What Are the Differences Between a Hopper Fed Stove

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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby
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Post Sat. Oct. 25, 2008 7:14 pm

My stove has a hopper to load the coal, and as it burns below, the coal in the hopper drops into the fire. How is it different from a hand fired stove without a hopper?

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Post Sat. Oct. 25, 2008 7:40 pm

Look at the cutaway drawings for the stoker stoves and the handfired stoves on this site: http://www.harmanstoves.com

A stoker stove takes a small amount of coal from a hopper, pushes this onto a grate where the coal is burn as hot as it can burn..The heat output is regulated by how much coal is pushed onto the grate therby regulating the fire size.

A hand fired stove has a large quantity of coal in a firebox, the entire quantity of coal is exposed to the fire from the bottom up, the heat output is controled by regulating the air to the fire..the area of coal is fixed, so the heat output is not as controlable as with a stoker stove. As the coal burns, the depth of the fire gets shallower, and as the coal burns out, the fire burns out when the coal depth becomes too shallow to support a fire

A hopper fed stove drops fresh coal into the firebox as the batch of coal burns down, the hopper keeps the depth of the fire constant for many hours longer, sometimes up to a day longer than a simple hand fed stove.. This prolongs the time between loading to keep the fire active.

Greg L


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Post Sat. Oct. 25, 2008 7:44 pm

Mikemass. I would say the biggest difference between a stove with a hopper and a stove without would be how long it will run between fillings. A regular batch fed stove will run almost as long as a hopper fed stove of similar fire box size minus the hopper. The difference is that a hopper fed needs not be loaded as often as the hopper holds the next firings worth of coal inside the stove. A well designed fire box and grate system will allow a coal fire to burn out due to lack of fuel not lack of air. They will both starve them selfs of air but the regular batch fired runs out of fuel long before that piont. My stove holds about 50 lbs in the fire box and about 60 in the hopper. My stove if left unattended will burn around 80 lbs of the coal before it starves itself of air, the batch fired would burn the 50 in the fire box and then run out due to lack of fuel. This is what I find to be true when burning nut coal, never tried it in this stove burning stove coal. The biggest disadvantage with a hopper fed stove is the blue ladies can only dance single file infront of the glass and it is harder to fish out clinkers.

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Post Sat. Oct. 25, 2008 11:17 pm

The other difference (at least for me...it may not apply for you) is that a stove without a hopper can more easily burn wood. Although I prefer coal, I can get wood for free and I like having the "option" if I need it. I'm speaking about inserts here...I've got a Hitzer insert. They make one model with a hopper and one without. The insert without the hopper is rated at a mucher higher BTU (80,000 vs 65,000) and has a much larger firebox, which helps if you want the occasional wood fire. Why would I want the occasional wood fire? In warmer weather, I can easily start a wood fire, load up the firebox with wood, and go to bed. The house will be warm and the fire will be out in the morning.

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