Coal vs. Oil currently, Is it really worth it ?

Re: Coal vs. Oil currently, Is it really worth it ?

PostBy: nuthead On: Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:58 pm

hi, i have the same vc stove last year and this year i have been burning wood, as you know the jespy moths killed more than 60% of the oak trees (cut down about 1 doz in mt yard and about 45 trees down the street and more to go) what coal do you burn? in the past i used reading i just burn a bag of kimmels and still trying it (red ash) i used my old vc vig wood stove cast iron grate yo put over the grates and wks great (for buring wood) when i have the time i will post a photo.

thanks
nuthead
 
Stove/Furnace Make: vc
Stove/Furnace Model: vig 2

Re: Coal vs. Oil currently, Is it really worth it ?

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:09 pm

Good luck with your choice but it's nice you've got good a working stove already. No electricity was one of the factors we looked at early on too.

There are threads about the Hitzer 30-95. No particular knowledge of the BTU spec here but I've seen 75-85K BTU/hr posted somewhere on the forum.

Lot's of discussion about the quality of deep vs. strip mined going on here. Trucking and availability is always a major cost the further from the fields you are. Just curious, what brands have you tried in the past vs the present?
VigIIPeaBurner
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace

Re: Coal vs. Oil currently, Is it really worth it ?

PostBy: tmegg On: Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:40 pm

How many different models of the Vigilant did they make ? I do not use any conversion/retro kit to burn coal. I purchased mine in 1986 and VC marketed the stove as a wood/coal combo. I have a built in flue damper with handle on side, a bi-metal thermostatic damper for internal draft, a dozen individual grates with teeth that move front to back, a metal screen for wood fire burning. Served me well over the years but I'm itching for a change.
tmegg
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Vermont Castings
Stove/Furnace Model: Vigilant Series I

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Re: Coal vs. Oil currently, Is it really worth it ?

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Thu Feb 05, 2009 3:50 pm

tmegg wrote:How many different models of the Vigilant did they make ? I do not use any conversion/retro kit to burn coal. I purchased mine in 1986 and VC marketed the stove as a wood/coal combo. I have a built in flue damper with handle on side, a bi-metal thermostatic damper for internal draft, a dozen individual grates with teeth that move front to back, a metal screen for wood fire burning. Served me well over the years but I'm itching for a change.


Warning ... thread drift!
I wonder about how many versions were sold too. Don't know how many permutations of the "multi-fuel" versions were marketed. The "II" has what you've listed above. I'm guessing that the "Vigilant I" would have been the first revision to move away from the hopper/coal conversion kit. "II" is marketed as coal only. I'd bet it's just because the EPA particulate specification. "I" wood/coal combo vs. "II" coal only might be the only difference between the "I" & "II". You can see a lot of the "II" in the videos linked below my sig block. Hope to hear about this from other members.

I had to buy the screen and it seems to protrude just a little over the ash lip. Wonder if that's a change? I didn't come with the shovel like my old Defiant did.

Back on thread ....!
I like to use this calculator: http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/techl ... ulator.pdf The spread sheet version linked to on the first page is easy and quick to use. It normalizes each fuel cost to 1 million btus. It's not as customizable as others and, according to knowledgeable members, isn't quite as accurate. It doesn't list anthracite, just bituminous. I don't think comparing the two on the spread sheet's calculations is too far off as the consider bituminous BTU content hight at 26,000 BTU/Lb. This should adequately bracketed the two. With this calculator, the oil I bought two weeks ago at $2.05/gal ($16.53/million BTU) is comparable to coal at $430/ton. The most expensive coal I've bought this year, @236/ton or $9.08/M BTU compares to oil at $1.04/ gal.
VigIIPeaBurner
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace

Re: Coal vs. Oil currently, Is it really worth it ?

PostBy: e.alleg On: Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:25 pm

stock up on oil while it's cheap. Seriously, put in a dozen or more 275 tanks and fill all of them. I doubt oil will stay at less than $2 a gallon for long. A word of caution on your coal stove is to clean it real well and dry it out to prevent rust while waiting for the price of oil to go back up.
e.alleg
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520

Re: Coal vs. Oil currently, Is it really worth it ?

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:54 pm

e.alleg wrote:stock up on oil while it's cheap. Seriously, put in a dozen or more 275 tanks and fill all of them. I doubt oil will stay at less than $2 a gallon for long. A word of caution on your coal stove is to clean it real well and dry it out to prevent rust while waiting for the price of oil to go back up.


Nah, not me. My stove is going to be nice and warm as long as I can stand it. Last time I got 200 gal was 15 months ago and used it for fall/spring heat, supplementing ** the 50,000 BTU/hr Vigilant II and leaving for winter vacations.

** summer installation of Koker planned to do something about this :) Tanks might rust out and spill that stinky stuff all around - can't have that!
VigIIPeaBurner
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace

Re: Coal vs. Oil currently, Is it really worth it ?

PostBy: Dann757 On: Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:25 pm

Worth it to meeee ahhahahhahaha I got a stockpile of basement coal whooo hoooo...
Plus I put my trusty 20 year old Ruud oil hot air furnace in a dumpster last fall. I was running that while roughing it here off an 18 gallon boat tank all last season. A couple ducts rigged up and the only return was the hole in the side of the furnace. I had a filter for it right there. Before that it was my shop heater when I wasn't living here. I bought 250 gallons of old heating oil from a farmer friend of mine last year and used to stop by and take 30 gallons at a time.
Dann757
 

Re: Coal vs. Oil currently, Is it really worth it ?

PostBy: wsherrick On: Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:44 pm

The price of coal vs oil doesn't matter to me. Burning coal is part of who I am as an individual. Having a Turn Of The Century stove is also part of who I am. I get a deep sense of satisfaction and happiness from my stove. The fact that I am saving gobs of money on heating bills is just icing on the cake. I look forward to the first cool nights in the fall when I can light it up.
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: Coal vs. Oil currently, Is it really worth it ?

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:14 pm

It is the intangible part of burning coal that the equation cannot factor.
If you factor in the cost of the coal stove you must also consider the replacement cost of your oil burning device to the ‘true cost’ of using a particular fuel.
Even if it cost the same to burn oil/gas/electric as it did coal I would still choose coal.
Radiant heat just feels better, the stove will work when the power does not and I would rather spend my money on a fuel that benefits hard working Americans.
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: Coal vs. Oil currently, Is it really worth it ?

PostBy: grizzly2 On: Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:53 pm

CapeCoaler wrote:It is the intangible part of burning coal that the equation cannot factor.
If you factor in the cost of the coal stove you must also consider the replacement cost of your oil burning device to the ‘true cost’ of using a particular fuel.
Even if it cost the same to burn oil/gas/electric as it did coal I would still choose coal.
Radiant heat just feels better, the stove will work when the power does not and I would rather spend my money on a fuel that benefits hard working Americans.



DITO :!: :clap:
grizzly2
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 30 - 95
Coal Size/Type: pea and nut/ anthracite
Other Heating: Jotul #3 wood stove in garage. Oil backup in house. Electric backup in house.

Re: Coal vs. Oil currently, Is it really worth it ?

PostBy: sharkman8810 On: Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:49 pm

Capecoaler, i couldn't agree more. My wife and i do love the constant steady heat and flow o fwarm air keeping a steady temp. I do love my hitzer 82. Kentucky and the south got hammered this year with ice storm and no power, so did the new hampshire/vermont, and farther north east than me. Here in south central pa just got lucky, being bracketed by the two storms and not hammered like the rest did. I'm glad i have the stove so we won't freeze at least, plus i keep propane, and the std coleman stove and lantern on hand.
sharkman8810
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: hitzer 82 ul
Coal Size/Type: nut
Stove/Furnace Make: hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 82 u.l.

Re: Coal vs. Oil currently, Is it really worth it ?

PostBy: rewinder On: Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:56 pm

tmegg, your description sounds like the VigII, but they did make an interim model betwen my 1st generation vig with the add in coal kit, and the modern VigII that VigIIpeaburner has. it had the same front to rear grates as the new VigII, but didn't have an ash pan door, and big ash pan below the front outside "shelf" Also it had no hopper I think. I have a pdf somewhere that shows this interim model. I'll see if I can find it.

Is that how yours is?? (that is front to rear multiple grates and the ash pan right under the grates and removable from the double doors only?)

In the 80's when I stopped using my stoves, I had been burning the only coal I could get locally (bulk)from a dealer that had delivered coal for ages. He had a rail spur for coal car delivery to him, and his coal was advertised as Lehigh Valley coal. It burned with much less ash ( very white in color) and fed better in my hopper stove than the reading and blashac that I've used this year. I don't know where it actually came from, but it did burn nice. Maybe it was deep mined or something, I don't know. Since I can only get bagged reading or Blashac, I can say they both burn about the same and I haven't had any junk in the bags, they do light faster than the old stuff, and need more probing to settle the bridges down( the ash is stiffer and doesn't compact as easily wwith the weight of the unburned coal in the hopper)

All that ramblin' aside, with the prospect of higher oil prices that will surely come, it is worth it to me. I'd burn 1200 gal easily this year (being colder than recent years). the 2 stoves are at each end of an ell shaped house with small doorway fans blowing into the main house. We roost mainly in a room with one of the stoves in it, so we're warmer than when burning oil (roosting room is around 70-72, and main house is 66 -68) Am just breaking into my 4th ton and if i need more I'll get some. Haven't burned any oil yet, and oil has never dropped below $2.10, up to 2. 20 now.

And in a world where ya can't control much anymore, I can control how and much I spend on my heating----keeping the bucks in the USA!!!!

EDIT-- here's a blow up of the Vig so called multi fuel, it has the ash pan above the floor and directly underthe grate like the older version, but the new style forebox

paul
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rewinder
 
Stove/Furnace Make: VT Castings--early models
Stove/Furnace Model: Vigilant, and Resolute

Re: Coal vs. Oil currently, Is it really worth it ?

PostBy: stonyloam On: Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:08 pm

There is more to a coal stove than just heat! :)
stonyloam
 
Stove/Furnace Make: vermont casting
Stove/Furnace Model: vigilant

Re: Coal vs. Oil currently, Is it really worth it ?

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:31 am

stonyloam wrote:There is more to a coal stove than just heat! :)


rewinder wrote:...88...paul


The bulk Reading pea that I burn behaves just as you describe. Tried four of six bags of Blaschak but just had to stop when the Superior nut arrived just in time for this cold snap. 5 last night and it 7 now. I'll switch back to the Reading on Saturday for the big melt. About the Lehigh, have you checked this site out? http://lehighanthracite.com/

I never researched where VC went with their designs after I got comfy with the 70s vintage Defiant and burning wood. I didn't know that they had made a Vig I. Thanks for the info. I started looking at stoves again when I needed - and I mean needed - a source of heat other than oil. Need defined not by necessity but peace of mind. I bet right with this stove. This house has the VigII and it'll burn wood or coal (don't tell the EPA), a wood burning fire place (heatalator) @ ~ 30K btu/hr and propane for cooking and heating water(currently). Koker @~ 160K btu/hr installation is planned but I'll need to do a lot of rearranging to get it where I want it. After it's in, I hope to add coal DHW. Oil will stay a part of the picture, but a small one. Divide and conquer :!:
VigIIPeaBurner
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace

Re: Coal vs. Oil currently, Is it really worth it ?

PostBy: tmegg On: Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:22 am

Rewinder, You are correct indeed. The grates are underneath and you have to open the double doors to get to the ash pan. If I don't use a poker from the top every 12 hours upon reload I will lose the fire. I've gone through one pair of Kevlar gloves in the past year, the heat can be brutal. Burning Coal should never be this difficult. I've had this stove for years and the coal is getting worse. I called Centralia (PA Coal broker) and they told me all their coal is strip mined. My last batch was from So. Tomaqua mine. I've had Tuscorrora in the past also. Tried some bagged Reading, it was a little better. I looked at my old delivery bills and the coal was from Bethlehem and Lehigh. I'm thinking (hoping) that maybe a new Hitzer will handle the new poor quality coal. If this is the future of coal (high ash,high cost) then IMO it will not have a future.
tmegg
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Vermont Castings
Stove/Furnace Model: Vigilant Series I

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