more info regarding a Bituminous coal boiler?
Thanks: Parker



Give this a little time, our bituminous experts are kind of like mountain men. They don't show up very often, but when they do it gets exciting. :D I believe you will get the answers you want from them. :idea:

Here is mine:
Boilers can run very cheap for used to pricey for new.
I prefer the unit in house, works well either way but costs a lot more detached.
Radiant hydronic heat is the best way to heat.
Some models can go 3-5 days with no attention. There are some custom installs that have totally automated the appliance.
Few units will have totally automated feed systems, most require service every few days depending on the setup.
10 tons will probably keep you warm about two years in a well insulated home in the 2500' range.



Don't forget he is talking Bit . Less BTUs faster burn .10 tons wont last as long as anthracite. Automatic setups are hard to come by for bit .
Flyer5
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Pioneer

Re: New Home in Colorado, Considering Coal for heat

PostBy: Coal_Miner_76 On: Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:25 pm

Give this a little time, our bituminous experts are kind of like mountain men. They don't show up very often, but when they do it gets exciting. :D I believe you will get the answers you want from them. :idea:


Who are the bituminous experts? Which company can i contact to recieve more info about bituminous coal boiler? Thanks: Parker
Coal_Miner_76
 

Re: New Home in Colorado, Considering Coal for heat

PostBy: Sting On: Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:35 pm

When I was looking last spring.... Wilbert stoker was the only company willing to sell just a bit stoker -- their web page isn't always functioning -- its down right now

With that stoker - you still will need a boiler

an operating pair new - looks like a ten grand investment just to get to the door step

Then bins and piping and controls

watch this thread for a while with me -- it appears to be our best bet

Using Bituminous Coal

or we just need to get lucky and find an Iron Fireman and its boiler in nice condition Then move it and refurbish it and reinstall it :roll:
Sting
 
Other Heating: BurnHAM=NG-gas

Re: New Home in Colorado, Considering Coal for heat

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Mon Jan 05, 2009 12:07 am

Flyer5 wrote:Don't forget he is talking Bit . Less BTUs faster burn .10 tons wont last as long as anthracite. Automatic setups are hard to come by for bit .


Yup, but they are available. It really depends on the coal you have available to you. Most bituminous coals are not suitable for stokers for a variety of reasons. But some Colorado coals burn much like anthracite as evidenced by the Keystoker and EFM threads in the bituminous section of the forum. Our friend in Colorado may want to do his homework well.

I'm thinking this thread actually belongs in that forum, so........ that's where it is going. That is where the experts are! :)
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: New Home in Colorado, Considering Coal for heat

PostBy: Tamecrow On: Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:49 am

http://peasefeedandcoal.com/

Check these guys out, They have some bituminous stoker boilers.

Terry
Tamecrow
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Warden King Ltd.
Stove/Furnace Model: Viking Jr. Boiler/Will-Burt 30

Re: New Home in Colorado, Considering Coal for heat

PostBy: steinkebunch On: Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:17 am

If I was building a new house and live have access to free bit. coal here's what I'd do:

0. I would certainly use bit. coal to heat my house.
1. I'd definitely go with infloor hydronic heat.
2. I'd have an outside boiler. Close to house is better to reduce heat loss in piping and keep material costs down. But you can go hundreds of feet from the house and still be fine. The piping just gets expensive. Keeping the stoker outside keeps the mess out of the house.
3. I'd definitely use an underfeed stoker to heat the boiler.
4. As most have said, bit. coal quality and burn characteristics vary alot. It would be nice if you could find someone that burns local bit. coal in a stoker and see how it works. Volatile content, percent ash, btu/pound, fusion temp, etc are all important, though some aren't too important for an underfed stoker.

If you had a large coal bin, and had a way to easily get the coal into it (tractor loader, skidsteer, auger, kids and shovels :lol: , etc), you could go weeks without adding coal to the bin. The ash may need to be done more often. In warm weather, I can go 3 days or so between emptying ash. In cold weather, I do it twice per day. But I use high ash coal (20%), and have a small ash pan. Most coal has half the ash I have.

I use about 5 or 6 tons per year to heat a 1750 sq.ft. home, 1980s era. My stoker is indoors, and is just a forced air unit with no ductwork. It heats my entire tri-level home well. I use 40 lbs or less per day in early fall/late spring, and 100 lbs per day or more during subzero weather. I send alot of heat up the chimney as my heat exchanger is pretty inefficient. With a really efficient stove, I think I could heat the house with 3 or 4 tons per year. But for $45 per ton, I can't justify spending too much to gain efficiency.

As far as I know, you options for stokers are:

1. Find a used underfed stoker/boiler. Brands I know of, most not in production: Prill (like mine, WY made), Hardin (Montana Co, out of business), Stokermatic (Utah-made, you can find some used units there). The link given in an ealier post to Pease Feed and Coal in Powell, WY can get you to a person who could refurbish a boiler/stoker unit for you. It costs quite a bit though. You can likely find other brands if you do some digging, mostly in western states. I think there were some outfits in North Dakota and Canada as well that have gone out of business. If you're patient, and willing to travel a little, you will eventually find a used stoker and or boiler.
2. Buy a new underfed stoker/boiler. The only 3 I'm aware of are Legend
http://www.legendmfg.ca/order3.htm
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
, Wilburt out of Ohio, and EFM heating. There is a guy in WY where I live heating a large pawn shop with hydronic heat and he uses a Legend.

Good luck. You'll learn alot here if you just spend some time and ask questions.

Steinke in WY
steinkebunch
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Homemade Bituminous Hand-Fed
Stove/Furnace Model: Prill underfed stoker Model M8

Re: New Home in Colorado, Considering Coal for heat

PostBy: steinkebunch On: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:09 pm

FYI - also found an interesting site for a Canadian coal boiler mfg named Heat Innovations:

http://www.heatinnovations.com/coalheat.htm

http://www.heatinnovations.com/coalmanII.pdf

http://www.heatinnovations.com/coalman.pdf

Maybe the same stoker as Legend uses, not sure. Both Canadian though. Shipping would kill a guy.

Steinke
steinkebunch
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Homemade Bituminous Hand-Fed
Stove/Furnace Model: Prill underfed stoker Model M8