An Intro and Looking for Input

A Coal stoker furnace or stove controls most operations including automatically feeding the coal. They are quite similar to any conventional oil and gas units and easily operated for extended periods of time. They commonly use rice coal but may use larger sizes like buckwheat. They can be used as primary heat, supplementary heat or have a dual set up with your existing oil/gas furnace.
JeepinPete
Member
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri. Mar. 04, 2011 6:29 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: Highboy
Location: Quakertown PA

Post Sat. Apr. 02, 2011 11:01 pm

Some of the variables are now set. I picked up a used Burnham oil boiler last weekend. Hard to believe it is 25 years old. It was very well taken care of. Came with all the copper piping, expansion tank, circulator, baseboards, zone valves, etc. $250. I am also going with a reconditioned EFM coal boiler. $3200.

Questions on the heat loss calculations. I am using the Slantfin program. What should I be using for the door and glass factor? Windows are original (50 & 150 yo), all have aluminum storms. The Slantfin program has a pull down box, and is giving a factory of .56. This is better than the factory for double pane windows (.65). Google isn't getting me any relevant info. The Slantfin program also doesn't have any input for which way the wall is facing (eg N,S,E,W). Any other freely available heat loss programs out there?

Thanks,
Pete


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Yanche
Member
Posts: 3032
Joined: Fri. Dec. 23, 2005 12:45 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Location: Sykesville, Maryland

Post Sun. Apr. 03, 2011 9:36 am

Check out this thread topic:

What's your heat loss?

It lists several heat loss calculators of varying capability and complexity.
Please report back on your experience in using them.
Yanche
Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Stoker Boiler burning Anthracite Pea Coal

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oliver power
Member
Posts: 2266
Joined: Sun. Apr. 16, 2006 9:28 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: KEYSTOKER Kaa-2
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93 & 30-95, Vigilant (pre-Vigilant-II), D.S. 1600 Circulator
Baseburners & Antiques: MANY (Mostly when burning wood)
Location: Near Dansville, NY

Post Mon. Apr. 04, 2011 10:51 am

JeepinPete wrote:Some of the variables are now set. I picked up a used Burnham oil boiler last weekend. Hard to believe it is 25 years old. It was very well taken care of. Came with all the copper piping, expansion tank, circulator, baseboards, zone valves, etc. $250. I am also going with a reconditioned EFM coal boiler. $3200.

Questions on the heat loss calculations. I am using the Slantfin program. What should I be using for the door and glass factor? Windows are original (50 & 150 yo), all have aluminum storms. The Slantfin program has a pull down box, and is giving a factory of .56. This is better than the factory for double pane windows (.65). Google isn't getting me any relevant info. The Slantfin program also doesn't have any input for which way the wall is facing (eg N,S,E,W). Any other freely available heat loss programs out there?

Thanks,
Pete
Actually Pete, you have it backwards. .65 is a better R-Value than .56. The higher the number, the better the R-Value (resistance Value). If you have single pane windows, with storms, go with .56 R-Value. When figuring heat loss, I'd use the lower numbers to be safe.

JeepinPete
Member
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri. Mar. 04, 2011 6:29 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: Highboy
Location: Quakertown PA

Post Mon. Apr. 04, 2011 11:01 am

While I am not trying to argue with you, that is not how the Slantfin program is set up. I've attached a screenshot of the pull down list in the program. The user is free to enter any number they desire though. I am pretty sure this isn't an R value, but a U value, which is more or less the inverse of a R value.
Attachments
Untitled.jpg

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Yanche
Member
Posts: 3032
Joined: Fri. Dec. 23, 2005 12:45 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Location: Sykesville, Maryland

Post Mon. Apr. 04, 2011 11:24 am

JeepinPete wrote:Questions on the heat loss calculations. I am using the Slantfin program. What should I be using for the door and glass factor? Windows are original (50 & 150 yo), all have aluminum storms. The Slantfin program has a pull down box, and is giving a factory of .56. This is better than the factory for double pane windows (.65). Google isn't getting me any relevant info. The Slantfin program also doesn't have any input for which way the wall is facing (eg N,S,E,W). Any other freely available heat loss programs out there?

Thanks,
Pete

Take a look at the web site of the National Fenestration Rating Council. See:

http://www.nfrc.org/

It's been a few years since I looked at it in detail but I think they have window and door ratings for common products. If you look at the apec sheeted for windows and door sold today you will find a fenestration rating number on it. The high end heat loss & heat gain programs use this number.
Yanche
Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Stoker Boiler burning Anthracite Pea Coal

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gaw
Member
Posts: 2604
Joined: Fri. Jan. 26, 2007 2:51 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice from Schuylkill County
Location: Parts Unknown

Post Mon. Apr. 04, 2011 12:59 pm

The Slant Fin numbers look pretty good to me in that they are not over optimistic but more realistic. What you see in the program are U-Factor ratings and not R-Value. Typically a standard double glazed window is rated about .50. For the tax credit in 2009 and 2010 they had to have a U-Factor of .30 or better (lower), energy star qualified for the northeast is somewhere around .34 or .32 I am not sure but just because a window was energy star qualified did not make it eligible for the tax credit, but I digress, use the Single – w/storm sash because that is what you have and you will probably be close enough for government work.
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Bratkinson
Member
Posts: 208
Joined: Sat. Jan. 31, 2009 12:29 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Channing III
Other Heating: Gas FA
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing III
Location: Western MA

Post Mon. Apr. 04, 2011 1:28 pm

I'd be very leery of going with any R value greater than zero for the stone wall. Based on a friend that had an all stone wall 20x40 one-floor house built in the 1800s, he couldn't keep it above 50 degrees inside when it was below zero outside (in Wisconsin). Obviously, the furnace in there was too small for the job. There was NO interior walls or drywall, insulation, etc. On the inside, he stone seemed to be just as cold as it was outside.

In short, even if you have to open up a 2" square in the dry wall, check what's in there!

JeepinPete
Member
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri. Mar. 04, 2011 6:29 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: Highboy
Location: Quakertown PA

Post Mon. Apr. 04, 2011 10:00 pm

Went ahead and reworked the heat loss calcs. Accurate measurements vs estimates, etc. Results are pretty much the same. For the exposed wall factor, I extrapolated the numbers from 12" & 8" poured concrete above grade wall out to 18". I figure that is roughly equivalent to a solid stone wall of the original portion of the house. For the new half, I used the 12" poured concrete value. At this point, I am feeling pretty confident in the numbers.

1st.jpg

2nd.jpg

3rd.jpg


All that being said, the heat loss calcs in my case are going to be most useful for sizing the baseboards. I am going to pick up my boiler this weekend, an EFM 520 Highboy. Larger than I need from the looks of it, but the price was right. I am also thinking of adding a largish addition on the back of the house some day, so I shouldn't have to worry about upgrading the boiler in the future.


JeepinPete
Member
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri. Mar. 04, 2011 6:29 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: Highboy
Location: Quakertown PA

Post Mon. Apr. 04, 2011 10:04 pm

One thing I forgot to mention. I combined the kitchen and dining room. There is currently a half length wall separating them, which will not be there too much longer. There is a closet on the interior wall of the kitchen that buts up against this partition wall. We are going to extend the closet all the way across the interior wall to create a pantry of sorts.

JeepinPete
Member
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri. Mar. 04, 2011 6:29 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: Highboy
Location: Quakertown PA

Post Thu. Sep. 22, 2011 11:53 pm

Bringing this back from the dead, since the project is back from the dead :D

Over the summer I have picked up a EFM stoker. A couple weeks back I took a weeks vacation and spent it in the basement :shock: Tore out the old ductwork, moved the hot water heater, replaced the well pressure tank, move the oil boiler and EFM into the basement and set them in their final resting place. Rewired and replumbed the water heater and pressure tank. And removed some old water softener tanks (why they were ever installed is beyond me, our water is perfect!?!?)

So now I am getting real close to starting the actual install. The old heating system in this house consisted of a oil furnace with a grand total of three registers, two in the living room, one in the kitchen. We've been heating the rest of the house with space heaters. I have ~50' of finned copper baseboard, and picked up 30' of cast iron baseboard this evening. I am picking up another 70' of CI baseboard tomorrow. Plus I collect two toe kick heaters, one for the kitchen, the other?

Question for anyone that has messed with the cast iron baseboard. There are tow passages in these things. The set I picked up tonight is only using the upper. Can the second passage be used as a return?

Current thinking is creating five zones in the house. The first floor (kitched, dining room, living room), one for each bedroom on the second floor (2 total), one for the landing and nursery on the second floor, and one for the third floor. I am planning on using 1/2" Pex-AL-Pex for each zone.

The first floor will consist of three loops, one to a toe kick heater in the kitchen (30' each way). One for the Ci baseboard in the dining room (maybe 10' of Pex each way), and one for the living room (~10' each way)

On the second floor, each bedroom has a ~150' total run of Pex to and from the baseboards. These room are easily heated by a electric space heater, so the 8000 BTU heat loss the program is predicting is probably high. Regardless, I am planning on a 14' length of baseboard. The landing and nursery are going to be tricky and I haven't decided exactly how I am going to do it.

Finally, the third floor is a single 16' x 30' room, again with a ~150' total run of Pex. The finned baseboard is probably going up there.

Given all that, any opinions on using 1/2" Pex-AL-Pex for the runs?

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Rob R.
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Posts: 11336
Joined: Fri. Dec. 28, 2007 4:26 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy
Location: Chazy, NY

Post Fri. Sep. 30, 2011 6:18 am

JeepinPete wrote:Question for anyone that has messed with the cast iron baseboard. There are tow passages in these things. The set I picked up tonight is only using the upper. Can the second passage be used as a return?


My last house had Burnham Baseray baseboards, and I believe they were piped using only the bottom tappings. I don't think there are separate passages through the radiator, just multiple tappings on the end.

JeepinPete wrote:Given all that, any opinions on using 1/2" Pex-AL-Pex for the runs?


For just 14' of baseboard and/or toe kick heaters, that will work fine.

JeepinPete
Member
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri. Mar. 04, 2011 6:29 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: Highboy
Location: Quakertown PA

Post Mon. Nov. 07, 2011 2:14 pm

Been working overtime to get this system up and running. It is taking far longer than I planned to install the CI baseboards. No fault of the baseboards, more due to the nature of my house, and project creep :roll: The living room is in the old side of the house, and that is where I started. The plaster on top of the stone walls is more deteriorated than I realized. My wife and I decided that the living room is going to end up with bare stone walls when all is said and done. So inorder to put the baseboards where they will be when the wall stripping is all done, I had to start the process along the bottom 12". Long story short, I got the third run of baseboard installed in the living room yesterday :D . The new side of the house has framed and sheetrocked walls, so I am expecting those installs to move along at a much faster clip.

The oil boiler is all hooked up and fired for the first time last weekend. If you recall, that was the weekend of the Oct snowstorm :mad: We lost power about one hour after I fired it up, and didn't get it back until Wed. I fired it up again this weekend, and all seems to be working well, expect I ran out of oil :oops: Hopefully this order will be my last.

Haven't really started on the EFM yet. It is sitting in place, waiting for its turn. But I need to get heat in all the room first, then I will move on to the coal system.

And thanks to all who have helped to far!

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freetown fred
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Posts: 21400
Joined: Thu. Dec. 31, 2009 12:33 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut
Location: Freetown,NY 13803

Post Mon. Nov. 07, 2011 3:47 pm

Come on dude, let's see some pix of this way over due project. ;) Good to see you back at it my friend. :)
"A people that values it's privileges above it's principals, soon loses both"--Dwight D Eisenhower

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Rob R.
Site Moderator
Posts: 11336
Joined: Fri. Dec. 28, 2007 4:26 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy
Location: Chazy, NY

Post Mon. Nov. 07, 2011 4:34 pm

Stay the course, you are well on your way to being warm for a lot less $.

JeepinPete wrote:Given all that, any opinions on using 1/2" Pex-AL-Pex for the runs?


The old rule of thumb is that 1/2" baseboard should have a maximum run of 25'...and that assumes you have the proper circulator for the job.

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bobcat10_4
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Posts: 4
Joined: Tue. Nov. 01, 2011 3:24 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: HS Tarm
Stove/Furnace Model: 303

Post Mon. Nov. 07, 2011 5:19 pm

Pete:
You're in the same boat as I am as far as the wife; What I did, being in the heating trade, was to pipe and wire an oil boiler to a solid fuel unit. I myself don't like multifuel units because the efficiency on the oil side (if it is oil), is lost due to the chamber size needed for the solid fuel side. As far as propane I do realize that oil prices are high,but, #2 oil is rated at 139,000 BTU's per gallon and propane maybe at 25,000 for the same unit (cubic feet per hour). If it helps, I have both a piping and wiring diagram for a 2 unit wood or coal\oil setup ( I also have a "older" HS Tarm model 303 coal boiler that I am selling). You may think about power venting the non solid fuel unit ( being oil or propane).
Bobcat


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